Inglorious Basterds

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Jonas E. Salk posited that the cure for most diseases lay right in the disease itself — that, by administering a disease in a tiny, less potent form, one may render the body itself immune to more salient strains of the same disease.

There’s been a recent glut of Holocaust movies, as has been mentioned in these pages — everything from naked-Holocaust-Kate-Winclet to campy-Nazi-Tom-Cruise and in between. There’s even a Holocaust movie for kids.

And now, Quentin Tarantino has his hand in the action.

Here’s what the press materials say:

In German-occupied France, Shosanna Dreyfus witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa. Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris, where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema. Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine organizes a group of Jewish soldiers to engage in targeted acts of retribution. Known to their enemy as “The Basterds,” Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark on a mission to take down the leaders of The Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquee, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own… Release Date: August 21st, 2009

The trailer (below) promises good times, a guilty-but-giddy thrill ride through Brad Pitt and his cronies making all sorts of bloody pulpy messes out of Nazi scalps. The trailer itself is mostly talk, but we know that Tarantino is a man of his word — the lone act of violence in the trailer shows a baseball bat about to swing into a man’s head, cut off at the very last moment possible…and you know it’s not gonna cut away in the film. (The film also stars the director Eli Roth, whose Hostel films are among the most explicitly gory of modern cinema.) I can be squeamish sometimes, but there’s an underlying buzz of appealingness from the trailer…I mean, we all know how it ends (America wins), but who doesn’t want to see Nazis get pounded?

But, dude, I don’t know. There’s going to be the inevitable moment where some Nazi claims retribution, going on a bloody rampage of his own, and one of the heroes will, of course, be tortured….and though Tarantino knows how to take his audience on a roller-coaster of emotions and leave them standing on their feet at the conclusion, I don’t know if I’m ready for this ride. (I do, however, have until August to decide.) Personally, I’m more excited for Tarantino’s mired-in-authenticity kung-fu film, which he’s allegedly recording in Cantonese with English voice-overs being dubbed spontaneously on the set.

Thanks for the tip, World Jewish Daily.