Saturday, May 7, 1994

Beanie Babies

We see the front of a toy shop. DER KINDERSPIEL or sumpin like that. Black-and-white footage.


PETER LORRE is dusting the shelves. Ding. A bell rings. A child comes in. She looks around.

INGA: Hey! Ya gotta any Beanie Babies?

PETER: No. What are Beanie Babies?

INGA: They're cute little plush toys, stoopid! Their little bellies are stuffed with beans!

He considers the thought.

PETER: S-stuffed with beans?

He shudders

PETER: That's sickening. No. I don't carry Beanie Babies. I am not interested in fads. I carry only classic toys. Get out of my store!

INGA: Jerk.

The bell rings. PETER LORRE looks up as another little girl walks in.

HELGA: Ya got any Beanie Babies?

PETER: No! I don't have any Beanie Babies! I will never have any Beanie Babies! From now until the end of time!


The store is now stuffed with a feeding frenzy of giggling children. It's also stuffed with Beanie Babies. The kids are buying them as fast as he can restock them. PETER LORRE is making tons of money -- but he's miserable. He looks at the clock on the wall.

PETER: OK, that's it! Closing time! Everyone get out of here!

An adorable little girl holds up a Beanie Baby.

EVA: But I just want to ...

PETER: No! It's too late! No more buying and selling! I'm tired of making money! It's closing time! My shop is officially closed!

Later ...

PETER LORRE is alone in the store. The shelves are, once again, filled with Beanie Babies. He's just finished restocking. Tomorrow, he'll do the same thing.

PETER: (muttering to himself) Stuffed with beans. Their little bellies are stuffed with beans.

He begins to sweat. His eyes dart around nervously.

From his POV, we see various Beanie Babies. They all seem sinister. All seem like they're looking at him.

PETER: Oh. I know what you're doing. You can't fool me. You pretend to be toys. But you're ALIVE! You're always watching me! You're always following me. You! You little skunk thing. You weren't on that shelf before! You've moved! I know!

His eyes dart back and forth. Faster and faster.

PETER: No. That's just crazy talk. Ha. My imagination is getting the best of me. They're only toys. Harmless toys. (laughs) They can't hurt me. They're not alive. Their little bellies are filled with beans!

His eyes dart back and forth. Faster and faster.

Back to LORRE's POV. More paranoid glimpses of Beanie Babies. The editing rhythm speeds up. Expressionist camera angles, weird diagonal shadows.

LORRE: Stop looking at me!


PETER LORRE is waiting on a bench at a tram stop. GERTA, a fat, kindly, old German woman, sits next to him.

GERTA: Your shop is doing quite well, I hear.

PETER: Yes. Financially.

GERTA: Ja. The little kinder do love those Beanie Babies.

He shudders.

PETER: Yes. (barely containing his hysteria) The darling little monsters with their parent's money clutched in their tiny little fists.

GERTA: Der kinder are so wonderful, ja. You are making them happy!

PETER: Yes. That's true. I am spreading happiness and joy. I am spreading Beanie Beanies. Like an infection. The Beanie Babies. They love them so much. That's all I sell now. I am making so much money!

GERTA: (chortles) Ja. Money talks.

PETER: Yes, it does. It's true. Money is talking to me! I can hear it! Right now! It's whispering in my ear!

She edges away from him.

PETER: Do you know what it's saying?


PETER: Money is commanding me: "Sell the Beanie Babies. Fill your store with Beanie Babies!" I obey, yes. Like the cringing slave I am. What else can I do? It's the capitalist system! The Invisible Hand, forcing me against my will. The children want those hideous things! They pay obscene amounts of money. I must obey! I must sell Beanie Babies!

GERTA: Ja. Well. I'll suppose you'll be selling them for the rest of your life.

PETER: Yes. There's no way out

He buries his face in his hands. Trapped.

Then looks up with a psychotic gleam in his eye.

PETER: Or is there?


PETER LORRE Watches with feral joy on his face as a raging fire consumes the store.

PETER: Now I am free! Free!

Police and fireman appear.

POLICEMAN: Sorry about your store, sir.

PETER: I'm not sorry. I did it!

POLICEMAN: We never said you ...

PETER: No, it's true! I did it! I started the fire! Don't you see? Now I'm free!

He dances insanely.

Time has obviously passed. The store is now a burned-out, smoking shell. PETER LORRE is still standing there.

