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Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” is a Sci-Fi Nerd’s Nightmare Dressed As a Daydream

Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” is a Sci-Fi Nerd’s Nightmare Dressed As a Daydream

Last Sunday, Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video premiered to much fanfare. As is usually the case with Taylor Swift, I pretended not to care, but was quickly swept in after seeing a series of intriguing gifs littering my tumblr dashboard. Since then, I’ve watched the video more times than I can count on both hands and have been listening to the song on repeat for the past few days.

The thing that interests me most about this video is the plethora of celebrity cameos and film references it makes through out. In total, the video references somewhere near 20 different movies. Mostly alluding to action and sci-fi, the video has scenes reminiscent of everything from James Bond to The Hunger Games. Below I’ve listed some of my favorite and most prevalent references.

And if you haven’t seen the music video yet, I suggest watching it now…

1. The Matrix (Reloaded)

The first 45 seconds of this music video are clearly inspired by the opening scene of The Wachowski’s sequel, The Matrix Reloaded. In this scene, Trinity crashes through a window and plummets out of a skyscraper in slow-motion, a parked car breaking her fall.

2. The Fifth Element

In the following scene, Swift is dropped onto a table, wearing an outfit very reminiscent of Leeloo’s thermal bandages in the 90’s classic, The Fifth Element.


Paramore’s Hayley Williams also wears a very Leeloo-esque outfit. Her red hair makes the allusion even more obvious.

3. Tron

Later on in the video, Swift gets into a motorcycle race with Jessica Alba. The bikes looks VERY similar to the light cycles made famous in Tron. (Also, as I will later point out, this music video has some serious Sin City vibes. The addition of Alba really brings this home for me.)


4. Sucker Punch

In my opinion, this entire music video is inspired by Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch. The film is about a group of young girls locked away in an insane asylum who enter an alternate reality and fight a battle to escape their fate. Though the theme of “Bad Blood” is revenge on someone who has wronged you, these girls too have entered an alternate reality to achieve their goal.


5. Sin City

Before the release of the video, a series of character posters were released. These posters are heavily reminiscent of the character posters that were released for both Sin City and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Additionally, the opening shot with Swift lying on an old-fashioned car with the words “BAD BLOOD” appearing in crimson red letters seem to be an ode to Frank Miller as well.


Like I said, there are a multitude of films alluded to in this four minute video. This article only scratched the surface.

What other references did you catch while watching? Let us know in the comments below!

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