The only background information you need about this Easter egg is this: Mel Gibson is insane.
He may also be Snidely Whiplash.
Got it? OK, we're good to go.
After the success of The Passion and faced with the impossibility of doing a sequel without pissing off the movie's considerable fanbase, Gibson decided to direct another long, violent film set hundreds of years in the past and spoken in an ancient language: Apocalypto. It's a very serious, very tragic film about the last days of the Mayan civilization. However, as soon as the movie's teaser trailer was released, some people noticed something ... disturbing about it. Check out the rapid sequence of shots near the end of the trailer, starting at around 1:45.
Don't see it? It's a single frame, so you have click and pause very fast to catch it. It's around 1:46. If you do it right, you'll be rewarded with this:
Yes, apparently, Mel Gibson slipped a subliminal image of his crazy beard in the trailer for his movie. As we mentioned, this isn't some wacky comedy -- it's about as dramatic as The Passion, only with more pounding drums and chase sequences. OK, so this Easter egg isn't technically in the movie, and it isn't really that crazy, but the next part is. Searching for Easter eggs in a movie is a little like playing Where's Waldo -- you know, those books about a guy dressed in red and white stripes with a tendency to get lost in large crowds of people.
"I like groping people."
In the theatrical cut of Apocalypto it's literally like that, because as the camera pans over a massive pile of dead bodies in a particularly grisly scene... you can see a single frame of Waldo lying among the corpses.
OK, that has to be a hoax, it was probably shot by some bored guy in his backyard or some-
Nope, that doesn't look like someone's backyard. That's either: A) the set of a big budget Hollywood movie, or B) an actual mass grave. It doesn't look like a Photoshop either, and there are half a dozen other sightings on YouTube. The frame was removed from the DVD version of the film, but the theatrical cut still survives thanks to the thousands of pirated copies going around online. If you still think it's a hoax, ask yourself this: Do you seriously think this is too crazy for Mel Gibson?
Didn't think so.
2001: A Space Odyssey is arguably one of the greatest movies ever made, even if no one has any idea what the fuck it's actually about. It has influenced directors for almost half a century, but even Kubrick could not have predicted that a throwaway line from the film that isn't even in the script would lead to one of the longest running Easter eggs in cinematic history.
... and we're fairly sure Kubrick could see into the future.
The line is simply "See you next Wednesday" and it's spoken by the father of one of the astronauts on a videophone. That's it. But that one line had such a huge impact on John Landis that he wrote a screenplay called See You Next Wednesday in honor of the movie. By all accounts it was terrible (yes, even worse than Blues Brothers 2000), and he decided never to use it.
However, even in a pile of shit you can find nuggets of perfectly good corn, so in all the movies Landis made where he pinched a line, character, theme or whatever from the SYNW script, he would give a little nod to it.
Everything from a porno to a prehistoric epic. Makes you wonder what Landis' screenplay was about.
We'd like to see her next Wednesday, if you catch our incredibly subtle drift.
Many have jumped on the SYNW bandwagon, and the phrase can be found in all kinds of stuff, from the video game classic Deus Ex to Hellboy II.
The plot of Inception is all about sneaking an idea into somebody's mind without the person even realizing it. Turns out that while you were watching the movie, Chris Nolan was totally doing the same thing to you.
And that's why you've been dreaming about those piercing eyes for the past year.
More specifically, the "idea" that Nolan secretly inserted into your mind is this:
Some context: In the movie, whenever DiCaprio and his gang are about to wake up, they hear the song Non, je ne regrette nien by Edith Piaf. But you knew that part -- they never hide the fact that they're using that particular song as part of the plot. What you might not have realized is that you're hearing it even when you think you aren't.
We're just going to assume there are still two or three more mindfucks hidden inside this thing.
Remember that ultra-dramatic instrumental theme you hear over and over for the last 45 minutes of the movie? It sounds like a typical summer movie soundtrack meant to let you know that shit's getting real ... but it's actually that same Edith Piaf song, slowed down almost beyond recognition.
The really cool part is that it makes perfect sense. The Edith Piaf song is a way for the characters to know they're about to wake up -- but since time passes more slowly inside dreams, what seems like two minutes and 23 seconds in reality can last a lot longer for them. While the song is playing at normal speed in the waking world, the characters should hear it all slowed down.
And possibly in zero-gravity.
Hans Zimmer, the film's composer, said that in order to achieve this, they actually went to France and extracted two notes from the original master of the song. Apparently those two notes went a long way, because he also said that "all the music in the score is subdivisions and multiplications of the tempo of the Edith Piaf track." So basically, old song + math = Oscar nomination.
Find out more about Marconi in his Twitter account. Maxwell Yezpitelok lives in Chile and makes comics. Ashe recently wrote a short story for a charity book that you can buy here. For more of his stuff, check out Weird Shit Blog and Bad Metaphors.
And see what Easter eggs we hid in our book.
For more things that'll make your favorite movies ever better, check out 6 Insane Fan Theories That Actually Make Great Movies Better and The 6 Most Psychotic Rip-Offs of Famous Animated Films.
And stop by Linkstorm to discover the Easter eggs we've hidden around Cracked HQ, because we don't remember where they are.
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