Max Payne 3: fun for the whole family.
The Dead Zone, 1983 (dir. David Cronenberg)
Most creative/hardcore suicide scene in anything… ever.
Tracing their fingers around to feel the details of the darkened room, they briefly touched hands and then shied away from each other. Their eyes had not yet adjusted to the darkness, and considering the chaos ensuing just a few meters outside the door, one could not be so certain they really wanted to see the damage done. Either way, she took off her glasses and placed them in her hair as she often did. They would serve no purpose in the dark anyways.
Who are you? She asked her temporary roommate.
Does it really matter right now? They responded, in a tone that could be called disgruntled yet anxious.
Finally, she was able to determine it was another man in the room with her. She had not been certain anybody else would be in the closet when she darted in to escape the chaos ensuing outside.
Anyway, what time is it now? He asked.
She looked to her wrist, felt around for a second and fiddled until she managed to press the button on the watch to illuminate it. The light was faint and dim, but she was just able to make out the time. It was a cheap watch, something she’d purchased out of necessity due to her always being late for just about everything. It wasn’t anything special, and yet she’d held onto it for years. When the battery died she made the effort to replace it, when truth be told it might have been less hassle and even cheaper to simply get another cheap watch. She was comfortable with it; it was familiar enough to her that the frenzy of her mornings was always coupled with ensuring she left the house with her watch on.
It’s half past nine, she quipped to the man in the room with her. I don’t really know what’s going on outside yet, do you?
The man remained silent. He seemed to be fiddling around with something in his pockets. She heard the distinct sound of what she thought was loose change and a sharp thud. He continued to grumble to himself as he tried to find his footing, and finally he settled on what she’d figured was a crate. They were in some type of storage room. She found a crate herself and took a seat. It was far too dark in here for her eyes to even begin to adjust, and she had lost much hope of being able to make anything out. She didn’t dare open the door, however, not even for an instant. She couldn’t take that risk. And he wouldn’t let her, she thought, and who could blame him? Her morning routine of bringing coffee to the front desk was interrupted by the sounds of screams coming from the West side of the complex. At first she thought she was imagining things, but the puzzled look on Lauren’s face through the check-in counter glass confirmed what she quickly grew to fear. A series of thunderous gun blasts rang down the hall, and she fled. The crowd moved en masse, what little crowd there was so early, as everyone began to run away from the coming turmoil. She’d broken away from a small group, other drones she’d never really spoken to, and ran into the supply closet. Panicked and confused, she’d stow away until things became clearer. It was within a few minutes she heard the door open and shut in an instant. Terrified at first, she figured some company in this would be better than none at all. Again, she tried to speak to him.
My name is Arlene… What’s your name?
Arlene? Do you work here?
Yeah, well- I mean, I did, I was actually on my way in here today to pick up some materials from my office.
Of course, she wasn’t here to pick up materials from her office. She was here to iron things out with her old supervisor. She had not left on the best of terms, and truth be told, she was surprised charges hadn’t been pressed on her yet. It had been a few days since they’d argued, when her supervisor Collette had told her that she knew what she’d been up to. That she had the evidence mounted against her, that she had co-workers who were willing to attest for all that Arlene had done, and that she just wanted to know: Why? Why did she betray her trust like that? Why did she decide that all the work Collette had done, getting her this job and vouching for her, putting her name on the line just to get her a job here, why was that worth this outrage? Arlene had no real defense. She wasn’t sure what she was coming in here today to say. She was hoping the words were going to come to her, as though a muse suddenly touched her and brought forth the eloquence to explain herself away to Collette. But she didn’t get a chance to, not with the morning still going on.
While she was spacing out on this, the man had gotten up from his crate and seemed to be feeling the door. He put his ear to it, as best she could tell, and from the small sliver of light from under the door she noticed him crouch down and look outside. He slipped a finger out, and back in again, and for a moment she thought she’d ask him what he was hoping to accomplish by that.
Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. He was talking to himself.
What is it? Did something happen to you? Are you hurt?
What? Hurt? No I’m not hurt. It’s just… Never mind. Arlene, do you know another way out of here? I don’t want to try and go out the front.
Another way out of here…I guess there is the maintenance elevator the janitor used to get up here.
She was curious now why he was being so inquisitive about this. She figured this man was just someone who knew how to take action. From his voice, she couldn’t recognize who he was. It wasn’t surprising, really. You take a company like the one and the kind of work they did, and eventually every one working there became a faceless entity. She herself often got through her days working there without so much as remembering one moment that would hold permanence in her mind. In the broader sense, this company and the people in it could have collapsed into a black hole and the consequences would be decidedly inconsequential. Throwing a match onto the fire, really. Still, the action he seemed to be taking was making her wish she had known him. The room for pleasantries was over, however, and got up off her crate to try and make herself feel less like a damsel in distress.
