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YMMV / The Proposition

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  • Awesome Music: The eerie, moody, dissonant soundtrack.
  • Complete Monster: Eden Fletcher is the town's leading citizen, and a Knight Templar par excellence. Enraged by Captain Stanley's decision to turn accused rapist and murderer Charlie Burns loose, Fletcher convinces the townsfolk that Charlie's younger brother Mikey, who is both 14 and severely handicapped, should be punished in place of Charlie, and their older brother Arthur, who actually committed the crime. Fletcher manipulates a mob of townsfolk, including Stanley's wife, Martha, into demanding that Mikey get one hundred lashes. By forty lashes, Mikey is dying from blood loss, the rest of the townsfolk are turning away in horror, Martha has fainted, and Fletcher is still demanding that the other sixty lashes be meted out. When Stanley refuses, Fletcher has him fired, knowing that his actions will bring Arthur Burns down on the town. Couple this with his order to Stanley to kill every Aborigine in the region, and we are dealing with a thoroughly detestable man.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Arthur Burns and Sam have many offscreen atrocities under their belts, but they lose the sympathy of narrative and audience alike when they assault Captain Stanley and rape his wife in front of him, while singing hymns.
    • Eden Fletcher crosses it when he has Mikey whipped to death, and continues to scream for blood even as the rest of the town turns away in disgust.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Opening credits: a sweet children's choir singing while we see black-and-white images of the Hopkins Massacre's aftermath. One of these is the baby's cradle drenched in blood.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Jellon Lamb actually appears in two scenes, but he was catalogued back when that trope was called "Cardinal Wolsey". There were reportedly several big name actors who wanted this role over any of the others with much more screentime because it was just that well-written.
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  • Squick: During the flogging scene, we get a nice shot of the deputy taking a break to squeeze the blood out of the whip like he's wringing out a wet dish rag.
  • Tear Jerker: Mikey's death.

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