Seven vs. Dr. Phibes

When you’re wrong, you’re wrong.  And I was wrong.

I figured the breakout thriller to see in 1995 was going to be Copycat.  I know, I know, but hear me out—I wasn’t alone.  A lot of industry press at the time leaned the same way.  The previews for Copycat made it look like Silence of the Lambs meets Thelma and Louise, and it has Sigourney Weaver in it.  Actually, that’s about all I can say—I never did see Copycat, which puts me squarely in the majority.

Instead, when my wife Julie and I decided to go to the theater, she insisted on Seven instead (or Se7en, if I’m going to follow the conventions of Video Watchdog, which I might as well).  She advocated loudly, strongly, and effectively for Se7en, and god bless her for it.

I’m going to take for granted you’ve seen the film—but for the purposes of the discussion that follows, I’ll recap the premise.  Se7en is set in some unidentified Hell, a place where it’s dark and rainy all day, every day.  Lt. Somerset (Morgan Freeman) is set to retire in (you guessed it) seven days, having had his fill of all the senseless violence and depravity this unnamed city has to offer.  His final week is coincidentally the first week for Detective Mills (Brad Pitt), a corn-fed transfer from some rural backwater.  As much as Somerset wants to escape the city, Mills has sought it out00driven by heroic if naïve ideas of making a difference.

It turns out that Somerset’s final case and Mills’ first are related.  Somerset’s case involves an obese man bound to a table and force-fed to death, while Mills has a defense lawyer who was forced to slice off a pound of his own flesh.  Both are the work of a serial killer, who is designing his murders as performance art manifestations of the seven deadly sins (gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, vanity, envy and wrath).

We’ll return to the nuances of this premise in a bit, but the first thing to note is how unrelentingly grim the who enterprise is.  Even its makers marveled the thing got made.

The marketing gurus at New Line were especially taxed at how to sell this movie.  Because, here’s the thing: at that time, in 1995, Morgan Freeman was not a marquee name.  Gwenyth Paltrow was still relatively unknown to audiences, and she barely appears in the movie anyway.  Director David Fincher was if anything a liability from a marketing standpoint—he had made his name making music videos, which led to a job directing Alien 3, a widely underappreciated picture generally regarded by all sentient life as an unqualified artistic disaster (I beg to differ, but that’s for another day).

The one piece of Se7en that a marketing guy could hang his hat on was Brad Pitt, but his fan base at the time was primarily teenage girls, who were not the typical audience for such a violent thriller.  At the same time, the typical audience for this kind of violent thriller was turned off by Pitt.  The marketing guys did their research, and came back with statistics showing the target demographic of young males were unwilling to take their dates to a Brad Pitt movie.

Preview audiences sat through screenings of Se7en and ranked it “mediocre.”  Critics were harsher—when the film opened, the early critical consensus was negative, even derisive.  Even the kindest reviews compared it to Silence of the Lambs and found it lacking.  Researching those first round of reviews, I didn’t find a one that avoided making a reference to Silence of the Lambs.  This measured to some extent the enduring power of Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs, but it is funny how none of these professional critics could see the day when Se7en would take its place alongside Silence as a peer, not a knock-off, and other movies would be derisively compared to it.

In all, those early days sure made it look like Copycat was the surer bet—more marketable, more accessible, more palatable.

But actual paying customers, real live audiences—they had their own opinions, separate from the preview audiences, separate from the professional critics.  They voted with their wallets to turn Se7en into the surprise hit—a number one box office topper for four full weeks and an unprecedented haul for a fall release.

Facing the proof that Se7en had won America’s heart, The Chicago Tribune’s Marc Caro speculated jokingly on what kind of movies Hollywood could now be expected to make to cash in on the craze:

“How about Capital Punishment, in which noble detectives trail a serial killer who carves the names of state capitals into his victims.  ‘This one’s Montpelier, and he’s already done Salem and Springfield,’ one cop might intone, ‘There are 47 to go.’  Or The Brady Bunch, in which a cannibalistic killer preys on victims named Bobby, Cindy, Peter, Jan, Greg, Marcia. . .

Those scenarios couldn’t sound much sillier than the original outlines of the current spate of serial killer movies.  A film in which each victim represents one of the Seven Deadly Sins and is killed in a corresponding fashion?  And this is meant seriously?  Please.”

