Movie: Menace II Society (1993)
Director: Albert and Allen Hughes
Stars: Tyrin Turner, Larenz Tate, Jada Pinkett Smith

Who would've thought that a cheeseburger could exemplify the devaluation of human life? And, no, we're not talking about people who binge on fast food while destroying their insides. That's a topic for a different list.

Here, the burger in question comes from the Hughes Brothers' Menace II Society, and is used as a bargaining chip by a shamelessly desperate crackhead trying to score some drugs from the heartless O-Dog (Larenz Tate). O-Dog isn't hungry, leaving the fiend to sink about as low as any person can in a situation of this kind: offering sexual favors. He tells O-Dog that he'll blow him just for a hit of narcotics, degrading himself.

The devaluing goes both ways: O-Dog, in a heightened state of machismo, responds to the offer by shooting the druggie dead. It's sad and damning in equal measure. —MB