EFIK MOVY: It Is Fine, Everything Is Fine/It Is Mine
July 21, 2005 4:59 PM   Subscribe

MaybeMythicalMovieFilter: abcdEFghIjKlMnOpqrstuVwxYz: What is it?

One of those popular forwards tends to come under the title of Word Fun or something similar -- it's even shown up on the blue; one of the facts on the list states: The title of the film EFIK MOVY was written abcdEFghIjKlMnOpqrstuVwxYz to show the alphabetical-order property.

I also remember seeing this in at least one of those trivia books -- so I don't think this is something that just dates from the internet. However -- if one does a search for "EFIK MOVY" on Google the only results are copies of the list of trivia. If you search on the IMDB, all you get is this guy, who apparently worked on Pirates of the Carribean (but not EFIK MOVY). So, basically -- what's the deal? Does this film exist? If it does exist, what is it about? Who made it? Does anyone know any information about it (or better yet, seen it)?

As far as I can tell, the possibilities are:
A) The film does exist, was actually a studio picture, but just forgotten.
(Likelyhood: Probably not likely. If this were the case, you'd assume that someone even marginally famous would have been involved -- even if someone on a low level of fame, like, say, sub-Joe Don Baker -- and that it'd be in the IMDB or someone would have made a blog post "Hey, remember that dog EFIK MOVY?" or something. And I find it hard to believe that while there are films that aren't in the IMDB, a movie put out by, say, Warner Brothers would be in that pile.)

B) The film does exist, but it was a small indie picture or a student film.
(Likelyhood: Possible and feasible. There's a lot of really small pictures that aren't in the IMDB, and they state outright that they don't include student films unless there's a reason to -- like they were made by a director who would go on to be famous, or star a well known actor -- and 99.9% of student films don't fit those criteria. If it's a small indie film, you'd probably expect to see a blog post or something mentioning the film, but maybe not; if it was a student film, even if people had seen it, there probably wouldn't be a mention of it blog-post-wise. Also, assuming that the "abcdEFghIjK..." thing was on posters and well, student films frequently have homemade poster/flyers posted (typically on campus) that might have given birth to this bit o' trivia.)

C) The film simply doesn't exist and was made up for the list.
(Likelyhood: Reasonably likely. It'd explain why there's no mention of it outside of these lists, but it seems like an awfully weird thing to make up. Granted, "lists of weird facts" aren't typically a bastion of Research and Truth. For example, spot checking one of the offered Facts: the list offers an explanation for the "There are three words that end in -gry, two of them are "angry and hungry", what is the third word in the English Language" without making any reference to the joke/brainteaser aspect of that one[1]. On the other hand, spot checking another fact, the Merriam-Webster online dictionary seems to bear out the explaination of the entemology of "Coach". So perhaps this list is reliable? Or, perhaps -- EFIK MOVY was made up as a copyright trap -- sort of like fake streets on maps that map-makers use to see if other companies are filching their designs; maybe the original book this came from slotted EFIK MOVY in as a "Fake Street"? Just a few possibilities for why someone'd make it up...)

So, anyway, though -- does anyone know for sure, and if so, does anyone have any information on it? This has been eating at me for years and no one I've asked has known anything about the film. Is it real? Is it a myth? Is it an art film that causes the viewer to watch it over and over until they starve to death from a lack of desire to do anything at all but watch it? For asking about it, will I get a copy in the mail labelled with nothing but a smiley face?

What IS it?!

[1] The answer is "language" -- it's a joke based on misdirection; sort of like "You're a bus driver. On the first stop 2 people get on, on the second 1 gets off and 5 get on, on the third 4 get off, 2 get on and one guy hops off but hops back on, and this pattern continues for 10 more stops. Given all this information, what color are the bus driver's eyes?" Just to prevent a derail, anyway.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me to Media & Arts (11 answers total)
No mention in The Psychotronic Video Guide, which has never failed me before. Of course, if the film does exist and isn't remotely psychotronic, that could mean nothing.
posted by cortex at 5:20 PM on July 21, 2005

The Efik are a people in Nigeria and Cameroon. Maybe check with some anthropologists / anthropologist filmmakers?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:27 PM on July 21, 2005

Best answer: Not to derail, but aggry and gry are, while wildly obscure, nonetheless English words. And there are others, as Googling for 'aggry' or 'gry' will reveal. Also, I hate that goddamn brainteaser/joke/whatever.

Dunno about your movie, though I like the DFW reference. One of the many Google results for 'efik movy' claims that "Ted Clarke reports there was a film EFIK MOVY..." I think that this guy might be the Ted Clarke in question. Perhaps he was misinformed. Or he made it up. Or he never made this report at all. Maybe you could try to get in touch with him.
posted by box at 5:45 PM on July 21, 2005

Also, WorldCat shows two books by that name, but no movies.
posted by box at 5:47 PM on July 21, 2005

The answer is "language"

That's one answer. There are many "answers" to this annoying puzzle, whose popularity mystifies me; some of them are listed here. There's a discussion by actual lexicographers here. Bottom line: it's fun to chew over if you enjoy that sort of thing, but there is no one answer; if anyone tells you there is, run them out of town.

The movie? I'm guessing C.
posted by languagehat at 5:55 PM on July 21, 2005

Response by poster: D'oh! Contributing to my own derail! But yeah -- my main mentioning of the "Language" answer was that it just struck me as odd that it wasn't phrased as "Some possible answers are aggry, (etc), but it's a Joke-Puzzle", though the reasoning behind that is probably as languagehat states, that there's many different "answers"/forms of the puzzle, so it'd probably end up taking fifty pages to list them all and explain them.

As for the actual matter -- box, thanks! I'm going to email him (or, at least, the webmaster of that site -- the only email address I can find) and see if I get a response. (If I do, I'll share it here!)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 7:19 PM on July 21, 2005

The first rule of abcdEFghIjKlMnOpqrstuVwxYz Cis that you DO NOT TALK ABOUT abcdEFghIjKlMnOpqrstuVwxYz.
posted by mkultra at 7:28 PM on July 21, 2005

To clarify my earlier WorldCat comment: WorldCat shows two books called 'Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz,' neither of which appear to be related to the movie, and nothing with the title 'Efik Movy.'
posted by box at 8:26 AM on July 22, 2005

Response by poster: I've just heard back from Ted Clarke! And this is what he said:
Hi Matt!

I plead guilty to this film title, as I do to the coining of the word, or phrase, CHILL-LOSS, both of which I class as ALPHWORDS -- another coinage of mine.

(And the subject line was "Mea Culpa")

So -- I think he just made it up out of his love of playing with words. So, hey, another mystery solved!
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 10:21 AM on July 22, 2005

So the answer is C. What do I win?
posted by languagehat at 4:08 PM on July 22, 2005

Response by poster: A new car!

Offer of a new car not valid anywhere
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 4:55 PM on July 22, 2005

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