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Are you tired of the same ol' Hollywood movies? Well, using the powers of your imagination and just a twinge more suspension of disbelief, you too can enjoy a really good Punisher movie (that you never realized existed) or a third Speed film (in space). Don't believe me? Please consider that some of your favorite movies have been accidental fan-fiction hiding in plain sight, such as:

7
The Rock Is A Secret James Bond Movie

Touchstone Pictures

The Rock stars Nicolas Cage as a chemical weapons specialist tasked with infiltrating a terrorist-ridden Alcatraz. Fortunately for the audience, this inexplicably bumbling fed can only get his Rock on with the help of deadly grandpa John Mason -- an aged Scotsman credited with being the only inmate to escape the prison island. Also, he's totally Sean Connery.

Touchstone Pictures
"The only thing I couldn't eshcape wash the inevitability of plowing your mother lasht night."

You probably know where this is heading. See, Mason is more than just some spry convict; he's revealed to be a British Intelligence-trained former SAS captain who was wanted for stealing America's precious secrets. When he was captured, England disavowed all knowledge of his existence and he was put away in Alcatraz in 1962 ... only to escape a year later to presumably take on his true enemy, SPECTRE.

MGM
And the harsh mistress of time.

No, seriously -- as others have determined before me, The Rock fits quite well into the James Bond chronology if you also subscribe to the previously discussed theory that the Bond name is actually a code word like 007, which would explain why the character never ages and constantly changes appearance. That means John Mason had taken up the Bond title for Dr. No in 1962, a film that ends with him being taken in by the Coast Guard. He would then have been jailed in Alcatraz for that time and escaped before From Russia With Love and the subsequent adventures -- stopping briefly in America to get some strange (and father an estranged daughter, who we meet in The Rock).

Touchstone Pictures
"Related you shay? I best be going."

The only real inconsistency is the time in which Mason/Bond was in jail after his second capture, but I'm more than willing to accept that the 33 years the film claims was merely a clerical error fudged from the true 23 years he was incarcerated, which, coincidentally, would put his recapture smack dab at the moment James Bond suddenly turned into goddamn Roger Moore.

United Artists/Eon Productions
BOND: Hey Z, it's me, your favorite creeping-around guy, Joachim Boog!"
Q: *does 5 shots*

6
Carrie Is Basically An X-Men Movie

MGM/Screen Gems

Between gratuitous teenager showers and apeshit Piper Laurie shrieks, Carrie finds time to tell the story of a young lady surfing her first crimson wave -- and by "crimson wave," I of course mean the blood of her doomed, stupid peers.

United Artists
"Hang 10, you callous fucks."

Yes, reader -- you've surely seen or are at least aware of the pyrokinetic shenanigans of a scorned Carrie White, who party-fouls the hell out of her prom with the slaughter of her entire school and frothing religious mother -- the latter appearing to be right on the money when insisting that her daughter is channeling evil.

The 2013 remake goes a step further by having her birth punctuated with a near-infanticidal act by her mom, who in both versions insists that Carrie's father was seduced by the devil. So, to recap: We have the birth of an unruly telekinetic whose mother attributes a demonic father for her evil powers. She can fly, enjoys incinerating shit with her mind, and is filled to the brim with an uncontrollable force that's ready to explode in the worst ways imaginable. Too bad these guys didn't get to her first:

20th Century Fox
"I know we're not the guy with the eye patch, but hear us out ..."

Yup, when you take in the idea that a religiously sheltered girl with mutant powers is tricked into thinking she's doing the devil's work, you're suddenly left with a fucking awesome X-Men spinoff storyline. Think about it: Jean Grey's malevolent alter-ego is a fire-swirling demigod called The Phoenix who, in the films, is psychically repressed by Xavier at an early age, presumably because he didn't want to bury the entire student body every time his academy had a homecoming dance.

United Artists
"It was Pyro, I swear!"

This makes Carrie either A) a 90-minute infomercial for Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, or B) an after-school special produced by Magneto on the dangers of not spaying and neutering your neighborhood humans. And that special would be called Carrie: The Girl Who Was Just Too Darn Talented.

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5
Die Hard With A Vengeance Is Like A Batman And Robin Adventure

20th Century Fox

In the third and -- you know what, let's call it final -- Die Hard film, John McClane's past comes back to haunt him when he faces the riddle-obsessed brother of Hans Gruber (the villain from the first Die Hard), who forces him to team up with Samuel "Loves To Screw Whitey" Jackson as they foil a plot to set off a series of explosions in New York City.

It goes like this: McClane must complete an elaborate riddle or task, lest something in the Big Apple gets got in a big, fiery way -- the uncovered ruse being that the perpetual bomb scare is actually a decoy so that Gruber can clean out the Federal Reserve Bank after blowing up a nearby subway tunnel and drilling through.

20th Century Fox
What place smells of pee and is about to be showered in gold?

Needlessly elaborate? You bet your ass. Actually plausible? Also something you can wager your anal cushions on -- because the writer of this film was actually questioned by the FBI for this way-too-feasible heist scenario involving a group of henchmen posing as security and municipal workers to get the gold. It's a success among a fever of chaos and revenge games -- which sure as hell sounds like something this guy would do:

DC Comics
Because thwarting one "Bruce W." wasn't enough.

I assume you read the title of this entry already, so let's just break it down. Simon Gruber, while a fitting candidate for The Joker/Riddler, also has a murderous lady sidekick in the film ...

20th Century Fox, DC Comics

... who helps him thwart John McClane with a series of games and forces him to team up with a sidekick with unique eyewear ...

20th Century Fox, DC Comics

... who saves the day through a series of daring car stunts and zip-line maneuvers ...

20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

... with the feeble help of the mustachioed police.

20th Century Fox, DC Comics
"Tom Selleck is our patron saint."

It's not crazy. I'm not crazy, guys -- mostly because I'm not the one who came up with the connection, but also because the film came from a totally unrelated script called Simon Says that was then repurposed into a Die Hard sequel after being sold to Fox. Had it gone to Warner Bros. instead, we'd see a very different revenge story about one dude dumping other dudes off buildings.

4
Air Force One Could Have Easily Starred President Jack Ryan

Columbia Pictures

The 1997 dad-porn action film Air Force One opens with President Harrison Ford giving a dramatic speech to Russia about how the United States won't negotiate with terrorists. And just in case anyone thought of him as a pussy, Han Solo-In-Chief demonstrates his loyalty to ass-whoopin' extremists by placing an executive veto on Gary Oldman's neck tendons using a parachute.

Columbia Pictures
"More like Gary Deadman!"

But before the most iconic scene of the movie (which I spoiled, but you had 19 years to watch before reading the article), President Indiana Jones has to battle a gaggle of fanatics who have taken Air Force One hostage. And his aforementioned speech about vigilance in the face of violent persuasion? That just so happens to be nearly the exact same presidential address that Jack Ryan gives in Executive Orders -- a novel in which the Clear And Present Danger character actually becomes the POTUS.

Tom Clancy/Berkley
"Suck it, Bill Pullman."

Along with the subject similarity, the speech is also about America's willingness to partner with Russia to combat terrorists -- a much needed union in the following book, which involves the hijacking of a 747. Did I mention that Harrison Ford played Jack Ryan up until three years before Air Force One? No part of me wants to live in a world that isn't studious to the career history of America's Grumpy Uppercut, but I thought I'd hammer that fact in for good measure. Ford wasn't just a Jack Ryan but arguably the Jack Ryan to end all Jack Ryans.

Paramount Pictures
What kind of an asshole brings a Kirk to a Solo fight?

I would trade the lives of everyone who worked on Shadow Recruit to go back in time and fit Air Force One into the thorny universe of Tom Clancy. And yes, I'm aware that would consequently cancel the third Star Trek movie; that's part of the appeal.

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3
The Purge 2 Is An Amazing Punisher Crossover

Universal Pictures

Assuming The Purge wasn't going to be amazing was the single biggest mistake of my entire life and still haunts me to this day. I wake up screaming with visions of a godless, shrugging version of myself scoffing sinisterly at the YouTube trailer for this cinematic dynamite. There's a chance that the sequel was even better -- as The Purge: Anarchy explores beyond Ethan Hawke's residence and shows what happens on Purge night in a big city filled with more trust-fund clown-faces than Burning Man.

Universal Pictures
Relax, I already said my piece on The Joker, remember?

It's also accidentally the best live-action Punisher depiction (until Daredevil comes back on Netflix, that is).

I'll explain: The Purge: Anarchy kicks into gear when two resplendent fuckwits decide to casually grocery shop two hours before the Purge, only to have their car Purged by Purgers and end up caught in the middle of some serious Purge. Meanwhile, two non-Purging sisters get their apartment Purged by government Purgers, only to be saved when their Purging is Purged by another Purger out to Purge the guy who accidentally car-Purged his son after getting Purged up with alcohol. Also, this Purgevenger drives an armored Dodge Charger and looks like this:

Universal Pictures
Crossbones?

See any Frank Castle-esque similarities yet? Dude's so gritty you could grate steel cheese on his dead son's grave. His tears taste like Old Crow and cigarette burns. And so, while single-mindedly hellbent on Purging the man who did in his child, our suspiciously cop-like antihero accidentally makes himself responsible for the lives of others, and over the course of the Purge realizes that he can use his astute Purging skills to protect the weak from being Purged themselves. Now replace "Purge" with another P-word and gasp at my master of comparative logic.

Marvel Comics
"Call me the Purgersher."

Mr. You Purged My Son is totally The Punisher, only in a much more dystopian setting than the comic book. Both characters drive midlife crisis cars and wield firearms at the wicked and powerful, only to taper vengeance with heroism. You'd literally just have to change the guy's name to Frank Castle and give him a skull shirt to be riding one of the craziest crossover waves since Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse teamed up to kill Bob Hoskins.

