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.

#1. Leonard, Memento

Hopefully, you do not share this painful memory.

Hopefully, you do not share this painful memory.

Sure, it led to a great deal of personal suffering for poor Leonard, but if it weren’t for his suffering a major headwound and accompanying anterograde amnesia that sent him on a lifelong nonlinear quest to find his wife’s killers, Guy Pearce would be primarily remembered as “That Guy from The Time Machine.” Instead, is primarily remembered as “That Guy from Memento.”

I can think of few finer gifts a human being ever received.

But The Time Machine was made after Memento, so (getting back to the theme week) there must be some sort of temporal paradoxMemento both prevented Guy Pearce from being remembered for The Time Machine and allowed The Time Machine to be be made in the first place.

Maybe The Time Machine sucked so hard that it actually went back in time and sucked before Memento was made, allowing Memento to atone for a mistake that did not yet exist.

Or maybe Leonard got hit on the head so hard that everyone in the world lost some of their ability to form new memories — of The Time Machine.

Memento also launched Christopher Nolan’s career to a new level, leading to both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, which, if you ask Guy Pearce, is just gravy.

Don't believe his lies

And hey, if Memento Guy hadn’t been hit in the head, he wouldn’t have any of those cool tattoos!

That’s gotta count for something.

Probably for the best.

Probably for the best.

Special thanks to Lindsay Nordell for whacking me upside the head with some of these ideas.

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.


Add a Comment