October 12th, 2006

Based on a true story!

While driving around today, I heard the radio ad for the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel, and was astounded to hear that they're still trotting out the tired old "based on a true story" line for this franchise.

C'mon...I haven't seen this new TCM (nor do I intend to), but I'm guessing that it has a great deal more to do with what my cat just left in the litterbox than any event in the strange and sad life of Ed Gein.

So that started me thinking: Couldn't you say that virtually any work of fiction is "based on a true story"? I mean, something had to happen to give the writer the idea in the first place, right? Let's test my theory on some of this year's other horror film releases:

The Grudge 2 - How many American tourists to Japan end up absolutely terrified by what they see there?! I've had friends recoil in horror at things I've ordered in Japanese restaurants in America, for Godssakes. Based on a true story.

The Descent - I'm betting writer/director Neil Marshall saw the 1959 classic Journey to the Center of the Earth, and thought, Wow, that Arlene Dahl's a babe - and she truly went in to Carlsbad Caverns to film this! Yep, The Descent - based on a true story.

Re-Cycle - Creepy new Hong Kong movie about a horror writer who falls into a terrifying world of her own creation. Everybody knows that happens. Based on a true story.

Monster House - Duh! Every suburb in the world has a scary old man who lives in a scary, rundown house. Based on a true story.

Silent Hill - Based on a videogame that truly was released a few years ago. See? Based on a true story.

Snakes on a Plane - Hey, it could happen! Based on a true story.

Jesus Camp* - Oh, wait, it is a true story. Even better! Here's a free new adline for your posters, Jesus Camp: "Based on a true story...because it is a true story!"

There, see? Everything is based on a true story!

*=And please don't try to tell me Jesus Camp is not possibly the most horrifying film of the year, because I'll just have to slap you silly.