You don't know what this tape is all about? Well, I pit you fool. But that's ok, because I'm here to educate and so is Mr. T and some of his (borderline) famous friends! This tape was produced in hopes to to deter children from making bad decisions and show them the true ways to avoid becoming a fool. It was also produced at a time when pretty much every celebrity lent their name and image to a motivational/workout tape/ponzi scheme, and at that time, the only bigger celebrity than Mr. T was KITT the Car from Knight Rider and I didn't see that car in line at "Hands Across America", so no tape for Feeny.
This tape doesn't just entertain you. Heavens no! It inspires you and helps you grow. It's all about helping the kids...while not talking trash about your friends mother. So are you ready? Good, because the pity I previously offered won't last long. Why? Because after watching this tape, you'll learn so much that you won't be a fool!. You'll walk in merely a boy but walk out a MAN. Strap yourself in, grab a notepad and prepare to change your life!
I should preface this by saying there's about 14 topics discussed in this. Now while that is a lot for anyone to pay attention to, I just wanna touch on the winners here, because it did get a bit dull at times. But I promise if you've never seen this, it'll be worth it and you'll be scouring eBay for it almost immediately.
Oh the intro. If there was ever a more appropriate substitution for the theme from 2001 as the most epic song ever, it's this one. Truly the greatest song of our generation and beyond. We're introduced to Mr. T and his friends who are here to help you learn all about yourself. Through song, through dance, through skits, through thick and thin, they're here for you and all your questions. Check out the amazing force of musical nature below:
Our first topic, a very important segment for those introverts out there. We find a little girl practicing her lines for a "commercial about shyness". Well, that's all good and great, except it seems she herself is shy and is having a hard time getting through the filming. The director, after having too many problems not being able to hear her, finally throws his hands up and says "forget it" to which our hero screams back and puts him in his place:
You can't start a fire without a spark and this girl is ready to explode. She finally gets the courage to stand up for herself and not a moment too soon. She makes her pain become her super power and informs viewers that there's no need to be shy, just speakup for yourself and walks off. Useful advice, indeed. I'd say we're off to a good start.
"Use your temper, don'tlose it!" T sits down with a bunch of the cast from Kids Incorporated for a delicious picnic and discusses how to use your anger. Now this looks like a nice day outside so surely nothing can go wrong right? Wrong! All while T offers his trademark worldly advice, a fly is buzzing around him, intent on ruining the gathering. Ooof. I've seen what Mr. T did to Roddy Piper and Rocky Balboa, I can't wait to see what he does to this fly.
Well, see. That's what you get when you let your anger get the best of you. You ruin everyone's delicious picnic. My assumption is that our hero made things right and took everyone to Roy Rogers after. Who would stay mad at him after having Roy's delicious cheeseburger or chicken?
|"Zena and Xena"|
|That's totally Martika, before she sang "Toy Soldiers" and allegedly went off the deep end.|
This was around the time in the 80s where everyone in the 80s dressed like a giant box of crayons. We're taught that if we don't wear clothes, we could be arrested. Through various breakdancing and most likely coked up models, we discover the key to staying fresh and strong is confidence in how we dress. T apparently doesn't approve of Gloria Vanderbilt or Calvin Klein, either, as he tells them to eat their hearts out. I know if I was one of them, I'd be shaking under my desk at the idea of some random white guy named Jeff, the coolest kid in town according to our host, walking around with his name on his ass.
Jeff totally hooked up with Zena and Xena btw.
Oh snap! That's Kelly Jo Minter from Nightmare on Elm Street 5 rocking those sweatpants and headband. I'm not sure Freddy was terrified of her in the movie but that outfit is certainly giving me nightmares. She wouldn't care. She's got the confidence and attitude to wear whatever she wants and look great, so it would be foolish to listen to me, since I'm sitting on the couch in an old pair of Chicago Bears sweatpants and a stained Stone Temple Pilots shirt. Go ahead, Kelly. Rock it!
This one takes place on a fishing pier. Get it? Pier Pressure? Heh. Ok, T. That's a good one. I like a play on words.
