Friday, February 18, 2011

Playing the Part

I’m always playing the part. Ever since this stupid movie started, the part never really left me.

You’re probably confused. Should I bother explaining? Honestly, all you’ll do is ridicule me. Oh well. All the people I would confide in aren’t exactly… around. If you have a few minutes, I can tell you a story that will drive you crazy.

Trust me, I mean that.

It all started because I was desperate. See, I’m an actor. Or, I was, at any rate. Except, I haven’t had a role in over 2 years. I had a part in one of those big movies, it was filmed for nothing and grossed way too much to be healthy for the average person to have at one time. I had been riding on that, but my addictions to fast cars, hot women, and cocaine wasn’t exactly feeding the piggy bank. It started to dry up faster than it took me to ruin an interns life on a set.

And so, desperation set in. It started with the average frantic thoughts

What if my wife leaves me

What if my cars get repo’d

What if they take away my house

What if I run out of coke

Yeah, those may or may not have been in order of importance.

So I scrambled, reaching towards the bottom of the barrel for a part to feed the pig. You would think I’d find some Romantic Comedy or a Buddy Cop movie to satisfy me, but no. I found a Slasher flick.

Yay me. Fake blood that makes you itch and make-up applied by kids that were practicing on mannequin heads 2 months ago. But something was different about this one, something just didn’t… sit right. It’s hard to explain.

But, I brushed that away. I signed for the role of the slasher himself, a beastly fellow that was basically the offspring of one Mr. Myers and Ms. Voorhees. His story was stupid and convoluted, like every slasher flick ever. Something about an abusive father, an absent mother, some alcoholic bullies, that sort of thing. He was the victim of a previous slasher, which left him permanently scarred both mentally and physically.

The mental scarring is simple enough to understand, I mean, he witnessed almost his entire town die. That would drive anyone crazy. The physical scarring was a ripped out left eye, 2 gashes on the right cheek that formed an X, and a missing nose.

Yes, it is a ghastly picture.

Yes, my beautiful face had to be altered with makeup and CG to make it.

Yes, I was horrified.

Yes, I was that desperate.

No, apparently I’m not above that kind of work.

It would take almost 2 hours in the dressing room to pull off this look, mind you. Half the time I was sleeping, and most of the time you only saw the slasher’s face for a millisecond! Oh, it was a gruelling process.

After about 3 weeks of filming, we finally filmed the first murder scene. Up to this point it was all day-scenes that set the back-story, and the director didn’t think of shooting the night scenes when things started to get dark. It was a simple enough scene to pull off, the sorority girl back visiting from college would see me on the side of the road looking like a homeless man, would pull over to ask if I was okay, and then I would follow her home and murder her family off screen whilst setting a trap for her to stumble upon the bodies.

If that sounds overly familiar, don’t worry, I know.

The trap was a bit grisly, mind you. She had to walk into her parents room and see the dog lying on the bed in a pool of blood. She would run out of the room, but her father was now hanging upside-down at the entrance of it. She would then scream, back away towards the window where I was watching as the body of her mother fell from the closet. I would then jump through the window and chase her throughout the house until I cornered her in the bathroom and did the deed.

Yes, I did get shivers.

Luckily, the shooting process allowed the scene to be broken up in a variety of camera angles, so you never truly got the entire scene all together until it was edited. So no goose bumps.

The thing that shook me was watching the trap play out. You feel a sense of entitlement knowing you’re playing the guy that put that together. Truth be told, I wanted more. Screening continued, more murder scenes were shot, and the movie was finished, but my yearning grew more and more throughout the course.

I started small, mind you. Rabbits, stray cats, and dog here and there. I never dreamed of actually hurting anybody. Well, yes, I dreamed of hurting people, but those are just dreams right? I’m not crazy, no, not yet.

About 3 rabbits, 2 dogs, and 15 cats (yes, my town had a cat issue) later, I found myself at peace. What a marvellous thing I had done! I vented my anger, got my gratification, and helped my town with the cat problem! Things were going swimmingly. And the revenue from the movie turned out to be smashing, it grossed something like 2 million dollars. I had a free ride for at least a year with me playing the lead role.

