It may be hard to believe nowadays, but there was a time when After Burner was once a pretty big deal. It helped the Master System find success in Europe and Australia, it was advertised on television and it even received a cameo in one of the highest grossing films of the nineties, Terminator 2! We’re not going to talk about that though, because you’ve probably already seen it. Instead, we’re going to focus on another science fiction movie released the same year as T2 that practically nobody saw: Suburban Commando. We’ll also mention a certain popular reviewer of nostalgia who took a look at it back in 2009, and later took a look at one of After Burner’s commercials in a separate video a few years later. The video above features both clips. Take a look, then join me for more after the break!
Suburban Commando was an incredibly cheesy, critically panned science fiction movie released in 1991 starring famed wrestler Hulk Hogan as space warrior Shep Ramsey. Ramsey is forced to land his ship in American suburbia after he…well…smashes the controls and of course crazy nineties hijinks ensues. At one point in the movie he encounters a kid with an overactive imagination, fighting some evil galactic force he calls the “Dragus” in After Burner. I’ll give the kid one thing, at least he tries to add some depth and backstory to his games, even if they don’t make a lick of sense! The craziest thing about this is that SEGA had another game that’s a lot like After Burner, but set in space: Galaxy Force 2. The cabinet even looks like a space ship!
The odd way this cameo is handled is an example of this movie’s biggest problem: it is a lazy, illogical, dumb mess of a film. It’s such a glaring example of the movie’s stupidity that Nostalgia Critic spent a full minute harping on it, and even went back to it when he looked at an After Burner commercial a few years later. Still, even though they did fuck up the cameo, Suburban Commando does deserve some credit for including the game at all. The people who made the movie may not be very good at what they do, but they at least got some good taste in games!
One other little fun fact to link this movie and After Burner back to Terminator 2: Arnold Schwarzenegger was originally going to star in this movie too. I’ve embedded the original Nostalgia Critic review below if you want to see the above clip in its proper context.Ad: