Prey for the Devil Recap

Jamie

BMT Live is always a tricky balancing act. On the one hand you want to hit the big bad films when you get the opportunity. You don’t want to pull a “Keeping up with the Joneses.” You know, where you wait so long into a year to watch BMT Live that you end up watching Keeping Up with the Joneses… a comedy film so forgotten that I myself (a person who watched it in theaters), remembers nothing of the experience. At the same time you want a balanced year, one where you don’t just crush out a bunch of action films from January to March and call it a year. So we were in quite the panic as the end of the year approached and major releases were dwindling. Thank god for Halloween. Can always count on at least one horror film that fits the bill. We prayed for it and we got it, Prey for the Devil.

To recap, Sister Ann is a nun working at the major American exorcism school in Boston (you know the one). She really wants to learn, but exorcism is a man’s job and so she settles for being a nurse. One day a young girl comes in and Ann feels a connection. As things spiral out of control for the young patient and Ann is attacked by a possessed elderly patient, the school agrees to let her learn. In particular, the main priest recognizes that she brings something new to the table: the outlook that the possessed could fight back against the demon and not just rely on the priests’ prayers. She works well on an attempted exorcism of the young patient, so another student in the class asks her to help with his sister. He can’t get the church to do an exorcism, so they decide to do an illegal one. Ann uses compassion to try to help and it seems to work! But, uh oh! Turns out it didn’t cause the sister ends up killing herself and Ann is sent back to the convent as punishment. While there she hears that the young girl, who had been released from the hospital, has had a full blow demonic relapse (you know how that goes). Ann knows she can help. Why? Because she realizes that the girl isn’t any ol’ girl… she’s the daughter she gave up when she first ended up at the convent! (What a twist!) She arrives just in time to go down into the school’s dungeon (you know what I’m talking about), save the girl, get possessed herself, and then defeat the demon. NBD. The school agrees to send her to the Vatican for further training, but will she get there safely or will the demons get her first. Find out in Prey for the Devil 2 (probably). THE END.

Ehhhhh, I don’t have much patience for films like this. They all seem kind of the same as anything else you might find on Netflix. Sure maybe it’s a step above the thousand weird Amityville stuff that gets churned out, but really there isn’t much to write home about in this one. It’s got a very obvious twist that is rotely set up and knocked down. The one fun angle is just how ridiculous the whole school is. It’s like Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital from House. Just like super new age hospital… specifically for possessed people. And they have their own set of doctors and ambulances. How do we know? We see the little girl totally kill a whole mess of priests, demonolgists (I presume that’s what they are called) and demon EMT’s. It makes for a very funny last third of the film. We can only assume it takes place in some other universe. Overall just meh, meh, meh.

Hot Take Clam Bake! Some regulatory agency needs to step in here. How are these patients being treated? Are the doctors certified? We are told that numerous patients are deemed lost causes, shipped out of the country to the Vatican, and die. They die! No one is asking any questions about that? Where’s Geraldo with the inside scoop? And it’s not just the patients. The little girl rips apart numerous people. Then kills two or three priests as Ann helps depossess her. Families aren’t asking what happened? Police aren’t interested? Government isn’t organizing a committee? I want a sequel where it’s just a Spotlight style thriller about the investigation into what is happening at this “school.” They sit there asking how a girl who killed between 6 and 10 people walked out a couple days later. Hot Take Temperature: Spicy Garlic. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Prey for the Devil? More like Prey for the Bad Movie Twins! You know what horror fans were clamoring for? Another exorcism film, obviously. Can’t get enough of those. Let’s go!

  • When Jamie and I exited the theater. I posed a question: how many exorcism films had we actually seen for BMT? I thought it was like … ten. Really we’ve seen three others for sure (The Rite, The Nun, The Devil Inside) and there are probably four others that range from “probably not” to “maybe” (Season of the Witch, Bless the Child, Seventh Son, The Haunting in Connecticut). I guess that it is a testament to the genre that watching even four exorcism films feels like watching a dozen …
  • The main thing this film has going for it is the set design is pretty cool. It posits a world where there is an ultra sophisticated possession hospital in the middle of Boston (complete with ambulances) and that is just a thing. That people get possessed and go to the possession hospital when they do.
  • I didn’t think the main character was necessarily good as far as acting, but I liked the arc she went on.
  • Specifically that she’s the Michael Jordan of exorcists, people just overlook her because she’s a woman.
  • That she basically invents the Triangle Offense of exorcism tactics by deciding that the devil is taking advantage of the most devout by preying on their extreme catholic guilt, and so to combat the devil is basically to forgive oneself for the sins you believe you have committed.
  • And in the end they send her off to the National Exorcism League in the Vatican to train up other exorcists and start in on Advanced Exorcism Theory.
  • But the movie is silly and does absolutely nothing new. It generally feels like we’ve seen this film a dozen times so far and it begs for a raison d’etre.
  • Setting as a Character (Where?) for a fictionalized Boston which is all about exorcisms. Worst Twist (How?) option for the obvious and inevitable reveal that the possessed girl is the daughter of the main character, which can be seen a million miles away. Closest to BMT I think, there is something there about it being a very silly exorcism film in the end.
  • I actually do think I’ll have to stop doing the Live Theater Ratings because we now go to the same one each time and it is a solid theater. I guess the only amusing thing about this particular trip was it was a beautiful sunny 70 degree day in October and we roll up to the theater to watch a bad horror film at 1PM on Saturday. I looked into the mirror in the bathroom and asked “Who am I?” before shaking the ennui off and heading in.

Check out the sneaky sequel preview Prey for the Devil 2: Armageddon in the Quiz. Cheerios,

The Sklogs.

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Prey for the Devil Quiz

Oh boy. So I was possessed (again, I feel like I’ve been possessed a few times in my life), and had like a bunch of hair in my mouth, and then a crazy fist came out! It was nuts. But afterwards I was in such shock that I just plum forgot everything! Do you remember what happened in Prey for the Devil?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) We’re at the top exorcism hospital in Boston (if not America!), and our hero, Ann, is a nun. What are and aren’t the nuns at this hospital allowed to do for the possession patients?

2) Well guess what dummies? We got the Michael Jordan of exorcism up in here. What in Sister Ann’s past prepared her for this NEL (National Exorcism League) Championship?

3) Well, cool. Well, you can’t just jump in and dominate excorisming right away. That would be crazy. Good thing there is another person available who is possessed. Who does she try and exorcism first, and what is the result?

4) What one weird trick does the devil not want you to know about excorisms that Ann intuits from being such a good Catholic?

5) How does Ann ultimately defeat the devil who preyed on Natalie?

Bonus Question: Oh boy, aren’t we on tenterhooks after that big surprise ending. But boom, in the mid-credits scene our hero awakens from a dream. Phew. But then her phone rings. Who is it?

