Fifth Annual Movie-Plot Threat Contest Semi-Finalists

On April 1, I announced the Fifth Annual Movie Plot Threat Contest:

Your task, ye Weavers of Tales, is to create a fable of fairytale suitable for instilling the appropriate level of fear in children so they grow up appreciating all the lords do to protect them.

Submissions are in, and here are the semifinalists.

  1. Untitled story about polar bears, by Mike Ferguson.
  2. "The Gashlycrumb Terrors," by Laura.
  3. Untitled Little Red Riding Hood parody, by Isti.
  4. "The Boy who Didn't Cry Wolf," by yt.
  5. Untitled story about exploding imps, by Mister JTA.

Cast your vote by number; voting closes at the end of the month.

Posted on May 14, 2010 at 6:51 AM

Comments

aikimarkMay 14, 2010 7:53 AM

#5 comes closest to a fear-instilling tale.

#2 is probably the most terror-filled entry.

======
(IMHO) None of the finalists achieves the goal of this contest.

KingsnakeMay 14, 2010 8:25 AM

2. "The Gashlycrumb Terrors," by Laura.

Hands down.

Though #3 is also top notch ...

RSaundersMay 14, 2010 8:26 AM

#1

This year's contest was more challenging than the past couple.

Zak VMay 14, 2010 9:03 AM

#4
Out of all of them, it feels the most dystopian and least silly.

Fearful AsopMay 14, 2010 9:14 AM

2 was the best read
4 I think was closest to the goal of the contest.

BillMay 14, 2010 9:50 AM

#2 "The Gashlycrumb Terrors," by Laura.

But nods of amused appreciation go to #4 and #5 as my runners up.

Well done all.

EricMay 14, 2010 10:42 AM

I really like both 2 and 4...

If I *must* pick only one - then 4 edges ahead, but just barely!

EliMay 14, 2010 10:59 AM

Oh, so hard to choose; they're all good. But for really instilling terror in the heart of a child, I think I have to vote for #4.

Reasoning: one and three have too much of a counter-message beneath the message; two is too light hearted; five really needs several thousand words to flesh out into an excellent tale. four is short (maybe a little too short, not sure), but has a good punch to it, and kids can remember enough of it to repeat it.

And no, I'm not going to test any of these on my own kids. ;)

ModeratorMay 14, 2010 11:17 AM

The duplicate-comment filter will now ignore comments that are a single digit, with or without "#" prepended. Sorry about the annoyance.

Zygmunt LozinskiMay 14, 2010 11:34 AM

I vote for number 3 - how many movie threats can you get in one story?

jbMay 14, 2010 11:47 AM

NUmber 4. Unlike the others, it makes enough sense to get past the initial "this is ridiculous" filter.

DavidMay 14, 2010 12:08 PM

@moderator: "The duplicate-comment filter will now ignore comments that are a single digit, with or without "#" prepended. Sorry about the annoyance."

Sorry but does this mean that such comments WILL or WILL NOT be allowed into the stream?

Anyway: #3.

Miles BaskaMay 14, 2010 12:10 PM

Of these, #2 is the best.

But please, next year, let's return to movie plot threats and stop doing fractured fairy tales.

D0RMay 14, 2010 12:20 PM

I vote for #2 which is the funniest IMHO (although the #5 is most appropriate as a fairy-tale).

they're all greatMay 14, 2010 1:30 PM

Tough choice, but #5 is my favorite.

I intend to e-mail #2 to all my friends, though, so it would be nice to know a last name for "Laura" at some point in order to properly cite.

GSEMay 14, 2010 1:40 PM

#2 wins my vote. 5 is perhaps more in the spirit of the contest, but it's nowhere near as enjoyable.

maximizerMay 14, 2010 2:28 PM

#4 for being short with a great punchline.

Honorable mention should go to #2 for excellent, vivid poetry, but it's not really a fairy tale.

Laura PearlmanMay 14, 2010 3:18 PM

#3 -- I think this one is the best at illustrating how much safer the world is because of all the restrictive rules that are in place.

Honorable mention to #4, which has by far the highest (propaganda effectiveness / word count) ratio.

@they're all great: I'm "Laura" -- thanks for the compliment; I've signed this with my full name.

Richard SchwartzMay 14, 2010 3:53 PM

1, 2 & 4 are all brilliant in their own way.

#2 edges the others out.

I can see the movie plot, too. The book is distributed to all pre-schoolers to educate them about all the dangers that are "out there", but it turns out that the danger is the book itself, which turns all the children into zombies.

old-fashioned girlMay 14, 2010 4:05 PM

#2, far and away, although it doesn't quite follow the rules. If only Gorey were alive to illustrate it.

