5 Old Movies Famous Actors Don't Want You To See
With the possible exception of the madness-fueled robot we call "Nicolas Cage," most actors are only human. And like all human beings, they sometimes make terrible decisions. Terrible, tone-deaf, below-30-percent-on-Rotten-Tomatoes decisions. In fact, even some of our most cherished celebrities have movies in their pasts that are hilariously backward by contemporary standards. Such as ...
The Night Before -- A Wacky Teen Movie About Keanu Reeves Selling His Prom Date Into Sex Slavery
Long before he kicked ass as John Wick, battled evil computers in The Matrix, and ... did whatever it was he did in The Lake House, Keanu Reeves was in a little movie called The Night Before. The 1988 teen comedy was kind of like The Hangover, but '80s-er, with a young Keanu trying to find his date after waking up in a filthy alley with no memory of what went down on prom night.
In flashbacks, we learn that his date, Tara (played by Full House's Aunt Becky), was forced to go to prom with the hideous bridge troll that is Keanu Reeves after losing a bet.
On the way to the big dance, Keanu's car breaks down in the scaaary ethnicity-filled downtown. The couple are forced them to take shelter in a nearby dive bar, where Keanu is immediately roofied, seemingly by a Genie.
In desperate need of money and with drugs coursing through his pubescent veins, Keanu accidentally sells Tara to a pimp for 1,500 bucks.
After recovering this icky memory, Keanu immediately scours every brothel in town, eventually finding Tara handcuffed in a seedy motel -- and surprisingly cool about the whole situation.
Then her new pimp, "Fat Jack," bursts in and tries to rape her. It was presumably at this point that most 1988 audiences began to seriously regret that they didn't just go see Beetlejuice again.
After Keanu thwarts Fat Jack, the pair escape. And of course, all of this prompts Tara to fall in love with the guy who sold her into sex slavery. This movie doesn't merely fail the Bechdel Test; it flunks Bechdel class, gets thrown out of Bechdel school, and is forced to work at Bechdel Arby's for the rest of its life.
Soul Man -- Julia Louis-Dreyfus And James Earl Jones Were In An '80s Blackface Comedy
If released today, Soul Man would probably cause Twitter to cosmically implode like the Poltergeist house. Why? The movie finds a rich white kid named Mark struggling to raise the money for Harvard Law School after his dad randomly decides not to pay up. So Mark does what any of us would do: gets a job and a student lo- wait, no, he purposefully overdoses on experimental tanning pills in order to claim a scholarship for African American students.
Once at Harvard, even law professor James Earl Jones is fooled by Mark skillfully answering "Right on!" during attendance.
The illusion isn't perfect, though, because Mark's bad at basketball -- which, as we all know, is a thing black people are good at by default. If this sounds like a stupid scene, also keep in mind that it's set to the song "Soul Man," rerecorded by original artist Sam Moore and celebrated racist Lou Reed, who thankfully restrained himself from donning blackface for the music video.
Even people who know Mark somehow don't clue into what's going on. In one scene, he runs into a friend played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Backed into a corner, he throws on pair of sunglasses, bobs his head like Ray Charles, and it inexplicably works.
Mark realizes he did a bad thing ... after getting caught, conveniently. He amazingly wins back the respect of James Earl Jones after admitting that he didn't truly understand the black experience, because he could have stopped taking his magic pills at any time. Also, his girlfriend (who's black for real) somehow forgives him.
To say that this half-assed happy ending in any way engages with any real issues of race in America would be tantamount to claiming that Ghostbusters offers a somber reflection on mortality.
Love Potion No. 9 -- Sandra Bullock Co-Starred In A Rom-Com About Magical Date Rape
In 1992, only a few years before hitting it big with a string of movies about the dangers of public transportation, the internet, and Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock co-starred in the romantic comedy Love Potion No. 9. The movie is based on the hit 1960s song of the same name, and presumably some screenwriter's gross fantasies.
Biochemist Paul (played by Tate Donovan) keeps striking out with women. Then, while randomly visiting a "gypsy" (which is a thing people do), Paul is given a love potion.
Paul takes the potion back to his lab, where he and his partner (Bullock) discover that it actually works. If you take the potion and talk to a member of the opposite sex, they basically become your sex slave. People of the same sex, however, become violent and hostile -- because apparently in this universe, gay people aren't allowed to use magic.
So Paul and Sandra Bullock decide to test the potion out on themselves for ... science? Paul heads out on the town and chats up a woman who turned him down earlier. This time, she immediately dry humps him in the middle of a bar.
