10 Insane Ways Movies Have Influenced Real Life

6. The Deer Hunter Inspires Morons To Play Russian Roulette

The Deer Hunter

The Movie: Michael Cimino's masterful war movie depicts a group of working class friends who end up taking part in the Vietnam War, and return completely changed, if they even return at all. The Reality: The film's most memorable and famous scene occurs at the end, when Michael (Robert De Niro) returns to Vietnam to retrieve his friend Nick (Christopher Walken), whose mind has become warped by the traumas of war. Nick has taken to playing Russian roulette for money in clubs, which culminates with him shooting himself dead in front of Michael. There are, sadly, far too many reports of people who, the media has claimed, imitated the film and began playing the dangerous game with their friends, which in 1980 resulted in the death of Mickey Culpepper. While it would be ridiculous to in any way blame the movie for this behaviour, some clearly unhinged people nevertheless took grim influence from it, as similar cases were reported throughout the 80s in the Philippines, Finland and Lebanon.

Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.