Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Two McBains

A few months ago the internet exploded with geek joy when its users realized that the various McBain clips from the early seasons of The Simpsons could be viewed in order to form a kinda-sorta fully plotted mini-movie.

(Yes, it takes little to make the internet explode, particularly when the subject matter draws on nostalgia. Did you know that the theme to India Jones, when played backwards, sounds exactly like the theme to Star Wars? That’s not true, but could you imagine the geekgasm that would beslime monitors across the globe if it were? Oh, there would be Reddit threads.)

Today, I present something to you that, by my personal standards, blows McBain out of the water: and that thing is McBain. It’s a movie. Like, a real movie, released in 1991, well after McBain the character began appearing on The Simpsons. And like the Simpsons character, this actual, live action McBain employs every hackneyed late 80s-early 90s action trope you could imagine. Observe:

Oh, and Christopher Walken plays the titular assassinator-and-quipper, so total bonus points. (Maria Conchita Alonso is also in it, but that’s a neutral, decides the world.)

Although the McBain movie developed separately from and subsequently to the Simpsons character, and although the pop cultural impact of this movie more or less amounts to zero, it still influenced the show. According to Wikipedia, after McBain hit theaters, its producers prevented the show from using the name for some years. As a result, the Simpsons writers wrote onto the show that McBain was only a character and that Schwarzeneggeresque actor who played him was actually Ranier Wolfcastle. Thus, thank this terrible Christopher Walken movie for the fact that you know who Ranier Wolfcastle is.

The Simpsons, previously:

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