5 Fan Theories That Make Classic Movies Even Better
The Internet is great at reading too much into things -- even Freud admitted that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, people. Other times, however, you could make a pretty strong case to argue that it is, in fact, a penis. See, every once in a while, we come across a mind-blowing fan theory that makes a disturbing amount of sense, casting a movie we've all seen a million times in a whole new light. For instance ...
The Main Characters of Fight Club Are an Older Calvin & Hobbes
Fight Club came out during the golden era of movie plot twists, before every stupid website started spoiling the ending to every movie. Anyway, the movie ends when the narrator (Edward Norton) and his friend/sparring partner Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) turn out to be the same person. All those times we saw the two fighting? That was just the narrator punching himself.
We'd do the same thing if we were Edward Norton.
So Tyler never existed: He was a personality the narrator invented to escape his depressing middle class life. Strangely, when this all comes out, the narrator seems to handle it rather well for a man who previously had a nervous breakdown over Ikea furniture. It's almost like he's experienced something like this before ...
And he has, according to one popular theory, which states that the narrator is actually a grown-up Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes ... which would mean Tyler is Hobbes.
Or at the very least he skinned Hobbes.
For those of you who grew up in a Mexican prison, Calvin & Hobbes charts the adventures of a young boy and his best friend, a talking tiger who looks like a stuffed doll to everyone else. But other than the fact that both Fight Club's narrator and Calvin have imaginary friends, what else could they possibly have in common?
Well, first, there's the fact that they both tend to show up with inexplicable bruises all over their bodies -- when Calvin imagines a fight with Hobbes, his parents can see the bruises afterwards, so it's obvious that the kid likes punching himself and blaming it on his nonexistent friend. Just like Fight Club's narrator (whose name we never learn).
That, or his mind is blocking some serious parental abuse.
Also, both characters are miserable. Calvin has no friends, so he creates one to make his life more bearable. A friend who, incidentally, is nothing like him: Calvin is an impulsive, whiny, shouting ... child, really. Hobbes, meanwhile, is a cool and collected philosopher. Likewise, the narrator hates his life -- it's little wonder why he might sink back into his old hallucinatory habit and resurrect Hobbes, albeit an R-rated version named Tyler. A version who, as we've seen, is a cool, collected philosopher who fucks junkies like a machine.
It's nice to see that they still share the same activities.
And it's not like Calvin and Hobbes don't have experience in running a secretive males-only organization before. G.R.O.S.S, or Get Rid Of Slimy girlS, a club that the duo operated for most of the comic's lifespan, is a predecessor to the titular terrorist organization, Fight Club. Everything's got to start somewhere, right?
They were a lot more strict about enforcing the first rule, hence the lack of members.
And the most damning piece of evidence? "Tyler" sounds a lot like "Tiger." Case. Goddamn. Closed.
Kill Bill is a Movie Within a Movie
We're guessing everyone reading this has seen Pulp Fiction, and if you haven't, get on that shit. Hidden amongst Samuel Jackson's fake Bible quotes and Bruce Willis wearing a poop-watch was that little scene at the restaurant where Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) tells Vincent Vega (John Travolta) about a failed TV pilot she did.
But before that: baffling dance moves.
The pilot, she says, was about a hit squad comprised of five women, called Fox Force Five, who go around killing people and telling bad jokes. It actually did sound utterly awesome, like something Tarantino should make ...
... and he did. It's called Kill Bill.
The Bride (Mia Wallace), about to snort coke off a sword.
We've talked before about the vast interconnected universe formed by Tarantino's movies, but what if Kill Bill isn't just a part of that world, but a movie inside of it? Specifically, it was adapted from Mia Wallace's pilot episode. Hey, maybe it was even produced by her mobster husband, Marcellus.
This was actually full of Oscars.
Let's go over the characters Mia Wallace names to Vincent Vega: "Baton Rouge, she was the leader. A Japanese one, a black one, a French one, and a brunette one, me. We all had special skills. Somerset had a photographic memory, the Japanese fox was a kung fu master, the black girl was a demolition expert, the French fox's specialty was sex ..."
