It is very common for a writer or director to stumble upon an unbelievable real life story and want to retell the series of events in a film. Whether touching, horrifying, tragic, or romantic, audiences feel stunned that such incredible happenings actually occurred in real life.
What happens when it works the other way around? What happens when the atrociously disturbing crimes committed by fictional characters in films inspire real life psychopaths to plan out similar murders, rapes, and torture situations?
Did anybody else just get a shiver down their spines?
Below is a list of seven film-based crimes that unfortunately happened in real life. Read on, but I warn you. Not only do the movie clips show you the shocking and disturbing tone of the films...the real life horrors that stemmed from them are all the more chilling and horrifying.
A Clockwork Orange
Although a few crimes have stemmed from A Clockwork Orange, the most famous occurred in 1971, when droog-dressed John Ricketts attacked a woman on the dancefloor at a party because she was taking up too much space.
At the age of fourteen, Michael Hernandez felt heavily influenced by the serial killers in American Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs. In 2004, he stabbed his fellow classmate to death because he felt that God had given him unique powers and supported his mission to become a serial killer. He was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2008.
What was initially a little prank turned into something unfortunately much more sinister. After watching the horror films, two girls from Winchester, Tennessee decided to leave a silly voicemail on 52-year-old Beverly Dickson's phone.
Dickson was attending a funeral when she received the voicemail telling her that one of her friends was hidden in her house that would be filled with toxic gas, and it was up to her if she wanted to live or die. Upon hearing the gruesome message, she immediately suffered a stroke.
Natural Born Killers
A couple named Sarah Edmonson and Benjamin Darrus dropped LSD and watched Natural Born Killers before shooting a store clerk and a businessman.
This film also severely impacted the killers of the Columbine massacre. In both Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's journals were the words "going NBK."
Another murderer Jeremy Steinke stated that he was proclaiming his love for his girlfriend by slaughtering her parents and brother as seen in Natural Born Killers. He found it to be the most romantic film ever.
A teen named Lee Boyd Malvo aided John Allen Muhammad in 2002 during the Washington sniper attacks. Malvo had watched The Matrix over 100 times before committing the crime, thanks to Muhammad's brainwashing to desensitize him and make him feel as if it wasn't real life. Malvo was later sentenced to life without parole.
Nathaniel White enjoyed watching the violence found in RoboCop 2. He butchered a pregnant Juliana Frank, and boasted about it, describing his process of slitting her throat and then cutting into the chest down to the stomach. He even left the body in the same position that was found in the film. He did all his killings while on parole in 1990.
The Deer Hunter
The Deer Hunter incited the idea of suicide into a handful of viewers' minds as they watched characters from the film get sucked into games of Russian Roulette.
One of the most well-known suicides occurred in 1980, when a man named Mickey Culpupper shot himself in the head while playing "Deer Hunter." Paralleled accounts were found in the Phillippines, Finland, and Lebanon.
I couldn't imagine directing or writing a film and finding out that a person had based him murders off my art that was meant to be looked at solely on the silver screen. I can't even picture how that would make me feel.
We must remind ourselves that the film world and real life are two separate realms. If we take away the negative from a movie instead of learning from it, we will end up with tragic and dire consequences.