Days of Thunder Recap

Jamie

Cole Trickle is a race car driver you just wants to win. Just when he figures everything out he gets in a terrible wreck and finds himself fighting for his job against a young upstart trying to take his place. Add in a new love interest and things are getting complicated. Can he win the big race (and get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Days of Thunder.

How?! Cole Trickle is a race car driver with a lot of promise. Unfortunately he just can’t listen to advice (or even really understand the sport of NASCAR) and keeps burning out his cars by pushing too hard. After his pit chief Harry Hogge puts him through some training, Cole becomes the darling of NASCAR and a big time rivalry with hot shot racer Rowdy Burns starts up. This culminates in a contentious race where both Rowdy and Cole are seriously injured in a crash. As Cole recovers, he develops a romantic relationship with his neurosurgeon Dr. Claire Lewicki and patches things up with Rowdy as they become super best friends forever. But all is not well on the race track as Russ Wheeler, a young upstart who has taken over Cole’s car after the crash, is making waves. Instead of giving Cole his car back after he recovers, the owner expands to two cars and a bitter rivalry between Cole and Russ develops. This eventually results in Cole being let go by the team. However, Rowdy needs brain surgery and to pay for it he needs Cole to drive his car in the Daytona 500. What luck! With a new team assembled, a little help from his old team, and some fancy moves on the racetrack, Cole and Russ find themselves neck and neck at the finish line. It looks like Russ has the whole thing wrapped up, but Cole tricks Russ by switching up his patented slingshot move at the finish and wins Daytona and everyone is super excited and Claire is like hooray (even though she’s like a way more impressive brain surgeon) and it’s great. THE END. 

Why?! Fame and fortune I think. Although Cole also has all kinds of other stuff that factor into his passion for driving that I don’t totally remember. I know that part of the attraction to NASCAR was that the cars are the same so that it’s all about dem skillz. And boy howdy does he have the skillz. I mean, I think that’s it. He wants to win Daytona… it’s not complicated.

Who?! Obviously there are some cameos in this guy. Richard Petty and Rusty Wallace are a couple. Sometimes I even discover a new entry for these categories and this is an interesting case of a “based on a true story” that really isn’t (but kind of is in a winking way). Cole Trickle is mostly based on Tim Richmond, who was a larger than life driver with a tragic story. They made a 30 for 30 about him. A lot of the events from the film are anecdotal about a variety of drivers. So almost based on actual people… but it’s not.

What?! The whole thing is kinda like an advertisement for NASCAR. Wouldn’t be surprised if NASCAR recruiters set up shop outside the cineplex to rope unsuspecting teens into NASCAR boot camp. And of course with NASCAR comes Mello Yello racecars and with Mello Yello racecars follows the inevitable sex scene featuring Sweet’N Low. I even think I remember that on the SATs back in the day. Autumn:Winter::Mello Yello Racecar:________. The answer was obviously Sweet’N Low Sex Scene. I believe the only question in history where everyone who took the test got it right.

Where?! In my mind this is a Florida film. Not just because that’s where the climactic race of the film takes place, but really because that’s where Cole recovers with Claire. So in my mind I see Cole driving around Florida and falling in love to the tune of a Daytona sunset (awww). On the other hand it’s a pretty good out-of-the-box road trip movie. It even has a scene where Cole is racing at the Dover International Speedway… let me say that again: there is a scene in this film in Dover… Delaware. B+.

When?! There are some clear dates here just in terms of the races that are explicitly names. At the very least you know that Cole was injured in July and then the climactic Dayton 500 would occur the following February. Really all the events seem to take place in just under a year, which seems odd. Like Cole is a rookie, becomes a rival with the top driver, is injured, starts another rivalry, gets fired from his team, and then wins the Daytona 500 on a different team in like… 10 months or so. Road trip through time as well. B+.

We’re on a bit of a streak of pretty good films. Or at least not entirely bad films. I found this one to be downright watchable and really not that bad (It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad!). Though, I can understand why it’s not in the Top Gun level of nostalgia at this point. The bromance is just not at the same level, the rival comes in too late to hit Iceman potential, the love interest is barely written, and fighter jets are cooler than race cars. But… but… it’s got all that adrenaline pumping fun and sports movie juice to get me through a sitting no prob. My biggest gripe is Nicole Kidman’s neurosurgeon character who falls in love with Cole (an immature race car driver who kinda sucks) for no apparent reason… she’s a beautiful neurosurgeon and she’s going to fall in love with one of her patients who has a death wish? That’s unlikely. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We get to dust off another borderline BMT and play a sweet NES game with Days of Thunder. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – This film has always been kicking around as a sports film for BMT, a sub-genre we don’t often get to do. I don’t know why that is. I looked it up once, I think there are actually plenty of films to do (Mighty Ducks, D2: The Mighty Ducks, D3: The Mighty Ducks, to name three), so it is just something about them that we avoid. Probably because they don’t really fit into any genre. Is this an action film? A romance? Mighty Ducks I suppose is a comedy. The other notable things about this film is it is the only feature film Cruise has a writing credit on, and it is also where he met Nicole Kidman. Truly a landmark in film history. What were my expectations? Heart pounding NASCAR action! No seriously, I pretty much fully expected it to be an okay actioner, all the reviews just seem to complain about the romance and how inaccurate the film is about racing.

The Good – And an okay actioner is it! The final race in particular is quite good I thought, with enough vulnerability shown by Cruise to get me rooting for him to win, and enough action to keep you entertained. It didn’t really matter that you knew who was going to win. The whole story works quite well and I think the credit might lie with Cruise there. He knew that having some prodigy young hot shot as the lead wouldn’t work well and was willing to play a character who admitted he just didn’t know a thing about cars. You know if that was late-career Vin Diesel he’d be like “I can’t lose a race, it is in my contract. Fambly.” Best bit: Final race

The Bad – Definitely sags a bit in the middle when they are just mostly winning races / recovering from injuries and moping about. I could have used a bit more of the classic redemption arc of “we were rivals, and I hate you Cole Trickle … but goddamn if I respect you!” from Rooker. You can tell everything concerning racing is nonsense (albeit a necessary and forgivable flaw). I think the only unforgivable sin is that Duvall lives on a farm with a barn, but Tom Cruise never punches a big sack of hay while recovering from injury in there a la Youngblood. A travesty. Fatal flaw: Tom Cruise didn’t punch a big sack of hay … just joking, it is probably just the slowness of the middle of the film.