Answers

Prey for the Devil Preview

5 Years before (and 36 years later)…

Kyle hears a knock at the door and puts down his glasses. It’s been many years since he saw Partrick and Jamie, but every time he hears a knock he can’t help but think it might be them. As he walks to the door he pats the head of his youngest child, now a teenager and almost out of the house. What will he do when they’ve all left the nest? Perhaps teach. He’s always wanted to teach. When he opens the door there is a man there that Kyle doesn’t recognize. Or… at least he doesn’t think he does. If he didn’t know better he would have thought the man could be Jamie and Patrick’s fraternal triplet. “May I help you?” he asks warily. “Kyle, thank God I found you,” the man says out of breath, “It’s me, Helmut. The Dongle? Do you still have it? It’s our only chance to save Jamie and Patrick.” But before he even finishes talking Kyle’s face has gone blank. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” and calmly closes the door. The knocking continues with more urgency. Kyle sighs and opens the door again. The man opens his mouth, but Kyle stops him. “I don’t know what you want from me. Jamie and Patrick disappeared years ago and took whatever you’re looking for with them. I’ve moved on. So should you.” The man is stunned. He begins to speak, but when he looks around Kyle’s humble home built on love and happiness he shrugs. Anyone could see this is no place for the Dongle. After the man walks away Kyle closes the door, tears just beginning to tumble down his face. “Curse you, Jamie and Patrick. You devils,” he thinks… but he doesn’t mean it. That’s right! Another BMT Live interlude. It’s the last of the year and Halloween time, so you know we had to grab the worst reviewed horror film of the season and go to town. This year it’s Prey for the Devil. Another possession film notch on our belt. Let’s go!

Prey for the Devil (2022) – BMeTric: 15.2; Notability: 12

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 12.0%; Notability: top 12.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 4.9%; Higher BMeT: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Bubble, Moonfall, Firestarter, They/Them, Morbius, Me Time, Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, Blacklight, Pinocchio, Spiderhead, Deep Water, Umma, Senior Year, The Invitation, The 355, After Ever Happy, Jurassic World Dominion, Samaritan, Persuasion, and 10 more; Higher Notability: Jurassic World Dominion, Black Adam, Pinocchio, Morbius, Amsterdam, The School for Good and Evil, The Bubble, Moonfall, Deep Water, The Man from Toronto, Spiderhead, Don’t Worry Darling, The 355, Where the Crawdads Sing, Blacklight, Samaritan, Paradise Highway, Memory, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Firestarter, and 10 more; Lower RT: Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, After Ever Happy, Me Time, Blacklight, Firestarter, Morbius, Paradise Highway, Home Team; Notes: Small potatoes, but those are the meat and potatoes of Horror in general, so it makes sense. It’ll grow a bit, but 12 notability seems right. There are like 12 people total in the film.

VarietyTwelve years ago director Daniel Stamm was considered in some quarters as having revivified a subgenre with “The Last Exorcism.” That sleeper hit that was no classic, but it took itself seriously in the right ways, as put across by a good cast including the estimable (and still underused) Ashley Bell. Since 2014’s less successful “13 Sins,” he’s been occupied with episodic TV work. Unsurprisingly, his first feature in eight years marks a return to the general terrain that worked for him before.

(Ahhhhhh, so that’s why this film exists. Because Stamm did it before, and they think he can do it again. That makes so much sense.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkEnG6inG4c/

(We’ve seen this film before right? I feel like, exorcism class has been in a film before. A young girl being possessed in exorcism school too right? Is there just general consensus about what exorcism looks like, or is it directly from The Exorcist? So many questions.)

DirectorsDaniel Stamm – ( Known For: The Last Exorcism; 13 Sins; BMT: Prey for the Devil; Notes: German. Has mostly been doing television shows for the last decade (as far as credits are concerned). This is his first feature since 13 Sins in 2014.)

WritersRobert Zappia – ( Known For: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; BMT: Prey for the Devil; Notes: Wrote on Home Improvement, and a bunch of sitcoms originally. Has been doing straight to video and shorts for the better part of two decades as well.)

Todd R. Jones and Earl Richey Jones – ( Known For: Rio; Future BMT: Johnson Family Vacation; BMT: Prey for the Devil; Notes: What a wild set of writers for this film, these guys basically only did kids’ programming until this film, a horror film. Bizarre.)

ActorsJacqueline Byers – ( Known For: Bad Samaritan; Full Out; Blizzard; Ordinary Days; BMT: Prey for the Devil; Notes: Mostly a television actress, she was one of the primary actors in the show Salvation.)

Virginia Madsen – ( Known For: Candyman; Candyman; Dune; Sideways; The Rainmaker; Joy; Better Watch Out; The Hot Spot; The Prophecy; Her Smell; Operation Christmas Drop; Electric Dreams; The Magic of Belle Isle; Ghosts of Mississippi; A Prairie Home Companion; Fire with Fire; The Astronaut Farmer; Dead Rising: Watchtower; Slam Dance; Zombie High; Future BMT: Class; Creator; BMT: Prey for the Devil; The Haunting; Red Riding Hood; The Haunting in Connecticut; The Number 23; Highlander II: The Quickening; Firewall; Hot to Trot; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Sideways in 2005. She, like her brother Michael Madsen, have an interesting tendency of getting character actor parts in huge productions, but also being in terrible small-time productions as well. Interesting careers both of them.)

Colin Salmon – ( Known For: Nobody; The World Is Not Enough; Tomorrow Never Dies; Die Another Day; Match Point; Exam; The Bank Job; Loving Pablo; Zone 414; Blood: The Last Vampire; Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons – The Movie; Immortality; The Statement; Captives; Devil’s Playground; Shank; Clubbed; How to Stop Being a Loser; Freeze Frame; My Kingdom; Future BMT: Resident Evil; Mortal Engines; Criminal; Resident Evil: Retribution; BMT: Prey for the Devil; Alien vs. Predator; London Has Fallen; Punisher: War Zone; Notes: I recognized him immediately. But from what? Midsomer Murders. He was in one episodes, but jokes on you, I’ve seen all of the episodes. Apparently he suggested Brosnan as a good candidate for Bond, he’s a beloved British actor.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $2,800,000 (Worldwide: $2,800,000)

(We won’t really know how it did for a bit, but I would guess it is going to do terribly in the end. I just don’t see how “just another exorcism movie” breaks through. Then again, it might have cost $1 million to make, who knows.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (4/20)

(A consensus: Not scary (but can a PG-13 film really be scary?), this film is merely Exorcist cliches all strung together. We’ve seen this film before … several times.)

Reviewer Highlight: Its dominant thematic threads are at war with one another, shambling around as one story wears the flesh and appearance of another, leaving neither premise wholly intact in a film with the meat stripped from its bones. – Leigh Monson, AV Club

Poster – Cray for the Devil

(I like that this is kind of a classic poster in that it clearly serves a cinema specific purpose. A striking image for people to walk by and be like ‘oh, maybe I’ll see that crazy hair devil movie.’ I just wish it was even more classic with a nice color scheme and better font (although not the worst in that regard). B-)

Tagline(s) – It wants in. (C-)

(Ehhhhh, this is just too generic for me to give it much credit. Could be the tagline for any number of possession films.)

Keyword(s) – year2022

Top 10: The Batman (2022), The Kashmir Files (2022), Top Gun: Maverick (2022), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022), The Adam Project (2022), Uncharted (2022), The Gray Man (2022), The Northman (2022)

Future BMT: 63.0 Firestarter (2022), 60.2 Blacklight (2022), 59.6 Jeepers Creepers: Reborn (2022), 52.1 Radhe Shyam (2022), 49.1 Umma (2022), 46.3 The Invitation (2022), 45.6 The 355 (2022), 44.3 After Ever Happy (2022), 44.2 Jurassic World Dominion (2022), 37.4 Memory (2022), 34.2 The King’s Daughter (2022), 20.6 Amsterdam (2022), 7.4 Black Adam (2022), 7.3 Where the Crawdads Sing (2022)

BMT: Moonfall (2022), Morbius (2022), Don’t Worry Darling (2022), Prey for the Devil (2022)

(And there we are, BMT Live complete for the year. We will likely watch Firestarter, Blacklight, Memory, After Ever Happy, Jurassic World Dominion, The King’s Daughter and a few more as well. Still not a super great haul (18 at the moment) so we’ll see if a real cycle can be made from that.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Virginia Madsen is No. 7 billed in Prey for the Devil and No. 3 billed in Firewall, which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed) which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => (7 + 3) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 3) = 17. There is no shorter path at the moment.Notes – Ben Cross died of cancer on August 18th, 2020

Notes – Ben Cross died of cancer on August 18th, 2020

Don’t Worry Darling Recap

Jamie

Ooooooooh baby. BMT Live! This is the year that it’s back, baby. What better way to celebrate than to really mix it up. See some schlock, but also throw in an Oscar contender that maybe reached just far enough off track to qualify for BMT. That’s Don’t Worry Darling. Full disclosure, I was actually already looking forward to the movie. Pugh is one of my favorite young actors. Best part of both the good and bad films I’ve seen her in. I also thought the drama potentially was putting it in a no-win position. That it could be fun and well made, but still falter with critics because it wasn’t good enough to overcome the headache they had to endure while following its press tour. So I was really coming in with an open mind and pretty excited that we could include a film in BMT that I was probably going to go see anyway.

To summarize, Florence Pugh and Harry Styles are two very beautiful people living a utopian 50’s lifestyle sexing each other up like sexy people do. They live in a company town run by Victory headed by Chris Pine (also sexy). There are a lot of rules, the biggest one is that no unauthorized person is allowed to go to Headquarters. One day at a party everyone is minding their own business being sexy when one of their friends, Margaret, starts to freak out. Shortly thereafter, while riding the trolley, Pugh sees a plane crash in the mountains and runs out after it, eventually ending up at HQ. She touches the building there and blacks out, waking up back at her house. Her brain seems to go on the fritz following that event culminating in her witnessing Margaret slit her own throat and jump from her roof. Decidedly unsexy stuff. The town doctor (an unusually unsexy man) attempts to drug her, but Pugh resists and at a real bizarre party where Harry Styles gets a promotion and then dances like a maniac for like an hour, she confronts her friend Bunny who tells her to shut her sexy mouth. The climax of the film has Pugh realizing that she’s actually stuck in a VR world created by Pine, which Styles has purchased. Every day Styles wakes up and takes care of her body while her mind continues to live out her day. Horrified, she kills Styles and makes a break for HQ. She is able to make it just in time to break out of the simulation. THE END.

As I said, I was already interested in seeing this film. So I came in ready to be like “this isn’t as bad as all these dumb reviewers said!” Welllll, I mean I guess that’s technically true. I think Pugh is amazing and the visuals are very pleasing. I even think Styles is a lot better than people are making it seem. Is he miscast? Sure, I certainly think it would have been better with LaBeouf, who would have had a better sense of how to play the character (who is a loser pretending to be a winner in a simulation). But his hilarious (and I mean bonkers hilarious) dance scene is enough for me to give him some credit. So all that alone seems better than BMT qualification. That said I hated the twist and thought the whole simulation angle was pretty ridiculous and cliche. So basically change everything about the last third and it’s probably a pretty good movie. As it is, it’s a decidedly mediocre film with some really great performances.

Hot Take Clam Bake! Are we sure the simulation is bad? Hear me out. Obviously the specific situation that Pugh is in is horrible, but think about this: Styles is a giant loser. Like a super huge loser. And yet on whatever loser salary he can earn he is able to earn the pleasure for two people to enjoy what seems like a pretty sexy simulation life. You could have a lovely couple work half as hard as giant loser Styles, finish up their days, smooch, take care of their own bodily functions like normal couple do and then drop into their creepy Clockwork Orange bed and enjoy sexy food, sexy drink, and sexy sex in the sexy 50’s world they have at their fingertips. It’s good. That’s probably why Pine is killed by his wife at the end out of nowhere. She probably was like, “this idiot is running a genius simulation into the ground by marketing exclusively to giant losers!” She probably programmed all of it and is horrified by his poor job as CEO and so has to kill him. Hot Take Temperature: Lemon Pepper. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Don’t Worry Darling? I think I will worry thank you very much, but exclusively about the production troubles of this film. Let’s go!

  • This movie obviously has not only a kernel of something good in it, it has the kernel of something great. Like 60% of this film is great.
  • It is totally let down by the end though. The biggest crime isn’t even the weirdo twist that Harry Styles sucks and has forced his wife into a simulation against her will. That is just a pretty generic (and easily predicted) twist. The biggest issue is just like … why does the wife kill Chris Pine again? It seems totally unmotivated. As if they didn’t know quite how to end the movie after the reveal and so they had to figure out some reason for Pugh to truly extract herself from the situation without begging for a sequel to resolve this loose thread concerning Pine’s company and world crashing down around him.
  • It begs the question so hard that my mind can’t even really wrap itself around the full picture of the film after seeing it. I can’t square the circle. There is basically no indication of any sort of motivation for the wife to kill Pine. No friction. No concern over the direction of the company. Nothing about her being a victim in the affair as well (although that is the easiest explanation). If you cut out just that bit I think I could psych myself into liking the film quite a lot. With that bit though I can’t help but admit that it is, at best, merely a below average thriller with uninteresting sci-fi ideas.
  • Pugh is incredible in this film, and it is a bit sad that it will probably go unrecognized.
  • And Wilde’s direction is at worst fine, at best quite good. There are some reviews which suggest it is something amateurish or something? I don’t buy it. The set design and way it is shot is solid.
  • Worst Twist (How?) is all I got for this one, for the sci-fi reveal of Styles having trapped his wife in a simulation where he gets to live out his dream of not being a huge loser. Closest to Good easily, really just a step away from it.
  • Live Theater review time. I think this is the first ever BMT Live where both Jamie and I were in the same theater. I think he would agree that the AMC Framingham is quite good. I really have very very little complaints having gone there now probably a dozen times. It is so much better than most other theater experiences I’ve had over the years for BMT that it is kind of boring even to review it. It is a solid theater, with comfy seats, and I rarely experience problems with people talking and junk. It’s good.

