In its first weekend of wide release, Harmony Korine’s hedonistic morality play Spring Breakers did a respectable $5 million and landed in the top ten — certainly a first for Korine, and an indication that newbie distributor A24 may have an indie hit on their hands. And when a movie is big, you know what comes next: merchandising! You wouldn’t think that Korine’s feverish vision of gun-toting, bikini-wearing babes would be a natural for tie-in products, but you’d be wrong; after the jump, we’ll take a look at your must-have Breakers merch, and nine other unlikely movies you won’t believe were merchandised.
Spring Breakers hadn’t even gone wide when we spotted this full page of merch inspired by the Lauderdale adventures of Alien and the girls. It’s all here — replica bikinis (obvi), unicorn hoodies, character jerseys (with an upside-down cross for Faith, a marijuana leaf for Candy, etc.), backpacks, bandanas, and (of course) a variety of “SPRING BREAK 4EVER BITCHES” bracelets. We assume the Alien grill home kit and neon stocking caps are forthcoming.
The Human Centipede
We’ve mentioned, a time or two, that we weren’t exactly fans of writer/director Tom Six’s freak show cult hit, which concerned an insane doctor’s experiment to, erm, graft three people together. (Let’s just leave it at that.) It’s bad enough that the picture attracted enough freaks and looky-loos to prompt a (by all reports, more repugnant) sequel; its fans can also show their love for horrifying surgery by wearing a necklace inspired by the movie. Perfect for making just the right impression on a first date!
The Passion of the Christ
Mel Gibson’s 2004 Biblical epic was such a smash that it prompted soundtrack albums, books, and even a PG-13 re-release with the violence toned down, for the less bloodthirsty members of its audience. But the most bizarre tie-ins could be found on the Share The Passion of the Christ website, which gave viewers the opportunity to show their love for Gibson’s grisly picture by sporting “Passion NailT pendants.” Yes, for anywhere from $13 to $56, you too can commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus by wearing a nail around your neck, along with a Bible verse and (of course) the logo for the movie. It’s both faithful and tasteful.
David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s book was a notoriously incoherent, utterly trippy mess — but it was an early-‘80s sci-fi movie, so its producers understandably wanted a taste of the merchandising money that made George Lucas so rich. That’s the only explanation we can come up with for the jaw-dropping series of Dune activity and coloring books, which featured connect-the-dots, recipes, and scenes of (according to the folks at Coilhouse, who did a detailed summary of the books) “murder, intrigue, suppurating boils, phallic symbolism and knifeplay.” So, y’know, fun for the whole family.
Being John Malkovich
When Being John Malkovich was released in a limited-edition VHS collector’s set (yep, they used to do that), Polygram USA Video was looking for something special to lure consumers to the package. So they reached out to Russian nesting doll makers Golden Cockerel, which created 40,000 dolls, nesting Cameron Diaz inside Catherine Keener inside John Cusack inside John Malkovich. Which makes sense, within the film, we guess?
Alien vs. Predator
I don’t know about you, but the first time this viewer saw the titular villain in Predator, all giant teeth and weird dreadlocks and so forth, I had but one thought: Kids would love that thing! Well, I wasn’t the only one; for the 2004 release of Alien vs. Predator, toymakers decided it was time for a plush, adorable stuffed animal iteration of the Predator. “The 8” tall Predator is made out of 100% soft materials,” boasts its seller, “so even the youngest fans can enjoy this cute-and-cuddly interpretation of this classic sci-fi movie monster!” Nightmares included at no additional charge!
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
If Kevin Reynolds’s ill-conceived 1991 Robin Hood film is remembered today, it is either for Kevin Costner’s atrocious non-accent or Alan Rickman’s scenery-chewing turn as the Sheriff of Nottingham. But it was expected to be a big hit that summer (Costner was fresh off the box-office and critical success of Dances with Wolves, after all), and that, friends, is how we ended up with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves — The Cereal . Everything about it is inexplicable, from the “Classic Illustrated Tales”-style cover illustration (bearing, as far as we can tell, no resemblance whatsoever to the major movie star at the film’s center) to the shape of the cereal itself, delicately described by Cracked as “full of dicks.”
David Fincher’s stylish, nihilistic 1999 cult hit was notable for, among other things, its trenchant and pointed commentary on the crass commercialism of modern culture. So why not show your solidarity with that timeless message by shelling out 165 bucks for a “stylish premium quality jacket, an inspired replica worn by Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in the 1999 movie Fight Club?” The Narrator would be proud of you!
Hey parents, looking for a fun play set to remind your kids of all the fun you had at that hard-R-rated sci-fi/action extravaganza? Why not grab the Aliens Micro Machines Transforming Action set? But a warning, as you may have gathered from the image of the alien crawling out of the guy in the upper right corner of the box: it’s for “ages 4 and up” only.
We… are… wearing inappropriate underwear! Yes, if you were moved to do a little at-home cosplay of the 2006 Zack Snyder epic, we’ve got good news for you: you can own a pair of official, licensed leather underpants, or buy them for the Gerald Butler in your life. It’s not weird at all!