6 Famous Movies With Secret Agendas
For as long as there has been a film industry, concerned parents have warned kids that their favorite movies are trying to turn them into violent, promiscuous, Satan-worshipping commies. Well, it turns out that lots of famous movies are trying to brainwash you with their secret agendas -- though half the time it's not even clear if the filmmakers were aware of it.
For instance ...
Star Wars: The Original Trilogy Is About Vietnam, And Ewoks Are Viet Cong
It's hard to imagine George Lucas having any secret agenda for Star Wars, unless the whole thing was secretly a piece of performance art to teach us a lesson about stopping while you're ahead. What many people don't realize, however, is that Lucas actually has some pretty strong political opinions, and he wanted them reflected in his films. For example, the classic anti-war film Apocalypse Now was originally his idea, and he wanted to film it during the actual Vietnam War. As in, with real bullets flying at his real, bearded face.
No studio wanted to be responsible for Lucas' headless cadaver, so the film ended up with Francis Ford Coppola while Lucas went to direct another, almost as politically charged film ... called Star Wars.
Clearly representative of the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
Unwilling to give up fully on his anti-Vietnam sentiment just because he was doing a movie about spacemen fighting with laser swords, Lucas modeled Star Wars' central conflict around what he saw as the realities of Vietnam -- namely, "a large technological empire going after a small group of freedom fighters." Yep, he basically saw the Empire as a stand-in for America, while the rebellion was just the inevitable result of the overextension of its powers. So Princess Leia was ... Ho Chi Minh, we guess?
All of this subversive anti-Vietnam sentiment culminated in what's considered the most childish movie of the original trilogy, Return Of The Jedi. The film features a small group of technologically inferior, vegetation-dwelling guerrilla fighters who manage to defeat an empire against the odds. Yes, the Ewoks are a stand-in for the Viet Cong.
Search your feelings. You know it to be true.
Lucas has consistently claimed a wider, political context to his films, but says "nobody was aware of that." This might be due to his decision to represent years of ugly guerrilla warfare as a battle between teddy bears and bumbling clones, but maybe it's our fault for not picking up the allegory when we were watching this movie at age nine.
Angry Birds: All Immigrants Are Just Terrorists In Disguise, And We Should Bomb Their Countries
Angry Birds is undeniably the best animated movie based on a mobile app to come out in 2016. Despite being a laughably transparent cash-grab, the movie actually boasts pretty solid animation and a surprisingly impressive stable of household-name actors. Also surprisingly, it enjoys an exceptionally staunch anti-immigration message, just in case your children hadn't yet embraced the alt-right.
That eagle isn't pointing up.
The film's protagonist, Red, is ostracized by bird society for being too darn angry -- much like your talk-radio-addicted uncle who writes Facebook posts in all caps and doesn't understand why no one comes to his birthday.
When bearded, ridiculous-headwear-wearing pigs from "across the sea" come to the birds' little island, supposedly in peace, nobody listens to Red's reservations. Only he believes these pigs (who have an unhealthy obsession with explosives) may have ulterior motives. Red even questions why the birds did not properly vet the incoming immigrants, wondering, "How do we know [they're] not criminals?"
"And some, I assume, are good pigs."
One of Red's suspicions comes from the notion that the pigs have a "king," while bird society is free and democratic. He instantly hates and distrusts these foreigners for being different ... and it turns out he's right. The pigs betray the birds and blow their island to shit, then steal all of the birds' eggs/unborn children for food. As a result, the whole island looks like ground zero.
PIG FUEL CAN'T MELT BAMBOO BEAMS.
In response to this act of terrorism, Red assembles all the birds and trains those liberal pussies to embrace their inner anger. Once that's achieved, the birds begin bombing pig island back into the middle ages -- as in the game, they repeatedly fling their bodies at the pig's buildings and until they've leveled the entire city.
There's no sort of resolution with the pigs besides mindless violence and destruction -- all that's left is a smoking pile of rubble with pig corpses presumably rotting underneath. In the future, they'll know just to kill any pigs they see on sight.
