Before I present my top 3 biggest mindfucks (I'm not rolling out a top 10 because a GOOD mindfuck is few and far between, and I wanted to represent that) a quick definition and an even quicker caveat. Mindfuck is a pretty self-explanatory term. Let me explain it anyway: Mindfucks occur when a film (or really any medium) when all perceived notions of reality have been denounced, and quickly. It usually takes about 2-5 minutes for this all to occur, and by the end of it another, unexpected, reality is true.
Now, as with all lists, some rules/ guidelines that have unfortunately been followed. First, I could only include films that I have actually seen. That means no Memento, Sixth Sense, Mulholland Drive or Cars 2 (just kidding... but not really). Second, there is a severe breach of the Thou Shall Not Spoil Film's with Plot Twists commandment, for all the films, so if you haven't seen one of the movies, and you don't want it spoiled for ya, don't read it! Otherwise, it's all good and it's time to jump in.
Let's start with the two Honorable Mentions (it's the law of lists, there have to be Honorable Mentions...):
Fight Club (1999)-
I felt so bad about leaving this off the top 3- because its such a good mindfuck-but, as will be made clear in moments, I didn't want to lose the credibility of my choices by picking two apples that fell close to the same tree. Fight Club is an incredible piece of material (based on the book by Chuck Palahniuk- which everyone should read at some point) in which Ed Norton and Brad Pitt come into constant conflict over, what else, their fight club! It isn't a narrative masterpiece but it's testosterone-fueled, comedic, attempts to obliterate capitalism comes to a head with a big mindfuck. Ed Norton IS Brad Pitt; it's shocking really as Norton shoots himself hoping to end all his lack-of-sleep-caused fantasy. I remember seeing it and thinking: "I don't know what the fuck is going on but god dam was that exciting."
A Beautiful Mind (2001)-
You can easily make the case that 2010's Shutter Island had a better-albeit similar- twist, but A Beautiful Mind did it first, and in this life timing is everything. It won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2001, certainly due in large part to the films upbeat message: 'you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.' But for those of us who HAVE seen the film, the films message was the last thing on our minds. It was the twist. Much like Fight Club the main character spends the entirety of the film conversing with characters who don't exist, who are fragments of a beautiful mind. The twist was not as sexy as some of the other films on this list, but it was surely a show-stopper. I loved it when I saw it in theaters, and even after all these years, well, it still holds a spot in my top 5.
Now to the big boys.
3. The Game (1997)
|Your dam right that's a clown.|
2. Planet of the Apes (1968)
|Something must have been funny.|
1. Brazil (1985)
|Opening sequence. Not sure where it fits in the film.|
I'm so confused.
Here is a rendition of the famous song "Aquarela do Brasil." It's not like in the film (the horn sound is louder in the film), but you'll get the picture.