With Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake hitting theaters today, let’s look at some other bloodcurdling baggage.
The original Oldboy stills holds a special place in both our hearts and our night terrors. With a story that begins with a man getting held prisoner for 15 years in the world’s crappiest hotel, then builds in violent weirdness until it makes your brain feel queasy, it’s not for the faint of heart, and we’re intrigued to see how much of the original’s spirit remains in the Josh Brolin-starring remake. One scene it seems we’re still sure to get – going by the movie’s poster (above) – is that of its protagonist’s eventual release from captivity (don’t worry, we’re not giving anything away, it’s pretty early on). In the original, Oh Dae-su tumbles out of a battered suitcase onto a rooftop garden, gasping for air and clueless as to who released him, who dressed him, and who imprisoned him in the first place. While we can definitely relate to waking up on top of a building with no memory of the night before, the rest of this film gives us the screaming horrors.
The Collection, 2012
The sequel to The Collector, this sees the titular Collector – who looks like a weird, business-casual Batman - back in action in something that resembles a haunted house movie, only stabbier. Amusingly over-the-top deaths occur one after another as we see some of the more pitiful contents of the serial killer’s collection dispatched in increasingly unpleasant ways (which, considering the movie opens with an entire nightclub getting combine harvested to death, is saying something). Throughout, we see that the Collector is still very much into keeping his victims inside large suitcases until it’s playtime. Are we to assume that the antagonist is a disgruntled former airport baggage handler? We’re going with “maybe.”
Sick of suitcases just being used as props for bad guys? Then let’s enjoy a movie where the suitcase is the bad guy! In this so-so horror from 2005, we meet a suitcase full of evil that’s been sucked from people’s souls by a voodoo grandmother (yes, really). This evil manifests itself in the form of deadly snakes, which proceed to possess the biggest, baddest dude in town and make him kill everyone he meets. Yay, voodoo! Why the suitcase needs to make the snakes possess a man in order to kill other people is anyone’s guess (wouldn’t the snakes do a pretty good, and possibly more subtle job of that by themselves?), but then, this movie does have a scene in which someone gets their face torn off with a sand blaster, so maybe we’re overthinking it.
Trilogy Of Terror, 1975
Originally intended to be the pilot for a new horror anthology show, this three-part movie is only really memorable for its final act – an accidentally hilarious story about a woman who finds a possessed doll (not the more famous one) in her apartment, which comes to life and tries to murder her (because, of course). In desperation, she traps it in a suitcase, which it promptly tries to saw its way out of with a kitchen knife, stabbing her once again in the process. Aside from marveling at how horrible people’s suitcases were in the '70s, this film’s most rewarding moment is the sight of Oscar-nominee (and two-time Golden Globe-winning) actress Karen Black, screaming her lungs out for 15 straight minutes while trying to convincingly have a fight with a tiny muppet.
Okay, so a packing crate isn’t technically a suitcase, but it’s close enough for our purposes (that is, finding a fifth item for this list so we can go home and erase the memory of writing it with cheap bourbon). In this campy horror classic (also an anthology), the fourth tale deals with the discovery of a wooden crate that’s been left abandoned under some stairs for 148 years, and which turns out to contain some kind of lethal, man-eating yeti. While any rational person would simply apply for a transfer, Professor Northrop decides it’s the perfect way to deal with his irritating wife, and promptly feeds her to the beast before dumping the crate in a lake. Naturally, there’s a twist ending, but we won’t spoil that here, because we lied about going home to drink the bourbon - we’ve already finished it and forgotten the end of the movie. We’re not shorry. What are you looking at? Huh? Are you looking at ush? Yeah? Well, you’re a suitcase. Why ish room shpinning? Blurghh.