10 Insane Movie Plots That Actually Happened

Updated on July 21, 2016

10) The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption follows Andy Dufresne as he adapts to a life long prison sentence. In the film’s most climactic scene, prison guards discover that Andy has escaped the prison through a tunnel in his cell wall, which he’d concealed with a pinup girl poster. Taking inspiration from the movie, in 2007 two prison inmates successfully broke out of Union County Jail in America. They removed blocks from the prison’s walls and concealed their tunnels using posters of women in bikinis. But unlike the film’s protagonist, the real-life escapees were caught soon after.

9) Three Kings

Three Kings is set in 1991 Iraq at the close of the Gulf War. In the movie, US troops find a map leading them to a bunker full of gold bars. In 2003 the US government once again invaded Iraq. Similar to the film’s premise, US troops discovered $768 million belonging to senior Iraqi officials who had fled before the invasion. But in a less Hollywood-like finale, when attempting to steal the cash, 6 US soldiers were accused of hiding $600,000 in a palm tree, while another $300,000 was found stuffed into a food cooler.

8) Weekend at Bernie’s

Weekend at Bernie’s follows the story of two young corporate employees. When they discover that their boss Bernie is dead, they decide to maintain the illusion that he is still alive, in order to enjoy the luxury of his house. In 2008 a depressing real life case had striking similarities. James O’Hare and David Daloia were arrested for wheeling their friend’s lifeless body to a shop, in an attempt to cash in his $355 social security check. However, the duo were released without charge, as autopsy results couldn’t prove that their friend was dead before he was taken out of his apartment.

7) Heat

Heat follows Al Pacino’ Lt. Vincent Hanna as he attempts to track down serial criminal Neil McCauley, played by Robert De Niro. One of the film’s most intense scenes depicts McCauley’s crew carrying out a final bank heist, which ends in a massive, bloody shootout. Two years after the film came out, reporters were reminded of the famous scene, when bank robbers Larry Phillips, Jr. and Emil Mătăsăreanu found themselves surrounded by police after a bank heist, an incident now known as the North Hollywood shootout. The event is considered to be the longest and bloodiest shootout in police history, which left both robbers dead, and eleven police officers and seven civilians injured by gunfire. The robbers fired a staggering 1,100 rounds of bullets, and 650 rounds were returned by the police.

6) The China Syndrome

The China Syndrome stars Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas as members of a news cast, who secretly film a major accident at a nuclear power plant. The accident is covered up and so the journalist and cameraman set out to expose the catastrophic safety violations at the plant. Although highly praised by critics, the film was criticized by members of the nuclear power industry, who accused the film of being unrealistic. However, just 12 days after the film’s release, a reactor in Pennsylvania suffered a real nuclear meltdown, releasing radioactive gasses into the environment, which took 14 years to clean up. The accident revealed the inadequate training of the plant’s workers and resulted in new regulations for the industry.

5) The Andromeda Strain

The Andromeda Strain focuses on a satellite that crashes from space into a small American town, bringing with it strange bacteria that infects the population with a deadly plague. In a scarily similar scenario in 2007, hundreds of people in Peru required medical treatment after an object from space plummeted to Earth. Curious citizens who visited the scene began complaining of headaches, vomiting, and nausea thought to have been caused by noxious gases caused by the satellite.

4) 30 Minutes Or Less

In 30 Minutes or Less, pizza delivery boy Nick is kidnapped during a delivery and strapped with a remote controlled bomb, before being forced to rob a bank. 8 years before the film, a bizarre incident occurred when pizza delivery man Brian Wells found himself in a shockingly similar situation. A pizza delivery resulted in him having a timed bomb strapped to his neck and being forced to carry out a robbery. Wells was apprehended by the police, but tragically the bomb detonated before the bomb squad could arrive, and he was killed instantly. Despite similarities to the case, the cast and filmmakers claimed to have had no prior knowledge of the incident.

3) Body Bags

Body Bags follows Brent Matthews, a baseball player whose eye is gouged out in a car accident. In an attempt to restore his eyesight, Matthews receives an eye transplant from a recently deceased murderer, only to find his personality being possessed by the eye’s previous owner. In a real-life case stranger than fiction, a man named Sonny [sunny] Graham seemed to have his personality possessed, after he received a heart donation from suicide victim Terry Cottle. With a new lease for life after the surgery, Graham married Cottle’s widow. But things took a tragic turn when, almost 13 years to the day, Graham committed suicide with a gun, in the exact way the previous owner of his heart had done.

2) Slumdog Millionaire

2008 Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire is an uplifting rags to riches tale. It follows Indian slum dweller Jamal Malik as he wins the top prize in the popular game show ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ In 2011 Sushil Kumar was crowned the real life ‘slumdog millionaire’ when he became the first ever person to win the Indian version of the game show, scooping up the $1 million prize. In circumstances almost identical to the plot of Slumdog Millionaire, Sushil hailed from one of India’s poorest states. Earning just $100 a month before he won, on that wage it would have taken him 700 years to earn the equivalent of the grand prize.

1) Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd is a musical set in Victorian London, which tells the tale of a barber who murders his customers and bakes their flesh into meat pies. Horrifically in 2014, a man and two women in Brazil were jailed for killing and eating two women as part of a purification ritual. The trio then used their victims’ flesh to make meat pastries, which they sold to neighbors, schools, and hospitals. They told buyers that the pies contained tuna or chicken.


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    • CYong74 profile image


      3 years ago from Singapore

      Very interesting info! I find (5) scariest. Imagine if that resulted in some sort of global epidemic.


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