You know that thing where you come across a news story and it blows your mind for a second until you stop to really think about it? Like, you’ll see a headline pop up on Twitter or Facebook and you’ll be all “HOLY HECK” but after you let it sink in you start thinking, “Yeah, I guess that makes enough sense.” That happened to me this week when I saw that Nicolas Cage’s face is being used to sell snack food in Japan. On one hand, it’s a lot to process in one wave of information. But on the other hand, of course Nicolas Cage’s face is being used to sell snack food in Japan. The bigger shock here is probably that it took us this long to get to this point. “Nicolas Cage’s face is being used to sell snack food in Japan” feels like a very 2012/2013 news story, in many ways.
But that’s not the point. The point is that these exist…
… and there are a few logical questions that need to be asked about the whole thing. So let’s do that. Let’s ask a few very logical, reasonable questions.
1. What in the dang hell?
Excellent start. The short answer is that these are a popular Japanese snack food called Umaibo puffed corn sticks that have been emblazoned with Nicolas Cage’s face. On the packaging, I mean. His face isn’t actually on the food part. As far as we know. I guess it could be, considering our only visual evidence here is the wrapper. Man, how weird would that be? You rip open the wrapper of an inexpensive corn chowder flavored snack stick — oh, did I not mention that these snack sticks retail for about $0.10 American and are flavored like corn chowder — and boom, the stick has been molded into a mostly accurate artistic rendering of Nicolas Cage’s head.
I would stare at it thoughtfully for about five seconds and then say “We’re going to take his… face… off” before I chomped the entire top half in one bite. I’m suddenly livid that I can’t do this right now. Freaking self-driving cars thisclose to being fully operational and there’s still no American Nic Cage food sticks that I can eat while quoting a movie about him and John Travolta switching faces. Some country.
2. But why?
Oh man. Oh, I am glad you asked. I am so very glad. Let’s turn this over to a block quote from RocketNews24:
Cage’s endorsement is part of the promotions for the Japanese release of Ore no Emono wa bin Laden, or Bin Laden is My Prey, which observes several Japanese cinematic traditions by being quaintly renamed from the original title (Army of One), having an official Japanese-market title (Finding bin Laden) that doesn’t match the meaning of its Japanese one, and coming out long, long after its original release (Army of One premiered in November of 2016 in America, but Bin Laden is My Prey won’t hit Japanese theaters until this December).
Oh hell yes. Nicolas Cage’s face is on a ten cent Japanese snack stick to promote a straight-to-VOD movie from last year whose title has been changed from Army of One to Bin Laden Is My Prey. This is the best retitling news I’ve heard since I found out that all of the Fast & Furious movies are called Wild Speed in Japan, and that after calling the fourth film Wild Speed MAX they called the fifth one Wild Speed MEGA MAX. But this news also comes with Nicolas Cage’s face on a snack food, so it’s… better?
3. Why this picture?
Here’s the thing: Army of One may actually ring a bell for some of you because, back when the trailer came out, a small section of the internet became momentarily obsessed with an image of Nicolas Cage riding a donkey. Here, look:
Why not put that picture on the wrapper? Come on. Who wouldn’t buy a ten cent snack stick that is flavored like corn chowder and has a picture of Nicolas Cage riding a donkey on the wrapper?
Hmm. Actually, never mind.
4. Where does this rank on the list of all-time wildest Nicolas Cage things?
Not even in the top three. Probably not even top ten. Nicolas Cage once bought a dinosaur skull at an auction and had to return it to the Mongolian government when the authorities told him it had originally been stolen. He was married to Elvis Presley’s daughter after she was married to Michael Jackson. He owns a giant tomb in New Orleans that is shaped like a pyramid and that he intends to be buried in when/if he dies. Corn snacks ain’t getting by any of those. No chance.
5. Is it fun to explain all of this to someone and then pause for a beat and slip into your best Nicolas-Cage-having-a-dramatic-realization-in-a-National–Treasure-movie voice to say “… just as the prophecies foretold”?
Buddy, I think you know it is.