Chuck Palahniuk is so proud of his story “Guts” that he has written an essay describing the “‘Guts’ Effect.” “In all,” he writes, “67 people have fainted while I’ve read ‘Guts’. Over the internet, I now hear stories of other people making their peers pass out by reading it aloud. So that number keeps growing.” The central image — a boy getting his intestines sucked out of his rectum by a pool drain — has become his visceral signature. So it must really suck for him that (spoiler alert!) a guy also gets his intestines sucked out of his rectum by a pool drain in the new Final Destination movie.
Palanhiuk’s obsessive fans have been delving into the innards of this case, debating whether this is an explicit rip-off or just an appropriation of a common urban legend. We wonder if Koen Morier’s film adaptation of Haunted, the book including the “Guts” story, will now go belly-up. Beaten to the gut-punch, won’t any Haunted adaptation now just seem like a paunchy rip-off of Final Destination? Far be it from us to read the entrails and make some prophecy, but there’s one thing we do know: If we were Palahniuk, we would want to eviscerate those guys for disemboweling that story. We hope Palahniuk has the intestinal fortitude to fight this to the bowels of hell, if only because it would be the most disgusting intellectual-property lawsuit ever.