The slow pace of summer is giving us all time to notice subtle differences in screenings of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse, plan a ridiculous double-feature of Barbie and Oppenheimer, and roll some bottles down the stairs. It would be idyllic…if Grimace wasn’t still terrorizing everyone with his mysterious birthday shakes.
Are people being killed by Grimace shakes?
The meme of choice this week: videos of Grimace shakes killing people. Last week’s roll-out of McDonald’s purple monster’s birthday tribute beverage inspired questions about his backstory, but the answers are more horrific than we could have imagined. TikTok is filling up with surrealist horror films that document the unspeakable results of consuming Grimace’s foul, purple effluence.
The blueprint for making your own grimace-inducing Grimace shake video: Get a purple shake. Say “happy birthday, Grimace!” and gulp it down. CUT TO: A shot of the shake-drinker dead or dying in a horrific way while covered in purple slop. Simple, and hilariously disturbing.
McDonald’s response-tweet is as corporate-lame as you’d expect. If I were their head of marketing, I’d issue a serious-sounding condemnation of the death videos, ostensibly aimed at assuring people that McDonald’s shakes are not poisonous, nor will they transport consumers into a hellish nightmare world. I’d threaten legal action against the video posters too. Meanwhile, behind closed doors, I’d laugh about all the free advertising while lighting a cigar with a thousand dollar bill.
What is “Barbenheimer?”
The move at the multiplex this summer will be creating a contrasting double-feature by seeing Barbie and Oppenheimer on the same day. The two films will be fighting for cultural dominance when they are released simultaneously on July 21, but the release date is pretty much all they have in common. One is a satirical musical comedy that literally exhausted the world’s supply of pink paint. The other is a dark drama about the man who invented the atomic bomb and declared, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” It somehow still makes sense as a double feature though—comparing and contrasting the styles of directors Christopher Nolan and Greta Gerwig will elevate the experience—plus, the concept makes for fantastic memes and mashups.
There are different versions of Spider-man: Across the Spider-Verse
Speaking of summer movies, there’s an interesting secret involving this year’s most-beloved animated flick, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: It seems there is more than one version of the movie. First spotted by eagle-eyed fans, the existence of multiple Spider-Verses was confirmed by the movie’s associate editor Andrew Leviton, who tweeted: “I was wondering when people might start noticing…”
There’s no official word on how many different versions of the film exist, or how many changes have been made, but internet detectives have tracked down at least 11 altered scenes so far. The changes are small—a line of dialogue is altered here, a shot is slightly shorter there—so it’s not like there’s a “good version” and a “bad one.” Instead, it’s using the form to illustrate the film’s examinations of fate and free will. Very 2023, and a ploy that would not have worked without fans sharing their observations online.
What does “glazing” mean?
Quick slang update: If a young accuses you of “glazing,” they’re saying you’re complimenting someone in an insincere manner and with an ulterior motive. In your day, they might have said, “He’s just blowing smoke up your ass,” or “that phony’s nothing but an apple-polisher,” depending on your age.
Rolling bottles down stairs is the summer’s hot new trend
It’s summer, and the kids are bored, so they’re rolling glass bottles down stairs to see them break. These strangely hypnotic videos have been taking off on TikTok this week, and it’s hard to stop watching them. Our pals at Mashable say they’re like ASMR meets Dudes Rock. I say they remind me of my childhood summer pastime of breaking bottles down by the creek.
The videos are mildly suspenseful but also sort of relaxing, and watching things break is inarguably compelling, especially jars of sand. (Though I personally don’t like the chaos of more than one bottle, or if they use expensive liquor when there are so many sober people in the world.)
To get ahead of the coming backlash, I have spoken to several experts in material science as well as several emergency room physicians and they all agree that this trend is extremely dangerous, because broken glass can cut people! No one should do it ever, and TikTok should ban these videos at once, because think of the children.
Viral video of the week: The first trailer for Five Nights at Freddy’s
A feature film based on horror game Five Nights at Freddy’s has been in development for nearly 10 years, and a trailer was finally released this week. Freddy’s is a generational divider—if you were the right age when the original came out in 2014 (and in the years after) you will spend the rest of your life afraid of Freddy’s animatronic monsters. If you were older than the right age, you will have no visceral reaction, and wonder why so many millions of people are so into it.
There’s something about horror set in a “safe” childhood location like a franchised, Chuck-E-Cheese-style pizza parlor that dives right into your nerve cells if you’re under like 15, but does nothing for adults. The movie, like the game, looks very run-of-the-mill to me, but I’m not the target market. The kids on YouTube are, and they’re responding. In the first three days it has already amassed over 15 million views. Five Nights at Freddy’s comes out on October 27, just in time for Halloween.