Wild Orchid Recap

Jamie

Emily is a lawyer. The best lawyer. James is a weirdo. The best weirdo. They are on a collision course in steamy Rio and nothing can stop their adventure of the senses. But can Emily seal the big deal for her company while also helping James get over his rich people problems and find love… before it’s too late? Find out in… Wild Orchid.

How?! Emily is a small town girl who’s made it big as a multilingual lawyer. Hired by a big new firm she is immediately sent to Rio de Janeiro to help facilitate the closing of a hotel deal with a Chinese company under the tutelage of Claudia. When things start to go sideways with the deal, Claudia runs off to Buenos Aires to reign in one of the people involved. This leaves Emily in charge of entertaining Claudia’s friend James Wheeler, a real rich guy who mumbles and stumbles creepily about showing Emily all his rich person stuff. Emily is intrigued by this weirdo but ends up fleeing when he takes her to an Eyes Wide Shut type party. The next morning James is just chilling in her room when she wakes up (sigh, really James?) and convinces her to go with him and a weird rich couple out to a party. While there the wife of the rich dude gets assaulted and James helps get everyone to safety. In the car ride back tensions are high… but apparently not high enough for our boy James Wheeler. He convinces the couple to have marriage reaffirming sex in the car in front of him and Emily. Emily is shocked (shocked!), but soon learns the truth: because of all his sweet moneybags, James can’t love like a normal person. Love has become a game and he can no longer stand being touched. So that night Emily gives into his desires and has sex with a random pervert (the only way James can get pleasure now… for real). The next morning Claudia returns and Emily is dismayed to find that the random pervert is actually opposing counsel on the deal! But Claudia is thrilled and uses the situation to the benefit of the company. Unfortunately, Wheeler is Wheeler and he uses his riches to circumvent the deal and buy up the hotel himself. Claudia is angry and pushes forward with the Chinese company. The next morning she tells Emily all about James (and her own obsession with him) and then they proceed to almost have a threesome before James busts in angrily. Emily calls out James for all his antics and ultimately he ends up signing over the hotel to her, saving the deal. Emily then goes out to find James and they have wild sex for at least an hour and then ride away on a motorcycle. Rad. THE END.

Why?! James Wheeler is a rich person from a bad background who made boatloads of money because basically he didn’t like being poor and didn’t like how people made fun of him for stuttering. You would think this would land him bodacious babes… and it does, but eventually he finds these babes shallow and only in it for the money and so love becomes a game for him and he’s all sad or whatever. For Emily, though, love isn’t a game. In fact it’s nothing. She’s been so focused on rising from her humble beginnings in middle America that she hasn’t had time for love. It is this yin and yang of perversion and innocence that is… Wild Orchid.

Who?! We probably should note when the two leads in a film are married or get married. Rourke and Otis started dating on set and created (almost certainly false) rumors of an unsimulated sex scene. They got married three years later and were together almost a decade, although not happily according to Otis’ memoir.

What?! Rourke shows off how totally rad he is by tooling around on his motorcycle. Eventually the motorcycle becomes a character of sorts as their wild love is sealed by a final ride on the bike into the sunset. As if he is a cowboy and the bike is his faithful steed. And if you weren’t sure what super cool bike he was riding, there is a scene where he goes by a truck full of American sailors who scream “Harley Davidson!!!” at him.

Where?! This surpasses Blame it in Rio for best Brazil film we’ve seen (even though it’s not A+), thankfully. It really takes every facet of Brazil and squeezes all the Brazil it can out of it. I think Zalman King would say it required the Brazil setting, although I would think this is set in Miami 9 out of 10 times… still, A.

When?! Patrick reminded me that this is really Secret Holiday Film Alert since we have a pretty significant Carnival scene and it’s mentioned several times. That is a February event so that’s pretty specific. I think this goes hand in hand with the setting since you can’t squeeze out all the Brazil without setting it during Carnival. A-.

You can see the blueprint for Fifty Shades all over this junk. Rourke is a creepy weirdo but also super rich so that makes him mysterious and exciting but he’s also damaged and doesn’t like to be touched and only Emily’s innocent love can fix this damaged, beautiful, dangerous super rich man that can have anyone he wants but wants little ol’ her. It is trash through and through and I debate whether it’s even interesting trash. It’s interesting because of how weird and bad it is… like how The Room is weird and bad but interesting in its weird badness. You get a sense you’re getting a peek into Zalman King’s outlook on life and love in an unusually unfiltered way, but it doesn’t really make any of it less offputting. I’m not sure I even have much good to say… the main actress is beautiful but not a good actress, Rourke mumbles his way into a performance that is somehow worse than his amateur counterpart, and it all feels a bit exploitative of Brazilian culture in pursuit of a steamy adventure of the senses. So it appears I do not have anything good to say. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We’ve got creepy Mickey Rourke, we’ve got … actually that’s all I can remember about this movie, creepy Mickey Rourke will haunt my dreams forever. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – What can you say about a film that has been so long in the making for BMT? Ever since Color of Night we’ve been champing at the bit for more of ‘dem erotic thrillers. Well, this was the last jewel for our weird erotic thriller crown. I think we’ve seen most of the qualifying genre at this point, so this has to be good, right? … Right? What were my expectations? Well … the director comes across as an … eccentric if I were to be kind about it. It seems like he directed cable porn in the 90s if I were to be unkind. So with that in mind I really just desperately hoped I wasn’t watching porn.

