Homemade Cloning (The Island)
The 2005 movie The Island concerned a futuristic society in which the wealthy kept a clones of themself as a spare, for if they ever needed organs, a blood transfusion, and such. (Once used for parts, the rest of the clone was destroyed.) Scarlett Johansson starred as a clone of a beautiful model. Regardless of the horrible implications about the disposability of human life and class war allegory posed by the film, thousands of young men wanted a Scarlett Johansson clone of their own, for companionship to be scene partners scenes with and whatnot. However, the homebrew cloning kits available in 2005 were subpar, and most clones turned out looking less like Scarlett Johansson and more like Canadian sex therapist Sue Johanson. Landfills were briefly overtaxed with unwanted Scarlett Johansson mutants.
Gollums (The Two Towers)
After the adorable Gollum stole the movie adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers in 2002, young and old alike simply had to have a Gollum of their own. Hundreds of thousands were shipped to pet stores in the United States, Canada, and the U.K. from controversial, profit-driven Gollum mills near the Misty Mountains, which could barely meet demand. The hot gift of Christmas 2002, kids and adults quickly tired of their Gollums in early 2003, especially due to the creature’s myriad health problems, which include a hacking cough, rapid mood swings, small theft, and murderous tendencies. Result: pounds and animal rescue shelters were inundated with unwanted Gollums. (Most popular name: Precious.) A small percentage were adopted into loving homes; the rest had to be destroyed, the only way a Gollum can be destroyed: via the purifying flames of an evil mountain.
Jo Jo Dancer Your Life is Calling-ing (Jo Jo Dancer Your Life is Calling)
After a successful run in critically-acclaimed and commercially successful family movies such as The Toy and Superman III, and his Saturday morning cartoon series Pryor's Place, Richard Pryor decided to branch out into more adult material in 1986, starring in Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling, a movie about a stand-up comic who becomes so addicted to drugs that he freebases cocaine, it goes wrong, and he burns almost all of his body, narrowly escaping death. Pryor was so beloved by children that when the movie came out, millions of children were taken with the fairly risky fad of freebasing cocaine and accidentally immolating themselves.
Taco Bell (Demolition Man)
The 1993 movie Demolition Man envisioned a bleak future in which the only restaurant in the U.S. is “Taco Bell,” which dispenses a number of food items that consist of the same five ingredients of corn-based crisp bread, processed meat-food, processed-cheese-food, iceberg lettuce, and whipped milk (“sour cream”). While the idea that such a food place would be palatable, and even popular, was a satirical notion, more than 20,000 real-life Taco Bell restaurants opened around the world in 1993, serving the exact same food as in the film. By early 1994, all but one restaurant, located in the extremely popular Demolition Man Land at Universal Studios Orlando, had closed down.