ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)



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Quest for Fire (1981), (R)
CAP Score: 53
CAP Influence Density: 2.51
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By special request with a clear and urgent goal, this special analysis of *Quest for Fire* (1981) was conducted for Gilbert and Tawny Abalos.

From Tawny:
"On Wednesday, September 1st, I picked my daughter up from her school, Ferris Elementary School in Ferris, TX. She is 6 years old and in first grade. She immediately told me that she had seen a horrible movie in art class. She said the movie showed a man stabbing a spear in another man's mouth and it came out the back of his head- there was blood and people were beating each other with rocks. I asked her why her teacher said she showed her this. [My daughter] said they were studying cave art and the teacher wanted to give them some history of what cavemen were like" ... "The teacher admitted that she had been showing this video for several years" The daughter also said her teacher "...would stop the video to fast-forward it and then turn it back on." At 63.1 examples of sexual material per hour plus 20.7 examples per hour of violence and murder, how effective could fast-forwarding be? I will say that there was no cave art in this movie -- none.

Should this movie be shown under ANY conditions to first-graders? Third graders? Sixth-graders? High school? Please read the analysis below then tell me what you think.

To maximize the probability of helping this little girl and likely many other kids, I am exceptionally detailed in this summary. This report might be offensive to those who are offended by straight talk of extreme sexual vulgarities and bloody gore, but I report on what is there. Paul in Corinth did not avoid extremes, how can I if I am to serve our Lord by revealing that which is sometimes ugly?

SPECIAL ANALYSIS: *Quest for Fire* (R) -- or quest to maximize moral invasion.

*Quest for Fire* (1981) was a movie about cave people striving for possession of "life-giving" fire: fire they could not create on their own. When their fire went out, they had to steal it from others or find it from natural ignition. Clans battled each other for possession of fire. Many lives were lost. Even rivalry from within the central clan over who would get the glory for finding fire lead to deaths. And most of the women were without adequate clothing, at least so say the producers and writers.

The movie started out speaking to evolution which was the first invasion of His expectations of us. Very soon into the movie, group partial nudity appeared as the camera panned over the sleeping clan. Within minutes the nudity started full bore with a rear view of three women leaning forward from the hip to access a creek -- with nothing covering their backsides. Then, the first of five instances of sexual intercourse happened. As this was happening, extreme violence by killings in war over possession of fire and women began. One example of the violence was a spear thrust into the mouth of an attacker, protruding out the back of his head. Then a mother bear minced one of the clansmen as the he tried to hide with a precious taxi of fire. Then the aftermath of the battle was presented as body parts, bloody bodies, and all manner of battle gore filled the screen. And as part of the aftermath, animals were seen eating human remains while visciously protecting their finds. This was the first 14 minutes of the 96-minute movie.

Over the rest of the movie, the violence continued as did the nudity: 46+ instances of partial nudity (including three youth) and 39+ instances of full nudity, including during the five episodes of sexual intercourse (four animalistic and one sensual). The exact total of instances of nudity was not countable since several scenes involved multiple nudity. And Rae Dawn Chong spent most of her onscreen time without any clothes or with partial clothing.

This movie included cannibalism and killing with arrows, stones, sticks, and whatever else was available. There was little to the movie but blind violence and nudity. To try to justify this movie with "That's the way life was back then" is inane. ANY portrayal of ANY behavior in this movie was sheer speculation -- total guesswork. Besides, the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model is completely objective. We make no scoring allowances for Hollywood's trumped-up "messages" to excuse, or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery. I will never watch this movie again. And NEVER should any six year old child be expected to 'handle' this early stroke of the chisel at the foundation of our once-defendable threshold of acceptability and inhibition.

Please "stay tuned" for further developments. A dedicated folder will be established to house all available information. The link to the special dedicated folder will be called "Quest for Fire at 6" and will be located on our home page about a half screen under the logo.

So many of our visitors seem to be relying only on this Summary/Commentary for a full accounting of the subject movie. This is not possible. For the best representation of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie, visit the Findings/Scoring section below.

FINDINGS / SCORING: Qyest for Fire (1981) CAP Thermometers

NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below are likely.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • animal threat
  • warfare/attack
  • stabbing
  • killing by rock to head
  • abduction
  • spear killing, entry through mouth exit back of head
  • battle gore
  • bear attack
  • body parts
  • animals eating human remains
  • animal ferocity
  • many deaths
  • threat by great cats
  • stripping animal carcass
  • bloody human bones
  • bloody injuries from fight, death resulting
  • fighting
  • human male bite to private parts of another human male
  • several series of attacks by monster-looking humans
  • human skull

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • animated rivalry argument

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • 46+ specific instances of partial nudity (lower body either gender; upper body female, including youth)*
  • 39+ specific instances of full nudity* * accurate count not possible since some scenes of nudity were of group nudity
  • homosexual suggestions
  • five instances of sexual intercourse; four animalistic, one sensual (included teaching partner a different position)
  • aftermath of sexual intercourse with full nudity of both partners
  • oral sex (masked)
  • portrayal of sexual drive
  • attempted rape
  • touching of male private parts
  • enticement of sexual intercourse with nudity
  • "assembly line" of participants for sexual intercourse

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • brew for drugging to maximize sexual performance

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • promotion of evolution

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • amputee as victim of cannibalism
  • leavings of cannibalism
  • murders by arrow launchers, watching arrows impale victims

    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication. As required of the Holy Scriptures, unless God's name is used with reverence to His glory and praise, its use is considered in vain.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

    Additional reviews of this movie may be located at "Movie Review Query Engine at Telerama."

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    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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