The Good – I can kind of see what people must have seen in Rourke at the time. It is a bit like Kevin Costner in that his characters now come across as a bit emotionally stunted (if not in need of actual therapy), but at the time I think made sense from a “oh my God, this guy just sulks around and doesn’t talk … so hot!” perspective. Love the film for the Brazil setting, better than Blame it on Rio (although no less creepy …). As the crowning achievement as to the boundaries mainstream audiences were willing to see pushed, this is maybe a better example than, say, Showgirls (although I would have to rewatch that to be sure). Best Bit: Brazil and Carnival.

The Bad – My god could the guys in this film be any creepier? I don’t know what the writer/director of this film is thinking, but if any of this is sexy then count me out my friend. There is a bit in the middle where Bruce Greenwood’s character seems to propose that the main character some back to New York City to be his captive sex slave? I’m not sure about the visa situation in this plan, but it sounds sketchy. And Rourke is so repressed and brooding that all of his teachers thought he was mentally challenged when he was growing up … hot, amirite? For real, this went so far beyond Color of Night that it came back around a few times and just left me feeling bad. Fatal Flaw: Can we just not with these, please? More Bruce Willis hanging dong, less Creepy Rourke sexually assaulting women with his eyes.

The BMT – I mean it had to be done, but did it have to be done? I think this officially marks the point where the remaining erotic thrillers are either so small as to be really borderline wide releases, or so egregious as to have been forgotten to time. Too bad, I was hoping the genre would go out with a bang, but instead it taught us all a valuable lesson about the limits of enjoying bad things. Did it meet my expectations? Somehow I think so. It is tamer than you would think from an exploitative or gratuitous nudity perspective. It is just reprehensible, not actually pornography.

Roastra-damus – I think a genuinely bizarre Product Placement (What?) for Rourke’s two Harley Davidson motorcycles he “brings everywhere” (and a year later he would play Harley Davidson in a bad movie so …). Definite Setting as a Character (Where?) for Rio, as the film could not be any more Rio. A (not-so) Secret Holiday Film (When?) as they indicate it is explicitly Carnival in Brazil, which makes it late-February as well. And a pretty excellent MacGuffin (Why?) for the decrepit hotel that is the key to the big Chinese deal (and Rourke’s heart) that Emily is working on. I want to say it is bad, but it is actually closest to BMT since you can’t stop thinking about it after watching it.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I think this is the one to break the Half Past Dead cycle, we obviously have to get a Prequel in here to explain the brooding sexy nature of James Wheeler. We open in Miami, James Wheeler is a sweaty mess (so sexy) and has zero lines of dialogue for the first 45 minutes of the film (so sexy). He’s playing the game, you know the game … the one where it broods and thinks about women being objects to be manipulated (so sexy). In strolls Claudia Dennis, a woman of profound capability, and one to be supremely manipulated. They ride Harleys and look real cool, and then he gets the deal and strolls into the sunset with Claudia vowing she won’t let this silent, brooding, sexy man out of her life. Wild Orchid: The Wheeler Chronicles – Part 1: Origins. You better believe there are going to be a few more parts to the enigma that is James Wheeler.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Wild Orchid Quiz

Oh man, so here I was dancing my little heart out at Carnivale when I get bopped on the head by this guy on a Harley and now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Wild Orchid?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Emily is a lawyer from the midwest who travels to New York City to pursue her passion in international law. Why does she want to do International Law specifically?

2) When she gets to Rio, why does Emily end up going on a date with the mysterious (and rich) James Wheeler?

3) What does Wheeler describe as his “pride and joy”?

4) Bruce Greenwood is a creep who very much wants to pay Emily for sex. Ultimately who is he (in relation to Emily) and why does their liaison get him into trouble?

5) In the end Wheeler kind of screws over the deal Claudia and Emily are working on. How?

Bonus Question: The usual, how long do Wheeler and Emily stay together?

