WHERE: In the living room of my apartment in Portland, ME (Isla Nublar)
FORMAT: Blu-Ray on a Vizio 32″ LED HDTV, picture-in-picture trivia track on
COMPANY: Cinemanaut Becca, in and out, from 1955 onward.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Fully rested after writing up the beast that was The Full Zemeckis.
Last week, I put on the Setups and Payoffs trivia track on the 25th Anniversary Blu-ray box set of Back to the Future. This time, it’s original recipe trivia. For this track, there are no video clips or even still images. The letters remain tiny and the box is still huge, but now it’s orange.
Harry Knowles? Harry Kim? Harry Krishna? Who edited this?!
If you’re going to stick with such a small font, I don’t know why five lines crammed into a corner is better than two lines at the very bottom, but there it is. And once again, I will only be talking about trivia that I wasn’t aware of before this viewing, for those reasons I gave last time.
USELESS KNOWLEDGE, HO!
- The lady in the news broadcast about the missing plutonium (Deborah Harmon) plays Barbara in Used Cars? I thought I recognized her!
If she had a line about Libyan terrorist groups, I totally would have noticed.
- Jennifer Parker‘s name used to be Suzy? That changes EVERYTHING.
- Huey Lewis was supposed to record a third song for the soundtrack called “In the Nick of Time,” but they scrapped it. Is this why “The Power of Love” plays so many damn times? The track was eventually recorded by Patti LaBelle and featured in Brewster’s Millions, a film entirely devoid of time travel.
- Holy shit, here’s a payoff from my last article. I wondered how whoever wrote the Setups and Payoffs track knew that Marty was eating meatloaf; in the original script, it was a plot point that Marty absolutely hated meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Too bad we didn’t get that gag seven more times in the sequels! Dehydrated meatloaf? Rabbit meatloaf? Oh, the possibilities!
- The actor that plays the owner of Lou’s Cafe is also the voice of Aquaman on Super Friends.
“What can I get ya? Salt water? Algae? Think I got some fish pee somewheres…”
- I’d heard about it before, but this was an important reminder: Crispin Glover was in an episode of Family Ties (“Birthday Boy”) that predates Back to the Future. Gotta get that watched this year.
- Lorraine’s mom (Frances Lee McCain) plays the mom in Gremlins? That’s my other most favoritest ’80s movie! How in the hell did I never figure that out?
You’ll never guess what’s in that meatloaf, Marty.
- The “maybe Doc’s mind-reading helmet actually works” theory is mentioned on the trivia track. Eh, I never thought that was an intentional joke, but I suppose it’s worth including.
- There are posters up around Hill Valley High that mention an upcoming game between the Bulldogs and the Indians. These are the high school mascots of the screenwriters, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale.
- Science Fiction Theatre is a real show. That’s a bet I would have lost. It’s not mentioned on the trivia track, but according to Wikipedia, the episode that George would have missed by going to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance was “The Hastings Secret,” which truly did air on November 12th, 1955. (We’ll discuss the inaccurate air date of The Honeymooners in another article.)
- Aww, when Marty gives George a pep talk while he’s hanging clothes to dry, supposedly the crew had to put in the grass and the clothesline themselves… which destroyed the vegetable garden that the residents of the house had just started. Is there no limit to Hollywood’s cruelty?
Ta-da! Your salads have disappeared!
- Hey, Back to the Future has the same costume designer as Titanic! Also, the same Billy Zane.
- Apparently the red-headed prick that steals Lorraine away at the end is named Dixon. I checked the credits. It’s there. I always just called him Biff Lite.
- Michael J. Fox knew how to play guitar because he was in a band called Halex. Go ahead. Laugh.
- Christopher Lloyd also played Doc Brown in the 2008 music video for O’Neal McKnight’s “Check Your Coat.” I have no idea what this song is and am also baffled as to why I am still typing instead of frantically searching YouTube. Done. Oh, look at that, it’s produced by Universal. Makes sense.
Oh, good, his cameo interrupts the song and doesn’t feel forced or sad at all.
