Greatest Film Plot Twists
Film Spoilers and
Surprise Endings


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Greatest Movie Plot Twists, Spoilers and Surprise Endings
Title Screen
Film Title/Year and Plot Twist-Spoiler-Surprise Ending Description
Screenshots

Android (1982)

Dr. Daniel Was an Android

Director Aaron Lipstadt's science-fiction film was set in the year 2036, in a satellite laboratory on a remote space station in deep space, orbiting around the Earth.

Obsessed and eccentric, Frankensteinish research scientist Dr. Daniel (Klaus Kinski) was working with his 5 year-old shy, assistant prototypical android Max 404 (scriptwriter Don Keith Opper), and carrying out illegal research (androids were outlawed on Earth).

In his spare time, coming-of-age Max engaged in learning about 20th century humans by playing computer games, watching old movies, reading sex manuals, and listening to rock 'n' roll and soul music. Dr. Daniel was worried that Max might grow insubordinate.

In order to complete a perfect, more upgraded, superior android, Dr. Daniel was working on a new model that would render Max obsolete (but he needed the life essence of real female to activate it):

  • Cassandra-1 (Kendra Kirchner), a blonde-haired female android

A runaway spaceship with three escaped convicts-fugitives (posing as the transport's crew) docked at the space station, including:

  • Maggie (Brie Howard), the pilot
  • Keller (Norbert Weisser)
  • Mendes (Crofton Hardester), Maggie's lover

Dr. Daniel wanted to use Maggie as a model and sex-electrical power source. When the sexual chemistry from Maggie and Max sparked life into Cassandra, she came alive. However, most of the space crew ended up dead:

  • Maggie (killed by Dr. Daniel)
  • Keller (killed by Mendes)
  • Mendes (killed by Max)

In the film's twist ending, it was revealed that Dr. Daniel was also a robotic android when his head was ripped off by Max and Cassandra during another struggle. The film concluded with Max and Cassandra returning to Earth posing as Dr. Daniel and his assistant.




Dr. Daniel's Android Head Ripped Off by Max

And Then There Were None (1945) (aka Ten Little Niggers, UK)

Quinncannon Was the Killer - Only Two Others Survived (Those Who Hadn't Been Responsible For a Murder)

In this most-popular of Agatha Christie's detective film adaptations, a mysterious "Mr. U.N. Owen" (read as "Mr. Unknown") had created a remote Indian Island deathtrap, off the coast of Devon, England. He had invited ten guests there (eight strangers and the butler and cook Mr. and Mrs. Thomas (Ethel) Rogers) - all accused of having caused the death of others while escaping punishment.

A summary of the ten guests, their crime, and mode of death, presented in the order in which they died at the mansion. All of the murders were inspired by the children's song Ten Little Indians, aka Ten Little Niggers in the 1939 novel ("Ten little nigger boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were Nine..."):

Name
Crime
How Did Each Die?
Prince Nikita Starloff (Mischa Auer) Hit Two Pedestrians. Lethal Poison
Ethel Rogers (Queenie Leonard) Killed Former Invalid Employer. Sedative Overdose, Died in Sleep
General Sir John Mandrake (Sir C. Aubrey Smith) Ordered the death of his unfaithful wife's lover. Knife Stabbing in Back
Thomas Rogers (Richard Haydn) Killed Former Invalid Employer. Axed in the Head
Emily Brent (Judith Anderson) Death of Young Nephew (By Hanging) That She Sent to Reformatory. Hypodermic Needle Injection
Judge Francis J. Quincannon (Barry Fitzgerald) Sentenced an innocent man to hang to death in order to ruin the reputation of Defending Attorney. Shot in Forehead (Faked); Then Drank Poisoned Whiskey
William H. Blore (Roland Young) His perjured testimony sent an innocent man to prison, where he was killed. Crushed to death by stone bricks falling from the roof
Dr. Edward G. Armstrong (Walter Huston) Operated on Patient While Drunk. Corpse on the Beach, Drowned Due to Falling in Surf Drunk
Philip Lombard (Louis Hayward)
(alias Charles Morley, a Friend of Lombard's)
Lombard (actually Morley) vaguely referred to an explorer named Lombard who was responsible for the deaths of 21 East African natives. The real Lombard received a threatening note from the mysterious Mr. Owen and committed suicide; Vera Pretended to Shoot Morley
SURVIVOR
Vera Claythorne (June Duprez) Took the blame for the murder of her sister's fiancée. SURVIVOR

One by one, the guests started dying (off-screen) - by poisoning, drug overdose, stabbing, axing, by a hypodermic needle, a shot to the head, death by a crushing load of bricks, etc.

Judge Francis J. Quinncannon, one of the guests, was revealed as the perpetrator of the killings - and identified as the enigmatic Mr. Owen. He revealed that he was dying of a terminal illness. Quinncannon had faked his own death (bullet hole in the head) with the help of one of the unsuspecting victims, Dr. Edward Armstrong, who he then later killed on the beach.

At film's end, Quinncannon told surviving guest Vera Claythorne how he had planned and perpetrated all of the killings - part of a scheme in his search for 'perfect justice':

So you see, everything has been as inevitable as the nursery rhyme. When the boat arrives from the mainland, there will be 10 dead bodies and a riddle no one can solve in the Indian Island.

He then told her that he was dying of a terminal illness and would be the 10th corpse ("I choose to leave this wicked world with a powerful record of good deeds"). He offered Vera the option of hanging herself with a noose rather than waiting to be hanged publically (for committing all of the murders and being left as the only survivor!), and then committed suicide by swallowing poisoned whiskey.

