A few years ago, there was an online movie
prop auction being held in California.
and I were huge b-movie buffs at the time. As undergrads, struggling
to get our daily nourishment from the unlimited salad and breadsticks
at the Olive Garden, affording the original left latex paw of the
Creature From the Black Lagoon was out of our league. Instead,
we pooled our money togetherone hundred George Washingtons
swimming in our pocketsto bid on a prop outfit worn by one
of the street punks in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The
Movie. At the time, a black Tiger Schulmann-look-alike uniform
and beekeeper's mask sounded better to us than a decent meal at
a real Italian restaurant. This was the Ninja Turtles, after all.
Our childhoods. We could manage to do some fasting. Besides, we
saw a commercial about the unlimited pasta bowl returning soon.
estimates varied, everywhere from a hundred dollars for our dojo
digs to in the tens of thousands of dollars for old Universal Monster
Movie relics. When we logged in, the auction was already in progress,
so we quickly tried to figure out the bidding process. The ninja
prop clothes had an early lot number; but we arrived just in time.
Because I won two out of three rock-paper-scissors, I was to handle
computer mouse duties.
is like Monopoly, man," I said, "like when you auction
off The Boardwalk."
I had no idea what the hell I was talking about.
auction had a video/audio feed at the top of the screen. It looked
like the auction was being held in a tent of some sort outside.
"Our next lot is a real nostalgic treat, folks," the auctioneer
began. "You remember the Turtles. There was, help me out here,
Michaelangelo, Donatello, DaVinci, and the rat. Well, what we have
here is a clothing prop from the their first movie in perfect condition."
He looked down at some papers on his podium. "This is a screen-worn
Foot Soldier outfit." He looked up and raised his hands, "Cowabunga,
cheered in their metal fold-out seats, and even we clapped, which
got some stares from the other people on the computers in the university's
let's start this off at
give me fifty, fifty, fifty, looking
I have fifty online. Seventy-five, seventy-five,
I have fifty, looking for seventy-five
rose and rose and the rest is kind of a blur. All I remember is
my friend screaming for me to stop, but I was in the zone. I had
the power. Turtle Power.
me the goddamn mouse," he said, prying it out of my hand
I need an answer," the auctioneer said. "We're at three
hundred. Everybody loves kung-fu fighting." Some in the crowd
time most of the library sat staring at us struggle over the mouse.
bids in? Okay, I sold it for three hundred dollars."
began to unwind from the excitement. I returned to my center in
time for the opening of the next lot. Though we couldn't afford
most of the items, every once in a while something would start low,
like a quiver of arrows from that '90s Robin Hood movie starring
Kevin Costner, and we'd try our hand at bidding, only to watch it
spike in price halfway through.
was, until lot 202 came upstarting price: a measly $20.
white screen-worn Home Alone 3 camouflage costume worn by
one of the film's bad guys," the auctioneer said. He put his
hands up to his face, "Kevin!"
widened. The Home Alone movies had been a staple of my young
life; Macaulay Caulkin used to be a kind of litmus test for my boyhood
movie, I remembered then, was sorely Caulkin-less, picking up the
now-formulaic plot of the previous films with the same antics of
a cunningly cute boy in a house alone with bumbling burglars. The
crooks, however, hit another family in the Chicagoland area. And
John Williams was nowhere to be found.
Hughes, himself, may have touched this costume," the auctioneer
and director of The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off?
$20 to own some of his DNA?
sold it wasfor fifty dollars, exactly the amount that I had
auction novice, I had no idea about buyer's premiums and, so, my
friend, who walked away with an original script of Schwarzenegger's
Kindergarten Cop (intent on framing the page with the line
about boys having penises, and girls, vaginas), loaned me some funds.
few weeks later, our package of goodies arrived in the mail. The
script looked brand new, but the suitthe suit had a hole missing
from the bottom area.
the auction company right away and said that the auctioneer didn't
mention anything about it being damaged, pointing out that it's
all burnt in the back.
a cold copy-and-pasted reply to the effect of: "The inspection
of merchandise during the designated preview times before the start
of an auction is the buyer's sole responsibility. All items are
sold as-is. No refunds will be given for any item."
my friend who then noticed the 20th Century Fox tag inside the suit.
has butt blown out,' it says." He slapped me on the back. "Yo,
my man, you just spent fifty bucks on an ass-blown Home Alone
jump suit. Jealous as shit!"
the penis/vagina page of the script was displayed quite distinguishably
in a classy mahogany frame on my friend's dorm wall up until graduation,
but as for my assless camouflage movie propI had a harder
time finding the right spot for it. For the time being, it remains
in the downstairs closet, between my windbreaker and winter coat.
dared me to wear it to the Olive Garden, but I was afraid I'd get
arrested for indecent exposure. Either that, or taken to a mental
games based on the first movie were released on six different home
and handheld consoles, half are actually ports. There are really
only three gameplay variations of Home Alone: The Video Game.
The first is the Bethesda-developed Nintendo Entertainment System version that involves controlling
Kevin around his house as he plants traps to trip up Harry and
Marv for 20 minutes until the cops arrive. Then there's SEGA's
take on the Genesis, the Master System, and the Game
Gear that involves saving the whole neighborhood from the Wet Bandits who wish to steal everything from the houses and then
flood them. And finally there's the Super Nintendo and the Game Boy
adaptation that has the player finding and collecting loot to keep
away from the burglars.
simple and repetitive, this iteration is ideal for playing in short
bursts on the go. I could see pulling the game out for a few minutes
while you're on the train. It's mind numbing, yes, but that's the
game's best quality; it's busy work that will keep you from feeling
obliged to engage in conversation with the other passengers around
you. Kevin, you're a real life saver.
game's scenario can be divided into five steps.
Step One: Collect items by jumping over them or pressing
up on chests of drawers.
Step Two: When Kevin reaches his carrying limit, find
the nearest laundry chute and make a drop-off so he can collect
more precious items.
Step Three: Once you've recovered enough items, head to the
basement door to find a key to open it.
Step Four: Make your way through the basement until you reach
the boss. Hit the loose brick to cause it fall on the enemy's
Step Five: Toss the saved stuff into the vault. Repeat steps
one through five.
fun to you?
fair, although the developers went for a much more materialistic
tone here, there are some moments of Home Alone that remain
faithful to the movie. Here are the top
five things that Imagineering, the game's developers, got right.
they got only half-right: Pizza is hidden everywhere in the game.
for Kevin, it has pepperoni on it. Buzz must have hogged all of the
plain cheese pizza again.
PICK: Destroying Buzz's Room!
I'm going through all your private stuff! You better come out and
game, when Kevin brings down Buzz's shelves, he doesn't get a pounding;
he receives a free 1 UP.
Buzz's Pet Tarantula!
tarantula makes an appearance in the game but, again, like the pizza,
the developers kind of screwed up. Instead of acting as a helpful item to
throw at the crooks, you have to fight a gigantic mutant
version of Buzz's six-legged pet. I suppose crashing the tarantula
tank for a 1 UP wasn't worth it in the end.
After Shave Aftermath!
I can't for the life of me understand this one. In one of the bathrooms
on the third level, you can find a bottle of after shave that, when
picked up, makes you invincible to the point where you can take
down any bad guy you touch. Maybe I need to start using some after
Creepy Old Man and His Creepy Old Shovel!
Kevin has to face off against Harry near the end of the game, the
old man lends Kevin a handor, should I say, a shovel. Thanks,
Marley, but please stop with the icy stare or you'll likely never
be invited back to see your granddaughter.
The Possessed Furnace!
you thought Harry and Marv are the final bosses in this game, you'd
be wrong. It's, get this, the furnace in the basement! It seems
the furnace's inherent evilness wasn't simply a figment of imagination
made up in Kevin's mind, as the thing has literally grown eyes and
shoots damaging soot and fireballs at him. It's plain to see that
metaphors for childhood fears are completely lost on Imagineering.
know what else is completely lost? This prototype article.