*siren* Well that does it, time for the purge.
For the next 12 hours, all crime is legal! I'm so excited, this is gonna be the perfect night! Oh, what do you have planned? Looting? Murder? What? No, I'm gonna pirate episodes of “Great British Baking Show” and then tinker with the YouTube algorithm.
And heck, if there's time we can even maybe steal the recipe for Diet Coke and be in bed by 11! That does sound like the perfect night.
It does! Clink! *gunshot* Hello internet! Welcome to Film Theory! The show that strives to purge every ounce of fun and whimsy from all the movies that you love.
Today we're taking a stab at “The Purge” franchise, which if you haven't seen, is actually really interesting in terms of premise.
It's set in an alternate future where Americans are entitled to 12 hours of purging every year.
Starting at 7pm every March 21st, all crime in the US is legal, lasting until 7am the following morning.
“Commencing at the siren, any and all crime, including murder, will be legal for 12 continuous hours.
” And as you might expect, “The Purge” franchise really digs in, exploring all sorts of creative crimes that people might choose to commit, if there were indeed no laws for the night.
Just kidding! It is just a bunch of killing! Murder, murder, murder.
Sure, there's a bit of vandalism and looting sprinkled in for flavor, but come on! You're telling me that all crime is legal for 12 hours, and nobody is using that opportunity to do anything interesting with it? Where's all your creativity, people? Rigged gambling, hacking, insider trading, Why are we not following the people who are trying to make themselves filthy stinking rich? With all this focus on murder and petty looting, you're wasting such a cool premise! You have 12 heours each year to change your life, or heck, improve the lives of your family, friends, society itself, and you use it all to smash a few windows! Think big picture here, people! So that, loyal theorists, is our question today.
Not how to survive The Purge, but how you WIN The Purge? What is the best use of that 12 hour window, because, let's face it, what started as a pretty wacky film series is starting to feel more and more possible every day, and we need to be prepared.
You know what, I'm gonna be honest.
When I first embarked on this thought experiment, I assumed that developing the perfect purge strategy would be pretty darn easy.
All I had to do is figure out what high-yield crimes would be safely carried out in one night, hire some hackers or whatever, and then profit.
But when you actually start thinking through the logistics of this stuff, things actually get a lot more complicated.
Because remember, when all crime is legal, It's legal for everyone.
That becomes a two-way street.
Say for instance, you figure out a way to cheat a casino, and you want to cash in.
A few loaded dice or a stacked deck in your hand, sounds like a fun (and profitable) way to spend the Purge night, right? No problem.
Well, yes big problem.
For those 12 hours, not only can you cheat the casino, the casino is legally allowed to rig the game against you.
And with them controlling the cards, the deck is definitely stacked against you.
Here's another one, say you want to rob a bank vault.
Well, you're gonna need associates for your heist.
But make sure that you trust those guys, since, you know, they can always pull a “Dark Knight” and just off you at the end of the evening, and take the loot for themselves.
It's actually something that we see in “The Purge” movies.
Remember how well it works when criminals work with other criminals in those films? Not super great, but then again that might be the least of your worries, considering that the bank guards themselves are suddenly legally able to straight-up murder you.
Again, it's no rules for everyone.
When developing the perfect purge strategy, you also have to remember that The Purge is a yearly event, so you don't want to be committing a crime that's gonna screw someone over and then be traced back to you, since a year from now it's gonna leave a big old target on your back.
Market manipulation, insider trading, identity theft, embezzlement.
These can all be traced back to you, because they're being done online.
Committing these sorts of crimes during The Purge doesn't really offer you that much additional cover than any other day of the year.
Sure, the US government might choose not to prosecute you, since your crime occurred during that window of opportunity, but does that really matter when you've stolen a ton of money, from presumably wealthy well-connected powerful people? Come next year's Purge, you could find yourself at the receiving end of some extremely well-funded vigilante justice.
Or, to demonstrate one last example of the complicating factors of The Purge, say you want to spend that time counterfeiting US currency, or you have a bunch of counterfeit currency and you want to use it, great! It's a plan that literally is printing money.
But you spending that cash is actually gonna happen outside of The Purge window, Meaning that once again, you're a criminal.
Try to deposit it in a bank? Too bad you can't, it's too late in the day.
And honestly, the bank doesn't have to do it.
Legally, they're not responsible for that.
