Fox Mulder loves his aliens and his slide shows. And, it would seem, he also loves his VHS tapes. Even now, after most of us have said a fond farewell to our old tech, Mulder still has a whole bunch of hand-labelled tapes scattered and stored about his home. We thought we’d take a look at what’s in his collection.
Plan 9 from Outer Space
In the episode ‘Hollywood A.D.’, written and directed by David Duchovny, Scully walks in on Mulder watching Plan 9 from Outer Space. And as embarrassing as that is, let’s face it, she could have walked in on him watching something far worse. Mulder knows Plan 9 so well that he is able to say the lines along with the characters. I mean – really! – what kind of person knows something so well that they can constantly quote from it?
Plan 9 from Outer Space, written and directed by Ed Wood, is a 1959 sci-fi/horror about aliens who come to earth to resurrect the dead as a weapon against the living, with the intention of stopping humanity from creating a weapon that could destroy the universe. It has become infamous for being ‘the worst film ever made’, but Mulder uses it as a tool to quiet his conscious mind and allow his brain the freedom to make creative connections between clues. This is definitely one that he’ll have in his VHS collection, as he’ll need it on hand when he’s having a hard time solving a case.
Scully – “You’ve seen this movie 42 times? …Doesn’t that make you sad? It makes me sad.”
The Twilight Zone
In Darin Morgan’s ‘The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat’, we see Mulder scrabbling through his piles of VHS tapes, desperately trying to find an episode of The Twilight Zone called ‘The Lost Martian’ that he remembers taping off the TV. He has The Twilight Zone DVD box set, of course, but obviously he’s still got his VHS tapes too.
The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling’s classic of sci-fi/fantasy/horror that everyone seems to know, even if they have never watched it, originally ran from 1959 to 1964. With its strange events, twist endings, and moral conclusions, it was groundbreaking TV. Mulder watched his first Twilight Zone episode when he was just eight years old, and it changed him. So it’s no wonder that he’s desperate to find that missing episode.
Mulder: “Confuse The Twilight Zone with The Outer Limits? Do you even know me?!”
The Dusky Realm
As sure as Mulder was that ‘The Lost Martian’ was a Twilight Zone episode, it actually turned out to be an episode of The Dusky Realm, which will likely never be released on DVD. And since the VCR ate his cassette tape I guess he’ll never see it again. But maybe he taped more episodes of the show and will find them one day.
The Dusky Realm is a play on words of The Twilight Zone and also Chris Carter’s 1999 TV show, Harsh Realm, which is about people trapped inside a VR simulation. It also sounds just a tad rude if you think about it, which would certainly appeal to Mulder. Dusky Realm: *snigger*.
Mulder: “Turns out it wasn’t a Twilight Zone after all. It was a knockoff show called The Dusky Realm. Which is now lost for the ages.”
That Bigfoot Film
At the end of ‘Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space”, Mulder is shown lying in bed, watching Bigfoot on his TV. The shot we see is from the Patterson-Gimlin film, allegedly shot in 1967 when Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin came across the creature unexpectedly, whilst out on a horseback ride. Mulder definitely has this one on tape because he is playing with the remote control with one hand. Don’t ask where his other hand is.
Mulder: “Hey Scully, I ever tell you about the time I found a Sasquatch footprint in the mud?”
A Whole Lot of, erm… Porn?
Whether it makes you giggle, smile indulgently, roll your eyes, or frown, there is no getting away from the fact that Fox Mulder likes his pornography. He’s not exactly subtle about it either. Scully doesn’t even waste an eye-roll on his magazines and video tapes. And one might wonder, especially in light of that Bigfoot tape, whether his interests lie a little left field of mere Celebrity Skin. Ovipositors, anyone? Perhaps it’s best that we leave it there.
Mulder: “Whatever tape you found in that VCR, it isn’t mine.”