Apr 10 2013
Of all the stupid sub-genres that have spun off from horror, I would have to say that “inanimate object inexplicably becomes evil and starts killing people” was my least favorite for a very, very long time. It all started for me very young when I read the Stephen King short story, The Mangler, about a giant clothing press that kills people. As much as that idea is not the worst thing, it was that final scene in the book, when the mangler breaks free from its factory, and is trudging down the street of town, looking for victims, that had me laughing out loud. Flash forward a a decade, and I am working at a place that prints newspapers. The press jams, and we turn it off so I can reach under the belts and do the whole “unjam” thing. Well, honest to God (if you believe in those sort of things), the printing press turns on and spins, pulling my hands under the belts that were going about 150 miles an hour. People screamed and were trying to pull me out, because THE F*CKING MACHINE WAS OFF. When I was finally yanked free, I looked down, expecting my hands to be exposed bone and hanging nerves, with the flesh hanging off me like slices of ham, but they were (inexplicably) intact. I had screwed up the nerves a little bit, and both my hands were numb for a few days (which was both terrifying and hilarious. You should have seen me trying to pour milk) and that was that for me.
I never, ever went back to that job, and I never looked at inanimate objects as trite ever again. That being said, these films are really trite. I am just insane and convinced a printing press tried to eat my fingers to keep me from creating. HAHAHAHA, evil printing press, look at me now! THE INTERNET CAN’T CRUSH MY HANDS LIKE YOU DID. Side note, it can still totally crush my dreams, so I think it counts. Also note, Stephen King LOVED to make inanimate objects evil (trucks, cars, toys) so this list could be all King, and I am not gonna go that route. We get one King flick to start it all off, and of course it’s:
Maybe if they fed it virgins instead of sheets it wouldn’t have been such a dick.
Wait a minute, Tobe Hooper (of Texas Chainsaw fame) directed a movie that was based off the shittiest, silliest Stephen King story ever? A story that made me laugh when I read it as a child? Of ALL the Stephen King stories you could make into movies, up to this moment, I would have thought The Mangler would have been the bottom of the list, yet this stinking turd of a story was adapted into a movie. I need not tell you the story of the film, because I did in the intro (as well as my own run-in with a mangler of sorts) but I had to start the list with the hulking beast that inspired it. This leads us to the other extreme:
A somewhat self-aware movie about an inanimate object that kills people….
Death Bed: The Bed That Eats
That’s what happens when you constantly workout your hands, but not the rest of you.
I have spoken of Death Bed before, and I will speak of Death Bed again. Deathbed is a magical movie experience unlike any you have ever taken before. At first I saw Death Bed and thought it might be the stupidest movie ever made, not knowing when to bounce back and forth between camp and serious. Then it hit me, there is no serious. This is a movie about a f*cking bed that eats people (actually, melts them into yellow foam) and at one point in the film, the bed drinks Pepto Bismal. That should tell you all you need to know.
How I could have seen this movie, seen this scene, and not know this is one of the greatest camp films ever is beyond me, but it did take me awhile, I won’t lie. Another “inanimate object kills people” movie that I somehow adore is:
The tire gave a great breakout performance, but her performance was very wooden. GET IT?!!!
I know the movie Rubber falls into two schools. One, people who see it as subversive and meta, and enjoy it for those reasons. And two, the people who see it as a stupid movie about a tire that kills people with its mind. Because, you know, tires don’t have minds and stuff? But to me, that is just why Rubber works. First of all, it is a movie within a movie, and I am a sucker for that meta stuff. Second, it is a movie about a Sith tire, for Christ’s sakes. If you cannot appreciate a movie about a tire that kills people with its mind, why are you on Unreality right now. Half of us ARE tires.
Okay, sorry, laid it on a little thick there. But of all the movies on this list, give Rubber a try, and realize right at that “learning how to walk” scene, this is something special. Insane? Yes, but insane fun, atleast in my opinion.
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