The BMT – We’ve watched quite a few racing films over the years, although mostly (outside of maybe only Driven?) they are about illegal street racing. This still, weirdly, isn’t the best BMT about sanctioned racing, that is surely Driven with Sly Stallone. It gets your blood pumping, though. I can definitely see myself settling in to watch just the final race if I saw it randomly on television. Also it is surprising just how much of a parody Talladega Nights is. Watching those two films back-to-back would be great fun … yeah I’m just going to pencil that in for some lazy Sunday in the future. Did it meet my expectations? Amazingly, it exceeded them. I think I expected it to be even more nonsensical than it was, but it does an okay job of balancing competition, rivalry, and the romance story, and ends up being pretty fun.

Roast-radamus – Two incredible Product Placements (What?) with the quote “ESPN … their coverage is excellent, you’d be surprised how much you can pick up” being used to explain Cole Trickle’s inherent abilities in stock car racing, and also Cole guzzling Budweiser throughout the film, and ultimately being sponsored by Mello Yello at the end of the film. A decent Setting as a Character (Where?) for North Carolina in particular, I think they ended up just bouncing back and forth between the two headquarter cities (Daytona and Charlotte) for NASCAR throughout the film. And I’m declaring it, this is a Super Secret Holiday Film (When?), because everyone knows the Daytona 500 (which bookends the film) always takes place on Presidents’ Day weekend, at least that was true in the 80s and 90s. Definitely closest to Good for me.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Prequel baby! You know when they throw out tantalizing nuggets like “my father owned my IndyCar team and was a fraud and bankrupted and embarrassed me so badly I had to move to NASCAR” in a film I just need to see that as a prequel story. And guess what? Tom Cruise is going to play that father! That’s right, it has been long enough that we recast Cole Trickle (easy, Timothée Chalamet) and Tom Cruise plays his own character’s father in the film. Pretty straightforward, I mean … they explained the whole concept in Days of Thunder. I think the key though is that the characters will be following NASCAR during the film (ESPN has great coverage) and will see Bretherton’s crash and Harry Hogge get drummed out of the series at the same time. Draw that connection. We also need an IndyCar rivalry to revive in the sequel (after Trickle triumphantly returns to IndyCar after the events of the original film), I’m going to call him … Kyle Frisk and he’s played by Jaden Smith. Days of Thunder: Grand Prix.

You Just Got Schooled – This is a two-fer! This film had several singles from its soundtrack album, most notably a cover of Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door by Guns N’ Roses which peaked at #2 on the UK charts, and Show Me Heaven by Maria McKee which spent four weeks at the top of the UK charts in 1990. Additionally, there was a PC and NES game also called Days of Thunder. I played the NES version and hoooooooo doggy, it is basically impossible. I’m not even joking, there is a race in the game which even the best runners say is impossible to win given the pitting mechanics. I played for an hour or two and started to get the hang of it to some degree, but you should at the very least watch a speed run just to see how insane the pitting mechanics are, you have to manually do them!

By the end of the movie tie-in cycle I think I’m going to end up playing every single type of game ever made, you have to love it.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Days of Thunder Quiz

Oh boy. Here’s the thing. I was racing my sweet car in the Winston Cup Series (yeah this was decades ago) and then I go into a gnarly crash and hit my head real hard. Pros: I met a hot doctor and we are now dating. Cons: I had a massive concussion and might not be able to race again and also I don’t remember anything. Do you remember what happened in Days of Thunder?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why did Duvall quit stock car racing?

2) Well, the start of the season really doesn’t go well. What is causing the failure of communication between the driver and pit crew?

3) Cole and his arch nemesis Michael Rooker get into an accident while trading paint on the track. What injury does Cole suffer?

4) What super duper secret maneuver are Harry and Cole working on to help they win Daytona?

5) Why does Cole get fired from his team, and why does he end up using Michael Rooker’s car instead?

Bonus Question: How many more races does Cole win in Nascar?

Answers

Days of Thunder Preview

With Patrick back at the apartment blazing the k’board on some dynamic AI features for their FMV video game, Jamie is off to the Super Dope Toys factory for a little R&D on the big Rich & Poe toy give away. On his guided tour through the surreal factory he gazes about with a childlike sense of wonder. There’s Eldric the Elephant, his favorite toy as a child! And the dastardly Dr. Cybotronic, with his stethoscope that shoots laser beams! Novelty farts! Novelty darts! Novelty darts shaped like farts! In his glee he finds himself separated from the group and lost in what seems like a never ending maze. Suddenly a door appears before him marked ‘Top Secret.’ Jamie hesitates, but eventually concludes that nobody likes a secret. Secrets are for sharing. But when he opens the door he only sees a dumb ol’ tank of water far below at the bottom of the room. A chill runs down his spine as he hears the door close behind him. Now trapped, the walkway he is standing on begins to slowly lower into the water. An alarm sounds and Jamie becomes acutely aware that he’s not alone. There is something in the water… something big. A periscope emerges and, being a submarine expert, Jamie recognizes the sounds of tubes flooding. That submarine is ready to strike and here he is without a single depth charge. Thinking quickly he jumps on the jetski conveniently waiting nearby. But this ain’t time for any old jetski action, Jamie knows it time to kick it up a notch. “Let’s do the dew,” he says, popping a can of refreshing Mountain Dew into the jetski’s gas tank, “cause I got the need, the need for speed.” And with that he roars away. That’s right! Close enough, cause this week we’re doing an actually good movie that somehow got bad reviews. That would be Days of Thunder starring the always in need of speed Tom Cruise. We didn’t choose it for its bad reviews as it’s admittedly pretty close to not qualifying. We chose it for its killer soundtrack including Show Me Heaven by Maria McKee which hit #1 on the UK charts (oh, and also a video game too). Let’s go!

