7 Creepy Details In Back To The Future (You Never Noticed)
Once you've watched the Back To The Future movies a few times, you start noticing all the cool little details hidden in them -- like how Marty's reckless driving renamed a mall, or how Doc Brown's son probably peed himself in the last scene. Apparently, the filmmakers knew nerds would still be obsessing over their work 30 years in the future, so they made sure to pack the trilogy with as many cinematic Easter eggs as possible. It's almost like they had some sort of time ma- whoa.
Not all those hidden plot points are so innocent, though. The more you rewatch Back To The Future, the more you become aware of the dark truths lurking under its fun-filled surface, such as ...
Doc Likely Burned His Own House Down For The Insurance Money
Right after the fact that his best friend is a 17-year-old boy, the weirdest mystery surrounding Doc Brown is: What the hell happened to his sweet house? In 1955 he's living in a palatial mansion, but by 1985 he's shacked up in a garage in a Burger King parking lot, like a common Burger King assistant manager.
Doc's 1985 digs suck so much he's forced to live out "The Humpty Dance"
every time he has a woman over.
Thanks to Doc's serial-killer-like penchant for decorating his room with old newspaper clippings, the audience is informed that his house burned down -- but it's never explained how that happened. All we know is that after the fire Doc sold his property to developers, presumably working for Burger Duke.
Ah, yes, remember when you went through that devastating tragedy and then
framed the newspaper articles about it?
Here's where things start to get suspicious: The news article also describes Doc as a "bankrupt inventor," which is weird, because earlier in the movie he told Marty that he'd spent his entire family fortune building the time machine. The paper is dated 1962 -- so Doc must have used up all of his money in just seven years, leaving him bankrupt and desperate. Since Shark Tank didn't exist in 1955, torching the Brown mansion may have been the only way Doc could think to raise the funds for his time machine.
In doing so, Doc would get the insurance money as well as the money from the sale of the property. And he needed both, because even after getting all of that money, by 1985 his bachelor pad/filthy garage is full of "past due" bills. It doesn't help that a big part of his budget goes to buying dozens of clocks for no apparent reason.
Most of those bills are from the clock store.
It's also not outside Doc's character to break the law to get what he wants: In a deleted scene he bribes a cop, and let's not forget that his go-to plan to obtain plutonium is to masquerade as a bomb-maker for Libyan nationalists. That's pretty fucked-up. It's a good thing the DeLorean didn't run on kitten blood and children's tears, otherwise Doc's life would have taken an even darker turn.
A Creepy Stranger Might Be The Most Important Character In The Entire Trilogy
The stated philosophy of the Back To The Future movies is that the future is whatever you make of it. That's bullshit. In reality, your future depends on the whims of some old guy named Terry who scoops crap out of cars for a living. Don't remember him? He's the random "save the clock tower" dude from Part II who, through a seemingly offhand comment about the Chicago Cubs, gives Marty the idea to buy the sports almanac that turns the second movie into a clusterfuck of alternate timelines and recycled footage.
Among the things Back To The Future Part II predicted: Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8.
It's weird to have a character in crappy old-age makeup when we don't see him in the past -- except we do see Terry in the past. When Old Biff steals the DeLorean and travels to 1955 to give himself the sports almanac, Terry shows up again as Young Biff's mechanic/shit remover.
The Tannen family has single-handedly kept Hill Valley's shit remover industry afloat for generations.
At first glance it seems like just a crazy coincidence, the same person appearing in 2015 and in 1955 on the exact day that Old Biff travels back to. Of course, they never really explain why Biff picked that specific date, other than the producers presumably wanting to reuse the sets from the first movie.
Well, a deleted scene explains the connection and reveals that this random man might be the most important character in the whole franchise. Terry actually interacts with Old Biff in 2015: He complains that the cheap bastard never paid him for his work 60 years ago, even mentioning the exact date. It's this little spat that inspires Biff to go back to that particular day, because getting out of paying an auto mechanic is apparently the greatest achievement of his life. This means that Terry the clock tower guy is secretly responsible for all the major events of Back To The Future Part II and, by extension, Part III. He's not a mechanic; he's a Doctor Who villain.
