Recap of Supernatural Season 2, Episode 18
You know, I know it's really uncool to say this, but I'm a big fan. —Dean to Tara Benchley
Sam Winchester: You find out there is an afterlife and this is what you do with it?
Martin Flagg: I needed a little jazz on the page.
Written by Ben Edlund.
Directed by Philip Sgriccia.
Airdate: April 19, 2007.
Dean and Sam investigate what seems to be a suspicious death on a horror movie filming at the Warner Bros. Studio
. Dean works as a production assistant (PA)
as part of their investigation.
A woman is alone in the woods with a flashlight calling out for her friends. Someone behind her grabs her shoulder, startling her, but it is her friend Brody. Brody appears very frightened and tells the woman whom he addressees as Wendy that Ashley and Todd are dead. He wants to leave, but Wendy will not leave without her sister. Brody rather non-chivalrously runs away leaving Wendy alone. She hears twigs breaking and leaves rustling, and she screams. Or rather she starts to scream, but the scream falters into a monotone moan and ends with her clearing her throat. Then it is revealed that she is standing in front of a camera with a green tennis ball attached. The woman is actor Tara Benchley
playing Wendy on the set of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning
, and the tennis ball is supposed to represent a terrifying monster which will be added by CGI
.McG, the director
, calls cut and asks Tara to dial up her scream. McG tries to help her by showing her the Concept Art
of the monster standing in front of a cabin with a screaming, cowering blonde woman before him. The sketch of the monster is a skeleton in a suit with a bandage around his abdomen holding a fraternity paddle with a chainsaw blade around the edge and flames around the skull and skeletal hands. A stage hand then calls out they will take a 10 minute break. Tara sits down next to Rick Craig, the actor who played Brody. Frank Jaffey, a grizzled stage hand coiling up a cable, tells them he gets weird vibes on the set, and Tara and Rick laugh at his concerns that the set is haunted. Later Tara is running her lines with her script on the set alone, and she is still having trouble with the scream. She hears a rusting sound and gasping noise and suspects someone is trying to frighten her as a prank. No one answers when she calls out, so she starts moving further into the elaborate set of the woods around the cabin. A blue trucker cap, which Frank had been wearing, falls at her feet. She looks up and sees Frank's body tangled in the cables of the scaffolding above the stage and his face is covered in blood. A white ghostly image of a man appears beside the body and then disappears. Tara screams, a long blood curdling scream. The production crew on the other side of the set look up, and McG says, "Now that's what I'm talking about!"The Teaser
ends with a metal chomping sound
, and the Title Sequence
plays in a burst of flames.
Sam and Dean are taking a tour of Warner Bros. Studio, but when the trolley approaches Stars Hollow
, Sam jumps off the trolley and Dean follows him. Dean wants to enjoy the tour and vacation in L.A., but Sam is interested in working on the case of Frank's death on Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning
which is filming at Stage 9 in Warner Bros. Studio. After Sam mentions that the witness who saw a vanishing figure next to the body is Tara Benchley, Dean is suddenly on board with investigating the case, as he is a big fan
of her work.
One of the network executives, Brad Redding, is visiting the set of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning
, and he is telling the production crew that he thinks the dailies are great, but they need to be brighter with more color. When Sam and Dean walk on to the set, Brad calls Dean over and asks him to get a smoothie, assuming Dean is a PA. Dean goes along with his role as a PA, which allows him to search the scaffolding where Frank's body was found. However, he detects no electromagnetic fields (EMF)
at the scene and instead finds a screen and light rigged in the scaffolding. Dean fills Sam in on what he found while stuffing his face at the craft table. Sam tells Dean that Frank was just a temp for the day, so no one has any info on him, but Sam was able to research Stage 9, where there have been 2 fatal accidents and 2 suicides in the last 80 years. They agree that any of these could be a vengeful spirit
, and they need more information, which Dean takes as an excuse to talk to Tara Benchley. It turns out Tara takes pictures of the crew members to pass time on the set, and she has a picture of Frank in her photo binder. When Dean looks at the photo of Frank, he recognizes him as the actor Gerard St. James from Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn
and Critters 3
Dean and Sam visit Gerard St. James at his home, and Gerard describes his role in the hoax while they drink coffee. The ghost was projected on a dispersion screen and he pretended to die to create buzz about the movie on the internet. Meanwhile back on Stage 9, a scene has to be re-shot because of static on the sound recording. Brad Redding continues to give notes on the scene, resulting in the writer Martin (Marty) Flagg adding in an "explainer" that the ghosts in hell are able to hear the chanting because they have super-hearing. When Brad walks away to take a phone call, he meets a woman in a robe who is gray from head to toe and has rope marks around her neck. Brad is worried the rope marks may not appear on camera, but when the gray woman drops her robe revealing that she is naked, he follows her up the steps to the scaffolding above the set with a lecherous grin. The scene is being re-shot with the additional dialogue explaining that the ghosts have super-hearing, when Brad Redding's body crashes into the cabin. He is hanging from a rope around his neck, and his Bluetooth headset clatters to the ground while the actors and crew react in terror.
After a moment of silence for Brad Redding at breakfast the next day, shooting on Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning
continues. Sam and Dean listen to the sound recording from the scene yesterday and realize the static is electronic voice phenomenon (EVP).
They then watch a DVD of the dailies including the scene where Brad Redding was hanged, and note the image of a ghostly woman who briefly appears. Sam recognizes the woman as Elise Drummond
, a starlet from the '30's who hanged herself during the shooting of a scene on Stage 9, after she was fired by a studio executive with whom she was having an affair. Dean and Sam go to Elise Drummond's grave in Hollywood Forever Cemetery
that night and salt and burn her remains. Back on Stage 9, the producer Jay Wiley is finishing up a phone conversation, when the lights on the set go off. Jay sees a figure as he tries to find his way off the set in the dark. When the figure turns around, the man is revealed to have a horrific wound exposing his skull and deforming his face. Jay screams and falls on to his back, and a large fan on the set starts up. Jay is pulled into the rotating blades of the fan, and bits of him splatter against a white screen on the other side of the fan.
The metal chomping sound
is heard, and the commercial break
starts with the trailer
for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning
is "They never forgive. They never forget. And this summer, they're coming back again to settle the score... again."
When Sam and Dean arrive on the set the next day, they find the police investigating the blood stained scene of Jay's death. Sam notes that the circumstances are similar to the death of a electrician, Billy Beard
, who died in an accident with a fan on this stage in 1966. They are baffled to see two ghosts seemingly tag-teaming in their efforts to wreak vengeance on the creators of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning
. McG then arrives in his yellow Ferrari, and asks the crew to huddle in as he has an announcement. He explains that in cooperation with the authorities, they are shutting down production for a few days. He then goes on to say that Brad and Jay wanted the movie to succeed more then anything, and they owe it to them to "pull together and make this damn movie". When the crew applauds his speech, he tells them to go home and someone will call them.
Sam starts watching the dailies in an empty trailer, while Dean finds out that the electrician Billy Beard was cremated. Sam does not identify any more ghostly images, but he does notice that the Latin incantation Wendy recites is an authentic necromancy summoning ritual. The brothers go to the office of Marty Flagg, the writer. Marty is initially complimented by their interest in the script, but his smile fades when he realizes they are interested in the Latin incantations and Enochian summoning rituals. Marty informs them that the original script was written by Walter Dixon, someone Dean had met on set and assumed was a PA, and that Marty had to revise Walter's script to make it workable. Sam and Dean then get a smudged copy of Walter's script, which is titled Lord of the Dead
. Dean likes it better then the current script, and Sam notes it reads like a how-to manual of conjuration.
