Stick Figures Die in Terrible Ways in Metro’s New PSA Videos, and It’s Kinda Funny

Numerous stick figures were harmed in the making of these films
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It happens about once per week. I’m rushing down the escalator to the Purple Line platform at Union Station, there’s a train leaving in <1 minutes, I hear that “doors are closing” dinging sound, and so I make a mad dash for it. Usually I slip through the doors at the last moment (not unlike Indiana Jones narrowly avoiding a falling stone partition) and make it to the other side breathless and unscathed. Sometimes I get sorta smashed in the doors, which is a little awkward, but usually everyone on the train just looks at me like, “You made it, man. We’re proud of you.” And there’s a sense of camaraderie that feels good.

Then, today, I saw this PSA from Metro.

Synopsis: Jack runs for train as doors are closing, gets decapitated.

Now, careful frame-by-frame analysis of the footage reveals that the doors are already closed by the time Jack comes in contact with the train. Thus, it is not the lateral force of the closing doors that severs Jack’s sternocleidomastoid, trapezius, esophagus, and spine in one fell swoop (like I said, I’ve been caught in the doors before and lived to tell the tale). Rather, it can only be the friction of Jack’s face against the side of the rapidly accelerating train that results in his subsequent decapitation. And that’s terrifying.

This is just one in Metro’s series of six cautionary animations, designed in the spirit of Melbourne Metro’s widely-circulated “Dumb Ways to Die” video (which, in addition to reminding me not to walk on train tracks, made me paranoid about piranhas eating my genitals).

Each of L.A. Metro’s new videos involves a woefully oblivious stick figure getting crushed by a train in a disturbing, albeit not altogether unamusing, way.  Here’s the full lineup for your viewing pleasure/discomfort. As is the case with trainwrecks, you won’t be able to look away.

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