“groundhog day” goes international.

Happy Groundhog Day, imaginary Intertubes pals!

Those of you following me on Twitter will have seen these, but I figured I’d pull them into a single post for the non-Tweeting audience. It’s a quick list of what I think the various national remakes of Groundhog Day would look like.

  • In the German adaptation, a guy in a black turtleneck stands in a starkly-lit white room and yells “Murmeltier! Verboten!” at the camera for 89 minutes. Then he takes a dump on the coffee table.
  • In the French version, the main character Philippe spends the day chain-smoking Gauloises and discussing Camus with the groundhog. It rains throughout the entire movie.
  • The Swedish remake takes place entirely at night and chronicles the groundhog’s decline into insanity. ( NC-17 for violence, graphic sex.)
  • The Uwe Boll version features Burt Reynolds as a humanoid Punxsutawney Phil. Also, he’s a wizard. Then Jason Statham kills him. There are boobies, and something with tree elves on trapezes. (In 3D.)
  • In the Russian version, the groundhog’s village is burned down by the invading Nazis, and he spends the rest of the movie drinking vodka and singing depressing folk songs. Then his own countrymen kill and eat him. (Categorized under “Light-hearted Comedies”.)

Did I miss any good local or regional remake ideas? Japanese anime? Bollywood? Made-for-TV telenovela?

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a concept for a kiddie TV show.

Title: “Distillation Station”

Genre: Children’s Television (Pre-K)

Logline: The zany adventures of Mister Hooch and his friends, as they hang out at Distillation Station and have run-ins with the grumpy old Temperance who lives across the street.

Characters:

Mister Hooch–an anthropomorphic Martini glass.  He has a half-sibling called Shakey No-Stir, who makes occasional cameos on the show.

Señor Caramba–the 100% agave tequila bottle, Mister Hooch’s wacky Mexican neighbor.

Abby Sinthe–Señor Caramba’s French girlfriend.

Becky Seagram–the cheerleader who lives in apartment 2A.

Chad Appletini–Becky’s gay roommate.

Vern and Vera Mooth–the retired couple.  They’re mostly bitter, but mix well with others.

Signor Sambuca–Distillation Station’s short-order cook. He gets lit on fire in every episode.

Olive–the stuffed jalapeno olive who has a secret crush on Mister Hooch.

Johnny Kirschwasser–exchange student from Europe.  He’s a deceptively easy-going little guy who packs a punch.

Pruno–the ex-con who lives in the little apartment by the basement stairs.

Carrie Cosmo–the stuck-up yuppie clothes-rack everyone professes to hate. Half the male characters secretly like her, but wouldn’t admit it to their pals.

Horst and Schorsch, the Apfelkorn Brothers–immigrants from Germany.  They hang out uninvited in Monsieur Pernod’s apartment a lot.

Monsieur Pernod–loves licorice, chain-smokes filterless Gauloises, and hates the Apfelkorn brothers.

Mr. Dickel–the retired teacher from Tennessee.

The Master Distiller–the benevolent grandfather figure who runs Distillation Station. The other characters come to him for advice, guidance, and liquid refreshments. (Producer’s Note: to be cast with an older British pop star.)

Title song (to be commissioned):  “Distillation Station, where it’s all about inebriation…”

(Some character ideas courtesy of the people unlucky enough to have friended me on Facebook.)

your piece of booze trivia for the day.

The May 13, 1806 edition of the New York publication Balance and Columbian Repository offers us the first definition of the term cocktail:

Cocktail is a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar,water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called a bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a Democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else.