#4 if #2 is disqualified.

gabrielleMay 14, 2010 4:51 PM

#2 is the best one. If I had any skill with a pencil I'd step up & illustrate it myself.

Mike FergusonMay 14, 2010 5:26 PM

I would definitely vote for that nice Mike Ferguson's work. And I would definitely vote often.

Mike FergusonMay 14, 2010 5:39 PM

I would definitetly vote for that nice Mike Ferguson and his adorable, yet frightening, polar bear story.

RolandMay 14, 2010 7:10 PM

#4, Have to say #4.

#1 would have been good, but for the two lines at the end that aren't part of the story, yet imply another entirely separate unaddressed threat. Adding them requires the reader to then discuss that problem without a story to read.

#2 is part serious, part humorous, and ends with what is, IMO, bad advice.

#3, is just LRRH retold, from the POV of an imaginary future.

#5 is good, but needed an editor before submission.

JPMay 14, 2010 9:38 PM

2 is a classic - Get an artist to add illustrations and it would be viral.

UshMay 15, 2010 1:52 PM

#2

Scans perfectly and is a great compendium of all the fears being peddled. Great competition from the other entries too.

IrrelevantMay 15, 2010 7:01 PM

3. Number 2 is catchy but 3 is scary and is probably more bound to stick in a child's head; I would have loved 5 if it had made a reference as to how those boxes could have alse been gifts. Then it would have been my favorite.

IrrelevantMay 15, 2010 7:02 PM

3. Number 2 is catchy but 3 is scary and is probably more bound to stick in a child's head; I would have loved 5 if it had made a reference as to how those boxes could have alse been gifts. Then it would have been my favorite.

Eric P.May 15, 2010 7:50 PM

#4. I think it does a perfect job of standing the original story on its head. Sometimes that dark shadow really *is* a wolf, after all, so isn't it best to ensure that our children are paranoid... I mean, prepared?

Nathan TuggyMay 15, 2010 8:11 PM

I say #2. (#5 is also pretty good.) #1 is... somewhat hamhanded. (Perhaps that's the point, but I dislike hamhanded moralizing in whatever form and for nearly any reason.)

blaine bMay 15, 2010 8:43 PM

#5 seems to meet the intention of the challenge, although # 2 is by far the most clever.

I vote for #5

elegieMay 16, 2010 12:22 AM

#4 (The Boy who Didn't Cry Wolf) is short and quite convincing. Even so, #2 (The Gashlycrumb Terrors) is quite good (imagine illustrations) and #5 (exploding imps) probably would come in third.

Lance ==)------------May 16, 2010 1:09 AM

#2
I've noted and sympathized with several respondents' reasoning favoring #4, but I think it's just too abrupt. The kiddies will soon be able to tell you each of the Gashlycrumb Terrors based on their pictures and even be able to tell you their favorites. In fact, this recitation might actually be useful in that it would trivialize the Terrors.

Peter BMay 16, 2010 3:16 AM

#3.
#4 is too short, #2 probably raises the awareness instead of the fear. #5 might actually do something remotely useful but it is basically generic government thought right now. #1 I just don't like.

fjfMay 16, 2010 5:31 PM

I think they're all great, but since I have to choose one (well, I don't *have* to, but anyway), I vote for #1.

MattMay 16, 2010 6:48 PM

Number 3 please.
The theme of history being warped to fit in with our everyday teachings of why society is the way it is is spot on! Make the kids happy with what they have by scaring them into thinking that their ancestors had it so much worse. I also like the idea that we 'allowed' the cockroaches to survive...presumably because they were the one thing we couldn't kill.

AnonymousMay 17, 2010 9:10 AM

#4

( i like it so much i have to say something - by voting :-)

people who don't take NYC transit / Metro North trains probably find it hard to realize how funny this is.

Anonymous PosterMay 17, 2010 9:10 AM

#4

( i like it so much i have to say something - by voting :-)

people who don't take NYC transit / Metro North trains probably find it hard to realize how funny this is.

Sean EllisMay 18, 2010 6:59 AM

#2 - I wish my meager art powers were up to the challenge of illustrating this.

I just bought Amphigorey and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the Gashleycrumb Tinies.

btwMay 20, 2010 9:35 AM

My vote is for #3, the Little Red Riding Hood. I think that one meets the topic of the contest the best: the world is full of (movie-plot) threats, but the Lords made it safe for you.
(Number 2 is also fantastic.)

OPMay 28, 2010 11:56 AM

I liked #3 the most as it illustrated the necessity of so many restrictive and monitoring measures that can make this world safer, nicer and happier. :)

KornelMay 31, 2010 4:35 AM

#3 -- It's a real fable with manipulative side comments that are scarily realistic.

Comments on this entry have been closed.

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