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Last April, I told you all about my stupid little hobby of collecting behind-the-scenes pictures that ruin films. I still collect these pictures, because a good hobby is a good hobby, but because being positive is healthier than being negative, I've been seeking out images that actually make their movies better. This is that.

Gandalf and Saruman from The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings is a movie with wizards and tiny people and tree monsters.


"It looks like you guys are expected at a mall to sign autographs on the 5th, but we can always cancel that. Otherwise your next free day would be ... March 17th."

How It Helps the Movie

Look! Saruman and Gandalf are actually good friends. And they hired this little hairy-man, something between a hobbit and a real-sized person, to be their personal assistant. And if the look on Saruman's face is to be believed, their assistant just can't do ANYTHING right! I'd watch THAT buddy comedy.

Also it reminds me of Space Jam, one of my favorite movies. Everyone remembers Michael Jordan as a Bull, but I think people overlook the fact that he also played for the Washington Wizards at the end of his career. So, when I look at that picture above, I can't NOT be reminded of the OTHER time a short, chubby, nerdy-looking guy with glasses followed around a wizard for an entire movie.


Planet of the Apes

In 2001, Tim Burton reimagined Planet of the Apes with Mark Wahlberg, Paul Giamatti, Tim Roth, and some others. His decision to reimagine the film as a shitty, tedious affair was a bold and certainly unorthodox approach, but ultimately people prefer the original.

Chris Brown (fan submission)
This is actually what I imagine every single one of Tim Burton's dinner parties is like.

How It Helps the Movie

We're no longer on a planet where apes evolved superintelligent brains; we're on a planet where apes evolved superintelligent brains but now Tim Burton is their crazy human leader. All of the other humans are pets and slaves, but Burton manages the entire planet, dictating orders to his lieutenants over their nightly dinner meetings. I don't know why Tim Burton taught the apes how to talk and dress themselves just so he could use them to enslave humanity, but I'm sure his reasons are crazy-ass and I would love to hear them.

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E.T. is about a cute little alien on the run from walkie-talkie-wielding army men who fear, distrust, and don't understand him. E.T. is no threat to Earth and spends the duration of the movie trying to get back home, where people don't try to kill him.


How It Helps the Movie

E.T. is a Watcher, a mystical being from another dimension who only appears on Earth when something cosmic and world changing is about to happen. He came here to prepare us for the real threat: a giant balding man who will pinch whatever he wants.

Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs

In The Silence of the Lambs, the brilliant but evil Dr. Hannibal Lecter is already in a maximum security prison for his crimes (killing and eating people). He's a chilling villain, because he knows exactly how to get in your head and expose your biggest fears and insecurities.

"C'mon, eat it. Open up. Here comes the airplane, coming in for a landing! And it's ... full of brains and guts and things. You like that, right?"

How It Helps the Movie

It just further demonstrates how Lecter is the smartest and most manipulative serial killer the world has ever seen.

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Darth Vader from Star Wars

Star Wars is a movie about a star war.


How It Helps the Movie

This adds so many layers to the already very layered Vader that I can't even stand it. You can tell how much love the Old Man has for Vader, and even though we only see the side of his helmet, you can tell how Vader is forcing himself to resist the Old Man's kiss. Anakin Skywalker. He lost his wife. Both of his children were taken away. He had to murder his only friend. He finally found love in the form of an old man (a clear stand-in for his former mentor, Obi-Wan), but he can't find happiness and embrace that love because the evil Sith Lord needs him focused forever on darkness so he can maintain control over Vader, and also he can't embrace that love because of the helmet. Poor, tragic Darth Vader.

(Darth Gayder.)

Neo and Smith in The Matrix

In The Matrix, we learn that computers have taken over and replaced reality with a virtual reality that all humans, who are basically just sleeping brains in vats, are forced to live in via a series of tubes. The computers maintain this near-perfect illusion 24/7.

"We've made a perfect simulation of your world; are you sure you're not in the Matrix right now, Mr. Anderson?"
"No, I'm ... I'm definitely in the Matrix."

How It Helps the Movie

I really like the idea that we assume that the Matrix is this complicated and perfect computer simulation, but when one of the agents gets distracted, he can't focus on his program. It's like when I'm downloading a huge file and the rest of my computer stuff slows down as a result. When Agent Smith uses all his RAM to fly and fight Neo, this is what the rest of the world looks like.

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Maximus in Gladiator

Russell Crowe is the soldier who became a slave who became a gladiator who became a hero. He rises up from nothing to win over the people and slay the tyrant Joaquin Phoenix, who was still in the not-unbearably-crazy phase of his acting career.


How It Helps the Movie

Everything about this is wonderful and ridiculous. It's like the setup to the third Hangover movie, where everyone wakes up having no clue what happened at last night's party, they just know they need to get Crowe over to the church but the wedding's in five minutes!

And I love that there's a tiger and a severed leg, but that nothing will stop the guy whose job it is to idly rake sand. Total pro, that guy.

"It's not my job to pry, it's my job to rake. I've got my own thing going on."

Freddy Krueger!

The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise follows a terrifying undead monster-type thing, Freddy Krueger, as he travels around the world murdering teenagers in their sleep.


How It Helps the Movie

AAAAHHHH! That's so much fucking scarier! I want him to visit children who find the Nightmare movies so terrifying dressed as Freddy and then peel it off, saying, "Don't worry, kids, it's just makeup. Underneath it all I'm far more frightening than you could ever imagine."

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John, Hans, and Friends in Die Hard

I think I've written about Die Hard for this website like 30 times. If you don't know what Die Hard is, just click the "Random Article" button, as you are statistically likely to find an article about it in 10 clicks.


How It Helps the Movie

Look at the expression on Bruce Willis' face. That is the face of a man who either learns he can freeze time or figures out that he's been having a drug-induced hallucination this entire time.

The Predator from Predator

"I said not right now, OK?!

How It Helps the Movie

Watching this movie allows me to pretend that, after Predator 2, there's a third Predator movie about a Predator who learns how to sing and dance, leaves his family behind, and travels to Hollywood to become a star. His dreams come true, but once he's successful, he realizes that the life he left behind really was the life for him. That his new life may seem glamorous, but being hounded by paparazzi and overly familiar fans isn't all it's cracked up to be. That fame and fortune are no substitute for family and friends.

Daniel O'Brien is Cracked's senior writer (ladies), and he likes to take chances and do dances (space jams). Watch him do stand-up with Michael Swaim, Adam Brown, and Blaine Capatch on 3/5/13 (people who live in Los Angeles).

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