86 min., color, 2009
Director & screenwriter: Oren Peli
From Reuters, Oct 14, 2011:It took the statisticians from Men’s Health Magazine, rated highly for mathematical prowess, to concoct this index of “luck” and I’m happy they’ve set a new standard. A Steinway “D” model falls from a ninth floor apartment and no one is injured. Golf balls get where they’re intended. Lightning strikes, but strikes only the “Bad 7-11” and not the “Good 7-11.” And if you have a lotto number or a horse you really like --- bet that bad boy to win, win, win!
San Diego, which has been touted as having one of the best climates in the United States, is also the luckiest, according to a new ranking ...
To determine the most charmed towns the magazine analyzed data about cities with the most lottery and sweepstake winners, the most hole-in-ones on the golf course, the fewest lighting strikes, the least deaths from falling objects, and the lowest debt due to playing the lottery and race betting.
San Diego's multiple jackpot winners, its low lightning strike count, and its low number of lightning-related injuries and deaths helped push it to the top.
However, the quants at Men’s Health didn’t consider the metric of “Demonic Possession” which upon inclusion tarnishes San Diego’s luck in the most unpleasant manner possible. And if you are perhaps twenty-something with nothing to do all day but sit around with your thumb up your ass, then the heartbreak of demon possession becomes all too clear.
Meet Micah and Katie. They are the people who live next door. They are exceptionally nondescript, neither handsome nor unattractive.
Katie does something, we don’t know what.
Micah: “Hi Katie. How was your day?”
Katie: “I just cashed in my scratch-off lottery ticket and won $1500.”
M: “I had a great day too. Was playing golf, then it started raining, but lightning struck dumb Jeff instead of me. So I bought this nifty camera.”
K: “Micah, there was something unusual at the 7-11 when I cashed in the ticket. I felt like something was reaching out for me. Something trying to grab my leg.”
M: “That was good luck reaching out for you, baby-doll. Here, let’s retire to the Ethan Allen suite and I’ll set up my camera to record our very lucky sex.”
K: “Micah, does all the Target kitchenware rattle at night? I mean, I hear all the pots and pans making noise even upstairs. I may have the receipts. Should we return them? I don’t like self-animating kitchenware.”
M: “That’s odd, Katie. I spilled dishwashing detergent on the floor last night, and this morning there were weird cloven footprints all over! Do you think it could be the Easter Bunny?”
K: “I don’t know Micah. Perhaps we ought to call a kitchen appliance expert.”
Indeed. And rest assured, Dr. Maytag arrives on a house call. “I just love San Diego,” he says, “I should visit more often. A Steinway grand piano dropped outside of my parking space, but hit another vehicle instead. I sure feel lucky.”
K: “Dr. Maytag, our appliances make strange noises at night. Is there anything you can do to help? I can’t stand it anymore.”
DM: “Katie, I understand your concern. But after a cursory examination of your kitchen, your appliances originate from “Whirlpool” so I’m afraid I can’t help you at this time. However, I have an associate, a “Whirlpool” specialist, located in LA. Here’s his number. Call him right away. Whatever is wrong with your dishwasher and refrigerator ... they need to be destroyed!”
M: “Can’t we just haul them out onto the street and have sanitation take them away?”
DM: “No. Absolutely not. Your appliances are cursed. They will come back for you. You have to perform disposal in the most professional way. Bye-Bye. I’m leaving a little early to get in a race or two at Del Mar. There’s a forty-to-one long shot I like.”
Katie and Micah retire to the Ethan Allen suite, where the Sony HD-cam is mounted on a tripod ready to record their every nocturnal spasm. Sex is out of the question because of the accursed appliances downstairs. So much noise.
The next day sleep-deprived Micah reviews the video footage but can’t find a money shot to post on his Facebook page.
M: “Katie. Come look at this!”
K: “What? Can’t you see I’m busy packing up this “Wearever” shit to return to Target?”
M: “Katie. The bedroom door moved. It moved all by itself.”
K: “That’s odd. Today my bowels moved ... all by themselves!”
Night after night, Katie and Micah suffer the same intolerable noise and confusion. And each morning after Micah reviews his HD-cam footage to reveal the bedroom door does, in fact, open and shut by itself. Katie insists on calling Dr. Whirlpool but Micah resists. “I can figure all this out. I have an internet connection. And a Ouija Board”
M: “Katie, where did you get those bruises? And your hands are burned. You need to go to the Emergency Room.”
K: “Micah, the refrigerator door opened by itself and hit me in the thigh. And then the dishwasher started by itself and I tried to save the Wedgwood. By the way, I’ve had this problem all my life. My family’s house burned down. The fire department said it was the clothes dryer.”
M: “Do you want to go to the hospital?”
K: “No, Micah, I’m perfectly content to stay here and sleep under the cold glare of your Sony HD-cam. I have another scratch-lottery ticket to cash tomorrow.”
So ends our adventure with the lucky but hapless youngsters. What can we learn from their experience? First, when your kitchen appliances go “evil” on you, pick up the first blunt instrument you have and smash them to pieces. It’s a very satisfying experience if I may say so.
Secondly, if your partner has previously experienced evil appliances and hasn’t told you, watch the hell out.
Finally, think twice before throwing away the “Extended Warranty” card that might be included with the owner’s manual. You might need it someday.
"I'm Midnight, and I disapprove of this movie."
Happy New Year to all.
Sweet. I thought Dr. Maytag was going to arrive and initiate a threesome, but you took it in a totally different direction! And what homeowner hasn't said "I don’t like self-animating kitchenware"? We can all relate!
Happy 2012 Scott and everyone else in the whole wide world!
"Luck is basically our modern world's magic," said David Zinczenko, editor in chief of the magazine. "People need to believe in luck because it allows them to give a name to the randomness of life, and when you name something, you have more power over it."
People try that with their pets all the time.
See you next year, kids! Maybe we'll figure this shit out then!
self animating I can do without. self-cleaning? that's another matter entirely ;}
Well, Scott, that was weird. It had a palpable Beckettishness. I visualize it being filmed on a stripped-down but loving reconstruction of the set of "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari". With background music by the late Guy Lombardo.
Happy 2012 everybody!
Dear readers, I wasn't expecting anyone to comment on this piece because of the holiday. So thank you for taking precious time off from holiday obligations to read it.
It's not the best work. It's not even a review, more of a rewrite and the chronology of events has not been properly observed.
Checked this turkey out from the New York Public Library a few months ago and returned same day. Kept looking for an angle to send it up, then after xmas day spoke to my brother and heard his sad tale of all his kitchen appliances simultaneously failing ... it was an unusual expense.
When I learn to juggle more than two extended metaphors I'll attempt to do a better job at this. But thanks again.
Keith: Have I mentioned that Midnight could easily be the younger sister (brother?) if not outright spawn (had The Empress not been spayed very young, but not NEARLY young enough to keep her from being a loud, bossy, naggy yenta on wheels!) or Her Royal Mistress, Biddy?
Seriously. Same tiny/diffuse white patch on the chest, exact same velvety little ears, same suspicious but gorgeous amber eyes, AND the little teeny white non-"soul"-patch of white o the very upper tip of the chin! Can't see the paws, but I'd wager that they're the same exact dainty little paws that love to puncture my bladder when I am utterly comatose and then rendered absolutely unable to ever go back to sleep after the bolt to the bathroom.
Well, she HAS her own stepladder on the other side of the bed, for entrance and egress from the high-up antique tester/four-poster bed, to spare not only the weathered mahogany but also to spare my flesh and bedclothes from climbing talons. So it's not like The Empress HAS to vacate the bed at the expense of MY bladder & sleep, dammit.
