‘Maze Runner’ Parody Eviscerates Burning Man

Wes Ball’s science fiction blockbuster, Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, is set to open in theaters on Friday, September 18, but a hilarious parody of the film sponsored by the Quizno’s chain of restaurants has already created quite a stir on social media this week. While the Maze Runner film itself is mocked to some extent in the two minute and 45 second YouTube video, it’s the annual Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert which endures the brunt of this surprisingly humorous parody.

The Maze Runner-themed spoof is set at the annual festival in Northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, which aims to be an “experimental art community that celebrates values such as radical self-expression and de-commodification” as described in a recent article on Creativity Online. With individual tickets to the event now costing nearly $400 each, and ultra-wealthy tech CEO’s reportedly shelling out tens of thousands of dollars to create privatized compounds of fully-stocked, air conditioned, luxury RV’s within the “community,” the Maze Runner parody by Quizno’s appears to capitalize on the obvious irony many critics have recently noted.

According to IMDB, the forthcoming Maze Runner film is about a group of teenagers seeking to survive and escape a desolate landscape known as “The Scorch,” as part of a journey to uncover a diabolical plot by a mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD. In their YouTube parody of Maze Runner, a group of millennial adolescents find themselves among the burners on the “Playa,” where they endure their own trials, including a “Gazing Workshop” and a “Cuddle Puddle.”

In the parody video, the characters bemoan the false pretext of what Burning Man was alleged to be, bluntly suggesting that perhaps the festival is not the bastion of radical self-expression it’s made out to be.

“They lied to us. I thought this was an anti-establishment society based on radical self-expression. Instead, it’s become a place for rich people to check off their bucket list.”

Unsurprisingly, the organizers of Burning Man are not amused by the Maze Runner spoof, and they are considering taking legal action according to quotes from Burning Man spokesman Jim Graham in the Reno Gazette Journal. However, lest any outside observers surmise that the festival is objecting to being made light of, Graham insists that their issue has to with intellectual property theft, not about being ridiculed through a Maze Runner parody video on YouTube that has gone viral.

“We are pretty proactive about protecting our 10 principles, one of which is decommodification. We get a quite a number of requests each year from companies wanting to gift participants with their product or to capture imagery or video of their products at the event, and we turn them all down.”

While Burning Man organizers are not fans of the parody, the general public seems to be, as comments on the YouTube video and other social media platforms seem to be decidedly positive. Moreover, 20th Century Fox clearly has no issue with the Maze Runner parody as they in fact formally partnered with Quizno’s as part of this initiative, according to a September 8 press release. Read more about the Maze Runner: Scorch Trials film, as previously reported on Inquisitr here.

[Photo by Jim Rankin/Toronto Star via Getty Images]