Days of Thunder (1990) – BMeTric: 29.8; Notability: 73

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 11.6%; Notability: top 3.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 31.1% Higher BMeT: Rocky V, Ghost Dad, The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, Wings of the Apache, 3 Men and a Little Lady, RoboCop 2, Navy Seals, Ernest Goes to Jail, Desperate Hours, Another 48 Hrs., Hard to Kill, Air America, The Rookie, The Guardian, Bird on a Wire; Higher Notability: RoboCop 2, Predator 2; Lower RT: Ghost Dad, Spaced Invaders, Wings of the Apache, Meet the Applegates, Where the Heart Is, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, Heart Condition, Ernest Goes to Jail, Opportunity Knocks, Air America, Everybody Wins, The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, Brain Dead, Too Much Sun, Graffiti Bridge, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Navy Seals, Short Time, Stella, Another 48 Hrs. and 26 more; Notes: Low 6’s is exactly what I would have expected for a film like this for IMDb. The Notability is something else though, wow. We’ve been smashing some 50+ Notabilities in this cycle (I guess that’s why they get movie tie-ins). Seems to genuinely have been the biggest non-sequel by that metric in 1990 which is incredible.

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – Kidman has little to do as the love interest and doesn’t make much of an impression. And Cruise is so efficiently packaged in this product that he plays the same role as a saint in a Mexican village’s holy day procession: It’s not what he does that makes him so special; it’s the way he manifests everybody’s faith in him.

(This is a really weird review, and at the same time probably explains how people actually saw Tom Cruise at the time. He was a bonafide movie star. And if not that quite yet, he was one in the making. An action star, but versatile enough that you’ll believe him in Cocktail, and someone people might have seen as a young, I don’t know … Paul Newman? This would be the last BMT film for Cruise for basically a decade, he’d effectively star in A Few Good Men and then only good films until the 2000s.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPXL4_eZ4-M/

(Reminds me of Youngblood. I just hope he has a montage scene where he’s hitting a sack of straw on a farm or something to build up his muscles. That reminds me … we should watch Youngblood.)

Directors – Tony Scott – (Known For: Top Gun; Beverly Hills Cop II; True Romance; Enemy of the State; Unstoppable; Spy Game; Deja Vu; Crimson Tide; The Hunger; The Last Boy Scout; The Taking of Pelham 123; Future BMT: Domino; The Fan; Revenge; Man on Fire; BMT: Days of Thunder; Notes: Brother of Ridley Scott. During the 2000s he worked in television, and won two Emmys for his television movies and miniseries (The Gathering Storm, and Gettysburg). Committed suicide in 2012, apparently after a lengthy battle with cancer and poor prognosis.)

Writers – Robert Towne (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Mission: Impossible; Chinatown; The Firm; Mission: Impossible II; Bonnie and Clyde; Frantic; The Two Jakes; The Parallax View; Shampoo; Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes; Tequila Sunrise; The Missouri Breaks; The Last Detail; Orca; Heaven Can Wait; Ask the Dust; 8 Million Ways to Die; The Yakuza; Personal Best; Cisco Pike; Future BMT: Deal of the Century; Love Affair; BMT: Days of Thunder; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Mission: Impossible in 1997; Notes: Nominated for four Oscars (won for Chinatown). His career started writing and acting in Roger Corman films.)

Tom Cruise (story) – (BMT: Days of Thunder; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for The Mummy in 2018; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; and Nominee for Worst Actor in 1989 for Cocktail; and in 2006 for War of the Worlds; Notes: This is one of two projects on IMDb for which Cruise is listed as a writer. The other? The upcoming SpaceX project which he has an illustrious “idea” credit. Crazy that Cruise never really felt the need to write films for himself like Stallone and others.)

Actors – Tom Cruise – (Known For: The Outsiders; Top Gun; Tropic Thunder; Mission: Impossible – Fallout; Eyes Wide Shut; A Few Good Men; Rain Man; Collateral; Edge of Tomorrow; Oblivion; Mission: Impossible; Jack Reacher; Minority Report; War of the Worlds; The Last Samurai; Magnolia; Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation; Jerry Maguire; Future BMT: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back; Lions for Lambs; Legend; BMT: The Mummy; Endless Love; Cocktail; Days of Thunder; Vanilla Sky; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for The Mummy in 2018; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; and Nominee for Worst Actor in 1989 for Cocktail; and in 2006 for War of the Worlds; Notes: Nominated for three Oscars (Magnolia, Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire). Famously he is extremely high up in Scientology, was married to Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes.)

Nicole Kidman – (Known For: Aquaman; Bombshell; Eyes Wide Shut; Moulin Rouge!; The Killing of a Sacred Deer; Lion; Destroyer; The Golden Compass; The Prom; Panic Room; The Others; The Upside; Cold Mountain; Australia; The Hours; Dogville; The Beguiled; Stoker; Paddington; Happy Feet; Future BMT: Bewitched; The Stepford Wives; Nine; The Invasion; Billy Bathgate; Practical Magic; Secret in Their Eyes; Before I Go to Sleep; The Goldfinch; BMT: Batman Forever; Trespass; Days of Thunder; Just Go with It; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Bewitched in 2006; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Just Go with It in 2012; Notes: Born in Hawaii, but notably Australian. Nominated for four Oscars (won for The Hours). Has done a lot of television recently including Top of the Lake, Big Little Lies, and The Undoing.)

Robert Duvall – (Known For: The Godfather; Apocalypse Now; The Godfather: Part II; Jack Reacher; Widows; Falling Down; The Chase; The Conversation; The Judge; To Kill a Mockingbird; Deep Impact; Secondhand Lions; The Road; Sling Blade; M.A.S.H.; Bullitt; Network; Invasion of the Body Snatchers; The Handmaid’s Tale; Open Range; Future BMT: Four Christmases; Something to Talk About; Lucky You; John Q; Newsies; BMT: The Scarlet Letter; Days of Thunder; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Gods and Generals; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for The Scarlet Letter in 1996; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Newsies in 1993; Notes: When just starting out he lived with Dustin Hoffman and was good friends with Jack Nicholson. Was nominated for 7 Oscars, and won for Tender Mercies.)

Budget/Gross – $55 million / Domestic: $82,670,733 (Worldwide: $157,920,733)

(That actually doesn’t seem so bad. I always say this, but I assume they were going for something more like Top Gun in the end which made nearly $200 million domestically. Not that that means there would have been a sequel or anything … although given Top Gun 2 is coming out, maybe we can get Days of Thunder 2 with Cole Trickle as the team owner or something.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (25/65): Days of Thunder has Tom Cruise and plenty of flash going for it, but they aren’t enough to compensate for the stock plot, two-dimensional characters, and poorly written dialogue.

(Yeah, so “stock plot” is basically the moral of every single bad review of this film. I think the critics genuinely got offended that the plot is basically identical to Top Gun (just swap jets for cars). Reviewer Highlight: This is the kind of monstrously overgrown commercial movie that depends entirely on the microscopic pleasures of having one`s most routine expectations fulfilled. – Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune.)

Poster – Days of Funder

(Yes. Into it. One note: could we perhaps make Tom Cruise’s face bigger? No? It’s literally the biggest face of all time? Got it. Still like the artistry. Obviously the font is dope (and I say that unironically). Tells me this is all about speed. I’m good to go. A.)

Tagline(s) – You can’t outrun the thunder. (B-)

(I don’t know what this actually means, but it’s amazing. Basically the movie is telling you that you can’t help but watch it because it’s so fun and awesome. No matter how hard you try to run away from watching Days of Thunder you will fail. Bump it up cause it sounds good, but like… this is nonsense.)

Keyword – racing

Top 10: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Le Mans ’66 (2019), Ready Player One (2018), The Social Network (2010), Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), Cars 3 (2017), Speed Racer (2008), Days of Thunder (1990), Planes (2013)

Future BMT: 46.2 Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again (1980), 40.9 Planes (2013);

BMT: 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), Days of Thunder (1990)

(Nothing super interesting since the keyword seems pretty sparse. At the very least a bunch are missing (the Cannonball Runs come to mind). But it is a good idea to keep Smokey and the Bandit in mind going forward.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Nicole Kidman is No. 3 billed in Days of Thunder and No. 2 billed in Trespass, 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) => 3 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 13. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Dr. Jerry Punch revealed that Tom Cruise approved Nicole Kidman to be his love interest in the film after it was suggested that Cruise see her performance in “Dead Calm (1989),” after a recommendation by Dr. Punch to director Tony Scott.

Production began without a finished script. Scenes were often written the day of filming. During one driving sequence, Tom Cruise actually had to read his lines off cue cards attached to his windshield, which resulted in a minor car accident. For subsequent driving sequences, Cruise was fitted with a special earpiece to have lines fed to him.

Some footage for the movie was shot during the 1990 Daytona 500. Two additional cars, driven by Bobby Hamilton and Tommy Ellis, were added to the rear of the field for the express purpose of shooting them for this film. They were not officially scored, and left the racetrack after one hundred miles (forty laps) were completed. At one point in the race, leader Dale Earnhardt even lapped the movie cars. (That is some insane shit)

Real-life Hendrick Motorsports pit crew member Mike Slattery served as an extra for Cole’s crew. After hearing what the stuntmen’s pay would be, he asked for the opportunity to do some of the stunts. However, when he saw how close the car came to the stuntmen, he changed his mind saying, “They can have it!”

The movie was conceived by Tom Cruise when he and Paul Newman were allowed to test one of Rick Hendrick’s race cars. Tom’s first lap was in excess of one hundred eighty miles per hour.

Don Simpson, Jerry Bruckheimer, and sometimes Robert Towne, often started their days on-set having arguments with Tony Scott over how to shoot scenes.

Tom Cruise and Robert Duvall characters are (very) loosely based on former driver Tim Richmond and his crew chief Harry Hyde. Richmond was known as an overnight sensation, and Hyde was the veteran crew chief. The scene where Duvall’s character teaches Cruise about tire management is based on an actual incident between Hyde and Richmond, who died from complications from AIDS the year before the film was released.

The scene where Cole leaves the pits after a race, to hit Russ Wheeler, is based on an actual event during the 1987 All-Star race at Charlotte, North Carolina, between drivers Bill Elliott and Dale Earnhardt. (It wasn’t quite the same, Elliot and Bodine drove up beside him and bumped him after the race, they didn’t smash directly into the side of their car!)

NASCAR driver Greg Sacks did most of Tom Cruise’s stunt driving. Cruise wanted to do his own stunt driving, but wasn’t allowed to for insurance reasons. The Chevrolets were prepared by Rick Hendrick’s racing team, which later used some of the movie cars in real races. Thirty-five cars were wrecked during filming.

According to Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Tom Cruise had a meeting with Dale Earnhardt, Sr. prior to the production of the film. It was rumored that Earnhardt was offered the role of Rowdy Burns, but he turned it down because he did not want to play the bad guy.

All cars used in the movie for the races had to pass inspection and qualify. Bobby Hamilton qualified one of the movie cars in the top ten.

At Daytona for the final race of the movie “Gentlemen Start Your Engines” is the voice of Burt Reynolds

In an effort to give a more realistic atmosphere, professional racing broadcasters were brought in to play the broadcast reporters and track announcers. Key among these were members of ESPN’s racing crew, including Booth Announcer Bob Jenkins, and Pit Reporter Dr. Jerry Punch.

Nicole Kidman wanted to study neurosurgery for her part, but the producers told her it would be a waste of time.

Donna W. Scott was cast by Don Simpson when he was casting roles for the film. They began dating afterwards, leading to Donna getting a small role as a “pit girl” in the film and spending almost two months on-set. After she broke up with Simpson, she began dating Tony Scott. They would eventually get married and have two children before he died in 2012.

In Daytona, Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer spent $400,000 to have a vacant storefront in their hotel converted into their private gym, with a large neon sign reading “Days of Thunder”. Simpson also kept a closet full of Donna Karan dresses to offer the attractive women his assistants found on the beach, and held private parties with friends like rapper Tone Loc. They threw a special welcome party for the crew at a local nightclub with minimal food and drink, and no music, but plenty of hookers they flew in, most of whom they limited to a roped-off VIP area with themselves and Tom Cruise. (uh … allegedly?)

Upon seeing the film “the King” Richard Petty (so named because he holds the record for most wins in NASCAR Grand National history) said of the movie, “the only thing they got right was the numbers on the side of the cars

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Sound (Charles M. Wilborn, Donald O. Mitchell, Rick Kline, Kevin O’Connell, 1991)

Sliver Recap

Jamie

After Carly Norris moves into a swanky new apartment in a sliver building everything seems grand. In particular the hot 20-something and the hot sex they have which is hot. What’s decidedly not cool is all the murders and stuff. Can she figure out what’s going on (and perhaps snag some sweet creepy Billy Baldwin action) before it’s too late? Find out in… Sliver.

