Infomercial Makes Leap To Big Screen

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Vol 34 Issue 02

Need For Coffee Overrides Scalding Sensation

ESCONDIDO, CA—Need for caffeine won out over intense, searing pain Tuesday, as Escondido-area coffee drinker Stephanie Cutler continued to drink her morning cup after sustaining third-degree burns on her tongue, lips and esophagus. "Must have coffee," said Cutler, pausing to scream between sips of the deadly 150-degree beverage. "Must have coffee."

Horrible Pack Of Theme-Restaurant Waitresses Alerted Of Patron's Birthday

LODI, MI—At the last moment, a cackling, seething coven of waitresses at a local Chi Chi's was alerted to restaurant patron Jim Alea's 32nd birthday Monday. "Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy birthday, to you," shrieked the aproned harpies in a 20-second chant which, according to one witness, "seemed to flare out into a thousand eternities." Alea grimaced in horror at the fast-clapping she-demons before slumping under the weight of a 25-pound Chi Chi's "birthday sombrero."

Pepsico Marketing Mix-Up Results In $300 Million Lemon-Lime Doritos Campaign

PURCHASE, NY—Pepsico executives are blaming "interdepartmental miscommunication" for the recent $300 million rollout of "Citrus Blast" lemon-lime Doritos. "Apparently, there was some sort of marketing mix-up, resulting in a spectacularly unappealing snack chip," said Pepsico director of product development Jim Schumann, apologizing for the millions of bags of sugary, tart tortilla chips now glutting the nation's supermarkets. "Please bear with us while these unfortunate chips are removed from store shelves." Schumann further apologized for the countless two-liter bottles of Zesty Jalapeño Slice also now available nationwide.

Freak Accident Paralyzes Man From Waist Up

MESA, AZ—A bizarre, unprecedented spinal injury sustained in a car accident Saturday has left local resident Roberto Montenegro paralyzed from the waist up. "Roberto is back on his feet," said Mesa General Hospital head of surgery William Crist. "Unfortunately, though, he has lost all feeling in his head, arms and torso. No longer able to move from the waist up, he cannot eat, speak, dial a telephone, type, open doors, or look sideways." Doctors said Montenegro should be able to resume his career as a professional soccer player as early as next week.

If The Heat Doesn't Kill The Elderly, I Will

It is now high summer, and the sun is broiling the American Southwest, sending temperatures soaring upwards of 110 degrees. The heat has struck hardest among the elderly, dozens of whom have died of heatstroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration. If you, like me, are a right-thinking person, your mind recoils in horror at this fact: The old and decrepit are dying by mere dozens?

National Parks Under Siege

Attendance at America's national parks has quadrupled in the past 30 years, spawning pollution and traffic problems and prompting calls for a limit on the number of annual visitors. What do you think about our overburdened national parks?
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Scientists Posit Theoretical ‘Productive Weekend’

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Challenging long-accepted scientific convention, a group of leading MIT scientists published a report Thursday positing that, under certain rare and specific conditions, a so-called “productive weekend” is theoretically pos...

Infomercial Makes Leap To Big Screen

HOLLYWOOD, CA—A spokesperson for Paramount Pictures confirmed Tuesday that the studio will make a feature-length film version of the wildly popular "Abdomenizer®" television infomercial.

The Abdomenizer

"Next summer, Bruce Willis is The Abdomenizer, a marked-for-death federal agent with nothing to lose but those unsightly love handles," Paramount vice-president of development Irwin Shuler said. "On July 4, 1999, get ready for explosive firming and toning action."

The Abdomenizer, which begins shooting next month, will star Willis as Jack Tyler, an FBI munitions expert who struggles daily with overpriced exercise equipment that just doesn't deliver. As the twin crises of losing muscle tone and turning 40 hit Tyler, a mysterious young woman comes into his life and introduces him to the Abdomenizer® muscle-toning system. As the film builds to a thrilling climax, terrorists announce that a nuclear bomb will devastate Los Angeles unless Willis can lose 10 pounds of ugly stomach flab in 48 hours.

In addition to Willis, the film will feature Gary Oldman, Lauren Holly and Kurt Russell, who appears in a supporting role as a rival munitions expert who is still using those ineffective, "gimmicky" spot-reducing devices.

Bruce Willis

Said Shuler: "The climactic scene, in which Willis rushes to defuse the bomb as Russell discovers just how easy and fun The Abdomenizer® is, will renew moviegoers' faith in the beauty of life and in their ability to lose unsightly inches off the tummy, hips and thighs in just 12 minutes a day."

Greg Renker, executive producer of The Abdomenizer, described the process by which the infomerical was brought to the big screen.

"I was very skeptical when [screenwriter] Jonathan Auster told me his idea for the film," Renker said. "I thought, 'Come on, turn an infomercial into a movie?' It sounded too good to be true! So just imagine my delight when he came up with a fantastic screenplay—the script he wrote really works!"

The $85 million film will be accompanied by a major merchandising campaign, including a line of official The Abdomenizer Abdomenizers®.

Anticipation over The Abdomenizer is so high that rival studios are already developing their own infomercial-to-film adaptations. New Line Cinema recently paid Tim Burton $22 million for his Juiceman screenplay, and Orion Pictures is in negotiations with George Foreman for a film version of The George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine.

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