Walter Dixon asked Marty Flagg to meet him on the set of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning
and confronts him about the changes to the script. Walter then lifts a talisman and recites an incantation, which is similar to the one Wendy reads in the movie. The ghost of Billy Beard appears and starts to drag Marty to a large fan on the set. Dean appears with a shotgun and fires rock salt at the ghost, who dissolves in sparkles which are blown away by the fan. Walter then summons all ghosts, and Billy Beard appears along with 2 other ghosts, a man with a shredded arm and a woman covered in burns. The ghosts flicker and then disappear. Sam is tossed across the stage by one of the invisible ghosts, and Marty and the Winchesters run away while all the light bulbs on the stage start exploding. They run into the cabin on the set, only to realize there are only 3 walls
. Sam takes out his cell phone and is able to see the ghosts using the camera. As Sam points out the ghosts, Dean shoots them. Sam notices that Walter is running across the scaffolding to an exit. Sam hands the cell phone over to Marty and pursues Walter. When Sam catches up to Walter, he demands Walter give him the talisman, but Walter smashes the talisman on the ground. The ghosts, now freed from control, turn against Walter and rip him apart.
Shooting on Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning
continues, but Marty has incorporated his recent experience. Kendra is using a cell phone to scan for ghosts, while Mitch shoots them with rock salt. Sam walks off the stage past Tara Benchley's trailer, which is rocking. Dean steps out of the trailer followed by a smiling Tara in a robe. Sam and Dean walk off into the sunset, as Dean grabs one last wrap from craft and Herb Alpert's "Green Peppers" plays. Then the sunset rolls away, revealed to be a backdrop, but another (presumably real) sunset is apparent over the studio gates as Dean says, "God, I love this town
For this episode = 3 humans.
For the series so far = At least 186 humans, 14 ghosts, 5 vampires, 2 shapeshifters, 2 werewolves, 1 demon, 1 god, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 shtriga, 1 wendigo, and 1 zombie.
Tropes appearing in this episode:
- Abnormal Ammo/Shotguns Are Just Better: Dean repels the ghosts by shooting them with rock salt. Martin adds the shotguns loaded with rock salt to the plot for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning.
- Absentee Actor: The Impala does not appear in this episode, which is the first time this has happened in Supernatural.
- Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Sam and Dean realize that having actual incantations and summoning rituals instead of Parody Magic Spells in Canis Latinicus in a Hollywood movie is really not a good idea.
- Acting for Two: An In-Universe example, where Gerard St. James is not worried that he will be recognized as Frank Jaffey while playing Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman.
Dean: Now, wait a second. If you're seen in public, won't that ruin the hoax?
Gerard St. James: Oh, please. Frank and Willy? Totally different characters.
- Actor Allusion:
Studio tour guide: Now, to the right here is Stars Hollow. It's the setting for the television series Gilmore Girls. And, if we're lucky, we might even catch one of the show's stars.
Sam: [looking uncomfortable] Come on. [motions to Dean and gets off trolley]
- The tour guide then points out New York Avenue, where they shot Lois and Clark. Robert Singer, Phil Sgriccia and Jim Michaels who are all directors and/or executive producers on Supernatural also worked on the TV series Lois and Clark.
- The producer Jay Wiley, who is played by Don Stark, talks to someone on the phone named Bob. Don Stark also plays Bob Pinciotti in That '70s Show. It is also possible that Jay Wiley was meant to be talking to Robert (Bob) Singer, an executive producer of Supernatural.
- The producer Jay Wiley's phrase "You're kicking ass and taking names." is a variation of one used by Kim Manners, director and executive producer of Supernatural, who was known to say, "Kick it in the ass!" Kim Manner also made his directorial debut on the original Charlie's Angels series, while Real Life McG directed the Charlie's Angels movie.
- Marty's serious overuse of seriously is likely a reference to the commercials Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) and Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester) did for Channel 10 in Australia.
Marty Flagg: [on the phone] Yeah. All right, get back to me on this, all right? Seriously...No, I'm serious...Dude, are you serious? 'Cause I'm serious. All right. Cool.
- Affectionate Parody: "Hollywood Babylon" is a send-up of horror movies and the horror genre in general as well as those who work in it, from PAs to network executives.
- All Work vs. All Play: Dean wants to take a vacation and enjoy Hollywood, but Sam wants to work the case as a way to keep his mind off things.
- Altum Videtur:
- In the scene in the cabin, Wendy recites a Latin incantation: "Contra omnipotentem obsecro hos manes ut iuxtam accedent et fiant voluntas meam vi Enoch ego. Contra omnipotentum obsecro cum spiritum iuxta accedent et fatum meum...." Which roughly translates to: "I invoke against the Almighty these spirits so that they may come and do my bidding, from the power of Enoch. I invoke against the Almighty when those of the spirits draw near and my fate..."
- Walter uses the following incantation: "Contra obsecro hunc spiritum iuxta ad facientum voluntatem meum." Which translates roughly to: "I invoke this nearby spirit to do my will."
- Walter also says: "Manes omnes ad me venite." or "All spirits come to me."
- Animate Dead: Walter Dixon is controlling the spirits of those who died on the set.
- Ankle Drag: Jay Wiley is dragged into the fan by the unseen spirit, even as Jay digs his fingers into the dirt of the set. Later, Billy Beard drags Martin Flagg towards the fan.
- Artistic License Film School:
- The scene in the teaser is all being shot with one handheld camera without any alternate angles.
- The background music and sound effects are played while they are filming the scene in the teaser.
- They are using a painted backdrop of a clouded moonlit sky instead of a Matte Shot.
- No one seems to mind when Dean uses a flashlight and whirring EMF meter while climbing around on the scaffolding above the set during a take.
- Author Existence Failure: An In-Universe example, when Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning loses a network executive, a producer, and the original screen writer. But The Show Must Go On.
- Bad Bad Acting: The cast of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning. Elizabeth Whitmere who plays Tara Benchley/Wendy has a lot of fun with this. This is lampshaded when after Tara's failed scream, McG says, "Don't mark that" to the script supervisor sitting next to him.
- Beauty Mark: Elise Drummond, the starlet from the '30s, has a mole above her right lip.
- Be Careful What You Say: Wendy calls forward the dead by reading from the book.
- Becoming the Mask: Dean starts taking his role as PA seriously. On his second day on set, he's wearing a headset, tool belt, and Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning T-shirt.
Sam: How's it going in here?
Dean: It is going really good, man. Tara's really stepped up her performance. I think it's probably from all the sense memory stuff she's drawing on.
Sam: Sense memory?
Sam: Dean, you know when I ask how it's going in here, I'm talking about the case, right? We don't really work here. You know, I thought you hated being a PA.
Dean: I don't know. It's not so bad. I kind of feel like part of the team, you know?
- Big Brother Instinct: Dean rushes to help Sam up, when Sam is thrown by the invisible spirit.
- Big Eater: The Running Gag of Dean stuffing his face was previously seen in "Nightmare" (S01, E14), "Provenance" (S01, E19), and "Tall Tales" (S02, E15).
- Dean stuffs a second miniature cheesesteak sandwich into his mouth and continues to talk with a strip of beef hanging down his chin, to Sam's disgust.
- Later Dean is eating taquitos, and continues to talk with his mouth full as Sam updates him on the case.
Dean: [to Sam] Taquito? They're wonderful.
- Dean can not resist grabbing one last wrap from craft before he and Sam walk off into the sunset.
- Bilingual Bonus: In the trailer, Wendy is holding a book which appears to be the book they read to bring the dead back from Hell, but inside funny Latin phrases can be seen.
- The phrase at the top of the page is "Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum." This roughly translates to "I have a catapult. Give me all your money, or I will fling an enormous rock at your head."
- The next line in the book is "Utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum invadant." This translates to "May barbarians invade your personal space."
