Some movies don’t need sequels, and it’s not only because part 2, 3, or 7 can’t live up to the original. There are certain scenes that were hard enough to watch the first time around, so we’re not exactly thrilled to see them again, but slightly altered. This is especially true if someone tries to do a real life recreation.
It seems like common knowledge, but there are people out there who don’t get that what happens in movies should stay in movies (bikini scenes are a special exception). In certain instances, it might just be teens imitating their favorite on-screen house party, but other cases can result in tiny tots wailing on one another Tyler Durden style. Contrary to what some might believe, this life isn’t the Matrix you saw in the movies, and even if it were, you’re not Neo; you can’t fly and the only bullets your dodging are bad choices.
The following 15 films inspired some sequels that nobody needed to see or experience in their actual lives… ever.
15. The Town
Some criminals love to wear their influences on their sleeve. Well, in this case you’d have to say it was a little more than a single sleeve. The robbers here clearly love Ben Affleck’s The Town as much as they love Nike. Sporting creepy nun outfits, the pair busted into a bank in the suburbs of Chicago shortly before closing time. Taking care to add some extra Hollywood theatrics, they hopped over the counter (perhaps in slow motion) to make their demands. That’s when the teller and branch manager stuffed their swoosh-branded duffel bags with cash. Fortunately, neither of the two were hurt, and there were no customers in the bank during the robbery.
As insane as this whole set up sounds, there have been other incidents where criminals have worn ridiculous outfits. Back in 2010, a guy robbed a Chase bank in Long Island with nothing but a handgun, the dark side, and maybe some heavy breathing. That’s right, he was dressed from head to toe as the iconic Darth Vadar.
“It’s just a prank. Lighten up!” is what some people use to defend a mean-spirited practical joke. But no one can laugh off everything.
Two teenage girls thought it would be funny to take cues from Saw and leave a threatening voicemail. They told their unsuspecting victim that her friend was trapped in house that was quickly filling up with poison gas. At the end of the call, they left the victim with the chilling choice of, “Do you want to live or die?”
There’s never a good time to receive this type of message, but during a funeral has to be one of the worst. Already emotionally distressed, it’s understandable why 52-year-old Beverly Dickson had a stroke after listening to this twisted voicemail. Dickson did recover, but her husband told reporters that she still had trouble getting a good night’s rest. As for the two 13-year-olds, they were charged with phone harassment.
13. Natural Born Killers
Teen love does a pretty good job of being crazy all on its own; influence from one of the most deranged couples in movie history is overkill. But Sarah Edmondson and Ben Darras didn’t get the memo when they showed admiration for the favorite flick, Natural Born Killers, in the worst way possible.
The first victim of the couple’s crime spree was a Mississippi man who was shot to death by Darras. Next, they traveled to Louisiana, where they robbed a convenience store. This time, Edmondson was behind the trigger, firing shots at store clerk Patsy Byers. While Byers escaped with her life, she was left paralyzed. Edmondson would later argue that her boyfriend had forced her to commit the shooting, but the victim saw things differently.
Sadly, Byers lost her battle with cancer before she could videotape her testimony. In the end, justice was served, however. Edmonson was hit with a 35-year sentence, and Darras was sentenced to life in prison.
12. Queen of the Damned
Watching a film more than 100 times doesn’t automatically make you a maniac, but you know you’re in trouble when you think the characters are speaking to you… literally. Allan Menzies believed that Akasha, a vampire played by the singer Aaliyah in Queen of the Damned, ordered him to kill. As a reward, he would become an immortal vampire in his next life.
After his friend Thomas McKendrick insulted the movie, Menzies bashed him with a hammer and stabbed him to death. Following that, he drank some of McKendrick’s blood, ate a part of his skull, and then disposed of the body in a shallow grave. This wasn’t the end of Menzies’ relationship with Akasha, though. He claims that she asked him to kill again, but he refused.
An insanity plea seems like it would’ve gotten Menzies off, but according to three psychiatrists, his mental disorder wasn’t severe enough to reduce his culpability. He was given a life sentence in an Edinburgh prison, where he resided until committing suicide in 2014.
11. The Program
We’ve seen the disclaimer “Don’t try this at home” on TV, but it should really have a stronger presence in the movies. In The Program, the lead character lies down smack dab in the center of a highway to prove his manliness (because real men have no sense of risk… or reward). After the film’s debut, a number of young men across the country thought they could recreate this raw display of testosterone.
