By Madeline Perez
Inside of me, there are two wolves. One is very passionate about movies and film analysis and wants to talk about it. The other doesn’t want to come off as a pretentious asshole. Every day they have epic battles in which there is no winner and they will go on fighting, forever and ever, until the end of time. Like the conflict in the Middle East, this battle between my two selves seems to be never-ending with no solution in sight. But why can’t I fully unleash my inner movie-loving wolf on unsuspecting friends and strangers? Why does the phrase “film analysis” make me want to puke my guts out? What has caged me inside my own head?
There is a terrible plague upon our society. No, this time I’m not talking about photography students. Self-proclaimed “Movie Buffs” are constantly using a baseless knowledge of cinema to put themselves above others and channel their horrible personhood. This normally does not come from a love of the craft, but the love of “feeling superior” and, in other cases, “owning the libs.” The existence of these situationally unaware narcissists makes me fear unleashing my movie-loving self, lest I be lumped in as one of them. Who knows? Maybe I am one already, but I try not to be, so hopefully that’ll be enough when judgment day comes.
You may find these pseudo-intellectuals trying to bring someone down for liking something recent, family-friendly, or, worst of all, something with a dreaded “female lead.” Whether they’re raging about the girl in Star Wars or still hung up on the verdict of Roe v. Wade, they probably hate you for not enjoying “true film.” You, in your ignorance, may be prompted to ask “So, what is “true film?” With a smirk, they will look down on you and probably utter the name of their favorite movie, the pinnacle of cinema and art alike. For your convenience, I have compiled a list of their most dangerous answers. So, look out drywall and reader alike, your local Rorschach impersonator is going to educate you on their favorite movie, and if it’s one of these five then I suggest you better start running.
5.Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
This is not a red-flag movie per se, but if it’s your favorite movie I’m going to assume you self-insert as Scott. Let me guess, virgin? If you encounter a Scott Pilgrim fan and have any manic pixie dream characteristics, do not interact. Chances are they will become deeply infatuated with you but still refuse to see you as a fellow human being. The best cure for liking Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is getting laid and finding a better movie.
4. Pulp Fiction
I love Pulp Fiction. It was secretly my favorite movie back when I was young and still believed there was good in everyone. Then I met other Pulp Fiction fans, that belief changed faster than you can say “what,” again. I have seen Pulp Fiction weaponized and used to hurt others. I have been personally victimized by cringy Pulp Fiction fans who think knowing the movie automatically makes them the hottest bitch on Earth. Which it can’t, because that spot has already been taken by me. Overall, if someone goes out of their way to let you know that they know Pulp Fiction, they probably secretly like feet.
3. Fight Club
Though Fight Club fans have been dying out, their power fantasies rage on stronger than any star in our galaxy. For those under the shoe of a boss, parent, or other unspecified authority figures, it’s not uncommon to desire “cool, masculine violence” to prove that you’re actually not to be fucked with and have a very big penis when you think about it. Die-hard fans misinterpret the underlying fight-club message of “ find your own identity rather than what society holes you into” and instead are obsessed with proving they’re dominant, manly, and that it’s only a matter of time before “they’ll all see.” Maybe herbal tea and a hug will help with that deep-seated anger towards the world. Then again, maybe not.
Buckle your seatbelts, folks, because this off-brand Taxi Driver movie is, dare I say it, the incel film of our generation. Obsessive fans jerk themselves off about being special social outcasts while simultaneously disagreeing with the movie’s actual messages about bettering mental health services and wealth disparity. It’s hilarious. Again, the power-fantasy elements and “I’ll show them all” vibes make this movie a hot commodity for step-dad hating, wall-punching piss boys. Sadly, they’re probably not going to get the loving mother figure or therapy they so intensely need.
1. Taxi Driver
I will stress that Taxi Driver is a perfectly good movie. These are all perfectly good movies and there is nothing wrong with liking them; my point though is that sometimes obsession with these movies comes with certain implications, and none is worse than that of Taxi Driver. Will all the incel vibes of Joker, the pretentious “Movie connoisseur” aura around Pulp Fiction, and some extra “the streets are extended gutters” Watchmen undercurrent, the idolization of Travis (our quirky main character) is a recipe for disaster.
All and all, if you encounter someone who is unreasonably obsessed with one (or several) of these movies, don’t fret, because not all hope is lost. Over time they will most likely grow out of it, or maybe, one day, even learn the touch of a woman. Unless they’re majoring in film—I don’t think there’s any way to recover from that. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy all the “bad movies” you want; I’ll protect you from the “film critics” (unless it’s Toy Story 4 because fuck that movie.) Who knows, maybe after society heals and the grass once again grows on the graves of our strife, we will all be able to fearlessly unleash our inner wolves to feel the sun once more. All I can do is hope for a distant utopian future where people have stopped being assholes about movies and everyone can enjoy and discuss them in peace. Until then, stay strong, pure-hearted movie lovers, your time is coming. Though it might not be any time soon.