The 6 Weirdest Ways Famous Movies Changed Reality

Movies have the power to change the world. Just look at Star Wars. However, there is always the chance that this change is very dumb. Just look at Star Wars.

Let's dive in, shall me? There's no more Star Wars in this article.

#6. Skyfall Caused A Surge In The Sale Of Cut-Throat Razors

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

The question at the heart of Skyfall is whether the aging James Bond (the man is nearly 40) can keep up with this younger, hipper, fast-paced-er world where Q is not a doddering mad scientist but a hipster in Malcolm X glasses.

The theme gets hit pretty hard in the scene where Miss Moneypenny shows up at Bond's hotel room just as he's about to begin shaving with a cut-throat razor. "Sometimes the old ways are the best," she says, referring both to the razor and Bond's cock. Then she shaves him, and it's the sexiest thing ever.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Unless you're distracted by how that is nowhere near enough light.

Normally this is where I'd make a joke about how 90 percent of the people who saw that scene ran out and bought straight razors in the hopes that it would facilitate them getting their no-no zone all tangled up in a Craig or a Harris. But in this case, I'd actually be right: After Skyfall came out, Google searches for "cut-throat razor" and "straight razor" spiked by 735 percent, and at least one Internet razor company saw a 405 percent increase in sales for this ridiculously outdated and impractical item.

The razor is a weird thing to latch onto, because there are so many other reasons this scene is sexy. Bond is putting himself at her mercy because earlier in the film she accidentally shot him. The imminent threat of death is a known aphrodisiac. Then (and this can't be understated) both these people are crotch-explodingly sexy human beings. Then there's the fact that they're surrounded by candles, and -- listen, there's a lot to unpack here. Cutting wet hair off a middle-aged guy's face is probably the least traditionally erotic thing going on.

Basically, this proves that human beings will trip over their own throbbing genitals to buy any product that we can effectively imply will get us some tail, even if that implication is a bold-faced, nonsensical lie. On an unrelated note, I bet if you share this article on Facebook a British celebrity will put their mouth on you tonight.

Lennart Preiss/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Which one will it be?

#5. Office Space Invented A Product And Then Made It Indispensable

20th Century Fox

Milton Waddams in Office Space is the great tragic character of our era. Ignored by his co-workers and displaced by his employers, he finds solace in the simple treasure of his red Swingline stapler. As the story of Office Space unfolds, Milton is in the background, slowly losing all that he treasures: his paycheck, the location of his desk, respect, and -- in the movie's most heartbreaking moment -- even his beloved Swingline.

Then he snaps and burns the building down.

2oth Century Fox

Some quick history: when this movie came out, Swingline didn't make a red stapler. They sold most of their equipment in bulk, and companies are unlikely to buy bulk packages of red staplers, because bright colors encourage non-conformity and non-conformity is inefficient. So when Mike Judge approached Swingline with a product-placement offer, they turned him down, because they didn't see any money in it.

But Judge was determined. The Swingline was the beating heart of the film, stained red by the blood of the narrative. He begged to use the stapler anyway, and Swingline basically shrugged and said, "why not?" But they had to custom-make their own, since (again) Swingline didn't make any red staplers.

You know the rest. Today, the red stapler is Swingline's best-selling product and a badge of honor for any hip American cubicle slave. And to think the famed stapler manufacturer almost missed out on all that cool ironic cash, all because they underestimated how many people want to passive-aggressively threaten to burn their office down.

#4. Action Movies Have A Huge Impact On Gun Sales

20th Century Fox

No matter where you stand on the gun control debate, it should be obvious that a huge part of "gun culture" is looking cool. For proof, look no further than the relationship between gun sales and movies.

Remember in Dirty Harry, when Harry lovingly describes his gun to criminals, taking care to mention that his Smith & Wesson 29 is the most powerful handgun in the world? He practically gives them a sales pitch. Before Dirty Harry came out, that gun had actually been discontinued because as the most powerful handgun in the world it was also heavy and loud and totally impractical. But then Eastwood strolled on to the scene and showed that the weapon was actually quite practical at being cool-as-shit, and the price of the weapon tripled overnight.

Then the same thing happened with Die Hard 2 -- only that time, it happened with the bad guy's gun. There's a scene in that movie where John McClane explains that the main advantage of the Glock 7 is that it's ceramic and therefore easy to sneak on board an airplane. The Glock 7 doesn't exist, but the Glock gun company does, and they saw an increase in sales after movie-goers learned that they sold the best gun in the world for airport terrorism.

20th Century Fox
Of all the Die Hard villains to pretend to be ...

Then there's the zombie-themed ammunition boxes that capitalize on the popularity of The Walking Dead even though zombies -- like the Glock 7 -- are made up.

Remember: Despite the fact that movies universally depict irresponsible, dangerous gun use, gun companies still actively campaign to get their products in movies, usually not even caring if the guns are used for good or evil. They just want to make sure consumers see their weapons making people dead, because they know that will translate into sales. In fact, they think it's weird when it doesn't.

The weirdest part is that the movie doesn't even have to be a success to have an impact: Quigley Down Under, Tom Selleck's goofy Indiana Jones knockoff that you've never heard of, was a 1990 box-office bomb, but it still caused a huge spike in Shiloh Sharps rifle sales. Today, there's a shooting competition named after the character, and actual military snipers refer to the act of killing two people with one bullet as a "Quigley." I'm not saying that there aren't some gun owners who make their purchase for the purpose of home defense. I am saying that gun owners shoot in their pants every time you show them a movie hero who's particularly good at firearm murder.


Anyway, I just watched a whole bunch of amazing movie clips to research this entry, so if you'll excuse me I need to go buy a Beretta 92.

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J.F. Sargent

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