Join 3,557 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


This is what happens, Larry.
April 5, 2013 10:11 AM   Subscribe

This is what happens when you pay a stranger to kidnap you.
posted by gauche (58 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've seen this movie before. Wasn't it called: "The Game"?
posted by Fizz at 10:19 AM on April 5, 2013


I thought this was going to be about another cruise ship fiasco.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:19 AM on April 5, 2013 [10 favorites]


The final par redeems the idea for the piece (and maybe the writer too).
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:21 AM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


This must be something people who've never been kidnapped do.

People can be strange to me sometimes.
posted by _paegan_ at 10:23 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think I understand why the market for something like this exists but I wonder how genuinely satisfying it is to someone who is really seeking the experience of being kidnapped. I don't think I'd ever be able to move past the knowledge that I arranged for it and that I wouldn't be taken past my comfort level. It almost seems like engaging in some sort of BDSM with someone who has seen a few cheesy movies scenes and uses that flawed image as a basis of "expertise".

Or maybe I'm just cynical.
posted by ElDiabloConQueso at 10:25 AM on April 5, 2013


I've seen this movie before. Wasn't it called: "The Game"?

As mentioned in the article, yes, that was the company's founder's inspiration.

Drew Margary's "Deleted Scenes" from the article.
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:26 AM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've seen this movie before. Wasn't it called: "The Game"?
posted by Fizz at 10:19 AM on April 5 [+] [!]


From TFA:

Thick founded Extreme Kidnapping in 2002 after being inspired by the old David Fincher movie The Game.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:27 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


fidelio

I believe the author was inspired by an entirely different movie.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:28 AM on April 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


> My gut reactions are: (1) it's a callous waste of money; and (2) you'll never have anything close to the "authentic" experience.

That seems about right.
posted by Panjandrum at 10:30 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just assumed this was a sex thing.
posted by The Whelk at 10:31 AM on April 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


Right, but like...isn't this about sex? Like, this is a thing people do because they think it's sexy. Except that doesn't seem to be the motivation? So I am confuse.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 10:32 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thick founded Extreme Kidnapping in 2002 after being inspired by the old David Fincher movie The Game.

Highlight of the article for me...
"Spoiler Alert: It was all a game."
posted by hwyengr at 10:33 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


How much more does it cost to be rescued by a team of burly men who carry you to safety in their strong arms?
posted by orme at 10:35 AM on April 5, 2013 [19 favorites]


Considering its all fake, why not set up a side business where you can get kidnapped/rescued by specific characters? " I want to be roughed by a bunch of Slytherin and then saved by a crack jack team of X-Men."
posted by The Whelk at 10:38 AM on April 5, 2013 [34 favorites]


It didn't really sound all that scary and/or thrilling. It mostly just sounded uncomfortable. If I want to sit in my own piss all night I can do that without paying J. Walter Weatherman $1500.00.
posted by bondcliff at 10:41 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


For an extra $500, will they cut-off a finger and mail it to your loved ones?
posted by Thorzdad at 10:46 AM on April 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


$1500 really seems kind of cut rate here. You have two "kidnappers" to pay, rent on the abandoned warehouse to hold the victim, duct tape, possibly piranha. There is hardly any money in this at all.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:46 AM on April 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Considering its all fake, why not set up a side business where you can get kidnapped/rescued by specific characters? " I want to be roughed by a bunch of Slytherin and then saved by a crack jack team of X-Men."

What happens in between is this afternoon's fanfic writing prompt!
posted by KingEdRa at 10:47 AM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have long had the idea that if I win the Lottery, I will hire a black-ops SWAT team to "rescue" me from work. We will all be sitting in our cubes typing away, when suddenly the windows shatter inward as commandos rappel down the glass walls and into the room. They will toss a couple of smoke grenades into the aisles, then grab me and whisk me away to the now open window, hook me to a line, then toss me out into the air, where a hovering helicopter will then reel me in and zoom away with me trailing behind, never to be seen again.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:48 AM on April 5, 2013 [64 favorites]


The MetroTimes story from 2003.
posted by klangklangston at 10:49 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


$1500 really seems kind of cut rate here. You have two "kidnappers" to pay, rent on the abandoned warehouse to hold the victim, duct tape, possibly piranha. There is hardly any money in this at all.

There are lots of kidnapping jobs, but lazy Americans don't want to do them. Or that's what John Stossel says, at least.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:59 AM on April 5, 2013 [10 favorites]


I have long had the idea that if I win the Lottery, I will hire a black-ops SWAT team to "rescue" me from work. We will all be sitting in our cubes typing away, when suddenly the windows shatter inward as commandos rappel down the glass walls and into the room.

For a little more $$$, I bet you could probably get Robert DeNiro to make a live appearance as Harry Buttle Tuttle, too.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:02 AM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


You have two "kidnappers" to pay, rent on the abandoned warehouse to hold the victim, duct tape, possibly piranha. There is hardly any money in this at all.

$1500 goes a lot further in Detroit.
posted by maryr at 11:03 AM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think it would be interesting/horrifying to try to explain this service to someone who lives in a developing world?

"You pay someone to do this to you?"
posted by Fizz at 11:03 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Eh, BDSM communities have been doing this for years, much more cheaply and with, I think, probably a greater sense of fun. I get the desire to know your own limits and put yourself through tough things, but I bet you could turn up to a couple of munches and find three or four nice people to do the same thing just for set-up costs and maybe if you bought them lunch afterward.

That being said, I would totally "kidnap" someone for $1500 so I guess I can't blame the guy for making a buck in an interesting way.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:06 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


"$1500 really seems kind of cut rate here. You have two "kidnappers" to pay, rent on the abandoned warehouse to hold the victim, duct tape, possibly piranha. There is hardly any money in this at all."

Detroit is an entrepreneur's heaven — the overhead is incredibly low. Hell, I could find two guys to kidnap you for $50 and an abandoned warehouse to hold you in for free. (Now, they might not be bonded in case they kill you, but whatevs. Cash only please.)
posted by klangklangston at 11:07 AM on April 5, 2013


Yeah - I think it's probably relatively cheap to get someone to kidnap you. It's getting them to release you afterwards that gets expensive.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:09 AM on April 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


The econo-kidnapping (“Everyone laughs at that,” Thick protests) costs $500 and lasts up to four hours. The basic kidnapping is $1,000, and lasts up to 12 hours. For those with a limitless imagination and deep pockets, there is the deluxe kidnapping package — price not marked — for the truly elaborate custom kidnapping.

After paying his employees (the girls earn $15 an hour) and deducting expenses like gas, rent for the hideout, and advertising and promotion, Thick profits about $200 from an econo-kidnapping.


I guess $200 for making some calls and doing logistics isn't bad. $15 an hour may be kinda low but I guess some people would pay to tape someone up, shout at them and threaten them with piranha.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:11 AM on April 5, 2013


but I guess some people would pay to tape someone up, shout at them and threaten them with piranha.

So you're familiar with Craig's List then?
posted by Fizz at 11:16 AM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


So you're familiar with Craig's List then?

I remember reading an article in, I think, Savage Love about a gut who answered a Craigslist ad and basically got a job coming to some dude's house, tying him up, eating his food, playing his X-Box, and using all his shit for a few hours. He would do that a few times a week. That's all he did. Nothing else, no sex, nothing. I always thought that sounded like the greatest job in the world.
posted by bondcliff at 11:24 AM on April 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


Do the fricken piranha have fricken laser beams attached to their fricken heads?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:27 AM on April 5, 2013


MetaFilter: so I opened my fly and gingerly pulled out my cock and balls for a little while.



Sorry.
posted by Splunge at 11:27 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Is it going to be unscripted, like Curb?"
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:33 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Always remember your safe word, kids!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:34 AM on April 5, 2013


"At the end of my kidnapping, I got a customer-satisfaction survey."

I think real kidnappers can really learn something here if they expect to continue successfully kidnapping in the future.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:34 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


The US BDSM crowd went through a fashion for elaborate abductions in the mid-nineties.

One of the worst bungled ones I know involved a lesbian extracting someone from the local dyke bar - but the kidnapper picked the wrong person, who resisted, women in the bar joined forces, and I think at least one participant ended up in the ER.

A more successful heist removed someone from the downtown farmer's market. The cover involved posing as film students staging a shoot of a public snatching. Including prior-requested non-assistance from the market's security. The very real shoulder cam had no tape running, but a high point was following the kidnapping van in a chase car through the tourist-thronged streets, the "videographer" leaning out the window with the empty cam.

In a third event, the victim was dragged out of her pickup truck (in front of the same dyke bar as the failed abduction) and bundled into the trunk of a waiting 1974 Volvo sedan before driving away with the pickup in pursuit. The whole time, a blasé Saab driver was impatiently waiting, turn signals blinking, for the parking space. No doubt thinking "Oh, another one of those lesbo kidnapping scenes".

There were many others, but those are some standouts.
posted by Dreidl at 11:41 AM on April 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Considering your entire experience with your kidnapping, how likely would you be to recommend our goons to a friend, colleague, or family member? (0 is not at all likely, 5 is extremely likely)
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:43 AM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


This really does seem like extremely tame BDSM. And from what I read in the article, it didn't even sound like the kidnappers were trying very hard.

But, just another day at work for them, right?
posted by Malice at 11:48 AM on April 5, 2013


In a third event, the victim was dragged out of her pickup truck (in front of the same dyke bar as the failed abduction) and bundled into the trunk of a waiting 1974 Volvo sedan before driving away with the pickup in pursuit. The whole time, a blasé Saab driver was impatiently waiting, turn signals blinking, for the parking space. No doubt thinking "Oh, another one of those lesbo kidnapping scenes".

Just another ho-hum day in Sweden.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:55 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I grew up right down the street from that Lion's Den!


So, there's that.
posted by kbanas at 11:57 AM on April 5, 2013


I guess $200 for making some calls and doing logistics isn't bad. $15 an hour may be kinda low but I guess some people would pay to tape someone up, shout at them and threaten them with piranha.

Considering I've worked recently for 7.45 an hour to make sandwiches and get yelled at by customers and silently seethe in impotent rage... $15/hr sounds pretty good for what you're expected to do.
posted by Debaser626 at 12:03 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Considering its all fake, why not set up a side business where you can get kidnapped/rescued by specific characters? " I want to be roughed by a bunch of Slytherin and then saved by a crack jack team of X-Men."

Extreme Cosplay. I sense a fortune in this. Have your people call my people.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:15 PM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Replace piranha with riding crop and I'll do it for free. Call me.
posted by Splunge at 12:17 PM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Some people just have too much time/money on their hands.
posted by arcticseal at 12:35 PM on April 5, 2013


Most people just have way too little time/money on their hands.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:38 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Geez, what happens when the customer is insane, and instead of going along with the "kidnapping", he pulls an automatic and shoots the people trying to abduct him? A defense of "I hired who to do what?!?!?" might just fly in court, as I don't see this type of operation having a crack team of lawyers writing up ironclad contracts.

Or, what if a 3rd party (or the cops) sees the fake kidnapping go down and decides to stage a violent rescue of the customer?

In any case, I'm going to assume that this service is not backed by any sort of insurance.
posted by sideshow at 12:43 PM on April 5, 2013


They're backed by Allstate, to protect you from Mayhem, like Dean Winters.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:48 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder if you could stage a kidnapping to occur in front of your children to teach a lesson.

"AND THAT'S WHY YOU ALWAYS LEAVE A NOTE!!"
posted by FJT at 12:54 PM on April 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's interesting how defensive the author is about pretending this isn't sexual.
posted by Apropos of Something at 4:05 PM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


This would be better if the timeline were different. Instead of scheduling the kidnapping, it happens at some point in the next, oh, fifty years. It could happen on your way to work, it could happen while you're at the grocery store, it could happen in the middle of the night. That'd make this far more exciting, and has the added bonus of potentially never having to actually kidnap someone, since the stress would kill them within a half-dozen years or so.
posted by punchtothehead at 4:32 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Or, what if a 3rd party (or the cops) sees the fake kidnapping go down and decides to stage a violent rescue of the customer?

See above, about the failed abduction and bar brawl, or why the kidnapping crew covered themselves as a low-budget film shoot.
posted by Dreidl at 5:45 PM on April 5, 2013


"the fact is that we live in an age when a normal life simply isn't enough for many Americans. If you watch enough movies and TV (as I do), you end up yearning for a life that is more cinematic than blissful. Experiences are the newest, hottest luxury items."

See, I totally understand and agree with that. I just don't think kidnapping would be on my list of things to playact. I'd rather do "I Am A Secret Agent" or "I Have Magical Powers and Whup Supernatural Ass", thanks. Who's gonna set that up for me?

*crickets*
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:29 PM on April 5, 2013


Seriously, you can't even buy a good Vampire-Slaying holiday.

Screw this land.
posted by The Whelk at 10:01 PM on April 5, 2013


Instead of The Game, might I suggest watching Bill Murray in The Man Who Knew Too Little?

Or was I really the only one who really loved it?
posted by ShutterBun at 10:46 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


> "I'd rather do 'I Am A Secret Agent' or 'I Have Magical Powers and Whup Supernatural Ass', thanks. Who's gonna set that up for me?"

... Isn't this basically the entire concept of LARPing?
posted by kyrademon at 9:48 AM on April 6, 2013


Expensive, logistically complex LARPing!
posted by The Whelk at 9:50 AM on April 6, 2013


No, ShutterBun, you are not alone. I also loved The Man Who Knew Too Little.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:22 PM on April 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Drama queens!
posted by SteelDancin at 5:09 AM on April 14, 2013


« Older The Southern Poverty Law Centre has produced its a...  |  Does it at low temp (122 deg F... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments