Tuesday, 30 March 2010

1000 Ways To Die review: lurid, shocking, gruesome TV

Has anyone else stumbled across the Bravo cable TV show, 1,000 Ways To Die? It's a sweet little offering from the US, re-enacting the weirdest ways people have met their end — usually prime contenders for the Darwin Awards.

I'm sitting here squirming having just watched the fate of the scumbag robber who stole groceries from a pregnant blind woman (aw, presumably with one leg and five grandparents to look after). Now, robbery isn't a capital crime to anyone except the Joe Sixpack couch potatoes who enjoy this lowly entertainment, whose ranks I now admit to joining in a rare confessional moment I'll probably live to regret, especially if the Orwell Prize judges are reading this (please look away now). But the gleeful voice-over assures us that the evil perp got his just deserts.

Escaping from the pursuing cop, the villain runs into a doorway, unaware that he is now in a car wash. At that moment, an attendant, oblivious to the presence of the unwanted visitor, starts up the machinery for its daily test run. Said crimo, disorientated by flailing brushes, oceans of soap and jets of water, slips and falls back onto a high-pressure nozzle in the wall that spears his head. So far, so banal.

Did I mention this was a high-pressure nozzle?

We are treated to a very surprised criminal whose head suddenly explodes, leaving a stump of neck above his rather fetching blue jumper.

To an animated illustration of the inside of the human anatomy, a Scientist then tells us in a serious tone befitting the sad occasion, exactly what happens when water is rapidly pumped into your cranial cavity at kazillions of pounds per square inch. "It raises the brain to the top of the skull and, having nowhere to go, is ejected upwards and out at force," because, of course, we needed that explained.

Cue illustration showing said brain squeezed up until the skull shatters.

It's all done with no pretence of good taste whatsover, tells the stories with lipsmacking delight, makes us contemplate our own mortality and thank the lord there but by the grace of god/luck/smarts go I.

What's not to like?


VenerableSage said...

In before Charlie Brooker, too. Ma'am is still one jump ahead of the zeitgeist.

James Hale said...

Yeah,'lipsmacking delight' nailed in on they head. Wait a minute, did they do that one? I'm thinking this show embellishes and simplifies certain story just a touch, don't you?

Madam Miaow said...

Yep, embellishment seems to be the programme-makers' stock-in-trade, James. Sadly, this gem has disappeared off our telly screens. How I miss it.