Cine Malebolge: A Movie Inferno

by Blake Biskner

Midway upon the journey of life
I faced an adventure fraught with much strife.
Through hell I did venture and back again,
A trip not for children, only for men.
But the venue I entered was not Dante’s abyss,
There was no Acheron no City of Dis
It was a place most foul, ‘twas a rancid realm
Wherein there were punished sinners of film.

The quest began on a typical day
One devoid of excitement, I had nothing to play.
At the request of my mother I tidied my room,
Scooping up all my trash, not needing a broom.
When all of a sudden, under my bed,
I spotted an item that filled me with dread
Something that had vanished under my mess
In need of return… A rented VHS.

It is likely apparent, it was much overdue,
And thus in frustration not long did I stew.
I abandoned my task, and then in a fluster
I rushed out of my house and to my local Blockbuster.
Deep in the woods was this store’s position
But no manner of challenge would halt my new mission.
After much running I arrived at the spot
But in my confusion a detail I forgot.

The store was now closed, but my guilt would not cease
I would drop off the movie and then feel peace.
I approached the small slot labeled “Return”
But right at that moment from beyond the next turn
There neared three odd animals, blocking my course
Including a frog, a goat, and a horse.
In fear I most left in spite my old plan
When just to my right I saw Morgan Freeman.

He went to face me and said with some pride
“Do not fear Blake I am your guide.”
“My guide for what?” I quickly asked him
“A journey to hell of fire and brim,
For I was sent here by fair Beatrice
She lives up above in a corporate office
She is an executive for this here old store
And asked for your late fee you pay slightly more.”

“You see you’re so tardy money won’t due
So to movie Hell I’ve been asked to take you.”
I then replied, “First I must ask,
Why were you selected for this strange little task?”
“Well, let me tell you now and not later
The primary reason, I’m a fantastic narrator
I’m also admired by people’s hearts and their souls
And can navigate hell due to my angelic roles.”

I accepted my penance and then too his hand
And began my long trip through the forsaken land
To go into hell we first entered the store
And passed through a gate behind aisle four
Upon entering there I cried out in alarm
After seeing Ebert and Roeper combined with three arms
I turned to my guide asking “What is that beast?”
He said, “Of all your concerns that thing is the least”

“That is the creature which determines the ring
In which you will live. To your fate he is king.
If one thumb goes down the first circle you go,
If two then the second and three… well you know.
But please do not dally, don’t stray my new friend
There is much to see before this quest is at end.”
And with that we continued on with the venture,
And despite the vulgarity the next sights I won’t censor.

We entered the first ring and around me I saw
Gungans, and droids some short and some tall.
Also around me rolled Optimus Prime,
Which then left me wondering “What is there crime?”
Mr. Freeman then spoke as he did lead
Saying, “This is the circle punishing greed,
It is the place where movies remain
If primarily created for financial gain”

“By this I mean if a movie is shot
Only for profit on the merchandise lot
It comes down here like a rock down a well
With these Transformers, and Star Wars Prequel.
As for their punishment let me explain,
For it is one of both kinds of pain
Not only does it hurt them in the physical way
But also their emotions does it decay.”

“All those involved in aforesaid show
Are sent down here and over there do they go.
Where they are seized up like bread is by bakers,
And stripped of their flesh by giant toymakers
Figures are made of their skin and their bone
For all eternity as means to atone
Then for these “toys” cheap prices are paid
Devaluing them like the movies they made”

“If you think that is bad follow me here,
Look over the ledge, I dare you to peer”
Being my master what he says I must do,
So I gazed down at the layer numbering two.
Below me I saw all manners of beast
A shmorgishborg of characters, a veritable feast
There were monkeys, and robots, even a ranger
All of them suspended in perpetual danger.

“In this ring,” said Morgan, “sloth is the sin
And those punished here very lazy have been.
Every person below once held a stake
In an unoriginal film, a movie remake.
There is Godzilla, Robocop, Spiderman and more
And the nature of their punishment prepare to abhor
But despite its fowl nature I hope over time
You learn that the punishment fits with the crime”

“These sinners suffer by having destroyed
Objects they held dear as girls and boys.
All of the things that they loved as a child
Are burnt within lava driving them wild.
For with bad remakes a youthful treasure is tainted
So with that feeling they get acquainted.
And in addition to add to the fun,
About every ten years the punishment is redone!”

“There is one final stop that awaits you and me,
The bottommost layer numbering three.
Now I must warn you with fear don’t grow stiff,
For it lies over there just beyond that small cliff.”
I followed my guide and then did we enter
The worst ring of hell for it was right in the center.
All around me I heard splitting shrieks of desire
And surrounding me there were countless vampire.

“Hey Mr. Freeman what is this place!”
I shouted to my guide with contorted face
“In this ring are punished those who are proud!”
Responded my master in a voice rather loud,
“It is where actors with undeserved pride
Are now and forever thus damned to reside.
Of all those people let me highlight
Those from ‘The Host’, but mostly ‘Twilight’.”

“For earning fame without any skill
They are now tormented by those voices shrill
Of naïve teenage demons who often give chase
And tear them apart from their feet to their face.
For if it is fans that they want, fans they will get
And thus it is obvious how this punishment fit.
Now it is time that we go you and me,
You have more than made up for that two year late fee.”

He grabbed me in his arms and we scaled the wall
Neither of us looking back, not wanting to fall
Then above through a hole I beheld the stars
But not those in the sky, not those around Mars,
I was surrounded by people when I was free
People from cinema and from TV,
The exit from Hell was in Hollywood,
It was a horrific adventure, but at least the ending was good.



Blake is a freshman undergraduate student currently enrolled in the engineering college at the University of Colorado Boulder. To Blake writing is the perfect balance between an art form and a science: experimenting with words to create a masterpiece.

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