Caro wasn’t far off the mark.  Indeed Se7en did inspire a number of copycat thrillers (of course, Copycat not being one of them).  This allowed cranky critics to spend the rest of the decade accusing other thrillers of aping Se7en, which must have made for a pleasant change of pace from accusing all thrillers of being Silence of the Lambs clones.

The aspect of Se7en that made for easy mimicry was its gimmicky premise—and in fact, it was the gimmicky premise that provided the marketing team at New Line with the solution to their dilemma.  Faced with the challenge of selling a Brad Pitt film to thriller fans and a thriller to Brad Pitt fans, they opted for a third way and focused all advertising on the film’s central concept.   The Associated Press called it “the unique concept of a serial killer whose victims are paragons not of virtue but the seven deadly sins.”

And so, in the face of Se7en’s indisputable success, and the fact that this success is attributable to its premise, it’s worth asking whether that premise can indeed be called a “unique concept.”  We don’t even have to look for fanciful Brady Bunch parodies to find Se7en’s dopplegangers: eerie and striking parallels can easily be found between 1995’s Se7en and 1971′s The Abominable Dr. Phibes.

Phibes had its origins when writers James Whiton and William Goldstein approached American International Pictures honcho Deke Heyward with a script in which a faceless murderer wreaks revenge inspired by the 10 curses visited upon Pharaoh in the Old Testament: curses of boils, bats, frogs, blood, hail, beasts, rats, locusts, the first born, and darkness.  The killer is one Anton Phibes (Vincent Price) who lost his wife in a car wreck, from which the 9-member medical team attending to her injuries were unable to save her.  Just how Phibes squares his 10 curses with 9 victims is a point of comparison with Se7en explored below.

Producer Heyward was facing a marketing challenge not dissimilar to that faced by New Line—he had a film that seemed to fall between two opposing camps.  On the one hand, Phibes seemed gruesome and mean-spirited, and on the other it leaned towards spoofy comedy.  So, he embraced that dissonance and worked with director Robert Fuest to emphasize the dark humor and campy overtones.  Fuest came from a background on TV’s The Avengers, and knew how to strike just the right balance between ridiculous and terrifying.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes was a tremdous hit for AIP—and a much-needed one at a difficult juncture—and the one true “monster” role for Vincent Price.  It sired a sequel, Dr. Phibes Rises Again, and seemed ready to spawn a whole franchise.  Brides of Phibes and Dr. Phibes in the Holy Land were discussed, as was an NBC television series, but Heyward left AIP in 1972 and without his idiosyncratic commitment to absurdity, the Phibes concept fizzled.  Price did star in Phibes-ish roles in films that were undoubtedly inspired by Fuest and Heyward’s kooky thriller (see Theater of Blood).

Se7en screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker had been working at a Tower Records in Manhattan as a video store clerk when he was writing Se7en.  One reviwer, Dan Craft, wondered astutely in a 1995 article whether Walker had happened to rent Phibes around that time—but aside from idle speculation, there is no evidence that Walker took any direct inspiration from Phibes.  Perhaps Phibes worked some unconscious influence on Walker at some formative moment in his past, perhaps the similarities are mere coincidence.  Nevertheless, the similarities are there—and they run deeper than you might think.

Structurally, both films adhere to the same blueprint:   a serial killer is following an arcane and complex religiously-inspired pattern for his murders, which are committed ritualistically and outlandishly.  At first, with but a few bodies, the detective who believes the crimes to be part of a linked pattern is ignored or derided by his superiors on the police force.  As the body count rises, his fears are confirmed.

In both films, the killer is somewhat anonymous.  Anton Phibes is a dead man with a prosthetic face and a mechanical voicebox; John Doe has no discernable identity beyond the meaningless name has given himself.  Each is a literally self-made man.

In both films, the detectives gain their first qualified break in the case when they use religious traditions to probe the psychology of the killer.  Detective Trout (Peter Jeffrey) traces the manufacture of Phibes’ ritual amulets and thereby gets the first crucial clues that lead him to identify the late Dr. Phibes as his prime suspect.  Somerset and Mills, meanwhile, run an illegal check on who’s been reading library books on the seven deadly sins, and thereby gain Doe’s “name” and address.

