One thing I have learned from this set of stories: Guilt is just not funny. You all are probably right to think me insane, or at the very least, idiotic, for picking this theme. I’m thinking I’m probably both. But, as I’ve gotten myself into this mess, I’m going to continue attempting to make guilt funny.
So, on that hopeless note, I bring you Inglorious Basterds, now with more guilt!
The year is 1941. SS Colonel Hans Landa has just paid a visit to dairy farmer, Perrier LaPadite, and, in his charming and insidious way, forced him to reveal that he is hiding the Dreyfus family, his former neighbors, who are Jewish. Landa assassinates the family, hiding under the floor boards. All except their teenage daughter, Shosanna, who escapes the house, and Landa allows to flee.
After completing their act of murder, the Nazis leave the LaPadites with a floor filled with bullet holes, a bunch of bodies, and the lingering guilt over trading their lives for the neighbors.
The farmer stacks the bodies of the Dreyfus’ together in the cellar, to bury the next day. He weeps for failing them, and hopes Shosanna is able to survive. He tidies up his home as best he can, and retires for the night.
In the morning, before the family has gotten up to milk the cows, they hear sounds from the cellar. Fearing the Nazis have returned, Perrier grabs a pitchfork, and goes to investigate.
He finds more than he had imagined.
The Dreyfus family was no longer stacked neatly in their corner of the cellar. They were at the door, pounding to be let out. They rushed past LaPadite as soon as he opened the door, which meant he had time to attempt a conversation with them.
“You’re alive?! How can this be?”
They rudely ignore him, and shamble towards open air. LaPadite calls again. They continue to ignore him and walk at a below-average pace toward the direction Colonel Landa had vacated the premises.
If LaPadite had ever heard of such a thing as a Zombie, that would be what he would’ve called the Dreyfuss family. But, if had known about zombies, he would wonder why they didn’t stop to eat his, or his family’s brains. But, instead, he was just pleased he didn’t have to bury them, and silently wished them well.
The Dreyfuss’ had bigger goals than brains. They wanted Landa. So, with their new-found zombie focus, they pursued him as quickly as their shambling feet would take them.
For three years they pursue him across Europe, never quite reaching their prey. As the summer of 1944 arrives, and the signs become more irenic, the family’s single-mindedness becomes alerted to a significant change. Their inexplicable homing signal, drawing them to Landa, has radically changed direction, and became much weaker.
Being zombies, this simply meant a change in direction, and a trans-Atlantic walk under the ocean toward the U.S., where one day, perhaps they would meet Landa again, and take care of his particular brand of evil.
Zombies are always funny, right? I’m sure you are tired of them, but, today, the Zombies saved me, and I’m grateful.
irenic / eye – REN – ik / favoring or conducive to peace, or becoming more peaceful.