The Microsoft Office (Movie)
The Microsoft Office is a series of disaster movies best known for their gritty depiction of despair among office-workers attempting to go about their daily duties in the face of a seemingly endless string of disasters and esoteric office-design decisions. The movies are shot in the style of a fly-on-the-wall documentary - similar to The Office but with swearing, fire, blood and despair.
In each movie a group of office workers moves to a newly built Microsoft Office - expecting the problems that plagued their previous Microsoft Office are now a thing of the past. This has been compared to Friday the 13th movies in which randy teenagers visit a remote lake with a bloody history and hope that they, unlike every other group of teens that have ever visited the lake, won't get brutally murdered. The workers in the Microsoft Office can only pray for the swift and bloody deaths the teens typically receive.
As the plot unfolds, the office workers encounter strange behavior from their office - at times appearing that the office was specifically designed to make their lives hell. Throughout the movies employees from Microsoft will appear and claim to make positive changes to the office - for a price. Ultimately though each change that fixes one problem seems to cause many more to appear.
In one memorable scene a receptionist flushes a toilet and is incinerated before being crushed to death by a falling anvil that had inexplicably been glued to the ceiling above the cubicle. This is expected behavior.
The office workers ultimately decide to flee the office - but find escape barred by strange obstacles. Commonly the doors to the office have handles on them but can only be opened if all of the chairs in the office are arranged to point towards their manager's favorite European capital. On opening the door the office building collapses - destroying their work and killing some of the office workers. In some movies the door opens to reveal a brick wall behind it - at which point most of the office workers burst in to flames for reasons never explained. This is intended behavior.
One common ploy of the office builders is to randomly change things in the office. In one example Microsoft change the water taps in the kitchen to make the photocopier bleed whenever the taps are used. Another recurring alteration is to replace sections of flooring with paper through which unfortunate office workers will plummet to an untimely end. This is working as intended.
The plot of each film is essentially the same - with survivors from each movie going on to appear in the sequels released when the director needs more money. No attempt is made to explain why the survivors would emerge from the wreckage of their previous Microsoft Office and happily move to a new Microsoft Office - expecting things to be any better. People are dumb.
- Person uses the vending machine (later seen as one of the screaming human infernos)
- Happy man who hasn't saved his work in the past hour and is about to lose it all
- Manager who in each movie emerges from the rubble of The Microsoft Office and announces that he'll purchase a new one - much to the dismay of the surviving office workers
- Screaming human inferno with chocolate bar (recurring character)
The series of movies has received overall favorable reviews. Some critics have criticized the franchise for essentially using the same plot in each movie, but most critics agree that The Microsoft Office is ideal for people who consider AIDS and Schindler's List to be far too cheery and upbeat.
Microsoft publish a series of spoilers on their support website in which warnings are given about some of the strange things likely to occur in each Microsoft Office movie. Microsoft keep the biggest and most random prospective disasters a secret to allow the movie-going public to discover them for themselves.
- The Microsoft company in the movies is an office building company and is claimed to not bear any relation to the software company of the same name.
- Bruce Campbell was originally cast as the office manager but declined because he felt it too closely resembled his role as Ash in the The Evil Dead series of movies.
- The Microsoft Office merchandise was withdrawn from sale when it failed to catch fire or otherwise endanger life.
- The Microsoft Office is one of the few movies of the 21st century to be released exclusively on VHS cassette tape.