November 01, 2005


Veni Vidi

I've developed the guilty habit of looking to see what people on the IMDB forum-system have to say about movies I've seen recently; it's a way to shore up my essential misanthropy. Granted, that's always been pretty much been in a hardened vault-like Cheyenne Mountain status, impregnable to all but direct hits by specialy nuclear payloads of human kindness. But eternal vigilance is one of the keys to keeping it that way!

I got around to watching "Saw" which was a cheerfully vicious little flick. The highlights were of course the goofily elaborate murder setups, which went off the rails in the usual serial-killer-movie ways--cops acting dumb, mom and child in peril (no popular American film will ever have any tension whatsoever when there's a kid in peril. Men in danger? Anything could happen. Single, especially morally loose, women? They're corpses waiting to expire, especially if there's more than one of them. If there's just one, she's likely to escape. But a wife from a strained marriage with cute kid in tow? They're going to live, no questions about it, and any attempt to generate tension from them is just wasted screentime from the more compelling business of idiots freaking out over Jigsaw's fiendish setup.) Overall just sort of entertainingly brutal and stupid, with an ending twist that made me literally shout, "Oh, come ON!" while laughing like a loon.

The true glory came when looking at what the fine specimens at IMDB had to say about it. There's a glorious thread bitching about the movie's plot holes. Plot hole bitchery is usually pretty dull stuff; I've spoken before about the kind of bloody-minded literalism especially common amongst, say, sci-fi fans but by no means limited to them. But the opening bullet point was just breathtakingly awesome: you see, the two theoretical protagonists in Saw spent the majority of screentime shackled to the wall in a big room. Turns out the ankle collars can give them a good solid zap, electrified you know. (From a filmmaking point of view, minor electrocution is one of the finest tortures that a film can use. It's all just the actor flopping about, with various electrical sounds foleyed in during editting. No makeup or prostheses or cg needed, and certainly no need to worry about keeping continuity of wounds afterwards.)

The plot hole here? That an electrified ankle cuff would never hurt your whole body, because electriciy, being affected by gravity, GOES DOWN. Just look at lightning, a supporter chimed in later, adding helpfully, you morons. Or possibly you gay morons, I don't recall exactly. Being affected by gravity, the charge would just sink right into the floor, you see.

Besides being really funny, that's also more horrifying, personally, than anything in the movie itself.

Blast shelter, I'm telling you.

posted by Gar @ 8:17 AM
How bizarre. Not more than a week ago I had a "conversation" with a coworker who was under the impression that because a battery's charge can "leak to ground" that means that it falls, following gravity.

Now yes, it's true that a battery, placed on the actual ground (the earth) can leak charge to "ground" but I wasn't trying to say that electricity litterally falls down. I was actually talking about circuits designed poorly in UPSs where the charge can actually leak out through the ground wire in some cases, causing major anything from false low battery indications to fires.
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