New Jersey Turnpikes (lost unreleased mockumentary basketball film; 1999)

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New Jersey Turnpikes.png

Original film poster.

Status: Lost

New Jersey Turnpikes is a 1999 mockumentary film starring Kelsey Grammer, Tommy Chong and Orlando Jones.[1] It was shot entirely in Toronto and directed by Bryan Buckley.

The film centers on the fictional basketball team, the "New Jersey Turnpikes," during the final days of the American Basketball Association. It features narration by Kelsey Grammer, who additionally plays the team's owner. "Kool Williams", played by Orlando Jones, is the only good player, as the team is known to be the worst in the league.[2]

A rough cut underwent test screenings in 1998[3], and posters were designed[4], but the film was never released. The exact reasons are unclear, but one IMDb user who was an extra in the film claims that Grammer hated the final result and bought the rights so that it would never be released.[5] It has not been screened publicly in any form since 1998.

While it may just be a coincidence, the 2008 film Semi-Pro, starring Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson and André Benjamin, features a similar plot. It is about a basketball team in the ABA in the league's final season, with Ferrell playing the head coach (who is also the owner and starting power forward) and Benjamin as the team's only good player.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. IMDb page. Retrieved 25 Mar '16.
  2. Plot summary. Retrieved 25 Mar '16.
  3. Ain't it Cool News review. Retrieved 25 Mar '16.
  4. Poster designs, with commentary. Retrieved 25 Mar '16.
  5. IMDb reviews from various extras. Retrieved 25 Mar '16.