Then they contacted me for a sequel. Oh yes, a sequel! A slasher flick II to go along with Slasher flick I, it was brilliant! I jumped at the chance to play the role again, and I felt at home in the makeup and prop clothes the character wore. I would creep up on stage directors and crew and scare them a bit for a little fun in between scenes, and I again watched the traps roll out and the bodies of the actors that played the part flop down. But something was amiss with the 5th murder scene.

I was supposed to chase a young man through a gym until he fell down the stairs to the locker room. Now, usually in cinema, scenes like this would be shot with either padding or dummies, but the director wanted none of that. The plan was to make him fall slowly down the stairs and then speed it up in the editing room.

It didn’t work that way.

As I gave chase, he truly fell down the stairs and snapped his neck on the railing. He died instantly, the doctors say, and the sequel was cancelled due to the fees needed to pay off his family for the incident.

But watching that body fall. Going




Down the stairs. It introduced a whole new concept to me, and gave me the urge one again. I had a feeling cats and dogs wouldn’t do it for me anymore, either.

The first headline read:

“Killer Recreates Scene From Grisly Movie!”

It made me laugh. It was only one column behind a bunch of ads for cars you could never afford and appliances you only get one use out of, but it was still there. What I did was recreate the first murder from the Slasher flick I starred in, right down to the letter. It was brilliant, the shrieks were real.

There was no pause for an angle change.

There was no flood lights.

There was no fat man sitting in the director’s chair.

There was just me, 4 dead bodies and what was supposed to be a prop machete. You’d be surprised how easy it is. The moment where a living being becomes an inanimate object… it’s empowering. It’s addicting. It’s fun.

I never stopped, either. I would recreate the scenes from the movies, then I would make my own. I would play this role until the day I died. With my machete and my makeup, I would stalk and shank and cause shivers. Every state across the United States, I’ve been to, and I’ve killed in.

But you probably knew all this, I mean.

You were the only one that followed me.

The only one that almost stopped me.

The only kill that ever got away.

But now. Now you’re tied up. Now you’re tired, bloody, beaten, and stabbed. And, unless my watch is wrong, you’ve probably been dead for over 20 minutes now.

(This story is credited to a person called Kyle. You can find more of their stories here.)


I remember when I was younger; I was about eight or nine, you know. The innocent life. Not a care in the world, so I spent a good amount of my childhood playing video games. Yes video games; it's nothing to be ashamed about. I made friends with other kids who played it, too.

I knew a kid back then who went by the name of Tony. He told me a story about some strange thing that happened to him while playing Banjo-Kazooie. He gave me specific instructions of what to do and what would happen. He spoke of Mad Monster Mansion and the portrait of Gruntilda that was in there. He spoke, saying if I crashed into the portrait using the fly-pad it would summon up a monster. As a frightened little child, I believed him, till one day I summoned up the courage to try what he told me years ago.

Nothing happened. It was just a little lie he told me, a little story he believed. So I did it again and again countless times, knowing that it was all fake with nothing to worry about. I found it amusing - I'm not sure why - so I would crash into it over and over again going to that same place where the monster would show up. It never did; that lone pipe outside the mansion you could fit into as a pumpkin was always empty. There was never anything more or anything less.

Of course, not everything is predictable; not everything follows the same routine. I tried it again one day not too long ago. About a week or two, well let’s just say things took a turn for the worst. You hear these stories and don't think anything of them; "Oh, they are just stories. It doesn't matter. It'll be alright," they say. Of course, this time I did it I almost broke a tear from how terrified I was.

I went into the room where Napper was, empty and quiet with nothing but a huge table and some chairs. I climbed on top of the table got aboard the fly pad. I mashed the B button facing Gruntilda’s portrait. The bear and bird duo flew into the portrait with a big crash as expected, but this time a different noise I heard was there. It sounded like someone had broken a bone or something, almost as if there was literal pain. I didn't think anything of it, so I left the room as normal.