One of the most notable cases happened on a highway in Philadelphia, when two teens dressed in dark clothing waited until the evening to make their move. Each of them was hit by a truck, but only one made it out alive. In response to the backlash, Touchstone Pictures claimed that the scene in question was depicted as “irresponsible and dangerous”, and that they didn’t encourage or condone any of the copycat behavior. But when faced with grieving parents and relatives, they quickly changed their stance. Eventually, the controversial scene was removed from the picture.
10. Magnum Force
There might not be a more brutal way to die than ingesting drain cleaner. In the Clint Eastwood movie Magnum Force, a ruthless pimp murders one of his prostitutes by forcing her to drink the corrosive fluid. William Andrews and Dale Selby Pierre tried to use the same tactic when they robbed a store in Utah.
Things rarely work out the way they do in films, and this case wasn’t an exception. Instead of dying instantly, the victims convulsed and shrieked. Thinking that they could speed up the process, Pierre and Andrews attempted to duct tape the mouths of the hostages. But that didn’t go as planed either. Due to the giant blisters and burns, the tape failed to stick. Finding the scene to be too gruesome and time consuming, the two robbers decided to shoot their captives.
Wanting to raise money to buy a costume and a voice box sounds like a fundraiser for a Halloween party. But when you’re aiming to recreate murders from Scream, the whole “it’s for a good cause” angle gets thrown out the window.
Mario Padilla and his cousin were so dedicated to the film that they set their sights on a girl who looked like Drew Barrymore. However, this part of the plan never came into action, because they pair went after someone much closer to home: Padilla’s mother. According to reports, Gina Padilla was stabbed a total of 45 times with four knives and a screwdriver. With the funds for the remainder of their killing spree in hand, the boys planned to plead insanity to escape jail time. This strategy was yet another ploy ripped from a movie, but unlike the character in Primal Fear, neither of the two boys knew how to manipulate a psych eval. Padilla got life in prison without the possibility of parole, and his cousin Sami Ramirez was sentenced to 25 years to life.
8. The Matrix
The Matrix forever changed the world of cinema, not to mention criminal defenses. In 2000, exchange student Vadim Mieseges murdered his landlady, and allegedly claimed that he was at risk of being “sucked into the Matrix”. No rational person would think that a defense like this would hold up in court, but it did. The judge accepted Mieseges’ insanity plea, and the case didn’t go to trial.
If you take into account the defendant’s history of mental illness and paranoia, it’s not far-fetched why the judge didn’t think he was fit to stand trial. When security guards at a mall spotted Mieseges, he was wondering around with a wooden dowel strapped to his hip. As the guards tried to grab him, he resisted by kicking, biting, swinging his dowel like a sword. During the struggle, Mieseges yelled, “Those are my TVs!”, hinting that protecting his “property” was a greater concern than being taken in for murder. Once he was finally apprehended, the guards discovered what may have sent his paranoia over the deep end: methamphetamine.
7. The Collector
The Collector is a movie based on a novel by John Fowles. It follows a butterfly collector who abducts an art student called Miranda so that she’ll fall in love with him. Definitely not the best way to win somebody over, but that didn’t deter Leonard Lake and Charles Ng from launching their own “Operation Miranda”. Imitating the film to an unnerving degree of accuracy, Lake and Ng lured their victims to a remote cabin with a soundproofed dungeon. The men were killed almost immediately, but the women were first tortured and sexually abused.
By the time they were found out, it was estimated that the duo murdered between 11 and 25 people. While in police custody, Lake swallowed a cyanide pill, so he never lived to stand trial. On the other hand, Ng’s fate was sealed when police uncovered remains, weapons, and videotapes on the grounds of the cabin; he was found guilty and sentenced to death.
6. Nightmare on Elm Street
Daniel Gonzalez’s Freddy Krueger-inspired rampage left four dead, but could it have been avoided?
Gonzalez, a paranoid schizophrenic, attended close to 60 appointments with psychiatrists and doctors, but claimed that he never received the quality of care he needed. For one, he was shuffled between different doctors, which provided little in the way of continuity. Still, this doesn’t automatically point to inadequate care, but it does make you wonder why some of his cries for help seemed to go unanswered.
