By Aidan Driscoll
LOS ANGELES, CA —Self-described cinephile Paul Blowfish, recently chuckled quietly and muttered to himself that he’s “Still got it” after calling a 12 year old a slur on Reddit. Blowfish, 52, username u/IndianaMoans, caught the little brat proclaiming that Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” was one of the funniest comedies of the 2010s. Naturally, Blowfish took immediate action, defaming the young ne’er-do-well with a word that dehumanizes the under-privileged, surely leaving the youth speechless, educated, and impressed by Blowfish’s superior taste. “Time to celebrate this feat of cinematic justice with a tall Mountain Dew and a viewing of ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’! Huzzah!” said Blowfish to his reflection in a street puddle. When asked why he would use language that has historically been used to promote violence against marginalized communities, Blowfish wiped away a single tear and said, “It was the only word that made me feel big after that 12 year old made me feel so small.” He also blew a raspberry and said “you sound just like my shrew of an ex-wife,” before scurrying away.
It was obvious that there was more to the story, and this sap Blowfish wasn’t gonna give. Further digging revealed a startling controversy: not all on the subreddit were in agreement. Several users defended the 12 year old, with observations like “Korg is daddy,” and u/FeetPrayLove claiming that Thor: Ragnarok was “objectively” the best movie of 2017. When asked for evidence, u/FeetPrayLove called this reporter a slur.
Obviously, uncovering the truth wasn’t going to be easy. In efforts to break past these barriers, several Sack reporters were forced to create Reddit accounts of their own, and go deep undercover. To avoid having their accounts flagged or identities discovered, Sack investigators needed to fully immerse themselves in the cinephile lifestyle. Several methods proved disastrous; two reporters strangled each other when the terms “Star” and “Wars” were brought up in quick succession, and a third entered a vegetative state watching the Criterion Channel. One reporter, when cut off from his supply of Doritos and podcast movie reviews, disappeared into the woods and hasn’t been heard from since.
The only journalist to survive the immersion process was reporter Peter Phlegm, who, under the username u/StanleyCuckdick, managed to fool a group of cinebros by posting on r/movies how the movie “Drive” was, quote, “underrated.” After careful analysis, “Drive” appears to be about a man who is sad because society prevents him from having sex with Carey Mulligan, even though he is good at everything and could provide for her and is cool just like me. Phlegm forced himself through repeated viewings of “Drive”, which led to a strange side effect; he will now regularly ask for someone’s attention, just to silently nod at them while chewing on toothpicks, or, when toothpicks aren’t available, toothpick stand ins, like lollipops or Twizzlers.
It’s no surprise that Phlegm was immediately accepted. He managed to secure an interview with a cinephile known only by the username u/SmutLightyear. But after departing for the interview, Phlegm was never seen again. The last we heard of him came from a 9-1-1 call, transcribed below. Fair warning; the contents may be disturbing to some readers.
Dispatcher: “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”
Phlegm: “Please help, he’s almost found me…”
Phlegm: “He’s taken me hostage… forced me to watch… oh, my eyes!”
Dispatcher: “Sir, are you injured? Where are you?”
Phlegm: “In his basement… a closet, I don’t know-“
Dispatcher: “Who’s taken you hostage?”
Phlegm: “I thought he was just a cinebro, but it’s much worse than that…”
Phlegm: “We have a word for his kind in my mother’s native tongue that hasn’t been spoken in many centuries… but in English you would call him… an aspiring filmmaker!”
Phlegm: “Oh no, he’s coming..!”
u/SmutLightyear: “Come out, come out, I want to show you my latest project!”
Dispatcher: “Dear lord in heaven…”
u/SmutLightyear: “This one’s a real passion project… inspired my relationship with my parents..”
Phlegm: *Frightened breathing*
u/SmutLightyear: “Sort of Tarantino-meets-Nolan, with flavors of Edgar Wright!”
u/SmutLightyear: “We’re shopping it around to festivals, my dad has some connections at Sundance, but there’s still time to donate to the Kickstarter…”
Phlegm: *Whispering* “Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name-“
u/SmutLightyear: “How about I send you my Instagram? I’ve got big things coming-”
*The creak of a door opening*
u/SmutLightyear: “Heeeere’s Johnny!”
Phlegm: “No, no, god please no-!”
*Sounds of a struggle*
u/SmutLightyear: “LOOK AT MY VIMEO ACCOUNT! LOOK! LOO-”
The call ends there. With a fifth reporter dead or missing in as many weeks, and no new leads, investigations have stalled. If you or anyone you know has information on these movie-loving sickos, please call 1-800-SACK.
Update: Since publishing, the first disappeared reporter resurfaced as something called a “YouTube Film Critic,” a term which appears to mean repeating week-old information on film and TV adaptations of mainstream comic books. The 12 year old from our headline is a dedicated follower.
Further update: The body of Peter Phlegm has been found in the dumpster behind an Alamo Drafthouse Theater. Come moonrise, Sack members will hold vigil by singing an a capella rendition of Kavinsky’s “Nightcall” on the shoulder of the I-10 West.