sea monkeys
sea monkeys

Sick of remakes? Secretly think that superhero movies are fit only for children and fascists?

Why can’t Hollywood make more original movies? After all, there’s so many amazing stories out there just waiting to be told!

Like these three. Each one is a perfect ready-made Hollywood movie… er so long as you leave out the racism, serial killings and mass murder.

But that’s what editing’s for!

1) Little Jewish Boy From Depression-Era New York Grows Up To Make His Fortune As The King Of Quirky Comic Book Novelties… Uses Fortune To Fund Neo Nazis

At first glance, this nostalgic tale has all the makings of an American indie sleeper hit.

Harold Nathan Braunhut is born in 1926 to Jewish parents in Brooklyn, New York.

Inspired by his grandfather he follows the old man into the toy business.

Young Braunhut proves to be a novelties whizz-kid.

Before long, for just pocket money and postage, you can buy a whole range of Braunhut’s products by mail order from the back pages of weekly comic books.

A whole generation of American kids are hooked on the fantastic possibilities offered up by products such as ‘X-Ray Specs’ and ‘Amazing Sea Monkeys’.

Depending on how literally they take the claims Braunhut makes on their behalf, his novelties either bring joy or crushing disappointment into the lives of young Baby Boomers all across America.

But don’t you see, he’s selling pure imagination!

Even if the Amazing Sea-Monkeys turn out to be rather less amazing than illustrator Joe Orlando’s images of tiny little humanoids building underwater worlds, they become iconic of a certain type of 1950s and ’60s American childhood.

In part because they teach kids that the gap between what the ad promises and what money can buy, can be breached only by the power of stories we tell ourselves about the products we love.

Braunhut’s rebranding of the humble brine shrimp is so successful, that in 1998 astronaut John Glenn even brings a packet of sea-monkey eggs into space with him.

The perfect whimsical Wes Anderson rip-off. A heart-warming, yet knowing story of a Brooklyn boy done good in the soft-glow of the America’s post-war ascendancy.

Unfortunately children and spacemen were not the only fans of Braunhut’s products.

World’s Dumbest Hate Group Love’s World’s Dumbest Weapon

If you didn’t fancy a colony of brine shrimp, Braunhut had something else you could buy. The Kiyoga Agent M5.

This cartoon weapon with its “spring whip defense mechanism” was a sort of telescopic, spring-loaded metal whip.

Advertised by Braunhut as being able to “inflict excruciating agony on your assailant” at  push of a button, for those who “need a gun but can’t get a license” the weapon became popular with white supremacist organisations.

This was not an accident.

Braunhut deliberately advertised the whips in the pages of white supremacist publications. Not just because Braunhut was a wily merchandiser and unfussed about where he made buck.

But because in the sad tradition of self-hating Jews, Braunhut was an avowed anti-Semite and white supremacist.

Braunhut actually used part of the fortune he made selling toys to fund weapons for the Klu Klux Klan.

But long before those sweet sea-monkey dollars had started to roll in Braunhut had been styling himself ‘von Braunhut’, to play up his German connections and distance himself from his Jewish roots.

Ultimately this Nazi fan boy got brought up on charges trying to bring six Kiyago Agent M5s past security at La Guardia airport.

The resulting court case proved that his dumb dumb spring whips were rather less lethal that his ad copy had made out. Although this did little to diminish their popularity with the head-stomping set.

Braunhut died in 2003. His sad legacy lives on in the old parental warning, that if it sounds to good to be true, then maybe it’s funding the Neo-Nazis.

2) Mother and Son Candy Company Triumphs Over The Odds… Allowing Son To Pursue His True Passions: Trombone Practice And Boy Murder

Hollywood I’ve got the feel-good smash hit of the summer for you!

Mid-1950s Texas, a young single mother meets a travelling clock salesman.

Maybe she tells him she’s a busy young single mother, whose got no time for love.

And maybe he tells her that’s ok, he’s a travelling clock salesman so he’s got all the time in the world.

Or maybe he just gets his clock out.

Depends on the rating. Anyway. They fall in love, get married and start a life together.

Only she’s got two young sons and those clocks just aren’t selling like they used to.

So she gets talking to a pecan seller who convinces her that the real money is in delicious pecan candy. She tells her husband. At first he thinks, it’s nuts. But soon he realises, it is!

The whole family work together night and day to set up the best pecan candy company in town. They call it ‘Pecan Prince’.