Wait, are we sure this isn't a porno?
Meanwhile, Kill Bill stars The Bride (also Uma Thurman), who is also a member of an all-female hit squad, the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. The five major female characters in the movie are The Bride herself ...
Half-Japanese gangster O-Ren Ishii ...
Vernita Green ...
Sofie Fatale (O-Ren's French second in command) ...
And Elle Driver.
Some elements were retooled in the transition from cancelled pilot to major motion picture (Mia Wallace switched characters, Raven is no longer a brunette, they added a fat dude with a mullet), but it's essentially the same group. Then there's what Mia tells Vincent about her character: "She was the deadliest woman in the world with a knife." The same line was recycled in Kill Bill, only this time it was about Vernita Green.
In fact, Tarantino himself has said his movies with the more fantastic elements like From Dusk Till Dawn are the films that the characters in Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction see when they go to the cinema. Which means that we'll eventually get the inevitable scene where a Tarantino character is dissecting a Tarantino movie.
"Hey, did you see Django? Man, I don't know if I'm comfortable with the language."
Everyone in Monsters Inc. is Terrified of the Black Death
Monsters Inc. is set in a world inhabited entirely by monsters, who have figured out how to turn the screams of human children into a renewable, clean source of energy.
BP is probably working on something similar right now.
The only problem (besides the whole "traumatizing kids" thing) is that children are considered highly contagious in the monster world. When a little girl named Boo sneaks into this world, the monsters turn out to be more afraid of her than she is of them. The results are highly comical -- the mere possibility of contact with humans causes the monsters asto fly into a frantic emergency disinfectant procedure. But why would they ever get the idea humans are toxic?
Babies only smell toxic, what, 40 percent of the time?
According to one fan theory by Reddit user Calabim, what terrifies the monsters is actually the Black Death. Here's why:
In the movie it's pretty clear that the monster world is a lot more advanced than ours: They have Jetsons-level technology, they can travel across dimensions, and they walk around naked, the mark of a perfect society. Therefore it stands to reason that the monsters have been traveling to our world and collecting our screams for a long time ... like, say, since the Middle Ages. You know, back when the bubonic plague was happily strolling around Europe killing everyone.
But by all means, continue complaining about your phone reception.
Now, the main way that the plague spread in Europe was through fleas. And, say, remember what the monsters' reaction was when a single human sock was found clinging to someone's fur?
After removing the sock using a pair of extra-large tweezers and vaporizing it ...
... they shave off the monster's fur ...
"This is gonna itch like crazy for, oh, a couple of years."
... then give him a shower, and that's it. No medicine. No mass inoculations. No quarantine in a glass room. The only possible purpose of this, therefore, is to remove the monster's fur as soon as possible, an action which itself only makes complete sense if the disease they're afraid of spreads through tiny insects that cling to hair.
No fur, no fleas; no fleas, no re-emergence of plague; no re-emergence of plague, no bullet to the face for Sully when Mike snaps and mercifully spares him a painful death. Everyone's a winner.
Willy Wonka Makes Candy Out of Children
In Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, five children win special tickets to visit the titular factory. Wonka is hoping one of them could be the heir to his business, and conducts this search mostly by being a massive dick to the kids. It's OK, though, because nearly all them are little shits.
The film has recently found new fame by providing a way to express sarcasm on the Internet, finally.
In the end only the kid named Charlie is left, since all the others get whittled down in various ways. Charlie proves to be worthy to succeed Wonka, but the only question is, why are there so many opportunities for children to suffer candy-related injuries?
Because Wonka's candy is made from children. That's why he's so protective of his secret formula: The list of ingredients includes "child murder" in it. Suddenly, the Tim Burton remake with Johnny Depp impersonating Michael Jackson doesn't seem like the creepier version, does it?
Well ... maybe.
In the remake we see that the children are OK at the end of the movie, but the original didn't include that scene. Now think back to the way the children are disposed of. Veruca and Augustus are sucked down a garbage chute and a pipe in a chocolate river, respectively ...
