If you’re like me, your first thoughts upon watching the trailer for the Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot went something like “OH SWEET JESUS THE BEAST THAT THE SUMERIAN SCRIBES FORETOLD HAS ARRIVED! KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE BEFORE IT CAN PLAY THE DISSONANT NOTES THAT WILL SUMMON HE WHO IS CALLED MOR’TEHLYGLISH!”
Yes, it’s true: with the advent of this latest reboot, the powers that be have chosen to cast rubbery, dead-eyed creatures that will haunt your nightmares forever. But enough about Megan Fox.
And I know–the actual results of a giant mutant turtle would probably be pretty horrifying if it actually played out in real life. And I suppose this beats the hell out of the original idea of making them fucking aliens. But why stop there? Why not take some other in-theory-horrifying franchises and just bring on the pain? I’ve compiled a list to get you started, Bay. I double mutant dog dare you.
The star of some amazing video games and a handful of terrible cartoons, Earthworm Jim is a literally a mutant earthworm inside of a spaceman suit. He wisecracks, he blows things up with his excellent space gun, and his villains (folks like Professor Monkey-For-A-Head and Bob the Killer Goldfish) are absolutely hilarious. All of that adds up to a great character.
However, you can’t downplay the physical… uhm… “limitations” of creating a live-action Earthworm Jim. That segmented head, those bulging eyes, and let’s not forget those teeth. Oh sweet mother of god those teeth. Gigantic molars, each the size of a shot glass. Each one of those teeth is a panicked shriek to the world in some forgotten language. “Don’t make this into a person!” they cry.
All of that isn’t even accounting for the level of mucus that will splatter the camera every time Jim uses his head as a whip.
Now, I don’t watch SpongeBob, so I’m not exactly an authority on the subject. I know that that’s an odd thing to point out, but you have to understand: this show has danced merrily on the boundaries of both children’s and twisted adult’s television sets alike. This show is so ever-present that the autocorrect on my computer is forcing me to capitalize the “B” in SpongeBob for god’s sake (although it didn’t force me to capitalize god–I know your pagan secrets, computer).
My inexperience aside, I know a terrifying creature when I see one. And if its true that Bikini Bottom was once a testing site for nuclear testing, then you can just smell the Bay wafting in with the tide. You think Michaelangelo’s surfer dialect coming out of a seven foot, bile-infested turd is bad? Wait until you hear that prissy, high-pitched voice coming out of what I can only assume will resemble a urine-soaked tampon. It’d go pretty well, I imagine. While SpongeBob has never been as perverted and odd as Ren and Stimpy, it still has enough nonsensical edge to it that TampaxBob CylinderPants will be a big hit with the drug crowd. And speaking of which…
Ren & Stimpy
Ren & Stimpy was my SpongeBob Squarepants. A show that was just as much for adults as it was for children (although many of us would argue that it wasn’t for children at all), Ren & Stimpy was embodied with exactly zero of the cuteness that other kids shows seemed to drip with. If SpongeBob is about zaniness and nonsense, Ren & Stimpy is about pure, unadulterated madness. A Chihuahua and his idiot cat friend beat each other senseless, travel through space, and enjoy various bodily functions.
I think where this would work as a Michael Bay-esque flick would have to be their interaction with humans. A properly designed creature based on either Ren or Stimpy wouldn’t look like a dog or cat in the slightest. Throw in a human cast that reacts to them as if they were any other pair of pet quadrupeds. And then have Ren and Stimpy act as they do. I’d like to watch Mark Ruffalo react to Ren tearing out the nerve endings in his gums. Or have Gwyneth Paltrow clean out Stimpy’s litterbox full of Gritty Kitty. The latter example is a fantasy that’s been floating around in my skull for quite some time, and is unrelated to Michael Bay’s hypothetical adaptation.
I never played Crash Bandicoot. But look at that thing. That monstrosity is like, 90% head. It’s horrifying. Can you even imagine what that would look like if Michael Bay’s pack of scalpel jockeys got ahold of it?
Jesus fucking Christ.
Some of you knew this was coming. For those of you who had parents who loved you and would never dream of subjecting you to this, Watership Down was a cartoon based on a book about a group of rabbits who are looking for a new place to live, which sounds adorable. Until you get to the turf wars, the gassing of underground bunnies, and the blood–sweet Jesus the blood. It dealt with the classic themes of genocide, despotism, and god-bunnies, so you know it was perfect for those budding adolescents.
How to make this into a Nightmare Bay McClassic? You film this puppy Milo & Otis style (birthing scenes optional). Amp the stunt bunnies up on crystal meth and set those adorable warriors loose in an underground series of man-made tunnels that would put the Viet-Cong to shame. Three days and a whole truckload of editing later, you’ve got a new classic that will create two or three decades worth of goth kids–I absolutely guarantee it.