The tone and effect of the two films could not be more different.  Phibes plays for macabre laughs what Se7en milks for skin-crawling horror.  But Phibes leavens its campy comedy with occasional moments of genuine horror, while Se7en inserts occasional comic relief in between its darkest passages.  Phibes is told from the perspective of the killer, obsessing over the details of each bizarre murder but skimping on the details of the investigation.  Se7en spends its screen time with the cops, using mere suggestion to hint at the rarely-seen details of the murders.  Phibes is a colorful, Art Nouveau-comic book; Se7en borders on black and white but without the white part.

There is one last point of connection between the two that needs to be mentioned, but I hesitate because I don’t like spoilers, and although I’ve taken it as read that you’ve seen Se7en, its finale ought not to be ruined for anyone who hasn’t seen it.  So, if you’re a Se7en newbie, sign off now and read no further, please.

OK—those of you left, that ending is a doozy, ain’t it?  When Andrew Kevin Walker first wrote the script, he did so as a sample to show off his writing abilities to prospective employers.  He never entertained the nutty idea that anyone might actually make that movie.  But Brad Pitt read the screenplay and stormed into New Line to demand the film be made, and that it be made without any blinkered tinkering with the ending.  He fought against any inclination to replace the downbeat ending with any generic cops-n-robbers shootout or other such ending. Pitt was the movie’s angel, and the reason for its most disturbing aspect.

Now, had Pitt relented, had the movie ended differently, I might be more inclined to disregard the similarities with Phibes as a mere curio.  But, well, let’s see how Phibes ends:

I said before there were 9 victims and 10 curses.  Actually, there are 8 victims and 10 curses.  There were 9 members of the surgical team in the operating room when his wife died, and all 9 were targeted, but he only kills 8.  With the last 2 curses to go, Phibes kidnaps the son of the head surgeon, Vesalius (Jospeh Cotton)—this is the curse of the first born.  He locks the kid into a contraption rigged to dissolve his body in a flow of acid, unless Vesalius can unlock him in time.  The key however is inside the boy—so Vesalius has to operate on his son, using the same surgical skill that failed to save Mrs. Phibes, to save his son.  Either way, win or lose, Vesalius will live—Phibes makes no move on him directly.  The attack is on Vesalius’ loved ones, to make him lose someone he loves.

The parallel to John Doe’s attack on Mills’ wife is obvious—Doe has no intention of killing his chief antagonist.  His goal is to hurt his chief antagonist, to make him lose someone he loves.

It continues:

While Vesalius tinkers with surgical tools, keys, and acid baths to save his son, Dr. Phibes retreats to his underground lair and embalms himself.  The final curse of darkness, the tenth curse, is his own death.

Again, Se7en tracks the same trajectory—the final murder in Doe’s cycle is Doe’s own death, which he engineered as a companion piece to the attack on Mrs. Mills.

Both Phibes and Doe conclude their work with their own self-destruction; both Vesalius and Mills are allowed to live.

By design or accident, Andrew Kevin Walker’s “unique concept” follows the same structure as a Vincent Price flick made 24 years earlier.  Recognizing this heritage takes away nothing from Se7en’s achievements—it is a testament to the respective skills of the various filmmakers that such similar source material could be turned into two such arresting yet radically different motion pictures.

If Phibes is not Se7en’s ancestor, it is clearly its antecedent.

0 Response Seven vs. Dr. Phibes
Posted By Tom S : July 14, 2012 2:42 pm

I’m normally someone who is not in the least concerned about spoilers- if I like a movie, I’ll watch it more than once, and spoilers don’t mean anything after the initial viewing- but [b]Seven[/b] is the one big exception. The tension of the scene at the end, where you know something horrific is going to happen, but you don’t even know what kind of a thing it will be, is unbelievable (all the more so for being perhaps the first scene in the movie set in sunny daylight, away from Gotham-esque leering buildings and pouring rain.) You’ve seen the rest of the movie, and you know whatever’s coming is going to hurt, but you’ve got no clue of how it’s going to happen.

That moment is spoilable. The specifics don’t even matter much, but losing the tension of not knowing at all, and feeling as vulnerable as Pitt and Freeman’s characters, would be a terrible shame.

The funny thing is- Fincher seems to have expected that part to be spoiled. He mentions in the commentary his expectation that people will know the movie by it, by catching that scene on TV late at night.

