Lorenzo Zoil Joke Explained (And other Paul Easter Eggs)

UPDATE 1/30/2013: I’m so thrilled with all of the response I have gotten from this article. Thanks to everyone that has wrote in and submitted Easter eggs they have spotted in the film! Keep them coming! I have added all of the eggs submitted thus far at the end of this article.

UPDATE 1/6/2013: Since this article was posted in 2011 it has become the most popular article on MovieGuys.org (Ever!). I would like to thank everyone for writing in and leaving opinions and other Paul easter eggs in the comments. Thanks to everyone for stopping by and sharing the eggs that you spotted. Be sure to check out some of our other articles, leave a comment, or send us an email before you leave (we are always on the lookout for talented guest writers. Hint hint…).

UPDATE (6/21/2011)

Several people have sent in emails regarding the “Lorenzo Zoil” easter egg, so I dug just a little bit more and was able to find some more info. Apparently Nick Frost is to blame, and admits that it isn’t really relevant, just a play on words. I am unable to verify the following quote, but as far as I can tell it is an excerpt from an interview that Pegg and Frost did with SyFy:

Frost can take credit for one of the film’s oddest jokes. The name of the agent chasing the trio is Lorenzo Zoil (Jason Bateman). Put the names together, and it sounds like “Lorenzo’s Oil,” which is also the title of a movie about the parents who developed a cure for their son’s rare disease.

“That was one of mine,” Frost said. “It’s just one of those things that I kind of like doing, that thing that you take one letter from the surname and add it to the forename and it becomes something completely different. It’s possible someone could be called Lorenzo Zoil.”

Now, onto the original article:

So yesterday I watched Paul, which was hilarious! I don’t have the time, or the skill to give it a proper review today, but there is one thing that I feel needs cleared up.

For those of you who watched Paul, I am sure that you are aware that it was packed with Easter Eggs, and references to other films. Star Wars, Back to the Future, and E.T. just to name a few. Some eggs were very obvious, some were hidden, and some were just shoved down your throat, and I for one felt like an idiot when I didn’t “get” one.

Basically towards the end of the film one of the agents introduces himself. His name is “Zoil, Lorenzo Zoil.” This was one of these eggs that was just shoved at you. I could tell by the way it was played that it was an egg, but had no clue what it was. I felt kind of retarded sitting in a crowded theater full of people that probably “got it” and I was clueless.

Luckily MovieGuy Josh came to the rescue, and I was relieved when he asked me, “Who in the hell is Lorenzo Zoil?” Whew, I’m not alone. So I put him to work on the ride home Googling away until we found a solution.

Josh was able to stumble across an amazing post that explained the whole thing, along with several other eggs. Rafe Telsch from WideScreenWarrior.com explains:

Agent Zoil: I’ll admit, this one was far too forced. When Agent Zoil is formally introduced to Graeme and Clive, he reveals his first name: Lorenzo. That makes his full name Lorenzo Zoil, a nod to Lorenzo’s Oil, a 1992 picture that has nothing to do with science-fiction. I’m sure there’s a reason Pegg and Frost put the reference in the movie, but it definitely feels out of place.

Oh, so that’s what it is referencing… Sadly that just raises more questions. What does Lorenzo’s Oil a 1992 DRAMA (this explains why I didn’t get the reference), have to do with an alien / sci-fi nerd comedy?

So why the reference to a cheesy 1990′s drama? Perhaps Nick Frost and Simon Pegg really are a little “funny.” I am really at a loss on this one, but if anyone has any theories sound-off in the comments.

Easter Egg source: WideScreenWarrior.com

Paul Sci-Fi References and Easter Eggs

Below is a list of eggs that have been submitted by our awesome commentors here at MovieGuys. This has been one of the most fun posts I have ever written. Thanks again to all that have left a comment and keep them coming!

