I must be. It’s the only explanation for how I’ve managed to be aware of – with vivid visual memory, often in multiple instances – things that creators of certain things claim were never there.
This comes up after I got buried in Wikipedia. I was looking at aticles on cannibalism – research, yay! – and through a long an circuitous route that eventually landed me on the page for the film 28 Days Later. Reading through, I found myself muttering “that’s not how it ended…”
I clearly remember the dad character (I don’t remember the names. Names are a weak point for me after assorted brain damage) getting turned. Then the male lead, the female lead and the daughter restrained him and ended up at the lab where the Rage virus came from, discovering a scientist who offers a “cure.” The cure involves a complete blood transfusion – which of course means the donor is either dead or infected, now, and we’ll just skip the illogic of how it works – but our plucky male lead volunteers, on the basis that the girl needs her daddy.
I vividly recall the final shot of the male lead, chained to an experimentation table, now infected, shrieking and thrashing, while the others leave, most of them in tears. I remember talking about this scene to my girlfriend at the time, who seemed to think it was amusing.
According to all Intel gathered yesterday, this never happened. It was planned, but the writers and directors decided it was illogical and so they changed it to an ending where they get away, minus the dad, and go knit a giant quilt that says “hello” and wait for rescue.
I don’t remember ever seeing that scene.
This isn’t the only instance of a creative work where I swear I saw something that the creator says doesn’t exist. There’s two other big ones. First, as everyone here probably knows, I adore ‘Salem’s Lot; Callahan’s return in the Dark Tower series made me unbearably happy. But I swear that at some point, I read a copy of ‘Salem’s Lot that, upon discussing a possible sequel, King writes that Callahan boarded that bus and in the fullness of time wound up in Mid-World “on the edges of a land called Thunderclap, where the vampires dwell.” I’ve never been able to find this line again. But what’s even weirder is that in the intro to the Dark Tower Concordance, King’s editorial assistant, Robin Furth, also claims to recall this mention. King himself seems unaware of it.
Lastly, Se7en. I love this movie, and have loved it since it first warped my mind 20 years ago. I will swear before whatever higher or lower powers you choose to venerate that when I watched it, Somerset finished the film by shooting Doe and, when asked what he’s doing, he calmly says “retiring.” Which isn’t the official ending, as most of you probably recall; Doe claims to be Envy, and Brad Pitt murders him, becoming Wrath. Years later, on the anniversary DVD, I came across the ending I knew, but here’s the kicker; Fincher says most of it was never filmed, and the presentation on the disc is a combination of storyboards, low-quality test footage, and wooden voice overs. The version I remember fit seamlessly into the film.
Am I crazy? Wait, don’t answer that. I know I’m crazy. But do I just have a knack for vivid hallucinations – possibly shared, given Robin Furth’s comment – regarding creative works and how they should have ended or what?
What about you guys out there? Have any of your own vivid delusions like this? Or have any of you seen these references, so maybe I can prove I’m not bonkers? Let us know in the box below!