Which might explain why he looks 10 years older than Biff in 1955 and 10 years younger in 2015.
Oh, and since Terry is working to preserve the clock tower, it's safe to assume that he's part of the Hill Valley Preservation Society -- you know, the people that give Marty that plot-essential flier at the beginning of the first movie. Did Terry orchestrate everything that happens in these films while trapped in a Groundhog Day-esque time loop? Seems like the only plausible explanation.
A Whole Bunch Of People Watch Lorraine Get Molested And Do Nothing
The emotional high point of Back To The Future comes when George McFly punches out Biff and somehow amazingly restrains himself from taking a dump on that attempted rapist asshole's unconscious body. Oddly, though, when Biff is assaulting Lorraine and George comes to her rescue, they seem to be completely isolated in an empty parking lot:
But as soon as George punches Biff out, a whole bunch of people just appear out of nowhere.
Maybe they're all time travelers who just got their parents to kiss and stopped fading out?
Now, let's review what happens in that scene: Biff pulls Marty out of the car, gets inside with Lorraine as she protests, treats her so roughly that the car jumps up and down like it's Ice Cube's ride, gets out to confront George, twists his arm for like 30 seconds, pushes Lorraine to the ground as she tries to help ... and finally gets punched in his stupid face. Where the hell are all those people during all that? Just watching from behind some trees? Well, yeah. In Back To The Future Part II they try to explain this weird moment by showing that this magic gang of students is literally doing just that:
Today, this moment would be on 10 different Vines with people shouting,
"WORLDSTAR!" in the background.
Even weirder, after the fight, everyone rushes over to Biff -- no one stops to ask if Lorraine, the victim of sexual assault, is fine. Or if George's wrist needs some ice. Jesus, what is this, the 1950s? Wait, shit. But still: Screw those people.
Doc Brown Buys An Electronic Roofie Machine
Now that 2015 is here, a lot of people are pissed off that we don't have many of the inventions Back To The Future Part II predicted, like hoverboards, flying cars, or still-working fax machines. However, there's one piece of technology from this movie we can all be happy was never invented:
No, not Doc's cellophane visor. One day, science will make such coolness possible.
Presumably because Elisabeth Shue gave the director a dirty look one day, Marty's girlfriend, Jennifer, spends most of the series as an unconscious body being dragged from location to location. When Doc brings the couple to the future, he immediately knocks Jennifer out using a "sleep-inducing alpha rhythm generator" ... which is really just a fancy way of saying "roofie machine."
While you might assume that this is another one of Doc's wacky inventions, conjured up to stave off the loneliness of living in a garage that smells like rancid fast-food garbage, you'd be wrong. Look closer:
Jesus, Doc ...
You can just barely make out text printed along the side of the device, indicating a branded product. If you look at the actual prop, you'll see it's a device called EZ Sleep.
"EZ ZZZZZZZ" was too confusing.
That means that in 2015 someone's invented a super easy way to immediately knock people out and marketed it to the general public ... and by "general public," we mean mostly creeps. Worse yet, it means that at some point Doc popped into the 2015 equivalent of RadioShack and asked for the futuristic version of an ether-soaked rag. Oh, and by the time he used it on Marty's son (his only legitimate reason for having this thing), he'd knocked out enough people that the machine ran out of juice. But, come on, this is Doc Brown we're talking about here. He'd never do any-
Marty Is Responsible For Millions Of Deaths
A lot of lives are ruined by Marty buying that sports almanac -- or rather Doc carelessly discarding it and not giving a shit that everyone in town can see he has a flying time machine. Old Biff getting his hands on the almanac leads to the evil, alternate 1985 where Hill Valley is overrun by gang violence, Biff kills Marty's dad, and there's (gasp) an African-American family living in Marty's house.
The craziest deviation to the timeline, however, comes in a tiny detail you could easily miss if you blinked or if you were too distracted trying to get the image of Michael J. Fox in a blonde wig out of your head. In the corner of a newspaper we see that not only is Hill Valley totally messed up but, somehow, Richard Nixon is seeking a fifth term as president. Yeah, apparently Marty kickstarts the Watchmen universe.