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning is filming at Warner Bros. Studio and in the credits listed in the Trailer is described as a Wonderland Film. The first two seasons of Supernatural aired on The WB, and Wonderland Sound and Vision is the production company for Supernatural formed by McG and Stephanie Savage.
- Black Magic: Walter is playing with magic he does not understand.
- Blinded by the Light: The actor playing Mitch accidentally does this to Tara when he shines his flashlight in her face.
- Blood from the Mouth: Frank, the stage hand, tangled in the cables above the stage.
- Breaking Character/Corpsing:
- An In-Universe example, when Wendy's recitation of the Latin incantation is interrupted by someone saying, "Maybe we can finish this up tomorrow". Tara breaks out of the Wendy character and replies, "Oh my God, I hate you so much right now." Then the whole group of actors breaks into giggles. Prior to this exchange, the actor playing Mitch was smirking and shrugging his shoulders, suggesting there may have been some hijinks on set where they tried to distract Tara while she recited the difficult Latin dialogue as Wendy. Similar hijinks have been described on the set of Supernatural, often led by Jared Padalecki.
- Later, the actors playing Mitch and Kendra scream, clearly terrified, when Brad Redding's body crashes through the roof of the cabin.
- The actor playing Mitch breaks character again when he says he is sorry for shining his flashlight in Tara's face after she tells him (as Wendy) that she loves him.
Tara Benchley: Can we...can we cut or something?
- In the dailies when Tara has trouble pronouncing "iuxtam", she says, "I'm sorry. Can I go again?"
- Breather Episode: Which is appreciated after the Tear Jerker episode "Heart" (S02, Ep17).
- Broken Masquerade: For Marty Flagg.
Marty Flagg: I cannot believe there's an afterlife.
Dean: Oh, there's an afterlife, all right. But, mostly, it's a pain in the ass.
- Busman's Holiday: Dean wanted to take a vacation in L.A., but they end up working a case.
- Camera Fiend: Tara takes Polaroids on the set and has pictures of the crew members. This may also be an Actor Allusion to Jensen Ackles, who is known for taking photos on the set.
- Can't You Read the Sign?: A sign outside the stage says "Turn off cell phones". However, it is Sam's cell phone that allows them to see the ghosts.
- The Cassandra: Kendra, who has a similar role to Cheryl in The Evil Dead (1981), tries to stop Wendy from reading the Latin incantation, but Wendy teases her for being afraid.
- Casting Couch: This is hinted at after Tara says she doesn't need to see the concept art sketches and will find it. McG the director then says, "I know you will, pumpkin." and puts his hand on her chin. Tara seems uninterested but also appears to be humoring him. Later, when Sam tells Elise Drummond's story, we hear another example with a studio executive and a starlet from the '30s.
- Catch Phrase:
- After Dean looks at the picture of Frank Jaffey, he says "Son of a bitch!" Tara as Wendy also says, "You son of a bitch!", which she repeats twice more while practicing her lines.
- Sam uses Dean's "awesome" when looking for a word to describe Marty's script. Dean echoes the "awesome", and then Sam adds "really awesome".
- Cat Scare: Brody grabbing Wendy's shoulder in the teaser.
- Celeb Crush: Dean is attracted to Tara Benchley and is a big fan of hers. He ends up having sex with her in her trailer.
- The Charmer/Like a Fish Takes to Water: After one day on the set, Dean knows everyone's names and is able to ask for favors to help solve the case.
Sam: Hey, where'd you get this DVD?
Dean: They're called dailies. I got it from Cindy. She's kind of got this on-and-off thing going with Drew. He dubbed me an extra copy.
- Chekhov's Gun: The large fan sitting on the set, which is pulled across the screen on a dolly before they shoot the scene where Tara tries to read the Latin incantation.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Walter Dixon, who is first seen in the trailer giving Tara a Snapple. Dean assumes he is a PA.
- Chiaroscuro/Deliberately Monochrome: Shots in the trailer of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning, including scenes from other Supernatural episodes, are shown in high-contrast black and white.
- Closed Circle: Walter asks Marty to meet him on Stage 9, as that is the site where the ghosts died, and they are linked to this location.
- Continuity Nod:
- A deer's head is seen on the set of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning. This deer's head was also seen in "Nightmare" (S01, E14), "The Benders" (S01, E15), "Salvation" (S01, E21), "Everybody Loves A Clown" (S02, E02), "Playthings" (S02, E11), and "Born Under a Bad Sign" (S02, E14).
- Dean mentions Sam may need some time after what happened in "Heart" (S02, E17).
Dean: I just figured that after everything that happened with Madison, you could use a little R and R. That's all.
- Cow Tools/Mix-and-Match Weapon: The Concept Art of the monster from Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning shows him holding a flaming fraternity paddle with chainsaw blades around it.
- Creator Cameo: Real Life McG is seen standing behind Sam and Dean holding the clapperboard when the character McG is addressing the crew about shutting down production temporarily. Other Real Life Supernatural crew members are seen working on the set of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning, such as Lesley DeHaan, an assistant production coordinator on Supernatural, who is the crew member holding the call sheets Dean steals as an excuse to talk to Tara. She later appears in a red shirt among the crew members who listen to McG's speech.
- Darkness Equals Death/Evil Is Not Well Lit:
Brad: No, look, don't get me wrong. Everyone at the studio loves the dailies, myself included. We were just wondering if it could be...you know, a little brighter.
Brad: Yeah, Jay. More color. McG, you know what I'm saying, you're the master of that stuff.
McG: Brad, this is a horror movie.
Brad: And who says horror has to be dark? It's sort of depressing. Don't you think?
- In addition, the lights on the set go off before Jay Wiley is killed.
Hey! Hey, pal! Can you show me to the exit? I can't see a damn thing here. Hey! Hey, putz! I'm talking to you! Somebody could get hurt here
- Dead Hat Shot: The blue trucker cap Frank, the stage hand, was wearing falls in front of Tara's feet while she is running lines.
- Deadly Euphemism/Informal Eulogy: When talking to the crew, McG refers to the deaths of the show's producer and a network executive on the movie set by saying "We've had a few setbacks this week."
- Deadly Rotary Fan: The giant fan on the set.
- Death by Woman Scorned: Brad Redding, a married network executive, is killed by the ghost of Elise Drummond, a starlet who killed herself after she was dumped by an adulterous network executive in the '30s.
- Defictionalization: The movie trailer bills Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning as being "from the producers of Cornfield Massacre". 5 years after this episode aired, we have Avenging Sins...The Cornfield Massacre.
- Delicious Distraction: Dean is sidetracked by sandwiches when Sam asks him how the case is going.
Sam: So, what do you think?
Dean: [next to the popcorn machine at the craft table]
Well, I think being a PA sucks. But the food these people get, are you kidding me? Look at these things. [picks up a sandwich]
They're like miniature Philly cheesesteak sandwiches
. They're delicious.
- Dem Bones: The skeletal monster in the Concept Art for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning.
- Dies Wide Open: Brad Redding.
- Dinner Theater: Gerard St. James is playing Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman in Costa Mesa, California.
Gerard St. James: Speaking of, I'm playing Willy in a dinner theater production of Salesman at Costa Mesa, all next month. [hands Dean a flyer] You get a free pepper steak with the coupon.
- Disconnected By Death: When Brad Redding's body crashes into the cabin, his Bluetooth headset falls to the floor and a dial tone is heard.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The screenwriter summoned ghosts to kill the people who changed his script.
- Doing It for the Art: In-Universe: Walter goes to great lengths to preserve his artistic vision.
You know, the history, the lore in my draft was completely accurate. We could've gotten it right for the first time ever in this whorehouse of a town. But you tore it to shreds. You replaced it
and fart jokes
. It was real.