I’ll leave it there. Check out the description of the sequel Keep on Not Worrying Darling in the Quiz. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Don’t Worry Darling Quiz

Oh man, so here’s the thing. I live in a simulation which I’ve also forced my wife into. Well, she figured it out and got real mad and bopped me right on the head! I’m bleeding profusely. I think I have brain damage. Do you remember what happened in Don’t Worry Darling?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) A big plot point in the film is that another woman living in this creepy neo-Stepford is going a bit cuckoo. What does she claim happened to her?

2) And uh-oh, our heroine Pugh is also going a bit crazy. What does she see in the desert that leads her to HQ?

3) At the big dinner party scene there is one clinching piece of information that Pugh reveals to her friends which suggests they are all living in a simulation. What is that piece of information?

4) Before escaping, Pugh tries to get her friend Olivia Wilde to come with her, but Wilde refuses. Why?

5) Outside in the real world it is shown that Pugh is trapped by her husband in the simulation. What is Pugh’s job in the real world?

Bonus Question: In the mid-credits scene we see Pugh wake up next to her husband. From the darkness a voice is heard. Who is it?

Answers

Don’t Worry Darling Preview

Kyle sits in his study tapping his chin, deep in thought. It’s been over four years since the disappearance of the Bad Movie Twins. He opens his desk drawer to take a glance at the Dongle. It’s sat there untouched since that day. Jamie and Patrick spent every day of their lives trying to make sure it never fell into the wrong hands, yet he’s done nothing and nobody seems to care. Not a suspicious knock at his door, not a Predator, Demon box, or even Scott Bakula showing up on his doorstep. It’s been downright pleasant. “You looking at it again?” Rachel asks from the doorway. Kyle closes it quickly and smiles. “Yeah, I just… I don’t know what to do with it,” he says with a sad note in his voice, “I wish they were back so they could take it off my hands.” Rachel squeezes his shoulder and shakes her head. “No,” she says, “you just wish they were back.” It’s true. His life is great. Great wife, great kids, great house, and a hit Sexy Mannequin centric website that has taken him around the world. But every time he looks in that drawer he can’t help but think he failed them. “You didn’t fail them,” Rachel says firmly, “you’ll get them back. And if you don’t, it’s because they didn’t want to be found. It seems like it’s safer in your hands than it was in theirs.” Kyle nods. “Safer in our hands,” he corrects with a smile. And it’s true, but he’d never say it himself. He opens the drawer a crack one more time and steals a glance. After shutting it he promises he’ll never look at it again and this time he’ll keep that promise. “Don’t worry darling,” Rachel says… and he doesn’t. That’s right! We’re taking a little interlude for a classic BMT Live! Sometimes you gotta jump on the chance to see something even if it qualifies by the skin of its teeth. Don’t Worry Darling has had such a tumultuous press tour that it transformed from Oscar contender to BMT hopeful before our eyes. I’m excited. Let’s go!

Don’t Worry Darling (2022) – BMeTric: 20.9; Notability: 28

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 11.2%; Notability: top 3.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 22.1%; Higher BMeT: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Brazen, The Bubble, Moonfall, Firestarter, They/Them, Blacklight, Morbius, Me Time, Pinocchio, Spiderhead, Deep Water, Umma, Senior Year, The 355, Jurassic World Dominion, The Invitation, White Elephant, Samaritan, Memory, and 8 more; Higher Notability: Jurassic World Dominion, Pinocchio, Morbius, Amsterdam, The Bubble, Moonfall, Deep Water, The Man from Toronto, Spiderhead; Lower RT: After Ever Happy, Me Time, Blacklight, Firestarter, Brazen, White Elephant, Morbius, Paradise Highway, Home Team, The Bubble, The Man from Toronto, Senior Year, Murder at Yellowstone City, The 355, The Invitation, Pinocchio, Memory, Black Site, Alice, Jurassic World Dominion, and 11 more; Notes: The numbers will be a bit weird since it just came out. Notability is where it shines I suppose, which makes sense.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – The craft on display is impeccable, though, from the gleaming cinematography from Matthew Libatique (Darren Aronofsky’s usual collaborator) to the flawless production design from Katie Byron to the to-die-for costumes from Arianne Phillips. The excellent work of all those behind-the-scenes folks and others at least makes “Don’t Worry Darling” consistently watchable, all the way up to its non-ending of an ending. Let’s just say you’ll have questions afterward, and those post-movie conversations will probably be more thoughtful and stimulating than the movie itself.

(I basically agree with this review. It is very very competently made. But the ending is pretty silly and leaves more mostly dumb questions than actually interesting questions. But it also probably doesn’t end up here if not for the multiple controversies surrounding the production.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW9aRVXIwaY/

(It is a great trailer. Every time I saw it I figured this was going to be at the very worst a decent Oscar contender for some of the people involved. Alas, it probably misses. The only one I could imagine now is Pugh, but that is probably not in the cards because of her refusal to promote the film.)

DirectorsOlivia Wilde – ( Known For: Booksmart; BMT: Don’t Worry Darling; Notes: Booksmart is awesome, and as an actress I always thought she was great (shoutout to The O.C.). Too bad this is her sophomore effort. Yeah … she publicly got served divorce papers while promoting this film and was dating Harry Styles while separated I think. That and having Shia LeBeouf quit and calling Pugh “Miss Flo” was part of the controversy surrounding the film.)

WritersKatie Silberman – ( Known For: Booksmart; Set It Up; Isn’t It Romantic; BMT: Don’t Worry Darling; Notes: Seems to be making a career on making films that parody genres or turn them on their head. In a way this could have been no different, a take on The Stepford Wives, but seems to have fallen short.)

Carey Van Dyke and Shane Van Dyke – ( Known For: The Silence; BMT: Don’t Worry Darling; Chernobyl Diaries; Notes: Chernobyl Diaries to this? That is a bizarre trajectory. Oh and yeah, they are the grandsons of Dick Van Dyke.)

ActorsFlorence Pugh – ( Known For: Midsommar; Little Women; Black Widow; The Wonder; Fighting with My Family; Outlaw King; Lady Macbeth; The Commuter; Malevolent; The Falling; BMT: Don’t Worry Darling; Notes: Her career is amazing. MCU, indie horror, indie adaptation of a beloved novel. Honestly a bit sad to see this as her first BMT. It is so borderline that without the drama it probably wouldn’t have qualified at all.)

Harry Styles – ( Known For: My Policeman; Eternals; Dunkirk; BMT: Don’t Worry Darling; Notes: Yeah, he’s really trying the acting thing. He is obviously famous as a singer, both solo and as part of One Direction, but he has been slowly building up his parts in real films. Yeah … he started dating Olivia Wilde during filming, and then possibly spit on Chris Pine during an awards ceremony. That about sums up the controversy surrounding the film.)