Answers

Wild Orchid Preview

“Lindsey Appleton, hardscrabble investigative reporter from the Brooklyn Gazette Tribune,” Lindsey says, flashing her RTHQ badge. The officers at the gate peer at the badge, which denotes her status as a “full-blown journalist” and nod their heads, but just as Jamie, Patrick and Kyle walk through the gate the K-9 units start to bark wildly. Suddenly suspicious, the officers ask Lindsay who the bozos are tagging along. “These are my cameramen and audio technicians, Jerry, Lee and Lewis… and their baby” The officers narrow their eyes at the three men and a baby but eventually relent. The plan has worked! “Oh and Ms. Appleton,” the head officer notes, “We’ve had reports of some highly dangerous hang gliding terrorists attempting to infiltrate The Rock (as we call it). We are advised to shoot on sight. Would hate for your pals to get caught in the crossfire.” Lindsey coolly nods her head and ushers them inside, but Jamie and Patrick look at each other in shock. Someone tipped them off! The cyborgs are closer than they imagined. “We should split up,” Patrick says, “it’ll give us the best shot of finding the, and excuse the technical term, hack jack port that Niall needs to hack into the system.” Seeing that the adrenaline of the heist seems to have put a wild spark into Jamie and Lindsey’s eyes, Patrick suggests maybe Kyle and Lindsey pair up. There is no time for thrills, erotic or otherwise. But Jamie and Lindsey are already off and running. Patrick sighs and communicates with Rachel via earpiece to find the quickest way to the hack jack port… it’s now up to him and Kyle. Jamie and Lindsey are lost to an adventure of the senses. That’s right! We are indeed watching the ultimate adventure of the senses: Wild Orchid. A real classic erotic thriller film and it should go without saying that it’s been on our radar for a very, very, very long time (if you know what I mean). Gross. Anyway, it should be fun in a probably unpleasant way. Let’s go!

Wild Orchid (1989) – BMeTric: 59.8; Notability: 18

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 1.6%; Notability: top 71.7%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.7% Higher BMeT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Higher Notability: Troop Beverly Hills, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child, Fletch Lives, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Harlem Nights, Leviathan, Pink Cadillac, Lock Up, Three Fugitives, Dead Bang, Renegades, Let It Ride, Millennium, Slaves of New York, The Karate Kid Part III, Who’s Harry Crumb?, Cookie, Gross Anatomy, Her Alibi, and 26 more; Lower RT: Wired; Notes: Back to back 1989 films huh? That’s interesting. Sub-5.0 is amazing as usual. Hmmm maybe we should watch Wired at some point … seems depressing though.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Prim lawyer Otis, employed by banker Bisset, gets assaulted by Rio de Janeiro carny-time temptation: semi-public fornicators, limousine raunch, and the right of earringed Rourke in deep bronze makeup. Notorious simulated sex scene caused a stir, but it’s all for naught; this picture is enough to make any two bananas roll over in Carmen Miranda’s grave. Followed by a sequel.

(Semicolon? You know what I like to see Leonard. I kind of get the Carmen Miranda reference I guess … I think I do at least. It is kind of super weird if I’m being honest. Basically every review mentions the rumors about the final sex scene which notoriously some thought (incorrectly) was unsimulated.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StwWLUzLbg8/

(“A man … struggling to unleash his emotions.” Ha! That’s an understatement. Having watched the film I have to say I wasn’t expecting them to so openingly state the plot as “A woman discovering her desires … a sociopath who can’t feel.”)

Directors – Zalman King – (Known For: Two Moon Junction; Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue; Delta of Venus; Pleasure or Pain; In God’s Hands; Wildfire; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Nine 1/2 Weeks in 1987; Notes: Notoriously was an erotic films producer / director in the 90s and 00s, including the television program Body Language which he produced.)

Writers – Patricia Louisianna Knop (written by) – (Known For: 9½ Weeks; Delta of Venus; Siesta; Lady Oscar; The Passover Plot; Silence of the North; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Nine 1/2 Weeks in 1987; Notes: She was the wife an collaborated for Zalman King. She was a producer on Red Shoe Diaries.)

Zalman King (written by) – (Known For: 9½ Weeks; Two Moon Junction; Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue; Pleasure or Pain; Return to Two Moon Junction; In God’s Hands; Roadie; Wildfire; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Nine 1/2 Weeks in 1987; Notes: He was an actor in the 60s and 70s including starring in the television show The Young Lawyers.)

Actors – Mickey Rourke – (Known For: Iron Man 2; Body Heat; Sin City; The Expendables; Immortals; The Rainmaker; The Wrestler; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; 9½ Weeks; Angel Heart; Buffalo ’66; Rumble Fish; Heaven’s Gate; 1941; Girl; The Pledge; Spun; Diner; Year of the Dragon; Future BMT: Domino; Desperate Hours; Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man; Man on Fire; BMT: Double Team; Wild Orchid; Get Carter; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 1991 for Desperate Hours, and Wild Orchid; Notes: Notable went back to professional boxing in 1991 well into his career as an A-list actor where he sustained severe facial injuries. He’s gotten extensive plastic surgery in an attempt to correct the issues.)

Jacqueline Bisset – (Known For: Bullitt; Murder on the Orient Express; Casino Royale; The Deep; L’amant double; Airport; Day for Night; 9/11; Blue Night; Dangerous Beauty; Miss You Already; Latter Days; The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean; Two for the Road; Death in Love; Backstabbing for Beginners; The Detective; The Man from Acapulco; Cul-de-sac; Under the Volcano; Future BMT: Domino; When Time Ran Out…; Class; Inchon; BMT: Wild Orchid; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Joan of Arc. Is Angelina Jolie’s godmother, as she was asked while working with Jon Voight on End of the Game.)

Carré Otis – (Known For: Exit in Red; Going Back; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star for Wild Orchid in 1991; Notes: Famously married Rourke in 1992, a romance that has fueled (unfounded) rumors that the final sex scene was unsimulated.)

Budget/Gross – $7 million / Domestic: $11,060,485 (Worldwide: $11,060,485)

(Not super great obviously, but not a complete bomb maybe. The budget is so low though, must basically be all salary for the actors at that point.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (2/29): Body Orchid is a tease-too-long, with overblown editing with an already slipping Mickey Rourke and unexperienced actress Carrie Otis.

(I had to look it up, and no, nowhere was the film called Body Orchid … is it just a weird play on words or something? Maybe they are mashing the title with Body Heat? Reviewer Highlight: What I couldn’t believe was the chemistry between Rourke and Otis, whose passion is supposed to shake the earth but seemed more like an obligation imposed on them by their genitals. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Wild Sorkin

(Wild Sorkin is the high school comedy about Aaron Sorkin’s wild youth. This poster is… not that. It makes me feel sweaty and dirty, so mission accomplished I assume. I do like the font and the color scheme fits what I would call “nude,” which is probably the point. Anyway, it could be better. C+)

Tagline(s) – An adventure of the senses. (C-)

(Grosssss. No thanks. Those words on that poster is just… just the worst. Leave my senses out of this garbo. It’s certainly telling you exactly what you can expect in just a few words, but it’s not something I want.)

Keyword – erotica

Top 10: American Beauty (1999), Call Me by Your Name (2017), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Sin City (2005), Brokeback Mountain (2005), Don Jon (2013), Coyote Ugly (2000), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), Body Double (1984), Showgirls (1995)

Future BMT: 71.2 Showgirls (1995), 60.5 Obsessed (2009), 54.1 Bolero (1984), 49.4 In the Cut (2003), 46.2 40 Days and 40 Nights (2002), 43.7 Coyote Ugly (2000), 41.3 Addicted (2014), 41.0 Jawbreaker (1999), 37.8 Never Talk to Strangers (1995), 33.0 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016);

BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), The Boy Next Door (2015), Basic Instinct 2 (2006), Striptease (1996), Cool World (1992), Good Luck Chuck (2007), Color of Night (1994), Wild Orchid (1989), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), The Specialist (1994), I Know Who Killed Me (2007), Miss March (2009)

(I had to try this one out. We have a few left, and a bunch of those are, in reality, not erotica. But Bolero and Showgirls definitely are. I’m pretty surprised that the notability plot is as stable as it is. I would have thought it would have dropped off a cliff after 2000, but that didn’t really happen until 2010.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Bruce Greenwood is No. 5 billed in Wild Orchid and No. 6 billed in Here on Earth => 5 + 6 = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Mickey Rourke and Carré Otis were a couple at the time this film was made, and there is a persistent rumor that the sex scenes were not faked.

In a 2004 interview, Carré Otis denied the rumors that suggested the infamous last sex scene was real.

Brooke Shields turned down the role of Emily because she knew that nudity would be required.

Willem Dafoe turned down the role of James Wheeler.

The hotel construction site was actually the skeleton of an abandoned hotel in Salvador, Bahia that was never completed. It was imploded a few years later, after decades of abandonment.

Anne Archer was signed to play the Jacqueline Bisset part, but she had a disagreement with the producers over the scripts R rated content.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Mickey Rourke, 1991)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Carré Otis, 1991)

Young Guns II Recap

Jamie

Billy the Kid is back, Jack! And boy howdy is it… a movie that was made. As the authorities in New Mexico try to reign in the remnants of the Regulators, they start arresting the whole gang, inadvertently bringing them back together. Back on the run, they are pursued by an old ally, Pat Garrett. Can they escape before it’s too late? Find out in… Young Guns II.

How?! Unfortunately this film is bookended by a weird sequence that supposes that the conspiracy theory that Billy the Kid survived to old age is true (hint: it’s not) but whatevs. We learn that after the events of the first film (which we all know by heart), Billy the Kid continues his wild ways with a new crew. Unfortunately, Doc Scurlock and Chavez are brought back into the mix as the authorities of New Mexico try to arrest and do away with Billy the Kid and his associates. Seeing the writing on the wall, Billy makes a deal with the Governor to get a pardon, but is arrested instead. As a result he doesn’t just escape jail, he also frees Doc and Chavez for one more go around. Like the asshole that he is, Billy promises that they’ll escape to Mexico, but instead leads the new gang around having fun. Meanwhile a former member of the gang, Pat Garrett, is offered the job of sheriff in order to hunt down Billy and the gang. He pursues them to a house of sin, where through trickery Billy and the gang escape again. Soon thereafter the gang learns that they were never heading to Mexico, but it’s too late… Garrett is there and most of the gang is killed trying to escape, including Chavez and Doc. Billy is captured and even though he ends up escaping he is sad to find the gang dead and scattered. Eventually cornered by Garrett again, Billy begs to just let him go on to Mexico and eventually he relents (confirming the conspiracy story). Thus Billy the Kid lives happily ever after… until the sequel! THE END.

