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Culture / News

Running for Your Life from Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf

I can’t believe I didn’t catch this one way back in 2012, particularly as it was featured on Buzzfeed and I (shamefully) spend 90% of my time online trolling through its pages in search of hilarious distractions. It may have also been my major news source for an unfortunately long period of time. But I digress.

The “one” I’m referring to is indeed a hilariously creepy song entitled “Shia LaBeouf” by the funny and very inventive Rob Cantor, creator of the viral “29 Celebrity Impressions” (none of which were actually sung him) YouTube hit. Partnering with the Gay Men’s Chorus of LA, the West LA Children’s Choir and the Argus Quartet, Cantor produced a music video for the famous (or infamous?) “Shia LaBeouf” song, which describes the actor as an axe sharpening, knife wielding, blood-spattered cannibalistic maniac intent on killing “you.”

Why, you ask, did Cantor feel the need to make a video years after the song’s initial release? In an interview with MTV News, he didn’t give a particularly illuminating answer except to say that he’d “always wanted to” and that he “figured Halloween was the right time.” Well, Mr. Cantor, I applaud your wacky project and would like to report that your video genuinely made me laugh, even if I couldn’t explain why the thought of Shia LaBeouf as an axe-murderer was so funny.

But apparently neither could he. In the same MTV interview, Cantor said his initial inspiration came from a friend who “one day, for no reason at all, started dramatically whispering the words “Shia LaBeouf.” From there, Cantor couldn’t help but align the mysterious whisper of the name with a cannibal walking through the woods looking for their next victim. But I will not question his creative process as it, eventually, brought the internet this incredible gem of a video.

The best thing about the video is that Shia LaBeouf is actually in it… and Cantor doesn’t really know why. It seems that Cantor reached out to Shia’s manager through email and the actor expressed interest in the project, but LaBeouf’s cameo is short. Though he’s exposed at the end of the video as the performance’s sole spectator, LaBeouf’s strange reaction leaves you feeling a little uneasy. And while it could also be the fact that he takes apparent joy in his own comparison to a creeper cannibal, his appearance in the video is strange in light of the mostly negative attention he’s received this year.

Regardless, I think it’s amusingly appropriate that he made an appearance in a new video of a two-year-old song. In preparation for writing this review, I did some hardcore research on all of the negative press LaBeouf’s faced this year (he’s generated most of it himself), and I still have absolutely no idea what to make of what I read about him, which brings me to the seemingly perfect “Shia LaBeouf” lyric: “Now it’s dark, and you seem to have lost him, but you’re hopelessly lost yourself.”

Hailing from warmer climes, Rachel is a photographer, writer and adventurer currently based in Chicago. She loves baking, playing with dogs, and staying out of the freezing cold as often as possible.

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