Only two guests managed to survive - those who didn't commit murder and were innocent of the crimes they were accused of: Vera (who had confessed to a crime committed by her sister) and Philip Lombard (actually Charles Morley) who had attended in place of his friend Lombard who had committed suicide when threatened by Owen. The two survivors left with an old fisherman (Harry Thurston), who arrived and was ready to pick up everyone on Monday morning.


Centerpiece: Ten Little Indians

Judge Quinncannon (Barry Fitzgerald) (aka Mr. Owen)

Charles Morley (Louis Hayward) and Vera Claythorne (June Duprez) - the Two Innocent Survivors

Mr. Owen - Dead of Whiskey Poisoning

The Old Fisherman (Harry Thurston): "Ready to leave now?...Are the others ready too?"

Angel Heart (1987)

Harry Angel Was Johnny Favourite, a Killer, and He Had Sold His Soul to 'Louis Cyphre' (or Lucifer) - the Devil

This was a twisting, metaphysically-confusing film set in the mid-1950s, from writer/director Alan Parker. Its tagline was:

It will scare you to your very soul. Harry Angel has been hired to search for the truth... Pray he doesn't find it.

The main protagonists were:

  • Harold "Harry" Angel (Mickey Rourke), a seedy NYC private detective
  • Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro), mysterious and enigmatic

Ragged PI Harry Angel was hired by Louis Cyphre to find the whereabouts of a missing person, disgraced singer/bandleader Johnny Favourite (nee John Liebling), known as the "guy with the golden tonsils." Favourite, who was reportedly suffering neurological damage from war injuries, was a "disappearing act" after signing a contract with Cyphre in post WWII. Favourite had skipped out without paying Cyphre.

[Note: It was revealed that Favourite had actually promised his soul to the Devil in exchange for worldly success and stardom, but then tried to renege, cheat the Devil, and hide his identity in someone else.]

During Harry Angel's investigations in upstate NY (Poughkeepsie) and in New Orleans, where he delved into the black arts of voodoo, Angel's contacts were brutally murdered after he spoke to them:

Victims
Description and Death
Dr. Albert Fowler (Michael Higgins)

A psychiatric doctor who treated Johnny Favourite in NY
Death: Shot in the Eye (a suicide?)

Evangeline Proudfoot A now-deceased black voodoo queen who was rumored to be Johnny's lover, and produced a daughter, Epiphany Proudfoot
Death: Murdered
Toots Sweet (Brownie McGhee) One of Johnny Favourite's former bandmembers, a black blues guitarist
Death: Asphyxiated by his own cut-off genitals, also bled to death
Margaret Krusemark (Charlotte Rampling) A wealthy ex-fiancee of Johnny Favourite, aka Madama Zora, a palm reader and gypsy fortune teller in Coney Island, now also a psychic in New Orleans
Death: Heart cut out with ceremonial knife
Ethan Krusemark (Stocker Fontelieu) Margaret's husband
Death: Drowned in a large vat of boiling gumbo
Herman Winesap (Dann Florek) Cyphre's Lawyer
Death: Decapitated by Fan
Epiphany Proudfoot (Lisa Bonet) 17 year-old mixed-race daughter of Evangeline, fathered by Johnny Favourite
Death: Rape/Murder by Harry Angel

The twist or revelation in the film was that Favourite had transferred his soul through a Satanic ceremonial ritual into the original Harry Angel's body twelve years earlier. Favourite had randomly picked WWII GI Angel off the street, and assumed Angel's identity. Then, because of the war, he was traumatically brain-injured, hospitalized, had extensive facial surgery. He also suffered amnesia so that he was unrecognizable and couldn't remember who he was. Favourite 'forgot' or was fooled into believing he was Harry Angel for his entire life.

Harry Angel was actually Johnny Favourite, the evil man he was being paid to find. And Louis Cyphre was a gloating and knowing 'Lucifer' - waiting for Angel to realize or remember that his true identity was Favourite. Harry, however, was convinced that Cyphre was framing him for the murders:

Harry: Do you think posing as the devil, just because it scared some superstitious old guitar player, and that witch, and that nutty old man, do you think it's gonna scare me? Hah. It ain't, because I know who I am. And you killed them, and you're tryin' to pin it on me. I know who I am.
Cyphre: If I had cloven hooves and a pointed tail, would you be more convinced?
Harry: You're crazy. I know who I am. You're trying to frame me.
You're trying to frame me. Cyphre, I know who I am. You murdered them people. I never killed nobody. I didn't kill Fowler, and- and I didn't kill Toots, and I didn't kill Margaret, and I didn't kill Krusemark, I didn't kill no-one!

Actually, Harry was the murderer of all the people he discovered dead - all magic and voodoo practitioners who were involved in Johnny Favourite's cover-up. Harry had been 'guided,' however, by Cyphre to commit the numerous murders:

All killed by your own hand. Guided by me naturally. Frankly, you were doomed from the moment you slit that young boy in half. Johnny - for 12 years, you've been living on borrowed time and another man's memories...The flesh is weak, Johnny. Only the soul is immortal, and yours belongs to ME!

(Cyphre's eyes turned a glowing pale yellow - a sign of the demonic, as he pointed his long-nailed index finger at Harry!)

Then, Cyphre challenged Harry to look back at his own actions: "However cleverly you sneak up on the mirror - your reflection always looks you straight in the eye." A flashbacked montage followed of all of the murders Harry had committed, during which Cyphre played a 78 rpm recording of Johnny singing "Girl of My Dreams". Harry killed all of them in an attempt to keep his identity as Johnny a secret - both a secret from others and a secret from himself!