I know, totally ignoring your fascinating flick warning, BUT, the kitteh resemblance is startling. What's even weirder is, before I *had* my dearly-missed, heart-achingly-needed Bubbe Boy, I'd NEVER seen a giant long-haired part-Maine-Coon with the mane of an Ethiopian Lion solid-black cat like him before, and was certain that not another one existed on earth, as he and she, being siblings, are SO very different in build and appearance, except for their nearly-identical faces, that you'd never believe that they came from the same litter. And yes, I know, oh how well I know, that a mama cat can have 7 or 8 different daddies in one litter, hence wildly-differently-appearing bebes in one litter. But Biddy's skin/sebum-gland issues confirm her Maine-coon connection, though her Bubbe Boy brother had the body, two coats of hair AND the waterproofing of an MC. You know, long, sleek, gorgeous waterproof outer coat, thicker-than-sheep's-wool wooly undercoat to keep him snuggly warm, even when he was trapped and MIA up a tree for THREE DAYS one horrid winter when I was starting to believe that he was gone forever. Long story, but at least I got a few more wonderful years with him, even though it was 10 years less than he SHOULD have had, if he'd had DECENT MEDICAL CARE.
Sorry, didn't mean to go all bummer-depressing about teh kittehs, but every time that I see your purdy Midnight, the nearly-identical-to-Biddy thing messes with my already-clusterfucked head. Consider it a high compliment for Midnight. Her Majestic Empressy Biddy self is yeowling at me, right this moment, for being on the damned computer TOO LONG in her opinion. And now cometh the treeing-me-like-a-hound-dog-after-a-possum STARE O'DEATH, i.e., GIVE ME WHAT I WANT OR I WILL MAKE YER FUCKIN' HEAD EXPLODE" stare. Wheeeee. Cats, lovely and beloved though they are, are fucking EVIL.
spawn *OF* Her Royal Mistress Biddy, dammit!!!!!!
See why I disappear sometimes?
Too many little black unexplained dots in my brain MRI, that's why. I.E., permanently-ensconced brain farts.
Dear Anntichrist, I would love to post more pictures of Midnight, but she is still not used to the camera as of yet, and she's tired of me chasing her around to get that "cute" cat-calendar shot. But I understand your connection, because these black cats do seem to have the same features. Far from being a sign of "bad luck" she is a constant blessing in our household and eventually, we hope, be ready for her "close-up."
Midnight was found in a flower-pot in Brooklyn about three years ago and weighed all of 1/2 pound. She was in bad shape. My friend's son (aged 10 at the time) pleaded with Mom and Dad to rescue her. But she wasn't wanted by the other animals in the house. My previous cat had perished after about 22 years and wasn't sure if I ought to buy a rabbit or some tropical fish instead. But they brought Midnight over and she was a hit. In fact, she flew through the air because of her low weight and often times landed on my head while sleeping. She's gained a bit, not fat, but she's grown much lengthwise so can no longer fly. This is a very desirable outcome.
Heh. The flying Midnight reminds me of those needle-sharp baby claws & baby teeth of kittens, especially my two, when they were still very hissy/pissy/spitty/cussy black balls of hyperactive fluff. Took them the LONGEST time to either *understand* or to *GIVE UP* their bad habit of not only climbing up the sheets/bedclothes to pounce on any body part that was easily-accessible with talons fully-extended. Then there were the chewy weeks/months, when those viciously sharp milk teeth were falling out and they hadda gnaw like a puppy on ritalin to ease their new-teefuses aggravations.
And yes, they invariably did it when I was deeply asleep, not an easy thing to get to when you work nights and nobody in your "neighborhood" UNDERSTANDS THAT CONCEPT or has any fucking respect for the 48% of this country who DO work nights. So when you have 2 feral kittens ganging-up on you, it can make ya a little testy.
I will spare you the gross details of their idea of "payback" when I punished them by closing my bedroom door when I slept, but suffice it to say that I never again dove straight into my black-sheeted bed in the relative darkness of my bedroom without first turning on the light and CHECKING the bed FIRST. Cats are evil. I love them dearly and would adopt them all if I could, but dammit, they're like horses in that they are too smart for their own good and you occasionally wish that you could clock 'em really good, right in the kisser. Ya can't, obviously (and they'd slit your throat in your sleep and lap-up yer blood with smiles on their faces), and to contemplate facing a fairly-sized version of the offending felines is a helluva lot scarier than a pissed-off Appaloosa mare with PMS.