How?! Carly Norris is a book editor who’s moving on up and moving on from a string of disastrous relationships. She finds a new apartment in a sliver building that seems to fit the bill. As she meets her new neighbors she’s taken by a young video game designer, Zeke, that seems a little too good to be true. In contrast there is an older writer, Jack, that seems to fit her usual type (and we know how that turned out). Over time she starts to get some weirdo feelings about what has happened in the building and after the death of one of the other tenants learns that the highrise has been the site of multiple grisly murders in the last few years. Bad luck or something more? Don’t ask Carly cause she and Zeke start to get hot and heavy and that… pretty much distracts her for most of the movie. They have sex everywhere and it seems like our boy Creepy Zekey (CZ for short) has caught some feelings cause he comes clean: not only is he the owner of the building but he, you know, kinda maybe sorta tricked out the entire place with a thousand video cameras and watches everyone all the time like a total CZ. But she still loves him, right? As they start to watch the footage together and continue their love affair, Jack becomes more and more crazy and all kinds of bad things start to happen in the building. Astute viewers will at this point be like “aha, I smell a red herring! It’s not Jack at all, but rather CZ.” Wrong! Just a regular old herring here because eventually Jack confronts Carly in her apartment and after a struggle Carly shoots him dead. Astute viewers will at this point be like “aha, Jack simply cracked under the cloud of suspicion, but in fact it’s still CZ all along.” Wrong! Still plain old herring as Carly dives into CZ’s video collection and finds proof that Jack indeed was the murderer. Unfortunately she also discovers that he is a fuck boy and a liar and she’s not down for that and so she destroys his video equipment and is like “deal with it.” THE END.

Why?! I feel like I’ve been struggling to grasp the motivations in some of these films lately. Maybe because I’ve been reading the books, which are just better mediums for conveying inner thoughts, and so that confuses the issue when the adaptations start to veer off course. But here goes. Carly wants love after wasting her years on some failed relationships. In the movie she is certainly more lonely and the distraction of the love affair seems more lust driven than anything else. Lust isn’t a big part of the book, probably because the book is more a horror book than an erotic thriller book. CZ is a voyeur, although in the book this goes hand in hand with him being a pathological liar. Everything in his life is driven by his voyeurism.

Who?! Been a while since we had a true blue Thanks credit that seemed interesting. Here Hans Bjerno got a thanks. He was a wescam technician at the time and really early in his career having just done his first job the year before for Basic Instinct. So I guess that early on he just got a thanks… but after that he’s big time. Like he just did Bad Boys for Life and Tenet.

What?! As Patrick points out, there isn’t much there for this other than the angle they took with Zeke being a video game designer and so there are a lot of conspicuous games and books that portray that fact in an interesting way (to us). It’s funny cause in the book I’m pretty sure the implication is that he’s lying about designing video games. He’s incredibly and independently wealthy and I think the point is that it’s a career he could pretend to have that most people wouldn’t understand that he could conceivably do from home… so he could hide the fact that he spends all his time watching people on his cameras. Then in the adaptation they seemed to miss that point and made it all so very real.

Where?! New York City for days. We’ve had a couple real good NYC films recently. This is funny just from the sliver building point of view just because they were kind of NYC specific. There had been a number built into the 80’s, but then there was push back and they were effectively outlawed at the time of both the book and the film… so I wonder if it was just more common to know what a sliver building was at the time. A.

When?! Hmmm, in the book everything takes place in the fall and then approaching Christmas… clearly from the weather that’s also the case here, but I don’t think it’s ever super clear. But come on… you think our boy Tommy Berenger would be sporting a heavy hoodie sweatshirt on anything but a crisp fall day? There is a chance there is something clearer in the film, but I just didn’t catch it, so we’ll call it a D+ for now.

The movie is certainly funny in that special 90’s sort of way. Like Billy Baldwin is a video game designer/1337 h4x0r and his come on to the ladies is like “I love volcanoes, check out this glass volcano I have,” and it’s like weird glass sculpture. And she doesn’t laugh straight in his face. She’s like cool volcano let’s have sex. And then she’s so distracted by the sex that she doesn’t immediately realize that he’s a weirdo creepster voyeur… even after he tells her. Anyway, that’s not really the problem. It’s funny but also a bit mundane and that would have probably been OK if not for the end of the film. They changed the ending so the obvious creepster weirdo is in fact not the murderer and my brain cannot accept that. Apparently it was foisted on them after the (more interesting) original ending bombed with focus groups… the one where Zeke is the killer and crashes a plane into a volcano… for real… it would have been amazing. As for the book, I actually really liked it. Short and sweet, you could easily breeze through it on a single day of vacation. The ending still isn’t good (a cat claws out the bad guys eyeballs in the end… cause he’s a voyeur… get it?) and it’s got some classic weird book ideas about the intoxicating effects of voyeurism, which probably tells us more about the author than society writ large, but it’s way more satisfying than the film. I think it at least has more to chew on in assessing the motivations of a pathological liar and how the lies all feed his underlying obsession. Easily the best I’ve read of this cycle. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! A landlord adds a few cameras to a building and the neo-Luddite tenants flip out! That is decidedly not the storyline of Sliver. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – This was Jamie’s choice for the new category this year, replacing Sci-Fi (which is just a very narrow genre and mostly fits into action or horror) with Achievement Unlocked. There are, indeed, only so many erotic thrillers of the 90s available, so I actually think we’ll be able to pretty much sweep this mini-genre up. I think that is mostly what this category is all about, sub-genres that wouldn’t normally get their own category. Mine this year I think will be “sports movies.” Regardless, that is what the preview was dominated by, the fact that this was an erotic thriller and how unerotic and unthrilling it was. What were my expectations? Well, I like Sharon Stone. I think she got unnecessary flack for getting typecast into sexy roles, just go and read the notes about how Sly treated her during the filming of The Specialist. But I hope she made a boatload of money and doesn’t regret a thing, and I hope she’s good in the film and everything else is ludicrous.

The Good – I really do like Sharon Stone. Something about her just comes across as authentic to me. I love the profession of book publisher or editor in film because it is extremely prevalent in book adaptations (Fifty Shades of Grey, and the After series come to mind) and there is something about writers writing about writing this is just so delightfully self-indulgent. There is something very prescient about the voyeur and the connection to state surveillance, although I’m not smart enough to articulate it. And finally, I love the idea of a film where people are merely known by apartment numbers. Stone lives in 20b, Gus was in 23b, Vida was in 20a, and Zeke in 13a. Only missing Berenger. Best Bit: Sharon Stone.

