The Same Fake Movie Pops Up in Every John Landis Film


A lot of filmmakers have their signature calling cards, or gags they like to throw in here and there whenever possible that no one else will ever possibly pick up on. It’s like having an in-joke with yourself. For George Lucas, it was using the title of his early film THX 1138 pop up randomly in his other movies, like being the license plate number of the car driven by Harrison Ford in the movie American Graffiti.


But for John Landis, he took his own private joke to a whole new level when he found a way to insert the same fake movie into virtually everything he’s ever done. The title of the fake movie is See You Next Wednesday, which gets its name from a line in 2001: A Space OdysseyIf you look closely enough at most of the films Landis has made, and even some other works such as not one, but two Michael Jackson music videos including “Thriller”, you can see a movie poster or some other reference to this fake movie. It’d be kind of like if Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld decided that every project they ever make has to have an obscure, barely there reference to Sack Lunch.

You can see references to the fake movie in Kentucky Fried MovieAn American Werewolf in LondonTrading PlacesComing to AmericaThe Blues Brothers, and Spies Like Us, among others. Of course based on those titles, if See You Next Wednesday ever gets turned into an actual movie and it doesn’t feature Dan Akroyd in some capacity, it’s a freaking travesty.

So what is See You Next Wednesday about? Who the heck knows? From one movie to the next, it seems to be completely different. In The Blues Brothers for example, it’s glimpsed on a billboard with a giant gorilla, making you think it’s some sort of King Kong knockoff. But in Trading Places a poster for the film can be glimpsed in the bedroom of hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold Ophelia, and it claims to have starred Laurence Olivier. And the only time we are ever given a glimpse at what it might actually be is in An American Werewolf in London, when it’s revealed to be…a porn about a non-stop orgy.

On second thought, maybe if the ever do make See You Next  Wednesday into an actual movie, Akroyd can just sit it out.

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  1. Good article and goof comment from Parus.

    It’s been decades ago but I once saw a movie (I think it was Dr. Yerror/s House of Horrors) in which a character walks past a theater with a poster for the movie Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors. Are there other self-referring movies?

  2. Wes Craven and Sam Raimi also keep changing “messages” in their movies. Sam Raimi put a torn poster of Craven’s movie “The Hills Have Eyes” (1977) in his first movie “The Evil Dead” (1982) , I guess to say my movie is scarier than yours. Craven returned the favour in his movie “Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984) by having a character watch “The Evil Dead” on TV and falling asleep because she thought it to be boring. 😀

    Wes Craven and Sam Raimi have most likely exchanged similar “messages” in their later films as well, but I haven’t seen them all. 😀