The Internet has rejoiced in recent days due to a mash-up war of Easter eggs of epic proportions. After Batman v. Superman director Zack Synder tweeted pictures of actor Henry Cavill from Man of Steel wielding a lightsaber and Jedi robe, as well as a Stormtrooper being arrested by Gotham police, J.J. Abrams, director of the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII chose to kick it up a notch.
Not long ago, Abrams posted the following video, which, aside from giving fans a wonderful view of the Millenium Falcon, showcased a replica of Batman’s “Tumbler” from the “Dark Knight” series on the ship’s underside.
Of course, fans will be looking for the Tumbler when Episode VII comes out, so this got me thinking about a couple more awesome Easter eggs that directors have hidden in plain sight for fans to ogle over and lord their knowledge and search skills over their friends. So without further ado, I’d like to take a look at five of my favorites.
SPOILER ALERT (possibly, not sure, but better safe than sorry).
1) Howard the Duck in Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the most fun movies I’ve seen in a long time. Its playful swagger and neverending treasure trove of humor won my heart. But no one could’ve anticipated what the filmmakers would place after the credits (it’s practically law for Marvel films). In the end-credits scene, the Collector (Benicio Del Toro) sits among the wreckage after the Infinity Stone has destroyed his collection. A dog in an astronaut suit licks his wound, to which a voice responds “What do you let him lick you like that for?” Sure enough, Howard the Duck is sitting on a display case drinking a martini. Who could’ve possibly expected that the first Marvel movie character, especially one whose movie was such a bomb, would make a comeback more than 25 years later? For the fans of the cult classic, it was a treat, a nod to the past. The silly, awkward, entertainingly bad past.
2) The Premise for Kill Bill in Pulp Fiction
Quentin Tarantino puts in Easter eggs that tend to tie his movies together (the use of Big Kahuna Burgers in Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs comes to mind), but my favorite involves the scene where Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) tells Vincent Vega (John Travolta) the premise of her failed TV pilot, “Fox Force Five.” In it, she gives a short description about each of the characters…
3) Nick Fury’s “epitaph” in Captain America: The Winter Soldier
In the newest Captain America movie, Nick Fury fakes his death in order to keep his surveillance of the deteriorating S.H.I.E.L.D. agency as secret as possible. At the end of the film, Cap, Falcon and Fury meet over his grave and on it reads something that should be familiar to Samuel L. Jackson fans…
The verse on the tombstone, Ezekiel 25:17, is a reference to Jackson’s role in Pulp Fiction, where his character, Jules Winnfield, would quote the Biblical passage as an intimidation tactic before killing people. I guess it goes to show that, no matter what, the badassery of Mr. Jackson follows him into every film universe.
4) The Zelda Fairy Fountain theme in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
“Scott Pilgrim” is one of my favorite films. Yes, I know it has a ton of problems, but the amount of creativity and inventive visuals make this my inner nerd’s dream movie, and this little nod to one of my favorite game series is priceless. When Scott goes into the bathroom (draining the “Pee Bar”), he steps out of the room to see a school hallway where Ramona skates past him before Scott wakes up, the scene being a dream. In the dream, the background music is the Fairy Fountain theme from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The movie is jammed full of video game references, (even more so in the book), but to hear one of the most gorgeous video game themes on the big screen, even if for a few seconds, was blissful.
5) Freddy Krueger’s glove in Evil Dead II
If there’s a director who has my heart, it’s Sam Raimi. As a kid, I fell in love with his Spider-Man trilogy, but at eleven years old, I managed to convince my dad to let me rent The Evil Dead on Netflix for a sleepover. My life was never the same. The Evil Dead series is wildly original for its blend of horror/comedy as well as Raimi’s inventive special effects and camera work. After learning about this next little gem, I guess I can add Easter Egg Hider Extraordinaire (yes, I made that title up, sue me).
In Evil Dead II, when Ash goes to the tool shed to remove his girlfriend’s severed head from his hand (I just realized how strange that sounded out of context), Freddy Krueger’s glove can be seen hanging above the door.
This is the product of another little back-and-forth between directors, this time between Raimi and A Nightmare on Elm Street director Wes Craven. Raimi had put in a poster of Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes in the first Evil Dead, and Craven responded by having Nancy watch The Evil Dead in A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Easter eggs are a long-standing tradition, a filmmaker’s subtle peek out of the fourth wall to pay homage or refer to another work. Film lovers look at movies with a microscope, combing through each frame to see if they can find any hidden secrets. If you find one, you feel like you’re part of the film-making process, part of a lineage of people who adore cinema and like paying homage to their influences and the people who inspired them. Easter eggs bring us that much closer to our favorite directors, and as the years go by, the trend only seems to be growing stronger with each generation, creating even more links to our past.
If you know of any more awesome Easter eggs, feel free to post them in the comments below! I’d love to learn of more!
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