Every day after school the woman’s oldest son gets home and goes straight to the garage, to help the family business. He’s a shy boy, who loves the trombone. As he gets older he perfects the craft of making sweet, sweet delicious pecan snacks.

Years pass, the young man grows up and enters the army. He returns home with an honorable discharge.

But his clock-salesman step-father has called time on the marriage taken control of Pecan Prince!

Undeterred the young man and his mother start their own rival candy company. It’s not all sweetness and light, but working side-by-side, through hard work and using all they’ve learnt along the way, mother and son have a pecan smash on their hands!

Soon children all over Houston know the name of the Corll Candy Company.

100% based on a true story!

Never Trust A Candy Man

Unfortunately Dean Corll also happened to be a sadistic serial killer who terrorized Houston during the 1970s. He is believed to have murdered at least 28 young boys, aged between 13-20 years old.

The Corll Candy Company went out of business in 1968, two years before Corll’s first known murder.

Many of Corll’s victims had actually worked his candy business while it was still in operation. Even after the candy company closed, his reputation as the local candy man had made Corlla well-known figure with neighborhood kids.

His disgusting crimes only came to light in 1973, after Corll was fatally shot by his young accomplice, Wayne Henley.

Henley had previously lured victims to Corll’s house, where Corll would then sexually assault and murder them.

After the shooting Henley and another teen accomplice, David Owen Brooks, led police to the boat shed where Corll had buried many of his victims.

Both Brooks and Henley are currently serving life sentences in maximum security facilities.

3) Sunset Homes Set Up By Preacher To Provide Dignified Retirement… For Any Followers Too Old To Participate In Jungle Mass Suicide

If the Mother And Son Candy Movie sounds too syrupy for your tastes, how about this Very Serious Middle-Brow Drama… definitely good for an Oscar or two.

Movie opens mid-1960s. Great costumes, great soundtrack, gorgeous filters. Disgusted by racism and wanting to do the Lord’s work, an Indiana-born preacher moves with his wife, Marceline, to California.

Flashback to when they first met, a decade earlier working at the same hospital. He was an orderly and she was a qualified nurse. Even then she’d been struck by his charisma. They shared a commitment to spreading socialist principles, though the medium of the Christian message.

The church he founded was known for its integrationist activism. He would use the collective power of its growing congregation to force local business to desegregate. Ideal for a montage.

So the couple arrive in California and their church continues to recruit new members.

More than any spiritual message, the church promotes a social message. At the heart of Christianity, is equality and dignity for all people.

Putting its principles into action, the church operates several nursing homes for elderly people. They also run six foster homes for disadvantaged children and set up a therapeutic ranch for people with development disabilities.

By most accounts these nursing homes were comfortable and well-run. Their aim is to provide high-quality care, for low-income residents.

Cue scenes of old folks dancing, eating together, singing and teaching us all lessons about life and love.

The movie ends with the ‘People’s Temple’ winning the support of high-profile individuals in California’s political scene including Governor Jerry Brown, Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally, Assemblyman Willie Brown, San Francisco mayor George Moscone, Art Agnos, and Harvey Milk. Even First Lady Rosalynn Carter lends her approval.

Why That Movie Will Never Be Made

If only Jim Jones had stuck to retirement homes.

Unfortunately, the church collapsed in 1978. The megalomaniac forced over 900 People’s Temple members to commit mass suicide at their compound in Guyana.

‘Suicide’ is actually unreasonably euphemistic, given the stark reality of what went down at Jonestown. The dead included over 300 children and the compound was flanked by armed guards.

The anti-racist, Christian socialist had already given the order for the outright murder of Congressman Leo Ryan.

The well-meaning politician had arrived in the former British territory to investigate the concerns of the families of members of Jones’ group, who feared (correctly) their loved ones had been ensnared by an evil cult.

All in all 918 people died at Jonestown. Some semi-willingly, others as a result of cold-blooded murder.

What what about the old folks back in San Francisco?

110 individuals who had paid between $30,000-40,000 in ‘life-care’ agreements with the People’s Temple, to live in their communal facilities in old age, did successfully make legal claims against the assets of the disbanded temple in order to get their donations back.

But unlike many cults however, the nursing homes themselves seem to have been not-a-total-scam.

In a 1979 report by the U. S. secretary of health, education and welfare, found that while some elderly residents had handed over their social security benefits to the church, this had not occurred fraudulently and that the Temple had not been actively stealing from its care-home residents.

So say what you will about notorious, narcissistic mass-murderer Jim Jones, but don’t you dare say that he couldn’t sort of mostly adequately run a small chain of nursing homes.


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