Illustrated by Andrew Blumetti
… What happens when your favorite film ghouls break the bank at Party City?
… How many fun-size Snickers bars can Ghostface fit into his mouth at one time?
… Just HOW many costumes did Jason actually buy this year?
The answers to those questions …AND MORE* will be answered right now in the thrilling* conclusion of what happens when treats and tricks meet your favorite flicks.
* (Probably not too likely…)
* (Again, fat chance that’s true…)
ALIEN QUEEN (Alien) as MILEY CYRUS
THE INFECTED (28 Days Later) as CRAYOLA CRAYONS
GHOSTFACE (Scream) as SURPRISED TAYLOR SWIFT WINNING AN AWARD
THE GOVERNOR (The Walking Dead) as A CANDY CRUSH SAGA BOARD
TARMAN ZOMBIE (The Return of the Living Dead) as KURT COBAIN
KAYAKO SAEKI (The Grudge) as A DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADER
DRACULA (Bram Stoker’s Dracula) as PIZZA
EVIL ED (Fright Night) as AL FROM HOME IMPROVEMENT
OOGIE BOOGIE (The Nightmare Before Christmas) as WOODY FROM TOY STORY
FREDDY KRUEGER (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and JASON VOORHEES (Friday the 13th) as WAYNE AND GARTH
By Andrew Blumetti
“Hooray for Hollywood!”
Yeah, yeah, yeah, that saying is very sweet in theory and it makes for a most-likely terrible tramp stamp tattoo, but in actuality, movies are a business, and to quote Lieutenant Aldo Raine of Inglourious Basterds fame, “…cousin, business is a-boomin’”.
God, that point is almost shocking when you really think about it.
Why? Because twelve dollars.
Think about all the late, great, famous green presidents and historical figures who need to be sadly plunked down at the box office window for you just to simply step foot into a movie theater. Add in the second third mortgage it takes to add in a garbage can of popcorn, a swimming pool-sized soda, and a sleeping bag of Twizzlers, and a simple trip to the cinema eventually turns into, “Sorry kids, Mommy and Daddy can’t send you to college because we just had to see Shark Night 3D back in 2011.”
SYNOPSIS: Talk about laying an egg!
Uncle Jesse-ish Rooster grows killer pompadour, dons bedazzled jumpsuit, does his worst impression of fatter late-era Elvis.
It actually was pretty accurate as Rock-a-Doodle basically died on the toilet too. Throw in a storyline about a flood, some cats and add Charles Nelson Rielly’s voice into the mix for good measure. Shockingly, this didn’t connect with kids.
BOX OFFICE: $11 million
SPOIL TIME!: Missing Elvis bird comes back, sings, sun comes up, which can’t be a major surprise, as it’s exactly what Little Orphan Annie said would happen years ago. The protagonist cat turns back into a person, worlds of humans and talking animals merge.
They would’ve done a sequel, but the animators’ and writers’ hands were too cramped from issuing apology letters to every human on planet Earth.
♪ “Love me (chicken) tender” ♪
BLANK CHECK (1994)
SYNOPSIS: Blonde kid in the 90’s who wasn’t Macaulay Culkin mistakenly receives a blank check, fills it in for a million bucks, spends it on junk like slap bracelets, Reebok Pump sneakers, and those CD’s that came in long, cardboard cases. Mobsters want it back, which correct me if I’m wrong, was the exact same plot to The Godfather Part II, right?
Karen Duffy, Tone Lōc, and the little spaghetti-haired runt from Family Ties (who I wrote about in this article) helped this simple snoozer work its way up to a snoozer of epic proportions. Trust me, I saw it in theaters.
BOX OFFICE: $30 million (…but to be fair, $29, 999, 994 of that wasn’t from my wallet.)
SPOIL TIME!: FBI traces marked bills being spent by Family Ties kid. Bumbling mob has a showdown with a 5th grader, and you can take a big fat guess who wins. With the threatening mob single-handedly toppled by a prepubescent zit-faced tween, the ragamuffin goes home and his family throws him a birthday party. Kid still isn’t Macaulay Culkin at film’s end.
“Andy wrote a check THIS BIG! …and he voted Democratic!”
WELCOME HOME, ROXY CARMICHAEL (1990)
SYNOPSIS: Winona Ryder has a wardrobe of 1990’s clothes, career.
She portrays an antisocial ‘lil scamp named “Dinky” who believes former film star, Roxy Carmichael, is her estranged mother. Jeff Daniels has less messier hair than usual.
BOX OFFICE: $4 million
SPOIL TIME!: Break out the Kleenex, cause unfortunately, Dinky is not Roxy’s daughter, they just both have unusual names. Actually, by the film’s end, we never even see Roxy. No biggie, it would’ve just been Jeff Daniels in drag anyway.