The Bad – I just can’t believe they are seriously trying to make me look at William Baldwin doing his 80s exercise routine and be like “ooooooo yeah, him and Sharon Stone, I see it, I dig it.” He must have been choice 50 for the male lead. There is a whole thing about volcanos that I just don’t get. The entire twist is nonsense. They ended up reediting it into Berenger being impotent and jealous of Zeke so he murders the previous tenant Naomi … that doesn’t make a lick of sense! But of course the gravest sin of all for an erotic thriller: it isn’t erotic or thrilling. Just a bunch of mundane sex with a rich weirdo who thinks everyone smells like roses.  Fatal Flaw: Maybe the least sexy erotic thriller ever made.

The BMT – This film as chosen specifically as a 90s erotic thrillers. I don’t think this is a very good one though. It doesn’t even get close to The Color of Night or even Body of Evidence. But you can’t rank erotic thrillers from the 90s without it, so it needed to be done. Baldwin saves it from blandness by being one of the more absurd casting choices ever with a weirdo character to boot. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, I think so. I don’t think it was as absurd as something like The Color of Night, as I said. It was a little too mundane and confusing to do that. But Stone was good, and the writing was terrible, so that’s a solid 90s erotic thriller I think.

Roast-radamus – A bit of Product Placement (What?) in Zeke’s apartment with a bunch of video game boxes and posters, like the original Civilization. A good Setting as a Character (Where?) for New York City where, much like Rosemary’s Baby, the desire for a prestigious address outweighs concerns about mysterious deaths. Definitely Worst Twist (How?) for the big reveal that … Berenger is the murderer? Wait, that can’t be right. Definitely closest to BMT, as all erotic thrillers tend to be.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Oh this is easy. We make a Backdraft 2 for this movie, Sliver 2. The story goes like this, the building still exists and it is intimated that after the events of the first film Zeke managed to avoid prosecution and retain his building by blackmailing Carly into silence. And for years he’s existed there, making video games, watching his real life soap opera, but crippled by fear that Carly will eventually get her revenge (but ready if she tries). Then one day who shows up, but a young man who claims to be his son, Carly’s son from their tryst all those years ago. Zeke, suspicious at first, slowly introduces him to the building, it is now connected to the internet, streaming the “show” to select viewers, his clientele across the globe. After getting his son to be part of the “show” he has leverage over him and feels safe in allowing him full access to his world. Then, a young woman shows up that his protege shows some interest in, and so Zeke gets her into the building and begins to try and push his son to the edge. The tension mounts, his son is resistant, Zeke’s viewers are going wild … but in an ultimate twist the man and woman turn the tables on Zeke and, indeed, expose him as a voyeur to the world. The man is, it turns out, not his son, it is the woman who is his daughter! Boom, huge cameo right at the end when Sharon Stone shows up with the police and says “your show’s been cancelled, Zeke.” Sliver 2: Webisodes. Or like … maybe Webicide? Has anyone used that pun before, Webicide? It’s terrible and I love it.

You Just Got Schooled – Would I dare to play one of the video games we see in Zeke’s apartment? I would. I bought Night Trap, a full motion video interactive movie from 1992 which, amusingly, was one of the main video games interrogated during the 1993 Senate hearing on violence in video games. Unfortunately for me there was a 25th anniversary edition of the game on Steam, so I couldn’t bring myself to just download the game on an abandonware site, I did actually pay like $15 for it … so that made me feel pretty dumb. It ended up being a pretty amusing play. You watch a (very very bad) movie while switching cameras and clicking a button about 80 times during the story. Very similar to something like Five Nights at Freddy’s, except with an 80s cable film behind it. It ended up being unreasonably amusing to play for about 2 hours, and quite easy to beat within 3 I would say. It is somehow an important part of gaming history, with a bad movie, and found within a different big budget bad movie! Unfortunately none of the actors from the film are in anything else, otherwise we’d definitely be doing a Night Trap friend cycle in the fall. A-. The game is terrible by gaming standards, but by bad movie standards it is amazing. Just don’t pay $15 for it, that part wasn’t fun.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Sliver Quiz

Man, so hear me out. I moved into this swanky high rise, and all these people start being murdered! I don’t really know much about it, but I did get invited to a cocktail party and got real drunk and now I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Sliver?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Early in the film Carly Norris is approached by an older man who wants to discuss some of the gossip of the building she is moving into. Why?

2) Jack Landsford is an author, and Carly Norris publishes books. But Jack hasn’t written a book in 5 years, why not?

3) Who owns the “haunted building” and why is it so secret?

4) Why does Zeke suggest he watches everyone in the building?

5) Where is Zeke’s hidden compartment and what does Carly find inside?

Bonus Question: How long does it take Zeke to get his sweet voyeur system back up and running?

Answers

Sliver Preview

Jamie and Patrick creep around the water fountain of the local mall and espy Pretzel Stand Rachel doling out hot, fresh pretzels. “So what’s the plan, again? I’m not sure I understand,” Jamie says, pulling uncomfortably as his tie, his muscles nearly popping the buttons on his shirt. “Ok, so Rachel is in the book,” explains Patrick, “just like St. Mary’s Church. So our doppelgangers must have left something with her… some bread crumb on the trail to wherever this leads. So it’s your turn to buy a piping hot pretzel and… you know… see what happens.” Jamie arches an eyebrow, unconvinced, while Patrick shrugs. It’s worth a shot. Jamie ambles up to Rachel and from the distance Patrick sees him lean over and say something probably super sauve. They laugh at a joke and Rachel swats him playfully. Excellent. With that she takes off her apron and beckons Jamie to follow her, who quickly flashes a thumbs up to Patrick. What the hell? Jamie didn’t get a clue? Not a slip of paper with some page number on it? Where the hell are they going? Patrick continues to follow the pair as they head through the park. They skip stones on the pod, spend some time in the museum, ride bicycles in the rain, and finally settle in for some gelato at a hip gelato spot. Why is Jamie going on a full on date when they need to be tracking down their diabolical fiends? And why are laughing and living so much? Finally Jamie and Rachel head towards a tall building on the edge of the park. Patrick’s had enough and hurries to catch up. Time to stop whatever erotic thrills Jamie might have on his mind and get this investigation back on track. That’s right! We’re replacing sci-fi in the cycle this year. While we love sci-fi, it’s also a genre that can fit in action, horror, etc. So we removed it as a standalone and replaced it with Achievement Unlocked. What that means is that we will attempt to go after a certain subtype of film this year in that slot. This year that subtype will be the Thrills and Chills of the 90’s. So of course what exemplifies 90’s fun like a 90’s erotic thriller. Enter Sliver, based on the book by Ira Levin. It’s about a big ol’ building that’s probably some metaphor for a penis or something. Let’s go!

