Famous Refrigerators In Films
Image by Colin Anderson
In the real world, the humble refrigerator is purely a functional, quotidian white good that serves a simple and basic purpose – to keep your food chilled. In the movie world, however, this behemoth of the kitchen world takes on an entirely new, occasionally surprising, sometimes hilarious alternate life.
From being the chilly lair of a growling demon, to the hiding place for the world’s greatest archaeologist, here are some of the most memorable uses a fridge/freezer in films.
The disappointing response to the fourth Indiana Jones film was exacerbated by the scene in which he escaped a nuclear blast by hiding inside a lead-lined fridge – which catapults him across the Nevada desert to (albeit battered and bruised) safety.
The term ‘nuke the fridge’ has now entered the filmic lexicon as a pejorative phrase for ruining a well-loved franchise, and Spielberg has subsequently admitted it was his idea and, on reflection, probably not his best one.
Everyone’s favourite alien from outer space, this affectionately crafted and moving film made everyone believe a boy could befriend a wide-eyed intergalactic creature from another planet – and that it was possible to get through an entire box of Kleenex from uncontrollable blubbing, as the loveable alien finally says farewell.
But one of the film’s funniest scenes plays out in ET and Elliot’s psychic, symbiotic relationship, where ET plunders the home refrigerator for beers, gets tipsy, and causes Elliot to burp drunkenly in class.
If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood – or your refrigerator, for that matter – you’d better call the Ghostbusters. There are plenty of places you could imagine a Satanic, growling, slavering, red-eyed and horned beast hiding, but the fridge of a New York professional musician Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), isn’t one of them.
It’s particularly disconcerting for ‘buster' Pete Venkman (Bill Murray) who realises his wannabe girlfriend is possessed by Zuul, Gatekeeper of Gozer The Destructor. It's one of movies’ most memorable funny-but-also-a-bit-scary moments.
A quick run-through of the usual incumbents you’d expect to find in your fridge would probably run to milk, cheese and tomatoes, to name but three. Least likely on the roster of refrigerator regulars would be a recently decapitated head – unless your name’s Patrick Bates (Christian Bale), America’s finest psycho, who matter-of-factly keeps the disgusting, severed head of a recent victim sitting quite comfortably next to the sorbet.
Often cited as one of the most depressing movies ever made, part of Requiem’s plot focuses on Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) – a depressed, lonely old woman obsessed with losing weight and chomping diet pills like Smarties.
The cumulative result of her pill-popping and paranoia is a surreal, hallucinatory moment when she imagines her refrigerator is coming alive to get her. A dark, twisted manifestation of the previously untapped malevolent possibilities of a generally benign household appliance.
Who’d have thunk it, eh? We’ve had Attack of the 50ft Woman and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes – but this? Well, it’s true and I kid you not. This very short and very bad film from those nostalgically halcyon days of VHS looks as though it was (and probably was) made for about £2.50. It doesn’t even fall into that bittersweet category of so-bad-it-was-actually-good. A woman having her hand chopped off by the closing door of a demonic fridge is pure, cheesy gold, though.
In the hands of filmmakers, the everyday refrigerator is given a new, imaginative lease of life. Just be careful there’s not a rabid, drooling hellhound barking at you next time you open the fridge door.
Can you think of any other visionary uses of fridge/freezers in films? Share your celluloid delights in the comments.
By Lee Gilbert
Category: Articles, News & Tips