The B-Movie Gimmick From The '60s (That We Want Back)

We’ve discussed William Castle here at Cracked, the all-time king of horror movie gimmicks. And among all his contrivances to get butts in theater seats to watch B-grade schlock, there's a particularly clever one used in one of his ‘best’ movies, Homicidal.

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Movies can change a lot during production. Sometimes they start off pretty normal and turn stupid, sometimes they were stupid to begin with and just get stupider, and sometimes a huge dimensional portal opens in your room. No, seriously, a big hole in the fabric of existence just appeared in front of my closet and sucked me through. It doesn't look like anything is different on this side, so I'm just going to do what any good entertainment journalist does and continue my article here at

Anyway, movies! Turns out lots of famous movies were pretty close to being so irredeemably dumb that no one would have watched them, in this or any other reality, and we definitely wouldn't be calling them classics today. For example ...

Back to the Future Almost Had a Semi-Incestuous Subplot

5 Classic Movies You Didn't Notice Were Completely Insane
Universal Pictures

There are a lot of things to like about Back to the Future: the action, the music, the manure jokes, etc. There's one reason why this movie rocks that you probably took for granted, though: the fact that there are no scenes where Marty McFly gets hit on by his teenage mother. A lack of mother-fucking vibes is such a fundamental thing for any movie to have, not just this one. And yet, if you look at the early versions of the script, for some reason they decided that when Marty wakes up in 1955 after being knocked out by his grandfather's car, the young version of his mom should be "very interested in him," which she lets him know by awkwardly running her hand through his hair. She also calls him "Calvin" in this version, because she looks at his undies while he's asleep and sees the name Calvin Klein. Which I guess is better than her seeing the Calvin and Hobbes logo tattooed on his dick.

No, I'm not shitting you. The near-incest is in the freaking script. Not only that, they actually shot the Marty/Marty's mom "bedroom scene" and some images still survive:

Universal Pictures

Clear your cache right now, because in some states you could go to jail for having this on your computer.

You know the plan near the end of the movie where Marty is supposed to freak out his mom by revealing he's a communist spy, only for George McFly to come in and punch him? Well, in the original script his method of scaring her is by (and I'm quoting) "feeling her up" in a car. Of course, that doesn't happen ... because Marty's mom takes a shot of booze and it's her who kisses him. On the lips. Even full-blown porn sites delete incest role-playing. To be fair, she does feel extremely weird about it afterward, as would anyone else still left watching this film.

5 Classic Movies You Didn't Notice Were Completely Insane
Universal Pictures

Except Crispin Glover, who'd be sporting a massive boner.

After five weeks shooting this version of the movie, director Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg looked at the footage and realized something was off. The answer was obvious: it was the sexy mom scenes. Perhaps this was exacerbated by the fact that Lea Thompson (Marty's mom) had a bit too much sexual chemistry with Eric Stoltz (Marty McFly), as evidenced by the fact that they later did Some Kind of Wonderful together.

5 Classic Movies You Didn't Notice Were Completely Insane
Universal Pictures

They almost recast the part of Doc for the exact same reason.

Can you imagine Back to the Future becoming the cult classic it is today if they'd kept the incest? It'd be like some shameful movie only perverts admit to owning, like the entire filmography of Woody Allen. While we're on the subject, when the hell are they making Back to the Future 2? C'mon, Spielberg, you've probably made your money back by now.

Indiana Jones Was Supposed to Have an Affair With a 16-Year-Old Girl

5 Classic Movies You Didn't Notice Were Completely Insane

Everything about Indiana Jones is so iconic that it's hard to imagine any part of the character being any other way. The hat. The whip. The mustache. The ... statutory rape?

5 Classic Movies You Didn't Notice Were Completely Insane
Universal Television

Whoever heard of a pervert with a mustache?

That last one was in the original plan, anyway. Remember Marion Ravenwood, the daughter of Indy's old mentor who helps him in Raiders of the Lost Ark? In the finished movie, she's just Indy's good friend, trusted confidant, and adventuring partner, but in the original script, they were supposed to hook up ... 10 years before the events of the film. When she was a teenager. Or, as she herself puts it, "a child." And now I've lost the ability to get an erection. Thanks, Indy.

MARION I was a child! INDY You knew what you were doing. MARION I was in love. INDY I guess that depends on your definition. MARION It was wrong. You

Or, as Indy puts it, in the butt. The underage butt.

