Because Jesus. Also, The Walking Dead hit its season finale on the same day everyone celebrated the most famous resurrection, so it seemed like the right subject for this week’s list. Everyone loves a good underdog story, and there’s no bigger obstacle to overcome than death, right?
Coming back from the dead is a hell of a trick, and while there’s the usual reasons like a witch doctor or vampirism or converting into some kind of stupid blue ghost, sometimes an idea will come along that stands out from the norm – mostly because it’s a little silly in concept.
That isn’t to say it’s bad. No, it’s just… not very profound. For example:
10. Gandalf’s Magical Promotion in The Lord Of The Rings
That’s as much explanation as we get for Gandalf’s sudden spring back to life, not that anyone is complaining. Gandalf was a gray wizard, which I’m assuming is like a trainee or in terms of a movie theater, an usher or something. Then he dies, and that somehow gets him moved up to white level, or projectionist. Concessions would be elves or something in this analogy, which I’m starting to think isn’t perfect.
You know, maybe Gandalf just made all that shit up. It’s makes way more sense than the explanation he gives of “Then darkness took me, and I strayed out of thought and time, and I wandered far on roads that I will not tell.”
That’s the kind of shit someone says when they show up late for dinner high as a cloud. Frankly I don’t know why anyone would trust a man whose primary occupation appears to be a traveling fireworks display.
9.Westley Being ‘Mostly Dead’ in The Princess Bride
One could argue that since he was only mostly dead, or slightly alive, it’s not a true resurrection. Sure, but also, whatever. He would have been dead had they not thought to bring the man in black to the film’s comedic deus ex machina for a nice climb from the low point to the third act. Luckily for a film that exists solely in the words of a rambling old man, it makes as much sense as it needs to.
You know what? They should do this with more films. Anytime Michael Bay needs to sell a new toy, just put the entire film in the point of view of an old codger telling some snotty kid a bedtime tale – that way, any and all plot holes can be shrugged up to dementia and/or macular degeneration.
8. Sneaking Out Of Heaven in All Dogs Go To Heaven
I have a theory that the Night Of The Living Dead world and All Dogs Go To Heaven world are the same; what happened was everyone found out at once about that clock loophole, and it turns out that it’s a bit more messy for humans to come back than it is for dogs – hence zombies.
I’m a big fan of this film; it shined a much-needed light on the scourge of underground, organized dog crime. Sure, little Rex looks cute enough when he tells you that he’s just in doggy waste management or that he can’t help it if his puppy pizza place attracts a certain kind of crowd, but it’s only a weak owner that convinces themselves of the lie. Sure, it’s hard to give up the high life of security and an endless supply of scraps, but that’s the financial sacrifice one has to make – otherwise you’ll be burying a pillowcase in a matter of weeks.
7. Resurrection By Love… Or Something in The Matrix
Can anyone explain this? Was this resurrection-by-plot-loophole?
“You can’t die because The One can’t die. And since I’m supposed to love The One and I love you, then you’re The One. And The One can’t die, so you can’t die.” And then it actually works? Like the movie gods just step in and say, “Yeah, no – those bullets don’t count because love and you’re the main character after all.” And then we all just move on with the plot like something weird didn’t just happen.
And yet, after this, they still keep trying to kill him. You’d think after he gets shot several times and then just… doesn’t die… the agents would give up and become some kind of Blue Man type act where they move weird and turn people’s grandmas into them or something fun like that. At least that’s what I would have done.
6. Planned Resuscitation After Beating Up A Ghost in The Frighteners
Who else misses horror director Peter Jackson? It’s all well and good that you nerds love nerd Peter Jackson, but to be frank: I had him first. I remember watching Braindead in the A/V room at my high school for the first time and thinking how it was exactly what every movie should be. The thought of that mind, that wonderful weird mind having, like, $100 billion dollars to make a movie seemed like a hilarious fantasy. And yet, he keeps doing it. Somehow this guy went from directing a torso-less John Astin humping a mummy to directing his son quest for the ring of power five years later with no other films in between. The whole thing is weird.
Anyway, keeping with the actual theme here, Michael J. Fox is a ghost hunter who dies to beat up Jake Busey and is then resuscitated by what looks like but isn’t actually Andie MacDowell. This is by far one of the funnest films ever made.
