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What To Do If You Are Kidnapped By An Evil Scientist Out To Harvest Your Dreams

By Jessica Chobot     February 05, 2007


Jessica Chobot
© Jessica Chobot

I have been having some seriously whacked-out dreams of late. I attribute these nocturnal mind trips to an overabundance of Taco Bell’s big beef burrito and one too many episodes of Charmed.  

No longer does my subconscious wander through mystical forests filled with Unicorns and pixie dust. Instead, I find my mindscape filled to the brim with faceless, chainsaw toting men who chase me down dank corridors that I never seem to be able to find my way out of. Basically, think of Resident Evil 4 (the game, not the movie) mixed with a little Silent Hill (ditto) and then crank up the terror ten-fold.  

Even though my mind seems to get a kick out making me pee my bed, I still have to hand it to my imagination: It’s quite an amazing thing. I’ve had dreams that are so incredibly real; I could have sworn I was truly awake. Dreams so wonderful; I wished I could have slept forever and dreams so terrifying that I woke up in a cold sweat. 

Which brings me to this: walk through any B. Daltons or Borders Books and you’ll find countless dream diaries, how-to guides for lucid dreaming and dream interpretation. It isn’t all patchouli and New Age though, a variety of studies have been conducted to show how humans behave and interact with sleep deprivation and lack of REM (Rapid Eye Movement-linked directly to dreaming). When denied proper rest, almost all individuals exhibit depression and a lack of functionality. No doubt about it, dreams are powerful. 

So, what if you were someone who didn’t dream? Whose memories seemed to be lost forever within your soul without any hope of being played out and revisited once the lights were off? What would happen if the Sandman never threw dust in your eyes?

The City of Lost Children, does an astounding job of addressing these very questions. A French film, The City of Lost Children, is a cult classic; often underappreciated save for Sci-Fi fans and indie art houses. 

________________________________________________________________________ 

The City of Lost Children

Krank is a crotchety evil scientist who has lost (if he ever had) his ability to dream. Hoping to stop and reverse the rapid aging that is affecting him due to his lack of REM, Krank begins kidnapping children in order to carry out his experiments and steal their dreams. One such unfortunate youngster is One’s “younger brother” (an orphan he cares for) named Denree. 

One is a sideshow strongman with the body of an Ox but the heart of a kitten. Often more innocent then the gang of children he ends up trying to help, One’s main goal is to save Denree from the city’s kidnapping ring and Krank’s minions. 

The gang of children that One allies himself with is run by the young and beautiful Miette. Stoic and sad, Miette, no longer looks at the world with the eyes of an innocent child. Poverty and hunger have shut away her heart and have burdened her with premature pessimism. Yet, when Miette meets One, a little fire of hope begins to warm her soul once more. 

So, how do One and Miette manage to save Denree? DO they manage to save him or is Krank able to succeed at his evil plot? What happens to the other children? 

Sadly, I cannot offer help and guidance to the poor, little rug-rats that have already been caught in Krank’s clutches. However, I do have advice for you! Whether you decide to use this information in order to save your own hide, or to pass it on to your little tykes is your call. I just offer up the info-not tell you how to use it. (What am I? Your mom!?) 

What To Do If You Are Kidnapped By An Evil Scientist Out To Harvest Your Dreams. 
 

- Make yourself stand out….but not too much! 

This one is a toughie. If you find you’ve been kidnapped and don’t think you have the cleverness to pull this off, then I recommend you don’t try it. However, if you think you can make it happen, then by all means do! A successful execution of this will most likely save you from having to go through additional steps. 

Make yourself stand out…kinda’. What I mean by this is, you want to be flamboyant enough so that the people coming to rescue you take notice and save you first! Remember, the best way to avoid disaster is to avoid being in the path of it. The quicker you get out of the dragon’s lair the better! Once the evil scientist and his cronies start catching on that their hostages are being rescued, they WILL retaliate. This means that there are going to be a few unfortunate youngsters that, at best, will be left behind and, at worst, will catch a piece of shrapnel to the temple. 

The City of Lost Children Screenshot

However, I advise caution when utilizing this tactic. You do not want to go overboard. This sword can cut both ways and if you begin to make yourself too obvious, then the “bad guys” will be just as quick to pick up on it! Remember, the best way to hide is in plain site. Keep yourself part of the group. Never trudge too far ahead or lag too far behind. The person in charge of any pack is always a target and the weakest are always picked off first. This is one of those few moments in life where mediocrity will serve you well. Remember this, and choose your time and places wisely. 

- You must have brains and braun. Not just one or the other.

In an event where one must save oneself, a combination of smarts and strength will almost always get you out of any sticky situation. But what if you’re not one of those fortunate few?  

First, be honest with yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? If you have the mental dexterity to go toe to toe with Johnnie Cochran, then I would file you under the “brain” division. If you find that you can’t make change for a dollar but are able to govern the state of California and flex yourself like a beefy Austrian, then I would file you under “braun.” 

Once you’ve got yourself sectioned off and established, it’s time to look for a partner. Be cautious but open-minded. Oftentimes the person that seems the least likely choice will be the most loyal and hardworking while the more obvious one will be the first to stab you in the back.** 

**Note: If you find someone with a decent amount of beauty, seriously consider letting them join the crew. You will be amazed at how quickly people balk and hesitate when they’re confronted by a pleasant visage.** 

- Beware of strangers. Especially ones trussed up like cult members. 

