The Walt Disney Company has latched onto a new idea for its feature film factory: develop movies based on popular theme park rides… er, attractions. Previously, attractions were based on movies, but with recent Disney movies being so devoid of content, Eisner & Company were forced to reverse the formula.
As a result, upcoming Mouse House movie releases include “The Country Bears,” a movie based on a rather annoying attraction called The Country Bears Jamboree, the technology of which was surpassed ten years ago by every corner Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. Also on the Diz sked is “Haunted Mansion,” starring Eddie Murphy as the token Hollywood guy who stumbles into a movie that borrows nothing more than the name of the source material (the Haunted Mansion attraction), and instead robs its content from a variety of other sources, such as Ghostbusters and Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
With that lineup hardly worth getting excited about, I decided to pitch some of my own ideas based on Disney attractions. At this point it’s all just speculation, but with my track history I am certain each one of these will become an actual film project very soon.
SPACE MOUNTAIN: THE MOTION PICTURE
In a world where movie trailer voiceovers never use the phrase “in a world,” some 150 years in the Earth’s future, mankind has reached for the stars, grasped them, colonized them, put all the native inhabitants on reservation moon stations, stripped the planets clean of natural resources, squabbled over water rights and religious affiliations, and slowly destroyed each one with toxic carbon monoxide poisoning. Renegade space boomer David “Dutch” Clutchmocker is tasked with defending mankind’s last habitable outpost against some irritatingly smug space hippies who keep insisting that greenhouse gasses are responsible, even though everyone knows there is no such thing as global warming.
Dutch has to penetrate the pinko bastards’ compound deep inside a mountain that has some weird, rail-driven rocket cars on it. Dutch rides this manic, loopy thing in pitch black for the second and third reels of the film, ending in a huge SFX-laden conflict with giant spiderwoman with breasts that spit webs.
Directed by Michael Bay and produced by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, Space Mountain stars Dennis Quaid as Dutch and Jolene Blalock as the set of webspitting spider tits. With a budget of over $1 billion, the movie will largely be financed by product placement and corrupt marketing deals, much like TriStar’s Godzilla was. Rated PG for the first 118 minutes, with a rating of R put on the spider boob sequence.
CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS
John Sayles writes and directs this heartwarming indie film about a couple who muse about technology for their entire lives. Set entirely in a single room of a small, Midwestern house, we watch as Tom and Edna Crapplebottom exchange witty repartee about the good old days, as time moves on around them. Through an innovative filmmaking technique called the “fade,” we transition from decade to decade as these two romantics reminisce over the previous decade’s triumphs and failures, such as the invention of the gasoline powered lawn mower and the advent of the Pop Tart. Sayles takes his film slightly into the future, allowing us to see that even though people may live in a glass bubble surrounded by inhuman, slobbering aliens watching them in a zoo, humans will still sit and watch TV and doggedly insist that the 50’s were “the best times of all,” even though it was the height of fagbashing, sexism, alcoholism, wife beating, and dragging blacks through the streets.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
Vicious pirates of the Caribbean set sail on a brutal voyage across the Caribbean, raping, burning, stealing and destroying everything in the Caribbean, not necessarily in that order. The Caribbean is set ablaze with the hot desires and wicked cruelty of these Caribbean-seafaring villains! The film is to be shot on the Mediterranean.
Starring Dennis Hopper as pirate captain “Pegleg Patrick,” who oddly enough does not have a peg leg, the most cruel scene is where Pegleg tortures a damsel tied to the mast by spitting in her face and yelling “Yo, ho! Yo, ho! A pirate’s life for me!” The woman, played by virginal singer Jessica Simpson, cries at being called a ho, but is soon silenced when she is hit with a sack of gunpowder and her limp body thrown to frenzied sharks.
But evil is sometimes met with evil, as an even more villainous pirate named “Bugbeard” (played by Kurt Russell, sporting maggot-infested whiskers) threatens Captain Pegleg’s rule over the Caribbean, violating Pegleg’s ocean turf and destroying ships in his area of control. Soon the two pirate captains are at war, and in the midst of their struggle for sea supremacy a massive 40,000 innocents are slaughtered or set on fire. Cannonballs smash the skulls of small children as flaming wreckage sets the ocean on fire, burning the habits of floating nuns and causing native outriggers to explode with a shower of bloody human limbs and heads. In the end, the pirates eat each other in a vicious display of human cannibalism at its worst.
The film is directed by Steven Spielberg and is rated G; Spielberg promises fun for the entire family.
Oh, and there are lots of nude boys in it.
BUZZ LIGHTYEAR’S SPACE RANGER SPIN
This amazing concept pits toys who think they are alive against aliens who are actually more toys who think they are alive. It’s plastic vs. plastic as Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear flies through the galaxy with his cowboy ragdoll buddy Woody to fight evil in the stars. Utilizing the latest in live action cinematography, this all-original idea will star Tom Hanks as the Woody and the guy from TV who wears toolbelts and grunts a lot as Buzz. Nothing like this has ever been seen before!
Directed by newcomer Italian director Antonio Busconi d’Antonio, the film is budgeted at $65. American.
THE GREAT MOVIE RIDE MOVIE
Hollywood loves making movies that are nothing more than montages of other movies, and setting them to the tune of “Hooray for Hollywood.” Remember “That’s Entertainment!” from 1974? Audiences hate these self serving bits of fluff, but nevertheless we have to sit through an hour of them each year during the Oscars. (And they wonder why it runs long? Get rid of the fucking montages!)
The Great Movie Ride Movie assembles a two hour montage of other montage movies! Not only featuring clips from “That’s Entertainment!” and it’s aptly named sequels “That’s Entertainment! II” and “That’s Entertainment! III,” but also highlights of the highlights used in montage shorts from the Academy Awards of 1955 through to 2001, except for the year Vanessa Redgrave made all that fuss.
This movie has no director, since it’s just an exercise in editing.
Tom Cruise and Salma Hayek star as two PhD-level nuclear scientists researching fetal cord blood use on curing leukemia, when an evil corporate spy (played by Eddie Izzard in his first major non-drag role) tries to steal their research. During a daring escape, all three are shrunk by a giant laser, and inserted accidentally into the body of Harry Knowles, where they have to fight all manner of internal human gases, pulsating globules of fat, and myriad strains of genital wart bacteria, even as they battle each other. Fortunately for all, Salma Hayek was wearing a tight catsuit when she got shrunk, and her zipper is stuck at her navel, revealing her entire bosom! Unfortunately, so is Izzard’s.
Inside the hideous thing that Knowles calls his corporeal temple, the scientists soon come face to face with Izzard’s character inside the brain! There mental images of Ding Dongs, porn stars, toy conventions, Texas and bribe money provide a dazzling backdrop to an epic battle between good and evil and Spanish silicone.
In a touching — and public service oriented — scene, Tom and Salma make wild love, in order to show how babies are born. Childbirth scenes were filmed using Uma Thurman and Jada Pinkett Smith as stand-ins for Salma.
Harry Knowles has already claimed this movie to be “The best film of 2003!!!!!!! Superior in every way to Citizen Kane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved it!!!!!!!!!!! Yippee!!!!! Where’s my check????”
How he came to say this before the film was shot should be evident to every one of you, except for the extremely slow.
KALI RIVER RAPIDS
Ridley Scott brings his vision of jungle river whitewater thrills to the big screen in this exciting adventure tale starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Affleck plays self-absorbed, stuck-up, rich punk Hart Bennenfield, and Lopez plays self-absorbed, stuck-up, rich bitch Maria Shortbread. With their worlds so distant, these two form an amusing odd couple forced to overlook their differences and come together as their raft dislodges from a rock and is set adrift on the churning rapids of the Kali River in India.
As they pass by at blinding speed, we get to see — briefly, of course, so as not to turn this into a documentary, for God’s sake — the desperate life that surrounds the Kali river, including illegal logging, incredible human suffering, elephant poaching, and passersby squirting the couple with water pistols. It’s a harsh life, and a horrifying ride for our intrepid couple with every hair-mussing jolt and bump.
Not since “The African Queen” has such a film been seen, and technically not after “The African Queen” either since this film resembles it in no way whatsoever. Scott is in his usual high form here, using bad actors, gorgeous sets and melodramatic lighting to take away any attention from his otherwise inept, formulaic filmmaking. Even though Affleck and Lopez both play Americans, they speak with unnecessary British accents, just to further deflect criticism.
