Scour the depths of any star's IMDB credits, and you're sure to find a few regrettable or unusual movies. Much like learning how to listen to Gwyneth Paltrow talk without compulsively vomiting, signing on to weird films is all just part of the journey to stardom. So we come today, not to mock Brad Pitt for having been associated with Paramount Pictures' 1992 film Cool World. We come simply to say, "Holy shit, this might be the weirdest goddamn movie to have ever existed. And, double holy shit, I can't believe this has Brad Pitt in it."
Like, you know that story about Michael Jordan getting cut from his high school basketball team? Well, it didn't technically go down that way, but that's okay because if you're looking for a new example of someone super famous having humble beginnings, then Brad Pitt starring in Cool World can be that example. And, I'm not saying this because Cool World is a bad movie. I don't think it is a bad movie. Cool World is just so, so, so, so bizarre that learning of its mere existence will snap your brain down the center. Here's a clip, without context, to give you a taste, and I promise the context makes it even weirder:
This isn't a movie. It's 102 minutes of a hornt-up, cartoon acid trip, but let me try to give some sort of basis for what is happening here. While in prison, a cartoonist named Jack Deebs creates a comic series called "Cool World" based on visions he is having of a cartoon world of the same name. It turns out that this cartoon world is real, and he is transported into it because plot. There he meets a host of insane cartoon characters that make Ren and Stimpy look sedated, a cartoon vixen named Holly Would (clearly designed by someone who watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit and thought, "What if Jessica Rabbit, but horny more? My pants hurting.") and Frank Harris (Brad Pitt), a human who now serves as the de facto law enforcement of Cool World.
Harris explains to Deebs that there is one rule in Cool World, and that rule is that you cannot have sex with cartoons. Let me repeat: The one rule to this universe has nothing to do with murder, or being a good person, or making sure your taxes are in on time. The only rule is that you can't stick your human dong inside cartoon poon, lest you risk opening a portal to an interdimensional realm. Presumably, other combinations of human and cartoon genitalia intermingling are also banned; however, they don't really make it clear what counts as sex. Will letting this spider stick his antennae up your butthole destroy all of space/time? We don't know.
But what we do know is that this rule of "no sex with cartoons" is enough to serve as an inflection point for conflict throughout the entire film, without any further questions being asked, and that is what I find most hilarious about it. No one ever really calls out Jack for being a pervert who wants to bang animated drawings. Brad Pitt's character has a cartoon girlfriend that he wants to bang too. He just resists the urge because he's the good guy. The movie just assumes that everyone in the world wants so badly to get waist-deep in some cel-shaded booty that it need not explain further how such a rule could come to exist.
What's even more incredible is that this movie is somehow PG-13. Again, this movie with this scene ...
... was somehow deemed suitable for children. I'm in my 20's now, and I still don't think I was emotionally prepared enough to process what happened in the above clip. There are episodes of Bang Bus that feel less dirty than the above clip. I guess we've come a long way since the ratings and standards practices of the '90s, or maybe everyone who worked in the FCC at the time saw this scene and resigned immediately rather than face any more psychological trauma. The craziest thing is that it was actually supposed to be R, but Kim Basinger, Holly's voice/model, refused to do the film unless it dropped to PG-13 ... so it could be shown in children's hospitals.
And when it comes to weirdness, that's just the tip of Cool World's especially phallic iceberg. Every scene feels like it was animated by the spirit of meth. For example, as Holly is trying to seduce Pitt and random stencils of dogs wearing sunglasses, etc., just float across the scene.
It's all just crazy-cuckoo-pants, and to think that anyone associated with it would go on to become one of America's biggest celebrities is as inspiring a story as any other. So remember, folks, if Brad Pitt can be in Cool World and still be a star, then so can you. Also, never have sex with cartoons.
Top Image: Paramount Pictures