Sliver (1993) – BMeTric: 58.0; Notability: 46 

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 3.2%; Notability: top 18.9%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 5.7% Higher BMeT: Super Mario Bros., RoboCop 3, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, Leprechaun, Mr. Nanny, Cop & ½; Higher Notability: Last Action Hero, Hocus Pocus, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, RoboCop 3, The Meteor Man, Rising Sun, Coneheads, We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story, Loaded Weapon 1, Life with Mikey, Son of the Pink Panther, The Pickle, The Three Musketeers, Indecent Proposal; Lower RT: RoboCop 3, Son of the Pink Panther, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Mr. Nanny, Hexed, Best of the Best II, Carnosaur, Father Hood, Weekend at Bernie’s II, Calendar Girl; Notes: Existed mostly as a sub-5.0 film so not at all a surprise it kills the BMeTric. This is actually one of the more impressive statistical performances for a BMT this year, so I hope it is a good BMT.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – Stone moves into a tall, slender, and luxurious Manhattan apartment building with a history of unusual deaths. Writer Berenger pursues her, though she’s more interested in Baldwin; however, she soon comes to suspect one of the two is a killer. Robert Evans’ handsomely produced sex-and-murder mystery (emphasis on sex) was severely damaged by reshooting (which changed the identity of the killer), but Joe Eszterhas’ script was already pretentious and exploitative. From Ira Levin’s novel.

(That is a huge review for the Leonard Maltin books. So basically, glossy, cut-to-ribbons, and pretentious. Sounds like quite the erotic thriller …)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdSIyG6euDY/

(I think that is actually a really compelling trailer. The idea of moving into an apartment, where someone is watching you at all times and manipulating the entire building, and perfect murders are staged as accidents by this all knowing eye? What is still pretty relevant in our far more technologically advanced age today.)

Directors – Phillip Noyce – (Known For: Salt; Clear and Present Danger; Patriot Games; Above Suspicion; Dead Calm; Rabbit-Proof Fence; Blind Fury; The Quiet American; Catch a Fire; Heatwave; Echoes of Paradise; Newsfront; Backroads; Future BMT: The Saint; The Giver; The Bone Collector; BMT: Sliver; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Sliver in 1994; Notes: Australian. The Quiet American had an Oscar nominated performance, and he’s still going strong in both movies and television.)

Writers – Ira Levin (novel) – (Known For: Rosemary’s Baby; The Stepford Wives; The Boys from Brazil; Deathtrap; A Kiss Before Dying; Bunny Lake Is Missing; Critic’s Choice; No Time for Sergeants; Future BMT: The Stepford Wives; A Kiss Before Dying; BMT: Sliver; Notes: Nominated for a Tony for his play Deathtrap. Started in anthology television like Lights Out.)

Joe Eszterhas (screenplay) – (Known For: Basic Instinct; Jagged Edge; F.I.S.T; Showgirls 2: Penny’s from Heaven; Betrayed; Music Box; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Telling Lies in America; Hearts of Fire; Big Shots; Szabadság, szerelem; Checking Out; Future BMT: Showgirls; Nowhere to Run; Flashdance; BMT: Basic Instinct 2; Sliver; Jade; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst New Star, and Worst Original Song for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn in 1999; Winner for Worst Screenplay for Showgirls in 1996; Winner for Worst New Star for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn in 1999; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1984 for Flashdance; in 1994 for Sliver; and in 1996 for Jade; Notes: Born in Hungary, he was originally a journalist, most notable at Rolling Stone. Got into screenwriting after writing Charlie Simpson’s Apocalypse which a studio executive loved.)

Actors – Sharon Stone – (Known For: Basic Instinct; Casino; Total Recall; The Quick and the Dead; The Disaster Artist; Alpha Dog; The Laundromat; Lovelace; Antz; Broken Flowers; Above the Law; Deadly Blessing; Bobby; Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold; Life on the Line; The Mighty; Stardust Memories; Mothers and Daughters; Fading Gigolo; A Little Something for Your Birthday; Future BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Cold Creek Manor; King Solomon’s Mines; Diabolique; Action Jackson; Intersection; Gloria; Sphere; He Said, She Said; Last Dance; Last Action Hero; Year of the Gun; BMT: Catwoman; Basic Instinct 2; Sliver; The Specialist; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress in 1995 for Intersection, and The Specialist; and in 2007 for Basic Instinct 2; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; Nominee for Worst Actress in 1988 for Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold; in 1994 for Sliver; and in 2000 for Gloria; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Catwoman in 2005; and Nominee for Worst New Star in 1997 for Diabolique, and Last Dance; Notes: Stone was still on the rise at this point. She would be nominated for an Oscar in 1996, get married in 1998, and her major stardom would be over by 2000.)

William Baldwin – (Known For: Forgetting Sarah Marshall; Backdraft; The Squid and the Whale; Flatliners; Born on the Fourth of July; Internal Affairs; Bulworth; Aftermath; Curdled; Maximum Impact; Noise; Three of Hearts; Relative Values; Adrift in Manhattan; Welcome to Acapulco; Park; The Broken Key; Dino Time; You Stupid Man; Say Nothing; Future BMT: Virus; BMT: Fair Game; Sliver; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Sliver in 1994; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Fair Game in 1996; Notes: You could argue this is right at the beginning of him almost being a legit movie star. He would star in eight films in the 90s, but then his leading career would be over by 2000. The second youngest of the Baldwin brothers.)

