those seven tired words
‘my legs! i can’t move my legs!’
return to haunt me
There is a certain cliché which turns up in dramas with alarming regularity, sometimes in hospital wards where a patient has been paralysed, or in action films where some character has been shot in the back or pinned to the floor by the body of a large dead carnivore or an Emmerdale tractor.
‘My legs!’ they cry. ‘I can’t move my legs!’
This well-worn phrase was dragged out again this week on Doctor Who, a show not normally prone to sloppy dialogue.
Two soldiers, investigating the nether regions of a factory complex, were confronted by a Sontaran who fired an electrical charge at one of the soldier’s legs.
‘My legs! I can’t move my legs!’ he screamed, unaware of the semiological history of the phrase. It’s something which has passed into the unconscious memory of our culture, transmitted to all of us as a meme and has since no doubt been said many times in real situations of leg immobility.
Its status as a cliché was highlighted in the nineteen-seventies in ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ where, toward the end, the protagonists are held immobile by Frank N Furter’s sonic transducer.
‘My legs! I can’t move my legs!’ cries Brad.
‘My wheels! I can’t move my wheels!’ responds the wheelchair-bound Dr Everett Scott, which tends to suggest that even then the phrase was one which the audience would recognise.
Later, we were treated to the cinematic experience that is Lindsay Lohan in the Golden Raspberry Award winning film ‘I Know Who Killed Me!’ The film won ‘Worst Film, Worst Actress (a tie between Lindsay Lohan as Aubrey and Lindsay Lohan as Dakota), Worst Screen Couple (Lindsay Lohan and Lindsay Lohan) Worst Remake or Rip-off (Rip-Off of Hostel, Saw and The Patty Duke Show), Worst Director, Worst Screenplay and Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie.
Is it that bad? Well, yes it is. Ultimately it makes no sense whatsoever and one is left guessing why the murderer surrounds himself with blue ‘things’ and has a room full of artificial limbs. I’ve seen worse actresses than Lindsay Lohan, but not often in big budget productions.