Yippee. An evening in front of the TV and I’d rather be anywhere else. Tonight we’re watching Spleen XVI: The Severance. In case you’ve never heard of it, the photo above comes from its most iconic scene.
The two soon-to-be victims, and you just know they’re going to be killed because of the music, are preparing a meal in their restaurant. Because horror movies don’t try for much symbolism or, really, for anything much beyond cheap predictable thrills, the food is typical chain restaurant fare. Now, this is a movie called Spleen. Would it have been too hard for the screenwriters to let these guys be cooking spleen before having their own spleens ripped out and mailed to the mayor?
Oops. I jumped ahead in the story. Where was I? Oh yeah… foreboding music and SCREECH!, two dead men. Like the image I posted here, the camera’s focus always remains on the men’s torsos. They’re being objectified for their luscious, voluptuous spleens! How much more sexist can this film get?
Anyway, the murderer removes the pulsating spleens and mails them to the mayor in an attempt to terrorize the town. That’s because the entire town has to be terrorized; it would be hard to fill another seventy minutes of screen time unless the entire town is brought into it. But then, this is America. There are plenty of ways to terrorize the town with two perfectly good spleens. In this country, we don’t eat a lot of the tasty and nutritious animal parts that the rest of the world does, unless of course they’re ground up into a hot dog.
Therefore, I think the film would have been better if the killer had opened a spleen restaurant. That would have scared everyone in town and been much less predictable than what I had to sit through. They could have even kept the rest of the movie’s formulaic plot: after being terrified by the killer’s actions, the population bands together and eliminates the villain (although not before a few of the townsfolk die off). And then there’s happy music and cheering and dancing and a remembrance of the people who were despleened. The story goes the same way in all horror films, so I wish the writers had given us something truly original. If the killer had just opened the restaurant, someone could have run out screaming at the end:
“SOYLENT SPLEEN IS MADE OUT OF PEOPLE!”
Yeah, I know that was a cheap ending. However, it fits in perfectly with Hollywood’s standards. Nevertheless, at least my alternate ending would have set up a more believable story for the next film in the series, Spleen XVII: Dinner for Tomb.