When it comes to the end credits, most movies just call it a day and don’t get very creative. Thankfully, there are exceptions that refuse to let the audience go until they have to make way for the next crowd to come into the theater. Here’s a list of a few of them, and be warned, there are spoilers.
1. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
In this moving, little sequence, Steve has reconnected with humanity and also with his faithful crew, all of them gathering ala Buckaroo Banzai to head out for another adventure, with the (apparent) ghost of Steve’s son watching over them. All to the tune of David Bowie’s “Queen Bitch.” This is followed by Seu Jorge giving his charming Portuguese acoustic cover of the song as the credits continue. You can get The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou right here.
2. Something Wild
Wes Anderson has gone on record saying that Jonathan Demme is one of his influences, and Life Aquatic’s end credits feel like one of the better examples. Right after Jeff Daniels and Melanie Griffith take off to properly begin their romance, Sister Carol’s Dottie takes a break from work to sing “Wild Thing” to the audience as the credits roll. It’s one of the most surprising, endearing ways to end a film, perfectly matched by the off-kilter credit design. There’s something about it that makes one feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s a sincere happy ending, which is a rarity in movies. You can get Something Wild right here.
3. Super 8
When I watched Super 8 in the theater, there was one rarity I had never experienced, not even in other movies with end credits easter eggs: As soon as the title cards for “The Case” showed up on the side of the screen, the whole audience that was leaving quickly made their way back to their seats. In a movie filled with awe-inspiring and thrilling visuals and sequences, this was probably the best part. Anyone who’s ever been a kid and made a film surely got a kick out of it. You can get Super 8 right here.
4. American Ultra
We finally get to see the adventures of Apollo Ape in this colorful, gleefully violent and crazily animated sequence that also serves as something of an epilogue for the film, and perfectly sums up Mike and Phoebe’s relationship. It’s the perfect ending for this movie. You can get American Ultra right here.
Beautifully animated, paired with a sweet Peter Gabriel song, this sequence confirmed the movie’s message of hope and makes us look at our own world and appreciate just how lucky we are. You can get Wall-E right here.
6. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
One of the moments that took the audience most by surprise in this remake were the end credits, where suddenly we’re greeted by Jim Carroll singing “People Who Died” and video camera footage of Steve partying with sexy women on his yacht, and we get to see a bit of what happened to the main characters on their way to the island where they thought they’d be safe. So would they be? Nope. And the film leaves it to us to decide if they survived. It’s a perfect mix of dark humor, horror and surprise that made this one of the best horror remakes. You can get Dawn of the Dead right here.
7. Kill Bill Vol. 2
A lovely epilogue for Beatrix Kiddo and her daughter, paired with a final glimpse of the wide cast we’d come to know and love for the last four hours of Tarantino’s revenge saga. It’s a surprisingly sweet farewell to the audience from a violent, darkly humored and ultimately heartbreaking two-volume story. You can get Kill Bill Vol. 2 right here.