  • Real-life reference: When Paul is driving the RV, he crashes into a metal windmill. It is an exact match to the metal windmill that was supposedly destroyed in a UFO crash in Aurora, Texas in 1897. (submitted by Flip)
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind: In the fireworks store, they buy a large firework that is called “The Five Tones.” The 5 tones are the core tones from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. (submitted by Butch)
  • Another Close Encounters of the Third Kind Reference: Anyone catch the business names Gerties and Roys, both names of characters in Close Encounters. (submitted by Bob)
  • Yet Another Close Encounters of the Third Kind Reference: The mountain where Paul sets off the fire works to call his ship is the same mountain in the Spielberg movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. (submitted by greenbean)
  • Charles Darwin’s Ship: On the RV the name Beagle is the name of the ship Darwin used. (submitted by Bob)
  • Possible War of the Worlds Egg: The light in the fathers house looked like the probe on the movie War of the Worlds the 1950s movie). (submitted by Rick)
  • Star Wars Cantina Music: Another obvious reference was the music played at the roadhouse was the cantina music from Star Wars (submitted by MdKnightMan)
  • Blues Brothers:  “I’m on a mission from God!” The Blues Brothers. (submitted by Rick)
  • Indiana Jones: Short Round (submitted by Rod G. and Tony)
  • Another Indiana Jones: The warehouse where the phone call scene took place was a reference to the Indy franchise. (submitted by Stuart and Jessie)
  • Escape to Witch Mountain: The Winnebago is the same make and year as the one used in the original Disney movie from the 70′s called Escape to Witch Mountain about two alien children stuck on Earth. (submitted by greenbean)
  • Total Recall: The three tit alien woman is also in the movie Total Recall. (submitted by greenbean)
  • Jaws: Don’t forget, before Haggard goes of the cliff, he says “Smile you son of a bitch.” Trying to sotyou Paul this was an obvious reference to JAWS. (submitted by RxDoc)
  • E.T.: Did anyone catch the Reese’s Pieces egg when they stop at the gas station? If anyone remembers E.T. ate Reese’s Pieces in E.T. Extra Terrestrial. So it can be assumed that all aliens eat Reese’s Pieces. (submitted by Jake)
  • Aliens: Another Easter egg: in the final scene, just before Tara punches “The Big Guy” (Sigourney Weaver’s character), Tara says “Get away from her you BITCH!” This is a relatively obvious reference to a line in Aliens by Ripley (played by none other than Sigourney Weaver herself)!!! (submitted by Tom)

Comments

  1. Will says

    *SPOILERS INCLUDED*

    *DO NOT READ IF YOU DON’T WANT A PART OF “PAUL” RUINED*

    Well Susan Sarandon is in Lorenzo’s Oil. Perhaps it was just a nod to her in that movie. Since the gang in Paul effectively put a stop to her in Paul, perhaps it was a send off?

    • says

      It could have been a nod to her, it just seemed out of place in the film, especially with how much they forced it in there. It was like they really wanted the audience to get it.

      I’m sure I would get it more if I saw Lorenzo’s oil, but I haven’t seen it and probably won’t. Which is why the egg makes even less sense to me. It just doesn’t seem to me like fans of Paul would have seen lorenzos oil to get the reference. (Like myself)

      • Eric says

        I personally found it fun searching up “Lorenzo Zoil” lol just interesting, it’s cool that a movie made people search the internet for an answer to that one.

    • Mak says

      @Will But Susan Sarandon wasn’t in Paul >.> idk if you thought Sigourney Weaver’s character was her or maybe the woman playing Tara who admittedly looks a lot like Susan Sarandon but yeah she wasn’t in Paul

    • Jaime says

      Well, that doesn’t really make sense. Because it’s Sigourney Weaver who is in Paul, not Susan Sarandon.

    • Ryan says

      i believe its a play on ruths eye condition that caused blindness in her eye from a degenerative of myelin( a sheath around nerves in the body that protects and helps send signals from the brain to other parts of the body, the disease can cause blindness but can be cured with lorenzos oil. its only funny bc the disease is rare and at the time of 1992 no one was looking for the cure and at the end of lorenzos oil theres a scene with the view of the sixteenth chaple(i think it was) and the drama was for him just to keep praying and in the end the kid survided through science and was using a computer to communicate at age 14

    • Jim says

      What the heck does Susan Sarandon have to do anything??? Here’s my theory… Lorenzo’s Oil is about strange things happening to Lorenzo: he would have blackouts, memory lapses, and other strange mental phemonenons. He is eventually diagnosed as suffering from ALD: an extremely rare incurable degenerative brain disorder. Frustrated at the failings of doctors and medicine in this area, the Odones begin to educate themselves in the hope of discovering something which can halt the progress of the disease. Now as we know, Paul had the ability to heal and bring the ydead back to life. There you go! Simple enough.

