The title says it all. Here are five films that everyone considers to be fun and “innocent,” but if you really examine them closely, you’ll see that they’re really fucked up.
1) BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985)
It’s a credit to director Robert Zemeckis and writer Bob Gale that they were able to make such an endearing family film where the main subject is incest. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) travels back in time and meets the younger version of his own mother who falls in love with him instead of his dad (although as I’ve previously blogged, if your mom looked like Lea Thompson, well…I’m just saying). That should be creepy enough but here’s where it gets even more disturbing: when he returns to the present, shouldn’t his mom recognize him as the same guy she tried to do the nasty with back in high school? And wouldn’t that make the home situation—oh, I don’t know—really, really uncomfortable. Imagine this scenario: Mom is doing the laundry and picks up one of Marty’s Calvin Klein briefs just as Marty walks in. He sees her holding his underwear. He notices. They make eye contact. Awk-ward!
2) THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)
One of the most beloved films of all time, this is the magical story of a young girl named Dorothy (Judy Garland) who travels to the land of Oz and learns some valuable life lessons. But have you stopped and really thought about the plot? Dorothy’s adventures in Oz are set into motion when her house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East; instantly killing her. Granted, this witch was probably not a nice person, but still—it’s not like she had done anything to Dorothy to deserve this fate. Then, Dorothy “steals” the dead witch’s ruby slippers and proceeds to also kill the deceased’s sister, The Wicked Witch of the West, who only wanted the slippers that were, frankly, rightfully hers. Damn, Dorothy’s a murdering bitch! My favorite description of The Wizard of Oz comes from a TV listing that appeared in the Marin Independent Journal back in the 1990s: “Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first woman she meets, then teams up with three complete strangers to kill again.” That pretty much about covers it.
3) LARS AND THE REAL GIRL (2007)
I don’t care how nice he is or that he looks like the “dreamy” Ryan Gosling, if a man introduces you to his new girlfriend and it’s a blow-up sex doll, that is not quirky or endearing nor will accepting this situation as “normal” lead to people discovering themselves in profound and moving ways. No, it’s super creepy and the only thing this will lead to is the police discovering a bloodstained blow-up doll lying next to a murdered hooker. This guy needs serious help and the fact that all the people in this movie go along with Lars’ deluded fantasy ‘cause they like him and feel empathy for him are just enabling the next Ted Bundy. In truth, this film should’ve only been five minutes long: Lars introduces the blow-up doll to his family as his new girlfriend. His family immediately institutionalizes him. Cut to a shot of Lars getting electro-shock therapy. Fade to black. The End.
4) WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S (1989)
Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman star as two low-level insurance executives who are invited to spend a weekend at their boss Bernies’ beach house only to discover after they arrive that their boss is dead. So what do they do? Call the police? The morgue or the hospital maybe? Nope, they decide the best course of action is to drag their boss’ corpse around as if he were still alive because…well, something to do with a mob hitman and insurance fraud—this was the 1980s, you didn’t need really strong motivation to justify your cinematic hijinks. As if that plot weren’t disturbing enough, the two are able to convince everyone Bernie is alive mainly by putting a pair of sunglasses on him and I’m sure all the nubile chicks who mack on the dead Bernie will just laugh and laugh once they learn they’ve been engaging in necrophilia. And even more troubling was the fact that there was a sequel a few years later where once again, our two heroes must convince the world that Bernie is still alive because of some money they’re after and voodoo rituals and…oh, why even bother?
5) SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)