Smile Politely

Things from my childhood they haven’t made into a movie … yet

The impending release of G.I. Joe, a film surrounded by the noisome stench of box office death-but which nevertheless looks a thousand times better than the giant robot movie-has gotten me thinking: what terrible television program from my childhood haven’t they adapted into an overbudgeted Hollywood film yet? Admittedly, I was old enough to catch the 1990s X-Men and Spider-Man cartoons that have sent young men my age and older to the cinemas for the last eight years, but Transformers? G.I. Joe? Thundercats? Those were for the big kids.

As the last of the children who enjoyed first-run Transformers enter their thirties, Hollywood needs to start catering to a new audience: me. The beginning of my fourth decade is over seven years away, and I have nothing better to do with the next seven years than blow my money on 3-D IMAX versions of Saturday morning crap. Some suggestions:

V.R. Troopers

Older kids, you might have missed this, so let me describe it to you. Imagine, if you can recall, the Power Rangers. Now imagine that Power Rangers lacked logic and continuity, and that the Rangers themselves looked like robots from a poorly spliced-in 70s Japanese show. I know it’s hard to imagine Power Rangers being anything like that, but maybe a picture will help you envision it:

I’m thinking Roland Emmerich could direct, with a minimum budget of $250 million. The plot: a crisis in the V(irtual) R(eality) world threatens to spill into ours, most likely destroying many skyscrapers and freezing the state of New York in the process, and only CGI Johnny Depp and his team of Troopers (Shia LaBeouf, Halle Berry as The Trooper With The Boobs) can save us.

Big Bad Beetleborgs

If V.R. Troopers was a poor man’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, this was a poor man’s … least favorite show in the world. All that matters is that we get Bruce Campbell to play this character:

Director: Bruce Campbell. Budget: $200,000. Produced especially for the “Syfy” channel.





This show featured Jonathan Frakes (Cmdr Riker from The Next Generation) as a character who looked oddly like what I imagine Jonathan Frakes thinks he sees when he looks in the mirror:

All I really remember about this show besides Number One’s occasional presence is that at night, stone gargoyles would come alive to make googly eyes at curvy human female cops. To fully capture and capitalize on the creepy prospect of gargoyle-on-human breeding, the movie version could co-star Megan Fox and Mickey Rourke. Directed by Robert Rodriguez and filmed in his garage for $4.50.



Street Sharks

Now this is the true ticket to success: a cartoon based on a series of action figures based on a really terrible idea. It was a terrible idea for many reasons, not the least of which was teaching children that sharks want to protect them. If there’s something to be said about the notorious effect of Jaws on the nation’s tourists, it’s that at least it’s not more dangerous to not go in the water. Apparently somebody felt that sharks needed some good PR in the 90s, and devised a rather terrifying idea for a series of toys, cartoons, and comics:

Budget: $300 million. Director: Steven Spielberg — he could really show us how the Sharks function as a tight-knit, surrogate, nuclear family. But really, if they don’t make this movie, they’ve got to do Biker Mice From Mars.

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