Let’s see, I didn’t really see when we walked in, but I think we’re on the ground level. The maintenance elevator shouldn’t be too far from here. What was your name again?
I didn’t tell you my name, and you don’t need to know it. You just need to get me out of here.
He grabbed her arm with some force, and then opened the door. The sudden burst of light bloomed in her eyes and it took her a bit to readjust. She put her glasses on and turned to look at him. She saw that he was dressed from the neck down in dark garb; his jacket was button-down and his pants a distinct shade of black. He wore thick boots and dark grey gloves. His hair was plain, and his face much older than she’d anticipated. She also couldn’t help but notice he was covered with flecks of blood. The pressure of him gripping her arm was getting tighter. She grew anxious. Was the blood his own? She paused, licked her lips, and spouted to him:
Where did that blood come from?
His grip revealed to be strong as he started pulling her arm as if it was a leash for her entire body. She started struggling by placing her feet firmly against the floor hoping it would keep her in place, but many factors prevented her: the floor was slippery, the man was bigger than her, and her heels had no grip.
He moved her assuredly, looking over his shoulder every step of the way. She began to cough, and tripped over some debris in the hallway.
Get up, we’ve got to move, now.
She got a hold of his arm to pull herself up, and in doing so ripped away a part of his sleeve. He did not seem to notice this, and quickly propped her up and forced her against the wall.
Listen to me: You are not going to leave here alive. Neither of us are. But we can help. I can fix this. I can fix all of this. But to do that, we’re going to have to do something drastic. I can’t explain it right now…
There was another loud concussion from down the hall. He grabbed her by the wrist and looked to her watch. His eyes winced as he murmured to himself.
The maintenance elevator was still in commission. They were designed to work so that even in an emergency situation, the right people would still be able to navigate the complex. Arlene did not know what went on outside of her department. She had never used the elevator before, nor did she have any permission to. The odds of her being written up about it at this moment were slim to none, however. He punched the button and they waited.
Crouch down, he barked at her.
She did so, and found herself gripping tightly to his sleeve. She took her glasses on and off, a nervous tic she could never shake.
As they listened to the drone of the elevator reaching their floor, he took the time to ask her: Are you hurt?
She was taken aback, but found the composure to let him know she was not.
Good. That’s really good.
How about you? She asked him. You’re covered in blood.
The elevator reached their floor. He opened the grate and they dashed inside. The elevator was large, big enough for the large transportations they were used for. It was covered in rust, surprisingly unkempt for such a high-end facility, Arleen thought. The myriad of buttons that designate the floors in the building seemed to be written in Greek to her. She had no idea where to go. He shut the grate quickly.
Well… what? Arlene replied.
Well, how the fuck do we get out of here? He snapped.
Thinking quickly, she pressed a button at random. I have to get away from him, she thought. What did he mean we wouldn’t get out of this alive? What was something drastic? The most drastic thing she’d done lately was get fired for what she’d done to Collette. And she had not handled that well.
We’ll go to the top floor, hopefully there’s a fire escape we can climb out of.
There better be, or else we’re going to have to blow our way out. And I don’t want to hurt anymore people today. I will if I have to, just so you know. This blood on me… it’s not mine. I had to get in here, I had to be sure that I got here first, and to do that I had to make a lot of noise. A distraction. Did you ever go see a magician perform? They’re always real showboats, they don’t want you to focus on the trick. They want you to focus on the theatrics… This is theater. We’re in theater. I had to distract them. They can’t know why I’m really here. Do you understand?
Arlene shook her head slowly. She didn’t understand, but, she didn’t have time to respond. The elevator stopped at the top floor. There was a high-pitched ringing coming from the hall.
Right on schedule, he said.
She looked to him, then looked down the hall. From the window that overlooked the facility, she could see smoke rising from the other side of the compound.
Move it, he told her, let’s find that fire escape.
As Arlene moved forward, she looked out the window. What she saw left her flabbergasted; a cold chill ran down her spine. A strange little smile crept across his face as he saw her reaction. He explained to her:
[to be continued]
Six bottles went down the drain, one hour’s waste of time.
I’d ask if you feel the same, still pushing that chance to try.
Your breath in this cool room chill long hair that blows side to side;
you speak and make time stand still, and each time you walk right on by…
Like violence you have me, forever, and after.
Like violence you kill me, forever and after.
Can’t count all the eyes that stare, can’t count all the things they see.
She kills with no life to spare, just victims are left to bleed.
One drink and the pain goes down, soft shadows lay by her feet.
Lay soft as you slowly drown, lay still while you fall asleep.
Like violence you have me, forever, and after.
HEALTH - We Are Water
Directed by Eric Wareheim
I can’t believe Eric Wareheim directed this, this is fucking great, while his show is fucking garbage… oh well!
Great track, too.