5. Having An Identical Twin Fill In For You in Beerfest
Depending on who you ask, Beerfest was either one of many reasons to love Broken Lizard, or one descending step of many into oblivion. Personally I’m the former in that I’ve loved every single thing these guys have done, including the ill-received Slammin’ Salmon. But at least I know the reason why; it fills a gap that Monty Python and The Kids In The Hall once filled: comedy troupe films. It’s a dying genre and desperately needs to return, but of course that would also require sketch comedy to return as well.
There’s an overt silliness to this humor, seen best at the character Landfill’s “resurrection” in the form of a sudden identical twin who happily takes over the late character’s life, down to his name and his hot wife. As he steps in place he is met with satisfied exclaims of “perfect!” as the plot barrels along unchanged. It’s wonderful.
4. Having Your Heart Replaced By A Battery in Crank 2
The Crank films are going to be praised by film historians one day. Just like how The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is seen as an expression of the dawning insanity for its time, Crank and its sequel will be looked upon as that dark herald of things to come – praised in hindsight for its bold expressionism and relentlessly raw performances of anger and psychological turmoil. The part where he puts that shotgun up the guy’s butt is pretty neat as well. And let’s not forget about when they both turn into giant monsters for no good reason.
But seriously, those two aforementioned moments – plus the ridiculous amount of semi-forced public sex scenes – shows a tremendous amount of trust surrounding these films. For all its silliness, you have to admit that it takes a certain kind of director to convince someone to sport a hospital gown and visible erection on film.
3. Mysterious Avian Resurrection in The Crow
I find it weird that not one, but two actors have died in relation to wearing clown makeup. What’s weirder is that in both instances the role was seen as a rather iconic one.
The Crow was one of those films that can be appreciated if you ignore the seriously annoying follow up of goth kids inspired by it. The gothic style is one that triumphs on film specifically because there’s time between shots to make everyone look cool, something that goes missing the moment you encounter an overweight “vampire” taking a leak in a jet black urinal while “Love Will Tear Us Apart” seeps through the tile club walls.
Anyway. He comes back from the dead because a bird… wants him to. It’s not very well explained, and frankly had the bird not been a crow we’d be looking at a whole different kind of silly here. Can you imagine a guy dressed all in white pouncing from rooftops to steal families’ French fries at the beach? There’s just something slightly less effective in that image.
2. Resurrection By Time Travel in Back To The Future
No one usually thinks of Doc Brown as having resurrected from the dead, but that’s exactly what happens to him in the first film. He dies from multiple gunshot wounds, then his weird little friend goes back in time, tells him about it, and is able to prevent the death from happening – thus bringing a dead man back to life by having him never die in the first place. It’s kind of ridiculous in that it’s elaborate as hell, but it’s a good thing he did – otherwise Doc wouldn’t have been around to continuously fuck with spacetime while talking about how time travel is such a bad idea. Did anyone stop to think that the universe where he gets committed might not be such a bad one?
1. Just Choosing To For The Hell Of It in What Dreams May Come
You know what? This isn’t even silly; it’s plain idiotic.
The ENTIRE damn film is Robin Williams fucking off to Heaven and being toured around by his secret kids (while for some reason never wondering where his dead kids are) while his wife goes suicidal on Earth because everyone else is having a blast in the afterlife without her. So, quite understandably, she makes herself die and suddenly it’s all hell from there because apparently in this world you can be Robin Williams and not go to hell but the moment you kill yourself it’s a big problem. Whatever, fine.
Now Robin Williams has to literally go to hell and back to get his wife, nearly succumbing to the depths himself only to make it out by a nose hair. Once out, in the nirvana and with his wife and kids, they look at each other and go: “Hey, you know we should do? Reincarnate! Sure, there’s no guarantee that we’ll meet again but whatever.” AND THAT’S WHAT THEY DO! For shit’s sake, one of you went to hell last time! Do you really want to risk that again?
This is like if Frodo and Sam got back to the Shire in the third film and said, “You know what? I know it almost killed us, but let’s forge another one of those rings!” That’s how stupid that is. I hope they reincarnate, accidently kill a bus of orphans, and go right to hell next time around. That would be absolutely worth killing orphans for.