Movies that Suck: Let the Buyer Be Stupid

If you’ve ever tried to beat up a geek, you know the best place you can hit him is in his pocketbook. His left shoulder also bruises easily if you punch with the knuckles. Also his face can’t withstand many hits and if you twist his nipple hard enough, it makes a very satisfying pop sound when you pull it right off.

The movie industry doesn’t make its money from their movies. In fact, most of them really suck. It’s hard to get people to shovel out their hard earned money by the billions when you’ve got a product that couldn’t even pass the quality standards set by the likes of Firestone, Peter Pan and JetBlue.

Hollyweird makes their money on merchandising. They take your favorite movie, maybe even the one movie you love with all of your heart, and slap it on everything that can be worn, eaten, played with, watched, boiled or used in a dark alley as a deadly weapon.

There’s no secret Ponzi scheme to figure out here. Everyone knows the scam. They churn out crap that they charge third-world sweatshop workers a dollar a piece to make, then sell it back to you at sextuple the cost of a black market kidney, plus tax.

The problem is we still fall for it every single time. With the money we spend on merchandising, we could clothe the poor of the world in Hot Topix T-shirts and feed the starving mountains of sugary marshmallow movie character cereal that they would probably just send back to us anyway because leaves and dirt are a more tasteful alternative.

I’ve bought my fair share of useless junk over the years just because it had one of my favorite movies stuck to it like some kind of cash parasite. I know I’ll never be rich. It doesn’t matter if I ever become a famous writer or a humorist who makes zillions in book royalties or a high society art thief. I’ll just blow whatever money I make on “Evil Dead II” merchandise.

Just about anything “Evil Dead” related, I would buy in an instant: books, posters, toys, video games. Sam Raimi could have manufactured a line of “Evil Dead” tampons and I would have bought them just for the story. “Yeah, gimmie some protection, baby.”

Back in college, some company released an “Evil Dead” video game. I geeked out like a comatose Trekkie who got smacked in the face with angry Shatner spittle. I shelled out $40 bucks for a copy at a time when the value of my gas card determined whether or not I could eat that month.

The game sucked. The controls were horrible. The gameplay was slow, even for a game with zombies. You had to refill Ash’s chainsaw with gas after killing every Deadite and when you ran out of gas, you had to make your own from mushrooms. I half expected Ash to eat a fire flower and shoot fireballs out of his nose at the Deadites. I never felt more ripped off. But another “Evil Dead” game came out and I suddenly came down with Alzheimer’s.

I bought it again, another $40. It sucked just as hard. This time, it was more about shooting zombies and gutting them with your chainsaw but it took forever to get to the good parts and when you did, you wish Ash would just turn the boomstick on himself. Within a month, the game flew to the discount shelf. Enron’s stock is worth more than the game now.

I was righteously pissed. I not only got ripped off, but I got ripped off twice knowing that as I was being ripped off, I was being ripped off. I swore from that moment on that I would learn from my mistakes and spend my money on more enlightening and worthwhile things…hey, they made another “Evil Dead” game! Where’s my checkbook?

So just enjoy the movie for what it is and move onto the next one. Anything else is just an attempt to siphon more money out of your pocket. Unless it’s another “Evil Dead” game. That would rock.

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