Ah, the plot hole. The bane of any cinephile’s existence, the consistently debated and raged over mistakes that occurs so regularly in the world of cinema. Making a film takes an incalculable amount of time and dedication to the craft, and it’s not surprising that some filmmakers fail to keep a grip on every aspect of their creation.
Today we are going to be looking at films with very specific plot holes. Namely, films whose plot holes somehow revolve around the most abundant compound on Earth’s surface, Water (H2O). Some plot holes you’re definitely aware of, some you’re not, and some aren’t the giant plot holes they’re made out to be. The aim is to approach all of this from a position of love: it might be nit-picky, but this isn’t to say that these films aren’t immensely enjoyable.
Obviously, spoilers for all movies included. Proceed with caution.
5. Rapid Hippies Have An Extreme Aversion To Water – I Drink Your Blood (1970)
I Drink Your Blood (also known as Hydro-Phobia) is most infamous for being the first film rated X for violence by the MPAA. While the film is rather tame by today’s standards, it was still ahead of its time compared to other expliotation efforts. The film follows a motley crew of satanic hippies who roll into a town and begin terrorizing the local folk. They brutally assault a local girl and her grandpa goes after them. He fails and is given LSD. This bothers his grandson and he gets back at the hippies by feeding them meat pies infected with blood from a rabid dog. This causes them to turn into crazed lunatics who begin killing and/or infecting everything in their path.
Towards the end of the film the townspeople fight the infected hippies by spraying them with water. Confused? Well, let’s walk through it together. You see, rabies can cause what is misleadingly called “hydrophobia” or fear of water. But rabies doesn’t actually instill a fear of water in the infected person but instead causes dysphagia – difficulty with swallowing – due to disruption to the brain’s action control systems. Thus, a film where rabid hippies are sprayed with water in order to kill them is quite ridiculous.
4. The Aliens’ Kryptonite Is Water – Signs (2002)
M. Night Shyamalan is a filmmaker with a perpetual target on his back. That’s not to say that it hasn’t been earned. For instance, with Signs he decided to show the more human side of an alien invasion. The problem here was not the storytelling. It was the alien race’s weakness. In the third act it’s learned that these otherworldly species have an adverse reaction to H2O, the substance that makes up over 50% of the human body and covers about 70% of the earth’s surface.
Aliens have conquered interplanetary space travel, invaded and terrorized people across the globe, and yet, somehow, they’re incapable of figuring out that Earth is comprised almost entirely of water. Kind of like humans deciding to land naked on the sun.
3. Jason’s Afraid Of Water – Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
When Jason Voorhees finally faced off against Freddy Krueger in this monster movie match-up spectacle it was a dream come true for many and a nightmare for some. The film indeed opens itself up to plenty of legitimate criticism but the biggest WTF moment comes when it’s revealed that Jason is deathly afraid of water. Never mind all of Jason’s prior traipses into Crystal Lake, FvJ stages an 11th hour retcon in a desperate attempt to make the character more “sympathetic.”
Jason didn’t have these issues while waiting for a late-night skinny dipper in The Final Chapter, nor did he mind wading into fiery waters for a final confrontation with nemesis Tommy Jarvis in Jason Lives. He spent a decade chained to a rock at the bottom of a lake and that didn’t seem to bother him either!
Though, to be fair, in the film, during Jason’s nightmare in the dream world, Freddy was deep inside Jason’s subconscious, and that’s the only place where Jason actually seems to have a fear of water. But still… come on!
2. The Microwave Emitter Should Have Vaporized Every Human Being In Gotham City – Batman Begins (2005)
One of the major plot threads in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins involves bad guy Ra’s al Ghul and his plan to use a “Microwave Emitter” he stole from Wayne Enterprises to spread a nerve toxin throughout Gotham, thus allowing the city’s confused inhabits to destroy themselves. The Microwave Emitter, of course, will vaporize Gotham’s water supply, allowing the toxin – which has been leaked inside – to spread everywhere. However, if this thing vaporizes all water within a certain radius, shouldn’t the 55% to 78% of our body weight that consists of water turn us into steaming-hot geysers on legs?
Possible solutions have been suggested, such as the Emitter’s focus being so concentrated that it wouldn’t affect any humans, but it’s still a constantly-suggested issue with the film, one which Nolan probably should have anticipated and just given a one-line explanation for.
1. Fresh Water Is A Rare Commodity That Everyone Has Daily Access To – Waterworld (1995)
In the post-apocalyptic future that Waterworld presents things aren’t going so well for humans as a whole. The polar ice caps have completely melted, and the sea level has risen many hundreds of feet, covering nearly all the land. And upon these ceaseless seas, Kevin Costner, as The Mariner, sails about in search of a fabled mass of dry land called, appropriately, Dry Land.
Since Earth is covered by a salty ocean, fresh water is treated as a rare, expensive commodity. However, this makes no sense, because the human body requires a certain amount of fresh water each day just to survive. If whole populations are sustaining themselves, this means that they have access to fresh drinking water consistently everyday. Regardless of how people ration their fresh water, it won’t be enough to sustain all those people for a year, much less through generations of people so that they would forget about the flooding of cities. Also, if almost the entire Earth is water, why is everyone so damn dirty!?