I recently watched the movie “Clue” again. It’s a movie that my brothers and I discovered as kids and loved. The “murder mystery and slapstick” genre has been a favorite of mine ever since I watched Scooby-Doo at 3pm every afternoon as a kid. That led to such cinematic gems as “Abbott and Costello meet The Killer (Boris Karloff)”.
“Clue”, however, also has the distinction as being one of the few movies that truely has multiple endings. If you’ve seen the VHS version of the film or perhaps caught it on cable at some point, you’ll remember that three endings are put forth in succession at the end. But DID YOU KNOW that when the film was released to theaters, there were actually three different cuts that were shown? Rarely would the management show all three endings. In fact, they often advertised the showings as “Clue: A”, “Clue: B”, or “Clue: C”. At other theaters, they made no mention of the fact that three cuts existed. So friends seeing it seperately may have attempted to discuss the ending and become very confused that the other party remembers it completely differently. The DVD version of this film (which I purchased at Target for a mere $5.50) gives the option of running the three ending VHS style or letting the disc pick an ending at random! Genius!
This kind of thinking outside the box of traditional movie practices isn’t attempted enough. With the advent of DVD and the possibilities it affords, perhaps we’ll see more of this sort of thing. I’d really like a DVD that randomly chooses a possible ending without even telling you or giving you the option. Every time you’d see the film, it could be slightly different. You’d have no control over it. Sure, the special features often include so-called “Alternate Endings”, but they are usually just 30 second clips that offer a slight twist but no revelations. In the film “28 Days Later”, the director offers some very different versions of the ending, but none of them made it past the storyboard to the Mini DV. Lame. Someone needs to push the boundaries of film-making.