Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Fatal Floor

‘Polish a floor, put a rug on it – 
you might as well set a man trap’

Native American Wisdom

‘...and to think he’d just come from the hospital’

‘The Fatal Floor’ has to be my favourite Public Information Film. It works on so many levels it makes Escher look like a one dimensional idiot.

There’s the relaxed, jolly ‘Man About The House’style music; the happy woman who thinks she is helping, but is actually putting everyone in mortal danger, including a new born Grandson. Then there's the technical virtuosity: the sublime dissolve as the rug turns into the trap; the freeze frame finale, the shocked faces and the strangled, slightly comical off-screen cry. It makes you gasp, laugh, think and, most importantly, it makes it simply impossible for you to polish a floor and put a rug on it without knowing exactly what sort of hell you’re getting into.

Finally, I particularly like the sheer level of micro-management that the powers that be are getting into here. Are they really going to tell us what to do in our own hallway? Yes, yes, they are. It’s rather sweet. Nowadays you’re lucky if they let you have somewhere to live, let alone give a shit about how you keep part of it tidy.  


  1. Isn't that Patrick Troughton providing the bitterly contemptuous voiceover? If so that adds another level of brilliance. And I think we can all agree that the world lost something the day they stopped making greetings cards featuring wonky stuffed animals.

    1. Yes, you're right! Hadn't noticed that before. They keep on giving these PIF's. I only recently got the pun on 'fatal flaw'.