Priest (2011) Preview

Patrick is sweating bullets as he watches the intense hearts game commence between Jamie and the dastardly Donovan LePumice. Jamie always said, “Hearts in the thinking man’s poker,” and boy howdy is he showing his stuff. Hearts are flying left and right as he parries LePumice’s every move. When the dust settles they both look at their cards, chests heaving in exhaustion. “Wha-wha-whaaaaaaa?” Jamie says like a dope. And no wonder, both Jamie and LePumice appear to have simultaneously shot the moon. “Saboteur!” screams Jamie. “I do declare!” swoons LePumice in shock, but he quickly recovers to pull a gun on them. Patrick holds up his hand, urgently begging LePumice to listen. “Don’t you see? It’s a conspiracy. Why are you here, LePumice? Who sent you?” LePumice looks rattled. “Sent me? I just answered a call. A call for all Timecops to take down the Bad Movie Twins, or should I say Bad Movie Terrorists?” he spits. Jamie and Patrick shake their heads in dismay. They explain everything to LePumice, including just how rad they looked showing off on their dirt bikes. “Remember that?” Jamie asks and Patrick nods wistfully, having a pretty sweet audio flashback of that recent memory. LePumice lowers his gun, a look of resolve crossing his face. “I can’t help but believe you, even if the warrant for your time arrest noted that you might try to do something rad to distract me. Like some sweet dance moves or a chilling, ethereal duet. It all seems too… perfect. Let me help you.” Jamie and Patrick try to dissuade him. It’s too dangerous. He won’t be swayed though, and indicates for them to follow him. “We must get to the church. It’s where my time machine is… to take you back to the future.” That’s right! We are heading into the future for this year’s ongoing cycle. We start it off right by choosing Priest, a film that is probably, maybe, almost definitely set in the future… we think. It’s also only 87 minutes long. Works for me! Let’s go!

Priest (2011) – BMeTric: 43.9; Notability: 48

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 13.2%; Notability: top 10.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 9.1%; Higher BMeT: Jack and Jill, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Human Centipede 2: Tom Six Discusses the Story Concept, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World, Shark Night, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, The Darkest Hour, The Roommate, Abduction, Conan the Barbarian, Zookeeper, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, Apollo 18, I Don’t Know How She Does It, The Dilemma, Twixt, Trespass, and 13 more; Higher Notability: Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Green Lantern, Cars 2, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, Your Highness, Hop, New Year’s Eve, Jack and Jill, The Smurfs, Red Riding Hood, Battle Los Angeles, Sucker Punch, In Time, The Hangover Part II, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, I Am Number Four, Johnny English Reborn, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Season of the Witch, and 6 more; Lower RT: Faces in the Crowd, You May Not Kiss the Bride, Jack and Jill, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, The Roommate, A Little Bit of Heaven, Hick, Abduction, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, Dream House, New Year’s Eve, Red Riding Hood, Trespass, Season of the Witch, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, Atlas Shrugged: Part I, The Darkest Hour, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, There Be Dragons, Zookeeper, and 2 more; Notes: The era from 2000+ is quite interesting because there were so many bad movies that despite watching a ton of bad movies we still have only watched half of those available. Amazingly stayed stock still at a surprisingly high 5.7 on IMDb.

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Director and star of Legion reunite for an equally absurd but more exciting fantasy-thriller with religious overtones. In a postapocalyptic world ruled by the Catholic Church, an ages-old war between humans and humongous vampires has been settled by lethally efficient clerical warriors. But when rogue bloodsuckers kidnap his niece, Priest (Bettany) comes out of forced retirement to save her from a fate worse than death. Violent action-adventue borrows imagery and plot elements from The Searchers and other classic Westerns, and is all the more enjoyable as a guilty pleasure for not slipping into self-conscious campiness. Based on a Korean graphic novel series.

(Long review. And that does seem to be the consensus, that it is at least more enjoyable than Legion, but still terrible.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VNczhWD2ao

(You know, it just occurred to me that Bettany is, for kind of no reason, forced to put on an American accent. They are like “Bettany … what if you character talked like Christian Bale in Batman?” Weird choice. They just let Plummer talk like Christopher Plummer, just let Bettany be Bettany you know?)

