The egos of Gen-X’ers across America were dealt a heavy blow last week. When it was announced that the cable network Syfy would be airing a zombie western starring members of *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, and O-Town, the pop culture world barely raised an eyebrow. It would seem that the mid-to-late-90s are, at least temporarily, being forgotten.
Granted, Justin Timberlake will not be part of the film, and it is being produced by The Asylum, that cashcow production company specializing in knockoffs and intentional B-films like the dreadfully empty Sharknado series. But for anyone who actually got excited or angry or anything other than confused when one of these boy bands’ hits played at prom, it still feels like this should be bigger news. It feels like if this film had come out at the height of the *NSYNC/BSB heyday, Titanic might have finished second in terms of 90s box office success. The idea works on paper: the wild west being the perfect metaphor for the cold, competitive landscape of pop music and the shrill industry that chewed up and spit out some of these men before they were out of their teens. And what better metaphor for mindless pop music consumption than zombies, right?
Well, most assuredly, The Asylum and Syfy have screwed up any potential within the metaphoric structure. But it did get us thinking: What other fading music rivals might be able to reinvigorate their career by pairing up in cinematic projects? Below, we pitch seven ideas of better applications of this developing trend.
Metallica and Megadeth Save Earth From Hell
Thirty years ago, a fight between the members of a world famous speed metal band resulted in one member (Dave Mustaine) deciding to split from his band-mates and start a new project. After decades of not acknowledging one another, the two splintered factions realize that their rivalry was the work of Satan himself (Scott Stapp), who seeks to establish the simultaneous playing of two specific metal songs to fulfill a prophecy and opening the gates of hell. As the first wave of demon invaders (played by the members of KoRn) wreaks havoc upon Earth with small, annoying pranks and public masturbation, the bands’ first frontman (James Hetfield) heads into the depths of hell to punch the devil right in the face while his drummer (Lars Ulrich) finds a way to make music free to every citizen so everyone can close the gate by playing all of their albums backward.
Blur and Oasis Take on Manchester United
When the captain of a struggling team (Noel Gallagher) in a local neighborhood football league kicks his drunken brother (Liam Gallagher) off the squad, the inebriated and irritated striker heads to the local pub, where he runs into Manchester United star Wayne Rooney. Predictably, a fight ensues and the chaos ends up burning down the children’s community center next door (no children are harmed, of course). In a strange turn of events, the judge orders the two defendants to host a charity match to raise funds to rebuild the center. For the local squad, their troubles are two-fold. First, the brothers must learn to work together in spite of their differences, but then they have to find a way to beef up their team to keep from embarrassing their community against the titans. When the captain of their neighborhood rivals and the inter-league champions (Damon Albarn) offers his best players as a sign of local solidarity, things start to get interesting…
X-Tina and Britney Remake Fight Club
Britney Spears plays an unnamed Hollywood Girl (credited as “Lucky”) who has lived a rather privileged and charming life of fame and public adoration. And yet, at night, she’s still cry, cry, cry in her lonely heart. When she meets an uninhibited, sexy, candid stranger named Twila Dirtyyn (Christina Aguilera), the two strike an immediate connection built on exaggerated angst and quippy, nihilistic one liners. One night at the club, Twila asks Lucky to punch her on the dance floor. The ensuing, cathartic rush evolves into an eventual underground fight club, where women of all ages, races, and sizes gather to violently express their frustration for the oppression of existing within a patriarchal society. As the club grows into a counter-culture of societal rebels who aim to bring down capitalism and hateful internet forums, Twila and Lucky’s friendship is tested by jealousy when a lively young member (Miley Cyrus) steals Twila’s attention and admiration.
True Detective with Courtney Love and Dave Grohl
When her new boyfriend is found dead in her home, old wounds reopen for a Seattle widow. Having once been considered by some to be a suspect in her late husband’s early-90s death (which had all the evidence to suggest a suicide), she knows that a very curious investigative light will be pointed at her during the ensuing investigation. She continues her life while mourning her latest loss, playing gigs in bars and fighting her own demons. But things get complicated when she discovers that the lead detective in the current investigation (Dave Grohl) was a very close friend of her deceased husband, someone who, even before the first tragic event, had doubts about her intentions and motivations. As the evidence comes together, however, there’s an indication that something larger is at play. The two must come together to probably not figure anything out in the end (I mean, it’s True Detective, you know?)
The Dixie Chicks and Toby Keith Save America From ISIS
When ISIS attacks the Pacific Coast, a top CIA analyst (Toby Keith) desperately calls upon the secret team of Special Agents that he personally de-funded nearly a decade earlier over their insubordinate attitudes and disregard for command. After the DIX-E members disbanded, they all headed in separate directions, but they must now come together quickly to devise a plan to bring down terror cells forming on the California Coast. They may be a bit older, less agile, and under practiced, but with the help of the CIA’s newest technological development, a weaponized cowboy boot referred to as “The American Way,” the trio might just have what it takes to save the country, if they can play by their own rules this time.
Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd Uncover an Ancient and Powerful Evil Society Using The Confederate Flag
When a songwriting protester (Neil Young) sets fire to a Confederate Flag onstage, a strange thing happens: An ancient language unveils itself in the flag’s four red triangles. Curious, the protester begins to research, only to find a larger conspiracy at play. He discovers that when the flag is laid over a map of America with the center star aligned with the Mountain Dew headquarters in New York, the other 12 stars align perfectly with 12 major NASCAR races, the last of which being the Daytona 500. From there, the pursuit of understanding unfolds as a National Treasure-style puzzle, and when the protester uncovers the existence of an ancient and sinister skinhead organization seeking to overtake the governments of the southern American states, he must turn to long-time enemies for help. Will the inexplicably popular rock anthem artists hear him out and share the evil-plot with their southern fans? Or will his history of protesting their concerts render him as someone they can not trust?
Hologram Tupac and Hologram Biggie Bring Down Oppressive Androids
In a post-President Trump future, the oppressive Unites States government has secretly unleashed an army of their newest technological weapon– Rapidly Evolving Animatronics Guided by Advanced Neurobotic Androids, or REAGANdroids– to infiltrate struggling inner-city communities with a highly-addictive, highly-lethal drug called Cruz-juice. Because the REAGANdroids are equipped with emotion-recognition technology, any dissenters, combatants, or even questioners are quickly murdered with a lethally concentrated dose of Cruz-juice. What seems like an untenable situation for residents of these towns gives way to a glimmer of hope when a young group of hidden rebels employ the holograms of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur to inspire a revolt of the people. Can the revolution overcome the stern fist of Commander Suge Knight’s REAGANdroid army, or is it too late for everyone?