More police appear. Along with the men in the white coats.

PETER: Take me away! Yes, I did it!

POLICEMAN: Of course you, did.

PETER: No. I admit it! I started the fire! Lock me up. Lock me up where I'm safe! I don't care! I'm free! Don't you see?

The MEN IN WHITE COATS grab him. Drag him over to an ambulance.

PETER: The Beanie Babies can't hurt me anymore, no. For I have killed them!

He laughs insanely as they stuff him into the ambulance.

It turns on its old school European siren and drives away.

The nuthouse resembles the one in "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari." More weird, expressionist shadows and camera angles. Orderlies march PETER LORRE down the hall. Take him into an office.


Lorre sits on a couch. A PSYCHIATRIST sits in a leather chair with a notebook and pen.

PETER: Your coat is so white and clean and scientific! Your beard is so pointy! I'm filled with a sense of confidence already. Are you going to examine my mind? Are you going to get your fingers dirty?

PSYCHIATRIST: We're going to talk.

PETER: Oh. That's wonderful! I love talking!

PSYCHIATRIST: Yes, Mister Lorre. Well. Let us talk about the Beanie Babies.


He curls up in a fetal position.

PETER: I don't want to talk about the beanie babies.

PSYCHIATRIST: Are you afraid of them?

PETER: No, of course not. I'm not afraid of them. I'm not a child!


PETER: I hate them.


PETER: The Beanie Babies. Yes. I hate them! I hate them so much!

PSYCHIATRIST: Why do you hate them?

PETER: Because I hate them!


PETER: Why, why. Why do they they hate me?

PSYCHITRIST: They hate you?

PETER: Yes, you idiot. I know! They're always following me! Spying on me! They want to kill me! Their little bellies are filled with beans!


PETER: I'm only joking, of course. Ha-ha. Of course they can't spy on me. That's irrational! I know that, don't you see? They're only toys. They don't have brains or nervous systems. Their little bellies are filled with beans. Their little bellies are filled with beans!

PSYCHIATRIST: Do you wish to be cured of this obsession?

PETER: Please, Doctor. That's hardly scientific of you. Obsession is the wrong word.

PSYCHIATRIST: What is the right word?

PETER: I don't know. I don't belong here. It's A GREAT MISUNDERSTANDING, YOU SEE? One day, we will look back and laugh. Ha-ha. See? I'm laughing now. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!


PETER: The fire was an accident.

PSYCHIATRIST: Yes, well. Returning to my original question. Do you wish to be cured of your obsession?

PETER: Yes, yes, of course. But it's impossible. You can't help me. No one can help me! Not God! Not you! Some stupid scientist in a stupid white coat! What you can you possibly do?

PSYCHIATRIST: Hear me out, please. What do you have to lose?

PETER: Nothing. I have nothing to lose. Say what's on your mind.

PSYCHIATRIST: There's a new experimental procedure. Desensitization therapy. Ever heard of it?

PETER: No! I'm a toymaker, not a psychiatrist! That's your job!

PSYCHIATRIST: Yes, it is. Please allow me to do my job.

PETER: I'm sorry. I'm very sorry. I don't wish to be rude. I'm not myself these days. I don't know who I ... This therapy. What is it?

PSYCHIATRIST: We introduce the aversive stimuli to the patient. In gradual doses, you see. Eventually the aversive reaction is diminished.

PETER: Oh, that's wonderful. You pompous idiot! These words mean nothing to me. I have no idea what you're talking about!

PSYCHIATRIST: I'm talking about this.

The PSYCHIATRIST brings out a Beanie Baby and puts it on his desk. PETER LORRE screams and hits him with a paper weight.


PETER LORRE crashes out of a window and runs down a street.

Montage (as in "M") of police and men in white coats tracking a desperate PETER LORRE through a maze of streets.

Footsteps and police whistles outside. PETER LORRE enters. He has a Tyrolean hat pulled down over his head.

PETER: I need a room. Any room. I will pay you in cash.

The clerk grunts, takes a wad of bills. Dirty, perhaps blood-spattered.

Peter Lorre enters. exhausted. He collapses on the bed.

PETER: Free. At last I am free of the cursed Beanie Babies!

He turns off the light.

Hold a beat.

He turns the light back on.

The Beanie Babies have completely surrounded him in concentric circles like the rats at the end of Willard.


We hear PETER LORRE scream.

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