CATEGORIES Comedy, Cinematical
Amish businessmen near Nickel Mines, PA, have started using video surveillance systems in order to catch burglars. But wait, aren't the Amish supposed to be against the use of electrical gadgets such as video cameras and recorders? Apparently they're willing to enter the 20th century if it means they won't get robbed so often. A report on the men, who hide their infrared cameras under gloves or among some horse harnesses (oh great, now the burglars know where to find them!), only notes that they defend the surveillance as it relates to a photographic issue -- Amish can't take pictures or video of themselves, but they can apparently photograph others.

This sounds like the setup for a great crime comedy, of which the world can always do with another. After all, what was the last, O Brother, Where Art Thou? Snatch? Both came out a decade ago. I know, it's not that easy to make slapstick burglary-gone-wrong films seem original, and really why would anyone want to try to make such a thing when there's no way it could equal, let alone top, such classics as Raising Arizona, Fargo, The Ladykillers (original), Palookaville and Take the Money and Run? But just imagine if the Coen brothers saw this story and whipped up a comedic twist on Witness. Hmm, I guess it could still be as bad as the Ladykillers remake.

Well, in case any worthy comedic writers are up to the task, here's a simple premise: some bumbling would-be criminals come up with the brilliant idea to go out to Lancaster County (aka Amish country) to rob some stores. They actually get the idea from news reports covering the increased crime in the area (first rule to wannabe robbers: never plan a crime based on the idea that others have already committed that crime, even if it has reportedly worked repeatedly). Unfortunately for them, they get there just in time to be the first caught on Amish America's Funniest Surveillance Videos (see a photo of the actual victims in that local news article).

Okay, so it may sound a bit too much like the 1994 Nic Cage flop Trapped in Paradise. How could it be made differently? Maybe the whole film takes place on the surveillance tape, Paranormal Activity style. Eh, that might not be too great, either. Something needs to be done with this story, though, as we don't have enough comedies involving the Amish. Which is too bad, because as Kingpin, Sex Drive and Weird Al have shown us, it's easy to make fun of them, because they'll never see the result. Unless, of course, they've started watching movies now, too.