Why?! Who knows. Billy the Kid is portrayed as a rambunctious kid with no plan and a death wish (which mostly just results in the deaths of everyone around him). There is no reason for anything in this film. They aren’t trying to get money or anything… just kinda a general sense of revenge and doing crazy stuff. At least the first had some reason for the events. Here Billy just comes off like a crazy asshole.

Who?! The funnest fact of all is that Jon Bon Jovi and Tom Cruise appear unbilled in the first Young Guns film. Even funner is that Jon Bon Jovi apparently was so thrilled with the experience that he came back for more, appearing unbilled and in Young Guns II AND did all of the songs for the soundtrack AND that was his debut solo album! The more I write about it the crazier it all seems. I can only assume that he and Estevez were like super pals or something.

What?! I think most people were probably put off by the scene where Billy the Kid decides to put away his childish ways and grow up, but then takes a swig of Mountain Dew and winks at the camera. But I thought it was a bold acting choice by Estevez. There is also a surprising number of props for sale for a film that pretty much everyone forgets exists… like check out this wanted poster for Doc that is apparently authentic and unfortunately sold out for the low, low price of $145.

Where?! New Mexico, baby. Very solid setting given that the state is somewhat rare and it’s kind of mentioned all the time. Historically necessary to the plot as well… I mean, I think I have to give this a solid A.

When?! Since this is a historical film, you would have to assume it sticks to the idea that this all took place in 1881. The bookends apparently take place in 1950, meaning that Emilio Estevez in old man makeup is portraying a… like 90 year old. Alright, that’s crazy town. What is he, Clint Eastwood? A-.

It’s super weird to realize that in the late 80’s there weren’t just major Westerns being made, but like hip and rad Westerns starring dope teen heartthrobs. The first film is a much better representation of that as it’s a tale of revenge (classic) and honestly, other than some funny opening sequences of everyone being like “wahoooo, shoot some guns,” is played pretty straight with solid acting all around. Estevez’s take on Billy is in particular quite good and there’s some funny bits in there as well. The sequel though lacks all of that purpose. No more revenge. No nothing really other than Billy and the gang getting hunted down. And they don’t even pay that off. Instead they just lean into the conspiracy that he was still alive. They could have made the film about how Billy had to die. He was a shooting star that was destined to fall. But nah, nothing matters and he’s alive as an old man in bad old man makeup looking like Jean Claude Van Damme a la The Quest. Don’t worry about the plot of the film because he survived and is just a shitty old man that led all his friends to their deaths… so I guess I’d sum it up by saying I wish it had something interesting to say and then maybe it wouldn’t have been totally forgotten to time. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! I cannot wait until they make Old Guns to finish up this trilogy (it is more likely than you think …). Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – My perception of this film was that it was going to be like … electric guitars and a “young actors version of a western in 1990”. Which admittedly would have been amazing and rad. The trailer and original film told a different story. As the original film was pretty good, I was intrigued as to why the second was considered so bad. What were my expectations? I guess for it to just be the first movie again? A tale as old as time as to why a sequel to a successful film ends up being panned by critics.

The Good – The acting in the film is still good, especially Estevez who I think created quite an interesting character with his giggly psychotic Billy the Kid (in both films). I would have been pretty skeptical, given how the first film ended, that they would have had much of a “true” story to tell in the second, but there was quite a lot to work with given the events that lead up to Billy the Kid’s death. And yeah, the true story aspect was interesting. During both films I found myself reading a ton of Billy the Kid history on wikipedia, and they seemed like they did a decent job with both films in the end. Best Bit: Interesting historical story.

The Bad – The worst part was probably the bookends (which you could maybe tell they knew about at the time since there is nary of whisper of old-man-Estevez in the marketing material), the dumb story of a con man pretending to be Billy the Kid in the 50s is just not very interesting. The film also just feels very muddled. They want to have this lingering question of Billy being alive at the end, when the actual interesting bit was the manhunt a la Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The whittled down ensemble is much less impressive in the second, and they also unnecessarily kill a bunch of them when that didn’t happen in real life which was annoying. Fatal Flaw: Bookend segments.

The BMT – As we go through sequels I think we’ve managed to capture quite a few films which had great / surprisingly good initial films and terrible / surprisingly bad sequels. That is obviously the trope, but it makes me wonder whether that is anomalous in BMT history. Anyways, this is a bad western, which is a rarity. But, it is also a little too genuine to be fun, so I doubt I’ll ever revisit it. Did it meet my expectations? It mostly defied them. I expected them to crank up the electric guitar to 1000% and lean into all of the worst bits of the first and create an abomination. Instead it was an interesting movie with decent acting which just failed to be well made and really sunk itself with the bookend segments. I wonder if it wouldn’t have been BMT at all without those bookends … we’ll never know.

