Fuzzy Memories

Resurfaced Video: Sinbad Will “Kill You” If You Own Mythical Shazaam VHS

Do you remember seeing Shazaam in the '80s? Think again.

Originally Published: 
GETTY / Touchstone Pictures / Disney / Warner Bros. Pictures

Our memories of the ’80s are fuzzy as hell. Did you see Transformers in the theater in 1986 or 1987? When did you buy your first Ghostbusters action figure? Are you sure? And no greater example of this strange fuzzy collective memory is people who think they saw a movie called Shazaam in the ‘80s.

In theory, the internet is the depository of all of this ephemeral knowledge, but every once in a while, there’s a glitch in the Matrix. For several decades, people have been convinced that the comedian Sinbad did a low-budget genie movie called Shazaam sometime in the 1980s. To be clear, this movie does not exist. It never existed, and the cultural memory of its existence has been largely chalked up to something called “the Mandela Effect,” a physiological phenomenon where a sizable group of people collectively misremember something. “The Mandela Effect” refers to a moment when several people believed that they remembered Nelson Mandela dying in the ’80s, even though he clearly lived until 2013. Still, when you look through several examples of the Mandela Effect, you might be a little startled. (Looney Tunes versus Looney Toons is a good example. The former is real, the latter is not.)

Anyway, in a frequently resurfaced video from 2018, Sinbad jokingly pretends that yes, he did do an ’80s movie called Shazaam. But through some “mind control” and help from “the government,” they managed to find all the VHS tapes of the (fake) movie and destroy them. That is, all about three VHS tapes. In the video, Sinbad hilariously reveals that if you have one of these videos that you are, tragically, on a “hit list.”

Clearly, Sinbad is kidding. But, it does make you stop and think, right? Yes, there was a movie called Kazaam starring Shaq, but that’s not like a remake of Shazaam, even though, in our head, it kind of is.

The superhero movie Shazam! (no connection) is streaming on HBO Max. Kazaam with Shaq is streaming to rent on Amazon Prime.

Shazaam, the fake ’80s movie, is only available on three VHS tapes that certainly don’t exist, and if you do have them, you better destroy them! Sinbad is coming for you!

This article was originally published on