At least we hope that's chocolate.
... while Mike and Violet suffer bizarre transformations: Tthe former is shrunk to the size of a human sex toy, and the latter gets turned into a giant blueberry.
Or a Na'vi that really let itself go.
We accept what happens to each kid because, seriously, they are terrible, but think about it: Why should the pipe leading from the chocolate river be so large? Large enough for an overweight human child to be sucked through it? Because it is built to transport humans.
Meanwhile, Wonka has developed technology that can A) transform kids into giant, juicy blueberries and B) shrink them down to an edible size. All he has to do now is package them. Then there's the fact that after Augustus falls in the river they all get on a boat that has the perfect number of seats. Shouldn't there be two extra, one for Augustus and one for his mother? No, because Wonka knew the kid would fall. He was counting on it.
"I, uh, have a garage full of boats with different number of seats. Yeah."
And if that's still not enough for you, there's also the fact that Wonka pretty much admits all this in the original draft of the book. Roald Dahl wrote a chapter where a sixth child falls into a mixer along with her father. Her mom says to Wonka: " You're grinding them into powder!" Wonka replies: "Of course, that's part of the recipe!"
Everyone spent the rest of the chapter violently vomiting and crying before resuming the tour.
In Inception, Cobb's Totem is His Wedding Ring
Inception is known for having a soundtrack that went BWONG every three minutes and accompanied an infuriatingly open-ended final scene designed to make you argue with your date as you left the cinema. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, a widower who invades people's dreams to plant ideas in their subconscious. Each dream-planter has a personal object, or totem, to let them know if they're in a dream or in the real world, because getting lost in someone's head without realizing it is a legitimate concern in this line of work.
Cobb's totem was a spinning top: If it kept spinning forever it meant he was dreaming, and if it fell down he was not. In the last scene, Cobb makes the top spin on a table ... and then the movie cuts to black. So did it keep spinning or not? The Internet has been furiously debating this for years and we are no closer to an answer.
For our money, Cobb was definitely a replicant.
... and that's because we've been looking in the wrong direction. The top was never Cobb's totem -- it was his wedding ring all along. This is based on the fact that, every time we see Cobb's hand in the dream world, he happens to have the ring on it; you can see it in the opening scene, and again in that crazy dream in the cafe.
In fact he keeps flashing it to the chick from Juno, because he knows she's into married dudes.
Meanwhile, every time we see Cobb's hand in the real world, he doesn't have it. It's not there on any of the present-day, non-dream scenes at the beginning, and it's not there in the last few scenes ... meaning that the ending wasn't a dream. Check it out, this is right before he makes the top spin and the director pulls a The Sopranos on us:
Close the Internet, we're done.
Keep in mind, Cobb never said the top was his totem. Seriously, go back and rewatch the movie: He doesn't. We see him clutching the top in his hand when Juno asks about totems, but there's a good reason for him to do that: The top belonged to his dead wife, and, as the movie doesn't hesitate to show us, Cobb is still slightly hung up on her.
To the point where every time he goes to sleep, she chases him like a freaking Terminator.
In the movie we're told that totems must be something unique that only the owner knows well. Since the top was previously his wife's, that means Cobb must have had another totem before, right? The ring seems like a perfect choice. He stopped wearing it when she died, but was too cheap to buy a new totem.
Now that that's settled, let us put this movie to rest and overanalyze something else. What the fuck was that monkey Lincoln statue at the end of Planet of the Apes, anyway?
If you want to read more from Adam, you can check out his site or follow him on Twitter. You can also hire him for writing gigs by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To see some entries that didn't make the cut, read Rich's blog or follow him on Twitter.
For more articles sure to make you comment angrily below, check out 5 Movie Fan Theories That Make More Sense Than the Movie and 6 Insane (But Convincing) Fan Theories About Kids' Cartoons.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 10 Moments the Wolverine Trailer Stole from 'Batman Begins'.
And stop by LinkSTORM to discover why Khan and Darth Vader are the same person.
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