Red Dwarf Movie References

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    So far we’ve had Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Alien, Blade Runner, The Birdman of Alcatraz, James Bond, Star Wars – and a shedload of others. What’re your favourite Red Dwarf movie spoofs/parodies/references, and which movies would you like to see receive the same treatment in future episodes?



    DNA probably has the highest count too.

    Alien, Robocop, Die Hard (how can the same smeg happen to the same guy twice), and you could tentatively suggest theres elements of The Fly in there too.



    Well, recently, great swathes of Twentica are a weirdly-timed parody of Star Trek: First Contact. And Krysis has that contentious homage to Bruce Almighty.

    TV, but Gunmen Of The Apocalypse is an homage to the original Star Trek episode ‘A Piece Of The Action’. The TNG ep ‘A Fistful Of Datas’ is even closer to Gunmen and pre-dates Dwarf s6, but hadn’t officially premiered in the UK at that point. But let’s not start on the labyrinthine web of co-dependent plagiarism between Trek and Dwarf or otherwise Patrick Stewart will get his autocue out.



    Well Dark star needs a pre alien reference first and foremost, would have to be fave as without it no red dwarf.

    Trek is obviously an influence as Darrel rightly points out, but sometimes people can over draw some of the more specific episode similarities, like a lot of the kryten/data comparisons you have to factor in Pinocchio & earlier tropes in fiction I see buggsy malone/untouchables even the godfather in Twentica before I reach for city on the edge of forever.

    Rosemary’s baby was mentioned as an influence for Can of worms so thats the most recent.

    I would like to see a comedic half hour homage to
    Memento, set around Krytens Pov & memory files being
    corrupted for some mystery reason.



    The novels heavily referenced “It’s a Wonderful Life”



    There’s the line about going back in time and persuading Dustin Hoffman not to do the much-maligned (unfairly imo) Ishtar. (I also once really enjoyed an amateur production of Run For Your Wife, but have never listened to an album by Olivia Newton-John.)



    Never thought of The Fly in DNA, but now you mention it I think you’re onto something… Didn’t pick up on the Die Hard reference, but then I’ve never seen Die Hard (unforgivable, I know).

    The First Contact parody in Twentica kinda bugged me, I must admit: getting Lister to say what a hackneyed cliché it was reminded me of the way Doctor Who: Last Christmas conveniently “borrowed” plots of other movies only to heap scorn over them. I’ve always felt great parodies and homages were affectionate, even at their most cutting.

    Gotta say, my favourite Red Dwarf movie references are Full Metal Jacket in Meltdown and The Wild One in Kryten… and was that a Right Stuff spoof in Trojan where the suited-and-booted crew walk in slow motion towards the recovered ship?

    (Oh, and Clem – I agree wholeheartedly about Ishtar being unfairly maligned.)



    I’ve wondered which single thing (film, TV show, book, etc.) has been directly referenced/homaged/mined for ideas by Red Dwarf the most. For a while I assumed it was the Alien franchise. Now I’m pretty sure it’s the Bible. But I probably won’t ever take the time to count so I’ll never know for sure. :(



    “I’ve wondered which single thing (film, TV show, book, etc.) has been directly referenced/homaged/mined for ideas by Red Dwarf the most. For a while I assumed it was the Alien franchise. Now I’m pretty sure it’s the Bible.”

    I’m not that hot on Judeo-Christian theology (I’m from a Jewish-atheist background) but you’ve definitely got a point: we’ve had resurrection; Lister leading the Cat people to Fuchal in Waiting for God (Moses and Christ); Lister as Father and Son (does that make Rimmer the Holy Ghost?); the crew meeting Richard O’Callaghan’s God-like writer character in Back to Earth and discovering the rules surrounding their existence, not to mention confronting an apparently sentient universe in Krysis; Jesus in Lemons… I’m sure there’s a Solomon reference in Demons and Angels, too.

    It’s Friday night, for Frankenstein’s sake – why am I posting this??

    [Not to self: ask that girl you like at work out, and soon.]



    Back to the film references, we also have a Wizard of Oz comparison, too; Lister’s Dorothy, the innocent negotiating their way through a strange land; Rimmer’s the scarecrow, the hollow man; Cat’s the Cowardly Lion and Kryten the Tin Man. Naturally, that makes Holly the Wizard – the one who can get Lister home, despite his/her fallibility..