That's not Red, that's another bird covered in pig blood.
On a weirdly similar note ...
World War Z: If Israel Makes Peace With Its Neighbors For Even One Second, They'll Be Eaten By Zombies
World War Z so thoroughly deviated from the beloved source material, angry nerds were forced to respond by making it Brad Pitt's most successful film ever. One of the few things the producers made sure to adapt from the book, though, was Israel's zombie apocalypse defense strategy. In both book and film, the country builds a big-ass wall around Jerusalem to keep out all the undead undesirables -- making it one of only a couple of spots on Earth to escape the chaos.
Already, you can see hints of nationalism if not outright xenophobia: "See? The guys who wanted to build a wall to keep everyone out were right all along!" Unfortunately, they made one tiny mistake -- they let people in. Palestinians are allowed to enter and, happy to be saved, start singing with the Israelis in celebration. It begins as a joyous, inspirational moment ... but zombies hate singing, apparently.
"Just a small tooooooown girl!"
The undead start throwing themselves at the wall and, within minutes, create a massive, living flesh mountain, allowing hundreds of them to climb over the wall and ultimately kill the revelers. That's literally what brings about the downfall of Israel: they let some peaceful Palestinians inside their fortress, and God apparently went "Oh hell no."
They had like 2,000 years to prepare for people coming back from the dead and it was all for nothing.
We're not the only ones to notice the fucked-upness of this message, by the way. Also, note that this is the opposite of how it goes in the book. There, problems arise when a few militant Jews rebel against the government for trying to be inclusive of Palestinians, but they're actually unsuccessful in their attempt. Israel stays safe. In the movie, it's because of inclusion that the wall falls.
The film's point basically becomes, "It may seem like peace between Israelis and Palestinians is possible, but it'll only result in all your flesh being torn off by living corpses! Your naive, soft hearts will be your downfall, Israel!"
Friday The 13th: Feminism Is Turning Women Into Hussies (Who Deserve To Die)
As one might expect, not everybody was on board with the tremendous changes in gender equality happening in America in the '60s and '70s -- unlike today, when absolutely everyone is on board, everywhere. This general aversion to progress manifested itself in many ways, from electing more conservative politicians, to pushing for a return to "family values" ... to ass-kicking, gore-filled slasher flicks like Friday The 13th.
BEHOLD: THIS IS THE FATE OF HARLOTS
One of the more commonly well-known tropes of the slasher genre is the idea of the "Final Girl" -- the smart, resourceful female character who manages to outlive all her friends and eventually finds a way to defeat the monster. While on the surface this might seem pretty empowering and badass, there's one specific reason why she gets to live and not the others: She hasn't been boned.
The girl at the end of an '80s slasher is almost always a virgin, and every girl who is killed is almost always sexualized in some way -- because, on some level, we feel like they had it coming. This dichotomy is painfully evident in Friday The 13th, where the very first people killed are two horny teenagers having sex.
At least the blood will hide the other stains in his pants.
Marcie is murdered almost immediately after sex with Jack, and Brenda is killed not long after suggesting they all play strip Monopoly. When Mrs. Voorhees finally reveals herself as the killer, she claims that her son Jason drowned because two counselors were having sex instead of watching him. The entire movie, and thus the franchise, happened because of teenage horniness.
"Thanks a lot, boner."
Only Alice remains "pure" throughout the film by rebuffing the creepy boss' advances, and it's because of this that she's able to survive. In this way, viewers are supposed to somehow equate sexual promiscuity (and especially female promiscuity) as literally life-threatening. Turns out there was no need for our teachers to show us those terrible, outdated sex-ed videos in school, because we were watching something even more old-fashioned on our own.
Top Gun: The Movie Was A Two-Hour Ad For The Navy ... And It Worked
Calling Top Gun Pentagon propaganda isn't some Infowars conspiracy bullshit -- it's just a matter of dollars and cents. It turns out that using real military equipment in a movie can be expensive as shit if you're not willing to hijack it. So, in order to keep costs down, the producers made a deal with the government: they could use warplanes and aircraft carriers for a reduced price if they simply gave up some creative control in return.
