Beginning on the day of March 11th, 2011, a singular event unfolded in movie theaters throughout the United States of America: a highly anticipated military science fiction film was projected onscreen.
Or was it?
The reports of this vary, from an utter waste of time to a steaming pile of horseshit to even the most undeveloped great story idea ever produced. We do know that something happened, as too many people witnessed the event to dispute that fact. But what really happened?
The newspaper reports from Monday morning the 14th vary wildly. The Daily Breeze in Los Angeles’ South Bay said that civilian witnesses had compared the experience to watching a monkey play a video game, and that the game had been programmed by retards. Yet there was no immediate confirmation of this from Regal Cinemas nor AMC Theaters. As The Los Angeles Times headlines blared: “Battle: LA Opens Nationwide”, and “World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles Set to Demolish Box Office Records”, the ArcLight Hollywood reported a viewing of the “film” at their flagship facility on Sunset Boulevard. By the end of the “opening” weekend, the only thing that could be put together was that by approximately 9:55 PM Pacific Standard time on Sunday the 13th, millions of civilians that showed up to various Southern California theater locations had experienced extraordinary multi-sensory discomfort for up to eight minutes, with many unassuming souls enduring an entire hour and fifty-six minutes of emotionally irrelevant visual and sonic torture.
The curious thing was that no such film remotely resembling the marketing materials for “Battle: Los Angeles” had been seen in the city, and not a single penny of the on-average $11.50 price of admission was compensated by even a half a moment of anything of redeeming value. In fact, the only entertainment was caused by the handheld devices and wi-fi ordinance by which attendees posted Facebook status updates and checked their email in a 40-mile arc from Santa Monica to Long Beach.
Since March 11th, some have proffered that this collective hallucination was caused by an extraterrestrial need to be entertained, with many regarding the phenomenon as a logical result of the billboards depicting surfers off the Southern California coast waiting for waves as UFO thingies attacked what vaguely resembled what could only be described as some generally specific region of the Los Angeles Area. These accounts are probably the result of boredom, confusion, low intelligence quotients, and the finely honed skill of consuming when told to do so.
If there was something out there, it certainly remains unidentified, and according to some reports, these “viewings” are not like anything known to us at this time. But, as has been noted, the eyewitnesses themselves do not know what they have seen, and some witnesses, although sure, still have never had their accounts verified.
Jace Daniel Albao is an artist, drummer, and writer residing in Los Angeles. He enjoys watching movies worth watching and telling stories worth telling, and has recently written a novel and screenplay called Under Angels.