Film Mistakes That Might Not Be

There are plenty of articles and videos and even TV programmes dedicated to showing you mistakes in films. There are plenty; even big budget Hollywood films with entire job roles dedicated to continuity and accuracy, perfection is an incredibly high standard to demand. Mistakes get made and there’s nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, there are some mistakes in films with enough evidence to point to them being deliberate and clever details.

Bear in mind there are some spoilers ahead!

Pulp Fiction’s bullet holes

A pivotal scene in Pulp Fiction involves a man springing out of a bathroom and unloading a gun at Jules and Vincent. Unharmed, they shoot him and look in amazement at the bullet holes behind them. The mistake is, the bullet holes were there the whole time!

This works perfectly, though. Some are even behind where the two were standing so couldn’t have been misses. It makes much more sense that the gun fired no bullets and the characters simply hadn’t looked at the wall behind them yet.

It’s Tarantino; he wasn’t a huge star at this point so mistakes would be easy to make and hard to fix, but also he’s known for complicated points and being a film genius who might put in small details like that. Either way, it’s amusing to think of Jules’ religious epiphany about a bullet-bending miracle actually being caused by a lack of bullets entirely.

The Shining’s geographical weirdness

Kubrick is famous for not making sense and not giving a single damn about it. The Shining is no different, with most of the plot’s event happening without much explanation. While people are content to argue about WHY Jack/Johnny goes mad in the first place and needing multiple close watches to even understand the title, the geography often gets called a mistake.

The maze that is a major part of the end is huge and right beside the hotel doesn’t show up in earlier shots of the hotel. The window’s in the Torrence’s suite mean the room has to be a corner room, but lo and behold when Danny climbs out of the window we see that is isn’t. The huge ballroom cannot feasibly fit into the hotel.

Considering the other impossible geography such as rooms that would overlap and windows in impossible places, they’re almost certainly deliberate. The main goal of The Shining was clearly not to scare the viewer in a way they can logically think through, but to give an incomprehensible sense of wrongness. The impossible layout could be a series of oversights but still gives a strong feeling of the Overlook Hotel’s paranormal qualities.

Inception’s borrowed totem

In Inception, the team have personal ‘totems’ to help them know when they’re in a dream and when they’re in real life. No-one else can touch the totem or know how it works; this ensures it works differently in dreams than it does in real life. Cobb tells the viewer (via telling Ariadne) that his totem is the spinning top, and it belonged to his wife Mal before she killed herself. The mistake is that his totem won’t work because it’s not really his, and it’s clear that it falls over in the real world and spins forever in dreams.

This, of course, could be a mistake he is making in-universe, but it could be a deliberate diversion. Cobb is clearly paranoid; he checks his totem more than any other character and is continually worried that what he thinks is real life is a dream. For someone who misses his wife so much, it makes sense that he’d keep as much as he can of her, and for someone so paranoid it makes sense he’d keep not only the way his totem works a secret but even what it is.

So if Mal’s spinning top is a red herring and his totem is secret – adding another layer to Cobb’s character – what is his totem? It could be his wedding ring, which isn’t always visible; it could be Mal herself, as her being dead means she can only show up in dreams; it could be his children’s faces, which he doesn’t see until the very end. It could even be something he hides from the audience…

Jurassic Park and the Inaccurate Dinosaurs

Firstly, while the dilophosaurus is from the early Jurassic period and the brachiosaurus is from the late Jurassic period, the velociraptor, triceratops and tyrannosaurus are all from the late Cretaceous period. This millennia time gap aside, the dinosaurs don’t even look like the ones they’re supposed to be. Worst is the velociraptor, which is styled after the bigger, earlier deinonychus. While whether or not tyrannosaurus had feathers is still a hotly debated topic, the fact that these supposed scientists don’t blink at the blatant misnaming of species is odd.

Even the Jurassic dinosaurs are overtly uncharacteristic, brachiosaurus rearing up when it’s always been known they wouldn’t have been able to or dilophosaurus spitting venom despite that idea being a complete invention of the film. Further than this, DNA degrades over time and would, even in ideal conditions, only last a maximum of six million years. The enormous extinction event that killed the late Cretaceous dinosaurs was… sixty-six million years ago, long enough for perfectly maintained DNA samples to degrade to nothing eleven times other.

The theory is that the dinosaurs being cloned is a big fat lie, not from the movie makers but the park owners in universe. Cobbling together the DNA of various current animals, they created brand new animals that matched the publics idea of what certain dinosaurs would be. Easily named, big ticket dinosaurs like tyrannosaurus and triceratops. The scientists aren’t even there to check the safety of the park, but to check the believability! If the awe-inspiring idea could stop real palaeontologists from putting the facts together, the park’s creations would definitely trick the public.

Many films’ fainting henchmen

There are so many film mistakes that are henchman in group fights just falling down unhit. The background actor or stunt actor, skipped in the fight or in the wrong place, knows they need to die but won’t be hit and just fall over. There’s one in a Batman film, for example, as well as smaller budget films where there isn’t time to reshoot. There’s at least one in the Bond franchise.

While this is obviously not a deliberate decision but a best-of-a-bad-situation compromise by an actor, it might be that the character themself is falling down without being hit too. Consider being a henchman at the edge of a fight, slowly realising that you’re all fighting a legendary hero or surprisingly amazing fighter. Your coworkers are being smacked unconscious or even killed, and you have no chance or doing any better. You just fall down when you hope the hero isn’t looking, and hope to claim being knocked out by the hero later, if you even have a boss to answer to later.

This is referenced in Austin Powers when his father fights the henchmen and tells one, who hasn’t even got a nametag, that he should just lie down without a fight. He does. It’s a funny scene and, with the sheer amount of self-aware action films being made, there must be at least one film with a deliberate falling-unhit henchman for this reason.

Are there any others you’ve noticed or been told are mistakes, that you have a theory or explanation of them as not mistakes? Do you know a film where a henchman character falls down without being hit and it’s clearly supposed to happen? Do you just want to rant and rave about one of the films I mentioned? Leave a comment.

5 Things Cinema Staff Want You To Know

1: No, we cannot and will not let young people into age-restricted film without ID

The film is a 15; you can tell me you’re fifteen all you like and beg me to allow you in, but if you haven’t got ID then I won’t let you in. It’s the law, and if I let an underage person in I could be fined or even go to jail. Your wheedling might be because you’re a Secret Shopper testing our practises, or someone who sees might report me.

If you’re plenty old enough and feel offended that you get IDed, take a look around. Some people look much younger than they really are and other people look much older than they really are. If there’s any doubt of your age, even a tiny part, staff are required to check ID. If you’re old enough, bring something with your photo and date of birth; you can just take a photo of your passport!


2: Take your rubbish with you, or at least don’t stuff it in hard to reach places

The ushers have to clean up after you when you leave. It’s one thing to sweep up tonnes of spilled popcorn and pick up all the drink cups and popcorn buckets after a popular film, especially a children’s film, but it’s disgusting to pick up your dirty tissues and time consuming to tug large items from under chairs.

When you’re leaving a screen, take a millisecond to consider the human being cleaning up after you. If the ice cream cup is the same size as the seat’s cup holder, how is the usher supposed to get it out? If you push your rubbish under your chair, the chair folding up will make it harder to reach. If you have sweets wrappers and a popcorn bucket, it saves a lot of time if you drop them in it rather than presumably tossing them out like ticker tape. We love the people who pick up their rubbish and bin it, we like the people who stack their rubbish up in clear view, and we hate the people who make our job harder for no reason.


3: Don’t complain about paying too much for the popcorn and drinks if you aren’t even going to eat and drink them

Everyone complains about the price of the concessions, and the two arguments of why they’re expensive and how they aren’t compulsory are for another article. So, they’re expensive and people like to complain; enough people still buy them and are annoyed if there’s a delay or an item has sold out.

However, staff know from cleaning the screens that almost half the people buying popcorn and drinks don’t finish them; a ridiculous amount of cups and buckets just sit there at the end of the film, untouched. It’s annoying to know people fuss at the till about the cost of concessions and then just put them on the floor and leave them. Just stop whining and eat up.


4: When it’s incredibly busy, there’s nothing that can be done about the crowds or queues

When a popular film comes out, the school holidays start or its discount day, it’s going to be incredibly busy. There’s nothing that can be done about that, so if it’s too busy for you your best option is just to go home and come back another time. Somehow, people don’t seem to notice the sheer amount of people or somehow can’t comprehend that the reason they’re there is the same reason everyone else is too.

For some reason, people seem to think we’re hiding staff out the back doing nothing, or that staff are purposefully low, and have a go at the staff they’re served by as if the queues are deliberate. It’s incredibly annoying for people to walk through a massive crowd, queue for more than ten minutes and then be incredulous that the popular film they want to see is fully booked.


5: It really does make a difference to us how rude or nice you are.

A pair of small children who picked up all the booster seats in their screen not once but twice in one day were the talk of the cinema; such a lovely thing to do made all the ushers’ days and we made sure to thank them. A man who argued about age restrictions and shouted at the manager he made me call made an already stressful shift even worse. The seniors’ special is the best day to work, as they’re quite friendly and chatty.

This is another case of remembering that staff are humans. People don’t work in retail or customer service for fun, they do it because those are the jobs going, jobs pay money, and money can be exchanged for goods and services. Before you act like the cinema staff are you personal servants or even robots, think about how you would feel if you worked shifts in a high energy role and had to keep a happy friendly face on. There’s no need to for to take out your day’s problems on the poor person who sells you popcorn and the ticket to the current superhero movie.

The Anatomy of a Cat

For vet trips and other medical situations, obviously the medical terminology for your cat’s body parts are the best words to use. But this is the internet and we’re all cat ladies, our actual genders irrelevant. Cats are ridiculously adorable floofs and we have a need for these far more appropriate terms for their body parts.


Scritch Place: the space behind a cat’s ears, which is the best place to scritch your cat.

Ear Floof: all of the lovely long hairs inside your cats ears, presumably to make them extra cute.

Mane: the longer fur around your cats cheeks, just like a lion’s mane.

Boop: the soft, skin-coloured part of your cat’s nose, which is a perfect little button to press and say “boop”.

Blep: any part of your cat’s tongue that is currently sticking out of their mouth, especially if their mouth is closed.

Toofs: the super-cute little fangs that your cat shows you when they yawn.

Toe Beans: your cat’s toe pads, looking like little cattwojelly beans.

Peets: the cute little feet of your cat, made of soft pads for their sole and toe beans.

Sassy Pants: the extra fluffy floof that is your cat’s thighs, and looks like a pair of pantaloons.

Belly: the whole underside of your cat, all soft fluffiness and highly tempting to rub vigorously.

Nope: any part of your cat’s underside that they attack you for petting, named for your cat’s attitude to you touching it.

Bingo Wings: just like the sassy pants, the fluffy thigh/upper arm part of your cat’s front legs, like the loose skin older people often get but much cuter.

Bib: most easily identified on tuxedo cats, who have white fur there, the part of your cats chest that’s still visible when they sit up tall.