Confused Views: 5 frivolous lawsuits I’ve filed
Inspired by the legal precedent set by the Detroit woman who’s suing the distributors of Drive, Matt shares some of his own frivolous lawsuits…
I’m sure we’ve all read about the woman suing the US distributors of Drive because she felt the film was misrepresented by the trailer. I found myself torn by the issue. On the one hand, it’s an act so stupid that I want to make fun of it for hours and hours. On the other hand, I’m huge fan of filing frivolous lawsuits and like to keep an eye out for my fellow irritating lunatics.
Here are five of the best lawsuits I’ve filed that I’m allowed to talk about. Also, I’ve left out a couple of the more obvious ones, because at this point, who hasn’t sued Sacha Baron Cohen? Hopefully, these will inspire some of you to act like a dickhead within the confines of the legal system. If you get lucky, you can make yourself rich. Even if you don’t, you get to make the most wonderful spectacle of yourself.
1. The makers of A Nightmare On Elm Street
No, I didn’t sue the remake for being dreadful. I’m a little bit more creative than that. I sued the makers of the original for misleading me with their film. Based on the story they presented, it was reasonable for me to think that if I burned a villainous shitbag to death, he would come back in the future and haunt the dreams of my children.
In 1988, I set fire to the most villainous person I could find. It was a guy who pushed in front of me in a shop queue. Well, he got there a couple of seconds before me, but I didn’t like the look of his face. He looked too pleased with himself and he had a moustache. The point is, he was definitely evil and needed to be stopped, ideally with fire.
Of course, I’m not an idiot. I didn’t just start flicking matches at him there and then. Rather, I got together a group of parents and told them he was child killer. In order to make the story more believable, I kidnapped their children and suggested that he had killed them. This was particularly helpful as it ran nicely parallel to the film. We burned him to death, I gave them back their children after a particularly awkward conversation and I sat back and waited.
Last year, I felt I had waited long enough. My children sleep soundly every night and they wake up without a scratch on them. So I filed a suit against New Line Cinema, who have not been cooperative. The courts, too, have not received my case enthusiastically. They keep going on about how I’m implicating myself in some very serious crimes and that I’m being a dick to my children, when really we should be focusing on how much money I should be receiving. The whole thing is proving incredibly stressful, which I figure should be worth at least another 25 grand.
2. The makers of Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
My complaint against the makers of this recent comedy classic is actually the result of a continued campaign of mockery and hatred from Hollywood against a vulnerable group of people it’s fashionable to make fun of. We’ve had enough – we will no longer be the butt of your cruel jokes.
I’m talking about men who like to dress up as obese elderly women. You’d be surprised how many of us there are. In fact, you probably unwittingly interact with us on a daily basis. We’re in the shops, we’re at the cinema and we always get a seat on public transport.
I think we have the public on our side, because when I went to see Big Mommas, nobody laughed. A sombre silence hung over us all. It was a sadness I’ve previously only experienced in the multiplex during Schindler’s List and that time I decided to do stand-up comedy during a screening of Winnie The Pooh. My material was a little too edgy for the six-year-olds in attendance, if you believe their parents, although I still maintain that a zinger is a zinger, regardless of age, and that they had to find out the truth about Tigger eventually.
The response I’ve had so far from the courts has been encouraging. A judge remarked to me that the Big Mommas series was ‘no laughing matter’, and I’ve heard many muttered comments about Martin Lawrence being to comedy what diatribes about iPhone operating systems are to bearable conversations.
I wasn’t expecting to change the world, but I at least hoped that we could take a step in the right direction, and that I would become rich. Below I’ve included the judge’s ruling on the case, so you can see the injustice for yourself.
While I can sympathise, I cannot agree that the film Big Mommas makes light of men dressed as obese elderly women. It makes no light at all. It serves only to remind us of the bleakness of existence, of the horrible pointlessness of being. We live in a world of nothing for no reason. I dismiss this case.
And with that, he produced a pistol from his pocket, opened his mouth, and fired a single shot into his head.
3. The makers of Drive
Not because I was expecting a Fast And Furious driving romp, with car chases, no plot and lots of shirtless chaps being masculine. Rather, I’m suing them for over-exciting movie nerds.
To put this simply, I’m sick of hearing about Drive. It’s a very good film, I know, and we’re all very excited to have seen an art-house film where something actually happens beyond conversations about the holocaust with a subtext of incest and social unrest. But this film has turned everyone I know into an utter chatterbox and it’s not working with my conversation technique, which could fairly be described as, “I’m monologue-ing, don’t interrupt!”
I value conversation with me greatly, and so I’m billing the makers of the movie Drive. Specifically, I want 20 million dollars or I want Ryan Gosling to hang out with me, because he seems like a cool guy and I’d like to have a conversation at him.
I’ve yet to find a judge who agrees with me, of course, and Gosling is still refusing to take my calls (and by calls, I mean I’m shouting at him from outside his house. Some people are so quick to contact the police). We’ll see how this one pans out, but I’m optimistic that I’ll get there in the end.
4. Jason Statham
This was something of an unconventional lawsuit. It was one of those lawsuits that involved me using measures that even I would concede were unethical at best, or remarkable in their disregard for human life at worst, to secure a meeting with Jason Statham to pitch to him and his agent.
The main reason I have included this one is that, in spite of the lack of lawsuit, I did still end up in court making outlandish statements that I hoped might somehow make me rich. Perhaps the most interesting thing I found with this case was that a judge is much more open to getting involved in court proceedings if they feel you aren’t wasting their time. I keenly observed Statham’s lawyer and the judge getting into a passionate debate over whether I was too stupid to be dangerous or not.
They tested this by giving me a pair of children’s safety scissors and asking me to attack my own lawyer with them. I did, and had he not been wearing glasses I could have been killed. I was spared jail time and am currently trying to sell the movie rights. I’m looking to have Jason Statham play me and Ryan Gosling play Jason Statham, with me directing and hanging out with the guys in the evenings. I imagine we’ll have a few beers, get into a fight with a gang of surly rednecks and then sue the bar owner. It will be glorious.
5. The editors of Den of Geek
Anyone with any experience in the field of filing frivolous lawsuits knows that all the best ones are based on the idea that a person is not responsible for their own actions. Someone else is accountable for what I do, and if I do something stupid they should have to give me money. Therefore, I have sued the website Den of Geek.
How many times do I have to say something stupid, aggressive or factually inaccurate before the site steps in and protects me from myself? I could get us all into a lot of trouble with my pointless stupidity. But they keep on publishing my work, promoting it and adding brilliant pictures to it, as though what I’m doing is perfectly reasonable. Enough is enough.
Much like the other cases, this one hasn’t gone exactly as planned. DoG have counter-sued me, and unfortunately they have a scroll-like list of genuine reasons to do so. Now we’re locked in something of a legal stalemate. By that, I mean they're going to win but I don't have anything for them to take.
As it stands, it looks like I’m going to have to go back to slipping on spillages in supermarkets just to pay them back. Look out, Tesco. I’m heading for your wine aisle and I’m wearing rollerskates.