Curiosity’s first transmission.
My childhood just died.
Spongebob Squarepants by Warnerator via deviantART.
Look it up.
They say that hindsight is 20/20, but any child of the 1990s knows their childhood was better than yours. We had the best shows, the best toys, the best games, the best lines, the best comic book story arcs, the best sugary snacks (prolly the worst fashion, tho) — and we weren’t constantly distracted by the internet.
Throughout the 90s, Hollywood bestowed upon us many cinematic gems, based on both original premises and reboots of much older franchises. But whenever they tried to capitalize on what made the 90s magical for us kids, they not only fell short — they, in a small yet meaningful way, tarnished the cartoons, comic books, and video games that provided the bases (…basises?) for their theatrical failures.
Example 1: Super Mario Bros.
All I have to say about this movie is: …what?! Have you even played a single Super Mario game, Rocky Morton? (…whoever you are?) It’s like a reverse of what you would get if the girl who hasn’t seen Star Wars had made a Star Wars video game. On top of that, it’s a poorly made movie worked around a weak plot. King Koopa was a bitchy white man who had evolved from a T-Rex, Princess Daisy was an annoying paleontologist who had hatched from an egg, Luigi was a Puerto Rican apprentice plumber without a mustache, and Yoshi was ugly and didn’t let anyone ride on him.
Example 2: Street Fighter
Okay, so shame on me: I should have known better than to waste my single mother’s hard-earned money on a film promoted by the above poster. But I loved Street Fighter II, and Jean-Claude Van Damme was a well-known and well-respected action star at the time, so I bit. And the movie’s sheer crappiness bit back. The video game it’s based on had no discernable story, and the movie failed to justify the franchise’s beloved characters coming together on a screen through which the audience was unable to make them stop talking and just kick each other. Plus, any Street Fighter cultural artifact that omits the hadouken is an outright failure from the get-go.
Example 3: Batman & Robin
I wonder what bet these otherwise successful actors must have lost to have been cast in this god-awful movie. Riding the coattails of two fantastic Batman flicks (followed by one okay one) and a critically acclaimed animated series, this poorly written redheaded, green-blooded stepchild of the 80s-90s Batman movie franchise made even the most diehard fans regret those 125 excruciating minutes they could have spent doing something more enjoyable. Like eating glass. I recall an Austrian Mr. Freeze uttering unjustifiable puns, an overacted Poison Ivy, a certain virgin who can’t drive unfit to play a superheroine, and an unenthused George Clooney in a rubber suit. The most unforgivable aspect of the movie, however, was Bane —arguably Batman’s most dangerous nemesis in the comics— being portrayed as a speechless muscly henchman.
Example 4: Double Dragon
Even my proto-gay crush on Scott Wolf wasn’t enough to make this movie worthwhile. It was just utterly, laughably horrible.
Example 5: Cool As Ice
If there had to be a winner, it’d be this one. It was hands down the worst of them all, and if you think I’m wrong, then bitch please, go ahead and just try to sit through it. Back in 1991, Vanilla’s producers thought, Hey, if the kids like his music so much, why not make a movie about Vanilla Ice? …BECAUSE THEN YOU’D HAVE A MOVIE ABOUT VANILLA ICE. It was supposed to be a modern-day remake of Rebel Without a Cause, but viewers instead got Weak Plot Without a Talented Lead. With early 90s rap.