Junkfood Cinema: Our Failed History/Fantasy Mash-ups

By  · Published on June 22nd, 2012

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; always four-scored…on a scale of 100. You’ve cannonballed into the Internet’s second best antebellum bad movie column; unable to compete with Prospector Pappy’s Dagnab Bad Opera Hootenanny, but still way ahead of hopelessly post-bellum Dandy Dan’s Vaudeville Flawedville. Every week, we are torn apart by an internal civil war. On the one hand, we have the taste and fortitude of reason to understand that certain movies are categorically terrible. Unfortunately, a rebellious faction of our brain seeks to secede from our senses and declare the film entertaining and worthy of praise. When we finally reach our figurative Appomattox, we celebrate the retention of mental union by enjoying a disgustingly tasty treat themed to the movie in question.

This week, a film appeared in the theaters of America that dared to challenge our perceptions of narrative cohesiveness as well as our elementary school text books. A movie that dared to prove the old maxim that it is better to remain silent and be thought a crappy movie by the poster, than to begin reel one and remove all doubt. That movie was Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Demonstrating all the commitment to truth and fact as routinely does The History Channel, the film, based on the novel of the same name, supposes a world in which our sixteenth president, The Great Emancipator, was also a great decapitator of the bloodsucking undead. This willful abandon of all got-damn sense sparked our imaginations, and our wanton desire for copious amounts of easy cash. We sat down with a set of monster encyclopedias, a pot of coffee, a pot of toffee, and a stack of Schoolhouse Rock VHS tapes and banged out a bunch of movie pitches we thought were surefire greenlights. Turns out, contrary to what the multiplexes profess, studios will NOT buy anything you put in front of them. Here’s what those dopes passed on…

JFK vs. The Moon Men

Why was John F. Kennedy so uppity about getting to the moon? Was it to win the space race and show up the commies? Please, only a fool would believe that; a foolish fool who is easily fooled by foolish things. In my version of the story, JFK receives a telepathic message from the King of the Moon, Sean, who informs him that his people are about to rise up against him and instill a dictator who will in turn begin stockpiling missiles and plotting an invasion of the Earth.

Unable to tell anyone of the impending threat to Earth’s safety, he creates an alter ego, a Mr. Neil Armstrong, and, under heavy makeup disguise, travels to the moon to battle F’Dal K-stro, the evil moon dictator. Ask not what the third act can do for you, but where you can mail your ticket money in advance.


During India’s quest for independence from Britain, a brilliant, elderly activist is doused with radioactive waste and grows to the size of the Taj Mahal. As the imperialist English look on in terror, he wreaks non-violent havoc upon the land. The British begin using radiation to create their own gargantuan warriors to battle Gandhzilla.

First they sent King Ghidorah (birthname: Unjust Salt-Tax) to bring down the frail giant, but Ghidorah was undone by Gandhzilla’s atomic self-sufficiency. The Indigo beast CashCropthra followed, but was thwarted by Gandhzilla’s devastating hunger strike. Don’t make Gandhzilla hungry, you won’t like him when he’s hungry. Not even Winston ChurcHedorah was a match for Gandhzilla’s towering civil disobedience.

Ernest Hemingway Hates Minotaurs

You may be familiar with Ernest Hemingway the adventuring novelist, whose poetically understated style and long-stroke, metaphor-laden sentences shaped much of subsequent 20th Century literature, but did you know he fucking hated Minotaurs? Oh yeah, even more than his despising of unrequited love and shoddy airplanes he must then headbutt into pieces to escape as they burn (it’s true, look it up), Hemingway loathed the ancient Greek mythological monster with the body of a man and the head of a bull.

If you go back and read Death in the Afternoon, according to my rejected film, you’ll learn everything you need know about vanquishing minotaurs. This was the reason Hemingway spent so much time at bullfights in Spain and engaged in so many acts of pugilism with other stout gentlemen. He would later combine his knowledge of fighting both man and beast to venture into the dark labyrinths throughout Europe, ridding the world of those goddamned minotaurs.

Jonas Salk: Contagion

Zombie outbreaks are bad enough in a contemporary setting, with our advanced weapon technology and decades zombie cinema to serve as preparation. But for a moment, consider the terror that would have gripped the world if a zombie outbreak occurred in the late 1940s. We were just shaking off the debris and crawling out from under the destruction of World War II, and then suddenly the innumerable dead soldiers are rising from the grave and feasting on the flesh of the living? The viral strain found to be causing the undeadedness is identified as an advanced form of polio, a disease once considered to be the most horrific malady plaguing mankind…you know, before the whole walking dead thing.

Luckily for us, a medical researcher/certified ass-kicker at the University of Pittsburgh discovers a vaccine for the zombie contagion and begins his global quest to annihilate the ghoulish threat. He fashions his syringes in cartridges able to be fired from a variety of different guns and sets to curing the Earth of its most insidious plague. As he blasts a Nazi zombie in the skull with his 12cc-gauge, he brazenly utters, “You need a booster shot, muthafucka!”

Kurt Cobain: In Search of Bigfoot

The Pacific Northwest is home to one of the most hideous and angry abominations ever to be unleashed upon mankind: grunge music. Oh yeah, Bigfoot lives there too. A young man named Kurt, trained from an early age to hunt down and slay Sasquatches, moonlights as the lead singer of a grunge band to blend in to Bigfoot’s dreary, damp environment. When not busy belting out the anti-anthems of an aimless, enraged generation, he stalks through the thick forests of Oregon and Washington searching for the granddaddy of them all, the missing link himself. His garbled, raspy voice – the soul of his angst-ridden, Gen-X rebel persona – happens to perfectly match the mating call of the American Sasquatch; beckoning them to come, as they are, to his woods, to his snaaAAAAre trap.

William Howard Taft vs. Diabetes

There is nothing supernatural about this particular entry. Taft was America’s fattest president and once got stuck in the White House bathtub. This script makes a slightly smaller logical leap and creates an alternate history wherein Taft had diabetes instead of his documented sleep apnea. He may have lost his bid for re-election to Teddy Roosevelt, but he’s lucky he didn’t also loose a foot.

Junkfood Pairing: (Ulysses S.) Grant’s 12-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whiskey

Probably not named for any president, but if you drink enough Grant’s scotch, you won’t care if all your pitches get laughed out of every major studio in Hollywood. Whatever, I don’t care. Likewise, you will not be thrown when you watch Abe Lincoln slay vampires with an axe. Cheers to you, Mr. President.

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Longtime FSR columnist, current host of FSR’s Junkfood Cinema podcast. President of the Austin Film Critics Association.