Disappointed by this news, Dinky ends up with a popular guy from school who never realizes he’s dating a girl named Dinky. Thanks to Mermaids, this is actually not the worst film she releases in 1990.
“Roxy, you’re a sweet gal, but I requested Breyer’s ice cream, not Dreyer’s. Learn to listen.”
DR. GIGGLES (1992)
SYNOPSIS: Son of a wacky doctor returns to seek revenge for Obamacare. Or something…
There’s a girl with a heart condition, hacked-up simple townsfolk, and a spooky house of mirrors. Pretty much standard fare for a slasher flick… but with Doug E. Doug in it, so… win/win. (Of course if they changed the definition of “win”.)
For a more competent doctor, I’d suggest either Pepper or Dre.
BOX OFFICE: $8 million
SPOIL TIME!: Giggles, who has slashed up the stupid town, is killed by a teenager with a heart condition with defibrillators and surgery tools because movies.
He then lifts his scrubbed-leg and pees all over the fourth wall, making the cardinal sin of looking straight into the camera, addressing the already-annoyed viewer, and puking out the cringe-worthy line, “Is there a doctor in the house?” before finally croaking. Ruin your day and experience it for yourself.
Here’s the real spoiler- no one answers cause they fell asleep ten minutes into this diaper-filler.
LOOK WHO’S TALKING NOW! (1993)
SYNOPSIS: Remember when John Travolta had a most-welcomed comeback as a strung-out, $5 milkshake-drinking hitman in 1994’s smash, Pulp Fiction? Well, this dud one of those things he had to come back from.
The babies have grown up, so of course the dogs talk. PETA actually considered being in this film akin to animal cruelity. Kirstie Alley was splashed with cans of red paint which she quickly learned the hard way was definitely not delicious ketchup.
And last, but certainly not least, a prolific appearance by the “Round Mound of Rebound” himself, Mr. Charles Barkley.
Jordan may have been the star of Space Jam, but on set, portly Chuck was known as “Space Ham”.
BOX OFFICE: $10 million
SPOIL TIME!: Dog voiced by Danny DeVito (yet slightly taller) saves lives! Wolves are scared by beeper sounds, dating this film in a way that only freakin’ beeper sounds could. By the end, I could’ve sworn the dog voiced by Diane Keaton was wearing a frumpy hat and clunky shoes.
A happy ending reunites the whole clan, as opposed to Happy Endings the show, who’s cancellation separated their whole clan. I kick myself for seeing this one before the first two Look Who’s Talking movies.
CUTTHROAT ISLAND (1995)
SYNOPSIS: (From IMDB) A female pirate and her companion race against their rivals to find a hidden island that contains a fabulous treasure.
At the time, the film’s star, Geena Davis, was married to Renny Harlin, the film’s director. They divorced three years later.
Yes, this film was so bad, it literally broke up a marriage.
BOX OFFICE: $10 million
SPOIL TIME!: Surprise! The audience is treated to a walk off the plank into shark infested waters. Which is much less painful than sitting through the rest of the film.
Cutthroat Island, the video game? More like video lame. Wokka wokka.
HUDSON HAWK (1991)
SYNOPSIS: Finally, one of the most notorious box office bombs of the 90’s. Oddly this might actually might have the distinction of being the best film mentioned here today.
Action hero, Bruce Willis, plays Hudson Hawk, a cat burglar who is blackmailed by the mob (likely the same mob from Blank Check) to steal pieces of valuable art. To ruin any chance of audience enjoyability, he and Danny Aiello sing as well.
Why this didn’t break $100 million at the box office is beyond me.
BOX OFFICE: $17 million
SPOIL TIME!: Hudson Hawk kills bad guy, drinks cappuccino. Sorry Hawk, you were twenty years too early for Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Starbucks’ new slogan: “Officially NOT featured in Hudson Hawk!”
Blumes note: I’ve actually passed by Danny Aiello a couple times at the supermarket, and I’ve been too intimidated to bring this movie up to him for fear of being viciously beaten up.
…Next time Andrew, next time.
“Don’t you interrupt me when I’m picking out Chips Ahoy, punk!”
By Andrew Blumetti
As if writing about Skippy from Family Ties and TGIF hasn’t dated me much so far, I’m certain the following will surely peg me as an ancient McNugget lovin’ dinosaur, cobwebs intact.
(insert semi-horrible Andy Rooney impression here… but without the messy desk)
With the seemingly never-ending onslaught of new-fangled gizmos and gadgets readily available today, every grade-school scamp is virtually a walking Best Buy store with a backpack. If an Apple a day keeps the doctor away, these tweens will live to be nearly a day short of one-hundred.
You have your fancy I-this and your spiffy I-that. Geez cheese Louise, they’re so tethered to their modern electronics, the only thing that you don’t see follow the “I” is “played outside after school with my friends“.
(end impression here.)
Now, I may only be a child of the 80’s— a simpler time of a feathery-haired Tony Danza, infinite cans of Aqua Net, and the gravity-defying locks of A Flock of Seagulls, but rest assured, it’s a cold, cold realization that smacks you square in the jaw when even my generation is starting to sound curmudgeonly.
Even in said decade, growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, there was a wealth of fun activities to occupy a young boy’s time on a sunny summer afternoon– endless games of stickball in the park, weaving in and out of local traffic on your bike, impressing the schoolgirls with the newest skateboarding tricks (or more specifically, “falling off a skateboard”), or perhaps a refreshing dip in a friend’s heavily-chlorined pool was the ideal way to spend your time.
Amongst all that classic-American fun in the sun, certain days really stood out from the others. Most specifically, being told that an afternoon trip to McDonald’s was being planned, simple as it sounds, now that was a reason to celebrate.
Sure, the sizzling golden fries were soaked in pure saturated happiness, and the Happy Meal box was filled with LEGO sets that were practically as good as gone by the time we got to the table, but going to Mickey-D’s included one other added attraction, one that wasn’t deep fried or dunked in honey mustard…
Sadly, most current McDonald’s locations don’t feature these outlandish relics anymore– A 4,000 square foot outdoor play-area, not much different than any standard cookie-cutter park playground, but decked-out in classic McDonald’s decor, all topped off with all the behavioral calmness of Lord of the Flies (or Fries?) on speed.
It was a barbarous marriage of the trippy universe of Willy Wonka and the happy-go-lucky freak show that was the advertising campaign of the Golden Arches… Metal slides, swings, and spinning rides that would get hotter than John Travolta’s spoon in Pulp Fiction on a summer day. A fantasy playland, covered in french fry smudge marks and more-than-occasional bratty kids in Bum Equipment t-shirts hogging every ride in sight. This madness was such a blast, it’d require multiple requests from exhausted parents to finally drag their surly kids to finally leave for home.
Fast forward to 2013, and finding a classic McDonald’s outdoor playground is quite the challenging task. Try as I might, I just can’t place my finger on the reason though…
Perhaps they became too costly to maintain? The cancellation of the McDonaldland promotion? Maybe McDonald’s brass considered any kind of exercise offensive?
….or perhaps the real reason McDonaldland Playgrounds ultimately went the way of the dodo is because sunshine-y nostalgic hindsight is clouding our vision of how Rob Zombie-ish that freaky place really was.
CHAPTER I: THE PURPLE PEOPLE EATER
A giant characterless purple blob that pre-dated Barney the Dinosaur. Yes, he literally pre-dated a freakin’ dinosaur.
The aptly-named Grimace was initially introduced as a nemesis to main clown mascot, Ronald McDonald. Fast food head-hanchos realized that’s just the most incredibly stupid thing, and went with the slightly less stupid story that he has no story. Luckily his character was so crappy, no one seemed to care… but much like Freddy Krueger, he would eventually have his revenge… ON YOUR CHILDREN.
In this ominous Buffalo Bill-esque prison, Grimace forced many innocent kiddies to put the lotion in the basket. How this thing is better than a real jail is beyond me.
“Thanks for eating our cheeseburgers, kids. Now get inside this weird purple thing’s torso.”
CHAPTER II: JAILHOUSE CROCK
Apparently, the McDonald’s brain-trust figured nothing struck a chord with kids like jails, cause here was another one– “Officer Big Mac”, a big giant novelty cheeseburger decked out in a nifty constable uniform who would one day be destined to become a torture pit for youths.
His main job was to pursue the Hamburglar, a ground beef-thief who decided it was wise to wear his prison stripes outside of prison and pilfer your cholesterol away from you.
After looking at this ominous death trap, one wouldn’t have to scratch their head too long to wonder why Officer Big Mac isn’t flashing his once-famous buns around anymore. Speaking as someone who isn’t crazy about heights or tight, enclosed spaces (the dirty, slippery, kid-crowded ladder inside this godforsaken thing was nothing short of a living nightmare straight out of Jacob’s Ladder), I avoided this hepatitis-covered abyss the way Neil Patrick Harris avoids women.
CHAPTER III: DAYLIGHT ROBBERY
Rumor has it there’s a deleted scene in the special edition of Saw IV that features this pupil-less Hamburglar’s rusted swings of death, but the MPAA deemed it was too disturbing to achieve an R-rating.
He’s got a Jack Skellington-ish suit, a Jack Skellington-ish body, and contains just the right amount of uneasy to make Tim Burton smile, but don’t be fooled, this boney burger boob simply ain’t any fun. Just make sure to pour out your Dr. Pepper on the sidewalk as a tribute to all the fallen suburban homies who tragically faceplanted while getting off of this wretched thing.
CHAPTER IV: SOMETHING’S FISHY…
This underwater treasure was the thing you were forced to play on when everything more fun was being occupied. Yes, when standing inside the Grimace jail was too exciting, this became the last resort of the desperate fast food playgrounder.
Being a fish is a wild ride. It’s freedom personified… something we as humans will never be able to fully appreciate or relate to. You spend your entire life in the magnificent deep blue sea, travel in schools, and gracefully glide your vibrant scaly body amongst the endless coral, the flowing greenery, and the vivid rainbows that compose your fellow sea-brethren– it’s stunning peace and Studio-54-ish chaos all in one felt aquatic swoop.
Then one random day, you spy a tasty worm just ripe for the picking… the next thing you know, there’s a hook in your stupid cheek, and you end up a processed square patty with a slice of room-temperature kinda-cheese on you, stuck on a bun at McDonald’s to be sold in a pair for three bucks.
True, it’s not necessarily the most dignified fate, but man, imagine being the ride based on that sandwich?
Meet the “Filet-o-Fish” ride, a humdrum bouncy piece of junk that didn’t even bounce properly.
Look familiar? You may remember this weirdo as the chestbuster that burst out of Ripley’s stomach while your were nodding off at the end of Alien 3.
CHAPTER V: HOW BIZARRRRRRRRRRRE
No list of forgotten McDonald’s mascots would be complete without nefarious swashbuckler, Captain Crook, the one Mc-imbecile who actually wanted to ride the bouncy fish seat.
A two-bit pirate with a soft spot for both thievery and seafood, this seafaring counterpart to the Hamburglar was yet another immoral advertising idea who wanted to snag your salty food while your back was turned. That’s so absurd, even the Oakland Raiders mascot is pointing and laughing,
Of course, since the McDonaldland Playground was missing a slide, they kindly threw Crook a bone. If avoiding the child Mcvomit at the bottom wasn’t taxing enough, battling the derelicts walking up the slide the wrong way was nothing short of the final battle in 300.
Look at his face. That tells you everything you need to know about this thing. Raise your hand if you’d have rather walked the plank into a sea of blood-thirsty sharks instead.
CHAPTER VI: “I BELIEVE I CAN FRY”
There’s a point when it’s painfully clear you’re just flat out of original ideas.
When Steve Urkel began endlessly cloning himself, we knew Family Matters was ready to mercifully be put down, or when Home Alone 3 hit theaters with an entire new cast, the planet shifted off axis as a nation simultaneously rolled their eyes at the offensive shark-jumping.
…and on that dubious note, I present to you, The Fry Guys.
Originally named “The Goblins” (cause they’re “gobblin’ up” your fries- hey, good one!), these are basically cheerleader pom-poms with volleyball-sized eyes that stare straight into your soul. So, basically all of the aspects of cheerleading and volleyball that don’t involve the attractive women.
Yes, this is starting to sound like a quite obvious pattern. Between the Hamburglar, Crook, and these walking Koosh balls, McDonald’s figured the most effective marketing method was to make you believe your recently-purchased food for would be stolen away from you by moronic mascots. Diagnosis: Mc-agita.
To McDonald’s credit, they created a playground ride that aptly matched the excitement of The Fry Guys.
Blumes note: No hands, yet they purchased shoes with laces instead of Velcro. Poor shopping choice, Fry Guys.
CHAPTER VII: SEE, I’M NOT A MONSTER, I’M JUST AHEAD OF THE CURVE
RONALD McDONALD’S CONFESSION LETTER:
To Whom It May Concern,
I, Ronald McDonald, or “Ron” as I wish to be called, hereby admit to the number of charges of being a colossal creep, even by clown standards.
First off, I am not even Scottish, it just rhymes with “Ronald”. Secondly, this is not my natural hair color, I have been hoping to score the part of Little Orphan Annie in an off-Broadway theatrical run of Annie.
Most importantly, I apologize for my maniacal thousand-yard stare, constant serial killer smile, and the fact you’ll see me in your sleep the way you heard creaks and squeaks for weeks following a viewing of Paranormal Activity. When the borderline psychotic Burger King king was still the second-most terrifying fast-food corporate spokesman, I know I did something wrong.
Oh yeah, I also killed Waldo and stole his shirt. He’s buried and decaying under the Hamburglar swing.
See you in your nightmares,
P.S.– I also peed in the all the McFlurry machines in Michigan.
Hey kid- If this is true, your dreams stink.
The preceding is a work of parody, and I do not own any of the photos used. Except for the Fry Guy ones… I’m making a t-shirt out of that bad boy.