Chris Pine – ( Known For: All the Old Knives; Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; Wonder Woman; The Contractor; Star Trek; Star Trek Beyond; Wonder Woman 1984; Hell or High Water; Outlaw King; Unstoppable; Into the Woods; Star Trek Into Darkness; Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit; A Wrinkle in Time; The Finest Hours; Rise of the Guardians; Carriers; Bottle Shock; Z for Zachariah; People Like Us; Future BMT: The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement; Smokin’ Aces; Horrible Bosses 2; Just My Luck; BMT: Don’t Worry Darling; This Means War; Notes: Chris Pine is great, although All the Old Knives? Not great, I watched that a few months ago. He felt like he was disappearing a bit recently. I do really hope he can get another Star Trek cooking at some point.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $44,344,233 (Worldwide: $83,044,233)

(This is fine in the end. I think it certainly made up the budget. They were probably going for a $100 million worldwide take (something like $50 domestic), but it didn’t miss too badly.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (120/315): Despite an intriguing array of talent on either side of the camera, Don’t Worry Darling is a mostly muddled rehash of overly familiar themes.

(Juuuuuust barely. It is almost a certainty without the controversy it would be sitting somewhere closer to 50%, which is where I think it would fairly sit in the end as well.)

Reviewer Highlight: A cheap parlor trick…Pugh gives her all to even the weakest scenes, but leading man Styles struggles to keep up. – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

Poster – I’m Not Worried, You’re Worried

(This is my least favorite style of poster. Too old school. Never has a good color scheme. Font is terrible… but this is also how you sell your movie. Pugh is beautiful. Styles gets the ladies going. Everyone is rolling into the theater to see whatever that poster is promising. I grade that an SS… as in Sex Sells.)

Tagline(s) – Are you ready to live the life you deserve? (D+)

(Eeehhhhh. I don’t like that. I’m actually a little confused as to how it pertains to the actual movie. I mean, that’s not really the plot of the movie, before or after the twist. But that’s not the crime. The crime is that it’s boring.)

Keyword(s) – Year 2022

Top 10: The Batman (2022), The Kashmir Files (2022), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Top Gun: Maverick (2022), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022), The Adam Project (2022), Uncharted (2022), The Northman (2022), The Gray Man (2022)

Future BMT: 62.2 Firestarter (2022), 61.8 Blacklight (2022), 52.0 Radhe Shyam (2022), 47.8 Umma (2022), 45.5 The 355 (2022), 44.2 Jurassic World Dominion (2022), 43.2 The Invitation (2022), 39.3 Memory (2022), 37.2 After Ever Happy (2022), 33.6 The King’s Daughter (2022), 7.1 Where the Crawdads Sing (2022)

BMT: Moonfall (2022), Morbius (2022), Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

(Decent haul this year, 14 films so far. Still far from the typical 30ish films we’d hope for as a minimum, but still better than we’d expect. The plot is useless because it is just a bit bar at 2022 and that’s it.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 22) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Chris Pine is No. 3 billed in Don’t Worry Darling and No. 2 billed in This Means War, which also stars Reese Witherspoon (No. 1 billed) who is in Devil’s Knot (No. 1 billed) which also stars Bruce Greenwood (No. 9 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 6 billed) => (3 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (9 + 6) = 22. If we were to watch Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – The hilltop headquarters of the Victory Corporation is the iconic “volcano house” in the Mojave Desert community of Newberry Springs, California. The house was owned by PBS television personality Huell Howser, who donated the house to Chapman University in 2012 shortly before his death.

Olivia Wilde originally wanted to play the lead role but decided to cast Florence Pugh after seeing her in Midsommar (2019).

Frank, the Victory Project’s leader, is shown living in Kaufmann House, one of the most well-known mid-century homes in the world. Although the Kaufmann House’s exterior has been shown at various times over the years in both film and TV, “Don’t Worry Darling” is the first film to feature scenes shot on the property itself, including several peeks at its rarely seen interiors.

While introducing the trailer to an audience at CinemaCon in April 2022, Olivia Wilde was angered when she was interrupted on stage by a process server handing her custody papers from her ex-fiancé Jason Sudeikis. Sudeikis responded later that he had no idea that was going to happen and said he’d never have condoned it being served in “such an inappropriate manner.”

Although the film is set in a place described only as “Victory Town” onscreen, it’s very clearly set – and its exteriors were filmed – in Palm Springs, California, from which most of its interior design is directly derived. The city has one of the largest caches of mid-century-modern (MCM) architecture & design in the world, and nearby every single visual element in the film draws heavily from the MCM aesthetic.

Reports of conflicts among the cast circulated the media for weeks leading up to the film’s premiere. Shia LaBeouf was originally cast as Jack but was replaced with Harry Styles in September 2020, one month before filming began. LaBeouf’s departure was first attributed to a scheduling conflict, but Variety reported in December that he was fired due to poor behavior and frequent clashes with Olivia Wilde and the cast, pointing out Wilde’s “zero asshole policy” and LaBeouf’s reputation for being difficult to work with. The controversy was revived in August 2022, when Wilde said in a Variety interview that LaBeouf’s process and style were too combative for the production while still wishing him well. LaBeouf then disputed the reports that he was fired, claiming that he quit despite Wilde’s efforts to keep him on. A video message in which Wilde asks LaBeouf not to quit the film while alluding to conflicts with Florence Pugh was leaked online. Rumors of tension between Wilde and Pugh were exacerbated after The Wrap reported that Pugh would not participate in the film’s press tour due to her commitments filming Dune: Part Two (2023).

In the script Bunny was present in the dinner table scene, but Olivia Wilde removed her character from the scene so she could direct from behind the camera.

This film’s script first appeared on the 2019 Black List. Olivia Wilde’s previous film Booksmart (2019) was also a Black List script.

Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde reportedly started dating while working on this film.

Morbius Recap

Jamie

Hooo hooo, now this is more like it. It feels like the more common reaction during a BMT Live is a hope that we didn’t screw up a little by jumping the gun and watching a film that is merely bad and not BMT bad. No worries this time as Morbius is complete trash. Not trash in the way the boring, Flatliners remake was. That had us asking “why did they make this and why are we watching it?” No, this is an actively horrible, mostly incomprehensible, one of the worst endings I can remember type of film. I never wanted to walk out of the theater. It was a tragedy in three parts. 

First, the very premise is inane. I could go on and on (and on) about the science behind this film. So Dr. Morbius has a genetic disease… caused by a mutation or alteration of some sort (I presume) and yet he has to use vampire bat DNA to fix it. Uh, why not the several billion other people on Earth who don’t have the alteration? Surely that would be easier. Then when he incorporates this alteration into his DNA he requires blood for sustenance (fine) and can’t use the artificial blood that makes him uber successful (fine, fine) but it also has to be human blood specifically. Hold up. Why? Do vampire bats only sustain themselves on human blood? Or bat blood? Or whatever would ever make that make sense. Oh yeah, and he’s totally a human when he drinks blood but turns into a monster other times, cause that’s also how DNA/bats work. Again, I could talk about this forever.

Second, to prop up this premise they fill the script with “they sound like jokes, but I assure you they are not” types of jokes. What do I mean? No one ever has anything to talk about other than the pseudo-science mumbo jumbo so when they can’t talk about bat DNA they are delivering quippy one-liners. And these one-liners sound like they are being written $10 a pop for an awards show. At times so much noise and motion was happening on screen that I couldn’t really even tell what was and wasn’t a joke. The delivery was so flat and the moment so fleeting that it was lost in the wind (and straight out of my brain) immediately.