"And Tom Cruise's soul. But we're sure he'll be OK without it."
The Pentagon's thinking was that they could use the movie as an opportunity to paint the Navy in a better light and maybe even jumpstart a little recruiting action. Since Uncle Sam had basically bought and paid for the film, changes were made to the script to make sure the military was always portrayed in a "realistic" (that is, positive) light.
Some notable examples include making sure all dogfights occurred over topographically ambiguous land or water (so as not to anger any real-life countries), making sure pilots only fired after being fired upon, making Maverick less cocky and more of a team player, and changing Goose's death from a mid-air collision to an ejection scene (the Navy didn't like showing people crashing). They even changed the love interest from another soldier to a civilian, since there were no real female officers at Miramar and making both lovers male would of course have been ridiculous.
"Homoeroticism? In Top Gun? That is such a filthy idea that we must all go shower together immediately."
The crazy thing is that the Pentagon's gamble absolutely worked. The movie caused military enlistment to spike and even coincided with a jump in their national approval in polls. When it's all said and done, thanks to Pentagon "assistance," Top Gun is little more than a sexually confused piece of badass military propaganda. Why did director Tony Scott go along with it? In his words, "I didn't have a vision of what I was doing other than just doing soft porn ... I got the guys to get all their gear off and their pants and sprayed them in baby oil." Actually it sounds like he totally had a vision, there.
Man Of Steel: Immigrants Who Hang On To Their Culture Are Evil
Wait, again? Yeah, for as liberal as Hollywood claims to be, lots of blockbusters are built on plots involving xenophobes getting proven right.
"We're gonna build a wall around the Phantom Zone and we're going to make Zod pay for it!"
Man Of Steel is in many ways a war between two types of immigrants: the "good ones" who keep their head low and learn to speak American, and the sinister ones who obviously do everything they do just to spite you. A huge chunk of the movie deals with Superman attempting to learn American/Earth ways and morality (as taught by Kevin "Tornado Rider" Costner), but he is always aware that he is still an outsider. To honor his adoptive father's ridiculous sacrifice, Clark Kent does everything he can throughout the film to prove that he's an American and "one of us."
When forced to choose between his "native country" (Krypton) and his new home, he sides with Earth, fully demonstrating the depth of his devotion and assimilation. He even goes so far as to claim "I grew up in Kansas ... I'm about as American as it gets."
You can tell he's from Kansas because of his laser vision.
Conversely, General Zod and his cronies are aliens who refuse to assimilate and even have the nerve to flaunt their cultural heritage. Their most evil act is when they try to take a chunk of our planet and turn it into a version of their own -- just like those shifty immigrants with their noisy neighborhoods.
Eventually, Superman manages to kick out all of his evil countrymen except for Zod, leaving Supes no choice but to murder the guy before he has a chance to hurt (or worse: impregnate) some white people. The Economist notes that the movie's immigration message was so on the nose that an entire "Superman is an immigrant" movement has popped up online.
Sounds like a lot of sneaky immigrant talk to me.
Fortunately, the next film corrected all of this when all-American Bruce Wayne realizes he and Superman's mothers have the same first name. We're actually not sure how that parallels the real world, unless it's supposed to serve as an object lesson in not waiting until the last minute to finish your screenplay.
Think Nana and Pop-Pop's loving 60-year monogamous relationship is quaint and old-fashioned? First off, sorry for that disturbing image, but we've got some news for you: the monogamous sexual relationship is actually brand new relative to how long humans have been around. Secondly, it's about to get worse from here: monkey sex.
On this month's live podcast, Jack O'Brien and the Cracked staff welcome Dr. Christopher Ryan, podcaster and author of 'Sex at Dawn', onto the show for a lively Valentine's Day discussion about love, sex, why our genitals are where they are, and why we're more like chimps and bonobos than you think.
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For more examples of Hollywood brainwashing us, check out 5 Kick-Ass Action Movies That Are Pure Propaganda and 5 Famous Movies With Political Agendas You Didn't Notice.
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