As someone who grew up obsessed with conspiracy theories and then spent many years overanalyizing movies in order to earn multiple cinema studies degrees, you could say I'm more than a little excited to hear wild fan theories about subtexts and the "real" hidden plots of films. You know the sort, like how the briefcase in Pulp Fiction contains Marcellus Wallace's soul and the one about Ferris Bueller being a figment of Cameron's imagination.
This week I not only got a smorgasbord of amazing out-there suggestions -- many of which I'd never heard -- via Total Film's list of "50 Mind-Blowing Fan Theories," but today our own Brian Salisbury posted a doozy over at Film School Rejects making the case that Unbreakable is a meta Die Hard sequel. That's crazy. And funny. And... interesting... hmm...
Next month there's even a movie that tackles some of these kinds of theories. Titled Room 237, the 2012 Sundance sensation specifically focuses on ideas pertaining to Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, such as the one about it being the filmmaker's indirect confession about helping to fake the 1969 moon landing. Yep, it's in Total Film's list, as well.
Most fan theories are just fun and games, improbable and often unprovable. But some, like the one about the Joker not really being guilty of killing Bruce Wayne's parents in Tim Burton's Batman and a few involving characters that were only in the mind of other characters do seem quite plausible. Others, like Labyrinth and Spider-Man being about puberty, well, duh and who cares? You might as well add the obvious Teen Wolf in there, too.
I think my favorites, or maybe the ones I accept the most, are that James Bond is just a code name and that Sean Connery's Bond wound up an inmate at Alcatraz only to later help the U.S. in a hostage crisis on the Rock.
What is your favorite out-there movie-related fan theory?
Here are some responses received so far via Twitter:
Join the next discussion on Twitter by following Christopher Campbell (@thefilmcynic) and Movies.com (@Moviesdotcom).