Heading towards Mumbo’s skull, I came across that pipe with the Jiggy inside, but the oddest thing happened. Banjo seemed to have fallen underneath the level. I thought I had glitched the game or something - something new & exciting that I hadn't seen before. That was till I realized his legs were crawling through that small hole where the pipe was; he was clawing at the ground not making a noise - not even music - and he just flailed his arms wildly as he slowly got dragged inside. Frightened, I dropped my controller and backed away from the TV.

Next thing I know, it shows the inside of the pipe; Banjo looked fine. He was just standing in the middle of that pipe, looking around. The music, although back, was a little distorted as if played in reverse...but it couldn't be more than a freaky glitch, right? I slowly reached for my controller when I saw a giant dark hand fall slowly from the ceiling. I screamed and Banjo followed suit. It dragged him up to the ceiling, almost like the Wallmasters from Ocarina of Time.

The sounds of bones cracking was heard. Banjo screamed in a voice as if his throat was filled with blood and unspeakable true pain. The music slowed itself and turnd to static. The hand pulled him up slowly and painfully. As it got closer to the screen, I could just see the hand gripped around his neck nearly tearing Banjo in two; it was as if his head would pop off at any moment. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Banjo flailed around as the hand dragged him up to the darkness by Banjo's face till eventually the screen went completely dark.

Next thing I know, the game over transition occurred, but the black background with the witch's face was read. Surely this couldn't be real. I had to be dreaming, but somehow I knew I wasn't. I was frozen in my place with beads of sweat falling down my face. Then it happened to start the game over cut scene. Tooty, Grunty, and Klungo were all together, except it was definitely different.

Tooty was strapped into a chair with Klungo standing at her side. Grunty was slowly cutting into Tootys arm, dissecting her like fresh piece of meat. The screams from Tooty were to painful to hear while her head shook violently in agony. Grunty held up the knife and continued to pierce through her arm. After it was cut off she threw it to Klungo and he started to gnaw on it. Gruntilda's eyes were filled with madness - wait, no, madness isn't the word for this. This was a true pleasure from causing pain. A fantasy fufilled. She enjoyed herself with a wicked and sadistic grin.

With the knife she carved into Tooty's stomach, letting the blood flow out and the organs drop to the ground, splatting in a way too realistic for a game to recreate. No way could this be real; I kept telling myself it wasn't, but it was and I knew it. I just couldn't accept it. Grunty held the knife up to her mouth and licked fresh blood off of it. Satisfied but still eager for more, she violently stabbed Tooty in the eye then threw the eye across the room. She leaned into Tooty, smiling and chanting quietly as she slowly slit the blade across Tooty's neck; the knife began to slowly drip with the blood of her victim.

It faded out to a soundless black screen; the TV was definitely on, but there was nothing on the screen. I stood in place, still too scared to move. I still cannot believe what I had witnessed. After a couple days, I decided to try it again. Surely, no one could sell something like that to the public, right? I went through and crashed into the picture; I was nervous but I slowly walked up to the pipe.

There was nothing. I stood, waiting, but it didn't happen. Everything played as normal. I tried multiple times but it wouldn't work. Why would it work that one time but not any other? What came over my game and made it insane? I wish I could've moved, gotten a picture or a video. Anything I could've gotten as a shred of proof. I'm not asking you to believe me; I just want to share my tale with whoever it may interest.

I'll keep trying it, this time prepared and maybe, just maybe, I can get a single photo of what happened that night.

(This story is credited to a person called JC4R.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cry Baby Lane

In 1999, I was twenty-two and I had just graduated from Emerson University in downtown Boston, majoring in Screenwriting, specifically in cartoons and children’s programming. My debt was pretty bad, so when Nickelodeon Studios offered me an internship at the studio in California, I accepted immediately. I jumped at the chance to get away from dead end job at Benjamin Franklin tour guide.

Many of you ask to see Cry Baby Lane but if you want to see the original Cry Baby Lane, you never will, even if Nickelodeon somehow consents to releasing it to you. You won’t be seeing what was shown on TV, and you sure as fuck won’t be seeing the original that Lauer made.

