Fight Club is one of the most unique movies I’ve ever seen because it just feels so goddamn dangerous. Its handsome, anarchist depiction of Brad Pitt feels dangerous. Its generous recipe for homemade weapons of mass destruction feels dangerous. It’s anti-consumerist message feels REALLY dangerous and becomes more so as we continue to participate in the giant asshole race of material wealth.
In honor of its 15th anniversary this week, here are four wild things that have made Fight Club the bewildering ride we’ve come to know and love:
Simply put, Marla’s just straight-up gross, and she’s certainly not disturbing in any subtle way like most of the other items on this list. From her unladylike lack of hygiene to her suicidal tendencies, everything about Marla’s character is aggressively unlikeable. She exists only because she can, scraping by on one stolen pair of jeans at a time.
What’s weird is that she’s nowhere near as important as our narrator Ed Norton makes her out to be. He narrates after Tyler ties him to a chair and holds him at gunpoint, “All of this has got something to do with a girl named Marla Singer,” but all the Project Mayhem shit didn’t REALLY happen because of her. All she does to lunge the movie forward is bicker with Ed Norton and fuck Tyler.
I guess that’s what happens when you’re infectious human waste.
Tyler and Lou’s ‘Confrontation’
Good god, this scene. I couldn’t tell if this scene was hilarious or repulsive the first time I watched it. It’s quite a spectacle watching Tyler freak Lou the fuck out after Lou beat nearly beat him to death. Tyler’s psychotic laugh and complete lack of suffering make you feel giddy and frenzied when you watch it, as if you’re about to lose your mind right there with him.
Nothing beats when Tyler throws himself on top of him and starts spitting blood all over his face while screaming, “You don’t know where I’ve been, Lou!” I might try that strategy the next time I get into a fight: get the shit beat out of you then act like you should be straitjacketed in a mental hospital.
In the meantime, I’ll practice punching myself in the face. Build up my tolerance and whatnot.
Meat Loaf really lived up to his stage name when he took the role of Bob, the big slobbering moosey whom Ed Norton meets at the testicular cancer support group. Bob’s signature sweaty DDs developed after getting an orchiectomy, which caused a massive spike in his estrogen levels. Bob’s cleavage became Ed Norton’s salvation, a cozy little place for him to cry and therefore sleep normally.
What’s really disturbing about Bob is the contradictory nature of his character. He’s sensitive but intimidating and strong but weak. He’s a masculine-looking man with the most feminine personality. He’s also killed by the end, which is super shitty considering he’s probably the one character in the movie that didn’t deserve to get shot to death.
RIP Robert Paulson. You carried out Project Mayhem with grace and zeal.
Subliminal Tyler Durden
As we’ve seen with Gone Girl and The Social Network, director David Fincher is a pretty smart bastard who’s too clever for his own good. Fight Club prides itself on the little things it sneaks up on us without us realizing. Nearly every scene features a Starbucks cup, which is an elusive way of etching the film’s anti-corporate message into our heads.
Fincher slips Tyler into our minds way before Ed Norton meets him for the first time on the airplane. Before that scene, we see subliminal flashes of Tyler four separate times for what seems like a quarter of a second each. This shows us that Tyler is slowly becoming a real, separate entity to Ed Norton, who has no idea how Tyler will turn his life into absolute chaos.
Now excuse me while I go destroy the world’s largest multinational credit card companies.