Senseless Preview

Kyle and Rachel explain how once Lou Cash had told them what happened and gave them Patrick’s note, then convinced him to give them a time machine of their own. They traveled for fifteen years in search of Jamie and Patrick, falling in love and having a family in the process. Eventually they found the HoE dimension and their time machine burned out. “That was six years ago, I think,” says Kyle, looking fondly at his family. Patrick shakes his head in confusion. “But why did you follow us?” he asks, “I told you specifically not to in the note.” Now it’s Kyle’s turn to be confused. He pulls out the notes and shows them. On it are just two words, ‘Follow us.’ Patrick huffs in frustration and snatches the notes away. “This thing is covered in chocolate, Kyle,” he says while wiping the note clean, “you left this note all covered in chocolate for fifteen years.” With that he reveals the true message of the note: ‘Dearest Kyle, I told Lou Cash to give you this note when the time is right. He’ll know that that is when we’ve been lost to time, perhaps trapped in an alternate dimension. Please follow these instructions to the word: 1. Destroy the Dongle. I’ve long held the suspicion that only one true of heart can destroy it and that you are that person. Where others are bent by the immense power of the Dongle, it will crumble in your hands. 2. Do not come after us. 3. Ask Rachel out, you dummy. You’ll be forever with us. BMT.’ But only two words had remained once the note fell into Kyle’s chocolatey hands: ‘follow’ and ‘us.’ Jamie laughs softly at the senseless tragedy of the lives destroyed by Kyle’s love of chocolate. That’s right, we are getting senseless ourselves by watching the Marlon Wayans classic, Senseless. I saw this ages ago and don’t remember a thing except there was a part that involved a glow in the dark hamster or something. What can I say, I liked amnimals when I was a kid and so that’s the only part that stuck with me. But I’m no longer a kid. I’m a man! Let’s go!

Senseless (1998) – BMeTric: 27.5; Notability: 59

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 20.0%; Notability: top 4.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 3.4%; Higher BMeT: The Avengers, Psycho, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Species II, 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain, The Patriot, Lost in Space, Holy Man, Knock Off, Ringmaster, Godzilla, Major League: Back to the Minors, Air Bud: Golden Receiver, Jack Frost, Legionnaire, Home Fries, Barney’s Great Adventure, Phantoms, Urban Legend, Strangeland, and 30 more; Higher Notability: Armageddon, Godzilla, Lost in Space, 54, Patch Adams, U.S. Marshals, Soldier, Deep Rising, Jack Frost, Mercury Rising; Lower RT: 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain, Slappy and the Stinkers, A Murder of Crows, Dead Man’s Curve, Caught Up, The Avengers, Almost Heroes, Tarzan and the Lost City; Notes: How is the notability so high? This is a weird comedy from the late-90s, and it is like Mercury Rising level of notability? Also, read the films with lower Rotten Tomatoes scores … we’ve seen one of those. That is wild wild stuff.

RogerEbert.com – 2.5 stars – Penelope Spheeris, whose “Wayne’s World” remains one of the funniest of ’90s movies, never finds a consistent tone here. The broad physical humor of the main plot contrasts weirdly with the character of the roommate (Matthew Lillard), who doesn’t seem to vibrate in the same universe. His character could be funny in a different movie, but he seems at right angles to this one.

(Two and a half stars is actually pretty good. And funny that Lillard in particular gets called out in the review considering he is going to be like fourth or fifth lead.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6pM-4m7xQ0/

(Wait … where is this movie set? I would have figured it was New York given the Wall Street connection, but then he says he’s from Chicago. I guess he’s like … originally from Chicago and they moved to New York maybe? Oh the movie looks kind of dumb.)

