Mallrats Magic Eye Poster Was Not a Sailboat


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I am a shameless fan of Kevin Smith and while some of his more recent efforts have been less than spectacular, his Askewniverse Jersey films just speak to me. I just love them.

Of course next to the original Clerks, Mallrats was an amazing film. There is a repeated scene that we keep coming back to in the film which shows Ethan Suplee’s character Willam struggling to see the hidden image in “Magic Eye” stereographic image posters – which were insanely popular at the time.

Willam becomes increasingly agitated as people walk up to the poster and sharing how they see the hidden sailboat in seconds, which of course he cannot see.

See the clip where he’s trying to see the sailboat here. (Sorry guys, they’ve disabled embedding for this clip for some strange reason!)

Well it turns out it wasn’t a sailboat at all! The Magic Eye image used in the film actually reveals some simple geometic shapes but for one reason or another they decided to say the hidden image was a sailboat.

By reverse engineering the visual trick that makes these Magic Eye posters work, a clever Youtuber named SlightlyMentholated uses a screen capture from the film and Photoshop to reveal the hidden picture.

Of course, if you are good at focusing “beyond the image” and seeing these Magic Eye posters, you can see the image for yourself!!

Did you see it?





10 Responses to Mallrats Magic Eye Poster Was Not a Sailboat

  1. See, this is the kind of research we need to be doing more of. Thank you for this public service.
    "A schooner *is* a sailboat, stupid head."

  2. Definitely not a sailboat. Although I had a hard time seeing it because I'm not used to looking at a Magic Eye that is that small.

    When I was in college, I wrote a simple computer program that created ASCII pictures that used the "Magic Eye" concept. Of course, mine were pretty basic (essentially, if you could see it, you saw a background and a foreground, I didn't/don't know how to do levels of depth). My favorite that I did was the TOS Star Trek insignia. Unfortunately, sometime between college and when I got my own computer, the floppy disc with the program got corrupted, so I no longer have it, and I lost most of my programming skills, so I don't know how to recreate it.

  3. I can see it, but yeah, it's pretty boring. Just a series of shapes: plus, circle, diamond, star, etc.

    Still, Willam's line to the little kid ("You dumb bastard.") always cracks me up and I use it in normal conversation all the time.