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The Arnold Schwarzenegger Japanese energy drink commercials are like watching a fever dream

The Arnold Schwarzenegger Japanese commercials are like watching a fever dream

Enjoy a collection of Arnold Schwarzenegger Japanese commercials, all focusing on an energy drink that may or may not be filled with hallucinogens.

During the 80s, 90s, and into the aughts, it was something of a dirty little secret among Hollywood A-listers that there was a lot of money to be made filming Japanese commercials – a lot of money, hundreds of thousands of dollars at least, and all for what may amount to a free trip to Japan and a few hours of work.

It wasn’t a bad gig, but there were two drawbacks. First, doing commercials was considered gauche for A-listers. It just wasn’t done, at least not in America. Twenty years back, however, filming a commercial in Japan was about equivalent to filming a commercial on the moon. Almost no one in America would ever see it. The second drawback was that the commercials were often weird. So very, very weird.

Back during the height of his acting popularity, Arnold Schwarzenegger gave none fucks about appearing in Japanese commercials. In total, he filmed at least 30 over a decade or so. Some were fairly standard, others were… well, they were a trip.

The best worst best of the bunch were his ads for a Japanese energy drink. They are… well, I don’t know what they are. There are no subtitles, but I’m not sure understanding what they are saying would make a huge difference.

At one point Schwarzenegger is a genie, another he’s a meek office guy wearing a suit made of… grass? Astroturf? At one point he rages out and jumps from car roof to car roof while wearing MC Hammer pants and carrying a bunch of boxes on his head. I can’t make this stuff up.

It’s kind of like watching someone else’s fever dream. There’s probably a logic tying it all together, but we don’t know it, we never will. The most bizarre one is probably the ad where he and a woman are chained to flying Vs, then they combine like Voltron to… fight crime?

Take a few minutes and check them out. Check them out.

Commercial 1

Commercial 2

Commercial 3

Commercial 4

Commercial 5

Commercial 6



Founder and DBP boss. Ryan likes the Kansas Jayhawks, long walks on the beach, and high fiving unsuspecting people.