DirectorsPenelope Spheeris – ( Known For: Wayne’s World; Suburbia; The Boys Next Door; Hollywood Vice Squad; Dudes; The Kid & I; Balls to the Wall; Future BMT: The Little Rascals; Black Sheep; BMT: The Beverly Hillbillies; Senseless; Notes: Very famous Rock ‘N Roll documentarian and claimed to have formed the first ever music video production company. Her mainstream career was basically ruined by the Weinsteins after the failure of this film by her account.)

WritersGreg Erb – ( Known For: The Princess and the Frog; Future BMT: RocketMan; Playmobil: The Movie; BMT: Senseless; Notes: Probably a script doctor of sorts as his career contains multiple 10 year gaps. Has a movie slated for production called Cryptozoologists, which is likely a CGI film.)

Craig Mazin – ( Future BMT: The Huntsman: Winter’s War; Superhero Movie; Scary Movie 3; The Hangover Part II; Scary Movie 4; The Hangover Part III; Identity Thief; RocketMan; BMT: Senseless; Notes: Won two Emmys for producing and writing Chernobyl. Has a bunch of stuff in production including an Untitled Pirates of the Caribbean project.)

ActorsMarlon Wayans – ( Known For: Requiem for a Dream; Respect; Scary Movie; The Heat; On the Rocks; The Ladykillers; Naked; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Above the Rim; Sextuplets; Future BMT: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Scary Movie 2; Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood; Mo’ Money; Dance Flick; The Sixth Man; BMT: White Chicks; Norbit; Marmaduke; Little Man; Fifty Shades of Black; A Haunted House; Dungeons & Dragons; A Haunted House 2; Senseless; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Little Man in 2007; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2005 for White Chicks; and in 2007 for Little Man; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for White Chicks in 2005; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in 2010; Notes: Mostly does Netflix / streaming films at this point. He has a film called Boo! coming out which is probably in line with his Haunted House series. Oddly also has a Ben Affleck / Matt Damon film about Nike getting Michael Jordan as a client in the 80s?)

David Spade – ( Known For: Hotel Transylvania: Transformania; The Emperor’s New Groove; Tommy Boy; The Wrong Missy; Hotel Transylvania; Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation; Reality Bites; The Do-Over; PCU; Hotel Transylvania 2; Sandy Wexler; A Very Brady Sequel; Beavis and Butt-Head Do America; Father of the Year; The Rugrats Movie; Light Sleeper; Mad Families; Warning Shot; Jungle Master; Snowflake, the White Gorilla; Future BMT: Joe Dirt; Grandma’s Boy; Coneheads; Entourage; 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag; Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star; Loser; Black Sheep; Racing Stripes; BMT: Grown Ups; Grown Ups 2; The Ridiculous 6; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; The Benchwarmers; Jack and Jill; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Senseless; Lost & Found; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Jack and Jill in 2012; and Nominee for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for The Wrong Missy in 2021; Notes: Still very successful. He’s from Arizona and is one of the Adam Sandler group which passed through SNL at the same time. He does a lot of television work, but also is one of the more successful Netflix comedy stars at the moment. Besides SNL he was also nominated for an Emmy for Just Shoot Me!)

Brad Dourif – ( Known For: Dune; Blue Velvet; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; Alien: Resurrection; Mississippi Burning; Drop Dead Sexy; Child’s Play; Bride of Chucky; Heaven’s Gate; Ragtime; The Exorcist III; The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans; Curse of Chucky; Child’s Play 2; Jungle Fever; Cult of Chucky; Murder in the First; Nightwatch; Future BMT: Seed of Chucky; Pulse; Child’s Play 3; Amos & Andrew; Fatal Beauty; BMT: Urban Legend; Halloween; Color of Night; Priest; Graveyard Shift; Halloween II; Senseless; Notes: We’ve seen him a bunch recently. He was nominated for an Oscar when he was 25 at Billy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He is an incredibly recognizable character actor at this point in movies and television. For example he was in Star Trek: Voyager as a serial killer Betazoid for a long arc in the early seasons.)