- Do Not Go Gentle: Mitch in the trailer.
Mitch: These bastards aren't taking us. Not without a fight.
- Don't Come A-Knockin': Tara's trailer.
- Don't Go in the Woods: The set for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning is a cabin in the woods.
- Driven to Suicide: Elise Drummond, as Sam explains.
Sam: Elise Drummond—starlet back in the thirties. Had an affair with a studio exec. He uses her up, fires her, leaves her destitute, so Elise hangs herself from Stage 9's rafters, right into a scene they're shooting.
- Due to the Dead: The crew has a moment of silence for Brad Redding, but Marty Flagg wonders if they should do more.
Jay, the poor bastard killed himself
. Like, for real. Shouldn't we shut it down or something?
- Electromagnetic Ghosts: Dean uses his trusty EMF meter, and there is EVP on the sound recording for the movie.
- En Route Sum-Up: As the brothers walk from the trolley to stage 9, they discuss why they are in Hollywood, and Sam explains the case to Dean.
- Epileptic Flashing Lights: The lights on the set start to flicker before the ghosts attack Sam, Dean, and Marty, in the cabin on the set, even though most of the light bulbs on the set exploded as they ran to the cabin.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Once freed, the spirits go after the person who was controlling them. Sam, who should know this after witnessing what happened to Sue Ann after Sam smashed the cross she was using in the episode "Faith" (01, E12), explains this to Walter.
Sam: Because you just freed them. We can't stop them now. Walter, you brought them back, forced them to murder. They're not gonna be very happy with you.
- Executive Meddling: In-Universe Parodied Trope through the figure of Brad Redding and the revisions of Walter's script.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Frank, the grizzled stage hand, has a trucker's cap, Messy Hair, and needs a shave. Later when we see him as the actor Gerard St. James he has his hair back in a pony tail, which shows his receding hairline, and is clean-shaven and wearing a brightly-colored, patterned shirt.
- Expressive Shirt: After Dean returns to the set after interviewing Gerard St. James, he is wearing a T-shirt with the logo for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning on it. This reflects his growing investment in the movie and his role as a PA.
- Expy: The Concept Art of the monster from Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning is a skeleton with flames around his head, recalling Ghost Rider.
- Face-Revealing Turn: While Jay Wiley is trying to find his way off the dark set, he sees a man turned away. Jay approaches and calls to the man, who turns around to show that the man has a horrific wound through his skull and face with his left eye missing, lacerations across his face, and a crooked smile.
- Facial Horror: The make-up department outdid themselves when they created Billy Beard's wound.
- Fake Action Prologue: The teaser opens with two young people in front of a cabin in the forest. The man says two of their companions are dead, and he is leaving. The woman remains alone as she will not leave until she finds her sister. She starts crying, but stops when she hears a noise. She screams...and then it is revealed that this is a set for a horror movie.
- Faking the Dead: Gerard St. James as Frank Jaffey.
- Fanboy: Dean tells Tara Benchley he is a "big fan", and he tells Gerard St. James he is a "huge fan". Dean geeks out throughout the episode, but he is not the only big fan on the set of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning.
- Fatal Method Acting: An In-Universe example, when Brad Redding's body crashes into the cabin while a scene is being filmed. We also hear that Elise Drummond's death occurred while they were filming a scene.
- Fate Worse Than Death: The spirits of those who died on the set are forced to murder under Walter Dixon's control.
- Female Gaze: The shot where the camera pans down to reveal Dean's tool-belt, among other things.
- Film Posters: The posters for Hell Hazers, Revenge of the Monster Truck, and another movie which Gerard St. James had a poster for in his apartment, have red lettering with a black and white background. However, the movie Hollywood Polka Party has a more colorful poster with a group photo of the cast, many of whom have accordions. The poster for the movie Carnivore Carnival also is more colorful and has an image of a clown.
- Five-Man Band: The cast of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning: Wendy, Mitch (who is also the Love Interest for Wendy), Brody, Kendra, and the unseen Ashley. We also hear about Wendy's lost sister. Depending on the gender and hair color of Ashley, this may also be Blonde, Brunette, Redhead, but Wendy does seem to be the Brainy Brunette while Kendra is the Dumb Blonde.
- Flaming Skulls: Featured in the Concept Art of the monster the director shows to Tara to help with her performance.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Lampshaded when Sam and Dean visit Martin Flagg in his office, and we see that a crew member is already scraping "Jay Wiley Producer" off the door of the office across the hall to make room for a new occupant.
- Former Child Star: The news article Sam finds, titled "Suicide Stuns Hollywood: Elise Drummond Hangs From Studio Rafters", details that Elise arrived in Hollywood in 1918, working as a child actor before finding stardom.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- An In-Universe example, with Sam spotting the image of Elise Drummond in the scene from Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning. In this same footage, the words Clairmont Camera appear among the static. This is a Shout-Out to the company who provides camera equipment to Supernatural.
- The clapperboard used before Roll 6, Scene 6, Take 6, initially has the Timecode as 01.35.21.21, but after clapped shuts the Timecode reads as 00C0dE30. Code 30 signals an emergency requiring back-up on police radio and is often used for Homicide.
- Funny Background Event: While Sam and Dean are walking from the trolley to Stage 9 and are talking about why they are in Hollywood, two cowboys and a horse and three Roman Centurions walk behind them. In addition, the head of a golden idol is being pulled behind a truck, and an astronaut's suit is being pushed on a dolly.
- Geek Physiques: Walter Dixon is short, overweight, and wears glasses.
- Ghostly Goals: Sam and Dean consider that Elise Drummond's spirit may have "it in for the studio brass", but can't understand why she just started haunting the set now.
Sam: You know, Dean, what I don't get is why now? I mean, after seventy-five years, Elise Drummond suddenly goes homicidal, you know? Why this movie?
Dean: Well, maybe she's mad they're making a scary ghost flick.
Come on, is it really that scary?
- Later Sam suggests the ghosts are sabotaging the movie because they hate it.
Sam: [after watching six hours of the dailies] You know, maybe the spirits are trying to shut down the movie because they think it sucks. Because, I mean, it kind of does.
- Glory Days: The article Sam found says Elise Drummond starred in a dozen movies, was nominated for an Academy Award, and was enjoying tremendous publicity from her last blockbuster.
- Gory Discretion Shot: The blood and fleshy chunks spraying on the white screen on the set.
- Gratuitous French: When Martin Flagg is talking on the phone about production being shut down for a few days, he says, "Force majeure".
- Grave Humor: Dean is amused by one tombstone for Woody Randall, which has a statue of Humpty Dumpty perched on top, and when Dean passes another grave with the statue of a guitarist in a baseball cap and long hair, he says, "That's cool." This statue of the guitarist has a lot in common with Johnny Ramone's cenotaph, which is located in Hollywoood Forever Cemetery in Real Life and which Dean later references.
- Grave Robbing: Dean and Sam unearth the coffin of Elise Drummond and salt and burn her body.
- Guns Are Worthless/Immune to Bullets: McG and Marty lampshade the use of shotguns to fight ghosts in Supernatural as well as the use of shotguns to stop the undead in other horror movies like The Evil Dead.
Martin Flagg: What would a ghost be scared of? Maybe... shotguns.
McG: Okay, that makes even less sense than salt.
- Hard Work Montage/Idiosyncratic Wipes: The crew is shown moving equipment and looking over papers. Dean gets a tray full of smoothies. The scenes dissolve from one to another with a wipe from right to left or left to right as an energetic, but still slightly eerie, song plays over the chatter of the crew. And finally they are ready to shoot scene 6, take 6.
