Odds are if you’re a hardcore lover of movies, then you also love Easter eggs. No, not the colored things kids hunt for after the Easter Bunny has been in town, but the hidden little extras littered throughout your favorite movies. Easter eggs have been around for ages, but they really captured the public’s imagination with the dawning of the DVD era – where astute viewers would not only move through films frame-by-frame searching for cool hidden treasures, but also on the menus of their discs for bonus goodies.
A nifty new article at Cracked points out that some films featured very cool, insanely detailed Easter egg-type creations that most people missed completely. And while these aren’t Easter eggs in the traditional sense (author JF Sargent likes to refer to them as “instances where the creators poured their blood, sweat and several other more unsavory fluids into creating something and put it right in front of your face ... and you didn't even notice”), we think they’re all pretty awesome and wanted to spread the love. Here are a few of our favorites.
Remember all those crazy looking journals in David Fincher’s Se7en? You know, the ones written by Kevin Spacey’s John Doe and filled with page after page of meticulously detailed tiny text that we’ve now come to associate with serial killers? The ones featuring all those gruesome pictures of severed limbs and decapitated bodies? Turns out those were the brainchild of designer John Sable. Sable spent over $15,000 on journals, tore them up and made them look old, and then filled them with literally thousands of pages of hand-written observations. After all this work, the journals are only featured on camera for a few minutes, mostly during the film’s opening credits sequence.
Despite not getting the recognition they deserve (we’ve always wanted to sit down and read those journals because, well, we’re kinda morbid like that…) Sable’s diaries are one thing that many fans think of instantly whenever Se7en is mentioned – but almost no one knows how much effort went into making them a reality.
Last year’s soon-to-be cult classic, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is literally filled with pop culture references and Easter eggs, but one of the coolest revolves around the recurring numbers in the film. While Scott must fight the “Seven Evil Exes”, and each Ex is numbered, that’s not the end of the numerology in the film. As Sargent points out, Evil Ex numero uno sports a combover making it appear he has only one eye. #2 mentions it “will take two minutes to kick your ass” and then points out the staircase he grinds down has “like 200 steps”.
It gets even more obscure as it goes, with #5 and #6 (the Katayanagi twins) having 5 syllables in their last name (six if you add in the first…) and turn their music up to 11. Pretty clever stuff. Even Scott himself is part of the film’s elaborate fascination with numbers, being called a zero, sporting a shirt with “zero” on it, and drinking Pepsi Zero…who thinks this stuff up? It’s awesome.
Then there’s The Matrix. The Wachowski’s sci-fi favorite is obviously filled with all sorts of philosophical and biblical allusions, but it’s also got at least one nifty (if almost completely unnoticed) visual trick on display as well.
In the scene where Morpheus takes Neo inside the Matrix training program to highlight that anyone can be an agent, we spot the agent – but we also fail to notice that the passerby are made up of copy and pasted dopplegangers. According to sources, the Wachowskis spent two days in Australia searching for identical twins for the scene, which was a subtle way of showing that Mouse was a lazy programmer who couldn’t be bothered to come up with unique computer generated people and instead just re-used a couple of character models over and over. Sounds like he could have worked in the game industry…
The kicker here is that audiences never noticed either – meaning that all of us who thought we’d do so great inside The Matrix probably wouldn’t have lasted ten minutes.
Swing by Cracked to check out the rest of the list – which features even more cool things you’ve probably never noticed. When you’re done, share some of your favorites with us in the comment section below.