Every Horror Reference In Rick & Morty’s Secret Halloween Special Explained

Every Horror Reference In Rick & Morty’s Secret Halloween Special Explained

Rick & Morty’s Halloween special provided a slew of horror references but many fans may have missed its nods to Stephen King, Pacific Rim, and Alien.

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Every Horror Reference In Rick & Morty’s Secret Halloween Special Explained

Rick & Morty’s Halloween special “The Great Yokai Battle of Akihabara” referenced several horror movies in its short runtime. Since the anarchic Adult Swim hit Rick & Morty debuted in 2013, the show has changed a lot over its five seasons. The storylines have grown more serious and the characters have gained depth since their introductions, with Rick & Morty’s tone maturing as the series progressed.

However, some things never change, like Rick & Morty’s obscure horror movie references. Since the anarchic animated sitcom started, Rick & Morty has mocked all manner of classic horror movies ranging from mainstream hits like Nightmare On Elm Street to forgotten curios like Jacobs Ladder. Rick & Morty’s 2021 Halloween special “The Great Yokai Battle of Akihabara” was no letdown in this regard, with the anime short featuring nods to all manner of genre fare.

However, being an anime-inspired effort, “The Great Yokai Battle of Akihabara” owed more to that medium than most of Rick & Morty’s outings. As such, many of the short’s references were nods to famous anime, manga, and Japanese media like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Akira, with the short’s horror nods being subtle and well hidden. That being said, eagle-eyed viewers who watched Rick & Morty’s madcap escapades through Akihabara would be able to spot some references to a later addition from the Alien franchise, the Pacific Rim movies, kaiju blockbuster Godzilla Vs Kong, and even the classic Stephen King miniseries The Langoliers, as well as the latest of Rick & Morty’s many Hellraiser references.

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Every Horror Reference In Rick & Morty’s Secret Halloween Special Explained

The ‘80s horror franchise Hellraiser has been spoofed by Rick & Morty twice before, but the opening scenes of “The Great Yokai Battle of Akihabara” provide the show’s subtlest reference to the series. Based on Clive Barker’s “The Hellbound Heart,” the Hellraiser movies center around a cursed puzzle box, the Lament Configuration, which welcomes anyone unfortunate enough to open into a world of pain. Quite literally, since opening the Lament Configuration causes characters in the Hellraiser franchise to spontaneously transport to a dark, red and black-tinged hell world where Pinhead and his pain-loving minions reign supreme. In “The Great Yokai Battle of Akihabara,” Rick and Morty instead use a portal to arrive in a dimensional portal between Rick’s lab and Akihabara. However, the location’s inspiration is still clear. Rick & Morty has parodied Hellraiser before and playfully dances around acknowledging the scene’s inspiration in this short, as Rick notes the place “has its share of nicknames” such as the “den of evil” and the “slum of the deep,” while Morty notes that it “sounds like Hell” in a fourth-wall tapping gag.

Godzilla Vs Kong

Every Horror Reference In Rick & Morty’s Secret Halloween Special Explained

The kaiju battle between Akihabara’s giant eponymous yokai (piloted by yet another of Rick’s many forgotten nemeses) and Rick’s robotic titan could really be a reference to any number of movies from the sub-genre. However, it is likely not a coincidence that the hugely successful blockbuster Godzilla Vs Kong depicted Mechagodzilla duking it out with his non-robot counterpart earlier in 2021, and the face-off seems like an affectionate nod to the recent hit. However, that is not the only kaiju movie Rick & Morty referenced in “The Great Yokai Battle of Akihabara.”

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Pacific Rim

Every Horror Reference In Rick & Morty’s Secret Halloween Special Explained

An underrated blockbuster from 2013, Pacific Rim was a sci-fi horror action extravaganza that saw a likable cast hop inside some gigantic war robots and do battle against the stories-tall kaiju that wrecked their futuristic cities. It’s another obvious stylistic influence on “The Great Yokai Battle of Akihabara,” although Pacific Rim itself in turn owed a lot of its creative inspiration to earlier anime and kaiju movies. Specifically, the scene where Rick attempts to enlist Morty to help co-pilot a giant war robot, only to eventually give up in frustration and stick the second pilot’s helmet on a toaster, spoofs both Neon Genesis Evangelion and Guillermo del Toro’s horror hit.

Alien: Resurrection

Every Horror Reference In Rick & Morty’s Secret Halloween Special Explained

Maybe the most obscure reference in the runtime of Rick & Morty’s Halloween special, “The Great Yokai Battle of Akihabara”‘s Alien: Resurrection nod comes at the end of the short’s action and doubles as a nod to Akira, the influential 1988 cyberpunk movie. When Rick and Morty eventually opt to (accidentally) devastate Akihabara by blowing up their robot, the resulting catastrophic explosion leaves behind a massive, empty crater in the center of the city. The shot revealing the crater is a direct spoof of one of Akira’s many striking, iconic images, but the moment soon after when Morty is huddled up with his short-lived love interest will be familiar to fans of 1997’s Alien: Resurrection. It’s framed like the shot near the end of that divisive Alien movie that sees two survivors survey the devastated earth in front of them.

The Langoliers

Over the years, Rick & Morty’s many Stephen King references have seen the show homage everything from the relatively famous Pet Sematary to the more obscure miniseries The Langoliers. It’s the latter that earns another unexpected reference in ‘The Great Yokai Battle of Akihabara,’ where the titular villains of King’s put in another unexpected Rick & Morty appearance. At the close of the short’s frantic action, Rick calls in the QRF or “Quick Reaction Force,” causing a massive toothy maw to appear out of a portal and swallow the villain and some of the impact of the massive blast. The design of this monster, a grey blob whose mouth opens to reveal rows of teeth, resembles the Time Cops seen in Rick & Morty’s season 2 premiere “A Rickle In Time.”

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Voiced by Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, the Time Cops were instantly memorable one-off characters who berated anyone foolish enough to mess with the space-time continuum. Despite being the same size as Rick and Morty, the Time Cops were clearly modeled after the larger, memorable villains of The Langoliers. In “The Great Yokai Battle of Akihabara,” the QRF is a massive, city-sized leviathan that doesn’t seem to speak, but its function and its appearance are still a clear reference to the same Stephen King villains. However, in this case, Rick willingly calls on the Langoliers parody to provide a deus ex machina, instead of dreading their intervention into his antics, as he did earlier in Rick & Morty’s canon.

Link Source : https://screenrant.com/rick-morty-halloween-special-2021-horror-references-easter-eggs/

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