Top 10 Fanboy Treats
It's a term most commonly used to make fun of the obsessive followers of certain genres. Whether it be comic books, video games, TV shows, anime, or movies, it's an easy way to label someone that knows more than the casual fan. I love it. I love their passion. I love their devotion. I love the power they possess to keep web sites such as this a daily interest. Filmmakers have taken notice too, slipping in the odd detail that gives goosebumps to a select group of fans. While there's probably hundreds I've missed and even more that I've actually seen but had fly over my head, these are some of the most memorable moments in Fanboy lore.
Back in 1978 there was this little film called DAWN OF THE DEAD. In it, a biker named Blade (or Blades according to the original credits) breaks into a mall, screws everything up for the survivors that were hiding there, and ends up getting eaten by zombies. Nearly 30 years later, on the streets of LAND, Blade still roams free. His leather and machete are still intact. More than just a character cameo, Tom Savini's appearance signifies his importance to the success of George Romero's DEAD series. His chilling special effects set a standard for gore fans across the world and modern make-up artists who try mimicking him any chance they get.
One of the first and best portrayals of fanboys in film came here with the horror obsessed Francis 'Chainsaw' Gremp (Dean Cameron) and Dave Frazier (Gary Riley) tormenting their classmates and teachers alike. Impromptu displays of carnage at the petting zoo, in-class showings of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, spur of the moment critical reviews, and an unforgettable prank on their substitute teacher that involves crawling limbs, flowing intestines, tongue removal, and a hanging of the foreign exchange student gave new meaning to the term "class clowns".
It always seemed unfair to me that of all the major characters in the original STAR WARS trilogy, the one who made out with the least star power was it's hero, Mark Hamill. Kevin Smith felt my pain and cast him as a evil super villain with a light sabre thingy, dressed him up like an asshole, and named him Cocknocker. Probably not what Mark had in mind for an acting comeback but hey, he did get to deliver this solid bit of dialogue - "Don't f*ck with a Jedi Master son." If George Lucas was dead he would have rolled over. Since he's not, he probably just sued someone.
In what many feel is the greatest comic book film ever made came the preview to one of the most tragic and memorable storylines in comic history. Whether the next movie can live up to it is questionable at best. In the last few frames of the film, while scanning over the water, you can see the outline of Dark Phoenix (it's there, honest. That's the best I could do above) and a prelude to Jean Grey's transformation into one of the X-Men's most dangerous enemies. This story made me read comics for the rest of my life and for a moment made the hair on my neck stand straight up.
My top 3 worst moments in a theatre in reverse order - 3) Ten minutes into THE SIXTH SENSE my wife leans over and says, "I betcha' Bruce Willis is dead." 2) Although I have no recollection of it at all, my brother says I pooped myself during a Cheech and Chong film in the early eighties. I decided to include it in case it really did happen. 1) Sitting through Roland Emmerich's American version of GODZILLA in 1998. Not only did I want my money back, I was pretty sure they owed me $20. That's why this entry is so sweet. The makers of FINAL WARS decided to show everyone who the real badass is by pitting the original Gojira against the idiot Zilla version. I won't spoil it, but the fact that it's on this list should tell you somebody gets their ass handed to them swiftly and justly.
After hogging all the STAR TREK motion pictures for years, it was time for Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) to hand over the franchise to Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his modern Enterprise crew. The plot is filled with holes big enough for a photon-torpedo to slip through unnoticed and the end was met with an all-out Trekkie uproar but fans of the series couldn't help but get warm and fuzzy to see Kirk kick it with the new school. Spock would have been there too if the script didn't suck so much.
It may seem minor now, with an entire movie based on the concept, but seeing that Alien skull on display in the Predator's ship was nothing less than mind blowing back in the day. Predators hunt Aliens? Ripley can team up with Dutch? Bill Paxton got his ass kicked by both of them? The cross-over came a year earlier in the pages of Dark Horse Comics but the building blocks for the big screen started right here. Fourteen years later we got our wish (kind of) when Paul W.S. Anderson made a PG-13 version of ALIEN vs. PREDATOR and further solidified his presence as the poster boy for Fanboy hatred.
You know a movie is bad when it tries to save itself with as many in-jokes as possible and forgets to write a decent story. These are usually called spoofs, and they're supposed to be funny. In and around the Voorhees home we get to see the jungle gym from THE BIRDS, the crate from CREEPSHOW, and the Necronomicon from THE EVIL DEAD series to name a few. The mother of these treats comes in the films finale though as Freddy Krueger puts the final touches on Jason's reign by pulling his mask to hell. It was only considered a sight gag by the makers of the film but got out of hand by the time it reached Fanboy Nation. Thus, FREDDY vs. JASON was born.
Before shit like SIMONE, GIGLI, SHOWTIME, and THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE it was simple - there were two actors that ruled their profession, they both wanted coffee, history was made. Seeing Al Pacino and Robert De Niro exchange dialogue was like watching Michael Jordan go one-on-one with Wilt Chamberlain in their primes. Ever since THE GODFATHER: PART II in 1974, when they both got nominated for separate Oscars (only De Niro won), this scene had been Hollywood's destiny. Two actors at the top of their game sizing each other up, not wanting to give up a lifestyle that defines what they have become. Isn't it possible, with the money that is throw around studios today, to have this happen again. Throw in Nicholson, Hackman, Hoffman, Redford, Newman, Freeman, and Eastwood and call it "BEST. SHIT. EVER."
To see Anakin Skywalker put the mask on for the very first time and become DARTH VADER is what being a Fanboy is all about. Forget all the CGI, ignore the crappy dialogue, quit bitching about Jar Jar and the Ewoks, and just take this moment in for what it is - 28 years of fantasy excellence coming to a close. For all the little kids who never got a chance to see the original trilogy on anything but a television, for all the old timers who remember what it was like to feel their jaw hit the floor after seeing the theatrical trailer for EMPIRE, and even for the haters who think it's cool to pretend they're not impressed, times like these are why I'm proud to call myself a fan, boy.