Budget/Gross – $15 million / Domestic: $12,874,899 (Worldwide: $12,874,899)

(Yeah not very good. The budget was setting itself up for a decent success, but it was obviously not quite at the 30-60 million level they were probably hoping for.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (1/17)

(Ah I get to make a consensus: In a long line of superhuman comedies the film is ultimately let down by the confused visions of its director and star.)

Reviewer Highlight: [Spheeris’] setups here are so witless and pedestrian that there’s no imagination to the crude slapstick punchlines; we’re just watching a bland jester pantomime sensory overload. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Poster – Sense More

(Oh nooooooo! It’s like I made it in high school. I usually say I can imagine these posters hanging in a theater, enticing people to partake in the joys of cinema. But no no no. Not this one. I cannot imagine this hanging anywhere. Wow. D)

Tagline(s) – A secret experiment gave him super senses. Then came the side-effects. (D+)

(I feel like the title of the film itself is the better tagline. Senseless that he has super senses. So then they were left with a not very good and very long tagline for the poster. Boo.)

Keyword(s) – dimension

Top 10: Sin City (2005), Spectre (2015), The Others (2001), Scream (1996), Equilibrium (2002), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), The Mist (2007), Death Proof (2007), 1408 (2007), Scary Movie (2000)

Future BMT: 86.5 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005), 82.8 Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World (2011), 77.4 Who’s Your Caddy? (2007), 76.9 Superhero Movie (2008), 70.1 Black Christmas (2006), 68.6 Pulse (2006), 66.9 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 64.9 Scary Movie 4 (2006), 61.8 Cursed (2005), 58.9 Apollo 18 (2011)

BMT: Scary Movie V (2013), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994), Halloween II (2009), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), My Boss’s Daughter (2003), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Dracula 2000 (2000), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998), Phantoms (1998), Boys and Girls (2000), Texas Rangers (2001), Reindeer Games (2000), Halloween (2007), Senseless (1998), Mindhunters (2004)

Best Options (Men in Black II): 76.9 Superhero Movie (2008), 61.8 Cursed (2005), 58.6 Scary Movie 2 (2001), 33.1 School for Scoundrels (2006), 27.3 Senseless (1998), 23.7 Impostor (2001)

(This doesn’t quite capture the fact that Senseless really is a rare one where Rip Torn is in both Men in Black II and Senseless in a major role. Chain reaction is always going to be one of those that we get worse films strategically. Too bad though, Cursed is notably bad and should be done sooner rather than later.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Matthew Lillard is No. 3 billed in Senseless and No. 6 billed in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (3 + 6) + (3 + 1) = 13. If we were to watch Wicker Park we can get the HoE Number down to 10.

Notes – To date, this is the last movie directed by Penelope Spheeris to get a wide theatrical release. She said in an interview that working with the Weinsteins on this made her want to stop making mainstream Hollywood movies. She thought, “How the fuck did I get here? What am I doing? I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to work in this movie business anymore.”

Brad Dourif does not blink in any of his scenes.

During the ending sequence, the song “Movin’ on up”, from the TV series The Jeffersons (1975),is playing as Daryl walks into his building and tips the doorman, who is played by Sherman Hemsley. Helmsley starred in “The Jeffersons”.

The exterior shot of David Spade’s fraternity was filmed at the Delta Tau Delta house at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. The letters on the front stairs were painted on for the movie and repainted after filming.

The punk band playing on the TV before it quickly gets changed is Naked Aggression.

Penelope Spheeris said producers the Weinsteins kept rewriting the script over and over, and it kept getting worse. At one point, she said to Bob Weinstein, “I don’t think this works,” and he said, “This is my fucking money and I’m going to spend it any fucking way I want to.” The movie ended up bombing and Spheeris said they blamed her, adding, “And as a woman, when you do a movie that doesn’t do well, then you’re done. You’re in director jail.”

Originally scheduled to be released in December 1997.

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