DirectorsScott Stewart – ( Known For: Dark Skies; Holidays; Future BMT: Legion; BMT: Priest; Notes: He started as a visual effects artist for Industrial Light + Magic including working on Phantom Menace.)

WritersCory Goodman – ( Future BMT: Underworld: Blood Wars; Apollo 18; BMT: The Last Witch Hunter; Priest; Notes: There isn’t much information about him online. This was his first credited film, and he hasn’t been credited since 2016.)

Min-Woo Hyung – ( BMT: Priest; Notes: He wrote the graphic novel. I think he also made one called Ghostface, but Priest is by far his most famous work.)

ActorsPaul Bettany – ( Known For: Avengers: Infinity War; Iron Man; The Avengers; Captain America: Civil War; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Iron Man Three; Solo: A Star Wars Story; Legend; Iron Man 2; A Beautiful Mind; A Knight’s Tale; Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World; Margin Call; Dogville; Uncle Frank; The Young Victoria; Wimbledon; The Secret Life of Bees; Journey’s End; Bent; Future BMT: The Da Vinci Code; The Tourist; Legion; Inkheart; BMT: Transcendence; Priest; Mortdecai; Firewall; Notes: Most recently seen in WandaVision as Vision for which he was nominated for an Emmy. He directed the film Shelter starring his wife Jennifer Connelly.)

Cam Gigandet – ( Known For: Twilight; The Magnificent Seven; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Easy A; Without Remorse; Dangerous Lies; In the Blood; The Experiment; Assimilate; Free Ride; Bad Johnson; 4 Minute Mile; Plush; Broken Vows; Red Sky; On the Doll; The Shadow Effect; Future BMT: Never Back Down; Pandorum; The Unborn; Who’s Your Caddy?; BMT: Burlesque; The Roommate; Priest; Trespass; Notes: We call him Cam Gigantic which I’m starting to think is pretty offensive, but whatever. Was credited on the soundtrack of Burlesque for singing Bound to You.)

Maggie Q – ( Known For: The Protégé; Divergent; Mission: Impossible III; Live Free or Die Hard; Rush Hour 2; Death of Me; New York, I Love You; The Con is On; Naked Weapon; Slumber; Operation: Endgame; The Argument; The King of Fighters; The Crash; Gen-Y Cops; Three Kingdoms; Dragon Heat; Lang zai ji; Hainan ji fan; The Trouble-Makers; Future BMT: Allegiant; The Divergent Series: Insurgent; Balls of Fury; Deception; BMT: Fantasy Island; Around the World in 80 Days; Priest; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Fantasy Island in 2021; Notes: Voices Wonder Woman in Young Justice. She was born in Hawaii and is half Vietnamese.)

Budget/Gross – $60,000,000 / Domestic: $29,137,000 (Worldwide: $78,309,505)

(Terrible. But unsurprising. Giant weirdo sci-fi nonsense from the 2000s always seemed to be chasing something (The Matrix maybe?) but then never really seemed to make much money.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (15/101): Sleek and stylish, but those qualities are wasted on a dull, derivative blend of sci-fi, action, and horror.

(It really is a mishmash. It looks like a western, but objectively takes place in the future, but then also exists in a fantasy world where humans have been fighting vampires for centuries. Just a weird idea that probably works better as a graphic novel.)

Reviewer Highlight: The God of Aborted Franchises will be pleased. – Keith Uhlich, Time Out

Poster – Priest with the Least

(Nice font, but that’s kind of it. I like the detail and effort, but it’s very dark and kind of cheesy looking. Overall still OK though C+.)

Tagline(s) – The War is Eternal. His Mission is Just the Beginning. (D)

(Been a while since I got to say this: this sounds like a tagline, but I assure you it is not. This is straight nonsense. Just words put together to sound like a tagline. It’s not.)

