Alright, so we were in a bit of a quandary this week. I honestly had always penciled in the new Adam Sandler film, The Ridiculous Six, for this week as it was released for streaming on Netflix on Friday. But as the date neared no reviews came out for the film. None. I don’t think there was an embargo or anything, it’s just that this is our first experience with a true, blue full-streaming release of a film of major interest. Unlike something like Beasts of No Nation, which did the whole film festival circuit, no one saw this film prior to December 11th. So we really had no idea what the critical consensus on the film was. Couple this with our own internal conflict on whether a non-theatrical release should even be considered for BMT and we were at a loss. So we decided to do what any self respecting source for all things bad movies would do: we did not watch Ridiculous Six. We are staying in wait-and-see mode with the film. Unlike the Razzies we can’t possibly pass judgement until we can feel fairly confident that our metrics tell us that the film is truly deserving in both popularity and terribleness for BMT. And since imdb voting has only just opened, the BMeTric has not ripened yet. So instead asked ourselves if there was a film in the BMT universe that had always piqued our interest. This obviously led to the Bruce Willis classic Color of Night. It’s a natural choice. Ready to see Bruce Willis’ dong? Let’s go!
Color of Night (1994) – BMeTric: 47.3
(I included the votes/rating plot because it shows something curious, the trend (which I see a lot) whereby the rating is positively correlated with the number of votes a movie has received. But hey, you might say, this is interesting, is it generally true? No, the number of votes has steadily increased over time, but the average rating across IMDB is pretty stable in general. But this specific trend seems like it might be common to older (below average) movies. Considering Color of Night is a garbage movie from 1994, I found the BMeTric value a pleasant surprise. Kind of where you’d expect it to be.)
Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Ludicrous thriller in which weirded-out therapist Willis (whose patient has just committed suicide before his eyes) heads to L.A. for a breather; he immediately finds himself immersed in a murder mystery, and involved with mysterious March. Much-publicized sex scene aren’t very sexy; the garnered hype for the editing of Willis’ full frontal nudity to earn an R rating. Also on video in an “R-rated director’s cut,” with 17m. of extra footage, including more of Bruce-in-the-buff and some sexy scenes with Warren and March.
(First, the semi-colon work in this review is top notch. Second, I love that the movie is rated R and then had an “R-rated” director’s cut. I hope I can find that. For some reason I feel like not going to the absolute extreme of full-frontal Bruce Willis nudity would somehow be a failure. Also, BOMB ratings are really rare for us, so that’s a treat.)
(Wow. That is like a trailer I would cut up in my free time. It isn’t actually the real storyline (just as an example Scott Bakula is his therapist friend, not a patient) and the entire thing just looks crazy. Looks more like a standard thriller rather than an erotic thriller. Old school.)
Director(s) – Richard Rush – (Known For: The Stunt Man. BMT: Color of Night; Freebie and the Bean; Hells Angels on Wheels; Getting Straight. Notes: Nominated for Worst Director, Color of Night (1994). He walked away from filmmaking after Color of Night.)
Writer(s) – Billy Ray (story, screenplay) – (Known For: The Hunger Games; Captain Phillips; State of Play; Volcano; Breach; Hart’s War; Shattered Glass; Secret in Their Eyes. BMT: Flightplan; Color of Night; Suspect Zero. Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, Color of Night (1994). Nominated for an Oscar for Captain Phillips. Married to Stacy Sherman who wrote the BMT film One for the Money starring Katherine Heigl.)
Matthew Chapman (screenplay) – (Known For: Runaway Jury; Reaching for the Moon. BMT: Color of Night; The Ledge; What’s the Worst That Could Happen?; Consenting Adults. Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, Color of Night (1994).)
Actors – Bruce Willis – (Known For: Sin City; Die Hard; Looper; The Sixth Sense; The Fifth Element; Pulp Fiction; Die Hard: With a Vengeance; Die Hard 2; Unbreakable; Twelve Monkeys (12 Monkeys), among many others. BMT: Armageddon; Surrogates; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Hostage; Tears of the Sun; The Jackal; Cop Out; Mercury Rising; Hudson Hawk (Wri); Color of Night; A Good Day To Die Hard. Notes: Won for Worst Actor, Armageddon (1998), Mercury Rising (1998), The Siege (1998); Nominated for Worst Actor, Color of Night (1994), North (1994), Hudson Hawk (1991); Won for Worst Screenplay, Hudson Hawk (1991). I sometimes find it strange how prevalent he is to the world of bad movies, although no recognition by the Razzies for nearly 20 years now.)
Jane March – (BMT: Color of Night; Clash of the Titans; Tarzan and the Lost City; Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula; Will; My Last Five Girlfriends; The Lover (L’amant); Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress, Color of Night (1994). This was her second film. She was around 20 at the time of filming, Bruce Willis was almost 40)
Budget/Gross: $40 million / $19,726,050
(Wow, quite the bomb. The only surprising thing is that is cost $40 million dollars to make. At the time I’m not sure how you legitimatize that budget, although arguably you are talking about a film hoping to be Basic Instinct which made nearly $400 million only two years prior.)
Rotten Tomatoes: 21% (10/46), No consensus
(How isn’t there a consensus with 46 reviews? Here you go, this is free: pretentious in its psychobabble nonsense, confusing, and strangely unsexy erotic thriller. Reading the reviews at the time is actually rather interesting, Bruce Willis’ career was considered to be in serious danger because North and Color of Night came out in the same year.)
Poster – So Goddamned Sexy (D)
(Wow, I hate this. Just weird Bruce Willis/Jane March sexy faces without any information about the film at all. Completely useless, too dark, boring.)
Tagline(s) – Love can be murder (D)
In the heat of desire, love can turn to deception. Nothing is what it seems when day turns into night. (F)
Five Suspects. Two Lovers. One Killer. Nothing is what it seems… except murder. (C)
(I don’t like any of these. Love can be murder sounds like a tagline, but it is meaningless. It just says “hey, I’m an erotic thriller”. The next is the same but just really long and the “day turns to night” is trite bullshit. The last one has the kind of cadence I want to see, but again, nothing is what is seems except murder kind of kills it. Chop that off into a shorter “Five suspects. Two lovers. One killer” and I think you got a solid tagline.)
Notes – Although this film was a box office flop, this film did very well in home video market; according to Billboard magazine, this film was even one of the Top 20 most-rented films in 1995. (gross yet hilarious)
Jane March planned to require the filmmakers to alter some of the film’s nude scenes, but she eventually didn’t do so because her working experience on the film was very happy. (Good for you Jane March. You have nothing to be ashamed of)
Jane March stated that she “wasn’t at all comfortable with the nudity” in the film. (Honestly, it is unnecessarily extreme. You could cut almost all of it out and it is the same movie).
Razzie Awards 1995, Won for Worst Picture
Razzie Awards 1995, Nominated for Worst Actor, Worst Actress, Worst Screen Couple, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Supporting Actress, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Original Song.