I realize this is one of those stories that may throw into sharp relief the generational gap between me and some readers as yes, I once played Pokémon games in earnest, as a child. You’ll have to forgive me for remaining reasonably fond of it, even as an adult. There’s a lot to love about the concept and a wealth of cute/interesting character design, at least in the first few generations. I have no doubt that I’m going to be writing more and more stories like this one in the next few years, as Hollywood moves to take advantage of the nostalgia of a new generation of young adults. In fact, I’d say that the 1990s is very much a goldmine of silly properties for Hollywood to excavate, add some grim and grit, and make millions. I’d even argue the 90s is the ultimate decade for toy-sales driven cartoons and characters that were conceived once the corporate machine had really figured out how to mine Saturday Morning Cartoons.
So in other words, old guys, be prepared for Hollywood to start making Transformers-scale franchises out of shit you’ve never heard of.
The video I’m specifically spotlighting today is a fan-made trailer for a hypothetical live-action, Hollywood Pokémon movie entitled Pokémon: Apokelypse. It is a self-described parody trailer intended to be “on par with College Humor’s original content.” While there is a little too much genuine pleasure taken in this trailer, I think they succeed in hitting all the right marks in terms of parodying the lower-tier remakes like Dragonball Z that have been released. There’s a lot of fun stuff in there for fans of the franchise (kinda cool to see some of these creatures realized in live-action, spotty CGI notwithstanding), a few clever gags (Voltorb as a car bomb is my favorite), and more than a few disturbingly accurate predictions of how classic lines would be shoehorned in.
“We joked about how popular it currently is to make dark ‘reboots’ of popular franchises, and started talking about shows we loved from our childhoods that would make interesting adaptations: pokémon glazes over some horrific animal rights issues.”
Parody or no, the crew apparently shot a ton of footage, some full scenes, and spent a great deal of time on the effects, costuming, etc.
“We actually wrote it as a film and filmed full scenes. We wanted to make it as legitimate as possible.”
“With regards to crew size we had about 4 major shoot dates, with crews ranging from 7 people to just a camera operator and sound recordist. It’s hard to remember exactly because work on the film was done very sporadically when we could fit it in, as it was a labor of love.”
Expect this puppy to show up on your Facebook feeds for awhile, as it’s bound to spread quick. The trailer originally showed up as cellphone footage staged to look like it was in a mixing studio, though that was a staged release. Shogungamer.com put real leg-work into discovering what the origin of the clip was, and ended up with an interview with the filmmakers Corey Rollins, Lee Majdoub, and Kial Natale, which you can read right here. Stills pulled form the trailer are below, and can be nabbed in full-res with a right-click and a “view image.”
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