Keyword(s) – vampire

Top 10: Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (2022), Hotel Transylvania (2012), Twilight (2008), Doctor Sleep (2019), Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018), Dark Shadows (2012), The Lost Boys (1987), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

Future BMT: 90.0 Vampires Suck (2010), 88.5 BloodRayne (2005), 51.7 Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010), 49.9 Sleepwalkers (1992), 44.9 Transylvania 6-5000 (1985), 43.3 Bordello of Blood (1996), 41.2 Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), 40.9 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), 40.9 Blade: Trinity (2004), 40.2 The Forsaken (2001)

BMT: Hellboy (2019), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), Vampire Academy (2014), Queen of the Damned (2002), Dracula 2000 (2000), Priest (2011), Ultraviolet (2006), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), Dudley Do-Right (1999)

Matches: Twilight (2008), Dark Shadows (2012), The Lost Boys (1987), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), Dracula (1992), Night Teeth (2021), Blade (1998), Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012), Let Me In (2010), Underworld (2003), Blade: Trinity (2004), Blade II (2002), The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010), The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013), Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), Body Double (1984), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), 30 Days of Night (2007), Vampire Academy (2014), Underworld: Blood Wars (2016), Vampires (1998), Queen of the Damned (2002), Near Dark (1987), Once Bitten (1985), Fright Night (1985), Paris, je t’aime (2006), Fright Night (2011), BloodRayne (2005), Embrace of the Vampire (1995), Underworld: Evolution (2006), Daybreakers (2009), Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009), Dracula 2000 (2000), Underworld: Awakening (2012), Thirst (2009), The Stakelander (2016), A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), Priest (2011), Sleepwalkers (1992), Vampire’s Kiss (1988), Ultraviolet (2006), Freaks of Nature (2015), Shadow of the Vampire (2000), Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), Stake Land (2010), The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2 (2021), Fright Night Part 2 (1988), Vampires Suck (2010), The Little Vampire (2000), Night Watch (2004), Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009), My Best Friend Is a Vampire (1987), Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), … (and many more)

(So many and so many left and even so many solid BMTs left. My god … we haven’t watched The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen! I mean, I have seen it (in theaters). We just haven’t watched it for BMT yet.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Paul Bettany is No. 1 billed in Priest and No. 2 billed in Firewall, which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed) which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => (1 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 3) = 10. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – The animated opening was a compromise solution, since the studios had no interest in going over budget for a live-action version of the centuries-long battle of humans against vampires, so the scene was done by animation which was much cheaper to realize.

The girl Priest is looking for is called Lucy. This is a throwback to the Dracula of Bram Stoker, where there is also a character named Lucy, who is also an engaged redheaded girl in need of saving.

The basic premise of this is the search for a kidnapped girl, the niece of the Priest, who accompanied by her boyfriend set off after the kidnappers [Vampires], at one point the Priest says if his niece is infected he will kill her, to which her boyfriend says he will stop him. This is the same premise as a classic western the Searchers, with John Wayne saying he will kill the niece he and Jeffrey Hunter are searching for because of her being so long with the Indians and Jeffrey Hunter saying he will stop him. In both films both the Priest and John Wayne say “you can try”

The two companies responsible for building the bikes, Cinema Vehicle Services and Ghostlight Industries started with the Suzuki Gladius. The builders took the initial artists’ sketches and made adjustments that would allow them to create fully functioning, usable vehicles. Alloy swing arms were fitted to the rear of the bikes with a strengthened suspension setup similar to that used on sidecars. The front wheels were also extended out from the bikes using completely custom designed front ends. The low stance was then achieved by building custom fuel tanks that could be relocated to beneath the seat in the extra space created by the massively extended swing arm. Using foam and wood the extreme styling from the concept sketches was shaped over the heavily modified Gladius. The final touches including paint, age effects and the weapons were then added by the production’s art department. All the motorcycles produced for the film took around 6 weeks to produce. One builder was quoted as confidently saying that the motorcycles could be road registered and ridden daily.

Stephen Moyer did this film between seasons of playing a vampire in True Blood (2008).

Cam Gigandet played James, a vampire, in Twilight (2008).

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