Grocery Stores in Movies: American Ultra

American Ultra actually has TWO Grocery Store scenes. Our protagonist Jesse Eisenberg works at a convenience store and then later there is a *violent* action sequence inside a big box store. This movie is written by Max Landis who I respect deeply as a video collaborator with Almie Rose, Apocalypstick and as a straight-talker about the movie industry on Anna Akana’s podcast.

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As long as I keep collecting blog posts with movies that have Grocery Store scenes in them, I think I’ll be okay.


This movie is about mind control and mind control reminds me of an incident I had while I was a Sophomore at Queens College. I was retaking drama and theater and one of the requirements to pass the class was going to see a College Shakespeare Production. The day of the production, I smoked a fat bowl and my boyfriend dropped me off at college to see the show while he went off to see a Laura Stevenson concert.

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On my way over to the College Shakespeare Production, I saw a sticker that said “WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH? Search ZEITGEIST on Youtube.”

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I remember hearing weird voices in my head telling me to skip the Shakespeare show and go to the library instead to look up Zeitgeist on Youtube, so that’s what I do. The closer I get to the library the more amplified the voices in my head get and I start to hear all these whispers saying “she’s coming”.

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When I get to the lobby area of the library I look up Zeitgeist on Youtube using my laptop. I don’t find the Zeitgeist movie, for some reason, but instead find this video of a scientist talking about planets with rivers made of diamonds. I get excited by this video and impulsively decide to share it with people, like people next to me at the library. I take off my shoes in the process and the reason this is strange is because I am really shy. I’m super shy and I don’t behave this way, ever, and haven’t behaved that way since. I also haven’t been able to find that diamond river planet video again.

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So I show the video to some people and then feel the impulse to start introducing myself to everyone without saying my name. I just started walking up to people, extending my hand as in a handshake and saying “Hi nice to meet you. You don’t have to tell me your name because names don’t matter.” I was acting straight up crazy, super weird. The other thing that happened was I had just finished watching the Dollhouse series (and writing about it).

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I distinctly remember thinking about the show Dollhouse when deciding to do the thing I was about to do. To review, I am at my college library, barefoot and introducing myself to everyone for no reason. There are security guards  in this environment. The interesting thing the security guards did was instead of treat me like I was doing anything out of the ordinary or wrong, they befriended me while unbeknownst to me calling the cops on the low. Security kept me in the library while the cops arrived by acting friendly towards me so that I wouldn’t leave.

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When I realized what they were doing, this is the part when I thought about the TV show Dollhouse, my next impulse was to start running. I ran out of the library while raising my middle finger to the guards and cops. Still barefoot, I went into Powerdermaker Hall and sat indian style on the ground. I was not wearing underwear. I remember feeling like I was not in my body and nothing looked real. This was one of the first times “the illusion” broke for me.


The cops were really nice as they tried to reason with me to go to the hospital. One of the cops told me I could be anything I wanted to be, including President. I told her I’d rather be an astronaut. I became mesmerized by a vending machine and as soon as I turned my back, a cop pushes me onto the vending machine and handcuffs me. I’ve had a fantasy of being handcuffed since forever so I don’t panic or even fight. The cops walk me outside, in handcuffs, to the ambulance. They appreciate my calmness and the cop who handcuffed me apologizes for being so rough and loosens the handcuffs.


At the hospital I wait in the emergency room to be admitted into the psychiatric ward. The doctors and nurses insert a bunch of needles in my arms and take out a bunch of blood. I come to my senses and realize I just want to go home because there’s nothing wrong with me and there are actual sick patients who could use the attention/resources I’m using. No one is paying attention to me when I say I want to leave, so I just pull all the needles from my arms, just like I’ve seen on TV and movies, and I tell everyone I’m okay I’m just gonna go home. I sign myself out of the hospital, get my things returned to me, and that was that.


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