Prior to the killings, Gonzalez wrote to his family doctor, asking to be admitted to a hospital. As his request wasn’t met, he took more extreme measures to get attention. After giving himself two black eyes, he ran through the streets naked thinking that his behavior would spur the authorities to take action. Even if doctors or police had acted, there’s no guarantee that it would have prevented this tragedy. However, Gonzalez’s case does raise some serious questions about the treatment of mental illnesses.
5. Interview With a Vampire
Dinner and movie is a go-to date for many couples, but no one expects to go to the emergency room afterwards.
The morning after Daniel Sterling and Lisa Stellwagen saw Interview With a Vampire, Sterling told his lady love, “I’m going to kill you and drink your blood.” Apparently, he must have said these type of sweet nothings often, because Stellwagen went back to bed. The next night, Sterling followed through on his word by stabbing her seven times and drinking her blood. Sensing that her boyfriend needed a good talking to, Stellwagen warned him that he’d be hauled off to the big house if she died. Once that straightened him out, Sterling didn’t stand in the way of her getting proper medical attention.
Stellwagen survived, but the same can’t be said of their relationship. Sterling was convicted of attempted murder, and surprisingly, didn’t use the influence from the movie as an excuse. In his own words, he said that although he enjoyed the film “… I cannot sit here and blame the movie.”
4. Project X
The wild, teen house party is one of the most enduring clichés in Hollywood. 2012’s Project X picked up where its 90s counterparts left off by throwing a party so “epic” that it left a whole neighborhood on fire.
Teenagers don’t need extra reasons to act up (they go to high school), but Project X provided them with a spark of creativity. In Collin County, Texas, police intercepted an “X-cellent” party that was advertised on Craigslist. By the time it was all said and done, they drove away 400 attendees—100 of which were underaged. This also included a car filled with five males, and one drunk and naked 17-year-old girl, who was safely turned over to her parents.
But this pales in comparison to a party in Miramar, Fla., where 2,000 people were sent home. Prior to the big event, the organizer (an 18-year-old boy) broke into a foreclosed home and spray-painted it with graffiti, causing an estimate of $20,000 in damages.
3. Taxi Driver
Taxi Driver is not only a classic, but it had a direct impact on one of the most infamous crimes in history. John Hinckley Jr. developed a perverse attraction to Jodie Foster, who played a child prostitute in the film. In order to grab her attention, he decided to take a page out of the cabbie Travis Bickle’s book, and attempt to assassinate a politician.
On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was on his way out of a hotel when Hinckley fired six shots. One bullet connected with Reagan, and another struck his press secretary James Brady. Both survived, but Brady was disabled for the rest of his life. This was years before Neo dodged bullets on the big screen, so Hinckley couldn’t use “The Matrix” to his defense. However, he was ruled not guilty by reasons of insanity. Despite all of the trauma that he inflicted, Hinckley viewed his act as, “the greatest love offering in the history of the world.”
2. Fight Club
Caregivers are supposed to look after children and possibly instill valuable life lessons. Fight Club was a thought-provoking film, but its message would probably go over most kids’ heads… except for the fighting part.
At Lightbridge Academy in New Jersey, Erica Kenny and Chanese White spurred the toddlers in their care to engage in bouts that would make even Director David Fincher wince. Everything from one-on-one bouts to full-on battle royals were recorded and then shared on Snapchat. In their defense, Lightbridge sent out an email stating that kids in the Khaki Kangaroo and Brown Bear classrooms were at times encouraged to push and shove each other.
Shockingly, this expertly crafted PR move didn’t sit well with parents or the authorities. Kenny and White were both charged with fourth-degree child abuse. However, Kenny received an additional charge of endangering the welfare of a child. Considering their inspiration, it’s a bit of a surprise that neither claimed to be suffering from split-personality disorder.
There’s no part of Deliverance that anyone would want to see in real life. So you know that the type of person who’d have those images running on repeat through their head must be sick. Albert Fentress, a former teacher at Poughkeepsie Middle School, is one such person.
During the summer of 1979, 18-year-old Paul Masters stumbled into the yard of the disturbed teacher. Fentress then took Masters to his basement, where he tied the young man to a post and raped him. Later, he shot him in the head before cooking and eating some of his body parts.
Fentress came clean on the crime the same day it occurred. In his confession, he admitted that scenes from Deliverance were playing in his mind before, after, and during the murder. Chilling imagery, no doubt, but it was decided that he was no saner than the characters in the movie; he was deemed not guilty by reason of insanity.