Finally, and most egregiously, you literally couldn’t tell what happened in the back third of the film. They set up a big climactic fight and then decided to have it take place while everyone was falling off a building through smoke and a swarm of bats. Suddenly the bad guy died and the movie ended, but not before bringing Morbius’ love interest back to life (as a bad guy? Who knows) and delivering Michael Keaton as Vulture FROM AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT FRANCHISE! My head exploded. Making heads or tails out of this film is impossible in the moment. Scientists will have to study it like Dr. Morbius studied that bat DNA.

And I will study it forever if they give me the chance. Give me a sequel! I want The Mummy 2 starring Tom Cruise. Keep this going and don’t you dare give up! Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Morbius? More like Why Us?! amirite? After Venom and … uh, a second Venom, people were clamoring for that sweet Sinister Six. And who’s better for that than (checks notes) Morbius? Who the hell is Morbius? Let’s go!

  • For real, it is hard to even figure out Morbius because he is barely a character it seems. Is he in the Sinister Six? He was in the Sinister Sixty-Six and Sinister Sixty … so he’s like the deeeeeeep bench of the Sinister Six. But time to call him up to the show, show us what you’ve got Morbius!
  • That’s it? That’s what you got? You ooze smoke and are a not-really-vampire? He can move fast, but for real, you trap him in a box for a day and he’s toast! A perplexing decision top to bottom.
  • Let’s add bar-none some of the worst action scenes I’ve ever seen. Completely incomprehensible, and I assume, when producers realized all of the action scenes looked like trash they screamed “Uh, quick, have him ooze smoke so the audience can’t see how crap it looks!” Because Morbius is nonsensically oozing smoke all over the place.
  • And wait … why does he have to drink HUMAN blood? Vampire bats drink like cattle blood, shouldn’t that be sufficient? Seems easy peasy and like an actual cure when you put it that way …
  • And not since Hitman: Agent 47 (inducted into the Hall of Fame this year) have we seen so many humorless jokes in an action film. Leto calmly and quietly says “I’m Venom” at one point and it takes five seconds before you register “wait … that was supposed to be a joke.” And that was the best joke in the entire thing.
  • So what are the chances of a sequel? I think 0%. There is no way that any of this ends up going anywhere without Tom Hardy carrying it over the finish line as Venom. They still have three more people to go! I guess they could just get bad guys from older Spider Man films and stuff. Doc Ock and Green Goblin would actually probably both do it in the end because why not?
  • Decent Setting as a Character (Where?) for New York City. Is the mythical cure for Morbius’ rare disease a MacGuffin … yeah why not, a MacGuffin (Why?) for that nonsense. And a for real Worst Twist (How?) for none of the Sinister Six set up, but instead the reveal that Morbius’ doctor girlfriend is still alive.
  • Theater rating? You best believe I had a solid time at AMC Framingham. Surprisingly busy, so I had to sit a little close to the screen, but otherwise nice and quiet and relaxing. I have a feeling this section for Live! will end soon since I’ll just be heading off to AMC Framingham for cheap matinees for the foreseeable future.

I’ll once again point out that I put sequel ideas into my quizzes, so I’m going to stop doubling up on that in the recaps. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Morbius Quiz

Oh man, so get this. I was trying to cure my terminal blood disease when I accidentally made myself into a vampire (whoops!). During my transformation though I bopped myself on the head and now I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Morbius?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Michael and his besties Milo are young boys with a terrible terminal blood disease living in Greece. But Milo isn’t his real name, it is Lucius. Why does Michael call him Milo?

2) Soon though Michael’s caretaker discovers that Michael is a genius. What tips him off to Michael’s unique genius? What is Michael’s great invention (which he ultimately turns down the Nobel Prize for)?

3) Michael is trying to find a cure for him and Milo. What is actually wrong with their blood and why does Michael think the DNA from a vampire bat will cure them?

4) Name the four main powers Michael and Milo gain via their super bat serum.

5) What the hell, let’s do a question about the mid-credits scenes. Why is Toombs (the Vulture) let out of prison?

Bonus Question: In the after-after-after credits scene we see a familiar face vowing revenge on our “hero” Morbius. Who is it?

Answers

Morbius Preview

Jamie flips back the denim sheet covering the other crate of jorts and huddled in the corner is, “Little Mikey Myers?” Jamie and Patrick gasp simultaneously. Now in his late teens and clutching a PaJama ParTy CD to his chest, Mikey Myers looks at them with fear in his eyes. “Are you…,” he stammers but can’t finish the thought before he faints. This is tickling some vague memory for Patrick, but he can’t quite grasp it. “Wake him up and bring him along. We can’t risk him alerting the guards,” Patrick finally says and soon they are all on their way to the PaJama ParTy green room. LePumice is staring around at his surroundings in awe. “The last concert,” he whispers, “the scene of the crime.” Jamie’s jaw clenches. “Yes,” he agrees, “the night we embarrassed ourselves. It’s clear we were sent here to stop Ty from doing what he did. To resolve the sins of the past and give PaJama ParTy the send off it deserved.” But Patrick isn’t so sure. When they reach the green room door they take a deep breath before busting into the room, a twin chop ready for action. The scene is familiar, Parsons eyes glazed, Ty a devious smirk on his lips, and Jamie and Patrick about to mack on some potent weed brownies. Jamie screams, “Don’t eat it, it’s reefer. Ty is trying to ruin everything.” But instead of a thanks, teen heartthrob Jamie just rolls his eyes. “Uh duh, gramps. That’s the point,” and with that he downs the brownie. Now they remember… The fans were too much, the fame was too much. They did it together. “Now what?” Jamie says hopelessly. Patrick looks at his watch and looks at LePumice, Mikey, and Patrick. “Looks like we’re doing this live.” That’s right! We are doing it Live! BMT Live, that is, and watching the latest, greatest, worstest movie on the block: Morbius. He is a living vampire and we are living people actually going to the theater to watch the film. Let’s go!

Morbius (2022) – BMeTric: 53.5; Notability: 34

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 2.0%; Notability: top 0.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 3.6%; Higher BMeT: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Brazen, The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, Moonfall, Blacklight; Lower RT: Blacklight, Brazen; Notes: So yeah, 34 probably actually translates to what? Like 70 in the long run for Notability. So you probably have to double things. Would be kind of interesting to try and figure something like that out. Could use Lives! from the last few years maybe (NOTE: Looking back at a few it seems like x1.5 is a pretty safe bet. Unfortunately Notability doesn’t go back very far). I am very much looking forward to Blacklight though.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto), the title character of Columbia Pictures’ MCU-adjacent semi-horror movie “Morbius,” is a “living vampire.” What, you might be thinking, does that mean? Did the good doctor become a vampire without having to die first? Why, yes—he fused his DNA with vampire bat DNA in an attempt to cure the rare, fatal blood disease that’s been plaguing him since childhood. (What disease, you ask? You sweet, innocent child.) The fusion gave him super speed, super strength, echolocation abilities, and an appetite for blood that’s only partially sated by the artificial substitute for which Morbius rejects a Nobel Prize at the beginning of the film. (Why? Again, you’re asking too many questions.) In short, he’s a science vampire. (So, like if Batman was a doctor, then? Wrong universe, but close.)

