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

Entertainment Media Analysis Report

The X Files: Fight the Future (1998)
CAP Score: 69
CAP ID: 0.56

Thomas A. Carder
CAP President

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The X Files (1998) CAP Thermometers The X Files: Fight the Future (1998) was the typical sci-fi feature of the 50s and 60s featuring aliens trying to take over the earth by eating human hosts. It was mildly exciting with the addition of new age technology. But...

The X Files (1998) was tainted with the typical programming unfit for "youth." It was quite graphically violent with a dose of the three/four letter word vocabulary, murder, suicide, and terrorist activities. A touch of programming presenting booze was found as was a bunch of uses of God's name in vain both with and without the four letter expletive. The producers took heavy advantage of shock value that comes with abruptly ending a few minutes of relatively tame and quiet programming with extremely loud and visually invasive material. I suspect the sound pressure ranged from 70 decibels (normal conversation is 60) during the quiet periods to near 135 decibels during peaks in sound pressure (135 decibels is the threshold of pain).

Of particular interest was not in the movie but in the audience. I noticed that an observer can fairly accurately determine the age of the viewer by how far s/he sits from the screen. It seemed all the early teens and late pre-teens sat in the first few rows while us old fogies sit further back. Is this typical?

Following is a breakdown of the distribution for scoring.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) presented programming warranting intermediate loss of points (2) nine times due to graphic and bloody alien multilating attacks of humans and invasions of human hosts (including a boy), attempted murder by gubfire, many human bodies in suspension as hosts for aliens, and graphic terror by hundreds of aliens bent on killing humans.

Impunity/Hate (I)(1) presented programming warranting intermediate loss of points (2) twice due to urinating in public with associated sounds and manipulations.

Sex/Homosexuality (S) suffered no intermediate level or maximum level point losses.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) presented programming warranting intermediate loss of points (2) once due to drinking whiskey to drunkenness.

Offense to God (O)(2) presented programming warranting maximum loss of points (3) twice due to the use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive.

Murder/Suicide (M)(3) presented programming warranting maximum loss of points (3) three times due to graphic suicide and murder by gunfire.

Additional examples of unacceptable programming warranting point loss but earned the least loss of points (1) included:

  • presenting a fall without injuries that would have likely killed the victim
  • bomb threats
  • inference of suicide
  • implied deaths (5, including a boy) by terrorist action
  • government corruption and coverup by using terrorist tactics
  • open autopsy and gaping body
  • forcing someone against his/her will by the use of a gun
  • eleven uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • partial nudity
  • ten additional uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive
  • talk of enjoying alcoholic beverages
  • the use of slang for human sex organs
  • talk of kiddie porn on the Internet

    In accordance with the numeric comparative baseline database of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model, The X Files (1998) presented programming equivalent to R-rated material in Wanton Violence/Crime, and is equivalent to PG-13 programming in Impunity/Hate and Offense to God. It is equivalent to PG-rated programming in Murder/Suicide, and G-rated programming in Sex/Homosexuality and Drugs/Alcohol. Thus, The X Files was equivalent to 17% R-rated programming, 33% PG-13 rated programming, 17% PG-rated programming, and 33% G-rated programming.

    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impunity/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 is incorporated into the Impunity/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the three/four letter word vocabulary 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, whether literal or euphemistic.

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

    Please remember we believe that if even one of the six Investigation Area scores for a movie is equivalent to the CAP comparative baseline database scoring range for R, PG-13, or PG material, the entire movie should be regarded as so rated.  For example, if only Wanton Violence/Crime earns a score equivalent to R but all other Investigation Areas earn a score equivalent to G, THERE IS R-RATED MATERIAL IN THE MOVIE AND YOUR KIDS WILL SEE IT AND HEAR IT IF THEY WATCH THE MOVIE!

    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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