's 2017 Horror Write-off:

The Weirdest Infomercial I've Ever Seen

Submitted by Thomas F. Johnson (email)

So, okay, I've seen some weird shit on late night infomercials on the local stations and I figured some of you might be interested in the weirdest goddamn one I've seen.

It starts off real simple, with a blank shot of what looks like an empty car dealership lot in that video quality that makes you think of either local commercials or snuff films. It lingered for what was an uncomfortably long time until you see this weird thing on the asphalt. For the life of me I've never been sure if it's a jump cut, or it just fades in. And then, the thing starts to move.

It's this guy, like your stereotypical hyperbolically wealthy business owner; white suit and cowboy hat and cigar and all. But, completely flat. Like, ya know one of those Looney Tunes cartoons? This was kinda like that, but made of flesh. It moved wrong too, like there was some actual bone and muscle structure under there as it got up to look at the camera.

And then, it spoke, in a perfectly smooth broadcast-voice with a slight country twang, "IIIIIIIII'M FLATTENED, AND YOU CAN TOO!"

The camera began to zoom in slowly, uncomfortably as it got up and gesticulated. "Yes I'm [hguwuffuh]," (Best I can render that mumble he does) "And you can get FLAT, get LOW, get it for a hundred dollars, no money rendered!"

The footage then changes to a car crusher. "We're offering a special limited time offer. Pay right now, and we'll give you before you know it! No money down, no delay, no credit, no problem!" There is then a pause in the commercial, for uncomfortably long stretch of time, as the crusher operates. All you can hear is the crusher and the music.

Oh yeah, did I mention the music? It sounds like if somebody put several stock music samples through an MP3 to Midi filter and used the "80s synth" soundfont. It's a lot more painful to listen to than it sounds.

Anyway, then, it switches to footage of what looks like a laundry press on wheels, going down a highway in a single unbroken shot. "Yes we have the finest tools, quality service, and it comes to YOU! And if you call now, you can get it all back!" Another unpleasant pause

Then, it switches back to the man, holding a sledgehammer near what I'm pretty sure is a slightly rotten pumpkin. "All other dealers say they will, but only [hguwuffuh] really does it! Because I'm cr-aaaazy, and I know ya gotta do it to 'em!"

He then awkwardly lifts the hammer up to smash the pumpkin, like a drunk guy eating a hamburger, and he hits it. Well, sort of. He's off a bit and he keeps raising it to hit it again and again. There's something leaking out of it, and no before you ask, I'm pretty sure it's not blood. I think it's store bought Ragu meat sauce. God knows where he got it.

There's then another jump cut as he raises that hammer again and now he's shoveling what look like pancakes covered in syrup into his flat mouth, just grabbing them whole making extremely uncomfortable noises as he swallows them without chewing. "No yolks about it, this is the real deal, so call without delay, no order down, no breaks guaranteed, call us"

Then it flashes blue in a stock camcorder-font a phone number, no name or anything like that.

Of course, this'd end here until I recently searched that number, out of curiosity's sake. No fuckin way I was gonna call that.

What I got was stories of a series of crushing deaths around the city, like they were crushed by a steamroller into a perfect shillouette, no links by location, some of them happening in baffling places around town. Like some fifth floor apartment or inside of a port-a-john with no damage to the walls. Everything inside of the rooms there were crushed too, flattened in the same way as they were.

There were two things in common. One was that all the victims had no cash or credit/debit cards in any wallets found on them at the scene. The other was that on all of the victims was a phone, un-crushed, with the same number having been last called on it. Police attempts to contact that number had seemingly been constantly redirected to random numbers across town.

And, the tipper is, when I went searching for the news stories on this, guess what motherfucker I saw a banner ad for? Go on, guess?!

I'm kinda scared now.