And if you could do any of this, there's one other layer that we have to take into account here.
Sure, national laws may be suspended, but what about international laws? US laws may turn a blind eye for 12 hours, but international laws won't.
The 1929 Geneva Convention made the counterfeiting of any currency illegal in every country.
So even if you didn't technically do anything illegal in the US, you'd still be breaking the law in a ton of other countries, and come 7am the next morning, the USA's extradition treaties are back in effect.
International money laundering, tax evasion schemes, big old nopes there, too.
So at this point, I feel like I should pause and offer an apology to James DeMonaco, the writer, director and producer of “The Purge”.
Before I began researching this topic, I figured “The Purge” franchise was well, I thought it was kind of dumb.
Fun, yeah, absolutely, but definitely dumb just mindless popcorn fodder.
I'll admit it, the fact that all “The Purge” characters pretty much stuck to was murder, just kind of felt cheap, It's like they weren't behaving like real people would in this scenario, and instead were just doing a bunch of fun-to-watch crimes, for no other reason that they were in a violent horror movie.
It felt like lazy writing, and I was oh-so-ready to poke holes in the wishy-washy legalese of it all with hypotheticals, like “What if you shoot someone at 6:59, but they don't die until 7:01?” “Will the government still prosecute you then?” or “What if you're caught in possession of stolen property the day after The Purge, what then?” but what I came to realize is that it's all fairly simple.
None of that matters.
Whether or not the government's gonna prosecute you for crimes that occur outside that 12 hour window hardly matters, because the true judgment, and the true threat, is ultimately coming from your fellow man.
The people that you've wronged will have a chance to get even on March 21st the following year.
Or there's always the international authorities who'd like to get even as well, so to truly win The Purge, we need a highly profitable crime, that can be over and done with within that 12 hour window, a crime that isn't governed by international law, and doesn't rely on us screwing over other people, or leave us open to the reverse.
Or if we are taking advantage of someone, they can't be left alive to know about it.
So at this point, you're probably starting to wonder if there's any crime out there that won't get you targeted in a future Purge.
And the answer is: Yeah, sure.
There are tons of crimes that you can commit that would benefit society.
Filling potholes without a permit, trespassing on a private beach to pick up trash, ooooo! These are victimless crimes, but they're not gonna make you rich, and if we're aiming for the perfect Purge, well, we need it all.
But what? What is a victimless crime that could benefit society and get you rich at the same time? Theorists, I thought about this for a long time, I looked deep inside of myself for a solution, and wouldn't you know it I found that solution there, deep within me.
In fact, I found lots of solutions deep within me.
That's right, I'm talking organ harvesting.
Consider this: a legal healthy human heart is valued at a million dollars.
A million dollars for your heart, and that is just one organ.
Now on any other night of the year, human organs wouldn't be readily available, and you wouldn't be legally allowed to sell them.
But guess what? On Purge Night, it's no rules, just right, just like an Outback Steakhouse.
We know from.
well, pretty much every “Purge” movie, But let's call out “Purge: Election Year” that a whole bunch of dead bodies just lie around in the streets until 7am the next morning.
We see this very explicitly as Laney and Dawn spend The Purge driving around in an armored ambulance, carefully considering who to help, but instead of focusing on the living, what if instead we chose to focus on the dead? Could Laney and Dawn have found something that we could capitalize off of? I'm thinking so cuz we could use that same armored ambulance idea to collect the dead.
“Bring out your dead!” And bring those freshly killed Purgers to hospitals, or at the very least, our gang of waiting doctors and nurses, where the organs in the body could then be harvested by trained medical professionals in proper facilities.
Now normally, this would be totally illegal.
Commercial harvesting and selling of body parts is illegal in all countries, except Iran.
But on Purge Night, those concerns go out the window, and you see, these organs are incredibly valuable, in every sense of that word.
In the US alone, there are more than 113, 000 candidates waiting for transplants, and many are willing to pay whatever it takes to get access to that life-saving organ, which has, in turn, created a black market for some of the stuff.
This is especially true for kidney transplants.
Humans are born with two, but they only need one, so the selling of your second kidney to people who need it is something that really does exist out there in the world.
And the idea of using the recently dead as organ donors isn't a new idea, either.
People can sign up to be organ donors for after they die, and in China, inmates executed on death row were historically used as organ donors.