- Hey, It's That Guy!:
- Gary Cole, who plays Brad Redding, also plays Bill Lumbergh in Office Space, Capt. Matthew Gideon on Crusade, Vice President Bob Russell on The West Wing, and Andrew Klein on Entourage. He is also a voice actor for Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law and Principal Shepherd on Family Guy.
- Don Stark, who plays Jay Wiley, also plays Bob Pinciotti in That '70s Show.
- R. Nelson Brown, who plays Frank Jaffey/Gerard St. James, also played Walt in Devour, in which Jensen Ackles played Jake Gray. In addition, R. Nelson Brown played the photographer Ansel Bray in the episode "Quagmire" (S02, E22) of The X-Files, which was directed by Kim Manners.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Walter is torn apart by the spirits he commanded once they were freed.
- Hollywood CB: When Dean is manning a bank of two-way radios, Dean uses CB radio 10 codes and labels one of the radios "P.A. #7" with a post-it note. He says he does not have a 20 (location) on Tara and thinks she is 10-100 (in the bathroom).
- Hollywood Darkness: The scene of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning in the teaser is fairly well-lit despite the only light sources in the scene being a moon on a cloudy night and a flashlight.
- Hollywood Hype Machine: The producers paid Gerard St. James to play the part of a stagehand who appears to die under mysterious circumstances in order to increase the publicity for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning.
- Homage: Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning has a lot of similarities with Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead.
- The swing banging against the cabin in the teaser recalls the banging porch swing when the car pulls up to the cabin in The Evil Dead.
- In both movies a group of friends in a remote cabin accidentally call the dead from hell with an incantation. Wendy recites a summoning spell in Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning, while in The Evil Dead they play a tape recording of the incantation.
- The rustic cabin in both movies has a deer's head mounted on the wall.
- Both movies feature a character named Ashley.
- The Concept Art of the monster from Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning is holding a paddle with a chainsaw blade around it and later Marty mentions the ghosts in the movie could be fought with shotguns. Chainsaws and shotguns are the preferred weapons for Evil Dead's Ash Williams.
- Honor Before Reason: Dean and Sam refuse to leave Marty, when Walter tells them to leave because they are not part of this.
Dean: Sorry, can't do that. It's not that we like him or anything, it's just a matter of principle.
- Horrible Hollywood
- Hypocritical Humor: The producer Jay Wiley tells, the director McG, "McG, you're a genius. You're kicking ass and taking names." Later when on the phone with Bob, Jay says, "I know. No, I friggin' hate McG's dailies. I can't control the guy. I'm telling you, next one, I'm directing myself. What, you? No, Bob. You, I love. You're a genius! You're kicking ass and taking names." Jay goes on to say, "Talk to you later, babe." But after Jay hangs up, he says, "What a dick."
- Iconic Item: In this episode Dean is wearing his green lightweight jacket, amulet, and well-worn jeans, and Sam has his beige coat with a single breast pocket and plaid flannel shirt. However, the iconic clothing of the Winchester brothers is lamphaded as Sam and Dean are walking to a trailer on the set and a rack of clothes rolls by which includes several pairs of jeans and T-shirts, seven copies of Sam's brown corduroy jacket, seven copies of Sam's green panel jacket, a few copies of Dean's dark blue utility coat, and a lime green jumpsuit.
- I Love This Town: Dean's last line.
- Impending Doom P.O.V./Shaky P.O.V. Cam: In the teaser, there is the view moving towards Tara's back before Brody grabs her shoulder and a similar view before she screams.
- Info Dump: Walter's original script, according to Martin.
He wrote a whack-job screenplay. There's no pace
, there's no love interest
, it's all wackadoo exposition
. I had to cut, like, ninety percent of it to make it readable, the other ten percent to make it good.
- Initiation Ceremony: The use of the term "Hazers" in the movie title and the Concept Art including the monster holding a fraternity pledge paddle surrounded by a chainsaw blade suggests that the plot of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning includes a horrific fraternity hazing.
- Instant Web Hit: The rumors about a haunted set spread like wildfire on the web.
Gerard St. James:
These days, it's all about new media, building buzz. They say I'm the new lonelygirl
- Invisible Monsters: The spirits can become Invisible to Normals.
- Ironic Echo:
- After Dean repels the spirit attacking Martin Flagg by firing a shotgun loaded with rock salt:
Marty: You are one hell of a PA.
Dean: I know.
- After Dean leaves Tara Benchley's trailer:
Tara: [in a robe with a satisfied smile] You're one hell of a PA.
Dean: Thank you.
- I Uh You Too: The love scene between Wendy and Mitch is a Shout-Out to the dialogue between Princess Leia and Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Wendy: I love you.
Mitch: I know.
- Jacob Marley Apparel: The ghosts in this episode seem to have hairstyles and are wearing clothes from the time period they died in. They are also still sporting the injuries which resulted in death, with Billy Beard's being particularly gruesome. The spirit of the man in an old fashion suit has a shredded left arm. The spirit of the woman in a long blue dress is covered in burns.
- Jump Scare: When Jay Wiley sees the exposed skull and deformed face of the man on the set, he screams and falls flat on his back.
- Just Following Orders: Gerard St. James does not accept responsibility for the trauma experienced by Tara, who believed she saw a ghost and a dead crew member.
Dean: Isn't that kind of cruel? Messing with their heads like that?
Gerard St. James: Hey, I just play the part. I don't write the script.
- Karmic Death: The villain dies by the power they unleashed, as in "Faith" (S01, E12).
- Kirk Summation: Sam delivers one.
Sam: Raising these spirits from the dead? Making them murder for you? That's playing with fire, Walter.
- Language of Magic: This is the first mention of Enochian, the language of angels, in Supernatural.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: More like violently shoving on the Fourth Wall.
- Life Imitates Art: An In-Universe example, where a ghostly image and dead body are staged, creating rumors of a haunted set which end up being true.
- Logging Onto The Fourth Wall: In the credits on the trailer for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning, a fake website is given: ww.hellhazers2.con.
- Loophole Abuse: Walter uses a clause in his contract to be on the set of the movie.
- Lucky Charms Title: The logo for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning has an upside down cross as part of the 'H' in "Hazers". There are also two red scratches that cross through the words "Hazers" and "Reckoning" which represent the "II" in the title.
- Made of Explodium: The light bulbs on the set start exploding when the ghosts chase Sam, Dean, and Marty into the cabin.
- Magical Incantation: Wendy recites a Latin incantation, and Sam says the script contains a summoning ritual in Enochian.
- Mark of the Supernatural: Elise Drummond's ghost has rope burns around her neck, is completely gray, and does not speak, but Brad Redding does not recognize her as a ghost and assumes she is an actor.
- Meaningful Release Date: In-Universe: The film poster for Hell Hazers says "in theaters somewhere on October 31st".
- The Merch: The producer (Jay Wiley), the director (McG), and the sound guy (Dave), are wearing Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning black baseball caps with red lettering. Dean has a black T-shirt with a similar movie logo that he wears under his green shirt. The set worker who is echoing directions is wearing both the hat and T-shirt.
- Mid Life Crisis Car: McG is seen getting out of his yellow Ferrari.
- Mistaken for Servant: The Network Executive, Brad Redding, mistakes Dean for a PA.
Uh, excuse me, Green Shirt Guy
? [Dean points to himself]
Yeah, you. Come here. [Dean walks over]
Can you get me a smoothie from crafty?
Dean: You want a what from who?
Brad: You are a PA? This is what you do?
Sam: [walking over to help Dean] Yeah, yeah...uh, one smoothie coming right up.
[They walk away]
Dean: What's a PA?
Sam: I think they're kind of like slaves.
[Sam gives Brad a thumbs-up]
Brad: They'll let anybody in this business, huh?
