Top Ten Miraculous Fictional Head Injuries

Top Ten Miraculous Fictional Head Injuries

Fiction is full of miracles caused by hitting people on the head. Reality is still catching up.

#7. Henry Turner, Regarding Henry

regarding-henry1Henry Turner’s miraculous conversion, as portrayed by a soulful and not-telling-people-to-get-off-my-plane Harrison Ford, is just like the story of Gaara the Sand Ninja, except all the stakes are higher:

  • Whereas Gaara was only a bloodthirstry psychopathic ninja possessed by a demon, Henry Turner is a lawyer.
  • Whereas Gaara only needs to stop murdering people, Henry Turner has to learn to spend time with his daughter and eat Ritz crackers.
  • Whereas Gaara needs to repair the relationships across two of the five great ninja villages, with his own homeland’s ruling council, and with his brother and sister, accomplished ninjas in their own right, Henry Turner needs to repair the relationship with his wife.

Appropriately, the means to save Henry Turner are also that much more extreme. Whereas Gaara only gets butted in the head, Henry Turner gets shot. Regarding Heny‘s place on the list, the trauma and blood loss from the shooting causes brain damage and drives Henry to rediscover life and love. If Henry had merely suffered a life-affirming concussion, this would be higher.

If you like Naruto, I would definitely recommend Regarding Henry. It’s the 1991 feel-good movie of the year, and it is a darned shame it doesn’t have Naruto’s commensurate global fan base and voluminous online libraries of erotic fanfiction.

Also, and I just noticed this, Regarding Henry was written by J.J. Abrams (?!), which explains the smoke monsters.

11 Comments on “Top Ten Miraculous Fictional Head Injuries”

  1. Ryan #

    The most miraculous thing about Leonard’s injury in Memento is that he is able to remember that he has amnesia. How is it that his head injury stops him from forming new memories, but the doctors were able to inform him of his condition? I haven’t been able to watch the movie since I noticed that inconsistency.
    I think that there’s actually a chapter in the Sacks book that deals with anterograde amnesia. The man with the affliction, when confronted with his reality, becomes horrified for ten or fifteen minutes, then slips back into the time ten or fifteen years in the past just before he developed the brain damage. Great read, btw.


  2. fenzel #

    Yeah, Leonard talks about this discrepancy at some point in _Memento_ – about if his condition is what he tends to think it is, he shouldn’t be able to remember the actual accident, and how therefore it might not be brain damage – he might just have psychological blocks. A software rather than a hardware problem, as it were.

    If that’s true, it potentially changes a lot of the moral implications of what Leonard has done over the course of the movie. But it’s left a bit open-ended.


  3. Gab #

    Oh snap.

    I just remembered _50 First Dates_. Similar memory loss to _Memento_. Imagine being a woman and waking up with no idea why you’re clearly multiple months pregnant…


  4. fenzel #

    If I wake up being a woman, do I have to like _Moulin Rouge_?

    Because that would be a dealbreaker.


  5. Lanthanide #

    I remember Guy Pearce from The Adventures of Prascilla! Queen of the Desert.


  6. Amy #

    It wasn’t Naruto that caused Gaara’s ego death and subsequent alliance with the light side of the force…it was that toad Gamabunta. I think he secretes a hallucinogenic substance from his glands. Gaara embraced his shadow side (Shukaku) and went on to become the Hero. Yep. That’s what happened. Or should have anyway. Most people I know who have experienced head trauma end up worse for the wear. But the toad juice on the other hand…


  7. fenzel #


    Not _To Wong Fu: Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar_?

    It’s so weird that that kind of movie also has a movie pair – like you’ve got Armageddon and Deep Impact, Volcano and Dante’s Peak, Valkyrie and Defiance, and a whole bunch of action stars in drag.


    I frickin’ love Gamabunta. All fictional characters should get to drink sake with the giant toad boss of the Yakuza.


  8. Ingrid #

    Very entertaining!!


  9. Ambelina #

    Is this about serious head injuries or just when people bump their heads? Because if it is non seriuos injuries, the scene in Stir of Echoes where Kevin Bacon’s wife goes into the basement to check if the water heater is lit then gets up and bangs her head on…something above her, that really got me i felt it.


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