But ahh, thanks to YouTube, we can now capture, collect and cringe at these ads in all their dignity-compromising glory. Here are five of these embarrassingly bizarre commercials, along with our guess as to how the Japanese director might have pitched it to the American actor.
The Star: Arnold Schwarzenegger, displaying the same subtle, nuanced acting style that he brought to his critically lauded role as Mr. Freeze.
The Product: "Vfuyy," which appears be to be some sort of energy drink/medicinal supplement/horse steroid.
The Japanese Director' Pitch: (loosely translated) "You are finding victory in gambling but no—you are accused of much cheating! You fear retributions! So you run! And you ingest Vfuyy! Suddenly, your face peels away! You harness power of flight! Your suit shines of decadent gold! Naturally, your accuser becomes buried beneath a downpour of French fries and you enjoy much endless laughter. Vfuyy!"
The Star: Nicolas CageÃ¢â‚¬"that is, the fidgety, comic Nick Cage we saw in Face/Off, not the self-righteous artiste we saw in Con Air.
The Product: Sankyo, a maker of "pachinko" machines, Japanese gambling devices that are said to be tied to the Yakuza organized crime group. So, a pretty desirable endorsement.
The Japanese Director' Pitch: "Lovers of your movies are clamoring for your public touch. You agree to make autograph for sexy sexy twins. But there is one more—they are triplets! Sexy times THREE! Your mind is overcome by fever. Your cells divide and you scream to sky, 'FEVER!!' And of course, men will be eating watermelon. Any question?"
The Star: Michael J. Fox, pre-Parkinson' onset (though in most Japanese ads, it would not seem out of place to see an actor just arbitrarily shaking).
The Product: A tea-based soft drink so refreshing it inspires the iconic, all-time brilliant slogan of"¦ "Good Afternoon."
The Japanese Director' Pitch: "You appear in garden with full mastery of devious hedge clippers. You are not for trusting. In your hands, tree becomes bear! Yes! You are drinking deeply of satisfaction, whenÃ¢â‚¬"oh no!Ã¢â‚¬"the maid becomes disapproving. She is heavy and undesirable! Her broom signals death so you flee. Pretty self-explanatory."