Surviving the Game Recap

Jamie

“What’s Surviving the Game?” is the only real response to learning that we watched this for BMT. It came, it qualified for BMT, it did not conquer. It ultimately feels a little like what streaming films are like today. Could have been (should have been?) on HBO instead of in theaters. But that is the long past. This is the present and in the present we can only watch what’s on the screen (and on any sweet, sweet DVD extras they might have graced us with).

So first and foremost I have to say that Surviving the Game is serviceable. It services the human race’s apparent need to watch humans-hunting-humans. It’s a tale as old as time (if time started in 1924) and it is a pretty straight adaptation despite the 70 year gap between source material and adaptation. Ice-T is a homeless man offered a nice sum of money to participate as a guide for a hunt. He has no experience, he exclaims, but whatevs, they are looking to help Ice-T out. Not suspicious at all. When he gets out to the secluded cabin in the wilds of Oregon he is shocked to find that all the hunters are rich maniacs. He is fortunate to have a place to sleep at night given all the scenery these rich maniacs are chewing. But alas, these aren’t just your regular Joe, scenery-consuming rich maniacs… these are rich maniacs who like to hunt Ice-T. Uh oh! So Ice-T starts his escape and through cunning and mostly a desperate desire to live, he is able to pick off the richie riches one-by-one. Just as he is about to kill the main player and make his escape he is blown up by a timed explosive in a decoy plane. Darn, looks like Rutger Hauer got away. Not so fast! What a twist! Ice-T survived and shows up in Seattle to take out Rutger before he makes his final escape.

As you can see the film is straightforward, which is nice. There is some funny stuff in there too. All the actors are way way way over the top and I’m there for it. There are also some funny random moments in the film including some pretty suspect practical effects and the fact that Hauer sets up a bomb for Ice-T at the end, but after blowing him up doesn’t seem to care that he doesn’t find a body. It’s like Hauer assumed that Ice-T was entirely obliterated by the bomb and not a speck was left… like a cartoon. No wonder Ice-T is able to nab him by the end. That’s just not good thinking by our bad guy. So overall, not bad, with some fun mixed in to boot. Before I jump into Hot Take Clam Bake, just a quick word on our Bring a Friend, Sonic Impact. I found this movie confounding, at times hilarious, and eventually a pretty good Friend. It’s a film constructed around clips from Airport 1975, but set up like a Die Hard scenario, so there is a lot of meandering about until the big action scene comes into play. My favorite was how they keep telling the main character that he should take a vacation, so for the first half of the film we see him discuss it with people, pack up his bag, drive to a travel agency only to get called into action seconds from booking the trip. The bad guy nicely hammed it up, too. So as I said, good Friend.

Anyway, for Hot Take Clam Bake I’m making the case that the man who recruited Ice-T, played by Charles S. Dutton, was actually a good guy who saw the potential of Ice-T as the hero he needed to finally put a stop to the evil cabal he became involved with. He saw through Ice-T’s seeming lack of interest in life and fall into destitution to see the man within. A man who’s superior smarts and skills could finally stop Hauer in his tracks. Hauer is even like “come on, are you sure?” but Dutton is adamant that this is the man they want… truly the most dangerous game, and in fact a game so dangerous that he would tear it all down. Sure, Dutton dies in the end, but that was the sacrifice he was willing to make. Why do you think he’s laughing deliriously after being blown up by Ice-T? The student has become the teacher and even in death he knows his plan has worked. Who else could survive a bomb blast, bury himself in the sand convincingly enough to escape detection, and then reappear hundreds of miles away to swoop out of the darkness like Batman to kill Hauer? Ice-T, that’s who, and Dutton knew it all along.

I give that Hot Take Clam Bake a rating of Scorching Hot. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Surviving the Game? More like Surviving this Movie?! Amirite? Who would have thought that the best adaptation of The Most Dangerous Game would star Ice-T. Wait … no, strike that, I meant “worst”. Let’s go!

  • Weird movie. Based on The Most Dangerous Game, but also only a year after Hard Target starring Van Damme which is ostensibly the exact same story, all the way down to Van Damme effectively being a vagrant recruited into the game. Ice-T is basically what makes this movie unique, I suppose representing a different underclass being exploited … still feels a bit pointless.
  • The testosterone on set must have been off the chain! Hauer, Busey, and McGinley are all trying to chew the scenery to such a degree that I don’t know how the director could even have wrangled them. Especially McGinley. There are moments where he’s stumbling and screeching and grabbing other actors to such a degree that I wonder if people were telling him to take it that far or whether there was no one there to tell him to chill out.
  • Fun little picture though if you are into the underlying story. Feels more like a “friend” than an actual wide release, but the 90s were crazy man, and Busey at least still felt like a bankable star. Makes sense that the director openly said he regretted killing him off early.
  • Interesting Setting as a Character (Where?) for Washington state, which is made explicit through several references to the beginning of the film taking place in Seattle. And honestly that is it. I think it is closest to Good in the end, just because you’ll get some mileage out of seeing Ice-T kill a bunch of people and the generic story is a classic for a reason.
  • This cycle’s friend is also an Ice-T vehicle called Sonic Impact. Films like this I usually find rather boring, but for some reason this one enamored me. I think it is a combination of having watched enough mediocre/bad movies that I can recognize Sonic Impact as merely a poor man’s Turbulence mixed with a poor man’s Executive Decision. And then half the film being literally Airport 1975’s shots of an airplane flying near the Rocky Mountains. And then Ice-T spending half the film looking embarrassed that he got captured and is in handcuffs with nothing to do. All it needed was the poorly-named bad guy Jeremy Barrett to have a sweet hook … like being obsessed with poetry, or being like an accomplished mathematician or some weird choice. As it is, it’ll settle as a solid B+ friend, something I might watch once more before realizing that it isn’t worth it.

Go and check out the sequel television movie crossover event, Law & Order: SVUing the Game, detailed in the Quiz. Cheerios,

The Sklog

Surviving the Game Preview

Just as Future Mikey #1 is approaching Jamie and Patrick to figuratively rip out their hearts, Repo Men style (as the kids say), they hear someone say, “Don’t you lay a finger on those butterfingers, baby.” They all stare slack-jawed as Future Mikey #2 unexpectedly kicks Future Mikey #1 in the testicles… hard. They all laugh, obviously, and then turn their attention to Future Mikey #2. “I think we all are on the same page now,” begins Jamie, “Nice to meet you Future Mikey who was a teenhearthrob-turned-timecop.” Future Mikey #2 nods his head. It’s true, unbeknownst to Future Mikey #1 he had inadvertently crossed the time-stream (pardon the technical term) and picked up a Future Mikey timecop who held the Bad Movie Twins in the highest esteem. “I bided my time, waiting till I could help you by taking you… back to the future.” They all chuckle and sigh. Anyway, time to get going. But before they can get in their PT Cruiser time machine they hear a chilling gurgling sound from behind them. It’s Future Mikey #1! He’s on his feet, pistol in hand, blood pouring from his nose and mouth as a result of his crushed testes. “You… you… can’t stop the future.” But before he can shoot a microphone spins into view and knocks the pistol slightly off target. Mikey Myers has caught up just in time to save the day! The bullet ricochets off a nearby hot dog cart, back through the window of the PT Cruiser, and destroys the control panel in a shower of sparks. “Quick, we’ll have to get to my time machine,” Future Mikey #2 says before looking back Future Mikey #1, now reloading his pistol. “If we can survive.” That’s right! We are watching the Ice-T classic that everyone remembers is a film. It’s called Surviving the Game and is one of several Most Dangerous Game adaptations that have washed up on BMT shores over the years. We are pairing it with another Ice-T straight-to-dvd film called Sonic Impact. Why? Mostly because it looks rad and was so hard to find I ended up having to buy it used. Can’t go wrong with a plane flick. Let’s go!