    That meant to say ‘Note to self’ in the previous message… Effing lack of edit options (or, more likely, my lack of message board nous)



    Just been looking at this:

    I didn’t know MAKE MY DAY was on the simulant’s gun in Justice.



    I’m honestly really surprised the Empire Strikes Back reference in The Beginning worked as well as it did for me, because if before Series X you’d told me Red Dwarf was going to parody that scene in a future episode I’d probably cringe. Referencing famous Star Wars moments has become a staple of hackneyed comedy by this point because it’s so easy to get a huge reaction doing it even if there’s no actual joke or reason for it to be there, and I’m pleased they were able to able to avoid that pitfall.

    But I shouldn’t be surprised, because Red Dwarf’s film references and homages have always served the story first which is arguably the best use of that type of humor in a show with grounded reality.

    Well that Reservoir Dogs parody didn’t serve the story in any way, but Series VIII isn’t a show with a grounded reality.


    Taiwan Tony

    La Dame aux Camélias.


    International Debris

    >Well that Reservoir Dogs parody didn’t serve the story in any way, but Series VIII isn’t a show with a grounded reality.

    The same could be said for the Alien parody in whatever episode it was. I remember really cringing at that when it was on TV. Felt so crowbarred in. “Look, it’s like Alien! But with a penis instead of an alien!”

    I feel a series VIII rant coming on, I better close the window.



    Surely if you are comparing to OZ. Rimmer is the cowardly self loathing lion and the cat needs a brain so is the dumb scarecrow, despite his cat/lion species link he’s nothing like the cowardly lion.

    Re: the bible. Legion is a bible quote. was almost called, call me legion, (for we are many,) which is a quote of demon’s in a heard of pigs.



    “I’m honestly really surprised the Empire Strikes Back reference in The Beginning worked as well as it did for me,”

    I think if the first idea had been, let’s parody star wars, then it might have failed. The fact it’s written as character reasoning first, and then has unavoidable echoes of star wars in it’s reveal means it’s it’s own thing. They didnt go to Lister going “Bloody hell luke skyrimmer, who saw that coming” as the next line, and rimmers dad didnt out stretch his hand and hamm up the line “I am not your father” like a darth parody to the extreme, helped. Given that this show has taken the piss out of hammy soap like reveals with “he isnt your android” in the past, it managed the right tone in the beginning, we genuinely care an interest in rimmer, and this is s a big impactful moment for the character more than it is a movie parody moment, within the flow of the half hour.



    The same could be said for the Alien parody in whatever episode it was. I remember really cringing at that when it was on TV. Felt so crowbarred in. “Look, it’s like Alien! But with a penis instead of an alien!”

    Whether or not it was good is a matter of opinion, but…to put it lightly, you are grossly mischaracterizing the episode.

    You’re straight-up saying Polymorph being an Alien homage is on the SAME level as the random Reservoir Dogs reference in Back in the Red. There’s no comparing the two; one’s a just a simple gag, one is the actual style the episode is shot in. One is a moment that could be seamlessly cut without affecting anything, one is the overall aesthetic of the episode, and one that looks very good too. Storywise, Polymorph really is not that close to Alien, since the monster is mainly a plot device to bring about comedy. Comedy that is primarily focused on the characters, as is usually the case with this show.

    And penis? Seriously? That’s your take away, that’s what stuck with you is that the emotion sucker was phallic? What happened to the characters missing their emotions, the bazookoid chase, “This isn’t a meal, it’s an autopsy”, “I’ll let myself trout”? Does “LOL IT LOOKS LIKE A DICK” outweigh all of that in your mind?

    I’m not even annoyed that you didn’t like it, I’m annoyed that you’re saying it’s on the same level as that stupid Dibley fanservice slow motion walk from Back in the Red. Even if you hate both, they’re not the same thing just because they’re film references. An apple isn’t the same thing as custard just because they’re both food.




    He’s referring to Archie. The giveaway is in everything he said.


    Dave Wallace

    Yeah, it’s the shot with Cat that was used in that series’ intro, isn’t it.



    International Debris

    Er yeah, I was referring to Archie.


    Pete Part Three

    The Thing – Can of Worms (specifically the stuff in the lower decks, with Lister, Rimmer and Kryten wearing the big hooded coats and suspecting each other of being Polymorphs)



    International Debris
    Er yeah, I was referring to Archie.