Roast-radamus – Basically only can get Setting as a Character (Where?) for New Mexico … long ago we did The Host as New Mexico, a movie I genuinely just don’t remember the plot of. Why didn’t we do this movie? Anyways, closest to Good I think.

Prequel, Sequel, Remake – The obvious answer to the question is Prequel, as that is really the only place you can go with it. Prior to the first film you have Billy the Kid, orphan, gunslinger, and genuine psycho just starting out in life. Fifteen, working in a boarding house for food, and stealing whenever and whatever he can get his hands on. The story would mainly focus on his time in and around Bonita where he is stealing horses for a living and gaining his original Kid Antrim name, and several run ins with the eeeeeevil Francis Cahill (fictionalized, probably just a dick … I’ve read just the Wikipedia page). The film culminates with him shooting Cahill, turning himself in, and then, realizing his life is already over, laughing and escaping. The end of the film is him in a saloon in Lincoln County and asking someone who the dapper gentleman is. “Oh, that’s John Henry Tunstall, he raises cattle.” The end. Obviously it is called Youngest Gun.

You Just Got Schooled – And that is a perfect introduction to the review of the original Young Guns. First, I’ll say that I quite enjoyed the film. I was surprised that it is an actual western. I figured it was going to be a silly electric-guitar faux-western or something given the brat pack cast. And the story is very interesting. If you trust Wikipedia it seems like quite a good telling of the Lincoln County War which I hadn’t really heard of before as I hadn’t ever really read up on Billy the Kid before. Estevez’s performance in particular is really rather good. I’ve mentioned it a few times, but his psychotic giggling is just pitch perfect for a character where you are like “wait … is this guy a sociopath?” … he is. B+. Kind of like Wyatt Earp, it is a film mostly interesting because of its historical context, but enjoyable if you like westerns I think.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Young Guns II Quiz

Oh man, so I just had a huuuuuge adventure with all of my pals, and so I was just hanging out, murderin’. Normal guy stuff you know? When bang! Someone hits me right on the head with the butt of their gun. Now I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember anything about Young Guns II?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) At the beginning of the film where is Doc (Kiefer Sutherland) and why is he arrested? 

2) Why does the governor want to meet with Billy the Kid, and what does he promise in return? 

3) How do Chavez and Doc escape from the makeshift prison while awaiting trial?

4) What is Pat Garrett offered in exchange for hunting down Billy the Kid?

5) What item did Billy leave behind as a message to Pat Garrett when he was on his trail? Billy leaves his tobacco pouch, which Pat Garrett gave him. And guess what?

Bonus Question: What did Old Billy the Kid say he was doing all those years between his “death” and the present?

Answers

Young Guns II Preview

“So we can’t kill them off, that would be frowned upon,” Patrick says as he thumbs through the contracts for Rich and Poe Jrs. “Time machine?” Jamie suggests unhelpfully, but Patrick has to admit, aging them up via time travel must be considered. Particularly since they’ve kind of lost the thread on whether they are attempting to make something unironically good, ironically bad… or maybe neither. At the very least they realized that the nut shots, fart jokes, and giant piles of poo being shoved in people’s faces needed to stop. As they walk to a nearby food truck still pondering their predicament they observe a few rad social media celebs making a new video for Tik Tok or some shit. Cast in a new comedy by the studio hoping to cash in on their big time tween followings, they couldn’t really act. But Jamie and Patrick had to admit that the singing, dancing, and backflipping reminded them a little of what made Rich and Poe so fresh and dope in their first entry. “If only they could be Rich and Poe, Jrs., right?” Jamie says with a chuckle, but Patrick isn’t laughing. “Rich and Poe Jrs. contracts don’t mention anything about additional casting, right?” Jamie looks confused, but there is a twinkle in Patrick’s eye. The next day the Rich and Poe set looks more like a music video than a major motion picture. A couple of the Tik Tok gang are now portraying Richie and PJ, Poe’s older set of twins. But singing and dancing aren’t all they are going to be doing, as they’ve returned the film to its PG-13 roots with Richie and PJ having to take up the mantle of Rich and Poe as the department’s newest young guns. That’s right! We are watching the sequel to Young Guns (which barely doesn’t qualify for BMT), Young Guns II. The days of the major motion picture western starring a group of up and comers is far behind us at this point, let alone one that spawns a sequel. This is why it’s part of our 90’s Wild Card cycle as this feels like a distinctly 90’s phenomenon. All the worse for BMT. Let’s go!

Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory (1990) – BMeTric: 17.2; Notability: 52

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 36.8%; Notability: top 10.9%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 26.7% Higher BMeT: Rocky V, Ghost Dad, 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, Hard to Kill, Air America, Desperate Hours, Another 48 Hrs., Days of Thunder, The Rookie, Men at Work, The Guardian, Bird on a Wire, Marked for Death, The Forbidden Dance, and 16 more; Higher Notability: RoboCop 2, Predator 2, Days of Thunder, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Jetsons: The Movie, Air America; 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, Brain Dead, Too Much Sun, Graffiti Bridge, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Navy Seals, Another 48 Hrs., Short Time, Stella, Sibling Rivalry and 19 more; Notes: That is mighty close to a cult classic right there. It hit 6.6 a little bit ago! That is rather high, no wonder the BMeTric has been dropping like a stone. The notability it excellent, they really pulled out all the stops for this young guns (intended) back in the early 90s huh?

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – Actors often are advised to meditate on the characters they play, to get inside their skins and understand what makes them the way they are. “Young Guns II” presents the strange spectacle of actors who have apparently done more of that than the filmmakers have – so that we sense there’s more to these people than meets the eye. The screenplay feels unfinished, the direction is ambling, but the performances are interesting.

(Interesting. That gives me some hope I’ll like the movies since I tend to like the actors involved. So if the performances by the likeable actors are the best part, than that should make it okay in the end.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-FmfxLy7fo/

(Actually looks pretty good given you’ve seen the first. It is more gritty that the poster or perception of a 1990 western might suggest, but that is in line with the style of the first film. I can’t help but like Estevez’s giggly portrayal of Billy the Kid as well. Funny there is no mention of the bookend segments at all.)

Directors – Geoff Murphy – (Known For: The Quiet Earth; Fortress 2; Goodbye Pork Pie; Utu; Never Say Die; Spooked; Future BMT: Under Siege 2: Dark Territory; Freejack; BMT: Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory; Notes: Received the Order of Merit from the New Zealand government for his contributions to film.)

Writers – John Fusco (characters & written by) – (Known For: Spirit Riding Free; The Highwaymen; Hidalgo; The Forbidden Kingdom; Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron; Young Guns; Thunderheart; Crossroads; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny; The Babe; Loch Ness; Future BMT: The Shack; BMT: Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory; Notes: Travelled the American South as a blues musician before going back to school to become a screenwriter. Apparently has a black belt in kung fu.)

Actors – Emilio Estevez – (Known For: The Outsiders; The Breakfast Club; Mission: Impossible; St. Elmo’s Fire; Young Guns; Stakeout; Badlands; The Way; Repo Man; Bobby; The Public; Tex; The War at Home; Never on Tuesday; Sand; The L.A. Riot Spectacular; Los reyes magos; Future BMT: D3: The Mighty Ducks; Freejack; Another Stakeout; Men at Work; Arthur and the Invisibles; D2: The Mighty Ducks; Loaded Weapon 1; The Mighty Ducks; Nightmares; Judgment Night; That Was Then… This Is Now; BMT: Maximum Overdrive; Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Maximum Overdrive in 1987; Notes: For most of the 2000s he was pretty much exclusively a director. He just appeared in the Disney+ sequel series to Mighty Ducks though, and is apparently going to direct and star in a third Young Guns Film called Guns 3: Alias Billy the Kid … WTF?)

Kiefer Sutherland – (Known For: A Few Good Men; Stand by Me; The Lost Boys; A Time to Kill; Melancholia; Dark City; Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me; Young Guns; Monsters vs. Aliens; At Close Range; Flatliners; Phone Booth; Freeway; The Vanishing; Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces; The Reluctant Fundamentalist; To End All Wars; Bright Lights, Big City; Twelve; Forsaken; Future BMT: The Wild; Mirrors; The Sentinel; Taking Lives; Renegades; The Cowboy Way; Eye for an Eye; The Three Musketeers; The Nutcracker Prince; BMT: Zoolander 2; Marmaduke; Flatliners; Pompeii; Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Pompeii in 2015; Notes: Son of Donald Sutherland he was often associated with the Brat Pack of the late 80s. Settled into being one of the most famous television actors of the 2000s starring in 24, Designated Survivor, and now the new Fugitive series.)

Lou Diamond Phillips – (Known For: Young Guns; La Bamba; Stand and Deliver; The 33; Courage Under Fire; The Big Hit; Another Day in Paradise; Sky; Demon Wind; Picking Up the Pieces; Disorganised Crime; Filly Brown; Stark Raving Mad; Absolon; Route 666; Shadow of the Wolf; S.I.S.: Extreme Justice; Teresa’s Tattoo; A Show of Force; Sanitarium; Future BMT: Renegades; The First Power; Brokedown Palace; BMT: Bats; Supernova; Hollywood Homicide; Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for The Crossroads of History. Apparently is a musician playing with the band The Pipefitters with Lou Diamond Phillips, and was one of the final few actors considered to replace David Duchovny in seasons 8 and 9 of the X-files.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $44,143,410 (Worldwide: $44,143,410)

(Not bad, but I imagine the original made a lot more … huh, nope, it made basically exactly the same amount, $45 million. So I have to assume the absence of a completed trilogy is due to Estevez not being interested, or the plotline precluding such a possibility (which seems unlikely).)