- Monochrome Apparition: The spirit of Elise Drummond, which is appropriate since she was a starlet from the '30s. This is lampshaded by Brad Redding, the network executive, who believes she is an actor in bodypaint.
Has McG seen this? I like the whole bodypaint, black-and-white thing. But, gee, I don't think those neck wounds are really gonna read on camera
. They need to be red
. You know what I'm saying? [calling to the other end of set]
Hey, Jay? I need to speak to make-up right away.
- Monochrome Casting: An In-Universe example: the cast of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning.
- Most Writers Are Male: An In-Universe example. The writers of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning are white men. This is also true for the director, producer, and network executive. The only women shown working on the movie are actors or nameless crew members.
- Motion Blur: When the spirit of Elise Drummond moves forward to tap Brad Redding on the shoulder, and after the other spirits appear or before they disappear.
- Motive Rant: Once Sam and Dean confront Walter.
Walter: Just...wait, look. You put your heart and soul into something, years of hard work. It's years, and then they take it! And they crap all over it! And then they want you to smile and say, "Thank you".
- The Movie Buff: Dean's a big fan of horror movies.
- Muse Abuse: Martin Flagg draws on the deaths of three of his colleagues and the Winchester's expertise to revise Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning.
- Necromancer: Walter Dixon.
- Network Executives: Parodied in the form of Brad Redding.
- Never Found the Body: Sam can't find a death certificate for Frank Jaffey, which they initially assume is because it's a stage name.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: McG's speech to the crew after Jay Wiley's death in the rotating fan blades recalls comments made by George Folsey Jr. and John Landis after the deaths on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie, where Vic Morrow and one of the child actors were decapitated by a helicopter rotor. McG's comment that what Jay and Brad wanted more than anything was to see Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning on screens all across America is similar to accounts of the speeches given by Folsey and Landis at Morrow's funeral. In addition, McG's instructions to the crew to go home, are reminiscent of Landis' announcement at the end of filming the fatal scene: "That's a wrap! Leave your equipment where it is. Everyone go home. Please, everyone go home." We also saw that in "Heart" (S02, E17), Dean introduced himself as Detective Landis.
- Noisy Nature/Stock Sound Effects: Owls twilling and hooting, crickets chirping, a bird's wings flapping, and a creaking porch swing, in the teaser.
- No OSHA Compliance: Billy Beard died in an accident involving a large fan on a movie set.
- Nostalgia Filter:
- While Gerard St. James acknowledges the importance of new media, his surroundings suggest an attachment to the past. He is playing "I've Got the World on a String" by Frank Sinatra when Sam and Dean knock on his door. He has framed Film Posters on his walls for what appear to be movies from The Golden Age of Hollywood. He has wood paneling and a retro-appearing clock and upholstery.
- Martin Flagg has old film equipment, framed Film Posters, and VHS tapes, in his office.
- Number of the Beast: The clapperboard used before the scene in the cabin where Wendy recites the incantation reads, "Roll 6, Scene 6, Take 6". It also informs us that it is an internal night shot, the director is McG and the director of photography is Serge L.
Clapper Loader: Six, six, six,...Mark.
- Office Golf: While they are shooting scenes, the producer Jay Wiley is practicing his golf swing.
- Oh, No... Not Again!: In the trailer, Mitch says, "We must have brought them back. Back from hell. Again."
- Ominous Latin Chanting
- One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Sam is confused when Dean starts responding to someone talking to him through his headset instead of commenting on the information Sam just gave Dean on the case.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Walter Dixon gets very annoyed when Martin Flagg and the rest of the production crew discuss using another item besides salt to repel ghosts.
Walter: These people are idiots.
Dean: Walter's a little testy for a PA, huh?
- Our Gargoyles Rock: A large winged gargoyle statue is behind Walter when the ghosts attack him.
- Parody Commercial: After the scene with the fan, the metal chomping sound is heard, and we expect a commercial. Instead the trailer for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning plays.
- Peek-A-Boo Corpse: Brad Redding's body crashes from the scaffolding into the cabin while they are filming and then dangles by the rope around his neck.
- Posthumous Collaboration: An In-Universe example from Martin Flagg.
- Pretty in Mink: Elise Drummond's mummified body is wearing a mink stole.
- Prima Donna Director: McG has some of these tendencies, especially when afraid he is losing control.
McG: Only I can say cut.
- Product Placement:
- After the director calls cut in the teaser, Walter hands Tara a Snapple. Walter gives Tara another Snapple when she is talking to Dean.
- The use of the phone to see the ghosts allows Sam to show off his Verizon Motorola Q8.
- Promoted Fanboy: An In-Universe example. Dean is a big fan of Tara Benchley, and is able to work as a PA on a movie she stars in.
Dean: Oh, I mean, I'm just a fan of her work. She's very good.
- Properly Paranoid: Subverted Trope. Frank the stage hand's thoughts about the movie being haunted are laughed at and Rick describes him as "definitely off his meds", but when he is found dead his fears appear justified. However, he was actually just an actor and his death was faked to create publicity for the movie.
- Prop Recycling: The set of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning has items seen in other recent Supernatural episodes.
- Quote Mine: Averted Trope with one of the quotes on the poster of Hell Hazers which says, "I didn't really get it, but the effects were cool." However, some of the other quotes on the poster like "Get ready for the ride of your life" may be subjected to this.
- Rain of Blood: Frank the stage hand's bleeding body is tangled in the wires of the scaffolding above the stage.
- Reaction Shot: The looks of horror on the faces of McG and the actors when Brad Redding's body crashes into the scene.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: An In-Universe example. Marty Flagg uses his experience of identifying ghosts with a camera on a cell phone in his script for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning.
- Reality Subtext: An In-Universe example. Dean thinks Tara's performance improves from "all the sense memory stuff she's drawing on" after finding Frank Jaffey's body and the hanging on set.
- Real Trailer, Fake Movie: The trailer for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning.
- Revenge of the Sequel: On the wall of Martin Flagg's office, we see a poster for the sequel to Monster Truck, Revenge of the Monster Truck, which is also labeled as being "from the makers of Hell-Hazers" and a "Martin Flagg film".
- Riding into the Sunset: Parodied Trope. At the end of the episode, Sam and Dean walk away silhouetted against a stunning sunset as Herb Alpert's "Green Peppers" plays. The sunset is then wheeled away and revealed to be a backdrop, with the real (probably) sunset behind it.
- Rousing Speech: McG rouses his crew by telling them they need to finish the movie as a tribute to their dead colleagues, but finishes a little weakly.
McG: But we all know what Jay and Brad wanted more than anything. And that was to see Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning on screens all across America! Now, we owe it to them to go on and to pull together and make this damn movie, huh? [cheers and applause from crowd] But not today. Go home. Someone will call you.
- Running Gag: When Sam asks Dean how things are going, Dean replies with observations about the set of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning. Sam then says he means the case, not the movie.
- Rustproof Blood: The blood splattered on the white screen by the large fan.
- See-Thru Specs: The cell phone camera serves this purpose.
- Scare Chord: The screech of the violin when Brody grabs Wendy's shoulder in the teaser.
- Screaming Woman: Double Subverted. Tara has difficulty with her scream during the scene, but has no problem when she finds the body. Later, the actor playing Kendra has no trouble screaming when Brad Redding's dead body crashes through the roof of the cabin.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Jay Wiley and Martin Flagg when they see the spirit of Billy Beard.
- Screen Shake: Parodied Trope. Used in Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning to signify the arrival of the ghosts as the actors sway from side to side and McG the director shouts, "Rumble, rumble, rumble!" When Walter summons all of the ghosts, it occurs again in a more realistic manner.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Brody takes off in the teaser leaving Wendy alone to find her sister.
