All our talk today about victim blaming in “the Spider and the Fly” made me think of a movie I saw called “The Devil’s Carnival”. In the movie, three sinners are sent to Hell which appears to be a carnival, and are given one last chance to see if they deserve to be in heaven. These three sinners include a man who killed himself after his son died, a thief who was gunned down by police, and Tamara whose obsessive and abusive boyfriend killed her. They are put through scenarios inspired by Aesop’s Fables, and in the end only the man who committed suicide proved himself worthy of a second chance. Special attention is drawn to Tamara, and she gets the worst tale as she continues to trust even after her fable was designed to teach her not to. Her fable is “the Scorpion and the Frog” in which she fills the role of the Frog and one of the carnival workers is the Scorpion. The song is even called “Trust Me” and Tamara pays the price for doing so.
After this ordeal, the audience is really talked out of sympathizing with Tamara as she gets discredited like the Fly in our poem did. The Fly knew what would happen, and the movie shows Tamara being killed for trusting the wrong person twice. During the credits however she gets another song, this time with the Devil.
In this song, she begs to not go to sleep because, as the title states, in all her dreams she drowns. With the cut of at the end and the Devil as the Captain always telling her it’s time to go to sleep, we see her trust on again betrayed and she stays in Hell.
Like “the Spider and the Fly,” “The Devil’s Carnival” discredits the person who has been abused and harmed because they should have known better. The Fly states knowing not to go to the Spider, and the movie sets it up to have the audience believe Tamara should know from experience not to trust people who are sweet talking her and promising better things. Still, this does not change the fact that both the Fly and Tamara are horribly treated whether it ends in murder, rape, damnation, or some combination of the three. The parallel also caught my attention because the perpetrators get off freely. The Spider had his meal and went on with his life, and in the movie, after Tamara is attacked in “Trust Me” the Doll, the Scorpion’s assistant gives a song about the fable called “Prick! Goes the Scorpion’s Tale.” While I cannot find the scene for this moment the video below has the song which makes the death much more like a rape. Still, during this scene the Scorpion is all smiles and cheering along with the other Carnies in the crowd.
Anyway, this post was made simply because the parallels drew my attention, and it is still shocking that this pattern of victim blaming while the perpetrator gets away clean is still so common and also still so popular in media.