Posted By Tom S : July 14, 2012 2:42 pm

I’m normally someone who is not in the least concerned about spoilers- if I like a movie, I’ll watch it more than once, and spoilers don’t mean anything after the initial viewing- but [b]Seven[/b] is the one big exception. The tension of the scene at the end, where you know something horrific is going to happen, but you don’t even know what kind of a thing it will be, is unbelievable (all the more so for being perhaps the first scene in the movie set in sunny daylight, away from Gotham-esque leering buildings and pouring rain.) You’ve seen the rest of the movie, and you know whatever’s coming is going to hurt, but you’ve got no clue of how it’s going to happen.

That moment is spoilable. The specifics don’t even matter much, but losing the tension of not knowing at all, and feeling as vulnerable as Pitt and Freeman’s characters, would be a terrible shame.

The funny thing is- Fincher seems to have expected that part to be spoiled. He mentions in the commentary his expectation that people will know the movie by it, by catching that scene on TV late at night.

Posted By swac44 : July 14, 2012 4:44 pm

Just wondering if anyone got a chance to catch Se7en in one of those special “silver nitrate” prints (or whatever it is that was special about them)? I believe the Criterion laserdisc was transferred to mirror the appearance of those copies of the film, and I don’t know if any subsequent version of it has really tried to capture that look.

Sad to think that the photochemical art will soon be a thing of the pass, even if you can get any look you want in the digital realm.

Posted By swac44 : July 14, 2012 4:44 pm

Just wondering if anyone got a chance to catch Se7en in one of those special “silver nitrate” prints (or whatever it is that was special about them)? I believe the Criterion laserdisc was transferred to mirror the appearance of those copies of the film, and I don’t know if any subsequent version of it has really tried to capture that look.

Sad to think that the photochemical art will soon be a thing of the pass, even if you can get any look you want in the digital realm.

Posted By Susan Doll : July 15, 2012 11:50 am

COPYCAT is actually a very good film, especially in terms of the depiction of women. The two female leads were thoughtfully cast, not only because they are good actors, but because they are the opposite in type and appearance. And, there is some interesting gender reversal going on that makes you re-think archetypal characters not unlike those used in SEVEN. As usual, reviewers failed to bring up these aspects of COPYCAT. Over 70% of film reviewers are male; wonder if there is connection.

Posted By Susan Doll : July 15, 2012 11:50 am

COPYCAT is actually a very good film, especially in terms of the depiction of women. The two female leads were thoughtfully cast, not only because they are good actors, but because they are the opposite in type and appearance. And, there is some interesting gender reversal going on that makes you re-think archetypal characters not unlike those used in SEVEN. As usual, reviewers failed to bring up these aspects of COPYCAT. Over 70% of film reviewers are male; wonder if there is connection.

Posted By Juana Maria : July 15, 2012 2:49 pm

I was pretty excited to see Dr. Phibes in the title! My twin sister and I stayed up til quite late watching that film! We have watched it a few times on Amctv and TCM. It is weird,but my sister and I just can’t stay away from Vincent Price’s movies for some reason!

Posted By Juana Maria : July 15, 2012 2:49 pm

I was pretty excited to see Dr. Phibes in the title! My twin sister and I stayed up til quite late watching that film! We have watched it a few times on Amctv and TCM. It is weird,but my sister and I just can’t stay away from Vincent Price’s movies for some reason!

Posted By robbushblog : July 17, 2012 11:16 am

*****SPOILER ALERT*****

I saw Se7en on opening night. It was a fantastic movie-watching experience. Women screamed. It was very exciting. The first time they showed John Doe, down at the end of the hallway, in trenchcoat and hat, I turned to my friend, and after having recently seen The Usual Suspects about two weeks prior I stated, “It’s Keyser Soze!”. Am I good or what?

Posted By robbushblog : July 17, 2012 11:16 am

*****SPOILER ALERT*****

I saw Se7en on opening night. It was a fantastic movie-watching experience. Women screamed. It was very exciting. The first time they showed John Doe, down at the end of the hallway, in trenchcoat and hat, I turned to my friend, and after having recently seen The Usual Suspects about two weeks prior I stated, “It’s Keyser Soze!”. Am I good or what?