2
Gravity Is Speed 3, And There's Nothing You Can Say To Change My Mind

Warner Bros.

I'm going to be completely honest: There's not much to go on here beyond me passionately wishing that the film Gravity is secretly a sequel to Speed. But if you'll bear with me, I think I can make enough connections for it to work, starting with the fact that Sandra Bullock's Speed character is a terrible driver who is perpetually forced to helm unstoppable objects. In Gravity, she plays a biomedical engineer forced to find her way back to Earth even though she has no business being at the controls of a space capsule.

If you're wondering, yes -- the University Of Arizona has a biomedical engineering program. And if you're wondering why I'd think you'd be wondering that, it's because her Wildcat Speed character, Annie, went to the University of Arizona -- where she showed very little interest in sports.

20th Century Fox
"My time in Kappa Kappa Gamma did not prepare me for this!"

Some things we also know about Annie: Her name is Annie and not Ryan like the character in Gravity. However, in her conversation with George Clooney, Ryan mentions that her father always wanted a boy -- which might cause someone to temporarily go by a different name in a fit of insecurity. So now we have Ryan, calling herself Annie and making it through her brief romantic action romp with Keanu Reeves -- only to later hook up with Jason Patric on an unforgettable cruise hijacked by crazy-face Willem Dafoe.

20th Century Fox
The burning wreckage also represents the remains of the franchise.

At the end of Speed 2: Cruise Control, Jason Patric proposes to Annie as the movie nears its credits. Presumably after saying yes, our hero settles down and continues her studies in the biomedical field, and while hoisting herself up the ranks has a child who subsequently dies in a falling accident. And so, after a lifetime of battling speed-related death, Annie watches her own kin die by going too fast. This causes a rift in her marriage and for Annie to change her name back to the one she was given when she was born: Ryan Stone, future astronaut.

Warner Bros.
"Fuck Matt Damon!"

That's where Gravity starts: with Space Annie once again fighting for survival at a velocity to end all previous velocities. And for one last time, we are privileged to see Sandra Bullock wind back and dick-punch all worldly constraints to close out what was meant to be the most epic physics-based trilogy known to man. Frankly, I'm appalled that this wasn't the case and won't rest until Alfonso Cuaron retroactively adjusts the film's title to reflect this narrative (Speed 3: R3volutIIIons) and the Academy finally gives the Speed series the recognition it deserves.

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1
There Was A Harry Potter Film Back In 1985

Warner Bros.

Cinematically speaking, 1985 was a pretty great year for teenagers in detention, teenagers on pirate ships, and teenagers turning into wolves. But the year that gave us Clue did have its share of flops as well, such as Clue and a Steven Spielberg-produced film called Young Sherlock Holmes. This movie featured the first CGI-composite character, so it was arguably ahead of its time. More specifically, Young Sherlock Holmes was ahead of its time by exactly 16 years, when Harry Potter would go on to dominate the mid-2000s.

This is all a long way of saying that Young Sherlock Holmes looks like such a throwback Harry Potter film that you could call it a case of plagiarism, an allegation the Internet hasn't been quiet about.

Paramount Pictures
Hufflepuffs, am I right?

That's Sherlock and a very Potter-looking Watson hanging out at their totally-not-Hogwarts school, where they later befriend a female student that one of them has a romantic entanglement with.

Paramount Pictures
Pictured here, probably looking up at their giant-sized gatekeeper.

Together, these three lovable British scamps go against a sinister professor who's revealed to be the dark leader of a sacrificial cult that is in no way the same as Death Eaters.

Paramount Pictures
They who must not be named (for legal reasons).

See, the clear distinction between this masked and robed secret society and the Harry Potter villains is obviously that Sherlock Holmes doesn't combat dark magic. No, just a drug that makes people think they are seeing dark magic -- like a living stained-glass window, flying demons, or anthropomorphic food.

Paramount Pictures
Ignore the old bearded fellow. That's just Schmubleschmore.

So it's totally different if you discount the fantastic imagery, character dynamics, and entire aesthetic of the film. Also, you'd have to ignore the fact that Holmes has a posh bully that could be an easy stand-in for Malfoy:

Paramount Pictures

And later Sherlock uses a chemistry kit to turn him into an albino and spitting-image of his Potter counterpart:

Paramount Pictures
Complete with underlying sexual frustration.

Jesus fucking Christ -- you could literally just change the characters' names and make this a standalone Potter film from start to finish. It's hard not to cynically think that Sorcerer's Stone director Chris Columbus didn't flat-out steal the look of Young Sherlock Holmes -- but I guess there's always room for an innocent coincidence, right?

IMDb
Oh, fuck off.

Dave is an editor, columnist, and researcher for Cracked that you can totally follow on Twitter if you so desire to.

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