The Power Glove Scene
The Movie: The Wizard (1989)
Why It’s Defining: It’s the ultimate product placement.
The Wizard is to the ‘80s what Easy Rider was to the ‘60s; a flick that served as a metaphor for the gurgling death of one decade, foreshadowing the ugly birth of a new one.
Which is a pretty bold statement to make about a flick starring Super Mario III, but bear with us.
Easy Rider signalled the end of the ‘60s peace dream, readying audiences for a new, dark, experimental era full of brutality and youthful arrogance.
The Wizard closed the ‘80s with a feature-length product placement, taking E.T’s earlier Reeces Pieces moment, and Back To The Future II’s Nike and Pizza Hut gags to their logical extreme, adding a deep cynicism to the teen template.
The whole film was created to be a child-mesmerising advert for Nintendo, with the Power Glove the most corporate addition of all – a sign of what would await teen audiences in ‘90s flicks like Mac & Me (which is the longest and most sinister advert for McDonalds we’ve ever seen).
The Glove was the cleverest piece of false advertising ever – we were expecting a magical hand wand that we could wave around in front of our NES to make Alex Kidd judder and jump. In reality, it was a joypad on a shit glove.
Why It’ll Stay With Us Forever: We wrote a complaint letter to Nintendo every day of our lives complaining about the Power Glove, right up until they invented the Wii to appease us.
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