Posted By swac44 : July 17, 2012 2:32 pm

I’ll never forget my preview screening of Se7en, it was a rainy night and I was rushing to get to the theatre, and slipped on some stone steps turned slick from the water, and took quite a tumble. I kept on my way to the theatre, and as the film progressed, I noticed a sharp, stabbing pain in my side. Turned out I had cracked a rib in my fall, but didn’t start to feel the injury until after the adrenalin had worn off. Had to go straight from the theatre to emergency, but I really sympathized with those scenes where Brad Pitt was getting the crap kicked out of him.

Posted By swac44 : July 17, 2012 2:32 pm

I’ll never forget my preview screening of Se7en, it was a rainy night and I was rushing to get to the theatre, and slipped on some stone steps turned slick from the water, and took quite a tumble. I kept on my way to the theatre, and as the film progressed, I noticed a sharp, stabbing pain in my side. Turned out I had cracked a rib in my fall, but didn’t start to feel the injury until after the adrenalin had worn off. Had to go straight from the theatre to emergency, but I really sympathized with those scenes where Brad Pitt was getting the crap kicked out of him.

Posted By D20thCenturyFox : July 17, 2012 9:23 pm

I saw Dr. Phibes first run in Atlanta at the fabulous Fox Theater. It was a fantastic experience. No Pit and the Pendulum but still priceless.

Posted By D20thCenturyFox : July 17, 2012 9:23 pm

I saw Dr. Phibes first run in Atlanta at the fabulous Fox Theater. It was a fantastic experience. No Pit and the Pendulum but still priceless.

Posted By Juana Maria : July 18, 2012 1:02 pm

D20thCenturyFox:I loved “the Pit & the Pendulum” the first time I ever saw it on AMCtv. I have afore mentioned my love for Price’s films..so I’m not unbiased about his work. I thought he was so funny in “Masque of the Red Death”,especially in comparision to Ingmar Bergman’s “Seventh Seal”. That is probably my only favorite Swedish film!
Robbushblog(aka Duke Roberts):Hey! I too have watched “the Usual Suspects”,only for Gabriel Bryne. Which reminds me,Gabriel Bryne and Stephen Baldwin are both in “The Usual Suspects” as well as “A Simple Twist of Fate”,an emotionally moving and beautifully made movie. Watch it! The title for “the Usual Suspects” comes from a line near the end of “Casablanca” where Claude Raines character,Captain Louis Renault says for them to round up the usual suspects. Of course this is right after Captain Renault has himself shot and killed the Nazi,Major Heinrich Strasser,played by Conrad Veidt. Conrad Veidt portrayed Nazis quite often in his film career but in real life he and his wife had fled Germany because of the Nazis. I have always found it strange when those who had no simpathies for the Nazis or their Party portrayed them on screen. Especially,if the actors are Jews,such as Werner Klemperer,who played Col.Klink on “Hogan’s Heroes” and a Nazi in the film “Judgment at Nurenburg”. I have always liked the acting of Peter O’Toole and Ralph Finnes,but not when they don the uniforms of Nazis for the films,”Night of the Generals” and “Schindler’s List”. Those were powerful films,but I still can’t watch all of “Schindler’s List”. It is too brutal! I can’t bring myself to watch “Se7en” either,despite the fact that hunky Brad Pitt is in the film!

Posted By Juana Maria : July 18, 2012 1:02 pm

D20thCenturyFox:I loved “the Pit & the Pendulum” the first time I ever saw it on AMCtv. I have afore mentioned my love for Price’s films..so I’m not unbiased about his work. I thought he was so funny in “Masque of the Red Death”,especially in comparision to Ingmar Bergman’s “Seventh Seal”. That is probably my only favorite Swedish film!
Robbushblog(aka Duke Roberts):Hey! I too have watched “the Usual Suspects”,only for Gabriel Bryne. Which reminds me,Gabriel Bryne and Stephen Baldwin are both in “The Usual Suspects” as well as “A Simple Twist of Fate”,an emotionally moving and beautifully made movie. Watch it! The title for “the Usual Suspects” comes from a line near the end of “Casablanca” where Claude Raines character,Captain Louis Renault says for them to round up the usual suspects. Of course this is right after Captain Renault has himself shot and killed the Nazi,Major Heinrich Strasser,played by Conrad Veidt. Conrad Veidt portrayed Nazis quite often in his film career but in real life he and his wife had fled Germany because of the Nazis. I have always found it strange when those who had no simpathies for the Nazis or their Party portrayed them on screen. Especially,if the actors are Jews,such as Werner Klemperer,who played Col.Klink on “Hogan’s Heroes” and a Nazi in the film “Judgment at Nurenburg”. I have always liked the acting of Peter O’Toole and Ralph Finnes,but not when they don the uniforms of Nazis for the films,”Night of the Generals” and “Schindler’s List”. Those were powerful films,but I still can’t watch all of “Schindler’s List”. It is too brutal! I can’t bring myself to watch “Se7en” either,despite the fact that hunky Brad Pitt is in the film!

