Zone Xtreme (not a real show. still somewhat xtreme.)

If you had the chance to electrocute someone to death on television to satisfy the bloodlust of a studio audience, would you do it?  French documentary “The Game of Death (Le Jeu Du Mort)” says, “Yep, you probably would!”

The documentary led 80 participants into thinking they were shooting a French pilot for a new reality TV series called Zone Xtreme (not a real show). In the fake show, fake “contestants” played by actors were forced to answer questions. If they answered incorrectly, one of the participants would be asked to give the contestant an electric shock. No shocks were actually administered; the actor contestants pretended to get electrocuted. Egged on by the beautiful TV hostess and an apparently bloodthirsty studio audience shouting “Punishment!,” only 16 of the 80 participants stopped before reaching the final, lethal 460 volt shock. People apparently kept up the shocks even when the contestant appeared to be dead or unresponsive.

PUNITION!  PUNITION!  All I can picture is that informercial hosted by Shooter McGavin in Requiem for a Dream.  Just rapid cuts and text flying all over the screen and chanting and people getting electrocuted to death.   “This… drives… most… people… crazy.”  Only 16 out of 80 people stopped!  Like, just ignore the fact that you’re killing an innocent person and the moral implications that come along with that; at the very least, wouldn’t you be afraid that you’d be convicted of manslaughter?  With videotaped evidence?  On the other hand, maybe the participants were just living out their Emperor Palpatine fantasies.  Puissaaaaaaaaaaaaance illimitée!

This does not bode well for the human race.  Only one man can get away with electrocuting people while still being an ok dude, and that man is Dr. Peter Venkman of Columbia University.  You may remember Dr. Venkman’s case study wherein he analyzed the effects of negative reinforcement in relation to ESP ability.  Using a set of specialized playing cards marked with various shapes, he asked his test subjects to focus their ESP ability and guess which shapes were present on the cards.  If they guessed incorrectly, he administered an electric shock.  If he wanted to bang the subject, he’d tell them that whatever they guessed was correct and charm the pants off them.  Following his work at Columbia, Dr. Venkman went on to pilot the Statue of Liberty using an NES controller and fight an evil painting with happy slime.

But back to The Game of Death, the French documentary that for a few minutes made me upset for mankind, and then just made me think of movies that featured people getting electrocuted (The Green Mile, Faces of Death IV, Ernest Goes to Jail).  Would this fly in America?  Wouldn’t we be all, “Git ‘r dun” and then try to overthrow the maniacal game show host?  We’re Americans!  We’re not gonna let some fake game show host tell us who should live or die!  Like, “Let’s roll,” or some shit! Right?  Guys?

FUCK!  C’mon, this is ABC News!  The most American Broadcasting Company we’ve got!  They basically proved you can create your own Nazi army with $50 and an important looking electro deathbox.  We’re so done.

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