Most Hill Valley Telegraph headlines are stuff like "JOE THOMPSON FINDS MISSING SOCK"
or "MRS. LOPEZ SEES COW."
It's unclear how a sports almanac prevented the Watergate scandal and changed the Constitution, but there you go. If you look closer, things get even worse:
Although, this timeline has a 50 percent increase in journalistic quality from people
not being able to use "____gate" to describe things.
That's right, the Vietnam War is still going on, thanks to Marty and his wacky get-rich scheme. It's estimated that over a million people died due to the Vietnam War between 1965 and 1975, so by keeping it going for 10 more years, that's at least hundreds of thousands of extra deaths we can lay at the self-lacing feet of Marty McFly.
That Train Stunt Will Really Screw With The Future
For most of the series, Doc is like that kid you knew who had all the cool video games but never let you play any -- he builds a time machine, but you can't use it to learn about your future, get rich, or do anything fun, because one must be careful about not altering the timeline. When it comes to hatching a scheme to get the hell out of the Old West, though, Doc employs the classic tactic of suddenly not giving a flying fuck anymore.
Doc's elaborate plan involves hijacking a train, leaving the passenger cars behind, and eventually destroying the engine car in order to push the DeLorean up to 88 mph. It's a good plan, from their perspective, but it sure does screw with history. Let's do the math that Doc didn't bother to do: There are three passenger cars on that train, and in the car we get to see, there are about 10 people visible. So let's say there are roughly 30 people on the train, being all old-timey and minding their own business.
There are also about 80 hats, somehow.
That's 30 people who don't make it to their destination on time. If upon arrival each person were supposed to interact with, let's conservatively say five people, that's 150 people whose futures have been altered that week alone. How many business deals, armed duels, sexual rendezvous, and all of the above were prevented by Doc's plan?
Here's another problem: They destroy the damn train. How long would it take to get that line up and running again? Doc lectures Marty for buying a magazine in an antique shop but doesn't blink an eye when they completely shut down a major artery of transportation in the Old West.
"Eh, I'm sure Mr. Edison won't miss all these schematics and tiny glass balls."
Who knows what kind of ripple effect that could have? Marty and Doc are lucky they didn't come back to a future where Lizard Hitler was the supreme emperor of Hill Valley.
The Whole First Movie Is About Marty's Dick
Marty McFly is a virgin. Think about it: How could he not be, if he spends most of his time with a strange old man in the parking lot of a Burger King? This is why Marty is so desperate to go to the lake with Jennifer. In fact, in an earlier version of the script, they made the purpose of the trip to the lake more explicit, with Marty's girlfriend (originally named Suzy) calling Marty's mom "sexually repressed":
Then, in the middle of the conversation, Marty sees a hulking sexy Toyota 4x4 and remarks that if he could only take that up to the lake. There's so many phallic symbols in Back To The Future, Freud should have had an executive producer credit. Marty's car at the beginning is a smashed-up, emasculating small car ... but by the end he has a big, powerful truck.
"Finally, I'll get to have sex inside this thing. Oh, you can come too, Jennifer."
Also at beginning of the movie, he has an almost comically tiny electric guitar that doesn't work properly ... but at end he wows the crowd brandishing a kickass, cherry-red Gibson.
He technically stole Chuck Berry's penis.
The reason Marty's penis substitutes all double in size is because he's now moved from childhood to adulthood by conquering all of his Oedipal issues: lust for the mother and aggression toward the father. In other words, Biff. Yep, Biff is a manifestation of Marty's Oedipal feelings. He's even the one who totals the car, preventing Marty from going to the all-important lake. Once Marty's conquered Biff, he arrives back in 1985 to find that these urges have been tamed.
Oh, and Biff's new job? Polishing Marty's car.
Spoiler: The car is Marty's dong!
And for those of you who remain unconvinced: The movie tells you exactly what it's about in the first 10 minutes. Remember the aftermath of the opening guitar scene?
This isn't the only movie that is secretly horrifying. Be sure to check out 5 Light-Hearted Movies With Dark Moral Implications and 8 Dark Life Lessons Kids Learn From Pixar Films.
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