Also, I feel y'all's aggravation in re: catching her in those adorable poses... rarely, if ever, did I manage to capture Bubbe Boy, the most lackadaisical cat to ever grace this planet, with the camera, before he'd stopped doing whatever was so cute. Biddy is even worse --- she invariably closes her eyes with a "fuck you!" sneer whenever she sees me pick up a camera. 90% of the pictures that I have of them together, they're staring at me with matching, "Why in the fuck can't she get a HOBBY OR SOMETHING?!?!!" adorable looks of utter disdain. They said that they loved me, but I think that affection with them had a lot more to do with treats and food than anything else.
Annti, my most "sensitive" encounter with Midnight was a summer afternoon in 2009. I took a nap in boxer shorts. It wasn't a long nap, since Midnight invaded the sheets and tried to perform fellatio on me. She was about 7 mo. then, and her tongue is like sandpaper. Felt like an electric shock. She hasn't attempted this in several years because she has discovered that biting my ankles at 5:30 am is more annoying. But she has calmed down considerably. I have a new roommate now and so she bites his ankles instead. Hooray!
Y'know, Keith, I had a kinda-creepy/irritatingly-funny anecdote about a horrid movie I somehow did not escape from last night and there being an attention(and FOOD!)-starved black cat named "Midnight," but the whole feline fellatio thing kinda threw my whole hippocampus off-track.
Actually, now that I think about it (and thanks to you, can't get the cat-tongue thing out of my head, you sick, sadistic fucker, THAT'S why you posted it, isn't it?!?!)... maybe it WASN'T that, um, er... "funny."
Though Sharon Stone was still in her early '30s in this one ("playing" all of TWENTY-SIX, right, AND a "virgin"! Well, THAT'S funny, anyway...) and looks pretty damned hot through the first 3/4ths of the flick. HORRID screenplay, plot, progression, so-called "character" development, everything BUT the set-dressing, which was FABULOUS. That there was the product of some divinely-demented designers who get very horny whilst watching John Waters flicks. I was severely jealous of about 2/3 of the 1986-ish pseudo-retro-nouveau-slash-deco style & objet d'art in this piece of flaming psycho-shit, if only the PEOPLE hadn't been there to fuck it all up. The cat was adorable, though.
As punishment for sharing the feline fellatio story (you DO realize that SOME stories are for PRIVATE conversations, IF AT ALL?!??! My gut-rending rants onstage and online are different --- they ATTEMPT to serve a PURPOSE, and they don't involve involuntary BESTIALITY!!!), you must now endure the hypnotic torture of "Scissors."
And I expect a 230-word essay on the existential BRAIN-SPLATTER that these self-indulgent yuppie morons called a fucking "PLOT." Absofuckinglutely FUCKTARDED.
But yeah, you gotta watch it now. And nope, no comments about Sharon's then-bee-stung lips, either. You can only concentrate on the horrid excuse for "writing" and are allowed to be minimally distracted by the fabulous set design, props and pseudo-antique mechanized toys/dioramas designed to drive Sharon Stone even crazier than was previously perceived.
And yes, dear heart, you are now on the Official Shit List, just for that one, apparently (to YOU!) "innocent" or innocently-"intended" anecdote. Have I ever told you how gross it was that Biddy & Boy used to clean each other's assholes on frequent occasions, and whenever possible, WHILE I WAS TRYING TO EAT?!?!?
Yeah, think on THAT a little while. What's really depressing is how gross a just-past-middle-aged cat can become when her sibling/near-twin/co-conspirator is gone... *sigh* The things that I find on my floor nowadays... I can never look at Hershey's kisses the same way again...
Annti, I'll take up the challenge. I first have to pay my library overdues but can do a special order. Never seen it. Judging by the plot synopsis on imdb, it looks like CRAP!
Annti, I'll take up the challenge. I first have to pay my library overdues but can do a special order. Never seen it. Judging by the plot synopsis on imdb, it looks like CRAP!
Hey, I never knew that you had a twin!
And imdb has barely scratched the SURFACE of what "crap" IS, son, trust me... ...heh heh heh...
OT, but BTW: "Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author."
Have the censorlicious sociopaths @ blogger/google/big brother found me here and are now censoring me on OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOGS?!?!! Filthy rat-bastids.
Too bad that I don't know how to hack, or I'd have their paychecks directly-deposited into my checking account.
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