Movie Magic: 22 Card Names That Are Film Titles

Most Magic cards have names that reference places or people within the Multiverse. Those that don't, however, sometimes evoke something from the real world. And at times that happens to coincide, whether on purpose or not, with the title of a famous motion picture. Meet a few examples of this kind of movie magic!


movie posters

In Order of Their Silver Screen Premiere …

Blackmail (1929)


blackmail blackmail

Alfred Hitchcock's first talkie was also an Onslaught card about the nefarious Cabal's criminal practices.

Vertigo (1958)


vertigo vertigo

Hitchcock has had a more direct homage in Ice Age, as proven by the fact that Drew Tucker's art for this card is the explicit reproduction of a key scene from the incomparable mystery with James Stewart and Kim Novak.

Carnival of Souls (1962)


carnival of souls carnival of souls

This off-kilter indie classic shares its name with a card from Urza's Destiny.

Death Wish (1974)


death wish death wish

The title of the seminal vigilante movie with Charles Bronson popped up in Judgment.

Heaven's Gate (1980)


heaven's gate heaven's gate

Michael Cimino's notorious career ender was a similarly poorly received card from Legends.

Raging Bull (1980)


raging bull raging bull

This entirely insignificant vanilla beater from Legends bears, quite comically, the same name of Martin Scorsese's major masterwork.

Body Double (1984)


body double body double

This card from Planar Chaos, mostly known as a combo piece, is a doppelgänger in name of Brian De Palma's risqué thriller.

Flesh and Blood (1985)


flesh blood flesh blood

The title of Paul Verhoeven's violent medieval drama is sometimes spelled with a "+" in place of the "and"—much in the same way its namesake from Dragon's Maze is only known as "Flesh and Blood" due to the conventional way to parse the names of split cards from that era.

No Way Out (1987)


no way out no way out

This tense political drama with Kevin Costner and Gene Hackman was only recently matched with a Magic card of the same name from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt.

Dead Ringers (1988)


dead ringers dead ringers

David Cronenberg's disturbing medical horror has its own dead ringer in Apocalypse.

Field of Dreams (1989)


field of dreams field of dreams

Kevin Costner again, this time dealing with a ghostly baseball fantasy. Legends was on the ball.

The Abyss (1989)


the abyss the abyss

A card from Legends once again made for a possibly unwilling movie reference. To be fair, The Abyss is suggestive of many different ideas, not just the ocean depths of James Cameron's sci-fi adventure.

No Escape (1994)


no escape no escape

The Owen Wilson thriller from 2015 may be slightly more relevant than the Ray Liotta actioner from 1994. Both are unwittingly represented by a card from War of the Spark.

Sudden Death (1995)


sudden death sudden death

By the way, we have already crossed the temporal line of the creation of Magic, which means that cards can predate films. It's not the case for Van Damme's action flick, though, as Sudden Death was first printed eleven years later in Time Spiral.

Armageddon (1998)


armageddon armageddon

Michael Bay's epitome of silly disaster movies is just named after the same "end times" Biblical concept as the iconic sweeper from Limited Edition Alpha. But it's still a funny coincidence.

Ghost Ship (2002)


ghost ship ghost ship

The most important film with a title that roughly corresponds to the name of the blue creature from The Dark is 1943's The Ghost Ship, from the stable of legendary RKO producer Val Lewton. Among those that instead are an exact match, this 2002 deep sea haunting is actually not as bad as they say, but it came out eight years after the card.

Ghost Town (2008)


ghost town ghost town

Another case of prescient reference. Ghost Town from Tempest was released in 1997; the comedy with Ricky Gervais seeing ghosts hit the screens more than a decade later.

Oculus (2013)


oculus oculus

And again: Mike Flanagan's specular horror was two years away when Oculus was printed in Mirrodin Besieged.

Need for Speed (2014)


need for speed need for speed

This is a bit of a trick. The film with Aaron Paul came out in 2014, but the racing video game franchise of which it is a part had its first installment in 1994, seven years before being alluded to in Odyssey.

Inside Out (2015)


inside out inside out

2008's Eventide is certainly not Magic's oldest set, but it was still seven years ahead of the award-winning Pixar film of the same name.

Silence (2016)


silence silence

Martin Scorsese has got another card in his filmography thanks to Magic 2010 predicting the title of his historical epic about two Jesuit priests in seventeenth-century Japan.

Leave No Trace (2018)


leave no trace leave no trace

The survival drama that launched the career of Thomasin McKenzie was already a Magic card at the time of its release, due to Ravnica: City of Guilds.

Close but No Cigar

Unfortunately, Phantom Carriage doesn't perfectly translate the title of the Swedish silent masterpiece The Phantom Carriage; Mortal Combat has a tamer spelling than Mortal Kombat; Sixth Sense is not 100% the same as The Sixth Sense; and Into the Wilds adds an extra letter to Into the Wild. On the other hand, Tome Raider is most definitely a tongue-in-cheek pun/reference to the video game series, whose only film adaptation simply called Tomb Raider is the 2018 reboot with Alicia Vikander.


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6 Comments

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Lobo85(16.06.2022 18:00)

Dawn of the Dead anyone?

TobiHenke(17.06.2022 06:08)

O_o That is a good one!

Brancks(16.06.2022 09:25)(Edited: 16.06.2022 09:26)

Hi

You forgot a crucial card: No Mercy.

. 1986, Richard Pearce, 'No Mercy'
. 2010, Hyeong-Joon Kim, original title 'Yongseoneun eupda', international translation 'No Mercy'
. 2019, Kyeong-Taek Lim, original title 'Eonni', international translation 'No Mercy'

Three in one!

Regards!

randmann2(16.06.2022 06:07)

Very cool article. Learned a lot about movie history.

sandrag35(16.06.2022 01:05)

What about Fast Furious from MH2 ?! They obviously did it on purpose.

Gilbert1131(16.06.2022 00:58)

Walking dead (legends) could be here

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