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Before They Were Stars!
May 9th, 2014
Recutting movies and television shows into something they are not is nothing new. We’ve seen The Shining become a heart-warming, family comedy. Dumb and Dumber become an “epic drama.” And Jaws become a Disney movie. The most recent trailer to drastically alter a work of art may be the most jarring yet: Full House as a horror flick. Yes, anything can be edited to appear terrifying, but this one is so effective because it basically takes the Tanner family’s tight-knit dynamics and turns it into the most horrifying premise imaginable: Patriarch Danny Tanner as a sexually abusive, psychopathic father. Sure, we always had our doubts with the constant kissing and hugging, but this is nuts.
So it got me thinking as to how every one of those rather wholesome, life-lesson-learning ABC TGIF sitcoms from the late ’80s and early ’90s could be manipulated and rewritten into the most terrifying 30 minutes on television. And this is what I came up with…
The original premise: Posh housekeeper, Lynn Belvedere, struggles to adapt to the Owens household. The breadwinner, George, is a sportswriter. His wife Marsha is attending law school. At the show’s start, oldest son Kevin is a senior in high school, daughter Heather is a freshman, and Wesley is in elementary school. (Via Wikipedia)
The horror premise: Mr. Belvedere is a middle-aged Englishman who arrives to help the Owens family with their housekeeping. At first he seems pleasant enough, but before long the Owens’s start to get suspicious about their new housekeeper after their cat disappears, they hear deep, Satanic chants in the night, oh and they discover a pentagram drawn in blood surrounded by candles and a shrine of family photos with their faces exed out. Creepiest of all? His name is Lynne.
Fun fact: According to the internet, the eldest son Kevin was actually played by shock rocker Marilyn Manson. In 1996, this was a fact.
Amusing horror-themed alternate title: Mr. Belvedeath
The original premise: Balki Bartokomous, a sheepherder from the small Mediterranean Greek-like island of Mypos, travels to the United States in search of his relatives. He finds his cousin, Larry Appleton – who has recently ‘escaped’ from his large-sized family and is reveling in the unaccustomed luxury of having his own room to himself. They end up sharing accommodation in Larry’s apartment – even though the two cousins could not be more dissimilar. For, while Larry is panicky, hyperventilative, business-like and mercenary – Balki is placid, unharried, sunny-natured and idealistic. (Via IMDb)
The horror premise: When Balki arrives, Cousin Larry manipulates his naïve, bird-brained “foreign” cousin, coercing him to commit all sorts of heinous crimes to satisfy Larry’s depraved fantasies. This one might receive an NC-17 rating.
Fun fact: While they played loving cousins on the sitcom, Bronson Pinchot (Balki) and Mark Linn-Baker (Larry) were pitted against each other in arguably the most heated battle of the 20th century: the cola wars. Pinchot endorsed Pepsi, while Linn-Baker endorsed Coke. Both even filmed commercials promoting their choice syrupy, carbonated beverage. This could also have been good content for a horror storyline: Balki takes his love for Pepsi too far, bludgeoning his Coke-loving Cousin Larry to death with a full two-litre bottle of Pepsi.
Amusing horror-themed alternate title: Perfect Stranglers
The original premise: A spin-off from Perfect Strangers, Family Matters focused on Harriet and her family: husband Carl the police officer, along with their three kids (Eddie Winslow, the rebel son; Laura Winslow, the smart-aleck daughter; and cute little Judy Winslow). Living with them is Harriet’s sister, Rachel and her young son Richie, as well as Carl’s mother Estelle. “Everything was going along just fine until one day, Steve Urkel, the inventive nerd, barged into their home and eventually, into their hearts. Steve had a killer crush on Laura, but she would never give him the time of day.” (Via TV.com)
The horror premise: Steve Urkel is a pervert vampire who stalks Laura. After the Winslow family invite him “into their hearts” and more importantly, their house, Urkel begins to pick them off one by one, sucking their blood, until it’s only down to his love Laura, who he plans to turn into his vampire love. Of course, he doesn’t quite drain Carl, and the cop manages to pull out his revolver and fire a wooden bullet into Urkel’s heart before he can turn Laura.
Fun fact: Family Matters and Full House had a crossover episode where Urkel visited the Tanners. This scenario could have had unlimited potential: Urkel killing the Tanners, Urkel joining Danny in his murder spree, Urkel unleashing the Urkelbot on the house. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTcYtyAZp3I
Amusing horror-themed alternate title: Family Massacres
Boy Meets World
The original premise: A ‘90s sitcom about a boy, Cory Matthews, and his journey to adulthood. With him are his best friend Shawn Hunter, his girlfriend Topanga Lawrence, his charming yet silly older brother Eric, and his teacher and next-door-neighbour George Feeny. (Via Boy Meets World Wiki)
The horror premise: Cory is undergoing some changes. As he reaches puberty, he starts growing hair in weird places, like all over his body. Every morning he wakes up naked either in the woods, on someone’s front lawn or in a garbage dump, with blood in his mouth and a strain on his throat, like he’d been howling all night long. With the help of his BFF Shawn and his GFF Topanga, Cory learns that he has a problem. However, can he try and overcome it before his nosy neighbor/teacher Mr. Feeny turns him into the police?
Fun fact: Three episodes of Boy Meets World have been banned by Disney Channel, which airs re-runs of the show, and will also air the sequel, Girl Meets World. According to the ‘net, this is due to button-pushing content Disney felt was inappropriate for its viewers, like underage drinking and sex – two of the horror genre’s most vital traits.
Amusing horror-themed alternate title: Boy Meets Wolf
Step By Step
The original premise: Basically an updated version (read: rip-off) of The Brady Bunch. A man with three children meets and marries a woman with three children. The offspring struggle to co-exist, and a goofy yet hunkier Urkel-type neighbour relentlessly pops in, hilarity ensues.
The horror premise: Meet Cody, he’s a lovably handsome dufus who lives in a van in the driveway of the Lambert-Foster family. Feeling unloved by his own absentee parents, Cody just wants to become a Lambert-Foster. So he is constantly popping in: to visit, to eat dinner, to become one of them. But Cody realizes he’s not a true Lambert-Foster, and so he decides that if he can’t share Lambert-Foster blood, he’ll shed Lambert-Foster blood. (Note: On Step By Step, Cody was in fact a Lambert, but only a cousin, not a son. Which is why this could totally work.)
Fun fact: Here is a whole mess of them. Unfortunately, none of them are what I consider fun. To each his/her own though. http://www.funtrivia.com/en/Television/Step-by-Step-10030.html
Amusing horror-themed alternate title: Stab By Stab
Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper
The original premise: Popular comedian Mark Curry plays Mr. Mark Cooper, a single high school teacher and basketball coach living in Oakland, California. Between coaching, teaching, dealing with neighborhood struggles and living with two beautiful female roommates (played by Holly Robinson Peete and Dawnn Lewis), Mr. Cooper keeps a humorous, positive outlook on life and provides advice and fun to the many people in his life that he encounters. (Via IMDb)
The horror premise: No one at Oakbridge High likes Mr. Cooper. Not only was he a flop playing for the Golden State Warriors (three straight seasons he gave up a key steal to keep them out of the playoffs), he’s also a bit of a dick when it comes to teaching. And his students have had enough. Together, they form a pact to kill Mr. Cooper so they can get a replacement who is less dick-ish.
Fun fact: Cuba Gooding Jr.’s younger brother Omar played the role of Earvin. That is about as fun as it gets.
Amusing horror-themed alternate title: Hangin’ Mr. CooperTweet