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We've all experienced it, that dizzying moment when you look back on a classic movie from your childhood and dare to ask your adult brain, "Hang on, what was that?!"
Like when Princess Leia kissed Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. Yeah, they turned out to be BROTHER AND SISTER! Is what you scream into your nearest full-length mirror one morning shortly after watching Return of the Jedi, or, if you're slow with plotlines, some time in your teens.
Here now are four more examples of such sheer creepiness from some of your best-loved movies, you may scream at the nearest mirror again, 'What were they thinking!?' Dear friends, we cannot know.
What we can do today for ourselves and our own inner children is analyse and then judge the hell out of each one of them - for healing's sake.
Back to the Future (1985)
Ok, so Marty McFly, (Michael J Fox) is in a bind. He needs to not only escape 1955 but he has to make his own mother fall out of love with him and then in love with his father or he'll be (say it with me) erased from existence. That's heavy and already way too Oedipal. But why is it that the ONLY way to get your mother to fall in love with your father is by RAPING HER? Remember? Marty hints that he's 'going to take advantage' of Lorraine in the car outside the Under the Sea Dance. Thankfully Biff intervenes to rape her instead, because Marty can't go through with it.
Now, you know a storyline is turning your stomach if you're relieved that the villain shows up to rape, which both Marty and everyone watching is. But why does Biff have to rape her? And who even came up with the orginal plan? So, like, Marty couldn't have maybe gone out with Lorraine on a date and then dumped her - that is usually enough to wound a woman sufficiently so she never speaks you again. Or hang on, because she is his mother maybe Marty could've taken the less weird option and said he was from the future? Nope, straight to RAPING.
Fight Club (1999)
Tyler (Brad Pitt) tells Edward Norton, (known simply as 'the narrator') he can 'finish off' Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) after he has sex with her, as if she were as disposable and impervious to emotion as a plastic bag. Sure, it kind of makes sense by the end when we find out - spoiler alert for people who are shut-ins - they are the same person. But at that point the audience doesn't know that! So Marla gets ... passed between these two men who hate her? Marla is self-destructive, sure, but the tone of the dynamic suggests that she is being violently and methodically abused by Tyler - and Edward Norton. And ok, Tyler is an extreme person, probably a nihilist. But a sexist nihilist? An abusive nihilist? That's not ok.
Rain man (1988)
You'll be relieved to know that Tom Cruise has nothing to do with the creepiness here, at least not directly. Remember Charlie (Cruise) has this girlfriend, Susanna, (Valeria Golino)? It's Susanna who functions as Charlie's conscience for a lot of the movie. Except for the part when she gives herself over as a sex surrogate to Raymond, (Dustin Hoffman) when she decides she'll teach him how to kiss. Alone. In an elevator. Where the poor man, already trying to cope with life outside of an institution alongside a brother who treats him like a burden, is stuck and literally cornered! Nobody asked her to do this! She tries to describe her own mouth as 'something sweet'. Honestly! Raymond has autism but he does not need your sexually-charged pity! He's also pretty much your brother-in-law. In short: WHHHAAAT?
Gone with the Wind (1939)
Alright. This movie is already really, obviously creepy in the way it romanticises slavery and portrays African Americans in every horrific stereotype you can think of. But I used to try to block that out (irresponsible I know) and concentrate on the sizzling romance betwixt Rhett Butler, (Clark Gable) and Scarlett O'Hara, (Vivien Leigh). Well, that is until ... I remember the part where Rhett rapes Scarlett. Like, he's already been seeing sex-worker-with-a-heart-of-gold, Belle, (another terrific stereotype by the way) because Scarlett won't sleep with him, because she doesn't want to have another kid. And that's a little less than tops but it appears ... consensual within their marriage.
But then one night Rhett comes home drunk and begins 'romancing' his wife by roughing her up. But wait, because this is meant to be circa 1864 and the movie was made in the late 1930s, it becomes a case of, you know, women and rights? Like who even cares guyz! So the scene ends with him carrying her up the stairs to 'have his way'. But the worst bit? Scarlett is up the next morning humming and brushing her hair! Like, all she needed was a good raping! As if it totally hit the spot.
Let the healing BEGIN!
- Daily Life