Meatballs Part II Preview

“So we are in the past,” Jamie says with wonder, thinking back on all the adventures they had in the gardens of the water reclamation plant. Everything was so simple and uncomplicated. Just a couple of scamps running around causing chaos, pretending they were saving the world. Their eyes fill with tears at the memory. Who would have thought that all these years later they actually would be saving the world? And even crazier, that they would find it so boring that they’d risk their lives, risk all time and space, by going back in time on a new adventure they barely understand. They look at each other, the tears now spilling down their cheeks. “We’ve made a terrible mistake, we shouldn’t be here,” Patrick says quietly and Jamie agrees, but before they can head back to the time machine they hear a noise in the clearing down below. Crouching down, they see the younger versions of themselves running through the brush. They are carrying some comic books and arguing over the latest issue. “What was it we used to read?” Jamie asks in a whisper. Patrick smiles at the thought that Jamie could forget their favorite weekly comic series, Bad Movie Thursday. It’s not like they invented watching bad movies. They just turned it into a billion dollar franchise and legions of fans across the world (including Antarctica, duh). Just as Young Jamie and Young Patrick’s argument reaches a crescendo a few more kids come out of the brush and stop dead at the sight of Jamie and Patrick. Jamie and Patrick frown. “I don’t remember these kids, do you?” Jamie asks and Patrick nods slightly, mesmerized and horrified by what he knows comes next. “Yo, you meatballs, what are you doing on our turf,” Young Patrick yells. That’s right! We’re diving in on our short and sweet cycle with the second entry in a beloved series from our youth, Meatballs II. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen Meatballs. I can tell you how many times I’ve seen Meatballs II. That would be zero. Soon to be one. Let’s go!

Meatballs Part II (1984) – BMeTric: 38.5; Notability: 24

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 3.6%; Notability: top 10.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0%; Higher BMeT: Supergirl, Ghoulies, Rhinestone, The Hills Have Eyes Part II, Bolero, Cannonball Run II, Children of the Corn, Missing in Action, Sheena; Higher Notability: Cannonball Run II, Supergirl, City Heat, Protocol, Mrs. Soffel, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, The River, Unfaithfully Yours, Conan the Destroyer, The Woman in Red, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Firstborn, Sheena, American Dreamer, The Ice Pirates, Rhinestone, Reckless, Exterminator 2, C.H.U.D., Maria’s Lovers, and 7 more; Notes: We’ve been doing a lot of research into how to determine if pre-1985 films qualify, and I think really it comes down to if the film had a New York Times film review. Amazingly Meatballs 2 did. And all of those with higher BMeTrics did as well. Phew, we can finally start really watching early 1980s garbage.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  In-name-only sequel throws everything from Jewish aliens from to From Here to Eternity take-off, as the fate of Camp Sasquatch rides on a boxing match against nearby Camp Patton (“Where Outdoor Living Molds Killers”). Slightly better than its predecessor (which isn’t saying much).

(Whaaaaaaaaaa? The original Meatballs is a classic! Wait … I’m starting to get a feeling Leonard Maltin didn’t watch Meatballs 500 times on Comedy Central when they were 10-years-old.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01ILPQLKWsY

(I don’t think there is a real trailer online. Just clips. This is as close as it is going to get. And it looks awful. Interesting to see John Larroquette, who was playing a similar character in the Bill Murray film, Stripes.)

DirectorsKen Wiederhorn – ( Known For: Eyes of a Stranger; Shock Waves; Dark Tower; A House in the Hills; Future BMT: Return of the Living Dead II; BMT: Meatballs Part II; Notes: He directed seven episodes of the, frankly terrible, Nightmare on Elm Street television series. Dropped out of college and started as the mail boy at CBS before working himself up to a film writer and director.)

WritersMartin Kitrosser – ( Known For: Facing the Enemy; Model Behavior; BMT: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Meatballs Part II; Notes: I have to imagine that his connection to Friday the 13th was the inspiration for what seemed to have started as a Meatballs knockoff and then became a Meatballs sequel.)

Carol Watson – ( BMT: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part III; Meatballs Part II; Notes: Was a staff writer for South Park for at least a bit. Also part of the Friday the 13th writing team clearly, so I imagine her and Kitrosser made the original script.)

Bruce Franklin Singer – ( Known For: The Killing Time; BMT: Meatballs Part II; Notes: Mostly a television writer, including 16 episodes of Subset Beach. I would guess he is the person they hired to rework and punch up the script a bit.)

ActorsRichard Mulligan – ( Known For: The Group; The Undefeated; From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler; Oliver & Company; Little Big Man; S.O.B.; Love with the Proper Stranger; Teachers; Scavenger Hunt; The Big Bus; Micki + Maude; 40 Pounds of Trouble; One Potato, Two Potato; Doin’ Time; Visit to a Chief’s Son; Future BMT: The Heavenly Kid; Trail of the Pink Panther; A Fine Mess; BMT: Meatballs Part II; Notes: Brother of Robert Mulligan who directed To Kill a Mockingbird. He won an Emmy for Empty Nest, and died in 2000.)