The film is rated PG-13 because Scott had the sense to make sure Lopez wears a see-through white tee-shirt, and that it remains soaking wet throughout the entire film.
PARKING LOT TRAM RIDE
This Robert Altman-directed, star-studded film is shot entirely within the parking lot of a gigantic amusement park. A massive cast of 250 interesting people gather together to await the tram ride from parking lot Goofy to the main gates, and as they wait they engage each other in a series of hilarious, and sometimes tragic, interactions. As the tram arrives, the action picks up. As they board, it picks up some more. As the tram moves along the concrete, the action slows down again. As the tram stops, so does the movie.
Multiple plotlines abound. Amadou, the tram driver, is from Burkina Faso and is upset about having to miss his break to make this final tram trip of the day; as a result he drives slightly over the speed limit and refuses to slow for speed humps. Jessie is a cute California girl who has no part whatsoever. The Westphals are a snotty couple from Vermont on vacation who complain incessantly, causing a bit of a ruckus with the Eastphals, on vacation from California, who are eternal optimists. Sitting in the rear is Slug, a misanthropic ex-wrestler bent on destruction.
The film stars Tim Robbins, John Cleese, Cassandra Richardson, Jack Nicholson, Claudia Schiffer, Morgan Freeman, Keanu Reeves, Chris Rock, Leonard Nimoy, Drew Carey, Rufus Sewell, Parker Posey, Jude Law, Charlton Heston, Rupert Everett, Morgan Freeman, Lynn Redgrave, Jesse Ventura, Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson, six British actors you never heard of, Senator Fred Thompson, Bruce Willis, Ian McKellan, Morgan Freeman, Krusty the Klown, Britney Spears, Matt Damon, Marina Sirtis, Morgan Freeman, Anguiras, Adam Sandler, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Love Hewett, Shirley Jones, Morgan Freeman and Morgan Freeman.
ROCKIN’ ROLLER COASTER
Supported by a loud soundtrack of songs by Aerosmith and other really shitty rock bands, this Kevin Smith-directed film stars three newcomers to the screen: Lenny, a bespectacled video rental store clerk; Silent Mike, a fat pothead who cannot speak except for uncontrollably yelling the word FUCK (played by Smith himself); and Darla, a 80 year old lesbian crack whore truck driver. Together this strange crew set about to ride every roller coaster in the world while high on mushrooms, pot and massive doses of paracetamol taken rectally.
Co-stars Ben Affleck as himself: a crappy actor with an immense ego and a small dick.
Rated R for profanity, drugs, nudity (of the 80 year old crack whore truck driver), drugs, sex, drugs, adult themes, drugs, and tempered slights against Catholics.
This documentary brings together the talents of geologist Sandra Day O’MacNamara, NYC student filmmaker Spike Horowitz and narrator Michael Dorn. Okay, so that’s not a lot of talent, but it never stopped Ed Wood, did it? Ok, sure, it DID stop Ed Wood, but that’s not a good argument, is it? Okay, so it IS a good argument, but… aww, Christ, nevermind.
Anyway, this documentary tells the compelling true story of how rich, corporate CEO goons build theme parks that destroy millions of acres of natural environments, stripping the natural resources of the region, and replace it with monstrous commercial enterprises that hire low-wage workers and generate millions of tons of petroleum waste and plastic trash per year. Not content to stop there, filmmaker Horowitz pushes the envelope by portraying the corporations as caring global citizens who then build fun attractions dedicated to saving the environment, even though the hypocrisy is leviathan. In the end you won’t know how to feel about this travesty, especially since every theater that shows this will be serving new Walt Disney Co. Perma-Pop recycled plastic popcorn product, a food “substitute” that is known to have long term effects on short term memory.
STANLEY KUBRICK’S TOWER OF TERROR
Set in an old, spooky hotel, this psychological horror tale tells the story of Jack and his wife Olive Oyl as they move into an old, spooky hotel, where the movie is set. There they find an elevator that not only spits blood, but is incredibly fun to ride.
Made up entirely from re-edited scenes of THE SHINING, this film breaks new ground by not breaking any new ground at all, except that it gets to take credit of being directed by a guy who’s been dead for the past few years. Produced by Steven Spielberg.