Top List Thursdays – Top Twenty Twists part one

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Hey kids. Movie Marshall Bill here. I just want to let ya all know, that movies are not just 90 minute explosion festivals with a sunset ending. Say you’re walking along, ya spot a cinema, ya take a seat and sit through the flick and then WHAMMY! You find yourself staring down the barrel of a twist ending that you never saw coming!

We’ve got twenty of those twists, and we’re splitting them up in two. Now if ya’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go demonstrate the hazards of popcorn by swimming in a vat of sulphuric butter.  Beware the spoilers kids!

Planet of the Apes

You maniacs! Damn you! Damn you all to hell! Throughout his adventures on a strange planet, Charlton Heston never once imagined that he was back in the good ol’ US of A the whole time. Somehow, something bad had happened to mankind, leading to an Ape revolt that saw a new dominant species at the top of the food chain.

But it wasn’t until the very end, when Heston rode up a shoreline on horseback, that he finally saw where he was all along, on an future earth that had been ravaged by some form of Apocalypse, evident in the crumbling remains of the iconic Statue of Liberty, leading to that legendary revelation and speech. Stirring stuff, even decades after release.

And which Tim Burton conveniently cocked up when he decided to remake the film years later.

SAW

For the most part, SAW was a revolutionary stab at the horror genre for its time, before endless sequels and imitations ruined it. Torture porn was still a novel and new experience then, and seeing the victims of Jigsaw battle to survive their way through a house loaded with traps and deadly surprises kept audiences on their seats.

But the biggest shock of all, came near the end of the film, when the corpse lying in the center of the room from the opening act, rose up to reveal that Jigsaw had been there all along, waiting and observing. Now that’s some shock horror!

Soylent Green

Another Charlton Heston classic, this time in a future where the entire planet is suffering from a food shortage of Ethiopian levels. The only sustenance on the streets is Soylent Green, a strange food stuff processed for the those who are unable to afford luxury food items such as strawberries or jam. Hot on the trail of a murder case revolving around the Soylent Green company, Heston eventually uncovers the horrifying truth of that product.

“Soylent green is people!”

Meh, I’ve eaten worse. Munch munch.

The Prestige

Christopher Nolan is more than just a Batman factory ya know! Although this film did kind of star Batman. Against Wolverine. Technically, they weren’t in costume, but seeing Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman as feuding magicians Angier and Borden looking to constantly one-up one another still made for a solid film, made all the more chilling by Jackman discovering some kind of magical doohickey created by Nikolai Tesla of all people.

Able to duplicate himself, and then promptly commit a bizarre form of suicide immediately afterwards, Jackman had the world entranced with the ultimate trick, one that he used to frame Bale for so that he could finally emerge the victor in their age-old contest. With Borden dead, Angier thought that he had at last proven himself to be the better magician.

But it’s the revelation that Borden had a twin brother, who shared his same dedication to creating the illusion of there only being one Borden overall, that really took the cake. At the end of the day, it wasn’t about magic, it was about deception and misdirection. And that was something that the Borden brothers had dedicated their lives to completely.

Friday the 13th

When you think of Friday the 13th, you think of Jason Voorhees, an unstoppable giant in a hockey mask with a machete and a face that only a mother could love. And boy, did his mom really love him. So much so, that Jason never even appeared in the first Friday the 13th film. It was mama Voorhees that was killing the camp counsellors all along, as she couldn’t stand their sexy shenanigans no more, acts of indecency that were responsible for her baby boy drowning in Camp Crystal Lake all along.

She got her scheduled comeuppance at the end of the film, but by then, it was too late as her son had inherited the will of kill, and would continue to do so for many, many more sequels.

April Fool’s Day

Ah, the 1980s. If there was one thing that symbolised that pointless decade more than power-shoulders in ladies jackets and ozone layer killing deodorants, it was slasher flicks. There were a ton of them back then, from Jason and Freddy Krueger, through to obscure monster movies and imitations. So how do yu turn the genre on its head, and really shock an audience?

By killing an entire house of folks in an increasingly gory manner, and then revealing that the whole thing was all a big joke at the end and that no one actually died. Kind of like that time last year on April 1, when Kervyn buried me alive.

Unbreakable

If there is one thing that defines a hero, it’s his primary antagonist. The grim Batman has the clown prince of crime known as the Joker. The superhuman Superman has the very human Lex Luthor. The Tick has the Mad Midnight Bomber what bombs at midnight. So when M Night Shymalan, fresh off of some box office success with the Sixth Sense decided to make his own comic book movie, he did so by reinventing the scenario entirely.

With a dark tone that would put Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy to shame, Shyamalan crafted a magnificent tale of how Bruce Willis’ David Dunn discovered himself to be more than human, but it was the revelation at the end that Samuel L Jackson’s Elijah Price, was the real villain of the piece, a brittle boned maniac who had been seeking a hero all along.

And they called him Mr Glass…

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

A cult classic in anyone’s book, the tale of King Arthur and his quest for the Holy Grail is a movie that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. Suicideal and easily amputated black knights, villainous keepers of the word known only as “Ni” and a rabbit deadlier than an entire franchise of Xenomorphs are just some of the hallmarks of this film.

But it’s at the very end, when Arthur summons his knights to raid a castle overtaken by those dastardly French Kaniggets, that we discover that the whole quest has been taking place in the present day, evident by the loony bin wagon that drives up, followed by some police constables who aren’t having none of this medieval malarkey.

That’s an illegal weapon that is!

Fight Club

Who saw this one coming? Stuck in a rut thanks to insomnia, materialism and general ennui, David Fincher’s nameless narrator soon finds himself on the painful end of some fists, all thanks to his new buddy Tyler Durden. The thing is, the Brad Pitt fight buddy with a knowledge of soap and explosives is nothing more than a fevered hallucination, a coping mechanism to keep Edward Norton sane, but that has spiralled violently out of control.

Eventually killing the rogue personality, Norton is too late to stop his anti-Wall Street plans, but at least he can watch some beuatiful explosions go off at the end of this cult movie.

The Usual Suspects

Quite simply, one of the biggest twists in the history of cinema, and one that has endured over the years. While the in custody criminals of the film were holed in a police station for a heist gone wrong, a legend soon surfaces of an enigmatic crime lord by the name of Keyser Soze, a ruthless gangster without a hsred of mercy in his body.

But who is Keyser Soze? Cetainly not “Verbal” Kint, the stuttering wimp with a bad leg, right? Wrong!

And when that revelation hits, that Spacey was the mastermind behind everything in that film, it’s like a jackhammer to the face. From the Sherrifs office slowly gasping as they put two and two together, through to Spacey shedding his alternate persona while strutting his stuff and lighting up some victory tobacco.

And it’s all wrapped up in one brilliant line from Spacey: “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist; and like that, he’s gone.”

Last Updated: March 7, 2013

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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