I'm not sure if Joe Carnahan is the right person to take a strong stance against gratuitous violence in movies, but his arguments are valid and he presents them in a way that just makes you laugh. Over on his blog, Carnahan wrote a little rant on the "torture porn" phenomenon, although he made sure to begin said rant by pointing out the reasoning behind two pretty vicious scenes included in his last flick Smokin' Aces. Once that's out of the way, the dude goes off on the use of females in these types of films, saying it's something he finds "personally f*cking revolting." And I certainly agree with Joe, especially when he begins talking about Saw.
As I've said before, I watched and enjoyed the first Saw film (which I consider more of a psychological thriller than a straight-up horror flick). But the films that followed (which include both Hostelflicks) seemed to drift from that element, only to concentrate on (as Carnahan says): "this overblown, carnage level, blood sodden grand guignol aimed at the most base, depraved parts of the human psyche." Carnahan continues his rant: "I see these ads for Captivity and the wallowing in and fetishism of torture and I want to put my fist through something solid. And I don't think there's some political overtones or some Iraq/Abu Gharib allegories at work here. F*ck that, it's about titillation and ticket sales."