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Nightmare Fuel / Back to the Future Part II

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WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.

  • "Hell Valley," the Hill Valley of 1985-A. In the space of a few minutes, we go from a colorful Zeerusty vision of the future to an utter Crapsack World where Hill Valley, and presumably all of America, has become a Wretched Hive out of Mad Max or Escape from New York. The first signs that something's not right with 1985 when Marty and Doc arrive is that Lyon Estates, Marty's neighborhood, looks horribly run-down, with trash lining the streets, holes in roofs, iron bars on windows, packs of wild dogs roaming the streets, and the like. A wrecked police car serves as a warning that, in Hell Valley, the police are about as effective at their jobs as toilet paper. To say nothing of Marty getting into his bedroom via the window, only to discover a completely different family lives there and for the overprotective father of the kid whose sleep he disturbed to unsuccessfully attack him with a baseball bat; he manages to escape unharmed.
    Marty: I don't get it, Doc. I mean, how can all this be happening? It's like we're in Hell or something.
    Doc: No, it's Hill Valley. Although I can't imagine Hell being much worse!
    • Consider the bedroom scene at Marty's (former) house from the perspective of the father for a moment. For him, it was more than just some random kid winding up in his daughter's room. He yells after a fleeing Marty to tell the realty company that "I ain't sellin'!" He thought a vindictive realtor had sent Marty to attack his children at night to get them to sell their house!
    • Marty jogging through the night-darkened and empty streets as Alan Silvestri's tense and suspicious score illustrates something is VERY wrong. Then he hears the distant sounds of gunfire and a woman's terrified scream. The Chalk Outline of two victims with bloodstains that look very fresh cinches the moment.
    • Doc mentions they can't fix the timeline by returning to 2015 because it'd be the 2015 of that altered timeline, where Biff always had the almanac. The Nightmare Fuel comes into play when the viewer starts to imagine what kind of future would be the logical conclusion of 1985-A, even if Biff died early at Lorraine's hands as is implied. Even with Biff gone, there's no reversing the damage he's done to the US or its political and diplomatic standing, and it's possible all that awaits in 2015-A is an irradiated wasteland...
    • Doc and Marty left Jennifer unconscious and outside, on the porch of a house that may not be her family's in 1985-A.
  • The scene where 1985-A Strickland threatens Marty with a shotgun may be Played for Laughs, but is still quite unnerving given that Strickland, while iron-fisted, would never do anything to harm his students in the original timeline. Yet here he's threatening to shoot Marty between the legs when he mistakes him for a thief. Marty is pleading with his would-be principal to spare him and to explain what's happening.
    • This moment, however, has nothing on the two being ambushed by a car full of thugs emptying their guns upon 1985-A Strickland's house, very nearly killing them both before resuming their rampage.
  • 1985-A Biff is even more monstrous than his 1955 self. He single-handedly created Hell Valley and didn't care he made countless people suffer. Plus, he was more than willing to murder 1985-A George just to get 1985-A Lorraine.
    • The Fridge Horror concerning his marriage to 1985-A Lorraine. Remember when George saved Lorraine from Attempted Rape in 1955? Well, nobody was there to save her from being constantly raped by Biff, and you count the other horrible stuff he might have done to her that resulted in her being a Broken Bird. One also has to wonder what kind of mental state 1985-A Marty might have, having grown up under 1985-A Biff.
      • Biff to the Future #4 answers this question re: 1985-A Marty's mental state: He hated 1985-A Biff very much, missed his dad very much, and was very angry at his mom for having married 1985-A Biff. And the same applies to his brother and sister as well.
    • 1985-A Lorraine tells Marty, who is spouting what she thinks is nonsense, "They must've hit you over the head hard this time." Oh, dear...
  • 1985-A Biff threatens 1985-A Lorraine after she declares she's leaving him after he punches Marty in the stomach. 1985-A Dave will get his probation revoked, 1985-A Linda will have to handle her debts on her own, and as for Marty... well, 1985-A Marty was sent to a Swiss boarding school, and he'd been kicked out of schools before. What did he do? Keeping in mind that he never could handle being called "chicken"...
    • Biff to the Future #4 shows 1985-A Lorraine originally sent 1985-A Marty and Linda to boarding schools to keep them safe from Biff. Unfortunately, this likely alienated 1985-A Marty from his mother as he didn't understand why she did so.
  • Then there's 1985-A Doc, who was committed. Why? Could it have had something to do with talking about impossible phenomena such as Time Travel and alternate histories?
    • It's much, much, MUCH worse in the comic book. Upon finding the newspaper headline, Doc goes to the asylum and finds his 1985-A double. 1985-A Doc has been lobotomized, and it's not pretty. After this, it becomes MUCH easier to see why Doc wants to destroy the time machine.
      • And then you have the Biff to the Future miniseries: 1985-A Doc invented a time machine to try and undo 1985-A Biff's rise to power. He fails, and Biff has him committed (but not lobotomized, oddly enough).
    • Speaking of the newspaper (printed in 1984) mentioning 1985-A Doc being committed, another reads "(President) Nixon...vows to end Vietnam War by 1985". In other words, that war has been going on for another decade. Over a million Vietnamese and 60,000 Americans died in the correct timeline; how many of them have perished by 1985-A?
    • It also implies the 22nd amendment has been circumvented or annulled, as Nixon otherwise would not still be in office by 1984. Did Watergate play out differently in this timeline?
      • According to Biff to the Future, Biff ended up unwittingly squashing the Watergate investigation before it even began.
  • A Deleted Scene shows 2015 Biff's fate after he changes the past: He gets completely erased from existence almost immediately after he returns to 2015 since he no longer exists in 2015 as he was shot by Lorraine in the 90s. Even though Biff was a complete Jerkass throughout his life, not even he deserves to suffer from this fate.
    • Just the way he slumps over in pain, clutching his chest and struggling to breathe like he's having a heart attack.
  • Word of God states one of the sidebar headlines in USA Today, "Thumb Bandits Strike Again", is based on the idea that if people in 2015 pay for things with their thumbprints, there would be criminals who cut off and steal people's thumbs in order to empty their bank accounts. Now consider that smartphones since around 2013 have used fingerprint readers for authentication, and said fingerprint scans can be also used to authenticate contact-less payment applications like Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay.
    • As discussed on the main page, the Real Life companies that use fingerprint scans have developed an Obvious Rule Patch to avert this very possibility; the scans won't work unless the fingers used are still attached to living people. Therefore, no one is going to go around chopping off people's fingers to steal their identities.
  • A small moment, but at the beginning of the film, Doc has to use a device to knock out Jennifer so she doesn't continue asking about her and Marty's future. While he did it so she'll think the experience was all a dream, imagine someone else with less than well meaning intentions getting their hands on that kind of device.