Thursday, February 20, 2020

A Very '90s Grab Bag

by Adam Riske
Sex! Sunglasses! Soundtracks! This article has it all!!!

You Have to Spend Your Allowance on Something…

Back in the day I would buy movie soundtracks somewhat indiscriminately. If I liked the movie, I bought the companion album. It sometimes led to awkward rationalizations when asked why I was buying them. Case in point, the Dumb and Dumber soundtrack. I had to lie and state things like “Of course I enjoy the music of Willi One Blood and The Primitives” in order to justify my purchase.

I Am a Man of Independent Thought

Another common scenario that put me in a bind was movie product placement. Men in Black was a prime example. After fanning out over Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, I wanted a pair of sunglasses – specifically Ray Ban sunglasses. I remember mentioning this to a family member and they called me out like “You only want those because they had them in the movie” and I was like “Umm…excuse me. That is entirely inaccurate, I came up with this on my own and quite frankly how dare you.”


Okay three takeaways here:

1) Those Dino Combos are legit – a Whopper, fries, drink and a dino? Now that’s a Ceratops I want to Tri. Sorry.

2) I wasn’t expecting James Ingram by way of Luther Vandross with the Hungry Jacks jingle at the end. That shit’s smooth. Is Hungry Jacks the Australian version of Burger King? I mean it must be, right? Should I get a job there?

3) My absolute favorite part of this ad is the way the girl asks permission to touch the boy’s dino toy and he’s like “sure.” These kids are so well-mannered. I love it!

“Out of My Way, Suit!”

I appreciate how Hardees presupposes that children will throw tools and paint cans at their employees in order to procure Home Alone 2 posters and collector’s cups. I want one of those cups. How much are they on eBay? (checks eBay) two for $17…hmmm. Kind of steep. Patrick, I need an advance on my next paycheck.

“What Ever Happened to Willis…”

This video gets fascinating once Bruce Willis starts talking. With his VOD/DTV output of recent years on the brain, his joking of how one day people will say “What ever happened to Willis? He had such a good career going…” is sooooo interesting. Then Quentin Tarantino jokes about the movie where “He lost them all.” So, what was the movie where Bruce Willis lost them all? Initially I thought it was 2009’s Cop Out, but he was good in both Moonrise Kingdom and Looper from 2012. I gotta go with 2013 and the trifecta of A Good Day to Die Hard, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and Red 2. Also, was Bruce Willis right that someone would come along by the late ‘90s and make a kick-ass shot-on-video film? I’m drawing a blank. Leave a comment if you have an answer to that question.

7-Up Is Thirsty – For Tragedy

Wow, is this ad demented or what? Completely ignoring that Titanic was based on a real tragedy and not a work of fiction, 7-Up zoned in on fog-up-the-windows-quality sex with their tie-in ad. I do like 7-Up taking a stand that their beverage is the official drink of boning. The only thing that would make this ad better is if they show a convenience store customer grabbing a 7-Up and Kate Winslet’s hand comes out of nowhere like Carrie White to smack the inside of the freezer window.

All I Want for Christmas Is to Have Celebrated Christmas in 1995

By the time it was released in theaters, I was 13 and too old for Toy Story puppets but this ad threw me into a fit of jealousy. Everything about it is perfect: beloved Pixar characters who pop out of Christmas stockings singing “Jingle Bells” with you as you decorate a Christmas tree. It doesn’t get much better than that. Because I didn’t celebrate Christmas in 1995, I had to settle for Anna Chlumsky and Christina Ricci breaking into my house and stealing all my presents because I didn’t see Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain back in November. Ricci was all “You saw Casper three times during the Summer. You not into me anymore or something?” I called out for help but Chlumsky stared me dead in the eye and said, “Tell anyone about this and Bear Mountain will have two secrets” before smashing my Sega console.

Method Actress Does the Hunka Chunka

Here it is. The video I built this column around: a promo for the Demolition Man pinball game. What is with this actress? She’s waaaaay too invested. I love how she seductively pronounces “big steel grips,” “wicked ramps,” and “bang for your pinball buck.” This ad is so weird. Whose idea was it to cross-cut the Stallone-Bullock VR love scene with this woman dry humping a pinball game? Why did she agree to do that? Was she off-script? Why is there a maniacal laugh at the end? Does she kill that guy with the stun rod? Every pinball promo video should be this Lynchian.


  1. Wow that Demolition Man promo made my day. Good bless youtube for not letting stuff like this be lost to history.

  2. I need more information about the people boning in the dryer.

  3. In answer to the Bruce Willis question it's a tough on. I had a look back thriugh his career and noticed he's had quite a few big flops and managed to bounce back a few years later. Like I remember Bonfie of the Vanities/Hudson Hawk being big flops but then he did Die Hard 3. The Jackal/Mercury Rising were big flops but then he scored Sixth Sense in 1999.

    He seems to have a certain level of indestructibility career wise. I remember about 2011 was the time he started popping up in DTV flicks in glorified cameo roles. He seems to have recetly ungraded to co-lead roles now which could be a worrying slide.

  4. Some great tunes on the Dumb & Dumber soundtrack. New Age Girl, Crash and Hurdy Gurdy Man are still regularly on my playlist.

    Btw, if the actress in that pinball video (Tracee Lee Cocco) looks familiar, it might be because she's in more than 50 episodes of Star Trek: TNG as Lieutenant Jae (without a single line in any of them iirc).

    1. Wow, so she is. Great catch!

  5. I think Willis was wrong about somebody making a kickass SOV film, but I think only because digital video came out about the same time and the filmmakers who would have eventually experimented with video skipped straight to DV and we got pretty immediate kickass DV stuff

  6. I read the By-line as "Adam Riske Sex!"

  7. Well, I know it's technically not a pure shot-on-video film, but 1999 there was a small $60.000 movie called The Blair Witch Project, which is close enough for me.

    1. Oh, and of course people stated that under the video - a lot.