Murders Committed by Harry Angel During Investigations
Dr. Albert Fowler
Margaret Krusemark
Toots Sweet
Ethan Krusemark

In the shocking ending, it was also revealed that Angel killed his own daughter Epiphany, the daughter of Evangeline Proudfoot, after having incestuous sex with the young teenager. He had fired his gun into her groin area in the rape-murder. She died wearing his dog tags around her lifeless neck. Without a memory of committing the crime, Harry rushed back to his hotel room - the murder/crime scene (notice a black-cloaked figure sitting in the hallway - a clean-shaven Cyphre!). He viewed Epiphany's half-naked body, and the bed drenched in blood.

Angel revealed to racist Detective Deimos (Pruitt Taylor Vince) that he was the murderer - the film's final lines of dialogue:

Detective Deimos: "Why'd you come back?"
Harry: "I live here."
Detective Deimos: "Who is she?" (He reached for the dog tags and read the identifying name) She ain't 'Angel, Harold.'"
Harry: "She's my daughter."
Detective Deimos: "Bulls--t. Who is she?"
Harry: "She's Epiphany Proudfoot. She stayed here for a little while."
Detective Deimos: "Long enough for you to kill her, right? Or ain't that your gun up her snatch? You're gonna burn for this, Angel."
Harry: "I know. In Hell."

Sterne's partner Detective Sterne (Eliott Keener) carried Epiphany's toddler son, Harry's grandson, into the bedroom. The boy had glowing eyes - strongly hinting that the boy was fathered by 'Lucifer' (during a voodoo ceremony) - and he pointed at Harry.

Presumably, Harry - who descended down a very lengthy elevator shaft as the film ended (during the entire credits sequence) - was convicted of the murder and doomed to the electric chair - and afterwards fated to burn in Hell. At the end of his ride, with the final black screen, one could hear a very faint exchange (in voice-over): "Harry?" "Johnny?"



Louis Cyphre
(Robert DeNiro) = Lucifer


Picture of Crooner Johnny Favourite

Harry Angel = Johnny Favourite (Mickey Rourke)

Margaret Krusemark (Charlotte Rampling)

Epiphany Proudfoot (Lisa Bonet)

Toots Sweet (Brownie McGhee)


Angel with Epiphany: "Incestuous" Sex - Then Rape-Murder

Cyphre: "Only the soul is immortal, and yours belongs to ME!"

The Rape/Murder Scene in Harry's Hotel Room

The Victim Wearing Harry Angel's Dog Tags

Harry Angel: "I live here."

The Killer Identified by Dog Tags Around the Victim's Neck: "Angel, Harold"


Epiphany's Toddler Son - With Glowing Eyes

Descending in Elevator Before and During Closing Credits

Angels & Demons (2009)

The Camerlengo was the Mastermind Plotting to Become the Next Pope

Director Ron Howard's mystery-thriller action sequel to The DaVinci Code (2006) was also based upon another best-selling Dan Brown novel of the same name, published in 2000. It was written as a prequel to the earlier book, but filmed as a sequel.

The film opened with a spectacular prologue, in which a tubular capsule of anti-matter ("the God particle"), experimentally created at CERN Laboratories in Geneva, Switzerland, was stolen from a high-security area (where nuclear physicist Silvano Bentivoglio (Carmen Argenziano) was murdered and branded with the ambigram Illuminati). The capsule was used as a terrorist bargaining chip - a bomb to create a "blinding explosion," planted somewhere in Rome. In the meantime, a progressive Vatican Pope had just died (from a stroke, or from some other nefarious plot?) and the red-garbed College of Cardinals was assembling in a highly-secure conclave to choose a successor.

The CERN scientist's particle physicist partner, Dr. Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer) joined recruited Harvard University symbologist Dr. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) to decipher cryptic messages to follow a hidden path. It was feared that the ILLUMINATI, an 'enlightened' yet radical society of free-thinking scientists, a brotherhood that had been persecuted and driven underground by the Catholic church many centuries earlier, was behind the terrorist plot (in 1668, four Illuminati scientists were kidnapped, branded, and executed by the Church). Now, four preferiti Cardinals (the "four pillars" - favored successors to the Pope) had been kidnapped, and were to be branded on their chests with the names of the four fundamental elements of science (EARTH, AIR, FIRE, WATER).

They were to die on the "altars of science" of four public churches (set in a cross-shaped pattern overlaying Rome, where the Illuminati had met in secret in the past), in executions every hour at 8, 9, 10, and 11, before the midnight unleashing of the anti-matter capsule as a cataclysmic bomb, to explode in a burst of light and destroy the Vatican ("Vatican City will be consumed by light. A shining star at the end of the Path of Illumination"). It would be a repeat of the "ancient Illuminati threat" - "Destruction of Vatican City through light...Science obliterates religion."

The executions were in the style of the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water):

  1. Suffocated and half-way buried in dirt (in the Demon's Hole in the Chigi Chapel in the Church of the Santa Maria del Popolo, once called Capella Della Terra (Chapel of the Earth)
  2. Punctured lungs (near a bas relief carving on the ground of 'West Ponente' (West Wind) in St. Peter's Square)
  3. Fire burning (in the Santa Maria Della Vittoria Church)
  4. Water drowning (in the Fountain of the Four Rivers in the Piazza Navona)

It was now clear that there was a paid, rimless glasses-wearing psychopathic Assassin (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) working for the Illuminati who was committing the dirty-work, including cutting out the entire eyeball of CERN physicist Bentivoglio, Vetra's research partner, in order to bypass the security's retinal scan in the opening scene. The assassin's hiding place was in the "Church of Illumination" or Castel Sant'Angelo (The Castle of the Angel), an ancient hideout and prison for enemies, connected to the Vatican by a secret tunnel-passageway. There, the Assassin spared the lives of Langdon and Vetra, but was betrayed by the Illuminati when blown up by a car-bomb.

