Hollywood gets stuff wrong about the real world all the time, but we don't mind it because their version of reality is usually much better than what we have to work with. We would love it if a billionaire could dress up as a bat to fight crime or if the fat/awkward guy always got the girl.
But then, there's the everyday stuff you constantly see in movies that's both glaringly wrong and, when you think about it, terrifying as hell. If the universe operated by any of these Hollywood rules, life on Earth would become a nightmarish carnival of death and destruction where ...
5 Crashing Through A Window Is Safe And Easy
In action movies, glass is made to be broken. A character smashing through a plate-glass window looks awesome on camera, and it speaks volumes about the hero's toughness ... even though said hero never gets so much as a scratch from it. Hell, it's so easy and harmless that you wonder why these people ever bother with doors.
So, in the classic 1984 action-comedy movie Beverly Hills Cop, Eddie Murphy plays a non-Beverly Hills cop who, at one point, confronts the film's villain only to have the villain's bodyguards throw him through a glass door:
And the villain completely fucks himself in the process.
See? He doesn't have a single scratch on him. So, there are two problems with this -- first, in real life, glass is way, way more durable than you think. Here's a naked man running full-speed into a glass wall and bouncing right off:
But, whoever has to clean that glass of dick smudges probably would have preferred he just break the damn thing.
"Yeah, but that was probably some kind of special reinforced glass meant to resist breaking!" Right, as is virtually all glass used in windows -- otherwise, that shit would be shattering every time a bird flew into it. Even beer bottles are sturdier than anyone thinks -- you would have more luck clubbing someone to death with an empty beer bottle than smashing it over their head, which we know thanks to the combined magic of YouTube and alcohol.
And as for car windows, forget about it -- it's hard to smash them even if you have a hammer, to say nothing of using your fist like in 2 Fast 2 Furious or The Karate Kid, Part II. Hell, a British thief once tried to use a brick to get into a car, only to have it rebound and hit him right in his stupid, freshly bruised face.
We can hear the sitcom laugh track from here.
And if you do successfully break it, you're rolling the dice on what happens to your soft, delicate flesh. Here's a guy who fucking died when he fell through the glass door of a restaurant and had his neck sliced open as a result. The drummer for ABBA died when he fell through a glass window in his home. Glass shower doors -- which are made of tempered safety glass -- send people to the emergency room every year when they shatter.
Even "merely" having a bottle break in your hand often leaves people sliced up so badly they need to go through months of physical therapy and still end up losing the feeling in some of their fingers. We're telling you, you would probably fare better going through the gun-toting henchmen at the door than diving out the window.
4 Pillows Are Great Tools For Assassins
Maybe it's the almost-poetic contrast between violent death and soft feathers, but fictional killers love incorporating pillows into their repertoire, in one way or another. Like, when they suddenly decide that someone's face is suffering from severe lead deficiency but, wouldn't you know it, they left their silencer at home. Not a problem -- all they have to do then is follow Mel Gibson's example in Payback by grabbing a pillow and putting it over their piece to make the gunshot no louder than a fart on chili night.
And half as messy.
You've probably suspected that the pillow silencer was bullshit, but it's not. It's more of a gigantic crock overflowing with the feces of every animal on Earth. You see, "suppressors" work by containing the gases expelled by a gunshot, thus reducing the loudness of the bang. A pillow cannot do that. Or, rather, the best it can do is take the sound of a gunshot from 165 to 140 decibels, which is still incredibly loud -- enough to cause permanent hearing damage.
That's why real (movie) pros skip the gun part entirely and use the pillows themselves as weapons -- by putting them over their victims' faces and suffocating them with comfort. It works remarkably fast: about 60 seconds in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, 25 seconds in Revenge, and a zippy 10 seconds in Vampire Diaries.
Which is still slightly more time than it takes for him to hurl a 400-pound water fixture through a window.
Now, it's true that, when held tightly over a person's face, pillows really can restrict air flow. And you could maybe restrict all of their air as long as you have a victim who can't, you know, turn their head (remember, you're trying to get a perfect seal over both their mouth and nose) -- so at least Jack Nicholson had the excuse of being lobotomized in his scene.
Then, there is the length of time it takes for the victim to expire. While unconsciousness can set in sooner, "often the fatal period is three to five minutes" because of course it is. Try holding your breath for a half-minute. Are you still alive? There you go.
John A. Rizzo/Photodisc/Getty Images
Seriously, if you've ever ridden public transportation, odds are it's what kept you alive.
It's true that there are real cases -- horrible ones -- of people getting killed by pillow smothering. But you really need a victim who is very old, very young, or already unconscious. If you want the typical "victim flailing with muffled cries" pillow murder such as in The Blacklist, you'd better pack a lunch because you're going to be there for a while.