Student Voice


November 30, 2023




Surprise video left in movie store box

February 16, 2007

There are some stories, that no matter how long you look at them, the facts never seem to add up. The more you think about them, the more confusing they seem. An astronaut armed with an airsoft gun drives 900 miles — in a wig and a diaper, no less — intending to kidnap and possibly kill a woman involved in her bizarre spaceage love triangle; Turner Broadcasting pays the city of Boston $2 million and the head of The Cartoon Network resigns after light-up advertisements depicting a character from the cartoon “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” are seen as a terrorist threat.

Here in River Falls, a bizarre series of events has taken place at the local movie store. It began a little over one month ago, on a Saturday shortly after 9:00 a.m. That was when the first DVD-R was found in the overnight return bin, haphazardly wrapped in a plastic bag and tape. There was no title, or any indication of its contents.

As you can imagine, curiosity got the best of us. What could we do but put in the DVD player and watch it? Fortunately, the store was not open yet, because if there had been a customer inside, they would have been greeted abruptly — as my co-worker and I were — by hardcore fetish pornography.

There was no menu screen, no introduction; the disc simply began in the middle of a very graphic scene involving six or seven individuals performing acts to a heavy-metal soundtrack.

I will not go into details on the material or plotline, but the fact that the phrase “mangravy” was uttered twice within the first thirty seconds should give you some idea.

Since this incident, we have found three similar discs in or near the store. All the content is particularly lewd and outlandish, the titles ranging from “Fast and Furious: Strokyo Stick” to “Scooby Goo.” Though not confirmed, I have even heard rumors of these discs being found around town.

I don’t know why, but something about this really got to me. I found myself asking the same questions over and over again. Who would do a thing like this? What was his or her intention? Am I supposed to be shocked? Disturbed? Angry?

Sometimes, even when you understand the when, where, who and how, you can still be perplexed with the “why?” and the pure ridiculousness of it all. So instead, I just laugh. What else can you do?

A quote comes to mind from the Irish Revolutionary Robert Emmet: “Let no man write my epitaph; for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. Let them rest in obscurity and peace!”

The world is a strange, eccentric place. Unusual things are happening all the time. It seems the more you try to put everything in its place — good, bad, black, white — the harder it is to understand. Maybe you don’t always have to decide. Sometimes it’s better to just enjoy the madness.

Tyler Liedman is a student at UW-River Falls.