Tom Berenger – (Known For: Inception; Platoon; Training Day; Major League; The Big Chill; Faster; Born on the Fourth of July; Gettysburg; Sniper: Ultimate Kill; Supervized; Quad; Mr. Goodbar; The Sentinel; D-Tox; Deadly Pursuit; Eddie and the Cruisers; The Dogs of War; The Substitute; Fear City; Someone to Watch Over Me; Future BMT: Major League II; Chasers; Sniper; Shattered; Rustlers’ Rhapsody; BMT: Sliver; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Sliver in 1994; Notes: He would do Sniper, Sliver, Gettysburg, Major League II, and Chasers in a three year span as his second peak as an actor. Nominated for an Oscar for Platoon.)

Budget/Gross – $30–40 million / Domestic: $36,300,000 (Worldwide: $116,300,000)

(Failed domestically to some extent, but I would bet they were reasonably happy with the international take. Erotic thrillers really were cooking at the time.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (3/27): Sliver is an absurd erotic thriller with technobabble and posits prime Sharon Stone as a professional book nerd.

(Well, I don’t know if we really need to posit anything about Stone. She’s an editor at a publishing house, and I think quite believable in the role. At least the same believability as Robin Wright being a journalist in Message in a Bottle. Now whether she would be attracted to Baldwin however… Reviewer Highlight: Sharon Stone goes cold in this botched thiller-maybe from the effort of pretending that her character, a beauteous book editor, would fall for the preening young computer wizard played by the vacant-and-proud-of-it William Baldwin. – Michael Sragow, New Yorker)

Poster – In Your Endo

(The artistic effect of this is good. And the colors are stark, particularly with the font work. I think in each of its parts I like it, even if the whole seems a bit confused. So can’t go much lower than a B-. I wish it meshed a bit more. I can’t stress how hilarious the names on the poster are for an erotic thriller. It’s like “Sharon Stone, nice. Billy Baldwin, uh, ok. Tom Berenger, lol what?”)

Tagline(s) – You like to watch… don’t you

(I’m trying to figure out just how good this one is. It’s obviously a play on the concept of the film, but also plays on the very idea of an erotic thriller. So even though it’s not a fun pun like I generally like, it might be the cleverest tagline I’ve come across. I’m going to do it. A+.)

Keyword – ambiguous ending

Top 10: War Dogs (2016), Shutter Island (2010), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Interstellar (2014), Inception (2010), Joker (2019), The Dark Knight (2008), Titanic (1997), American Psycho (2000), Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Future BMT: 63.7 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 63.0 Blair Witch (2016), 56.8 The Transporter Refueled (2015), 53.6 Lost Souls (2000), 26.6 Broken City (2013), 21.3 The Warrior’s Way (2010), 21.2 The First Power (1990), 19.5 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), 19.3 Now You See Me 2 (2016), 7.5 The Thirteenth Floor (1999);

BMT: Serenity (2019), Fast & Furious (2009), Rambo: Last Blood (2019), Ghost Ship (2002), Countdown (2019), Death Wish (2018), Truth or Dare (2018), Queen of the Damned (2002), Sliver (1993), Jason X (2001), Alone in the Dark (2005), The Devil Inside (2012), Never Die Alone (2004)

(I wonder how much of the peak is because of “twist” endings like The Sixth Sense, and surprise endings like Blair Witch? Hard to tell from the lists. I am excited for The First Power, a film I’ve never heard of where a murderer named Patrick comes back to life to kill again!)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sharon Stone is No. 1 billed in Sliver and No. 3 billed in Catwoman, which also stars Frances Conroy (No. 5 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 4 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 3 + 5 + 4 + 5 + 1 = 19. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – According to Phillip Noyce, Sharon Stone and William Baldwin disliked each other and demanded that their scenes be filmed separately whenever possible.

While filming a kissing scene, Sharon Stone bit William Baldwin’s tongue with such force that he couldn’t talk properly for days afterwards.

During filming, a crew was sent to Hawaii to film an active volcano for the opening credits. During the flyover, the volcano erupted, and the helicopter carrying the crew crashed. No one was killed, but all film was lost. The opening credit scene is referenced in the film by the crystal volcano in Zeke’s Room. (I think this was supposed to be the ending as well)

As part of the re-shot ending, Tom Berenger and Polly Walker were required to film a scene wearing S&M gear. Both actors refused as this wasn’t in their original contract, so the scene had to be filmed by doubles. (And … isn’t in the film from what I remember?)

Johnny Depp and Val Kilmer turned down the role of Zeke Hawkins. (Kilmer would have been cool)

The script originally called for full male frontal nudity, but William Baldwin changed his mind after the scenes had been shot. (hmmmmmm)

Joe Eszterhas’s original ending was incomprehensible to test audiences and an alternate ending had to be quickly devised and shot. Eszterhas cracked out five different endings in three days. (So apparently this was the reveal that Stone is in the helicopter with Zeke indicating that she bought into his lifestyle or something)

Sharon Stone signed for the lead for $2.5 million.

Ira Levin was reluctant to sell the rights to his book. He had only been pleased with the movie adaptation of Rosemary’s Baby (1968) out of all the attempts to film his novels. When producer Robert Evans, who had produced Rosemary’s Baby, got wind of this, he sent Levin a copy of Roman Polanski’s autobiography, with all the mentions of Evans’ salvaging the film highlighted. The ploy worked and Levin sold the rights to Evans for $250,000.

The helicopter crash in which Mike Benson (II), Chris Duddy and pilot Craig were involved, was documented in the 6th episode of the 2nd season of I Shouldn’t Be Alive (2005). (Huh cool)

Kurt Russell turned down the role of Jack Lansford. (Also a better choice … this entire film outside of Stone seems like B-movie second-choices)

According to his autobiography, producer Robert Evans initially wanted Roman Polanski to direct the film. Since Polanski will not return to the United States, Evans planned on having a second unit director shoot some footage of New York, whilst Polanski would direct the film in Paris. (gross)

The original script called for a different ending in which Zeke (William Baldwin) turns out to be the killer, but was re-shot when it fared poorly with test audiences.

Written by Ira Levin, author of Rosemary’s Baby, there are similarities: both are set in an expensive New York City hotel (albeit this one is super modern, the other is old style) that the main character, a woman, moves into; the woman meets a friendly resident who dies not long after meeting them; there is a secret (or two) hidden within the building and its inhabitants that takes the entire film for her to learn about.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Robert Evans, 1994)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (William Baldwin, 1994)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Sharon Stone, 1994)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Tom Berenger, 1994)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Colleen Camp, 1994)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Phillip Noyce, 1994)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Joe Eszterhas, 1994)