4 Spam Emails That Deserve To Be Movies

Hidden beneath the appalling grammar and bewildering sentence structure lies the gripping emotional core that elevates some spam emails above the usual riff-raff of the genre. They're all trying to rip you off, but some do it with a narrative flair. Fully realized characters defect from tyrannical governments, wrangle large sums of money from the hands of the greedy and powerful, or have loved ones die under mysterious circumstances. Email scammers are petty criminals, yes. But more than that, they are storytellers, and their medium is your spam folder.

I say it's time we recognize the stirring tales found in spam emails by giving them the silver screen adaptations they've long deserved. So join me as I bring the world's most cinematic spam emails to life by fleshing out their stories, finding the perfect actors for the roles, and deciding which director would do these stories justice.

#4. The Hitman Scam

A man receives an email containing grave news: An assassin has been hired to kill him! The email is from ... THE ASSASSIN HIMSELF. He was hired by one of the mark's closest friends. Who? Why? Before these questions can be answered, international assassin Dai Teatime offers an alternative: His investigation into the mark has yielded no reason why he should be killed. For a ransom, he will reveal who hired him. Dai is the best assassin in the world (if you're signing emails with your full name and telling people you're an "international assassin," you must be pretty damn good, right?), so what is it about this target that makes him reveal himself and his mission?

The mark is Thaxton Brigaand, billionaire and philanthropist. Thaxton made a fortune in the tech industry and now spends his retirement helping poor African nations get basic modern technology like singing Japanese toilets. His philanthropic ways began soon after he made his first billion, after which he received an email from a desperate African school teacher who needed money to keep local rebels away from her students. It turned out to be a Nigerian scam email, but the millions of dollars Thaxton gave to a sweaty den of email scammers allowed one young man to pay for an entire graduate and post-graduate education, ultimately receiving a doctorate in assassination.

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"And now for the ceremonial throwing of the caps so our sniping majors can blow them to bits."

That young man was Dai Teatime, international assassin. Dai's life changed after that. He was murdering dozens of people a week, no questions asked, and he put all of his money back into the small African town he called home.

Dai's assassin code was put to the test when he was contracted by Russian water park mogul, Yuri Russianame, to kill the man who always inadvertently thwarted Yuri's plans to use millions of gallons of drinkable water to build a water park beside every small African village by blindly donating millions of dollars to spammers who put the money to anti-water park efforts. That man is the same one who inadvertently paid for Dai's college tuition: billionaire philanthropist Thaxton Brigaand. Thaxton and Yuri were the best of friends, but Thaxton's refusal to believe that he'd been funding spammers tore their friendship apart.

Dai and (inadvertently) Thaxton team up to take out the villainous Yuri Russianame once and for all -- Dai with a set of guns and Thaxton with his uncanny ability to yield positive results from allowing a quarter of his fortune to be stolen from him.

The Cast

Dai Teatime has franchise written all over him. He's the James Bond of spam email. So I need someone who can be smooth but also damaged. That's why I nominate ...

Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Idris Elba. Why? Pfft! Haven't you seen him in Luther? I haven't. But his performance in Luther's Netflix cover photo convinced me he can play troubled justice-seekers.

You give me an actor who can play the bumbling sympathetic screw-up better than William H. Macy and I'll eat my own head:

Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
I'll Periscope that shit and dozens of creepy 4chan weirdos will find it erotic.

And since there's only one Russian actor in the world, let's have him be Yuri Russianame.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
He isn't even Russian in real life. But he's Russian in my heart.

The Director

Since we're being obnoxious movie nerds right now, let's bring on David Fincher to direct.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

David "What do I do with my hands?" Fincher

It's not a perfect fit. I'd probably go with Michael Mann, realistically. But Fincher's always one of the first names obnoxious movie people bring up in these conversations. I'm just keeping with tradition, is all.

The Title And Poster

Randall Maynard

#3. Preaching The Gospel Through Outdated Technology

Friday Fred (an actual name used in spam mails I'm appropriating for this one) wants to restore the hope and faith of his fellow villagers in the wake of Idi Amin's genocidal reign of terror -- and he needs a TV and DVD player to do it. And he's also a psychic.

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**Record scratch**

Thrown in as an afterthought is Friday Fred's incredible superpower: Visions of the past and future come to him in his sleep. His only weakness is that the same principal applies to the present. He's an oblivious idiot in his waking life. But if you catch him napping -- look out! He's never confused. His deep understanding of present situations while he's asleep is so deep it makes people feel inadequate. Think about it: If someone could do something better than you in their sleep, you'd feel pretty shitty too. He makes people collapse under the weight of their inadequacy, thus finding no other option than to give Friday Fred all the TVs and DVD players he wants just to make it stop.

He and his villagers are swimming in TVs and DVD players that loop Joel Osteen gospels 24 hours a day. Everything is going according to plan ... until he meets his arch-rival: Richard Donner (also a name used by spammers), the man who never feels the inadequacy of being confused in a situation. How is this possible?

After some digging and many epic fights wherein a sleeping man and an awake, confident man just kind of stand around, the secret to Richard Donner's ability to always know what's happening is revealed: He's on Adderall.

The Cast

Friday Fred will be unconscious for most of his big action sequences, so I need an actor with so much charisma he can literally give a great performance in his sleep. I think I just described the flavor text on Will Smith's business card.

Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"Do you need a shitty rap for the soundtrack?"

Richard Donner will be played by legendary movie director ... Richard Donner.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

I have no idea if he can act, but casting people whose names are the same as the character they're playing is kind of no-brainer. I don't know why. It just feels like a no-brainer, ya know?

The Director

I can't cast Richard Donner in a movie and not have him direct it too. I don't even know if he's the right guy for the material. But he directed Superman 1 & 2, The Goonies, Maverick, all the Lethal Weapon movies, Scrooged, and three episodes of Tales From The Crypt. That guy could direct traffic and make it compelling.

The Title And Poster

Randall Maynard

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