So let's talk brass tacks: how much is one dead body on Purge Night going to net us? Well, unfortunately, we have to discount some of the most valuable organs right out of the gate.
A heart is normally useless after death, so we're gonna have to kiss that million dollars I mentioned earlier goodbye.
The liver also breaks down pretty quickly after cardiac arrest, so we're not gonna be able to pawn that one either.
Some relatively small ticket items will last a bit longer, like the skin, which collectively might be around $5000.
The corneas in your eye will be worth significantly more if undamaged, at about $20, 000.
And those kidneys that I mentioned before? They're going for about $262, 000.
Not too shabby for an organ we got two of, but the real big-ticket item here is something that goes deeper than all those: bone marrow.
Bone marrow is by far the most valuable substance by weight in the human body, at an incredible $23, 000 per gram.
Per gram! And the human body, oh boy, does it have a lot of the stuff.
The average full-grown human male is walking around with about 2.
6 kilograms of bone marrow in their body.
That is nearly $60 million of bone marrow just sitting there in your chair right now, and here some of you thought that you weren't worth that much.
So this then begs the obvious question of “Why isn't everyone rushing down to the hospital right now, to sell off a tiny piece of their body, and buy a new house or something?” Well in most states, it's illegal.
In California for instance, you can be compensated up to $3, 000 for the procedure.
So there is an upper limit to what you could be earning legally from this sort of stuff, and you see, for as huge as some of these numbers are, that's the overall rub.
These are the real prices of these organs: million dollars for a heart, quarter million for a kidney, a bunch for bone marrow.
But in reality, if you were to sell this stuff, they're not netting that high of a price.
According to medical transcription estimates, the average price a dead human body is likely gonna be more around $550, 000.
Still, half a million dollars for each person that you pick up off the street? Not too bad! On Purge Night, those streets are paved in gold.
Fleshy, cadaverous, recently murdered gold.
And that, my friends, is the recipe for the perfect Purge.
Like I said, in the US alone, there's currently over 100, 000 people waiting for organs, but only about 14, 000 organs get donated every year.
But with this plan, A.
There's no victim, because they were already dead in the street, B.
You and your team of medical professionals are actually working to help save some of the people on that 100, 000 person wait list, and C.
Harvesting and selling organs to hospitals, or on the black market or whatever you end up doing in that 12-hour window, could net you a ton of cash, maybe as much as $550, 000 per body that you pick up.
See, most people might use The Purge to settle vendettas, or enrich themselves financially, but are these selfish people really doing The Purge right? The Purge is an opportunity to give the gift of life to otherwise hopeless people, by circumventing society's red tape.
For a connoisseur that's looking to purge perfectly, those 12 hours aren't just an opportunity to get rich, it's an opportunity to make a difference.
And that is doing The Purge right, that my friends, is the perfect Purge.
But hey! That's just a theory.
A Film Theory! Aaaaaand.
one last thing, actually.
Being a blood or bone marrow donor really does help save lives.
Heck, I'm gonna go out on a limb here, and tell you that I'm personally signed up to be an organ donor for when I die.
I mean, my eyes are terrible sight-wise, but if my corneas can help someone see for the first time or repair damage to their eye, then great.
Awesome! I'm paying it forward even after I'm done living.
And bone marrow is a truly life-saving substance, used in treatments of a lot of cancers, stuff like Leukemia, Lymphoma, Sickle Cell Disease, Aplastic Anemia, While it may not be possible to sell your bone marrow in our non-Purge world, you can donate it, and in turn make a real difference today.
So check out BeTheMatch.
com, or ask your doctor the next time you're in for a checkup, how you can make our world a little less like the one in “The Purge” Donating things like bone marrow, blood, make a huge difference.
And you know what? Today we can all stand to be a little bit more compassionate to one another.
You know, help make our world a little less like the one that we see in that fictional universe.
Heh, man who knew that I would get so sappy after an episode dedicated to ripping out the organs of other people in The Purge and profiting off of them.
Anyway, that's the theory! Aaaaand.
cut- up those dead bodies so you can go sell them for some big bucks in “The Purge” world, my friends! Sorry, I couldn't stay serious for too long.
Have to end with some tongue-in-cheek cynical statement.
But seriously, go donate blood.
I'm looking to do it right now actually.
Looking for a good place in the area, surprisingly difficult to find!.