    • Ryan says

      Paul is held captive so he can churn out Hollywood blockbuster concepts. Agent Zoil’s name is funny because we’re supposed to assume that Paul was the writer behind “Lorenzo’s Oil.”

      It’s a small jab at screenwriters who get paid to make shit movies. “Lorenzo’s Oil” shows that Paul was half-assing his job… naming movies after people he knew.

  2. headworm says

    I call bullshit. I thought the lorenzo’s oil reference was a hint at what can be achieved when you go the against mainstream like it’s creator did. The entire scientific community couldn’t figure out what was wrong with his son, so he ended up doing it himself. It’s funny how the majority is always wrong.But anyway, i’m high as balls, but that’s what went through my mind when his name was mentioned in that context.Anyone interested in real documented, professional information on aliens you have to check out the disclosure project at:http://www.disclosureproject.org/http://www.youtube.com/csetiweb

  3. headworm says

    I call bullshit. I thought the lorenzo’s oil reference was a hint at what can be achieved when you go against the mainstream like it’s creator did. The entire scientific community couldn’t figure out what was wrong with his son, so he ended up doing it himself. It’s funny how the majority is always wrong.But anyway, i’m high as balls, but that’s what went through my mind when his name was mentioned in that context.Anyone interested in real documented, professional information on aliens you have to check out the disclosure project at:http://www.disclosureproject.org or /http://www.youtube.com/csetiweb

  4. says

    In the movie Lorenzo’s oil, Lorenzo never fully recovered from ADL. So I would say that thy are saying that Paul cured Lorenzo Zoil. And that’s why Grame and Clive were surprised to see Lorenzo Zoil able to have full control of his bodly functions. But that’s just a far fetched theory of mine so fell free to disagree.

    • Jim says

      Lorenzo (in Lorenzo’s Oil) is not Lorenzo Zoil… His last name is Odone. So, your theory would be incorrect.

    • Kudzu says

      Not sure if this has ANYTHING at all to do with the reference but Lorenzo’s Oil was also the name of one of the levels in the video game Earthworm Jim. That kinda goes along with the whole nerd/comicon thing.

  5. Flip says

    Also, the Name of the character “Tara Walton” seems to be an obvious reference to Travis Walton, who was also criticized and mocked as a result of an Alien encounter.
    I don’t think that’s a coincidence, but maybe I’m reading too much into it. ; )

  6. Flip says

    It was on again today. I can never seem to turn it off. Anyway, I noticed that when Paul is driving the RV, he crashes into a metal windmill. It is an exact match to the metal windmill that was supposedly destroyed in a UFO crash in Aurora, Texas in 1897. It seems they’ve done a few “real world” references as well as ones from the movies. I’m sure there are more to be found.

  7. Butch says

    Found another egg.. in the fireworks store.. they buy a large firework that is called “The Five Tones” the 5 tones are the core tones from close encounters of the third kind. When they attempt to talk to the ships. which makes sense as they are using the fireworks to communicate with Pauls Ship.

  8. Bob says

    Anyone catch the business names Gerties and Roys, both names of characters in close encounters. Also on the RV the name Beagle is the name of the ship Darwin used.

  9. Rod G. says

    “Short Round” may have been the nickname of the Viet Namese kid in the John Wayne classic “The Green Berets”. May have been a coincidence but I have never heard it used elsewhere.

  10. Stuart says

    Anyone notice that the warehouse used in the phone call scene to Steven Spielberg was similar if not identical to the warehouse used in Indiana Jones and Crystal Skull opening??!

  11. Jessie says

    The warehouse where he’s making the phone call is in more Indy movies than just the Crystal Skull. They took the Ark of the Covenant there after the movie where he was searching for it.

    Unrelated, but in the opening of the Crystal skull, then break a crate open and you can see the corner of the Ark again.

  12. greenbean says

    The mountain where Paul sets off the fire works to call his ship is the same mountain in the Spielberg movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

  13. greenbean says

    The Winnebego is the same make and year as the one used in the original
    Disney movie from the 70′s called Escape to Witch Mountain about two alien children stuck on Earth.

    • that_ranger says

      Completely different RVs in the two movies. In Escape to Witch Mountain, it’s a Class C Winnebago. And in Paul, exterior shots are a Class A Winnebago. But the interior is not. I think it’s a Bounder made by Fleetwood. .

    • Scott says

      The character with three boobs in Total Recall was itself a referenced Easter-Egg to Douglas Adams’ 5 book trilogy books, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, where he had a character, Eccentrica Gallumbits – aka, the Triple Breasted Whore of Eroticon Six. Impossible to say which one Paul was referencing, but either way it goes back to Hitchhiker.

  14. RxDoc says

    Don’t forget, before Haggard goes of the cliff, he says “Smile you son of a bitch.” Trying to sotyou Paul this was an obvious reference to JAWS.

  15. JC says

    what does his shirt say in elvish at the end when the are at comic con again…I have been trying to figure it out but it makes no sense?

  16. Jake says

    Did anyone catch the Reese’s Pieces egg when they stop at the gas station? If anyone remembers E.T. ate Reese’s Pieces in E.T. Extra Terrestrial. So it can be assumed that all aliens eat Reese’s Pieces lol

  17. Tom says

    Another Easter egg: in the final scene, just before Tara punches “The Big Guy” (Sigourney Weaver’s character), Tara says “Get away from her you BITCH!”

    This is a relatively obvious reference to a line in Aliens by Ripley (played by none other than Sigourney Weaver herself)!!!

    That line, along with the Star Wars cantina music played in the restaurant, were two of the funniest from the movie.

  18. says

    Thansk to everyone that has submitted eggs thus far! I have added them to the post so that future readers can see if they can spot them as well.

    This has been such a blast I am going to try and regularly do an “egg hunt” post. Anyone have any suggestions for a film?

  19. Alan Perez says

    Zoil: *Shoots the communicator in the car* “Boring conversation anyways.”

    Han Solo in Episode 4 does and says the same thing.

  20. Peter says

    This is a little bit of a stretch, but the comic book that the kid Kieth Nash looks at and ID’s Paul is a reference to Back to the future too (After the DeLorean comes to rest in the barn, the kid shows his dad the cover of a comic book that has a spaceship that looks like the time machine, and an alien that looks like Marty in his radiation suit as proof that Marty is an alien.)

    • Kudzu says

      Also the kid in the store was wearing a karate uniform. I’m almost sure that was a reference to something. Just not sure what.

      • VRoK says

        That is for The Karate Kid. Notice that just before healing the bird, and then Tara and finally Gream he rubs his hands just like Pat Morita would do before healing the karate kid (don’t remember his name)

  21. Peter says

    Oh yeah, and Ruth starts cussing, that could be a Trek reference to ST4: The Voyage Home while Spock was learning to cuss in 1987 San Fran.

  22. Mindy says

    Also, as the alien mothership is leaving, its the same shot as the underbelly of the empires ship in star wars, episode 4.

  23. nnick says

    PPaul easter eggs, how about when ruth says to graeme”someone who loves you” when she takes off her bounty hunter helmet.

  24. Angeloski says

    When Paul says: “where we go we don’t need teeth” in reference to Back To the Future “where we go we don’t need roads”

  25. Ofchughes says

    When in town when Paul is dressed as a cowboy there is a shot of the movie theater. The theater is playing DUEL an obvious nod to Spielburg

  26. Clay says

    Okay, was it just too obvious to mention? What the hell is Keith Nash a reference to? I feel like it’s gotta be something but I can’t find it. Graeme says “Who the hell was that?” Then Paul replies “Keith Nash. Punch it!” I’m almost certain I’ve heard that name and line somewhere else, but nothing is coming to mind. Anyone?
    Also, I’m not sure if this was intentional or not, but for those of you who have seen the movie Slither (if not, look it up, it’s another really funny alien movie.) There’s a part where an alien ends up sharing it’s knowledge with a girl through a failed attempt at eating her, and the first thing that flashes in her brain is a couple of alien like rat things fucking, and when Paul mindblasts Ruth, the first thing she sees is Paul (or an alien like him) fucking another Alien doggy style. Like I said, I dunno if that’s a reference or just a coincidence. I really like to think it was done on purpose though. Hah.

  27. Gene says

    Touching the head to transfer knowledge….Vulcan Mind Meld from Star Treck. Bringing dead animals back to life….Jeff Bridges as the alien in Star Man bringing dead deer back to life.
    Tara going home on Paul’s ship at the end of the movie…..Richard Dreyfuss going along on the alien ship at the end of Close Incounters.

  28. Ekim Edob says

    The song “Planet Clair” by the B52′s from “Aliens vs Monsters” is playing in the background during the comic book store scene when Paul is talking to the kid that eventually kicks Haggard in the nads as he is aiming at Clive and Paul as they run away.

  29. nick jones says

    tara going along with paul and the comment about not needing her teeth where they were going seemed to me to be a reference to Cocoon when the old farts get taken away to a better place.I thought I had caught on to all the eggs on the first viewing, but because I googled the Lorenzo Zoil thing, which I knew was an egg, but didn’t grok, I have to admit I’m not quite as smart as I thought I was.

  30. nick jones says

    I missed the Witch Mountain reference, which I forgive myself for since It’s Disney dork kid movie, and not real syfy in my opinion, and was only aware of in a subliminal way of the beagle reference. Other than those two, none of these comments have provided me any further enlightenment on the subject, but I sure there are some subtle ones no one has picked up on. Hopefully Nick and Simon will one day enlighten us. As for the Keith Nash thing, I feel fairly certain that it is of an arcane , private nature, and if so, should remain that way.

  31. MH says

    Another egg I don’t see mentioned is the ET reference of walking in Halloween costume on street – cowboy instead of ghost, but drew Barrymore dressed as cowgirl, and scene just seemed very similar and I laughed..my favorites in movie: boring conversation anyway, Reese’s pieces, Lorenzo’s oil, the ark warehouse, short round, don’t need roads reference from back to future, alien get away from her you b..great movie! Didn’t think Lorenzo’s oil reference was forced at all – thought it was hilarious:). Did google kieth Nash reference though thinking it had to mean something but found the Simon Pegg interview too saying it was just a funny name…I think it must have been a private nod to a friend…

  32. shakedown says

    Also, when Zoil is chasing them towards the end and shoots the radio when talking to HQ he says “boring conversation anyway”. From Han Solo in the detention cell on the death star.

  33. Juan says

    May be a bit of a stretch or coincidence maybe, however, the fireworks used as a homing beacon to signal to Paul’s people…might that be a reference to the scene where the “older” little brother uses fireworks to show the time traveling spaceship where Davids home is located for the “Film Flight of the Navigator 1986…

  34. Pete says

    I haven’t even thought of that movie in ages.And who didn’t imagine themselves as the kid in the film?

    Thanks for reminding me!

  35. Jim says

    What the heck does Susan Sarandon have to do anything??? Here’s my theory… Lorenzo’s Oil is about strange things happening to Lorenzo: he would have blackouts, memory lapses, and other strange mental phemonenons. He is eventually diagnosed as suffering from ALD: an extremely rare incurable degenerative brain disorder. Frustrated at the failings of doctors and medicine in this area, the Odones begin to educate themselves in the hope of discovering something which can halt the progress of the disease. Now as we know, Paul had the ability to heal and bring the ydead back to life. There you go! Simple enough.

  36. Shuli says

    Conner mcloud was the lead character from “highlander” who also went by the name of
    Russell Nash. He was an atiques dealer who had a samurai sword. Bit like the one the Frost bought. Maybe Keith Nash was homage to that.

  37. Karen says

    What about the line early in the movie spoken by Sigourney Weaver “He’s trying to phone home” – being of course ET reference.

    Also the ship landing on her brought to mind the house landing on the witch in The Wizard of Oz.

  38. Jamie Manners says

    Has no-one noticed the reference to Pegg’s own series “Spaced”. When Clive gives Ruth his passport she says that she loves Great Britain. Greame (Pegg) says “You should go”. Ruth turns to walk away and Greame says “No. You should go to Britain”. It’s a twist on a joke from Spaced.

  39. Rick says

    Don’t know if someone else spotted this…when Lorenzo shoots his radio its a reference to Star Wars when Han Solo shoots the radio on the death star when they are freeing the princess.

  40. MBS says

    Like some of you guys.. I felt like a idiot with this one…lol.
    Wikipedia links the name “Lorenzo Zoil” to the movie Lorenzo’s oil..
    What a reck?!

  41. Juan says

    Just thought of one more, again probably a coincidence but…When Paul invites the now elderly Tara to his planet to live a better life… Cocoon 1985 in the final scene, the aliens invite the elderly residence to their home planet to live a better life as well…

  42. shane says

    When Paul is dressed as the cowboy and they are in the town, there’s a movie theater showing a double feature of Easy Rider and Duel. Easy Rider was a nod to the previous scene where they were smoking pot in the woods and Duel was Steven Spielberg’s first film. :)

  43. Philip says

    At the end of the movie when Paul’s space ship departing. Everybody look up to the ship and Agent Zoil take out a his sunglasses and wear it while looking up the sky. It seems like happen in one of the movie, anyone can prove I’m correct?

    Also when everybody look up it seems very similar to E.T. when the family of Elliot look up ET’s ship departure .

    Thank you.

    • Eric says

      Yes this happened in Close Encounters of the Third Kind in the scene where several people puts their sunglasses on while gazing at the UFO at Devil’s Tower. Also, same type of sunglasses.

  44. janny says

    When graeme is drawing paul led on the sofa in the rv paul says” are you gonna draw me like one of your french girls, jack” I think thats a line from the 1997 version of the film titanic.

  45. bump says

    I notice noone has mentioned the ELO link, or if they have I just havn’t noticed it so appologies.
    ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) whose music is heard as part of the sound track, used to tour with a stage that looked just like a UFO.
    if you look at the album covers for “ticket to the moon” and “out of the blue”, there is a huge multicoloured ufo as the album graphics.

  46. Sweetfaced says

    Did you know sausage says peggy im bushed in the rv after paul tries to explain how healing a dead person could kill him! Just thought you might want to know that:)

    • Kudzu says

      What was the whole sausage reference anyways?? He called him that twice and unless I missed it, they never explained the nickname.

      • eadrom says

        It’s “eggy” not “peggy” as in: eggy and sausage…..it’s not a reference it’s just a clever nickname…..

  47. robbie says

    another close encounters reference is at the begining when the dog is scratching at the door just like the dog in the 1979 movie

  48. robbie says

    another close encounters reference is at the begining when the dog is scratching at the door just like the dog in the 1979 movie

  49. AL says

    Lorenzo’s Oil is a film based on the true story about two parents in a relentless search for a cure for their son Lorenzo’s rare fatal disease. basically his brain was dying but one scientist found some kind of chemical imbalance and stopped the progress of the disease but not a cure.
    Now I think the reason why his name was used was because they were suggesting that Special Agent Lorenzo Zoil.was that boy and paul cured him and thats why he was helping Paul to escape.

  50. paul says

    When graeme gets shot and dies, his last words “oh my” were the last words of captain kirk before he dies in star trek generations.

  51. Allan Starr says

    When agent Zoil is questioning people at the RV camp, Tara says her name is Charlotte Darwin, like that most famous HMS Beagle passenger.

  52. Tim says

    Towards the end when agent zoil shoots the radio and says “Boring conversation anyway.” Star Wars reference.

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