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Movie Easter Eggs For The Hardcore Film Buff

Sure, audiences enjoy spotting Easter Eggs in movies. But any dummy can recognize a fleeting glimpse of the E.T. aliens in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Here are some obscure Easter Eggs that require a deep knowledge of filmdom to fully appreciate.

Sumatran Rat Monkey in King Kong (2005)

In director Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong (2005), Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) walks by a crate labeled 'Sumatran Rat Monkey' while on board the SS Venture. This is a reference to the lesser-known (for mainstream audiences) Peter Jackson zombie movie Dead Alive (a.k.a. Braindead) from 1992. In that spatter-fest, a Sumatran Rat Monkey's bite causes victims to become grotesque zombies. Hopefully the rat monkey is a major antagonist in the upcoming Kong: Skull Island.

Lost 'Spider Pit' Models

On a related note, die-hard fans of the original King Kong (1933) know that director/producer Merian C. Cooper filmed, but later cut a horrific action scene from final version. This scene, known as the "Spider Pit Sequence" occurs after King Kong shakes the sailors off the giant log. Some of the sailors survive, but are eaten by creatures (including a giant spider) at the bottom of the gorge. This scene is lost to time, but viewers can see models of the creatures as props in several other movies by RKO Pictures, including Genius at Work (1946) and possibly Black Scorpion (1957).

Close Encounters, E.T. in Gremlins

In Gremlins (1984), there is a scene early in the film where the viewer sees two titles on the marquee of the local movie theater. The two movies are "A Boy's Life" and "Watch the Skies." These were working titles for the Steven Spielberg films, E.T. the Extra-terrestrial (1978) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), respectively.

"Klaatu barada nikto" in Army of Darkness

In the cult-favorite Army of Darkness (1992), the Evil Dead series' anti-hero, Ash, must recite three words before retrieving the evil book, the Necronomicon. These words are "Klaatu barada nikto." This is a reference to the the classic science fiction film The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). In that movie, these are the words the female lead, Helen Benson (Patricia Neal), must say to the alien robot Gort to prevent him from destroying the world.

The Thing meets The Hateful Eight

John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) heavily inspired Quentin Tarantino as he created his epic revenge Western, The Hateful Eight (2015). Notably, both movies feature Kurt Russell. Less obvious to some is that legendary composer Ennio Morricone worked on both films. Appropriately enough, Tarantino included some of Morricone's unused music from The Thing. The tune "Bestiality" (which is especially prominent in The Hateful Eight) is the menu music on The Thing DVD from 2005.