Posted By Nick : July 19, 2012 4:47 am

The real *spoiler* of Se7en for me was – and continues to be – Brad Pitt’s
performance. At no time did he ever seem to be a real cop, much less one who’s made it to the rank of detective, regardless of his character’s prior place of employment – unless it was early 1960′s Mayberry, and Andy had begrudgingly hired him as a favor to Goober. Even then, Pitt’s “Detective” Mills naivete and gangly disheveledness, compounded by the snorts and sniffles of Early Pitt, destroys even the most superficial aspects of his attempts at portraying a detective, and there are moments when he seems to be off in another movie. One of Pitt’s most awkward scenes seems to be improvised, as he’s bent over a lamp table – I think – frustratingly acting out the figurative buggering he believes he and Detective Somerset are receiving from the killer
- even though the case is only about a day and a half old! How Fincher – given his reputation – allowed what appears to be a filmed moment of improvised rehearsal

Posted By Nick : July 19, 2012 4:47 am

The real *spoiler* of Se7en for me was – and continues to be – Brad Pitt’s
performance. At no time did he ever seem to be a real cop, much less one who’s made it to the rank of detective, regardless of his character’s prior place of employment – unless it was early 1960′s Mayberry, and Andy had begrudgingly hired him as a favor to Goober. Even then, Pitt’s “Detective” Mills naivete and gangly disheveledness, compounded by the snorts and sniffles of Early Pitt, destroys even the most superficial aspects of his attempts at portraying a detective, and there are moments when he seems to be off in another movie. One of Pitt’s most awkward scenes seems to be improvised, as he’s bent over a lamp table – I think – frustratingly acting out the figurative buggering he believes he and Detective Somerset are receiving from the killer
- even though the case is only about a day and a half old! How Fincher – given his reputation – allowed what appears to be a filmed moment of improvised rehearsal

Posted By robbushblog : July 19, 2012 9:10 pm

“What’s in the box?”

Posted By robbushblog : July 19, 2012 9:10 pm

“What’s in the box?”

Posted By Juana Maria : July 20, 2012 8:54 pm

Robbusblog: Gweneth Paltrow’s head! I have never seen the whole movie personally,but the ending was revealed on one of those VH1 shows-”I love the 90′s”.
Nick:You have very strong opinions and emotions don’t you? That’s Ok I do too. I still think and will probably always think that Brad Pitt is hunky! I never noticed his sniffling and snorting that you mentioned. Hmm? Maybe because I was in a daze every time he comes on screen? Ha ha.

Posted By Juana Maria : July 20, 2012 8:54 pm

Robbusblog: Gweneth Paltrow’s head! I have never seen the whole movie personally,but the ending was revealed on one of those VH1 shows-”I love the 90′s”.
Nick:You have very strong opinions and emotions don’t you? That’s Ok I do too. I still think and will probably always think that Brad Pitt is hunky! I never noticed his sniffling and snorting that you mentioned. Hmm? Maybe because I was in a daze every time he comes on screen? Ha ha.

Posted By Leopoldine Konstantin : July 24, 2012 12:22 am

I saw SE7EN with a friend when it first played theatrically. It was a dark, creepy film to see on a dark, creepy night. When we left the theater, and started walking up Broadway (this was in NYC), we noticed something on the ground. It turned out to be money, rolled up really tight like a cigarette. We unraveled the money to reveal….seven dollar bills! Strange, but true!

Posted By Leopoldine Konstantin : July 24, 2012 12:22 am

I saw SE7EN with a friend when it first played theatrically. It was a dark, creepy film to see on a dark, creepy night. When we left the theater, and started walking up Broadway (this was in NYC), we noticed something on the ground. It turned out to be money, rolled up really tight like a cigarette. We unraveled the money to reveal….seven dollar bills! Strange, but true!

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