- Both Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd are in Bob Gale’s directorial debut, Interstate 60, but they don’t share any screen time. I’ll have to check it out.
- The fact that Doc is wearing Velcro shoes in 1955 seems like a mistake, but the trivia track says he got them from ’85 Doc’s luggage. Deleted scene, or clever cover story by the screenwriters?
- A-ha! The trivia track officially states that Red Thomas and Red the bum are not the same character. So I was right and Universal backs me up on this.
- Marc McClure plays Jimmy Olsen?!
Wow, okay, I get it.
THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE:
Well, first of all, I’m apparently blind to recognizing minor Back to the Future actors in other roles. The only reason I caught Marc McClure in I Wanna Hold Your Hand earlier this year was because Wendie Jo Sperber was there too.
Where we’re going… oh, god, I have done every iteration of that joke.
I know this seems like a long list, but trust me, I already knew everything else. You can ask Becca; at certain parts, I was listing off the factoid that was most likely to appear next. “Here comes Reference Quarterly… oh, maybe they won’t do it– yup, there it is.”
Those magazines? They’re for librarians. Oops.
Today’s experience is just giving me more things to notice every single time for the rest of the year, and possibly my whole life. Doc’s face will give me frightening visions of Christopher Lloyd’s stylin’ hip hop goatee. Every time George McFly practices saying, “Hey, you, get your damn hands off her,” all I’ll be able to think of are the poor dead carrots beneath his feet. Whenever Marty picks up a guitar, Halex.
He got the name off of a ping pong ball. Seriously.
Learning more about any film is both a blessing and a curse; it gives you a fresh new perspective, but it also takes you out of the story. And while most people have the luxury of putting a movie back on the shelf and rediscovering it a few years later, I’ve got to cue up this bad boy for 27 more weeks. For science.
I love this movie. I do. But December is a long way off.
*BONUS! SORRY FOR THE DUMB ARTICLE NAMES:
I really have to stop coming up with stupid punny titles just because something vaguely rhymes with “back,” so here’s a list of viewings I promise never to do:
- “Ack to the Future” – A viewing where I compare Lorraine Baines to the the comic strip character Cathy.
- “Backpack to the Future” – A viewing while camping.
- “Crack to the Future” – A viewing where I freebase cocaine the entire time.
- “Dak to the Future” – A viewing where I speculate on why the DeLorean doesn’t have a harpoon and a tow cable.
- “Frak to the Future” – A viewing where I compare the film to Battlestar Galactica / come up with more 2015 swear words like “bojo.”
- “Gak to the Future” – A viewing where I recast the film with actors from ’90s Nickelodeon shows.
- “Hack to the Future” – A viewing with a computer programmer. Or a shitty comedian. Actually, maybe that second one is legit…
- “Jack to the Future” – Yup, just straight-up masturbating during the whole thing.
- “Knack to the Future” – Dark Side of Ozzing albums by the Knack doesn’t count as a viewing.
- “Mack to the Future” – Okay, I could maybe test it as a date movie. But I won’t use that title. You have my word.
- “Pack to the Future” – Something with luggage? Jesus.
- “Quack to the Future” – I DON’T CARE IF LEA THOMPSON IS ALSO IN HOWARD THE DUCK, IT’S NOT HAPPENING.
- “Rack to the Future” – Yeah, I’ll watch with titties in my face. Like that sounds fun. Sheesh.
- “Sack to the Future” – Yeah, I’ll watch with balls in my face.
- “Smack to the Future” – Sure, watching on heroin. Though I won’t spot any trains until Part III.
- “Snack to the Future” – Have I not used that yet? Well, I never will.
- “Stack to the Future” – Pancakes?
- “Tack to the Future” – I’ll sit on a thumbtack the whole time.
- “Vac to the Future” – Mostly just housework while the movie’s on.
- “Wack to the Future” – Kinda like the “Jack” one, but decidedly not dope.
- “Yak to the Future” – Just stop.
- “Zack to the Future” – Time out.