    I um..


    This what I get for spending so much time in the Facebook groups where people don’t even know there’s going to be a Series XII.




    Goddammit, I can’t even quote right. Somebody help me reinstall my core operating system.



    Wait, what are some of those Facebook groups?



    I’m in one called “Red Dwarf Posse…!!!” (sic), and it’s generally fun but…

    Today somebody said Series VII was annoying because the audience wasn’t laughing. Every day somebody discovers the SMEG appliances. Back to Earth is fair game to shit all over, but Series VIII is the exact same show as Series V

    I’m sorry, I’ve gotten so used to these people I jumped the gun..


    International Debris

    Fucking hell. Avoid those places, please! This is my single Dwarf stop-off, because people here generally have the intelligence to understand the programme.



    If only I’d watched Pete more often this could’ve been avoided.

    I’m still not gonna do it.


    Taiwan Tony

    > I’ve never seen Die Hard (unforgivable, I know).

    It was on the other night. Did you see it? It was only the second time I’ve seen it in recent years. A lot of effing and jeffing!
    (But no cunting.)

    That quote is from Die Hard 2: Die Harder, though, which isn’t as good.



    Die Hard 2 suffers from being basically the same movie on a bigger scale, but I still enjoy Die Hard enough to watch it happen again at an airport. One of the things that made Die Hard 2 so effective for me was seeing them destroy a passenger airplane with some incredible model effects. Not only did I not expect to see them destroy a passenger jet, which would be a major faux pas post-9/11, but the model effects were fucking fantasic. Even really good CGI would still look too clean and artificial unless the director really knew what they were doing, but that plane wreck did not look like a model to me. I bought that as a full-sized plane actually crashing on camera.

    Not to get too far off-topic, I just love model effects from the last decade or so before CGI took over (late ’70s through the very early ’90s). Special effects got so amazing, and then they started looking a lot fakier with CGI only in its infancy.



    Ya know, I’ve never ever stopped to consider the model work in Die Hard 2. It’s that good I’ve always just seen a jet explode on the tarmac, never had it occurred to me that’s a model. That just goes to show how good that effect it.

    Probably helps that its pitch black when it happens but still. I’m with you, I really appreciate good practical effects. I think we all do given how much better Red Dwarfs model work was before the mess of CGI from Remastered and Series 7 onwards.

    Even later series models haven’t been quite up to scratch. Some have been absolutely fantastic (Twentica crash, Samsara crash etc), but you can tell Starbug is being manoeuvred on a rod in front of a green screen most of the time.

    As for post 9/11 faux pas’, dare I mention The Lone Gunmen WTC incident from the pilot. I bet the producers absolutely cacked their pants a couple of months later.



    Here’s a smartarsed one: “This is mutiny, Mr Queeg” is a paraphrase from Mutiny On The Bounty but Queeg is named after a character from The Caine Mutiny. Sensing a theme…


    Dollar Pound

    not the only character named after a movie: the admirable chrichton


    Dollar Pound

    also wanted to mention jaws


    International Debris

    Kryten was pre-emtpively named after Crichton in Farscape, actually.



    And ‘Hudson’ is the butler in Upstairs Downstairs. Hence Butler’s name in Krysis continuing a running joke.


    Taiwan Tony

    Probably my favourite moment in an otherwise foolish venture of studying Media Production at Sunderland university was sitting down to watch The Wicked Lady (1945) and slowly realising that the Blackadder episode Amy and Amiability must have been based on it.


    Plastic Percy

    Never knew that about Hudson 10. Presumably Butler is named after Geoffrey Butler from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Hopefully it’s not just lazy, obvious writing on the part of Doug Naylor.

    Hopefully the next one we meet will be Carson or Jeeves.


    Dave Wallace



    Dave Wallace

    But yeah, it’s probably going to end up being Alfred or something.



    Maybe my favourite film butler is Hobson in Arthur but I don’t think Hobson’s a good name for a mechanoid. Come to think of it, Lister and Kryten’s relationship is a bit like Arthur and Hobson’s.


    Dollar Pound

    is plastic percy saying the choice of name of butler is lazy and obvious writing? no way.

    i’m still on red dwarf is pop. was warhol’s choice of a soup can lazy and obvious art? er yes. anyway the point is butler is the perfect name for butler, it’s the correct aesthetic and semantic choice.

    krysis is way up there

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