BEVERLY HILLS, California — Since VHS tapes gained popularity in the ’80s, filmmakers have delighted in hiding “Easter eggs” in their films for fans to discover during repeated viewings at home. It only seems appropriate, then, that Zack Snyder’s “Watchmen” is not only set during the decade of greed, but that it breathlessly captures Alan Moore’s pop-culture graphic novel by cramming more eggs into every frame than perhaps any movie before it.
Nowadays, we have Blu-ray, DVDs and Internet screen grabs to help us keep up with Snyder’s amazingly detailed, frantically faithful “Watchmen” world. But if you want to catch all the in-jokes, references and blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em moments the first time you see the movie, you can start here. Below are seven of our favorite “Watchmen” Easter eggs, as revealed by the stars themselves.
Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That
A pivotal moment in the “Watchmen” plot has Nite Owl and Rorschach hacking into Ozymandias’ computer. Keep a close eye on his desktop, and you’ll see an ominously titled file folder. “Adrian’s sorta like very asexual, but he’s possibly a homosexual,” grinned Matthew Goode, referring to a long-held suspicion among “Watchmen” fans. “There’s a very small thing in his file window, and it just says, ‘Boys.’ Which is very funny, and that’s the kind of detail that Zack works with.”
Silk Spectre May Be Dangerous to Your Health
Thanks to films like “Sin City,” we all know that actress Carla Gugino is smokin’. But keep a close eye on “Watchmen,” and you’ll see her lighting Edward Blake’s beloved cigars. “The Comedian has a lighter that he lights in the boardroom scene, and it has a picture of Sally Jupiter on it,” Gugino said of her pinup character, who was never afraid to merchandise. “It’s never mentioned, and it’s a very quick shot.”
Read All About It
It’s hard to imagine a real-life superhero on the cover of Time magazine, let alone two of them. But keep your eyes peeled, and you’ll see a quick shot of an issue from 1984 featuring Dr. Manhattan and Adrian Veidt shaking hands.
Are You Ready for This Theory, Oliver Stone?
For 46 years, the world has wondered who really shot JFK. Thanks to “Watchmen,” we finally have photographic evidence of the man on the grassy knoll. “It’s something we don’t see in the novel, but it’s kind of alluded to,” Jeffrey Dean Morgan said of his brief scene shooting President Kennedy with a high-powered rifle, and then sneaking off into the crowd. “One of the things that takes place [in the opening credits] is the assassination of Kennedy, and then the camera pans, and there’s the Comedian standing there with his rifle. That was awesome!”
What’s Ozymandias Watching?
Like Alan Moore’s graphic novel, the final confrontation in the film begins when we find Adrian Veidt sitting in front of a massive wall of televisions. As the world’s smartest man takes in all the information, director Zack Snyder delights in goosing his audience with dozens of in-jokes. “The original ’300 Spartans’ is on one of them,” said the “300″ director, referring to the 1962 movie that predated his tale of King Leonidas. “There’s also ‘The Road Warrior’ that you can see, which was a really influential movie for me in the ’80s. … There’s some porn, some real porn — which is cool. There’s a Marvin the Martian [cartoon], which is the one where he’s trying to destroy the Earth — which speaks to the annihilation of the planet that Ozy’s having an issue with at that time. There’s ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still,’ which is featured heavily in the graphic novel, and there’s ‘Fail Safe,’ which is another Cold War-era epic.” Snyder also has screens showing several contest-winning videos that he solicited from aspiring filmmakers on YouTube.
What’s Rambo’s Problem Now?
Another of Veidt’s televisions plays “Rambo: First Blood Part II,” which made us wonder: If the U.S. won Vietnam so quickly and easily in the “Watchmen” reality, would the “Rambo” movies even exist? “There might be a couple M.I.A.’s still there,” Snyder said of John Rambo’s mission in the sequel. “The reason I put that shot in there was that Sly [Stallone] is walking with another character from the movie — I forget the actor’s name — but he has a [smiley-face] button on — only he has a frowning smiley face. I was like, ‘They just totally missed the point of that,’ but I thought it was really interesting that it was pop culture invading a movie that, in some ways, didn’t understand it was being mocked by ['Watchmen'].”
Don’t Read It, Dan!
Some people believe that if you Google the word “Google,” the world as we know it would come to an end. But what if a “Watchmen” character read the graphic novel “Watchmen”? “In Nite Owl’s basement, you can keep an eye out for something that really stands out,” Malin Akerman revealed, and a co-star confirmed that Alan Moore’s graphic novel is among the books on Dan Dreiberg’s desk. “Just look for it, and you will find something. It’s like finding Waldo!” You can also see a photo of Nite Owl’s former flame, the Twilight Lady.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Watchmen.”
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