What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this film is premised on a grisly, real-life 1947 murder that remains unsolved and is still the subject of both Internet discussion and TV investigation/forensics shows. The film features frequent images of bloody, shot, and sliced-up bodies. A presumably insane character rants in a disturbing way before committing suicide violently. The film also includes other explicit scenes of violence (a riot, shootings, a throat being sliced, a face being cut while held in a vise). Characters (especially women) appear in various states of undress; the detectives watch a porn film made by the murder victim that features lesbian activity. A nightclub scene features showgirls dancing provocatively and kissing each other on stage. A couple of sex scenes suggest "passion" by having characters rip each other's clothes off. Characters use foul language (especially "f--k"), smoke a lot of cigarettes, and drink.
- Families can talk about the longstanding fascination with the Black Dahlia murder case. How does it represent a mythic cautionary tale, involving young women and the evils of Hollywood as a dream factory and/or industry town? What messages does the film convey about women? Why is violence toward women so often sexualized (both in the media and in real life)?