There were many suspected individuals during the course of the film:

  • Cardinal Strauss (Armin Mueller-Stahl), a cunning, elderly and wise Old School prelate presiding over the papal election
  • Commandante Richter (Stellan Skarsgard), the stern, menacing and disdainful head of the Swiss Guard, the Vatican's own security force
  • Inspector General Ernesto Olivetti (Pierfrancesoco Favino), Vatican police force
  • Camerlengo Patrick McKenna (Ewan McGregor), the young chamberlain/secretary of the late pontiff, who was, by tradition, the acting head of Vatican City until the new pope was chosen by the College of Cardinals

After Langdon and Vetra had raced around Rome, deciphering clues to the four execution sites and saving only the fourth Cardinal's life, another key location was the anti-matter capsule itself. It was in St. Peter's Tomb in the Necropolis, but Vetra didn't have enough time to change the battery before midnight. The Camerlengo volunteered to take the canister and heroically fly it away in a Vatican helicopter. He parachuted to safety, saving the city from the massive explosion, and was hailed as a possible papal successor.

However, Langdon and Vetra viewed a hidden security videocreen in Richter's office desk which revealed that the Camerlengo was the mastermind plotting to become the next Pope - he had branded himself as the final victim with a fifth brand, the symbol of two upside-down crossed keys (the brand referred to St. Peter being crucified upside down - a clue that the anti-matter canister was under the Vatican where St. Peter was buried). The Camerlengo blamed Richter and others, leading to their deaths by police fire. He had also killed the Pope with an injection overdose of Tinzaparin, turning his tongue black a week later as a telltale sign. When confronted by the disapproving conclave, the Camerlengo self-immolated, pouring oil on himself from one of the ninety-nine holy lamps inside St. Peter's Basilica and igniting it.

The film ended with the fourth and only surviving preferiti, Cardinal Baggia (Marc Fiorini), selected as the new Pope, to be named Luke, and Cardinal Strauss the new Camerlengo. The Vatican had covered up what had actually happened. Strauss thanked Langdon, and they spoke in the film's final words:

Cardinal Strauss: "Religion is flawed, but only because man is flawed. All men, including this one (pointing to himself)...Mr. Langdon, thanks be to God for sending someone to protect his Church."
Langdon: "I don't believe he sent me, Father."
Cardinal Strauss: "Oh, my son, of course he did..."

The new Pope greeted the crowd in St. Peter's Square below.


Illuminati

Dr. Vetra (Ayelet Zurer) With Dr. Langdon (Tom Hanks)

Camerlengo Patrick McKenna (Ewan McGregor)

Cardinal Strauss (Armin Mueller-Stahl)

Assassin (Nikolaj Lie Kaas)

Commandante Richter (Stellan Skarsgard)

Four Execution Sites

The Anti-Matter Capsule

Carmerlengo Branding Himself

Carmerlengo Confronted

Self-Immolation

Anger Management (2003)

Dave's Court-Ordered Anger Management Therapy Lasting Two Weeks Was Entirely Set-up By His Frustrated Girlfriend Linda, To Get Him to Be More Demonstrative and Assertive - and To Provoke Him to Propose To Her at Yankee Stadium in Front of a Huge Crowd

Director Peter Segal's disappointing comedy (he was known for Tommy Boy (1995) and Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000)) was another mostly-unfunny, contrived Adam Sandler film, with predictable gross-out teen humor, vulgarities, lots of penis references and jokes, homophobia, and slapstick cartoonish violence.

The main character was ultra-meek and mild-mannered Dave Buznik (Adam Sandler), a NYC clothes designer for overweight feline pets (Fat Cat), who worked for an ungrateful and abusive boss named Frank Head (Kurt Fuller). Dave had issues with showing public affection for his adoring girlfriend Linda (Marisa Tomei), a poetry teacher, and wouldn't stand up to her former college boyfriend Andrew (Allen Covert), a work colleague. She was frustrated about Dave's lack of assertiveness and continued embarrassment. She told him: "You gotta stick up for yourself sometimes." And Dave kept putting off asking Linda to get married.

A number of odd coincidences led to Dave having an altercation with an air marshal regarding his simple request for a headset from a flight attendant named Patty (Nancy Walls) during a business trip to St. Louis. The flight was turned around and he was arrested at JFK. Found guilty and ordered by Hon. Court Judge Brenda Daniels (Lynne Thigpen) to 20 hours of anger management therapy, Dave began treatments with surly, unorthodox, and threatening specialist Dr. Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson), a best-selling author ("Temper's the one thing you can't get rid of by losing it").

[Note: Coincidentally and to Dave's surprise, Buddy was a seatmate passenger on the plane when Dave had the altercation.]

After another violent incident in a bar, Rydell was further ordered to provide 30 days of intensive, round-the-clock therapy for Dave - and even moved into his apartment as a "bunkmate." One of self-help guru Buddy's unconventional techniques, part of his strange multi-step program, was to force Dave to stop morning commuter rush hour traffic on the Queensboro Bridge and serenade him with West Side Story's "I Feel Pretty." Buddy also suggested that Linda and Dave have a "trial separation" to strengthen their relationship, while he began dating Linda himself. Dave jealously assaulted Buddy after he asked: "Is it all right if I date your ex?" and was again court-ordered to go on trial for attempted murder in three weeks. He was also given a restraining order to stay 500 feet away from both Buddy and Linda.