- Seamless Spontaneous Lie: Dean steals a call sheet from a crew member walking by, and uses this as an excuse to talk to Tara Benchley. He pretends to be new on the job and uncertain of what he is doing while turning on the Winchester charm.
- Security Cling: Wendy hugs Mitch letting out terrified sobs, after she enters the cabin and realizes he is still alive.
- Sexy Coat Flashing: The spirit of Elise Drummond drops her robe and then gestures for Brad Redding to follow her.
- She's Got Legs: When the naked ghost of Elise Drummond walks up the steps to the scaffolding, the camera zooms in on her legs and bare feet.
Dean: Sammy, check it out, it's Matt Damon!
Sam: Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's not Matt Damon.
Dean: No, it is.
Well, Matt Damon
just picked up a broom and started sweeping.
Dean: Yeah, well, he's probably researching a role or something.
- "Hell Hazers", the name of the series of Show Within a Show movies, is a reference to both Hellblazer and Hellraiser, and the concept sketches of the monster look like Ghost Rider with a flaming chainsaw.
- Dean's description of L.A. references the theme song for The Beverly Hillbillies: "So they loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly...Hills, that is. Swimming pools. Movie stars."
Sam: Dude, you wanted to come to L.A.
Dean: Yeah, for a vacation. I mean, swimming pools and movie stars, not to work.
- Dean is a fan of Tara Benchley's work in FeardotCom, Ghost Ship, and Boogeyman. Neither an actor named Tara Benchley or the actor Elizabeth Whitmere, who portrays Tara, were in these films in Real Life.
Dean: Whoa, whoa, Tara Benchley? From FeardotCom and Ghost Ship, Tara Benchley? Dude, why didn't you say so?
Dean: I knew I recognized you. I am a huge fan. I mean, your turn as a tractor crash victim in Critters 3?
- Gerard St. James compares the on-line popularity of his Frank Jaffey character to lonelygirl15.
- Gerard St. James tells Sam and Dean he is playing Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. He also gives them a pamphlet for the performance which includes a coupon for a free pepper steak. In the "Mayored To The Mob" (S10, E09) episode of The Simpsons, Mark Hamill performs a Star Wars-themed dinner theater version of Guys and Dolls, and a sign at the entrance to the theater reads, "Mark Hamill is Nathan Detroit, Peppered Steak is the Entree".
- Dean asks Gerard St. James what it was like to work with Richard Moll.
Hey, I wanted to ask you...what was it like working with Richard Moll? [to a confused Sam] Metalstorm.
He was Hurok, King of the Cyclops people.
Gerard St. James: Gentlemen's gentleman.
- Dean wants to check out the grave for Johnny Ramone while they are in Hollywood Forever Cemetery. In actuality, Johnny Ramone was cremated, and instead of a grave there is a cenotaph.
Dean: This map
is totally worth the five bucks! Hey, we've gotta go check out Johnny Ramone's grave when we're done here.
Sam: You wanna dig him up, too?
Dean: Bite your tongue, heathen!
- When they reach Elise Drummond's grave, Dean drops his shovel and says "Yahtzee."
- When the lights go out on the set, Jay Wiley says, "Producer walking here, hello!"
- Dean quotes Die Hard with a fairly good Bruce Willis impression, "Come out to the coast. We'll get together, have a few laughs!"
- The Show Goes Hollywood
- Shown Their Work: Walter's original script. Although Martin Flagg also feels attention to detail is his thing.
Marty Flagg: Dude, right on, that's my thing. Color me guilty, but that is me. I'm a total detail buff.
- Show Within a Show:
- Obviously, Hell Hazers and Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning.
- One of the Film Posters on Gerard St. James' wall is for Hollywood Polka Party. We see the edge of another poster for this movie hanging in Marty's office to the right of the poster for Revenge of the Monster Truck.
- The movie trailer bills Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning as being from the producers of Cornfield Massacre and Monster Truck. We later see a poster for Revenge of the Monster Truck.
- Marty Flagg also has a poster for Carnivore Carnival.
- Shrine to Self: Gerard St. James has framed photos of himself in various roles on the wall of his home. These include pictures of him as: a Sad Clown; a gentleman with a pipe; a pirate; a surgeon; a Hardboiled Detective; and a cowboy.
- Similarly Named Works: The title of this episode is a Shout-Out to Kenneth Anger's sordid and inaccurate book.
- Skepticism Failure: For Marty Flagg.
Marty Flagg: Who gives a rat's ass about "real"? We're talking about ghosts here, Walter. There's no such thing.
Walter Dixon: [holding up a talisman] That's where you're wrong, Martin.
- Slashers Prefer Blondes: The Concept Art for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning shows a screaming young blonde woman in a purple tank top, daisy dukes, and knee high athletic striped top socks, cowering in front of the monster. Later a similarly attired Kendra with long curly blonde hair is seen in the scenes in the cabin. Kendra wears a beige coat, blue tank top, and mini shorts.
- Special Edition Title: This episode does not include The Road So Far, and instead opens with the teaser.
- Spooky Photographs: Spirit photography. Elise Drummonds appears in the dailies of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning. The Urban Legend involving the image of a boy who had been killed in the house where the Three Men And A Baby was filmed showing up in a scene is also discussed. The spirits also appear on the cell phone camera, which is worked into the script for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning.
- Status Cell Phone: Brad Redding wears a Bluetooth headset and leaves the set to take a call. The headset falls to the ground after he is hanged.
- Straw Critic: Even though Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning is endowed with its fair share of Stylistic Suck, the critiques of Brad Redding, the network executive, appear absurd.
- Stock Footage: The trailer for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning has scenes we saw shot in this episode and scenes from other Supernatural episodes.
- Stuff Blowing Up: In the movie trailer for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning, a fireball explodes across the scream after each of the following movies is announced: Charlie's Angels, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, and Hell Hazers. The same fireball appears when the logo for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning appears in the trailer.
- Stylistic Suck: Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning. Not to mention the Bad Bad Acting.
- Swiss Cheese Security: Sam and Dean can leave a studio tour and just walk on to the set of a shooting movie. They have no problems getting back in to the studio and stage 9 later.
- Summoning Artifact: The talisman is a wheel cross formed by a metal ring with leather straps attaching the cross and hanging from a leather braid. The actual cross appears to made of the bones of a small animal, including what appear to be the bones of a rabbit's foot, but if these are bones they smash rather easily when Walter throws the talisman.
- Summoning Ritual: Sam is surprised to find real necromancy summoning spells are being used by the actors. Walter Dixon uses these spells to control the dead.
- Super Senses: The network executive has trouble understanding why the ghosts would be able to hear the chanting, and so an "explainer" is thrown in to the script saying that the ghosts have super-hearing.
Brad Redding: See, but if the ghosts are in hell, how do they hear the chanting? I mean, what, do they have super-hearing? It's a logic bump. The rules don't track.
- In the trailer for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning there is "They never forgive. They never forget. And this summer, they're coming back again to settle the score...again."
- On the poster for Revenge of Monster Truck, we read, "This bad boy doesn't stop for pedestrians."
- Take That, Critics!: Eric Kripke has said that the criticisms and notes given by Brad Redding about Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning were based on similar input he had from Network Executives about Supernatural. Brad suggested the dailies should be brighter with more color and said the "rules aren't really landing for" him because the ghosts in hell being able to hear the kids chanting is a "logic bump".
- Texting: Marty Flagg, the writer, is texting on the set while Brad and McG discuss the scene.
- Themed Aliases: Averted Trope. Everyone on the set of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning is so self-absorbed they are content with categorizing Dean as a PA, and we never see anyone address him as anything else. Gerard St. James is so won over by Dean's knowledge of his filmography he does not ask Sam and Dean who they are before inviting them into his home.