Then he refuses to have sex with her -- not out of concern that he has blatantly violated any sense of consent, but out of petty spite for her rejecting him earlier. After that, in a scene that might not play so well today, Paul furthers his scientific research by loading his glove compartment full of condoms ...
... and heading to a college campus.
This is followed by a montage of Paul doing it in every room of a sorority house, before he eventually gets arrested -- but only because men aren't allowed to be in sorority houses at night. Not because, you know, he's literally a rapist.
Meanwhile, Sandra Bullock is using her newfound powers to date super rich guys, and for some reason also gets a total makeover. Only a movie made by dudes would have a woman with an all-consuming power over men radically alter her appearance to make herself more attractive to the guys she's brainwashing.
Of course, Paul falls in love with her -- but then she falls in love with her ex, who's also doping with the potion. Luckily, their ensuing wedding is broken up by Paul's sex worker friend, who's also on the potion. That goes well:
Paul eventually breaks the spell and makes out with Sandra Bullock. Then the final shot implies that this was all part of the psychic's plan. Hopefully she has a potion that magically gets rid of about a thousand STDs.
The Van -- Behold Danny DeVito's Sex Van Movie
For moviegoers in 1977 who thought Star Wars was desperately lacking in sex vans, there was The Van, a sexploitation movie about a guy who buys a van for the sole purpose of having sex in it. That's it, that's the entire premise of the movie.
The main character, Bobby, then ventures out into the world, using his van to try to pick up women, like a horny version of the Scooby-Doo gang. The van contains a waterbed and a mirrored ceiling, so naturally, it's an aphrodisiac on wheels.
It's also worth noting that The Van co-stars a young Danny DeVito as Bobby's boss. It's a relatively small part, though you wouldn't know it from modern copies of the movie, which shamelessly try to cash in on whatever audience would be super into softcore porn starring the Penguin.
At first, Bobby has trouble luring women into his van. There's a scene in which the hero of the movie assaults a woman, and another in which he unknowingly hires a call girl. The rest of the film is mostly nothing but him doing it in a van. The filmmakers were so committed to that premise that there's even a scene wherein Bobby and a young woman are in a house, on a couch, with a bed nearby, and they still go out to the suspiciously TARDIS-like van to have sex.
And while DeVito doesn't get any hot van action, he does lose a bunch of money gambling and get repeatedly punched in the balls by angry bookies.
So there's that.
Heart Condition -- Denzel Washington's Racially Charged Buddy Ghost Comedy
Denzel Washington is one of our greatest living actors, which is why it's so unnerving to go back and watch him in a movie that tried to fix racism with ghosts and dick jokes. 1990's Heart Condition stars Bob Hoskins as a bigoted cop, Jack, whose girlfriend has been seeing her lawyer Napoleon (Denzel) behind his back. In the opening scene, Jack chases down and almost shoots Napoleon for running off with his clients' purseful of crack.
After failing to shoot him in the head, Jack instead knees Napoleon in the dick and calls him the N-word. Replace the N-word with "Toon," and it's pretty much the same movie as Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
Soon after, Jack has a heart attack, and coincidentally at the same time, Napoleon is fatally shot (not by Jack). Of course, Denzel is an organ donor and his heart ends up in ... Jack. The hilarious situation of a black man dying and donating his heart to save Jack's life is commemorated by his friends putting a giant black dildo in his hospital bed.
Jack freaks out -- not because his friends are such friggin' jackasses, but because the doctors put a black person's heart in his body. Then, in what is presumably a common side effect of this type of procedure, Jack starts being haunted by Napoleon's ghost. When Denzel isn't making jokes about being a ghost or how his dick is "as big as a Shetland Pony's," he helps Hoskins woo their mutual ex-girlfriend ... who also secretly had Denzel's baby.
Then a killer pimp kidnaps and almost murders the baby, so Denzel and Hoskins team up to take out the pimp while simultaneously fixing racism forever.
People have pointed out that for all of this movie's attempts to address racial tensions, it's incredibly racist -- like how despite being a lawyer, Denzel's character acts like a pimp, what with all the prostitute wrangling and crack possession. And in the end, his character is turned into an "absentee father" for essentially no reason. This movie is so bad that there was even a rumor that Washington canned his agent as a result. The worst part, though, might be the film's international title:
Get to writing your own script with a beginner's guide to Celtx, and maybe one day a huge star will try to erase YOU from their memories!
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