After a couple weeks in New York and L.A., Room 237 (a.k.a. The Shining documentary the Internet won't shut up about), is finally trickling into indie theaters across the country. In case you're unfamiliar, it looks at a couple theories on the horror classic by some very
dangerous passionate fans. And it got us thinking. If one guy can see a Jack Nicholson movie as proof the 1969 moon landing was staged (seriously), what potential revelations do other films hold? Turns out, a lot.
We limited ourselves to three of our favorites, with three crazed theories each. See if you agree with the crackpot reasoning below, but fair warning: You'll never see Dana Carvey the same way again.
What You Think It's About: A bunch of ragtag '60s kids play ball all summer, sexually harass lifeguards, and retrieve a baseball signed by Babe Ruth from the backyard of a monstrous dog called "The Beast".
Theory #1: It's about Korea!
Evidence: It's set less than a decade after the war ended and there're a ton of examples of people crossing over the figurative 39th parallel, including those rich jerks who bike onto the kids' sandlot and demand a game, and the boys repeatedly trying to invade The Beast's domain. (Not to mention, Squints' gutsy attack on Wendy Peffercorn's mouth.) That scene where they all watch fireworks on the Fourth of July isn't the patriotic display you think; it's more a Full Metal Jacket-style moment of irony for some weary American boys who've been through hell. Plus, are we really going to act like Smalls' stepdad isn't a stand-in for all the soldiers who returned with PTSD? He hardly talks, avoids Smalls like the plague, and spends most of his time holed up in his office reminiscing about his youth... before he saw the things he's seen. Which may just be Smalls' silly hat with the huge stupid brim.
Theory #2: Smalls is an alien!
Evidence: At first glance, the movie wants you to think Smalls is just an awkward kid. But he's more than that; he's an alien unfamiliar with human customs and culture. Who other than an alien would wear that hideous hat, not know what s'mores are, not know who Babe Ruth is, and not even know the basics of America's Pastime? Also notable is his obsession with that Erector Set, which is basically alien technology. Finally, if an alien was scoping out the perfect landing spot for his brethren, wouldn't a sandlot be pretty prime real estate? It even comes with a giant scary dog you could mind control into being your watchman.
Theory #3: It's about Randall Dale Adams!
Evidence: In this case, The Beast is Adams, the man wrongfully accused of murder in the '70s who was the subject of the documentary Thin Blue Line. All the kids believe The Beast is a monster when he's really a harmless, lovable guy. Where did they get this idea from? A testimony by their pal Squints. Much like Squints, Adams' accuser David Ray Harris was a juvenile known to tell fantastical stories. But the real clincher is the failure of the police on Squints' account. His cop grandfather put The Beast away for-ev-er for his "crimes", just as the Texan authorities handed Adams life in prison (only after overturning his death sentence) in an unbelievable failure of the justice system. Deep stuff, huh?
What You Think It's About: Two slacker friends with a public access show who get an offer to take their stuff national. Typical "be careful what you wish for" stuff ensues.
Theory #1: Garth is the Son of Sam!
Evidence: Wayne's best buddy Garth clearly has some mental issues. But he isn't just nutty; he's a psychopath. Remember when he stabs that donut man while singing the Psycho theme? Or that robot hand he creates, which was apparently meant to kill Benjamin? So we've got the psycho killer part established, but you might be wondering why the Son of Sam specifically. Oh, maybe it's because of that scene when Garth literally takes directives from his dog??!!
Theory #2: Jimi Hendrix is still alive!
Evidence: This movie may love on a lot of classic rock stars, but Jimi Hendrix gets two extended homages: Cassandra singing "Fire" when Wayne first meets her and Garth fake-seducing his dream woman to "Foxy Lady". But wait, there's more. Hendrix's Cherokee ancestry must've spurred Alice Cooper's history lesson on Native Americans in Milwaukee, while Jimi's love of Fender Stratocasters is reflected in Wayne's reverence to the 1964 model he dubs "Excalibur". The reason Wayne's World is a clue to his existence and not a tribute lies in that scene when the inventor of Suck Kut vacuums Garth's head, sucking his "will to live". The movie is recreating Hendrix's supposed overdose -- the vacuum is pulling on Garth's head, the drugs on Jimi's brain and internal organs -- but Garth survives. For a follow-up on Jimi's current whereabouts, see Wayne's World 2.
Theory #3: It's about the Illuminati!
Evidence: The international Illuminati gang sign is a pyramid, and you know what has a pyramid in it? An upper case "A". Since the name of both the movie and its fake show is Wayne's World, that pyramid appears on signs, psycho hose beast Stacy's necklace, and the hat that Wayne wears every single day. (Don't forget the pyramid-like Doritos that Wayne gorges on in the sellout sequence.) Rob Lowe's character is also named Benjamin, and everyone knows Benjamin Franklin was a member. We could go on, but you totally believe it already.
What You Think It's About: The adventures of the coolest, most badass bouncer around.
Theory #1: It's about the inherent evil of monopolies!
Evidence: Brad Wesley rules the town with an iron fist -- he's got paydays coming from everyone and nothing happens without him knowing about it. Sound a little bit like Standard Oil or U.S. Steel? It should, because Wesley represents monopolies and their damaging effects on American livelihood. All the fights between Dalton and Wesley's gang show us the legislative battle for anti-trust laws in action. It's no coincidence that Dalton and his buddies share similarities with some of the champions of fair competition. Like Teddy Roosevelt, often referred to as a "trust buster", Dalton is a rugged fighter who's probably beat a grizzly in his day. And much like Senator John Sherman, namesake for the crucial Sherman Anti-Trust Act, Wade takes his facial hair seriously.
Theory #2: Dalton is the second coming of the Messiah!
Evidence: Yes, watching Road House is already a lot like going to church, but this thing has Biblical imagery like you wouldn't believe, man. An almost invincible pacifist with a mysterious background turns up. He has disciples (Wade Garrett, his employees) and hangs out with dishonorable women (Doc, who used to sleep with Wesley). His first order of business is to cleanse the temple (bar) of the money-changers (crappy bartenders and coolers). He meditates (prays) a lot. And though he might've taken human form in Dalton, if pain don't hurt for anyone, it's definitely the Messiah.
Theory #3: It's a case for conservationism!
Evidence: We all know Wesley and his henchmen are the bad guys here, but let's take a closer look at said bad guys. Are they just mean rich dudes, or are they enemies of the environment? They're constantly starting fires, forest and otherwise, plus they're known to run stuff over with monster trucks and hunt lots of animals. Enter our hero Dalton, noted farm dweller and convenient name sharer of former Missouri governor John M. Dalton, who oversaw the creation of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The battle for conservationism ends with a polar bear literally crushing one of the baddies, because Mother Nature demands respect, dammit.