DATE: Oct 30, 2014 | BY: David Wharton | Category: Sci-Fi
It never fails to amaze me just how many out-of-left-field ways creative fans come up with to remix and riff on their favorite movies. We’ve seen animated gifs designed to look like custom neon art. We’ve seen Lucasfilm and ILM employees take sidewalk art to the next level. And now? Now we can see what classic science fiction films such as Alien, Inception, and A Clockwork Orange would look like if adapted into traditional Ottoman-style paintings. See if you can guess which one this is.
As much as I love The Simpsons, I admittedly haven’t watched new episodes with any kind of regularity for a number of years at this point. I still have my favorite moments and episodes, and Simpsons quotes still make up roughly 40% of my daily dialogue, but it hasn’t been consistently good enough to warrant tuning in week in and week out for a while. That said, now that Fox moved Brooklyn Nine-Nine to Sunday evenings immediately following America’s favorite jaundiced-looking family, I’ve tuned in far more frequently than I have in years. This is where and how I first saw this Stanley Kubrick tribute from their annual “Treehouse of Horror,” the 25th such Halloween horror-themed episode.
Primarily, this is an homage to Kubrick’s 1971 adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ classic dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange. Moe Szyslak takes the place of Malcolm MacDowell’s violent, fake-eyelash-and-jock-strap-wearing thug, with Homer, Carl, and Lenny as his mates. As youths, all they want to do is hang around picking fights, drinking Duff Milk, and looking for a bit of the in-out, which, in this instance, mean jumping in and out of the Kwik-E-Mart’s automatic doors. That changes, however, when Homer meets Marge, and it all goes to hell in a hand basket. This isn’t the entire video, but it’s a nice chunk.
In addition to being one of the most talented and respected filmmakers of all time, Stanley Kubrick gave our beloved genre of science fiction several instant classics. 2001: A Space Odyssey is a hypnotic epic stretching from the dawn of man to our near extinction. A Clockwork Orange adapted Anthony Burgess’ novel in cold, methodical fashion, serving up a bit of the old ultraviolence that inspired countless pop-culture references and hipster Halloween costumes. Those two films are just a few of the many being paid tribute by an exhibition that recently wrapped up its engagement at the Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco. Thankfully you can still see what the show’s artists had to offer, and you don’t even need a plane ticket or a time machine.
How come adults don’t get meals that come with prizes? Some of my favorite rituals from childhood involved being elbow-deep in a box of cereal, feeling around for the prize, or dumping all the food out of my Happy Meal just so I could get to the toy. So how come we don’t get a grown-up equivalent? After-dinner mints and fortune cookies don’t count, damn it. I want to be able to finish my snazzy, five-star meal, and then have the waiter bring me out a Rocket Raccoon action figure on a silver platter. Sadly, I will probably never live in such a world, but at least pretending is a little bit easier thanks to these faux Happy Meals that were ripped right out of my Happy Place.
These awesome fake Happy Meals are the work of Los Angeles digital artist Newt Clements. (He mostly comes out at night. Mostly.) His Pinterest is full of a wide variety of crazy projects, but his Happy Meals collection is one of the most extensive. He’s got over 100 of the things by my count, and they’re all incredibly well done. Designing Happy Meal boxes to tie into Doctor Who, Aliens, or Escape from New York would have been worthy of a story in and of itself, but Clements goes the extra mile by imagining what toys might be included with each meal as well. And I don’t care what bounty McDonald’s has on offer, there’s no way it’s cooler than an action figure of Firefly’s River standing atop a pile of Reaver corpses.
You might not recognize the name “Joey Spiotto,” but there’s a good chance you’ve seen and admired his work at some point. We’ve featured his brilliant “Little Golden Book” riffs on pop-culture staples such as Alien and Shaun of the Dead several times here on GFR over the years, but he just keeps putting out more awesome stuff. Now a bunch of that awesome stuff is set to be gathered together under one roof for an art show beginning this Friday, August 1 at Gallery 1988 East in Los Angeles.
Spiotto’s “Little Golden Books” pieces are like artifacts from a far superior alternate universe, one where your children can thrill to the cheerful adventures of cartoon-ified alien facehuggers, or a day in the life of precocious, cuddly versions of Pulp Fiction’s hitmen Vincent and Jules. (Just don’t ask about the sign on the front of Jimmie’s house.) I mean, come on, who wouldn’t love to be kicked to death by Alex from A Clockwork Orange if he looked this adorable?
Most of our favorite characters in sci-fi have distinct jobs that are almost as important as the characters themselves. Dr. Peter Venkman was a Ghostbuster. Rick Grimes was a cop. Malcolm Reynolds was a badass ship captain. But there’s an entire labor industry embedded Hollywood films that you may have never noticed before. And design studio Invasione Creativa has scoured the cinematic landscape to create faux business cards. I don’t see any business cards for whoever would actually be selling these things though, as they’re definitely welcome to fill up my wallet since there’s no money in there to keep them company or anything.
Speaking of companies, I’m not quite sure that it’s the greatest idea for a successful plastic surgery practice to offer the world triple boob surgeries. As inspired by Total Recall, this strange end of the medical spectrum would be off-putting to some, but I bet a large enough client base would form that might keep them in business for a while, especially those of who were adolescent boys in 1990.