ByBrandon Meyers, writer at
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Brandon Meyers

Video games and music aren't the only entertainment outlets to come under attack for glorifying intense violence. There are plenty cases of movies being blamed for violent actions of real life offenders. If the movies are really to blame though is a matter of debate that still goes on, but either way these people claimed they were.

Queen of the Damned

In 2002, Allan Menzies murdered his friend, Thomas McKendrick, because he claimed a character in the vampire movie, Queen of the Damned, told him to do it and promised to allow him into their immortal ranks. After watching the film numerous times he supposedly received a visit from the queen vampire herself in the middle of the night, so he decided to murder people. Menzies believed that McKendrick and another friend were plotting to kill him, but he turned on them first. Menzies stabbed his friend to death, drank his blood, and ate part of his head before burying him in a shallow grave.


Wes Craven’s series Scream was the inspiration behind the murder of Gina Castillo by her 16 year old son and his 15 year old cousin, Samuel Ramirez. The two teenagers confessed to the murder of Castillo and admitted that they did it because they needed money to fund a murder spree that would reenact the story line of the first two installments of the franchise. In order to follow the Scream plot properly, the boys intended to buy the Ghostface mask and voice changers featured in the movie.

A Clockwork Orange

This movie inspired so many crimes and so much public outrage that Stanley Kubrick willingly removed it from British distribution. Related offenses included several murders by teenage boys, as well as the assault of a woman by a man dressed as a droog. The most notorious crime was the film’s “Singing in the Rain” rape scene, which contained many similarities to a real life gang rape where the suspects also sang the song.

A Nightmare On Elm Street

The famous ’80s horror film, Nightmare on Elm Street, was the inspiration for Daniel Gonzalez’s killing spree. In 2004, the schizophrenic went on a drug binge and slaughtered four random people, including a doctor and his wife. Gonzalez armed himself with several knives and acted out a Freddy Krueger-like spree. Reports claimed that Gonzalez did not receive treatment for his mental illness. He was given six life sentences for the four murders, as well as two attempted murders. Gonzalez later committed suicide in his cell.

Interview With The Vampire

Daniel Sterling and his girlfriend Lisa Stellwagen watched the movie together in 1994 and that night, Lisa woke up in the middle of the night to find Daniel staring at her. He told her, “Tonight you’re going to die. I’m going to kill you and drink your blood.” At which point, she apparently rolled over and went back to sleep. Later that day Daniel stabbed her seven times and sucked the blood from her wounds. Daniel made it clear that he didn’t blame the movie, although he admitted it did influence his plan. The jury didn’t buy it as a defense though, and convicted him of attempted first-degree murder.

Child's Play

Child’s Play became particularly infamous in the UK for a couple of particularly shocking murders. In the case of Suzanne Capper, a 16 year old girl who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by six people, her tragic death was linked to Child’s Play because during the horrific torture, the killers played a recording of one of them saying, “I’m Chucky, wanna play?” over and over again. This led to a huge crackdown on violent films.


Twilight was blamed for driving one Iowa teen crazy, even more so than the fangirls. After a 13-year-old girl was bitten by a male classmate, a vice principal at their school investigated and learned that the boy had bitten 10 others in one month. When contacted, the boy's father said that it was his son's love of the Twilight film that made him bite his fellow students.

The Matrix

Since the release of The Matrix, there have been several cases involving violent crime in which attorneys have used "The Matrix defense" for their clients, saying that the accused believed they were in an alternate reality. The most famous case was that of Lee Boyd Malvo, who was convicted of murder for his involvement in the 2002 D.C. sniper attacks. Malvo was said to be obsessed with the world portrayed in The Matrix. In jail, Malvo's fixation continued: he wrote, "Free yourself of The Matrix" in his cell.

Taxi Driver

The attempted assasination of President Ronald Regan is probably the most famous crime to have been inspired by a movie. At the center of it all: John Hinckley, Jr., an aspiring songwriter with an obsession with Jodie Foster. In what he later said was an attempt to get Foster's attention, Hinckley fired six shots at Reagan as he left a Hilton in 1981. Reagan was injured by one bullet, and his press secretary, James Brady, was hit in the head by another. Hinckley, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity, said that the shooting was "the greatest love offering in the history of the world," and that "Everybody, but everybody, knows about John and Jodie."


A Salt Lake City mother turned in her son and his friend after she overheard them plotting to kidnap, torture, and murder people. The boys, age 14 and 15, had detailed plans to set up games in the SAW fashion to teach a lesson to people they claim were harming others, including a police officer and two young girls. The boys even told police they had cameras and to document the murders, just like Jigsaw.


Do movies provoke violence? What do you think?


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