The script specifically says Marion is 25 during Raiders, which would make her 15 when, according to Indy, she knew what she was doing (his penis, she was doing his penis). Other official Indiana Jones materials put her birth date in 1909, which would make her 26 or 27 in the movie, but that's still kinda disturbing -- especially when you consider that Tom Selleck was 36 when he played Indy and the actress who played Marion, Sean Young, was 122. (Note to editor: check math, please.)

Paramount Pictures

More like Sean TOO Young!

It's a good thing that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg ended up realizing the romance angle wasn't necessary and dropped it -- or maybe they just realized nobody would pay to see a movie where the hero is a creepy child molester. Either way, they cut that shit. Of course, the Internet being the Internet, to this day some fans still insist that Indy and Marion secretly had a thing going on, and when the latest film was announced in 2007, there was a rumor that Shia LaBeouf would play their lovechild ... which he promptly denied, because even Shia LaBeouf knows that putting Shia LaBeouf in an Indiana Jones movie would be more ridiculous than anything else mentioned in this article.

Superman Was Gonna Give Lois Lane Amnesia With a Kiss in Superman II

5 Classic Movies You Didn't Notice Were Completely Insane
Warner Brothers

Before the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, no one thought big-budget comic book adaptations were even possible. Think about that: there's no way Captain America 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, or Apache Chief 7: A Heart Without Regret would be raking in millions at the box office this year if Superman and Superman II had never come out. Or, if they came out and were completely dumb -- which actually got disturbingly close to happening. For starters, at one point, Superman was supposed to (again, I'm not making any of this up) erase Lois Lane's memory by kissing her. Yes, apparently the guy's tongue technique is so great that just a two-second smooch from him will give you permanent brain damage. Good thing they didn't go for a blow job, huh?

5 Classic Movies You Didn't Notice Were Completely Insane
Warner Brothers

If he gave Lois a blow job she would have ended up catatonic.

As you know, in Superman II Lois Lane finds out Superman is Clark Kent and they hook up. And, as you also know, General Zod murders, like, half the world, causing Superman to fly so fast that he breaks the speed of light and travels back in time, preventing all the devastation ... but also his relationship with Lois. It's a classic ending that has been called many things ("sublime," "transcendental," and "a deeply moving experience that will permanently change your soul" are praises that get constantly thrown around in Internet message boards discussing this movie), but never "dumb."

However, while the "turning back time" scene was always planned for the second movie, the studio considered pushing it to the first one because they weren't sure if they'd get to do a sequel, and they wanted to wow people with a big special effects shot. To make it fit, they wanted to change the original movie's script to kill Lois in an earthquake, causing Superman to make the Earth spin backwards. That's not a figure of speech. He literally reverts the rotation of the Earth. Instead of the 2001-esque light show we ultimately got in Superman II, the filmmakers thought it might be simpler if they just showed Superman flying around the globe until everything starts moving in reverse, because that makes sense (if you're a film producer in 1977 and your body is 85 percent cocaine).

What does all this stupid bullshit have to do with kissing Lois Lane? Well, if they'd gone through with that plan, they couldn't have used the time travel plot twist again in Superman II, so they needed another valid way to make Lois forget Superman's identity. They couldn't come up with anything better, so he slips her an amnesia kiss.

5 Classic Movies You Didn't Notice Were Completely Insane
Warner Brothers

"I turned down Grease 2 for this crap?" -Stockard "Lois Lane" Channing

Fortunately, someone said, "Wait a minute, this is Superman -- of course we'll get to do a fucking sequel, come on," and they scrapped all these revisions and went back to the original non-stupid plan. Some argue that the Superman comics of the time were pretty silly too, so this wouldn't have been such a big deal. Under that logic, I guess Marvel could have kept the talking raccoon from the Guardians of the Galaxy comics instead of replacing him with Rob Schneider's character in the movie. Yeah, right.

5 Classic Movies You Didn't Notice Were Completely Insane

Dirty Harry Could Have Been Super Violent

5 Classic Movies You Didn't Notice Were Completely Insane
Warner Brothers

Little known fact: Dirty Harry came out in 1971. Without checking IMDb, most people would guess it's from the late '50s or something, mainly because movies starring hard-edged cops who take the law into their own hands are such a rare thing in modern cinema. Today, you see cop movies about as often as you see dogs (which is never, for the record, ever since the Human/Dog War). But even leaving that aside, everything about Dirty Harry smacks of Classic Hollywood, starting with the cast.

DIRTY HARRY Starring Frank Sinatra. directed by Irvin Kershner. Sinatra's most unique role: a beat-up. quick.on-the-draw cop in a suspenseful duel-to-
Warner Brothers

And the catchy theme song, "Boy, Do I Feel Lucky Today."

