If you were one of the millions of vaguely disturbed patrons who turned out at the multiplex this weekend to see Michael Bay’s attempt to apply his hyperactive meathead aesthetic to a Coen brothers–style dark comedy (his pitch to Paramount: “It’s like Fargo, but if it had harsh sunlight and 90 minutes of wood chipper!”), you probably noticed that the movie’s sex-toy budget was, er, generous. For extended stretches, overflowing boxes of wholesale marital aids played as important a function as Tony Shalhoub, who commendably endured the constant focus-pulling of the scene-hogging dildo jiggling menacingly in his battered face.
But exactly how generous was the neoprene-vagina-and-nipple-clamp budget? Take a moment to formulate a guess. Ready? The answer follows, courtesy of a Bay interview with The Daily Beast:
We bought $75,000 worth of sex toys to stock the sex-toy warehouse. I could have filmed the crew coming in that day because they’d stop and see these things — anatomically correct vajayjays and this butt (everyone would touch the butt because it felt real) — and it was hysterical. We were going to return all the sex toys to get three-quarters of our money back, but they started disappearing. We were like, “Who is taking the sex toys?”
While probably the financially responsible thing for a movie watching its bottom line, the 75-percent-dildo-rebate plan seems like a missed opportunity to do something special for everyone who worked on the production. Hopefully the sex-toy thieves were one step ahead of their penny-pinching director here, and each crew member got a Fleshlight emblazoned with Bay’s smirking likeness as a wrap gift. Seventy-five thousand dollars is a small price to pay for that kind of heartfelt souvenir of their time together.