Stanley Kubrick was one of the greatest and most fastidious directors to ever live – but because he died in 1999, he wasn't around to debunk the amazing (or should that be ridiculous?) conspiracy theories that his finest works would end up attracting.
Thus, the Kubrick canon is a breeding ground for insane alternative viewpoints, including but not limited to alien sex cults to fake Moon landings.
Now we present the strangest Stanley Kubrick theories out there – and they certainly are out there...
'2001: A Space Odyssey' proves the existence of aliens
This one requires you to make the small suspension of disbelief that Stanley Kubrick faked the Moon landings for the US government – no biggie.
The reason he'd agree to such a thing, however, was because apparently, aliens beat us to it: there really was a Moon landing, but the version the public saw was shot by Kubrick to cover up the fact that the Apollo 11 mission was to cover up to the retrieval of alien technology.
Gnostic scholar Jay Weidner suggests that '2001: A Space Odyssey' – released one year before the Moon landing – was actually a "research and development project" that gave Kubrick the tools he needed to create the fake Apollo footage. And... exhale.
'Dr Strangelove' was a warning about flouride
If you've seen Kubrick's cold war comedy – which actually started life as a deadly serious drama, before the actual Cold War ended up being stranger than fiction – you'll be familiar with insane American general Jack D. Ripper (played by Sterling Hayden, above), who waxes lyrical on the Russians being behind fluoridisation: "the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face".
Some viewers think this is as straightforward as Kubrick warning about the dangers of fluoride (in high concentration it can be poisonous) but other theorists go even deeper down the rabbit hole, suggesting that the director intentionally made the character of Ripper insane to discredit those who believed fluoride was a serious threat.
We're not sure why he'd bother with all that, but there you go.
'A Clockwork Orange' is about CIA mind control
This one is actually quite feasible. The author of 'A Clockwork Orange', Anthony Burgess, worked for British Intelligence and there's a school of thought that says he was witness to several forms of CIA mind control – including the MKUltra experiments – in action.
His novel is apparently full of references to these incidents, and Kubrick included them in his adaptation, fully aware of what they were.
So, the scenes in which Malcolm McDowell's rascal Alex is given drugs, deprived of sleep and subjected to horrendous audio/visual torture were quite possibly based on real CIA techniques. Unless the CIA are reading this now, in which case... pfft, what a load of rubbish! Right guys? (*sweats*)
'The Shining' is all about the Moon landings... or minotaurs
The documentary 'Room 237' consists of five demented conspiracy theories regarding 'The Shining', including the aforementioned fake Moon landing.
For example, the doc references the film's many references to Apollo 11 - such as Danny's jumper (see above) as evidence of Kubrick publicly apologising for his hoodwinking.
Another theory, possibly even madder than fake Moon landings, is that Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's novel is an exploration of the myth of the Minotaur.
King's book didn't feature a maze but Kubrick added one to allude to the half-man, half-bull at the centre of a labyrinth. Jack Nicholson plays the role of Jack Torrance with rolling eyes, like a bull about to charge (it says here).
The most damning evidence is a poster of a skiier in the Overlook Hotel that looks a bit like a bull (on skiis). We prefer the Moon landing one.
'Eyes Wide Shut' was hijacked by Scientologists
Kubrick's death by heart attack at the age of 70 meant he didn't get to see his final film hit cinemas.
The theory goes that 'Eyes Wide Shut' originally had reels of content in which the characters dismantled the thinking behind cult behaviours – such as the sex parties at the mansions – and that there were certain people who would rather that information didn't make it into the public domain.
Somehow, before the movie was released, various shady cult-type people – including representatives of Scientology, who were associated with star Tom Cruise and had taken in Kubrick's daughter, Vivian – persuaded Warner Bros to re-edit the movie to remove these scenes.
This would be fascinating, were it not for the fact that Kubrick managed to turn in his final cut to Warner Bros four days before he died.
Do you believe any of these theories? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image Credits: Rex Features