- There's No "B" in Movie: Dean is portrayed as a fan of low budget horror films.
- This Is My Chair: The director's chairs on the movie set have labels including: Martin Flagg, Rick Craig; James Boone; Script; Serge L., McG, and Guest.
- Three-Wall Set: Lampshaded when Sam, Dean, and Marty, seek shelter in the cabin on the set, only to realize there is No Fourth Wall.
- Time Travel: Marty Flagg is not upset about the production being shut down after the deaths because it gives him a chance to pitch his story on time travel.
Marty Flagg: Yeah. It's cool, though. Gives me time to pitch that time-travel thing.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: Reading incantations from a book in Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning brings the dead back from hell.
When we read from that book, we must have brought them back. Back from hell
- Toplessness from the Back: The ghost of Elise Drummond after she drops her robe.
- Trophy Room: Martin Flagg has awards and tall glass pyramidal trophies behind his desk.
- Troubled Production: An In-Universe example, with Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning having to close down temporarily after two deaths on the set.
- Tara Benchley's last name is likely a Shout-Out to Peter Benchley, the author of the novel Jaws.
- Ashley is the name of one of the characters in Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning. The Evil Dead also has a character named Ashley or Ash J. Williams, played by Bruce Campbell.
- The directory of photography on the clapper board is listed as Serge L, and in the credits in the promo for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning, the directory of photography is listed as Serge Ladouceur. In Real Life, Serge Ladouceur has been the director of photography of all episodes of Supernatural except the pilot.
- McG tells Tara that when Ivan and the FX guys are done with the CGI monster it "is going to look terrifying". Ivan Hayden is the visual effects supervisor for Supernatural.
- The name of the starlet who hanged herself on Stage 9 was Elise Drummond, which may be a Shout-Out to Alice Drummond, who played Nurse Jackson in Dark Shadows and Alice, the librarian scared by a ghost in the opening scene of Ghostbusters.
- Dean refers to the person he is talking to on the two-way radio as Ozzy, which may be a Shout-Out to Ozzy Osbourne.
- In the credits on the trailer for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning, it says "Casting by Robert Ulrich." Robert Ulrich is the Casting Director for Supernatural.
- The trailer credits then list "Production Designer Jerry Wanek". Jerry Wanek is the Production Designer for Supernatural. The name Jerry Wanek was previously seen, first as Dean's alias on his US Department of Homeland Security ID in "Phantom Traveler" (S01, E04), and then later in "Skin" (S01, E06), when Sam is checking his cell phone, he received a text message from Jerry Wanek.
- Later in the credits on the trailer for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning, it says "Music by Jay Gruska." Jay Gruska is a composer for Supernatural.
- The Editor in the Trailer is listed as Rauol X. Fernandez. This is likely a Shout-Out to Rauol, the "Big Gay Supernatural Dragon" at Television Without Pity. Although, Rauol seems to have been too distracted by the gore to note the tribute.
- Urban Legend:
Dean: No, no. Like the movie Poltergeist. [Sam shrugs] You know nothing of your cultural heritage, do you? It was rumored that the set of Poltergeist was cursed. That they used real human bones as props. And, like, at least three of the actors died in it.
- Frank Jaffe's apparent death and the hanging on set may have been inspired by the supposed "munchkin suicide" in The Wizard of Oz.
- Dean later brings up the now debunked rumor that a boy who was killed in the house where they were shooting Three Men And A Baby can be seen in a scene holding a gun in a window. The image is actually a cut out figure of Ted Danson, and it is suggested that the studios encouraged the rumors about the ghostly image to increase video rentals.
- Utility Belt: Dean's tool-belt includes the following items: roll of tape, marker, bottle of water, and two-way radio.
- Vancouver Doubling: This episode is shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, with North Shore Studios standing in for Warner Bros. Studio. This is lampshaded, when Sam says the following in response to Dean's enthusiasm about being in LA:
Sam: This seem like swimming pool weather to you, Dean? I mean, it's practically Canadian.
- Vice City: According to the news article Sam found, Elise Drummond's sister, a house wife in Vermont, blamed the lifestyle in Hollywood for Elise's death.
- Viewers Are Morons: An In-Universe Example. The network executive Brad Redding is concerned the audience will not understand how the ghosts in Hell could hear the chanting. Marty agrees to add in an "explainer", and the next time the scene is filmed the following additional dialogue has been inserted.
They must have super-hearing!
- Villain Team-Up: Sam and Dean are confused to find two ghosts seeming to work together in taking vengeance on those who were working on Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning.
Dean: Yeah, but these things don't usually tag-team.
- The Voiceless: The spirits of those who died on the set never utter a word, communicating only with gestures.
- Walk and Talk: Sam and Dean walking from the trolley to Stage 9 in the Warner Bros. Studio.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Tara and Marty majorly lampshade the use of salt to repel ghosts in Supernatural. The crew starts spit-balling other items which may be more likely to repel ghosts including shotguns and other condiments such as paprica or a spicy picante.
Tara Benchley: I just can't wrap my head around the dialogue, you know? Salt? Doesn't that sound silly? I mean, why would a ghost be afraid of salt?
McG: Okay, um...Marty?
McG: What do you think?
Marty: Not married to salt, what do you want? We still sticking with condiments?
- White-Dwarf Starlet: Sam says Elise Drummond was fired after the studio exec "uses her up". Although she is still quite attractive, she was considered to be too old to act in film. According to the dates on her tombstone, she would have been 31 years old when when she died.
- White Shirt of Death: The growing blood stains show up well on Walter's shirt.
- Who Writes This Crap?!:
Dean: I loved you in Boogeyman.
- Martin Flagg's criticisms of Walter Dixon's original script could also apply to some parts of Supernatural.
Marty Flagg: What, you mean that Latin crap? No, man, that's Walter. Walter Dixon, the original writer. You like that garbage?
- The World Is Not Ready: The Winchesters are concerned about revealing necromancy rituals to the masses.
Sam: [reading Walter's original script] Yeah. And it reads like a how-to manual of conjuration, like a textbook on how to summon ghosts and get them to do whatever you want.
- Worst Aid: Instead of cutting the rope while supporting the body and performing basic first aid, such as c-spine stabilization or attempting CPR, the actors on the scene flee from Brad Redding as he strangles to death. Given that he fell from a height, he may still have died from a high cervical fracture, but it was worth a try.
- Write What You Know: Ben Edlund, the creator of The Tick and the writer of this episode, had previously worked on Angel and Point Pleasant. He used his knowledge of parody and the horror genre to write this episode.
- Write Who You Know: The director of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning is named McG, which also is the name of one of the executive producers of Supernatural. Real Life McG is a director and producer who started out in music videos and gained prominence after directing the film Charlie's Angels. The McG character directing Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning is an unctuous jerkass who hits on his lead female actor and seems to be Only in It for the Money. However, he is also described as a "master" and a "genius". The portrayal seems to waver between Affectionate Parody and Adam Westing. The movie trailer bills Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning as being from the director of Charlie's Angels, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, and Hell Hazers.
- Writers Suck: Walter Dixon is the Butt Monkey who was pushed too far.
- Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: In-Universe: Marty Flagg has no problem making revisions to the script based on suggestions from executives or actors, but the same can not be said for Walter Dixon.
- The X of Y: The title of Walter's original script was Lord of the Dead which is written in a dripping font that rises from a grave.
- Your Cheating Heart: When Brad Redding is typing on his cell phone, the camera zooms in to show his wedding ring. When the ghost of Elise Drummond drops her robe and gestures for him to follow her, Brad says, "Wait up" with a lecherous smile.