Movie Stingers and Credit Cookies

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This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 24th May 2011.

Projectionists must hate me. I’m the sucker that stays in the cinema until the very end of the credits. I know they want to get in there and clean up but watching every name involved in making the film is my way of saying thank you. I also like to check out which countries and locations were used as shooting locations. And I feel so much better knowing that no animals were harmed in the making of the picture.

I’m kidding. I’m actually on the lookout for what is known as a movie stinger, tag, credit cookie or movie coda. That is, an extra little scene at the end of the credits.

Current superhero movie factory, Marvel Studios, has been adding a stinger to its recent crop of pictures, each one slowly building towards The Avengers movie which will unite Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America and Thor. At the end of Iron Man (2008), Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., meets S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury, portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson. Tony Stark then makes a cameo at the end of The Incredible Hulk (2008), although this is just before the credits. The credits of Iron Man 2 (2010) conclude with Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. discovering Thor’s hammer in the desert. I won’t spoil the tag at the end of Thor but it is certainly worth waiting for.

Each entry in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise also features a stinger. The original, released in 2003, ends with Jack the Monkey stealing an Aztec medallion and becoming a cursed undead primate. Dead Man’s Chest (2006) concludes with the island dog being worshipped by the natives as a god. At World’s End (2007) features a stinger which shows Will being united with Elizabeth and his son, ten years into the future. The latest, On Stranger Tides (2011), also has a tag, but after a whopping 141 minutes of Piratey goodness or tosh (depending on your taste) you’ll need to sit out a bum numbing 8 minutes of credits to get to the good stuff.

The recent A-Team movie (2010) hilariously brings together the new Face and Murdock (Bradley Cooper and Sharlto Copley) with their original TV series counterparts, Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz in a post-credit stinger. I had to leave the cinema in a hurry for that one to return the large frozen coke I borrowed but I did catch the tag on blu-ray.

This year’s Fast and Furious 5, or Fast 5, also features a post-credit sequence which hints that there will another sequel. I don’t need a stinger to tell me that. $23 million at the Australian box office is a pretty good indication that another instalment is in the works. As a kid, I loved the Famous 5. I don’t remember them having cars though…

Stingers are by no means a new thing. My favourite stingers are from eighties flops. The Super Mario Bros. disaster from 1993 features two Japanese businessmen discussing a video game starring Mario’s enemies, Iggy and Spike. OK, so that’s not very funny but it’s Flying High compared to the rest of the film. The Masters of the Universe (1987) feature film stars renown Shakespearean actor Dolph Lundgren as He-Man. Post-credits, a defeated Skeletor (Frank Langella) pops out of the waters surrounding Castle Numbskull to declare, “I’ll be back.” I’m still waiting.

So stick around after the credits have rolled. You never know what extra morsel the filmmakers may have left for you.




The Sixth Sense (1999) features a creepy repeat of the spooky voice on tape saying, “I don’t wanna die” right at the end of the credits to scare anyone left in the cinema.


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  1. I always enjoyed the Super Mario Bros. stinger featuring Iggy & Spike simply because of the meta-humor involved in it. It’s just amusing more than anything else, though I would have preferred the pair being more involved during the climax of the film rather than disappearing. (In a cut scene, the two return following Koopa’s demise and express interest in taking over the city as its new rulers)

    Interestingly enough, the Italian cut of the movie doesn’t include the stinger, as well as the last two scenes of the movie (the meteorite chamber scene with Luigi & Daisy and the final “sequel hook” scene). The movie simply ends right after the Goomba leans into the camera during the celebration scene and moves right into a new credits sequence featuring Joe Satriani’s “Speed of Light” rather than Roxette’s “Almost Unreal.” (Probably because Satriani is Italian and more popular there than Roxette)

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