Soul Survivors Preview

Jamie, Patrick, Kyle and little Baby Niles race through the streets of New Jersey trying to evade the powerful enemies that Kyle’s son Niall has made. They Tokyo drift everywhere and a bullet shatters the back windshield. Baby Niles wails in terror as Kyle does his best to calm him. Suddenly a car pulls up to the side of them and a guy in a real dopey plastic mask stares back at them. “What thuuuuuuu…” Jamie says, transfixed by the dopiness of the mask. But he’s soon snapped back to reality as Patrick screams out, “watch the road you dumbo!” Jamie’s eyes dart back in time to see an oil slick ahead, seeping out from an overturned sardine truck. Oh woe is them! Unless Jamie is some kind of El Diablo behind the wheel, ready to set fire to the road in pursuit of justice and fambly, then there’s no way they can get out of this jam. Psych! Jamie is exactly that kind of El Diablo and he drifts right through that sardine oil and splashes it all over that weirdo mask guy to boot. They all high five a bunch as they make their escape. But as they are high fiving they fail to realize the dopey mask guy has pulled out a sniper rifle. With a loud pop their back tire explodes and they start spinning out of control. Thinking fast, Jamie furiously turns the wheel in time to put the car into a semi-controlled spin. He aims for a nearby tree that could stop their momentum and save them from certain death. With a crash everything goes black.

4 weeks later

Jamie, having miraculously survived the crash, cries softly as he looks at the only picture of him, Patrick, Kyle and Baby Niles. That’s right! We are watching Soul Survivors… that movie that everyone remembers. You know, the one… where they are sole survivors… anyway, it got really terrible reviews and it’s probably about time we watched it. Let’s go!

Soul Survivors (2001) – BMeTric: 62.7; Notability: 24

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.0%; Notability: top 74.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.5% Higher BMeT: Glitter, Jason X, Freddy Got Fingered, Driven, The Animal, Ghosts of Mars, Black Knight, Valentine, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles; Higher Notability: Pearl Harbor, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Monkeybone, Hannibal, Ghosts of Mars, Impostor, Not Another Teen Movie, Bubble Boy, Swordfish, 15 Minutes, Town & Country, The One, Scary Movie 2, The Affair of the Necklace, America’s Sweethearts, I Am Sam, 3000 Miles to Graceland, Along Came a Spider, Chelsea Walls, Joe Dirt, and 58 more; Lower RT: Texas Rangers; Notes: My god, sub-4.0 is so low, no wonder this film I’ve never heard of has a 60+ BMeTric. And holy crap, this rounds out the top-10 as far as BMeTric for 2001 and I have definitely seen nine of them (although I don’t think we’ve officially watched The Animal for BMT, I think I’ve just watched it multiple times by myself …))

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  A young woman and her three friends have one last night of celebration before going their separate ways for college. Unfortunately, something goes terribly wrong. Supernatural, horror, teensploitation, reality/fantasy grab bag set to pulsing music, this movie shamelessly steals ideas from good movies – and bad ones too. So-called “Killer Cut” is rated R.

(Uh oh … this sounds suspiciously like it is going to be trite nonsense. Which can be fun, but usually isn’t very fun for horror. For horror you want absurdity like Lindsay Lohan with a robot arm and a robot leg for example.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gLy7dks4GI/

(Uh oh … I think this might be trite nonsense like Maltin suggested. Like … she’s dead or almost dead or the only one alive right? It is one of those three, it can’t be anything else. Also the acting looks dire. Only Dushku looks like she’s doing anything special in this. And the soundtrack!! There is a lot to digest with this terrible terrible trailer.)

Directors – Stephen Carpenter – (Known For: The Dorm That Dripped Blood; The Kindred; The Power; BMT: Soul Survivors; Notes: Ultimately probably most well known for creating the hit television show Grimm (and some of the spin off mini-series and such).)

Writers – Stephen Carpenter (written by) (as Steve Carpenter) – (Known For: The Dorm That Dripped Blood; The Kindred; The Power; Future BMT: The Man; Blue Streak; BMT: Soul Survivors; Notes: Allegedly created the first draft for the Ocean’s 11 remake, although he ended up not being credited obviously.)

Actors – Melissa Sagemiller – (Known For: Get Over It; The Clearing; Standing Still; Love Object; Future BMT: Sorority Boys; BMT: Soul Survivors; Mr. Woodcock; The Guardian; Notes: Her father played for the NFL, and he mother was Jimmy Carter’s campaign finance manager. She began as a model and now mostly does television, for example she was briefly the DA during a later season of Law & Order: SVU.)

