Friday, July 23, 2010

When You Wish Upon a Star (you die)

I was all ready to celebrate the 55th anniversary of Disneyland this past July 17th and then some hack named Guillermo del Toro came along to steal my thunder. Apparently, one of the best working genre directors is now planning on filming his own adaptation of everybody’s favorite G-rated ghost ride, The Haunted Mansion. So while millions of dollars get thrown towards a story that’s already been told (terribly), here are a few of my own suggestions for how to bring to life some of Disney’s other less cinematic attractions.

It’s a Small World

 In one of the first true bids for truly international peace, the UN organizes the world’s largest toy drive, requesting every nation to donate a collection of toys that best represents its people. It’s a beautiful idea...until the poor security guards manning the midnight deliveries unearths a devastating secret revealing each doll to be possessed by the spirit of wronged dead patriots (think Che Guevara, Oliver Cromwell, Davy Crocket, William Wallace et al) and the entire plan is a simple attempt to bring about universal chaos. It’s up to a nearly retired night watchman Hank (John Goodman) and his fresh-faced apprentice Timmy (Jay Baruchel or your own favorite skinny goodball du jour) to save the world, one verse at a time.
Dream Director: Having proved his worth with 1987’s Dolls, I can’t think of a worthier man than Stuart Gordon.

Tagline: Getting the song out of your head will be the least of your problems...especially when you no longer have a head.

The Enchanted Tiki Room

A snob-filled yacht gets thrown off course while sailing through the Pacific, washing up on an eden-like isle blossoming with tropical greenery. After a playful montage wherein the leads bask in the sun and squeeze out some mango juice, the brattiest of the well-tanned millionaires (we’ll say John Hannah) spots a rainbow-hued bird and in a misguided attempt to impress his friend’s wife/hopeful mistress (Madonna, attempting to redeem herself for Swept Away), he hurls a coconut shell at its beak and kills one of island’s enchanted creatures. Everyone laughs at the prospect of eating poultry with their banana leaves, but the fun stops when its brethren flies home to seek vengeance. This being a Disney movie, the villainous vultures (or toucans most likely) spout G-rated one-liners with the voices of such esteemed artists as Mel Gibson, Robin Williams, and Wanda Sykes, all while shredding the faces off of a few bad people eventually waiting to be weeded out for one to learn a valuable lesson.
Dream Director: Joe Dante, for his established record balancing the fine line between monster massacres and good old fashioned family fun.

Tagline: The early bird gets your soul.

The Hall of Presidents

Plain and simple: America needs more historical horror. We’re a country still stained by slavery, civil war, genocide of native population and corruption. Let’s start remembering with a simple tale about a school trip gone terribly, terribly wrong when a busload of unruly students awaken the spirits of every former head of state. They’re not necessarily interested in prosecuting the kids, but when a juvenile delinquent gets in between the slave-holding George Washington (Ian McKellan) and a suddenly reinvigorated Honest Abe (the guy that played Lincoln in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and a bunch of commercials featuring a talking squirrel), collateral damage is inevitable. Now, a detention-bound gang of teens must choose sides between Republicans and Democrats, abolitionists and Jim Crow supporters, Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctorine. Think epic one-on-one fight scenes by rickety slightly-past middle aged white men occasionally aided by young boys and girls choosing sides and political parties. 
Dream Director: Wouldn’t you love to see the screwball spirit of unleashed Sam Raimi slightly classed up by the prestige of American history?
Tagline: You won’t fall asleep in this history lesson.

Country Bear Jamboree

If Del Toro can rejuvenate something Eddie Murphy soiled, then surely there’s a filmmaker of note that can hone in on the true terror of animatronic carnivores wielding banjos. A story could be as simple as Goldilocks (a freshly paroled Lindsay Lohan dusting off her Disney princess crown with a hint of I Know Who Killed Me trashiness) stumbling upon what seems like a friendly family of musically gifted bears. We’ll throw a House of the Devil twist that reveals the bears’ talents to be harnessed over centuries of mating with unlucky humans subsequently sacrificed. It’s almost as scary as the 2002 film.
Dream Director: Since the normally go-to director of fantastical creatures of the night will be busy with 3D ghosts, let’s watch David Cronenberg delve back into his Broodish body horror with man-bears, man-bear spawn, and all the mishaps in between.

Tagline: Didn’t mother tell you not to play with bears?

The Mad Tea Party

Honestly, I don’t really know how one would make a film out of what I equate to 2 minutes of pure torture in a pastel purgatory, but this current climate for near-snuff Serbian Films certainly shows the audience is there. 
Director: Gaspar Noe. The man and his spinning camera may have been born for this chance.

Tagline: You should have ordered coffee.

Have a story for Space Mountain? A plot to resurrect Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride? Share your thoughts and keep your hands and feet inside the comment box at all times.


  1. Fantastic! Can I just say I frickin hate the Country Bears AND the Tiki Room. And hell yes to historical horror!

    Also---I will see you in October at Rock n Shock I can't wait!

  2. Country Bears piss me off, especially since the show is about 6 hours (I'm estimating). The Tiki Room is cute enough, but that song is almost more sticking than Small World.

    So excited about Rock n Shock! Just remember: though the dress code is lax, pants are generally assumed.

  3. Hahah I'm covered I DO wear pants now remember?

  4. I think there are literally a million things innately evil about Disney.

    And I never get tired of listing them.

    Enjoy Horror Hound *sniffles*

  5. I forgot Andre! Now that it's 100 degrees, it is I who no longer wears pants (it's a bad thing that my blog's birthday is in winter).

    Ashlee: Boo to you for HHW! But any chance you'll make it to Rock 'N Shock?

  6. If it ain't in Jersey (or NYC), I won't be there :( A real drag I know but I've got my fingers crossed for next year.

  7. grrrrrrr.... But there is Monster Mania in August that's somewhere in Jersey! Not sure if I'm going or where it is, but we should talk!

  8. If you haven't already, you might interested checking out a site called It's basically an in depth site about amusement park rides malfunctioning. Even harmless stuff like merry go rounds and ferris wheels. As far as I know, It's a Small World isn't covered though.

  9. Thanks Dusty! As a big fan of the kind of carnivals one termite bite away from collapsing, this is rather awesome. However, i refuse to believe there have been no Small World incidents! It's a universal conspiracy I tells ya!