It may seem unwise to spend an evening slagging off another film blog but I have stumbled across something that I cannot help but react to. The blog in question is well designed, thoroughly researched, and is made with way more effort than the one you are currently reading. The blog has one fatal flaw though: it is utter bollocks.
Hollywood Subliminals is a website dedicated to revealing the many hidden messages in Hollywood movies that it claims point to a variety of conspiracies and nefarious activities that most of us simply don’t notice. You could argue, as I would, that the reason we don’t notice these messages are that they simply do not exist but no doubt this is just playing into the hand of the shadowy agencies at work here.
One particular thread the site focusses on is “Project Monarch” in which a subject undergoes electroshock torture as part of programming and mind control which can be easily identified by the subject having one eyelid slightly droopier than the other. Actors from Michelle Ryan and Kevin Bacon are said to display this and so are actually programmed drones. Or something.
To highlight the level of ridiculous that this site is founded upon I will run through the three subliminals it claims are contained in everybody’s favourite film Back to the Future and see if I can find them in a film the site fails to cover (because it is obscure and terrible) Midnight Meat Train starring Bradley Cooper and Vinnie Jones. Midnight Meat Train is a terrible horror film and if I can crowbar subliminals into this cinematic disaster then that proves to me that it is all hokum, claptrap, and bunk. Or I suppose I will prove that the conspiracies are real and more widespread than the blog has already covered.
Eye of Horus
The Eye of Horus is the most common subliminal on the site and is represented by a triangle with an eye at the top. This double triangle with a circle at the top is ancient occult symbolism and according to the site is absolutely everywhere. Mostly the Eye can be found in a poster or shot with a face somewhere near the center. This face then acts as an eye and the triangles are drawn around it lining up with the occasional object and surface. The poster for Back to the Future contains two Eyes of Horus and the site highlights four more from the film itself. Can I find an Eye in Midnight Meat Train? Of course I can!
What makes this particular subliminal so easy to find is a combination of film-makers wanting to frame a shot symmetrically, and thus have the actor in the middle of the frame, and the fact that humans have faces on top of wider shoulders which make a natural triangle. Is this triangle a reference to the occult or just someone overthinking the shape of a human being? The site has an example from The Avengers underneath which it states:
One who looks at the above decoded symbol from The Avengers might initially dismiss this as simply brightly colored lines drawn over the top of the image.
Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
Back to the Future‘s second subliminal message references Freemasonry, a shadowy organisation that does all sorts of shady things including putting hidden messages into films. References to Freemasonry take many forms and can include the number 33 or a pair of compasses but the most common occurrence seems to be checkered flooring. That’s right. Any floor in a film with a checkered pattern is actually a subliminal message and this includes the hallway in Hill Valley High School down which Marty McFly walks. Midnight Meat Train does not have any checkered flooring but I did find this:
Those seats almost make a checkered pattern. Almost. Not quite, but almost. Enough for me to confirm that the film is most definitely making a discrete reference to Freemasonry for some reason. No doubt about it.
Hollywood Subliminals is convinced that Hollywood knew about 9/11 years in advance and made reference to it in numerous films. As far as this site is concerned making reference to 9/11 is as simple as having the number 9 and the number 11 onscreen at the same time. Back to the Future is a great example of one of the more discrete references to the disaster that would occur 16 years after the film’s release. When Marty is at Two Pines Mall the time is 1:16 which turned upside-down makes 91:1 which speaks for itself. Now let’s look at the poster for Midnight Meat Train:
A torturous stretch in which I really had to force the subliminal message to come out? Precisely. What a load of nonsense.
If you find yourself bored online this week please have a read of the huge number of films on Hollywood Subliminals. Marvel at the depth of detail that the site goes into and slowly shake your head with incredulity at the fact that some people actually take this seriously.