Wes Bentley – (Known For: Interstellar; The Hunger Games; The Best of Enemies; American Beauty; Mission: Impossible – Fallout; Knight of Cups; Pete’s Dragon; Lovelace; The Four Feathers; Final Girl; Broken Vows; Beloved; Welcome to Me; The Claim; The Game of Their Lives; Rites of Passage; Unconscious; There Be Dragons; Dolan’s Cadillac; Pioneer; Future BMT: Gone; P2; We Are Your Friends; Underworld: Awakening; BMT: Jonah Hex; Soul Survivors; Ghost Rider; Notes: Was discovered during an open casting call for Rent, and was nominated for a BAFTA for his supporting role in American Beauty.)

Casey Affleck – (Known For: Interstellar; Gone Baby Gone; American Pie; Good Will Hunting; Ocean’s Eleven; Our Friend; The World to Come; Every Breath You Take; Manchester by the Sea; American Pie 2; Tower Heist; Ocean’s Twelve; Ocean’s Thirteen; Triple 9; The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; A Ghost Story; To Die For; Out of the Furnace; The Finest Hours; The Old Man & The Gun; Future BMT: Drowning Mona; 200 Cigarettes; Race the Sun; BMT: Soul Survivors; Notes: Won an Oscar for Manchester by the Sea (and was nominated for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford). You know Affleck, he’s Ben’s brother. Notably got called out during the Me Too movement for hostile set environments on some of his films.)

Budget/Gross – $17,000,000 / Domestic: $3,111,545 (Worldwide: $4,299,141)

(Oh wow, even on the usual shoestring budget for teen horror films this still didn’t even get close to breaking even. Even if the budget was inflated after it was clearly not a success (likely), there is no way this would have cost the $2 million it would have needed to even get close. A huge bomb.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (2/48): Soul Survivors’ stock characters and utter lack of suspense gives viewers little reason to attempt deciphering the confusing plot.

(Wow, the film continues to grow in cred. I basically had never heard of it, but sub-10% on RT is nothing to joke around about. And … I doubt the plot is all that confusing, if we are being honest. Reviewer Highlight: Blatantly cannibalising every horror movie it can think of in the attempt to produce some patchwork Frankenstein’s monster. – Jamie Russell, BBC)

Poster – Sklog Survivors

(I like the cool blue, but the font isn’t great and it fits perfectly into the “generic horror film poster” set up. Reminiscent of the Scream Franchise. The most interesting aspect is the ordering of the actors. Melissa Sagemiller is way in the back. She’s the main character! Look at this alternate poster… she’s not even on it! Luke Wilson’s name appears instead! My god. I think it’s a C.)

Tagline(s) – The World of the Dead and the World of the Living… are About to Collide. (D)

(Boooo. I get the idea but poor execution… which is probably what you can say about a lot of this film. I can’t in good conscience give this even an OK grade, even if the cadence is fine for the length.)

Keyword – hallucination

Top 10: Midsommar (2019), The Little Things (2021), The Father (2020), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), The Game (1997), Joker (2019), Suicide Squad (2016), Inception (2010), Chaos Walking (2021), The Big Lebowski (1998)

Future BMT: 89.4 Vampires Suck (2010), 82.8 Prom Night (2008), 70.0 The Unborn (2009), 67.8 Poltergeist (2015), 67.0 Halloween II (2009), 65.6 Pulse (2006), 63.0 Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983), 60.9 Darkness Falls (2003), 60.7 A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), 60.3 Brahms: The Boy II (2020);

BMT: Hellboy (2019), Fantasy Island (2020), Sucker Punch (2011), Batman & Robin (1997), Friday the 13th (2009), Event Horizon (1997), The Bodyguard (1992), The Mummy (2017), The Covenant (2006), After Earth (2013), The Last Witch Hunter (2015), Safe Haven (2013), Assassin’s Creed (2016), Seventh Son (2014), The Lone Ranger (2013), Truth or Dare (2018), The Golden Child (1986), Slender Man (2018), 10,000 BC (2008), Ghosts of Mars (2001), Max Payne (2008), Son of the Mask (2005), The Forest (2016), The Number 23 (2007), The Lawnmower Man (1992), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Flatliners (2017), Dreamcatcher (2003), Silent Hill: Revelation (2012), Dracula 2001 (2000), Ride Along 2 (2016), The Wicker Man (2006), The Rite (2011), Solarbabies (1986), Rings (2017), A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989), The Ring 2 (2005), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Toys (1992)

(The keywords falling off a cliff is so common I have to think it is because it takes a bunch of years for anything but the biggest films to gain enough edits to cover them all. Nonsense keyword in realist, but The Unborn I think is, at least, a real one. Mostly horror films as you would expect, with probably The Unborn being one of the biggest ones we haven’t watched yet.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Wes Bentley is No. 2 billed in Soul Survivors and No. 3 billed in Ghost Rider, which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 13. If we were to watch 200 Cigarettes, and Pearl Harbor we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – James Marsden turned down the role of Sean in favor of the part of Scott Summers/Cyclops in X-Men (2000). (Good choice)

Casey Affleck has gone on record to reveal that this movie and Drowning Mona (2000) were his two least favorite films on which he has worked.

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