I don’t even think Nickelodeon HAS the original cut of the movie anymore, and if they do it’s in only back-up copies; if the back up copies exist they must be locked away in some vault along with all the deleted episodes of Ren And Stimpy and the never-before-mentioned episodes of Spongebob Squarepants. I’m pretty sure the director, Peter Lauer, has the original copy and it’s probably on his mantle next to his snuff films, that creepy ass fuck.

Anyway, I was hired in 1999 and immediately I was put on a creative production team for the movie Cry Baby lane. It would be almost a year before the movie was due to be broadcast; all in all, it was a pretty low effort kind of thing. There were only four people on the creative team and I was the only steady one; Lauer would replace them on a whim. He said it was to keep it fresh. I thought it was because he was hiding something...and I was right.

We had a little over a year to make a made for TV movie - not just to write it and cast it but to film it and get it edited. Lauer didn’t work fast at all; after the first three weeks we only had the ideas for the first 15 minutes of a 85 minute movie. Lauer, even at this point, was a weirdo. He was tall and lanky, and he carried himself awkwardly - he stuttered when he talked and sometimes, when you were hunched over a piece of paper during those endless ‘brainstorming sessions,’ you’d look up and you'd catch him staring at you, smiling.

He’d look away when you caught his eye, and I guess that was the creepiest part; he always looked like he had something to hide. The brainstorm sessions, at first, were alright. We got the premise of it down pat: two bothers unleash a demon and they get into mischief trying to get everything back to normal. Not exactly daytime Emmy stuff, but you know, it was an alright start. I thought the movie should be goofy and spooky, kind of like a Courage the Cowardly dog sort of deal. However, from the very beginning, Lauer made it clear that he wanted the film to be as scary as possible. He didn’t want it to be cheap thrills, with a good wholesome ending. He wanted to push it farther than Are You Afraid of The Dark ever dreamed of...and I guess he did.

It was about 3 weeks into production when I first noticed something: Lauer had the absolute power of persuasion over everyone else in the creative production team. No one fought him and by the third week, he was already suggesting some morbid things. I remember he said he wanted the the little brother to die halfway through the movie, getting hit with a dump truck. I immediately shot it down. I was the only one who said anything, and it stayed that was until I left the studio entirely and never came back.

At first, cannibalism other fucked up shit was kept to jokes and tasteless comments but as time went on, it became more and more overt. I’d give him an idea idea (which most of the time he would end up using) like “How about the movie starts with a morbid undertaker who reads them stories,” to which he’d reply, “Yeah...and then he can cut them up into little pieces and force-feed them to his dog!” He made those jokes a few times in the early stages. Then he got serious.

He’d stand up like he was Jesus or something, clear his throat loudly, and proclaim his idea. I’d be the only one to shoot it down. Every-fucking-time.

One day near the end of our brainstorming sessions, Lauer cleared his voice and stood up. We all fell silent, and looked at him, like we normally would. He stood up, and said,

“Gentlemen and females, I have an idea.”

I remember what he did - he paused, and looked right at me as he said,

“The story will revolve around the legend of a pair of Siamese Twins. Have you ever heard of the Donner Party?”

Everyone nodded, except for me. I didn’t like where the conversation was going.
“They ate themselves when it got cold. They ate each other.”

Everyone nodded again. I closed my eyes.

“What would Siamese Twins do if they had nothing to eat? Would one wait until the other twin dies, then consume her own sister’s flesh? Would they claw out each other's eyes until one of them died, then dine upon them like a vulture tearing at the skin of a dead deer? I do not know. It is interesting indeed.”

I didn’t know what the fuck I was hearing. I opened my eyes and looked around the room; no one was fucking moving. Everyone’s eyes were on Lauer except for mine, and when I looked at him, he was still staring at me.

“Children like violence, they revel in it. Children like to be scared. So we’ll scare them, wont we, Jonny?” He leaned over the table, getting pretty damn close to my face. His breath smelt like decaying shit. I stared back at him.

“I think your fucked up, to be honest.”

He smiled, then backed away.

“Oh, I’m fucked up alright, but you have to be fucked up to survive in this cutthroat world!” His grin expanded.

“Literally. Right now, I’m going to show you some pictures that will spark some of your imaginations.”

He got up, and locked the door from the inside.

I stood up, and said, “What the fuck are you doing?”

“Let’s not make any...errors in judgement, Jonathan. Sit down.”



For some reason, I did; Lauer pulled out one of those shitty overhead projectors. He turned on the switch and he speak-shouted, in a unusually high and semi-frantic voice,

“This is the fucking MUSE we NEED to CONTINUE with THIS PRO-FUCKING-DUCTION!

His eyes bulged in his head.

He put the image down on the glass surface of the overhead.

It was silent.

The image was in black and white, but it was grainy. I could vaguely make out a boy lying on a brick floor, his arms cut off and his bloody little nub black dots. The only thing that was clear was his face. He was bleeding from the mouth.

Lauer almost threw the paper off the overhead, slamming down another one.

It was a zoomed-in shot of the boy's face. It was in color. The blood trickled from his open mouth onto the brick floor, his eyes shut, grimy blood underneath his eyebrows and eyelashes.

Then, his eyes opened, and I screamed. No one else in the fucking room did, and it died in infancy, the shrillness ringing in the air.

The pupils were completely black. The rest of the eye was normal.

The longer I stared, the more the eyes opened, widening and widening untill it looked like the skin above his eyebrows and eye sockets was going to rip in half.

Then they started to bleed. Blood started as a trickle, and I swear to god I could hear it. More, now it was like a full blown stream. More. More, until the brick on the floor was a lake of blood. I could hear it, like I was hiking and I came across a stream, and now I could smell the kid. I could fucking smell his rot.

I leaned underneath the table and vomited. When I rose back up, the images were gone. Everyone else in the room was expressionless. Lauer turned on the lights.

“You may go,” he said, unlocking the door.

I walked through those fucking doors, and I never came back.

This happened near the end of the brainstorming process and by the time I left the casting was done and the script was almost fully written. They were desperately behind schedule; I think Lauer planned it that way, so there wouldn’t be time for proper editing. I never watched the real thing when it aired, but I heard from a friend who was working at the editing department that they had to cut a good 15-20 minutes of ‘disturbing’ footage from the film before it was fit to be released, and it was only fit to be released. They didn’t have enough time to check the footage frame by frame.

I guess he got his wish, unless they cut every single scene that had the pictures in them. Every child watching Crybaby Lane has an unconscious memory of those pictures, and I weep for them, I really do; they fucked me up, and as I write this to you, it will be last thing I’ll ever write before I slit my throat and before blood spatters all over this fucking computer screen.

There’s something I should tell you first, though.

Early on, Lauer posed an idea of the two brothers capturing a squirrel, putting said squirrel in a jar, and slowly drowning it before filling the jar with sand and dropping it into the bottom of a pond. Soon after this was suggested, Sandy from Spongebob Squarepants appeared in ‘Tea at The Treedome.’

Lauer also suggested, in one scene of the movie, for a man with a ‘squid-like-nose’ to take off his pants in front of the two boys and rape them off camera, but heavily implied. Squidward soon appeared as a major character in Spongebob Squarepants.

It was suggested that the two be stepbrothers, forced to live in the same house after the first one’s mom was found dead in a shallow grave, her body heavily cannibalized by her own husband, a local weatherman. A show with the vaguely premise, Drake and Josh, started in 2004, and the step-father is indeed a weatherman.

Lauer also suggested the younger brother have a dog house in which he keeps various animal fetuses incased in acid that he regularly uses to poison his mother to have sex with his abusive stepfather. As Told By Ginger debuted soon after.

A man who captures the soles of children in a vacuum cleaner and sends them to hades? Danny Phantom.

A robot who goes insane on the two brothers, kills one of them wears his skin, pretending to be the dead brother at highschool? My Life As a Teenage Robot.

The list goes on and on. Nickelodeon knows, and they’re continuing the legacy of Lauer, sometimes subtly, and sometimes overtly. And there’s nothing you and I can do about it.

That creepy-ass fuck.