The most amusing parts of the film were the surprise cameos, including John Turturro as Chuck - an angry, paranoid and psychotic Grenada War veteran (Dave's "anger ally" during therapy), two adult film star patients and lesbian lovers: Stacy (Krista Allen) and Gina (January Jones), Harry Dean Stanton as a Blind Man, Woody Harrelson as Galaxia - a German drag-queen she-male (known for coming from the German town of "Lickin Zee Dickin"), Heather Graham as attractive Boston "hot babe" Kendra (one of Buddy's ex-patients), John C. Reilly as a Buddhist monastery monk named Arnie Shankman (a bully from Dave's childhood 5th grade who humiliated him), and those playing themselves, including John McEnroe, ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Roger Clemens, Derek Jeter and Bobby Knight.

The film's plot twist was revealed in a climactic scene set at Yankee Stadium where Buddy had taken Linda for a game-date - to borrow Dave's own "proposal idea." Provoked to anger one final time, Dave charged onto the field where he was apprehended by security guards. Allowed to speak by Mayor Giuliani ("Let this man finish what he came here to say") before being forcibly ejected, Dave proposed marriage to Linda ("Please marry me, Linda"). She challenged him to kiss her in public view (encouraged by the Mayor: "You can do it, David. Give her a five-second Frencher! Kiss her, David") before accepting. The crowd witnessed their kiss and applauded, and Buddy congratulated them on a scoreboard screen. And then Linda announced that Dave had just graduated from Buddy's anger management therapy.

Linda admitted that she had set up everything that had previously happened with some of Buddy's friends, including the flight attendant incident, the judge's sentencing, therapy by Buddy, and the ball-game finale.

In the final scene during a celebration of Dave's graduation in Central Park, Dave pulled a fast one on everyone else. A man approached him with a gun and Dave proposed to take the shot:

"You wanna mess with my friends, you gotta shoot me first."

Dave was shot - but it was only a squirt gun wielded by one of Dave's friends.


Dr. Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson)

Dr. Rydell With Dave Buznik (Adam Sandler)

Dave's Girlfriend Linda (Marisa Tomei)

Stacy (Krista Allen) and Gina (January Jones)

German Drag Queen Galaxia (Woody Harrelson)

Kendra
(Heather Graham)




Climactic Scene at Yankee Stadium

Squirt-Gun Ending

April Fool's Day (1986)

The Party Was an April Fool's Joke, to Help Muffy Plan to Inherit the Mansion and Keep It Self-Sustaining as a Place to Sponsor "Murder Weekends"; All of the Murders Were Just a Hoax

This tongue-in-cheek slasher horror film by director Fred Walton had the tagline:

"Guess who's going to be the life of the party."

Eight college students, who liked to play April Fool's jokes on each other, met during spring break at the secluded island home of heiress hostess Muffy St. John (Deborah Foreman), to celebrate her 21st birthday (on April Fool's Day) during a 'bloody unforgettable' weekend.

  • Harvey "Hal" Edison, Jr. (Jay Baker)
  • Nikki Brashares (Deborah Goodrich)
  • Rob Ferris (Ken Olandt)
  • Skip (Griffin O'Neal)
  • Nan Youngblood (Leah Pinsent)
  • Chaz Vyshinski (Clayton Rohner)
  • Kit Graham (Amy Steel)
  • Arch Cummings (Thomas F. Wilson)

The oddly-behaving Muffy reportedly had a deranged, violent twin sister named Buffy who was in an institution.

One by one, the students died (off-screen) by decapitation, throat cutting, castration, stabbing, and hanging, with one suspected killer being the injured ferry worker Buck Williams (Mike Nomad) from the film's opening. Only Kit and Rob were left at film's end as the final victims, chased by the suspected killer Buffy (who had reportedly escaped from the asylum) into the living room, where she (and Rob slightly later) found all the others resurrected and alive.

It had all been an elaborate hoax or ruse for April Fool's Day, explained when Muffy/Buffy showed that the knife wasn't sharp, but retractable - causing the freaked-out Kit (and then Rob) to be angered at everyone for the ruse.

Muffy thanked everyone for being such "good sports." The entire weekend had been her test for future bed & breakfast 'murder weekends' she was planning for the mansion, in order for her to inherit and keep the house:

It's a script for a weekend special. It's gonna help me keep the house. Look, next month I get the house as part of my mother's inheritance. It's true. But only if I could show my father that it could carry itself, what with, uh, taxes and expenses and all. Otherwise, he's gonna sell it to family. So I decided to turn it into a country inn. But not just a stuffy old, run-of-the-mill country inn. One that specializes in offering a once-in-a-lifetime who-dun-it weekend. I needed a rehearsal. I had to try my idea out on somebody.

When Rob asked: "So I guess there's no twin sister, Buffy?", Muffy explained: "There is a crazy twin, but his name isn't Buffy." Skip was revealed as Muffy's brother, in on the trick, and Buck Williams (on the ferry) was actually "make-up artist par excellence" (who had employed decapitated heads and fake blood). Kit Graham was Muffy's uncle Frank St. John, and Cal (Lloyd Berry) was the "regular ferryman." She told everyone that paying guests in the future would know what they had signed up for - "and the scenario won't be so extreme." She brought out champagne and passed around bottles to celebrate.

Later after everyone had drunkenly celebrated, a completely-soused Muffy returned to her bedroom, where she opened a wrapped gift box found on her bed. In it was a Jack-in-the-Box toy, which popped out when she turned the handle.

In an additional twist, Nan - supposedly angered by Muffy's reference to an abortion - slit Muffy's throat at the same time, but then revealed that the knife and blood were fake as she wished Muffy: "April Fools," chuckled, kissed her, and smiled at the camera/audience.