Surviving the Game (1994) – BMeTric: 20.7; Notability: 24

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 30.0%; Notability: top 32.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 26.5%; Higher BMeT: Street Fighter, Police Academy: Mission to Moscow, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, Junior, The Next Karate Kid, Double Dragon, On Deadly Ground, The Flintstones, It’s Pat: The Movie, North, The Fantastic Four, Leprechaun 2, 3 Ninjas Kick Back, Exit to Eden, In the Army Now, Color of Night, Richie Rich, Car 54, Where Are You?, Blank Check, My Girl 2, and 55 more; Higher Notability: The Flintstones, The Shadow, Wyatt Earp, Beverly Hills Cop III, Love Affair, Ready to Wear, North, Radioland Murders, I Love Trouble, The Pagemaster, Exit to Eden, Little Giants, Street Fighter, Drop Zone, D2: The Mighty Ducks, Speechless, Junior, Thumbelina, The Scout, The Specialist, and 60 more; Lower RT: Wagons East, Police Academy: Mission to Moscow, House Party 3, Death Wish: The Face of Death, It’s Pat: The Movie, The Silence of the Hams, Holy Matrimony, Car 54, Where Are You?, Getting Even with Dad, A Low Down Dirty Shame, Major League II, Exit to Eden, Trapped in Paradise, Lightning Jack, In the Army Now, Leprechaun 2, The Specialist, The Next Karate Kid, Trial by Jury, Blank Check, and 42 more; Notes: Hmmmm, maybe a cult classic then. Above 6.0 for a film like this is interesting. One of the lower notability / BMeTric films we’ve done in a while. Should be fun.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Only the absence of Maria Conchita Alonso keeps this umpteenth variation of The Most Dangerous Game from having the definitive schlock action cast, as destitute Ice-T is unwittingly hired to perform vague duties at a secluded woodsy resort, only to learn he’s the prey of high-roller hunters. Sub-routine chase pic is Confusion City all the way; it’s difficult to believe that the same plot could be recycled less than a year after John Woo’s far more stylish Hard Target.

(Hard Target was good. Also, return of the semicolon! Oh how I’ve missed you my old friend. And finally, nice to see Maltin definitively not thinking this is a cult classic. Makes a lot of sense. Maltin reveres old Hollywood pictures it feels like, so a useless remake of a classic isn’t going to sit super well with him.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SdUm-xFu38/

(Yeah, looks like crap. Insane Gary Busey though. That could be fun. A bit of an odd choice for an ensemble cast, but I guess you need bodies if Ice-T is going to kill a bunch of people.)

DirectorsErnest R. Dickerson – ( Known For: Juice; Ambushed; Double Play; Blind Faith; Future BMT: Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight; BMT: Surviving the Game; Bulletproof; Bones; Never Die Alone; Notes: We’ve seen a lot of his films in the last year. I mentioned in the Bones preview that he is most notable for being Spike Lee’s cinematographer on a his early films.)

WritersEric Bernt – ( Known For: The Echo; Future BMT: Virtuosity; The Hitcher; BMT: Romeo Must Die; Surviving the Game; Highlander: Endgame; Notes: Virtuosity is basically the only bad 90s future film we haven’t seen for BMT. Produced the television series Z Nation.)

ActorsRutger Hauer – ( Known For: Batman Begins; Blade Runner; Sin City; Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets; The Sisters Brothers; Iron Mask; The Osterman Weekend; Ladyhawke; The Hitcher; Confessions of a Dangerous Mind; Flesh+Blood; Split Second; Nighthawks; Hobo with a Shotgun; Turkish Delight; Minotaur; Blind Fury; 24 Hours to Live; Spetters; Soldier of Orange; Future BMT: Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Samson; Wanted: Dead or Alive; The Letters; BMT: The Rite; Surviving the Game; Notes: My lockdown sourdough starter was names Rutger Sour. He’s Dutch. Was in the military, but forced his way out by convincing his superiors that he was mentally unfit for service.)

Ice-T – ( Known For: The Other Guys; New Jack City; Ricochet; CB4; Trespass; Ticker; Who’s the Man?; Mean Guns; Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn; Below Utopia; Ablaze; ‘R Xmas; Final Voyage; Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang; Sonic Impact; What Now; Corrupt; The Alternate; The Wrecking Crew; Future BMT: Tank Girl; UglyDolls; Breakin’; Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo; BMT: Johnny Mnemonic; 3000 Miles to Graceland; Surviving the Game; Notes: Also was in the military, but dropped out after four years to pursue music. Was one of the originators of Gansta Rap, and now is probably more well-known as an actor on Law & Order: SVU.)