(It is a very accurate description of how maddening this film is. But … how is that review a 2/4 stars? The film isn’t close to that good and is gobbledegook, so I don’t get how you go above 1.5 stars at all.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQK-QxxtE8Y/

(Yeah … that looks like garbage haha. Dark, nonsensical garbage. So that’s something to look forward to.)

DirectorsDaniel Espinosa – ( Known For: Life; Safe House; Child 44; Snabba Cash; BMT: Morbius; Notes: He is from Sweden. He is announced for two Middle-East-set films about war. I assume in the end only one of those will actually be made.)

WritersMatt Sazama and Burk Sharpless – ( Known For: Power Rangers; Future BMT: Dracula Untold; BMT: Morbius; Gods of Egypt; The Last Witch Hunter; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Gods of Egypt in 2017; Notes: A writing team who also created the new Lost in Space series. They are also writing a Madam Web movie … for real, who are these characters Sony is making movies about?)

ActorsJared Leto – ( Known For: Blade Runner 2049; House of Gucci; Zack Snyder’s Justice League; American Psycho; Fight Club; Requiem for a Dream; Panic Room; The Little Things; Dallas Buyers Club; Girl, Interrupted; Lord of War; Mr. Nobody; The Thin Red Line; The Outsider; Chapter 27; Prefontaine; How to Make an American Quilt; Lonely Hearts; Highway; Sunset Strip; Future BMT: Suicide Squad; Alexander; Switchback; Black & White; BMT: Morbius; Urban Legend; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for House of Gucci in 2022; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Suicide Squad in 2017; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for House of Gucci in 2022; Notes: These days possibly more known for being somewhat of a lunatic on set than anything else. He won an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club which has given him something of a blank check over the last ten years.)

Matt Smith – ( Known For: Last Night in Soho; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Official Secrets; The Forgiven; His House; Charlie Says; Womb; Lost River; Patient Zero; Mapplethorpe; Bert & Dickie; Future BMT: Terminator Genisys; BMT: Morbius; Notes: Actually most famous for Dr. Who. He was a fine Doctor, although out of the five Doctors since the restart of the series he might be my least favorite, personally.)

Adria Arjona – ( Known For: 6 Underground; Triple Frontier; Pacific Rim: Uprising; Sweet Girl; The Belko Experiment; Future BMT: Life of the Party; BMT: Morbius; Notes: She’s going to be in the Star Wars show Andor. Originally from Puerto Rico, she’s the daughter of singer Ricardo Arjona.)

Budget/Gross – $75–83 million / Domestic: $43,838,847 (Worldwide: $88,738,847)

(I think this will likely be a small loss for Sony in the end, but maybe not so bad that they will pull the plug on the Sinister Six entirely. I’ll end up probably around like $70 domestic and closer to $100 international for a $60 take home for Sony … not what you want, but also maybe not enough to deter things. Then again The Mummy made waaaaaay more than that and the Dark Universe was just one and done immediately.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 16% (33/205): Cursed with uninspired effects, rote performances, and a borderline nonsensical story, this dreary mess is a vein attempt to make Morbius happen.

(Really rather astonishingly bad. Shocking. Like … I was half convinced it was impossible to release a blockbuster with sub-20% these days just because of how studios could repeat the test-screen/reshoot cycle until a film was merely boring instead of outright bad.)

Reviewer Highlight: Morbius is a forgettable, often laughable, entry in Sony’s attempt to fill its own Spider-Man-adjacent cinematic universe, a poorly edited, derivative time suck — pun intended. – Mark Kennedy, Associated Press

Poster – Morbius: Two Wong Chew, Fangs for Everything! Julie Newmar (the Living Vampire)

(There is some nice effort here. I was afraid this would be blah grays and blacks, but they give it an 80’s vibe with some red, blue and purple pop. Nice font too. Biggest problem? This is what I call a Tom Cruise poster: all about dat star. But is Jared Leto really enough of a draw to be the whole poster? Feels incorrect. B-.)

Tagline(s) – The line between hero and villain will be broken. (B-)

(Phew, I thought the tagline on the poster was official and that one is terrible. This one is way better. Effective from an advertising angle (I’m intrigued) but maybe not all that clever or interesting. Still, not bad.)

Keyword(s) – vampire

Top 10: Morbius (2022), Twilight (2008), Doctor Sleep (2019), I Am Legend (2007), Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (2022), Blade (1998), Dracula (1992), The Lost Boys (1987), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Future BMT: 90.0 Vampires Suck (2010), 88.6 BloodRayne (2005), 51.7 Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010), 49.9 Sleepwalkers (1992), 47.1 Transylvania 6-5000 (1985), 44.6 Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), 43.4 Bordello of Blood (1996), 43.0 Underworld: Blood Wars (2016), 40.9 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), 40.9 Blade: Trinity (2004)

BMT: Morbius (2022), Hellboy (2019), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), Priest (2011), Vampire Academy (2014), Queen of the Damned (2002), Dracula 2000 (2000), Ultraviolet (2006), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), Dudley Do-Right (1999)

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

(We’ve watched a ton of these over the last two years I think. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (or as I know it, LXG obvs) has somehow evaded us. It isn’t impossible that that is a Hall of Famer in waiting, that film is hilariously bad.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jared Leto is No. 1 billed in Morbius and No. 2 billed in Urban Legend, which also stars Alicia Witt (No. 1 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 2 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 2) + (1 + 2) + (3 + 1) = 10. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – The name of the cargo ship in the beginning of the movie is Murnau (as in F.W. Murnau, the director of the classic vampire movie ‘Nosferatu’). Like the cargo ship in ‘Nosferatu’, the Murnau arrives in port with its entire crew dead and drained of blood.

The character of Morbius can also be glimpsed in the bonus features of the Blade (1998) DVD, in a deleted ending.

Matt Smith joined the film, after previously turning down other superhero film roles, due to director Daniel Espinosa’s involvement and encouragement from his former Doctor Who co-star Karen Gillan, who portrays Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The New York scenes were actually filmed in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, United Kingdom. All city lights, signs, and license plates were changed to match those found in New York.

In the subway scene, several ads/posters are seen in the background with the names “Thomas & Kane”. An obvious nod to Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, who were the creators of the Marvel superhero Iron Fist.

In the first crime scene, Agent Ramirez states that this was the weirdest crime after “that thing in San Francisco”. This is a reference to Venom. Later in the movie, Morbius states, “I am Venom.”

Leto was rumored for another vampire role, Lestat in Josh Boone’s failed Vampire Chronicles reboot.

Second SSMU film to tie-in to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, after Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021).

The original cut had Carnage as one of Morbius’ prisoners (before the film was reshuffled and placed eight movies ahead of where it originally was going to be).