The film ended with the Jack-in-the-Box winking.


Kit (Amy Steel) - Shocked

Killer Buffy/Muffy With Retractable Butcher Knife

Kit: "Ha, ha, ha. That's really funny, you guys."

Rob (Ken Olandt) - Angry at Being Fooled


The Group of Guests - All Alive (The Revelation of the Ruse by Muffy)

Nan (Leah Pinsent) Slitting Throat of Muffy

Nan: "April Fools"

The Jack-in-the-Box Wink

Arlington Road (1999)

Faraday's Neighbor Oliver Lang, A Terrorist, Tricked Him Into Transporting A Bomb Inside His Car's Trunk, to Blow Up the FBI Building (and Himself); Both Oliver and His Wife Cheryl Were The Guilty Ones, Although Faraday Was Blamed in the Media

Director Mark Pellington's dramatic crime thriller was very effective, with the plot-revealing tagline: "Fear Thy Neighbor."

The main character was:

  • Michael Faraday (Jeff Bridges), a widowed college history professor

He was still grieving the death of his wife Leah, an FBI agent killed in the line of duty, and raising their 9 year-old son Grant (Spencer Treat Clark) as a single father.

Over time, he became extremely suspicious of the dubious activities of his suburban Virginia, across-the-street neighbors:

  • Oliver Lang (Tim Robbins), a white supremacist, structural engineer
  • Cheryl Lang (Joan Cusack)

Faraday was especially cautious after the strange and unexplained circumstances surrounding the car-accident death of his girlfriend and former student, Brooke Wolfe (Hope Davis), who was helping him to investigate Lang.

Then, towards the conclusion of the film, Faraday became convinced that his son Grant had been kidnapped by Lang - now revealed for certain to be a dangerous extremist.

When he saw a Liberty Van Service vehicle that he believed was holding a kidnapped Grant and heading into the secure underground parking lot of the FBI headquarters, he drove his rented red vehicle through barricades and parked. He yelled hysterically to FBI officers: "In the van! In the van!...Everyone out of the building! There's a bomb, in the van!"

When the van was opened and found to be clean, Faraday raced with officers to his own vehicle. He discovered - too late - that his neighbor had set him up and duped him with a destructive bomb planted in the trunk of his car. After running to the car's trunk, he re-heard the words of FBI agent Whit Carver (Robert Gossett) (the ex-partner of Michael's wife) informing him that he was the only unauthorized person in the building area: "Everyone except you!" To his horror, he opened his car's trunk and saw the bomb. It exploded and killed him, and wounded and killed many others.

The real terrorist killer, Oliver Lang, watched the massive destruction from afar.

The resultant news coverage blamed Faraday as the lone criminal, although the real criminal was his psychotic, terrorist neighbor. This film's twist ending was similar to the one in The Parallax View (1974).

"Preliminary reports indicate the bombing was the work of this man, Michael Faraday of Reston, Virginia. A professor of history at George Washington University...Officials will not confirm reports that the bombing had anything to do with the death of Mr. Faraday's wife, who had been an FBI agent. Students and colleagues both say that Farady's behavior was increasingly erratic in the weeks leading up...Faraday reportedly blamed the Bureau for its role in his wife's death almost three years ago. Specifically, sources speculate his target may have been Agent Whit Carver, one of the 184 people to perish in the attack. Carver was a partner of Faraday's wife at Copper Creek and Faraday may have held him responsible...

Yet all of them described Faraday as solitary but friendly as a talented professor fascinated by the American underground, and as a loving father to his ten-year-old son who is now in the care of relatives. And so after exhausting hundreds of thousands of man-hours and leads, federal investigators are finally ready to say that just as in the St. Louis IRS bombing nearly two years ago, this spring's attack on the FBI, the worst terrorist strike in our nation's history, was the work of one man and one man alone."

In the final scene, the Langs were in their front yard (with a For Sale by Owner sign), staring at their next-door neighbor's boarded-up home (with Keep Out and No Trespassing signs) surrounded by yellow crime tape. They were planning to move to another state, where ironically wife Cheryl Lang hoped to "someplace nice...someplace safe."



Michael Faraday's Pursuit of Van Into Underground Parking Lot

"The van's clean!"





The Explosion

Terrorist Oliver Lang (Tim Robbins) Watching Blast

Atonement (2007, US/UK)

The Two Star-Crossed Lovers Were Reunited Only in the Novel, Never in Person

Director Joe Wright's romantic, war-time costume drama - a lush epic of thwarted romance, had the intriguing tagline - which actually gave away the ending:

You can only imagine the truth.

The film's plot centered on two privileged sisters in 1935's England, at the family's country estate:

  • Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan), a manipulative 13 year-old, precocious sister, a budding and aspiring writer
  • Cecilia Tallis (Keira Knightley)

Briony kept coming across what she falsely identified and misunderstood as improper behavior between Cecilia and:

  • Robbie Turner (James McAvoy), a 'secret' boyfriend, the son of the servant/cook who was educated at Cambridge and was planning on medical school

When a piece of a broken antique vase (a family heirloom) fell in an outdoor fountain, the lithe Cecilia stripped down to her underwear to retrieve it, and revealed her almost-naked body through her soaked, transparently-wet undergarments - in front of Robbie.

Their romantic connection was also evidenced by Robbie's expression of sexual lust for Cecilia causing a twist of fate - when he typed an apology note to Cecilia about wishing to ravish 'your sweet wet cunt' - shown in extreme close-up on his typewriter. He also handwrote a second apologetic note with a sincere expression of regret, but misdelivered the note. He mistakenly picked up the raunchier note ("the wrong version" - with "anatomical" details) and gave it to Briony to give to Cecilia. When he realized his mistake, it was too late. Briony had read it, and concluded that Robbie was a "sex maniac."

And then, in the library, for the first time, they emotionally and physically expressed their unbridled erotic love for each other. Just before love-making, Cecilia confessed to Robbie:

It's been there for weeks, and then this morning by the fountain. I've never done anything like that before. And I was so angry with you, and with myself. I thought if you went away to medical school, then I'd be happy, but I don't know how I could have been so ignorant about myself, so... So stupid. You do know what I'm talking about, don't you? You knew before I did.

Briony was shocked when she came upon the couple making love (in her green dress, Cecilia was pressed against a stack of books and awkwardly positioned on a ladder).

Subsequently, Briony also mistakenly identified and accused Robbie of 'raping' her 15 year-old cousin Lola Quincey (Juno Temple), one night in the darkness of the garden.

[Note: Later it was revealed that houseguest/chocolate tycoon Paul Marshall (Benedict Cumberpatch) was actually making love to Lola, and a few years later married her, but the act was misinterpreted by the young Briony as 'rape'.]

Cecilia protested Robbie's innocence, but to no avail. Robbie was tried, convicted, and dragged off to jail and then released four years later to join the British forces at the start of World War II. During the war years, Cecilia served as a nurse in London, while Robbie fought in the struggle at Dunkirk. In the film, it was portrayed that they met one final time during the conflict and pledged their love to each other, and planned on settling down after the war in a seaside cottage near Dover. It was also shown that an 18-year-old Briony reconciled and apologized to Cecilia.

At the end of the film, older, terminally-ill (with vascular dementia) novelist Briony (Vanessa Redgrave) was interviewed about her latest and last book - an autobiographical work titled Atonement - when she confessed as an act of penance that much of the end portion of the novel was fabricated in order to bring the two lovers together and make amends. However, she told the interviewer it was "the absolute truth, no rhymes, no embellishments."

She had invented the reunion scene of Robbie and Cecilia - and the scene of reconciliation between 18 year-old nursing student Briony (Romola Garai) and her estranged sister (and Robbie). All of the sequences was "imagined, invented" - includng Briony's promise to make a written apology and officially recant her false accusation.

Both Robbie and Cecilia died during the war, never to experience the happiness they desired. Robbie died of septicemia on the last day of the Dunkirk evacuation before returning home, and Cecilia died a few months later when bombs flooded the London underground tunnel where she was seeking shelter.

The final scene was an idealized look at the lovers cavorting on the beach near a beach house, as Briony stated:

"So in the book, I wanted to give Robbie and Cecilia what they lost out on in life. I'd like to think this isn't weakness or evasion, but a final act of kindness. I gave them their happiness."


Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan)


Cecilia Tallis
(Keira Knightley)


The Incriminating Typewritten Apology Note

Love in the Library

The Misunderstood "Rape" - A False Accusation

Interview with Novelist Briony Tallis (Vanessa Redgrave)

Robbie's (James McAvoy) Death

Cecilia Tallis

Idealized Look at Two Lovers: Robbie and Cecilia

Audition (1999, Jp./S.Kor.) (aka Odishon)

Asami Tortured the Widower Before She Broke Her Own Neck When Kicked Down Stairs by the Widower's Son During a Struggle

A shocking transformation and character reversal was the almost-unbelievable plot twist in this Takashi Miike-directed, unsettling horror-romantic drama. Its enigmatic tagline was about the film's title - an audition - (and a hint to severed body parts!):

She always gets a part

The main character was middle-aged, lonely widower Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) who had lost his wife seven years earlier, and was raising a teenaged son Shigehiko (Tetsu Sawaki). With his film producer-friend Yoshikawa (Jun Kunimura), Aoyama - who was seeking a bride-to-be - held a fake "audition" for the role of a movie wife. His finalist choice was:

  • Asami Yamazaki (Eihi Shiina), a gorgeous 24 year-old, seemingly-demure, reserved, virginal and dutifully-humble

There were numerous clues that Asami was not what she appeared to be. She lacked references, had an unusual work history, and she lived in a sparse apartment furnished only with a giant burlap sack (with a living person inside!) and a telephone. She claimed that she had been abused as a child, and past co-workers or associates recalled strange instances of dismemberment and torture.

Asami turned into a vengeful, sadistic torturer who exacted her revenge on Aoyama for tricking him.

In the film's harrowing conclusion, she first drugged and temporarily paralyzed him (with a syringe), and then terrorized him with acupuncture needles (stuck into his eyelids) and piano wire (used to amputate or wire-saw off his left foot).

When she heard his son coming home while she was sawing off Aoyama's right foot, the film abruptly became Aoyama's psychotic nightmarish dream. He woke up with Asami in his bed after they had made love for the first time, following the audition, when she accepted his marriage proposal (although he asked: "Proposal?"). She continued:

It's like a dream. I'm so happy. I applied for the audition. I was the luckiest one. Because l didn't become the heroine of the movie. But l became the real heroine.

Then after he awoke from the idealized dream, Asami herself broke her neck (and became paralyzed from the neck down) after being kicked down the stairs by the widower's son during a struggle. Aoyama remembered his earlier assurance to Asami in a dream sequence after she described her loneliness and childhood abuse:

"It's hard to forget about, but someday you'll feel that life is wonderful. That's life, isn't it?"


"Auditioned" Asami Yamazaki (Eihi Shiina)



The Torture of Widower Aoyama

Asami's Broken Neck at Foot of Stairs

Awake (2007)

Billionaire Wall Streeter Clay Beresford Was to Be Murdered on the Operating Table During Open-Heart Transplant Surgery; The Major Conspirators Included His Own Fiancee/Wife Samantha, and His Trusted Friend Surgeon Dr. Jack Harper - Their Plan Was To Collect on His Will; Clay's Mother Discovered the Plot and Suicidally Overdosed, To Save Her Son with Her Own O-Negative Heart Transplant

First time writer/director Joby Harold's bloody psychological suspense thriller (his feature film debut) was about a phenomenon known as "anesthetic awareness" - being paralyzed although conscious and feeling surgical pain. However, the film's tagline on a poster (besides revealing a crucial plot twist) grossly misrepresented statistics about it, and should have said one in about 14,000:

"Every year, 21 million people go under anesthesia. One in 700 remain awake the entire time. When they planned her husband's murder, they never thought he'd be the one."

The film opened with an explanation about how 21 million people each year receive general anesthesia: "The vast majority go to sleep peacefully. They remember nothing. 30,000 of these patients are not so fortunate. They find themselves unable to sleep. Trapped in a phenomenon known as anesthesia awareness. These victims are completely paralyzed. They cannot scream for help. They are awake."

Most of the characters in the film defied their initial impressions and betrayed each other. [Note: The film received two Razzie Awards nominations: Worst Screen Couple (Christensen and Alba), and Worst Actress (Alba).]

22 year-old socially-minded billionaire Wall Street capital investment banker Clayton "Clay" Beresford (Hayden Christensen) was being pressured by his fiancee, adorable Samantha "Sam" Lockwood (Jessica Alba) (his mother's personal assistant!), to get married. He was portrayed as a good son to his doting, loving (but domineering, smothering and possessive) mother Lilith (Lena Olin) who disapproved. After the couple secretly married, Clay learned a donor heart had become available for him. Despite the fact that his best friend and black surgeon Dr. Jack Harper (Terrence Howard), who had previously saved his life, was facing four malpractice suits and Lilith objected (considering him a "second-rate" doctor), Clay was determined to have Jack perform the surgery. He declined her choice - prominent world class heart surgeon friend of 15 years, Dr. Jonathan Neyer (Arliss Howard).

At the last minute for Clay's open-heart surgery, substitute anesthesiologist Dr. Larry Lupin (Christopher McDonald) (with an apparent drinking problem) arrived to replace sick colleague Dr. Fitzgerald. During surgery, a disembodied, anesthesized (although aware) Clay overheard a conspiracy against him. Through out-of-body "imagined" dream experiences (he rose from the surgical table, watched himself, then entered the hospital's corridor - barefooted and wearing blue hospital scrubs). He was mobilized to piece together and uncover troubling coincidences, preposterous mistakes, and conspiratorial betrayals:

  • Samantha had conspired with Dr. Jack Harper (also involved were Dr. Puttnam (Fisher Stevens), nurse Penny Carver (Georgina Chapman) and anesthesiologist Dr. Fitzgerald) to murder Clay (Samantha had previously been a nurse at the hospital working in Harper's team)
  • The plan was to poison the new donor heart so that the transplant for Clayton would be rejected
  • The conspirators would collect insurance money, to help pay off Dr. Jack Harper's malpractice suits; Samantha persuaded Jack: "Without this money, we're finished. He has to die...Jack, think about it. No more triple shifts. No more 30-hour days. Even if we settle the will, we're rich. You know what 100 million is, four ways?"
  • When Jack hesitated to kill Clayton, Samantha took the syringe, filled it with poison, and demanded that Jack use it to inject the patient
  • In a "twist-within-a-twist," to save her son who had died from the surgery (and organ failure and rejection), Lilith committed suicide by overdosing in the cafeteria (with her son's medication)
  • In limbo with her son, Lilith told Clay: "You're going to live, Clay"; her desire was to have her heart switched with the poisoned donor heart, via an operation performed by Dr. Neyer; they both had rare O-negative blood types
  • in flashback, Lilith described how she had discovered the plot; Samantha had left the waiting room and her purse; Lilith looked through her mail and saw that Samantha's name had been changed from Samantha Tunnell; she was a student at Varick University's school of nursing in NYC and had been to the hospital many times
  • Police, alerted by substitute anesthesiologist Dr. Lupin to the 'murder', arrested Dr. Harper and his associates attempting to flee; Sam claimed that she was just the "grieving widow...I didn't do anything wrong" - although her prints were on the deadly syringe, and she was also arrested
  • Lilith told Clay, still in limbo, that she had killed Clay's abusive addict father (Sam Robards) (a haunting Christmas flashback showed the father wearing a Santa suit, struck on the back of the head with a fireplace stoker, and lying dead on the floor after falling down the stairs); Lilith had wanted to protect young Clay, although she realized she had caused him more pain; she told Clay: "It's time for you to live" - and he was revived after the second transplant in the operating room; the new operation by Dr. Neyer was successful and Clay was awake

The film ended with Dr. Harper in his locked office, with a regretful voice-over:

"At 6:32 this morning, on Thursday, the first of November, Clayton Beresford, Jr. died on my operating table. Two and a half hours later, his life was saved. There are no excuses for what we did. There's no defense, no one to blame but us. We got what we deserved. Clay would have his revenge, and justice would finally be served. For despite all the secrets, despite all the lies and a - a terrible loss, only one thing really matters now. He...is...awake."


Clayton Beresford
(Hayden Christensen) with
Samantha Lockwood
(Jessica Alba)


Clayton with Lilith
(Lena Olin)






The Conspirators

Deadly Suicide

Death of Father


Greatest Movie Plot Twists, Spoilers and Surprise Endings

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