Hamilton Camp – ( Known For: The Little Mermaid; Dick Tracy; Starcrash; Heaven Can Wait; Doctor Dolittle; S.O.B.; Titanic; Eating Raoul; My Cousin Rachel; Bird; Evilspeak; No Small Affair; Under Fire; The Black Shield of Falworth; Nickelodeon; Dark City; All Night Long; Arena; Executive Suite; Kim; Future BMT: Joe Dirt; City Heat; Almost Heroes; All Dogs Go to Heaven 2; The Pebble and the Penguin; Young Doctors in Love; Gordy; BMT: Meatballs Part II; Notes: British, he was evacuated to the US during World War II when he was a child. He died in 2005. He is notable for being relatively short, five foot two inches.)

John Mengatti – ( Known For: Tag: The Assassination Game; Knights of the City; Dead Men Don’t Die; Hadley’s Rebellion; BMT: Meatballs Part II; Notes: Has a pretty solid television career in the early 80s, including 34 episodes of The White Shadow. His career didn’t take off in the 90s, and he stopped acting in the early 2000s.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $5,410,972 (Worldwide: $5,410,972)

(These are the reasons we have to look into some of these films. You can’t make $5 million without being widely released, but there also are often not good numbers for anything prior to 1985. This seems like a bad return though, even for a minor comedy.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/2)

(Hard to make a consensus with two reviews. Does this qualify? We think so. The issue can be that some reviews are, for whatever reason, not available. Here it suggests there are at least 4 other publications reported on Meatballs II, but unfortunately none seem to be available online.)

Reviewer Highlight: Pallid writing, awkward acting, familiar situations and tired jokes make the morons, wimps and losers of ”Meatballs Part II” easy to pass up. – Lawrence Van Gelder, New York Times

Poster – Sklogballs II

(I love 80’s posters. The complicated drawings of comedies like the Police Academy films. This one is a little underwhelming. Even the poster artist seemed to realize there was only so much to this film to draw. All that said, still got that 80’s artistry. B.)

Tagline(s) – The insanity continues… (D)

(Ah well, this is not good. Such a lack of creativity when it comes to sequels. Probably because they know that a tagline isn’t hooking anyone who isn’t already hooked by the concept of another Meatballs. Sigh.)

Keyword(s) – summer-camp

Top 10: Lolita (1997), Wonder (2017), The Parent Trap (1998), A Simple Favor (2018), Before Sunrise (1995), Friday the 13th (1980), Addams Family Values (1993), Friday the 13th (2009), Fear Street: Part Two – 1978 (2021), Mask (1985)

Future BMT: 77.9 Daddy Day Camp (2007), 62.8 Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004), 59.3 Agent Cody Banks (2003), 31.7 It Takes Two (1995), 29.2 The Story of Us (1999), 28.5 Fired Up! (2009), 27.7 Wonder Park (2019), 21.6 Camp Nowhere (1994), 12.8 Heavyweights (1995)

BMT: Friday the 13th (2009), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Jason X (2001), Sleepaway Camp (1983), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Meatballs Part II (1984)

Matches: The Parent Trap (1998), Friday the 13th (1980), Addams Family Values (1993), Sleepaway Camp (1983), The Burning (1981), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Little Darlings (1980), Rim of the World (2019), The Baby-Sitters Club (1995), Camp Nowhere (1994), Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988), Ernest Goes to Camp (1987), The Story of Us (1999), Indian Summer (1993), Standing Up (2013), The First Turn-On!! (1983), Cheerleader Camp (1988), Daddy Day Camp (2007), Recess: School’s Out (2001), Gorp (1980), Meatballs Part II (1984), Madman (1981), Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation (1986), Happy Campers (2001), My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Legend of Everfree (2016), Party Camp (1987), The Rainbow Tribe (2008), Family Plan (1997), Twisted Nightmare (1987), Camp Dread (2014), Camp Takota (2014), Camp (2013), Summerhood (2008), Caesar and Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre (2009), Porkchop (2010), Camp Stories (1996), Camp Harlow (2014), Darkest Hour (2005), Geronimo (1990), Sasquatch (2017)

(My god, we haven’t watched Heavyweights for BMT yet? How dare we. Amazingly this is the last 80s summer camp film we needed to watch for BMT, and yet we have watched basically none of the 90s summer camp films.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 40) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: John Larroquette is No. 3 billed in Meatballs Part II and No. 18 billed in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, which also stars Jordana Brewster (No. 1 billed) who is in Fast & Furious (No. 4 billed) which also stars Vin Diesel (No. 1 billed) who is in Babylon A.D. (No. 1 billed) which also stars Michelle Yeoh (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 4 billed) which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (3 + 18) + (1 + 4) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 4) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 40. If we were to watch Blind Date, Nights in Rodanthe, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 17.

Notes – Misty Rowe wore a heavily padded bra in order to play the top heavy Fanny.

The film was never intended as a sequel to Meatballs. When the studio picked it up they changed the name to Meatballs Part II, much to the surprise of director Ken Wiederhorn.

The horror film that the kids watch is Shock Waves (1977), also directed by Ken Wiederhorn.

Cheryl (‘Richards, Kim’) is asked if she comes from another planet (due to her lack of experience with boys). Cheryl replies that she sort of is. Richards played a young alien girl, marooned on earth, in two Disney movies: Escape to Witch Mountain (1975), and Return from Witch Mountain (1978).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: