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THE 80s AND 90s — The 37th installment of the "Transformers" series is hitting theaters this week. What was that? Excuse me? Oh, it’s only the fifth? Feels like the 37th.
Anyway, Hasbro and Michael Bay have made, according to my scientific calculations, a boatload of money off this franchise. Several boatloads in fact.
With this in mind, I got to thinking: what other nonsensical '80s and '90s nostalgia desperately needs a movie franchise? A lot of worthy things came to mind like The Oregon Trail, L.A. Gear Lights and slap bracelets. But here are the five absurd '80s and '90s things that need, yes need, a movie franchise:
Cash Surgeman – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Cal Cola – Kevin Bacon
Katherine Cola – Olivia Wilde
History: Surge Cola had a brief, but vibrant, existence in the '90s and is ready for its big screen debut. The taste of the drink was a cross between lemon, lime and battery acid. Quite lovely.
Plot: How do you make this a movie? Easy. An evil cola company makes a drink called Nefarifizz and the entire point of this drink, concocted by the company’s evil CEO, Cal Cola, is to leave the drinker dazed and lethargic and unable to fight back mentally or physically as Cal takes over the soda empire and eventually the world.
A home brewer named Cash Surgeman isn’t going to stand for this outrage and creates Surge Cola, packed with caffeine and other special ingredients that turn him into a superhero and give him the strength to battle Cal and his Nefarifizz.
There is a wrinkle, however, Surgeman is diabetic and the insane sugar levels in Surge Cola leave him nearly destroyed every time he drinks it. But he’s going to do it for the human race and the love of his life, Katherine Cola, Cal’s sister.
Tagline: "When Life Gets Tough, the Tough Get SURGED!"
Nate Koosman – Gaten Matarazzo
Clint Cable – Bruce Willis
General Xenex – Jean-Claude Van Damme (in motion capture)
History: Remember Koosh Balls? Sure you do. It’s basically a ball of rubber strings, and for no known reason whatsoever, they were insanely popular.
Plot: A kid, Nate Koosman, stumbles upon a cave in the woods behind his house and finds some Koosh Balls. Nate doesn’t know what to make of the odd stringy balls but decides to take them home anyway.
That night an alien invasion occurs, led by General Xenex, a humanoid being bent on taking over the world. Nate’s Koosh Balls start glowing and leap out of his backpack, leading him on a journey where he teams up with his aging neighbor Clint Cable, an ex-Navy SEAL. With the Koosh Balls to guide them, Clint and Nate take on Xenex and his army and find out that the Koosh Balls will actually defeat the alien army, but at what cost?
Tagline: "Kiss Your Koosh Goodbye"
Dylan Oculan – Josh Hutcherson
Jessica – Kiersey Clemons
Colston “Mac” McMillan – Rainn Wilson
History: Magic Eye books and posters were all the rage there for a while and even played a prominent role in an episode of “Seinfeld.” These books and posters contained pages of what looked like a jumbled mess of colors, but if you could focus your eyes just right, or unfocus them, a hidden 3-D picture would appear. These pictures caused many headaches and frustrations, as some people just couldn’t see that rocket ship.
Plot: College student Dylan Oculan discovers an old Magic Eye poster under a false floorboard in his dorm room. Out of curiosity, Dylan opens it up and starts staring, but he can’t figure it out. His friend Jessica comes and takes a look and helps him understand what he’s looking for. They both look together and see a monster, and as soon as they do, they’re sucked into the poster.
Inside the poster, they are in a race against time as they try to stay a step ahead of the monster and figure out a way to get out of the poster. Inside the secondary world, Dylan and Jessica find Colston McMillan, known as Mac, who has been stuck in the poster for 15 years and knows how to stay alive. Together, the three of them solve other Magic Eye puzzles inside the poster and figure a way out. Just before the return to the real world, Mac sacrifices himself to get Dylan and Jessica out of the poster.
Dylan and Jessica burn the picture, but it isn’t completely destroyed. After the end credits, the monster's hand leaps out of the half-destroyed poster.
Tagline: "Seeing is Believing, Unfocusing is Surviving"
The Noid – Kevin Hart (in motion capture)
Mitch – Blake Anderson
Amanda – Jenny Slate
Darryl – Jon Glaser
History: In the '80s, Domino’s Pizza had a marketing gimmick for a while with The Noid, an obnoxious little gnome-like being that did everything it could to try and keep Domino’s delivery drivers from making good on their 30-minutes or less guarantee.
Plot: Mitch is a lovable loser. He’s more interested in playing video games and mooching off of friends than holding down a real job and he just refuses to grow up. His girlfriend Amanda is ready to call it quits and is going to break up with him if he doesn’t get a job and keep it. His roommates are also going to kick him out if he doesn’t get a job and start pulling his weight. Mitch finds a job as a pizza delivery driver.
Domino’s has decided to reinstate their 30-minutes or less guarantee, and Mitch’s store is the first one to give it a shot. Mitch’s tough manager, Darryl, tells Mitch he has a full day of deliveries and if he misses just one he’s fired.
Mitch is determined, but the Noid is out to stop him by whatever means necessary. Hilarity ensues.
Tagline: "Avoid the Noid"
Dave – Hudson Yang
Kara – Marsai Martin
Caleb – Daniel DiMaggio
Sarah – Grace Kaufman
Harry Hickman – Aziz Ansari
History: Double Dare was a kid’s game show on Nickelodeon. The kids would answer trivia questions and perform messy stunts in hopes of winning money and awesome prizes like Walkmans. Also, there was a lot of slime. Like, a lot.
Plot: Four kids, Dave, Kara, Caleb and Sarah are living out their lifelong dream of appearing on the new and improved TV game show “Double Dare.” These are four smart and capable kids and they’re ready to win it all, but things take a turn for the worse when Harry Hickman and a group of bad guys hijack the show. Turns out, Harry was a contestant years ago as a child and was humiliated and ultimately slimed. Harry never got over this.
Harry has taken the show hostage and demands another run on the show to prove he’s the best Double Dare contestant ever. The kids outwit the other captors and eventually challenge Harry to a game of Double Dare. Despite Harry’s cheating, the kids win and slime Harry once again, this time in handcuffs.
Tagline: "Double Danger. Double Slime. Double Dare."
If "Transformers" can make billions of dollars, why can't these movies? I'd like all movie studios to know you can reach me at any time so we can start getting these films into production.