Every kid goes through peer pressure in their lives. It's just a part of growing up, but I don't think I've ever seen kids being pressured to smoke and drink while Mr. T and New Edition stand about 3 feet away. This kid is really getting it too. One guy rubs a cigarette all over this young man's face while the other kids blow smoke in his face or just kinda chug a beer. Can he resist and make the smart decision and walk away?
Thankfully our young friend has New Edition cheering him on. This is some much needed motivation.
Walking away not only ensured he wouldn't have to hear this asinine New Edition song but also that he doesn't get beaten up by Mr. T who stares at him and even cheers him on the entire time the kids mock him for not following their lead. The former "cool kids", realizing they made some random kid who seems to be about 10 years younger than them, decide to step back and reconsider their lives and possibly even dropping terrible habits. Part of me believes they were just trying to get rid of him and they're just playing this up for the cameras. I got 10 bucks that say they immediately started smoking and doing coke after cameras stopped rolling. But hey, if they didn't, good for them. After all, they got plenty of time to pick up smoking and drinking in college anyhow.
"Dr. T" tells us all about maintaining our dignity by turning a negative situation into a positive one.
We see a young man, just walking down the street without a care in the world. Sadly, he pays for his carefree attitude by falling and looking ridiculous. Some random guy that I assume has never seen someone fall down, points and laughs.
Of course he gets a mulligan and is given the opportunity to try this again. The young lad falls, but instead of just eating dirt, he turns it into a break dance. Atta boy! And hey, the random stranger even gives him some props for doing so! Allright, kid!
"Some make art with their body" our host tells us as he introduces some amazing breakdancers. Creative indeed. Even T gets in the spirit of things and gives it his best try at popping and locking. Gotta give credit where credit is due. At least he's trying. Some would just write it off, but he wants to make this tape mean something so why not give it a go?
TREAT YOUR MOTHER RIGHT:
The moment we've all waited for and we're not even halfway through. This is a song that you've heard many times. I genuinely love this part of the movie, unironically. The message is clear, the lyrics are corny, but it's got heart. All I'm worried about is where Mr. T was keeping that microphone:
Who couldn't use a few tips to get in shape? I know I could. And who better to teach you than a man who looks like he was carved out of solid rock? Well, thankfully T walks around the street corner finding some of his young friends eating crap and being lazy, so he offers to some guidance to them.
I AM SOMEBODY:
This is all about rapping, which is a great idea since all the kids were listening to rap at the time and T totally knows how to relate to the youth of the nation. It's not really the most hardcore rap you've ever heard, this one's all about sending a positive message as T raps all about peace love, having a college degree and a bunch of other nonsense you'd most likely expect on a Will Smith album from 1997. He then encourages his friends at home to make our rap about being somebody, obviously the underlined theme of this amazing tape. Were you able to make a rap? Not me. I tried and this is all I came up with:
"Yabba dabba doo. Mr. T is here to scare you. No time for jibba jabba, foo, so whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you?"
I tried. Didn't say it was gonna be very good.
Key and Peele delivered a hilarious parody of this magnificent tape on their legendary sketch show. It's absolutely spot on, from the delivery to the transitions to the song. Love it!
This is a fantastic tape to own for any nostalgia lovers, Mr. T apostles or just those who love ridiculous tapes. And it just brings a smile to your face, no matter how sarcastic I was presenting it. Tapes like these are usually watched in irony and met with said sarcasm, but there's something heartwarming and charming seeing a celebrity put in all this effort to help kids. At the same time, there's some tapes that were such a car wreck and had no charm to them and are totally worth watching due to how insane they are.
Ok, I'm really just referring to this one..
Before I close this article up, I just want to say thanks for being on this fun 5 year "HorrorMovieBBQ" journey with me. A lot has come my way since I rebranded this blog and I'm very grateful to everyone who's ever supported me and showed love. I've met a lot of great people and I certainly hope you guys will stick around for the next 5 years. Hopefully I'll get better at this writing thing.