I’m planning on writing a comprehensive retrospective on Free Enterprise for its 20th anniversary coming up this June! So I was watching it for the hundredth time or so and decided to make a list of all the references that I could find in it. It didn’t feel like it would fit in the article I’m writing and I didn’t want them to go to waste, so here they are!
I looked at every figurine, every piece of dialogue, and everything I could see in the infamous end credit sequence. I love those little references everywhere. The dialogue between the characters, even now 20 years later is SO similar to how I and others talk on Film/Nerd/Horror Twitter. It’s amazing how some things never change, only thing is the medium in which they’re discussed.
At the time the film was released, Free Enterprise was one of the first, if not the first to include a significant amount of references to pop culture. This is in so many movies now that it doesn’t seem like it’s anything important. There’s other movies out there in a similar vein like Fanboys which is mainly for Star Wars nerds rather than Star Trek, not that they don’t reference Star Wars within Free Enterprise, but it was something I hadn’t seen before at the time. It was another era. Nerds were not on top like we are now.
There’s lots of Science Fiction, some anime, classical literature, Shakespeare and classic film in there. The characters talk in quotes from movies, or straight up talk about the social commentary and actual historical references within their media. They’re very aware. Anyways, I’ll get more into that in the retrospective later. On with the references in no particular order except the credits!
List of references to pop culture:
-Star Trek: TOS
-Star Trek: TNG
-Captain Kirk/William Shatner
-”Star Trek: The Motion Picture”
-”Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan”
-”The Brady Bunch”
-Full Moon Features
-Nick At Night
-”Touch of Evil”
-”Tomorrow Never Dies”
-”Spawn: the Movie”
-Deborah Van Valkenberg from The Warriors
-”Saturday Night Fever”
-Farrah Fawcett-Majors (At the time of the flashback)
-Star Wars – “You’re my only hope,” and “Han Solo cooler than Captain Kirk” (Han Solo is not cooler than Captain Kirk)
-Young Robert does the Kirk kick, the flying, horizontal, two legged kick to the chest
-Hallmark Star Trek Ornaments
-Ghost Rider figurine
-Mego All Mighty Isis figurine
-Mork from Ork figurine
-Bartles and James commercial quote
-”Aliens” – “Bad call Ripley, bad call.” – Quote
-”The Thing” poster
-”9 ½ weeks”
-Fellini – Director
-Michelangelo Antonioni – Director
-Call of Cthulhu (Unintentional but still there)
-”Christine” (Robert’s paging through it when Mark says the thing about what happened to Robert’s car, great sight gag)
-”Twilight Zone” book
-Mein Kampf (Just what he’s been looking for)
-”Julius Caesar” – Shakespeare
Alice is a life-long lover of the so-called “lesser genres”, especially horror. The catharsis of it gives her comfort. She is a writer, musician, and a girl you don’t want to play Tetris against. You’ll find her frequently talking about assorted nerdy and LGBTQIA+ topics on Twitter. (She/Her).
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