Back to the Future Part II’s Antique Shop!

Back to the Future Part II might just be my favorite of the trilogy. If nothing else, it was the ballsiest of the three. A movie so bizarre and so unbridledly over-the-top that it could’ve very easily been laughed at for all the wrong reasons. I’ve seen the movie a million times, but was only recently struck by how strange it is. Between the holographic Jaws, the futuristic pizza and some pretty suspect ideas about how to make actors look different with makeup, the movie’s strength of spirit somehow made everything weird about it work.

My favorite scenes are too numerous to type in a small space, but very high on the list is that quick shot of Marty McFly window shopping at 2015’s antique shop, Blast from the Past. It was a fun moment in 1989, but the passage of time has made it all the sweeter.

(Click here for a closer look!)

If you’ll recall, Blast from the Past is where Marty picked up the dreaded sports almanac. In effect, there wouldn’t have been much of a movie without this antique shop there to mess things up.

The gag was that the “antiques” of 2015 were mostly things we knew as current. And most of the items were current… in 1989. Over twenty years later, and now they’re antiques for real. Most of the crud behind that glass is being gobbled up on eBay at this precise moment.

Much to our chagrin, Marty only stands there for a few seconds. This is what I call an “always-pause moment.” You know the type. You do it during key shots of the “senate scene” from The Phantom Menace. You do it when Paul Reubens puts on the “headlight glasses” in Pee-wee ‘s Big Adventure. This is just another of those movie moments that can’t be fully appreciated in real-time. Thank God for the pause button.

Below: A breakdown of Blast from the Past’s best junk!

I won’t explain all of these things, because try as I might, there just isn’t a lot to say about Perrier. Instead, let’s focus on the big ticket items.

You may remember the Talking Roger Rabbit doll — even if you’ve never seen one in person. It’s all because of the doll’s television commercial, which painted its cast of kids as hare-hating maniacs who just could not stop beating on poor Roger Rabbit. Who could forget that? Roger’s inclusion here was a gag within a gag, since Robert Zemeckis directed this movie and that movie.

The Jaws Nintendo game is my favorite “antique” of all. That was among my guiltiest video game pleasures. A terrible and indefensible game that I secretly had so much fun with. It was frustrating as frick when you played it the right way, but if you just pretended it was some sort of “virtual diving excursion” with a sidebar of shark danger, it was actually kind of pleasant.

I don’t know what that “Jaws 2” thing behind it is supposed to be, though. VHS copy? Novelization? A dummied-up Nintendo box for a game that never existed, just to screw with the 1989 version of me? (Trust me, it did.)

You’ll notice a second Nintendo game on the bottom row – BurgerTime. I can’t recall ever playing that on the Nintendo; my BurgerTime experiences were limited to the much shoddier Atari 2600 version. “Mr. Hot Dog” did not translate well on the 2600. Ever see a red square? That was Mr. Hot Dog.

There are also some high-end electronics in the mix, including a computer and a video camera. I don’t know anything about the computer, but I’m pretty sure that that’s the exact video camera my parents once owned. Me and my friends used to film talk shows on that thing, along with the occasional sci-fi epic starring me as the Beetlejuice-masked villain. (I was called “Emperor Guillotine.” The Johnny Sokko tributes didn’t end there.)

You can fill in the blanks on the rest, but I should point out that you can still buy lava lamps just like the one shown above. Aside from milk dispensers in the shapes of lactating breasts, they’re the best reason to go to Spencer’s.

Of course, Grays Sports Almanac was the #1 best item sold at Blast from the Past. It caused a lot of trouble, but Marty still had the right idea. Who among us hasn’t sat around dreaming up totally impossible and borderline magical ways to make money? Having access to fifteen years’ worth of future sports results seemed like such a safe, can’t-lose opportunity.

Even if you didn’t want to tempt fate with bets influenced by forces of the future, the book was still worth owning. Check out that sleek silver cover! It was like the DeLorean in magazine form!

Let’s end this with a survey, admittedly because I can’t come up with any better way to end this.

Disqualifying the sports almanac because it’s way too obvious, let’s say you could zip to 2015 and pick ONE ITEM from Blast from the Past’s window display. What will you go home with? (And if you spot something behind the window that I didn’t specifically mention, yeah, that’s fair game too.)

Also new today: I’m selling Mumm-Ras!

  • Green

    I’m just now realizing that I see a lot of those things, or rather things like them in antique consignment shops and my mind is suddenly blown. This is the one thing that back to the Future Part 2 was right about. Our stuff has become old.

  • Goob

    Growing up, the second movie was my favorite. I love how our perspective of the future is, and then when it’s the future we do have a few advances in technology, but not as much as we thought. My oldest sister taped the second movie off ABC and so that is the one I have watched the most growing up and now.

    I actually have a Back to the Future movie poster I bought from Amazon coming in the mail right now. I think I will put it on the left side of my Terminator 2 (silk screened, only 20 made) poster. If I was brave, I would buy a showgirls poster lol.

    A brief story about Lava lamps. I had the money to get a Lava lamp when I was a teenager. I listened to the radio and just laid on my bed thinking a lot. I thought a Lava lamp would be cool in those moods. My Grandma convinced me to think about it for a week while standing at Spencers. She said my cousins played a lot in my room and they could tip it over and break it. I said I could put it away she said what if you tip it over? She said just wait a week and think about it, if you still want one, then get one in a week. To this day, I have never owned a Lava lamp. Maybe one day when I have a basement lounge type area to display one. Someday.

    Anyway, I think movies we grew up with are less PC then the newer movies. Well the new movies have boner jokes in them, but our movies had swearing, the adults smoked cigarettes, and it had adult content.

    Back to the Future 2 has discussion of your mother getting breast implants, marrying a jerk for money, being so rich you get away with murder, swearing, gambling, all sorts of stuff. The first movie had terrorism!! In a family friendly movie!! Anyway that is just what I think. And they were great because they didn’t talk down to us. And we can go back and enjoy them now. The first Ninja turtle movie swore more then once!! I mean come on!! I need to get that poster next that poster was awesome.

  • Richard Davies

    I like this feature, it’s interesting what goes from everyday to just old to collectable.

    Also good in BTTF2 was the 1980s Cafe, which seems funnier every time I see it since I got the DVDs a few years ago.

  • Blair

    The video camera I would say is one identical to the one Marty had in the first movie that he ended up taking back to 1955 with him and using to show Doc a video of how the time machine worked.
    I first saw this movie in 1992 and it seemed strange back then an antique store with modern items, today what you see in that antique store is the most accurate thing found in 2015 in that movie. The Almanac is a bit of a mistake like just how would you get the result of every sports event (I assume just from the USA) over 50 years into just the one book. Even if the results were restricted to just California events I think the book would be much larger. You need to remember that book not only had the results of major sporting events it also included College football games and horse races.

  • Ecto-Jedi

    The Jaws 2 “thing” is definitely a VHS copy of the sequel. I still have that case tucked away in a Tupperware bin somewhere.