Rick And Morty: Best Potential Movie Parodies
Since airing in 2013, Rick and Morty has garnered a large and passionate fanbase, thanks to its colorful cast and zany sense of humor—which fuses the wacky and bizarre with the thoughtful, borderline philosophical. Another big appeal of Adult Swim’s wild sci-fi comedy, however, is its array of parodies. From science fiction, fantasy, and horror to pop culture at large, R&M is in another dimension when it comes to amusing satire, and clever, often subtle, references. It makes sense, given the premise and characters themselves are a satire of the ’80s hit Back to the Future.
As it’s become a staple of the show (with episode titles even serving as cheeky film references), fans have naturally speculated as to what other content from the vast ether of movies can be drawn upon and spoofed. Given R&M‘s vast scope and versatility—which provides fertile grounds for satire—there’s no shortage of potentially great choices which are still left unexplored.
Described as It follows meets The Ring(with a side of Shyamalan’s The Happening), this unique psychological horror features a spreadable “mental virus” of sorts, which manifests via creepy smiling onlookers that yield self-inflicted death. While this chilling romp may seem like an unorthodox pick for R&M fodder at first glance, there is plenty of subtle potential. After all, the cartoon has produced memorable horror satire with episodes like “Lawnmower Dog,” which spoofs the dream-terrorizing Freddy Krueger.
The show is also no stranger to psychological elements, as well as harmful viruses—”Rest and Ricklaxation” and “Rick Potion #9” to name a couple. It could be amusing (and maybe a bit creepy) seeing a dark rendition of Rick, or conceivably evil Morty, looming over their benign counterparts with the film’s trademark wide, sinister smiles as they seek to “get in their heads.”
5/6 The Lighthouse
Known for his atmospheric romps and deep character studies, this eerie, off-kilter period piece is classic Robert Eggers. The entire film takes place at a desolate lighthouse from the 19th century, where viewers witness two caretakers go progressively mad from confinement and isolation. Stressing minimalism and crudeness, The Lighthouse shines on its authenticity and deep psychological leanings—as well as convincing performances by the lighthouse keepers played by Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson.
Given that The Lighthouse hones in deeply on these two men, it’d make sense that the prominently featured duo of Rick and Morty could find themselves in a similar scene. These troubled characters could revisit the lighthouse once occupied by the keeper from “Look Who’s Purging Now,” only to find themselves stranded or trapped by inhabitants seeking to “purge” again. Cue the psychological comedy-drama, where the perturbed grandfather and grandson trade insults and tirades.
Starring an “everyman” who finds himself the smartest person in a dumbed-down future society, Mike Judge’s Idiocracy serves as a sci-fi comedy and thoughtful social commentary all in one measure. It hosts a slew of zany characters that bring this otherwise silly tale to life, most notably the charismatic, over-the-top President Dwayne Camacho (Terry Crews). These are qualities that can be described Rick and Mortywith its blend of cleverness and wacky gags, dressed with sci-fi settings or “out-there” premises.
And while show creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland—as well as their creation Rick himself—have sworn against using time travel, there are certainly ways around this. Rick and Morty can find themselves on a planet so highly advanced technologically, that its inhabitants have become “dulled” by way of sophisticated AI and gadgets that do everything for them
3/6 Kill Bill
Short of a cheeky reference displayed on R&M merch, which shows enraged Meeseeks chasing Jerry while sporting Beatrix jumpsuits, Kill Bill Spoofs have been virtually nonexistent. And yet, it’s hard to imagine that an episode satirizing this 2004 romp wouldn’t be a fun (and popular) one.
Much like Harmon and Roiland’s cartoon, Quentin Tarantino uses a fusion of different elements, from classic action to Japanese martial arts to neo-western. Perhaps Beth (or more appropriately “Space Beth”), Summer, or even Jessica could take on the role of “the Bride” as she finds herself on an action-filled vendetta against hostile aliens.
2/6 Get Out
Director Jordan Peele’s debut film from 2017 captivates with a deep, imaginative premise that explores concepts of racism, classism, and control through the lens of psychological sci-fi. The film stars photographer Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), who gets more than he bargained for when visiting the well-off (and quite literally) “controlling” family of his white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams).
Despite its far more serious, emotional core, Get Out could be done justice by an R&M comedy-drama, perhaps featuring a maligned version of the Smiths (or a wealthy alien family of some sort). After all, the show has already thrived in tales of societal commentary ala “The Ricklantis Mixup” and others. Of course, hypnosis-induced mind control and brain transplants certainly fall into the realm of R&M territory.
R&M is no stranger to toying with mind-bending concepts and interplanetary (as well as interdimensional travel), which are major elements of Interstellar. And much like another target of the cartoon’s satire, Inception, Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic from 2014 would provide fertile grounds for a great spoof. The film takes viewers on a surreal journey as they follow a group of astronauts venturing through a wormhole, breaking the restrictions of linear time in order to find a suitable new homeland for a depleted earth.
Knowing the history of the arrogant, often-impulsive Rick, it’s feasible another of his experiments could go awry, forcing the Smiths to flee earth and seek another home among a vast universe with countless dimensions. It could be in a similar vein to the season two finale “The Wedding Squanchers,” where the Smiths come upon Tiny Planet, but with a bit more depth and Interstellar-esque time-bending parallels.
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