Shockingly, that's not how the movie started. An early script was written by John Milius, who also wrote Apocalypse Now, directed Conan the Barbarian, and is batshit insane. How crazy is he? Let's put it this way: when they asked him to write a movie for Frank Sinatra in three weeks, based on a treatment by other writers, his only request was that they bring him a gun. A specific gun. As fast as possible. So the studio immediately bought the $2,000 gun, dropped it off at his house, and then dove through a window to escape his assumed wrath. Fortunately, he spared them his reckoning and just looked at it. Then he wrote Dirty Harry. Lest you think I'm joking, here's the specific paragraph of the interview where he says all of this:

No. you don't understand. If don't have the gun today, when the gun comes here, I'lL have to stop everything just to look at it for a whole day. and

"But getting back to your question, I'll have a Chicken McGrill and a McFlurry."

Probably as a result of the way it was written (50 percent typing on a keyboard, 50 percent staring at weaponry) Milius' Dirty Harry script was violent as hell. At one point, Harry Callahan shoots the bad guy in the leg and steps on his wound to torture him for information ... for no reason, it turns out, because the girl he kidnapped is already dead. Then, at the end, the killer doesn't peacefully turn himself in like you saw in the movie -- Harry personally murders him in a totally avoidable situation, then tosses his badge into a lake. It would have been a completely different movie, and one that's impossible to imagine being rerun on TCM all the time.

Obviously, all that crazy crap was rewritten by people not named John Milius. At one point, Sinatra had to drop out from playing Harry because he hurt his wrist and couldn't lift the comically oversized gun he was supposed to use. The part was offered to John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Burt Lancaster, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and no one else. Absolutely no one else. Certainly not any younger actors who would have insisted that they undo the changes and go back to the insane original script. Then the studio realized the big gun was dumb anyway, so they replaced it with a more sensibly sized one, and Sinatra was back in. The rest is movie history.

5 Classic Movies You Didn't Notice Were Completely Insane
Warner Brothers

"You make my day / You make my life / Com-plete!" Classic.

The Dark Knight Was Almost Brokeback Mountain 2

5 Classic Movies You Didn't Notice Were Completely Insane
Warner Brothers

I'm just gonna drop this picture here and assure you that it's real.

5 Classic Movies You Didn't Notice Were Completely Insane
Sean Maher

OK, that's not really real. It's a Photoshop, I'm pretty sure. But the frightening idea behind it is completely undoctored: Heath "13 Things I Hate About You ... and Now Our Son, Too!!!" Ledger was originally planned to play Joker in The Dark Knight. Apparently at some point Chris Nolan thought the movie would work better as a romantic comedy. That, or he got confused for a moment and thought he was making a sequel to A Knight's Tale.

Even leaving aside the fact that this was an objectively terrible casting decision, there's one awkward thing about it that you've probably realized by now. Ledger's best-known role is in
Brokeback Mountain, where he plays a cowboy called Ennis who has an affair with another cowboy called Jack, who is played by ...

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images, Warner Brothers

It's like he becomes a different person when he puts on the suit. With a different mouth even.

... Bruce Wayne himself, Jake Gyllenhaal. Now, actors playing lovers in one movie and enemies in another is nothing new (there's also Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep in Bridges of Madison County and Face/Off), but when it's characters as iconic as Batman and Joker, it could be a little problematic ... especially because DC Comics has been trying to convince people that there's nothing gay about Batman since as far back as the Lyle Waggoner show.

5 Classic Movies You Didn't Notice Were Completely Insane
20th Century Fox Television

"Sacred denial, Batman! I mean, holy. I messed that up. It's not an alternate-reality thing."

What was Nolan thinking? Nothing, probably, because let's remember that this is the same man who also considered recasting Katie Holmes' character, Batman's love interest, with Maggie Gyllenhaal. Who played Jake's sister in Donnie Darko. And real life. He wanted Batman to make out with his sister. The guy is a dumbass, is what I'm saying. Fortunately, when he heard Adrien Brody was interested in playing Joker, Nolan went: "Adrien Brody?! I love King Kong!" and immediately fired Ledger.

Maxwell Yezpitelok has a Twitter and a free online comic and is very scared. Soldiers wearing Horseface masks are marching out of the hole in reality in his room. They're coming this way. Are they twerking? I think they're twerking now. I'm not sure. I'm only seeing them from the corner of my eye because I'm typing this right now. OK, I just looked and they're actually Zebraface masks. Never mind.

For more from Maxwell, check out The 5 Stupidest Songs That Seemingly Predicted 9-11 and 8 Classic Movies with Shitty Posters.

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