World building in a film can be accomplished in many different ways, but one of the best is when a movie makes references to movies that only exist in the universe of the real movie. These fake films within actual films often steal the show, even if just discussing them is about as confusing as doing trigonometry without a calculator. Since it’s so hard to talk about the concept of films within films, why not just peruse this list of the best movies that exist within other movies? You can avoid tying your brain into knots this way.
Some of the movies within movies that would be on this list, like Machete or Hobo With a Shotgun, have actually gone into production, becoming movies within movies that are now movies. It’s a weird world that we live in. It could only get weirder if those movies then had fake movies in them. Ugh. We have a headache. For years, filmmakers have loved putting these Easter eggs into their movies as a way to either put a cap on a scene, to build the world of their characters, or to spoof actual movies.Vote up your favorite movies that only exist inside of real movies. Think about which non-movies you'd actually pay to see if they were feature-length films. And if you have a favorite piece of fictitious cinema, tell us about it in the comments. Or if you can leave a comment inside of a comment, that would be more appropriate.
Angels with Filthy Souls is a classic tale of betrayal featuring a power struggle between local mob bosses Johnny and Acey. Angels with Filthy Souls throws out noir era mobster dialogue and slings out enough brutal violence to scare a nine-year-old, a pizza delivery guy, and the fierce twosome known only as the Sticky Bandits.
Kevin Smith has his moments (Clerks. and Clerks: The Animated Series - duh) but most folks end love affair with the New Jersey auteur when they get out of college put down the bong. Although, in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, he teases a sequel to Good Will Hunting that makes us wonder if he's a secret comedic genius.
The biggest joke Mel Brooks ever pulled on the moviegoing public was advertising History of the World Part II in the final moments of History of the World Part I. This was long before you could just check the internet, and gullible fans spent years wondering when they could expect the sequel. To be fair, Spaceballs is pretty much a 90-minute version of the "Jews In Space" joke from the film.
Tropic Thunder squeezed every drop of comedy out of the fake movie trope that it could, and that included fake trailers. Our favorite is Satan's Alley, a film starring Downey Jr.'s Kirk Lazarus and Tobey Maguire as a pair of gay monks in a 12th-century Irish monastery.