Rotten Tomatoes – 35% (6/17)

(I’ll have to make a consensus: Something feels off about this as compared to the predecessor, as if they half wrote the film and let the actors fill in the rest. Reviewer Highlight: [W]henever a few of the Young Guns get together and have to behave like soulful cowboys, the movie stops dead in its tracks. The trouble with so many of today’s young actors is that there’s no deep-seated yearning or fury in their performances. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Young Sklogs 2: Sklogs with Attitude

(Everytime I tried to make a pun on the title it came out sounding like the title of a porn movie. Starting a film with the word “young” is just bad news. Anyway, weird poster. Spacing is weird, the color scheme is kinda weird, and a bunch of the actors look kinda weird. The font is OK, though. C-.)

Tagline(s) – The West just got wilder. (C)

(Even wilder than the first! I can’t believe it. If the point is just to get people into the seats without talking their ear off, then this is serviceable. But not much better than that.)

Keyword – cowboy

Top 10: Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood (2019), Tombstone (1993), Brokeback Mountain (2005), No Country for Old Men (2007), News of the World (2020), The Outsiders (1983), The Big Lebowski (1998), Boogie Nights (1997), The Hateful Eight (2015), Dances with Wolves (1990)

Future BMT: 47.1 Serving Sara (2002), 46.2 Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again (1980), 45.7 Bad Girls (1994), 35.5 Playmobil: The Movie (2019), 33.9 Hoot (2006), 31.9 Armed and Dangerous (1986), 31.5 Lightning Jack (1994), 30.9 All the Pretty Horses (2000), 30.7 A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014), 29.1 Hope Floats (1998);

BMT: The Lone Ranger (2013), Ghost Rider (2007), Wild Wild West (1999), Jonah Hex (2010), Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory (1990), Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

(Interestings hardly any of the future BMT choices are traditional Westerns like this one. Bad Girls might genuinely be the only one, with A Million Ways to Die in the West being a comedic version of it. Interesting resurgences in the 00s, but the genre does seem to be fairly small potatoes at this point despite still having prestige.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Lou Diamond Phillips is No. 3 billed in Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory and No. 11 billed in Hollywood Homicide, which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 3 + 11 + 2 + 3 = 19. If we were to watch Eye for an Eye we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – The scene where Arkansas Dave Rudabaugh (Christian Slater) puts a knife through Chavez’ arm was added due to Lou Diamond Phillips’ breaking his arm during filming.

Emilio Estevez (Billy) originally approached Jon Bon Jovi to ask him for permission to include the song “Wanted Dead Or Alive” on the soundtrack. Bon Jovi didn’t feel the songs lyrics were appropriate; however, he was inspired by the project and resolved to write a new song for the film that would be more in keeping with the period and setting. He quickly wrote the song “Blaze of Glory”, and performed it on acoustic guitar in the New Mexico desert for Estevez and John Fusco.

Lou Diamond Phillips (Chavez) was dragged by a spooked horse when filming a new scene. He broke his arm and a kneecap. The horse was spooked when Emilio Estevez (Billy) fired a gun and threw Lou off. The horse then ran, dragging Lou by the noose around Lou’s neck and tied to the saddle horn. The scene was never re-filmed. Lou talks about this incident on Celebrity Close Calls (2010).

There were only three witnesses to the alleged killing of Billy the Kid by Pat Garrett: Garrett himself and Deputies John W. Poe (Viggo Mortensen) and Thomas McKinney. While McKinney claimed to slightly know the Kid, Poe had never previously laid eyes on him. Within moments after the shooting, Poe told Garrett he had “shot the wrong man”. Since it was too dark in the room for a visual identification, Garrett claimed he knew it was the Kid by his voice, even though all present had only heard whispers. Ultimately both Poe and McKinney agreed with Garrett, but McKinney recanted years later and claimed, like Poe before him, that Garrett had killed someone else.

The Mexican Blackbird, the biracial prostitute that Billy talks about, is a ZZ Top song from 1975.

Although the movie depicts Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid as close friends who were at one time partners in crime this is a considerable stretching of the truth. In reality their association was much more casual in nature stemming from their mutual patronage of Beaver Smith’s saloon in Fort Sumner where they were both avid players of the card game Casino. They had a cordial acquaintance with one another but were never close friends, nor did they ever ride together as outlaws.

On New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s last day in office, he discounted any and all claims of “Brushy” Bill Roberts claim to be Billy the Kid.

This is the second western movie for which Alan Silvestri composed music in 1990. The first was Back to the Future Part III (1990).

The real Jose Chavez Y Chavez also survived the Lincoln County wars, dying peacefully in 1923.

The real Josiah Gordon “Doc” Scurlock did not die during the Lincoln County Wars. He passed away in 1929 of old age, having spent much of his life trying to disassociate himself with his past.

Before the end credits roll post scripts are given for Dave Raudabaugh, Pat Garrett and Brushy Bill however, none are given for Doc or Chavez – this is because both survived beyond the scope of this film.

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song (Jon Bon Jovi, 1991)

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