The City of Lost Children Screenshot of Kid

Katie Holmes should take note of this one! Strangers should be avoided at all costs! Listen to your parents (if you have any), what they tell you is true. Sure, that old lady walking down the sidewalk, mumbling to herself and approaching you for directions could be harmless…but what if she isn’t? You’ll be kicking yourself in the ass after she whips out a machete and holds it to your throat! Also, try to stay away from freaky looking dudes dressed in ceremonial garb. Sure, they might be innocent Mormons all trussed up in their temple garments and meaning you no ill will, but why even tempt fate? 

**Note: Any person wearing two or more pieces from the Jean Paul Gaultier collection should also be avoided. Even if said piece is vintage.** 

- Start a monopoly. 

Let’s say that you somehow manage to get yourself caught. First, slap yourself in the face for being a dumb ass and not reading what I typed above. Second, keep calm. Remember, the evil scientist is only after your dreams, not your kidneys. He’s the one with the problem, not you. The proper, American way to look at this is: how can it benefit you? You’ve been blessed with a never-ending supply of the dream stuff; why not make something off of it?   

So, how do you do it? 

Easy! Let the evil scientist experience a few good nights. Nothing too hard core. Just some mild dreams that will give him a taste of what he desires but will still leave him wanting more. Smoothing out a few crows feet and slimming out that double chin of his is a good way to get the ball rolling. 

Once you start entangling him in your web, start holding back. Nothing too sever-just start backing off with the supply. Some days you should be too tired to give him what he wants or just do a mediocre job of it. He’ll get mad, sad and belligerent. Possibly even threatening, but hold tight and don’t give in. 

This is when you should start asking for things, like ponies and Transformer toys. Eventually, start raising the stakes of your demands. Eventually, he’ll start catching on to what you’re doing but by that time, it’ll be too late. 

Don’t be shy about putting this technique to the test. If this approach works for housewives and girlfriends, it should work for you too! 
 

If you’re young enough where kidnapping is an actual threat, pay close attention to what I’ve spelled out for you in the above paragraphs. Don’t think that just because you’re no longer a pre-teen you’re automatically out of danger. I was just kidnapped two years ago at the young age of 28, so obviously evil scientists the world over have moved up the age bar. 

If you’ve hit 30, you probably don’t have anything to fear. Additionally, you might have spawned some youngsters of your very own. If that is the case, remember to instill these rules into their developing grey matter. The best time for this type of lesson is at night where it can fester and sink in. Your child might end up with a few sleepless nights, but that will just make them that much safer! And everyone knows that a safe child equals a happy child. And a happy child equals a good parent.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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laforcer69@yahoo.com_home 2/5/2007 3:57:54 AM
The city of lost children is a classic...I own the dvd and would highly recomend it to anyone who loves fantasy/sci fi... One of the best French movies to come out ot the 90's
noblenonsense 2/5/2007 7:04:06 AM
You know I was thinking just yesterday "man what would I do if I ever got captured and forced to give up my dreams to an evil scientist". Now I know....now I know..
Jakester 2/5/2007 12:06:06 PM
I admit it. I am a worthless piece of crap because I've not seen this movie. I'm down with the weird dreams, though, and the weird dream movies reminded me of the awesome "Dreamscape" and the not-so-awesome "Cell," which had really cool visuals, but would've benefited by having a directory who cared about the story as much as the visuals.
jppintar326 2/5/2007 2:07:23 PM
Every time I dream, I think of that scene in Top Secret where Val Kilmer is being beaten up. He blacks out for a minute and dreams he's back in school! Then he wakes up to discover he's only being beat up and lets out a sigh of relief. That's a classic scene from a wildly underrated movie. Anything is better than being back in school, a nightmare I often have.
creamygnome 2/5/2007 4:12:04 PM
Oddly enough, I just added that to my blockbuster queue a couple days ago.
stormseye 2/5/2007 5:19:56 PM
Yeah, I've completely forgotten about City of Lost Children; it really earned its reputation for an amazing visual style. I remember that the richness of details was on par with Ridley Scott at his best. This same French director ended up directing Alien Ressurection from a Joss Whedon script. I've always thought that both Alien3 and Alien Ressurection got the short end of the stick because everyone keeps comparing them to the extraordinarily effective Alien and Aliens; taken on their own, they were very competent movies by their own right. Being a resident of California for so long, you'd think that I've gotten used to the shame of having the star of Jingle All the Way as our governor, but, you know what Jessica? Lemon juice on a re-opened wound.
MetalWatero 2/6/2007 7:08:58 AM
I don't know who the hell this hot chick is...and I don't even care to read her articles. All I have to say is ...Damn, she is hot!!! So hot, I wanna have her baby...and I'm a guy!!! Now, that's hot!!!
Jakester 2/6/2007 10:24:33 AM
Maybe you should try reading the article and commenting on it before you start hitting on her. She's hot, but she's smart. So be smart and go read my comment in one of her previous articles on why smart and hot chicks are less desirable than dumb and hot chicks.
MetalWatero 2/7/2007 4:53:59 AM
I'm not interested in dumb women...I like 'em smart...so it is good to know that she is smart, but right now...I just don't have time to read the article, but if she was writing about sex every week...I'd make the time!!!
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