The film was set to be released on July 31, 2020 in the United States. But when the coronavirus pandemic began to affect the film industry including attendance at movie theaters, the film’s release was moved to March 19, 2021, January 11, 2021 and finally January 28, 2022. Sony Pictures subsequently began moving their release date for 2020 films to 2021 including another film set in Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters: Venom: Let There Be Carnage from its October 2, 2020 release date to June 25, 2021. Spider-Man: No Way Home, another Marvel film associated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was dated for release in the United States on July 16, 2021 to November 5, 2021, and again to December 17, 2021.

One of the key locations in the film is Horizon Labs, where Morbius looks after children with the same blood disorder that he has — while also carrying out his research into curing the condition. But Horizon Labs has been a huge part of the “Spider-Man” comics in the last decade, as Peter Parker worked there during Dan Slott’s run on the character. It’s a place for gifted scientists to work on the most cutting-edge technology and ideas, without the restraints of having to pitch them to a board of directors. Horizon Labs first appears in “Amazing Spider-Man” issue #648, and it’s run by Max Modell, one of Peter’s personal heroes in the scientific community. Morbius also works for Horizon in the comics, and he’s the one who creates a serum that saves everyone in New York when the events of “Spider-Island” turn everyone into giant arachnids. But he’s not the only villain to grace the laboratory’s halls. Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus, also works for the company after he transfers his consciousness into Peter’s brain in “Amazing Spider-Man” issue #700 — and he uses Horizon as a way of developing new technology for his own heroic career. Although don’t worry, non-comic readers, Otto eventually surrendered Peter’s body back to the hero’s consciousness.

J.K. Simmons originally filmed scenes as J. Jonah Jameson for this movie. In the time that elapsed between the film’s original shoot and the production of Spider-Man: No Way Home, it became evident to the filmmakers that Morbius did not actually exist in the same universe as J.K. Simmons’ version of J. Jonah Jameson. As a result, Simmons’ scenes were removed from the film.

MCU fans prefer to think that the Adrian Toomes / Vulture from another universe is a variant and not the one from the MCU despite the confirmation from the director that it’s the same character, given how his character arc was resolved in Spider-Man: Homecoming and how his appearance here undermines it, not to mention how the logic behind his appearance in this universe doesn’t gel with how No Way Home presented the spell.

Moonfall Recap

Jamie

Where are you? Why do you hide? Where is that moonfall trail that leads to your BMT Live, babbyyyyyy! That’s me just riffing on the Moonraker theme to psych myself up for a borderline qualifying BMT film. Me and Patrick watched with bated breath as Moonfall appeared to be on its way to the ultimate “good for what it is, eat your dumb moon movie, dummies,” film of all time. Every review was like “Good if you’re a big idiot who likes dumb shit, 3/5 stars.” But suddenly it seemed like it wasn’t so and it was heading to BMT town, choo choo. So we bet big, watched the movie, and we won, cause this is an easy qualifier now.

So you may be wondering, “Jamie, did it live up to the hype? Was it actually a bad movie that reviewers were letting slide because they can no longer tell if they are supposed to be reviewing films or trying to predict what people are going to like (and thus yell at them on twitter about)?” Uh… well no and yes. Sure this movie is about the moon being a superstructure whose engine appears to be failing. And yes, the conspiracy theorist who discovered it and two disgraced astronauts fly into the moon and defeat a big AI-driven swarm of robots or something. So you can definitely check the “big” and “dumb” squares off your BMT bingo cards. But honestly, I kinda dug it. It’s super weird and science fiction-y and I liked how weird it was, particularly the ending. That being said, if you read the reviews they are like “you’re going to have a blast with this dumb fun action romp,” and I don’t really agree with that. Really the worst parts of the film were when they did the whole 2012-esque action and adventure stuff. And the very worst part was when they inserted a Lexus commercial into the middle of the film and they used some kind of “sports” mode in the car like it’s a NOS button in The Fast and the Furious. So a mixed bag overall and probably makes sense that this arrives at BMT by the slimmest of margins.

Since Patrick did a State of the Theaters (SotT) I will do a classic Sequel, Prequel, Remake. Obviously this is a smash hit so we gotta start thinking about the Sequel. I’m going to say we go full Marvel and say that once the moon was discovered to be a superstructure, parts that had come off and fallen to Earth have been scavenged and found to unlock the secret of future tech. The world changes over night for what appears to be the better. But wait, what villainous creature appears in the sky to rain on their utopia? K. C. Houseman, the conspiracy theorist himself, now full moonman. He’s been living in the moon for years learning everything he can from the AI. Putting the pieces together he can see that mankind is heading for disaster and only he can stop it by breaking bad and attacking Earth. That’s right! He’s the bad guy and a whole bunch of disgraced astronauts have to Tokyo Drift all over space to stop him. Now that’s what I’m talking about. Wooooo. Wait, what’s that? I’m just getting word that this was not in fact a smash hit. It actually the opposite. Alright, well trash that. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! BMT Live! babbbbbbbbbbby! We pounced on this one when it was at like 39.8% on Rotten Tomatoes, and we were vindicated, it is now 38.3%! Let’s go!

  • Is this movie dumb? Yup. Is this movie poorly cobbled together? Yup. Does this movie have a giant ad for Lexus disguised as a boring B-story no one cares about? Yup.
  • But is this movie profoundly bad? No. It is weirdly entertaining. Absolutely blew by. Glanced at my watch and realized that I was an hour-and-a-half into the film.
  • But that’s what BMT Live! is all about, right? I’m pretty convinced that I would have watched Moonfall at some point streaming randomly and we would have never done it for BMT if not for watching it in theaters.
  • What percentage of people died on Earth during this film? 50%? 90%? 99%? I would say 99%, because all of the oxygen on Earth was lifted up and suffocated everyone in Colorado who didn’t have alternative breathing devices. But then maybe that was just because it was Colorado and thus higher up? John Bradley is like “take care of my mum.” Bro … I’m not sure your mother made it. I’m not sure if more than, like, 70 million people are alive on the planet. I’m sure if there was a sequel there would be some dumb thing being like “a million people died in the moon disaster” and I would be like WHAT, but whatever.
  • Is John Bradley a Planchet in this film? He’s on the heavier side, people are bewildered that he is around and tend to dunk on him at every opportunity. Then he is also oddly capable and helps the heroes out in the end … I’m going with no though. He is too capable. Planchet merely helps the Musketeers out. He doesn’t grab a sword and defeat Cardinal Richelieu himself.
  • Incredible Product Placement (What?) for Lexus, in that there is an entire commercial where Michael Pena puts the car into “hyperdrive” to get away from some baddies. Nice Setting as a Character (Where?) for Colorado. Decent MacGuffin (Why?) for just like evil AI that lives in the moon I think. And a terrible Worst Twist (How?) for obviously (obviously) Bradley staying behind to save the day (doesn’t mean I didn’t cry though). Definite BMT, even if Rotten Tomatoes thinks it is borderline.

I should probably do a very short report on the state of theaters. They are good. I was in a small theater (maybe like 30 reclining seats) with eight other people, but they were one giant group it turned out. But they were as silent as church mice and the experience was excellent. I think 2022 is looking good for theatrical experiences … only more so since I no longer have to go to Vue or Cineworld. AMC Framingham is like a palace compared to some of the theaters in London.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs