When I saw the posters for SuckerPunch, my first thought was “Lesbians!” My second thought was “Oh boy, now I get to go to the movies ‘cause there’s finally another one-word, starts-with-an-S film coming out!” But I was cruelly deceived. Ambiguous spacing on advertisements notwithstanding, SuckerPunch is actually supposed to be two separate words, at least according to my ticket, IMDB, and everyone who isn’t the spatially-challenged designer of those posters. But since the only thing I hate more than violating my overly-specific and totally arbitrary movie-watching rules is wasting money, I decided to watch anyway.
One could say many things about SuckerPunch (which I will spell this way until the day I die or until I have no fingers like this girl, but without the stalwart determination needed to teach myself how to type with a stump). One could say that it is Zack Snyder’s best film, or that it starred the greatest actresses of our generation, or that it was about a colony of pacifist ant farmers in New Zealand. One could say any of these things, but that wouldn’t make any of them true.*
With a budget of $82 million, we would expect to see something technologically innovative come out of this movie. Maybe not a cure for cancer, but at least a way to annoy cancer somewhat. While poking cancer with a stick remains our best option in that arena, SuckerPunch did put a substantial chunk of its budget toward advancing technology to make our lives better.
Co-writer and director Zack Snyder decided early on to put approximately $51 million of the film’s budget toward research and development of false eyelash technology. He recognized the importance of impossibly-large-looking eyes not only as the director of a film whose stated purpose was to cause the entire nation of Japan to climax simultaneously (that plan backfired, didn’t it?**), but also as a man who knows that just about every part of a woman’s body should be made artificially bigger, longer, or otherwise different than it currently is. Listen up, ladies: just because we’ve been harping on breasts and butts for the last 20 years, doesn’t mean no one’s noticed your woefully inadequate eyelid fringe. No, mascara won’t cut it, sweetheart. You really should just rip them out and start over. Luckily, Zack Snyder is here to help.
Anywho, so SuckerPunch tells the story of a lovely, young pair of eyelashes cursed with the mother of all evil stepfathers (metaphorically, not biologically). He kills her mother and her sister and conspires with a corrupt orderly to drug and ultimately lobotomize the pure, innocent lashes. In the asylum, the pair of lashes makes friends with other pairs of lashes that aren’t as big, but still much, much bigger than any eyelashes you’ve seen before. It turns out the heroine pair of lashes is so big and awesome, she actually has super powers that don’t really make any sense when you think about them, but that are pretty entertaining if you don’t. She sets about planning a dramatic escape that surprisingly doesn’t involve them batting their eyelashes until they fly away, over the asylum walls to freedom.
Snyder originally planned to work with Industrial Light and Magic to develop the cutting-edge false lashes required to make the SuckerPunch dream a reality, but after repeated awkward run-ins with Michael Bay in the men’s room, Snyder decided to start his own independent eyelash research lab. With his $51 million budget, he was able to attract talent that had previously been engaged with stem cell research and Alzheimer’s treatment development. He also engaged a nanobot swarm that he trained to attach the lashes in the most secure and realistic way possible (essentially using spider thread to stitch the false lashes one at a time into your actual eyelid).
The lab experimented with every possible material, from tungsten to sea cucumber hair to ergot of rye to streptococci husks (Snyder refuses to reveal what material was ultimately used for the film, but I hear the Libyans are looking for him). Snyder said he deliberately did not get involved in any efforts to enhance women’s natural lashes. “I had a girlfriend a while ago who tried that Latisse stuff,” he told the New York Times. “It turned her eyelid all brown, so I had to break up with her. You really shouldn’t mess with nature, you know, especially when you can just replace it.”
Although Snyder claims there are no plans to make a SuckerPunch sequel, he did say that he feels there are endless possibilities for false lashes to take on more and more prominent roles in films. “What I have done will change cinema forever,” he told reporters. His influence may extend much further than that as it has been rumored that Snyder’s lab, the Center for Artificial Female Eyelash Enhancement or "CAFEE", will soon begin producing commercially available false eyelashes for any women who want to look like they have giant bat wings growing out of their eyes.
*It was still better than Inception.