I sat down on my couch the other day wanting to avoid reality for an hour or two and escape all the senseless, random violence in the world. When I turned on my television set the movie “Seven” was just starting. Well, at least the film features senseless highly focused violence. Kevin Spacey plays John Doe: an adorable, bald, deranged religious zealot who kills people that exhibit one of the seven deadly sins (envy, rage, greed, apathy, misdirection, and poor math skills). Given the financial success of this movie, I suspect a sequel is in the works.
It’s too bad Brad Pitt’s character shoots and kills John Doe at the end of the movie. Oops– anyone planning to see this movie for the first time might want to ignore that last sentence. While bringing Kevin Spacey back might involve some crafty script work (one possible write up: John Doe receives a sharp blow to the head and develops a bad case of amnesia. He completely forgets how the original movie ends), the real challenge is to come up with more sins.
Here is a rough outline for “Eight: Moderately Annoying Sins”:
Division: John Doe gets hired on as the produce manager at a local grocery store. Keeping a close eye on the banana display, John springs into action when customers tear off one banana from the bunch and put the lone piece of fruit back on the display. Grabbing the stray banana, John sneaks up behind the customer, presses the end of the fruit into their back, and calmly states, “Yes, this is a banana, but I’m not happy to see you.” John then takes the customer back to their apartment, ties them to the couch, and forces the offender to watch a continuos loop of Sally Strothers commercials until they go crazy and gouge their own eyes out.
Waste: People who ask for hot sauce at Taco Bell knowing full well they will not use it and just throw the packets away when the meal is finished are the next target of John Doe. The punishment is to go back and eat the discarded packets of sauce. More often than not, this causes massive digestive tract irregularities.
Hype: John Doe travels around to area malls and kills people who put up Christmas decorations before Labor Day. Anyone who starts up before Halloween receives a sternly worded letter in the mail.
Sponsorship: After watching a certain Dr. Pepper commercial, John Doe steals a beverage delivery vehicle and runs over Garth Brooks when he is crossing the street. A note found at the scene of the crime explained that “If God wanted Garth Brooks to wear lame ass clothes while singing a soda jingle with a forced smile He wouldn’t have created Britney Spears.” While investigating the crime scene, Morgan Freeman’s character comments “I have to agree with our John Doe on this one.”
Promotion: Web site developers who put endless pop up advertisements on the Internet become the target of John’s rage. Fearful of their lives, this practice is completely abandoned. As a result, traffic on pornography web sites sky rockets.
Gadgetry: People who leave their cell phones on at the movie are John’s next target. Offenders suddenly find a quiet bald man sitting behind them quietly throwing milk duds at the back of their head at random intervals for the duration of the movie.
First Date Lies: John joins the dating circuit in search of a meaningful relationship. The women who promise to call him back but never do are kidnapped and forced to spend a day in the same room with the Taco Bell sinners.
Sequels: The movie ends when John Doe leads the detectives into a supposedly empty missile silo. John Doe approaches with a small remote control device. With a slight smile on his face, John states “Just like in the original film, I know you will enjoy the irony the ending. God wants me to show the world how poorly thought out movie sequels are destroying His planet.” John presses a button on the remote which triggers a massive nuclear explosion. Roll credits.
The dramatic ending raises the question “Did the detectives, realizing the trap John Doe had set, send their robot duplicates instead of going in on their own?” Stay tuned for “Nine: John’s Minor Pet Peeves.”