Charles S. Dutton – ( Known For: Se7en; A Time to Kill; Alien 3; Menace II Society; Secret Window; Mimic; Mississippi Masala; Rudy; Cat’s Eye; Eye See You; Q&A; Bad Ass; The Express; Cookie’s Fortune; Jacknife; Get on the Bus; Cry, the Beloved Country; The Monkey’s Paw; Honeydripper; American Violet; Future BMT: Legion; Gothika; The Perfect Guy; Nick of Time; A Low Down Dirty Shame; Fame; The Distinguished Gentleman; Last Dance; Against the Ropes; BMT: Crocodile Dundee II; Surviving the Game; Random Hearts; Black Dog; No Mercy; Notes: He won three Emmys for The Corner (Directing), The Practice, and Without a Trace (both as a Guest Star). Went to Yale. Was originally supposed to be in Halloween: H20, but his role was eventually cut.)

Budget/Gross – $7.4 million / Domestic: $7,727,256 (Worldwide: $7,727,256)

(Huh … like not a bomb? It is wild that a film like this could make nearly $10 million. It seems like a direct-to-video effort through and through.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 24% (4/17)

(Oh boy, I get to make a consensus: Poorly written with absurd action sequences, Surviving the Game is merely yet-another derivative action flick.)

Reviewer Highlight: Essentially, the movie is Cliffhanger with one third the firepower.  – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Poster – Sklogifying the Game

(Wooooowwwwww. That’s bad. Like real bad. The colors are bad. That spacing is bad. Nothing makes sense. It creates more questions than answers. Only positive is a little font work. D.)

Tagline(s) – The thrill is the kill. (A)

(I mean, I can’t deny that it is a fun tagline. The thing that bothers me a little is that the poster and the tagline kinda, you know, give me the unsettling feeling that the makers of the movie kinda were digging Ice-T getting hunted. He barely appears on the poster and he’s the hero. Everyone else are trash people who hunt people… but yeah, the thrill of the kill, for sure. Still can’t dock it much on moral grounds. It’s a good tagline.)

Keyword(s) – hunting, survival

Top 10: The Blue Lagoon (1980), Avatar (2009), The Hunger Games (2012), Split (2016), The Hunt (2020), Predator (1987), Apocalypto (2006), Jurassic World (2015), Ice Age (2002), Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

Future BMT: 34.0 Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), 30.4 Wrong Turn (2003), 27.6 The Legend of Tarzan (2016), 12.4 Brother Bear (2003)

BMT: The Blue Lagoon (1980), Dreamcatcher (2003), The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986), Surviving the Game (1994)

Matches: Surviving the Game (1994)

(Decided to go for the double. Very interesting that it seems like a boom in the 00s/10s, although I couldn’t possibly give you a solid theory as to why. Out of the possible upcoming BMTs I would be most excited for Wrong Turn.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Charles S. Dutton is No. 3 billed in Surviving the Game and No. 3 billed in Random Hearts, 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) => (3 + 3) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 3) = 13. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – According to Rutger Hauer, Gary Busey wrote his entire dinner monologue about the origin of his scar himself. The script had several scenes of Hauer’s character Burns establishing his natural leadership by reminding the other hunters to abide by his rules. Originally, the dinner scene would be the moment where he puts Busey’s character Doc back in his place. However, on the day of rehearsals, Busey came up with a two-page monologue about his dog that he wanted to try out. Hauer felt that Busey was obviously trying to steal his scene away by not giving him a chance to intervene in his monologue. So during the actual filming, Hauer improvised a quick response to the story by calling it “bullshit”, which greatly confused Busey. However, Busey’s delivery so impressed the director and the other actors that his monologue was kept in the final film, and Hauer’s retort wasn’t used.

This movie was released less than a year after Hard Target (1993), with a similar plot about homeless people being hunted for sport.

The landing strip and cabin seen in the movie are at Lake Wenatchee State Airport, Washington, which is very close to civilization. The cabin has since been torn down.

While staying in Wenatchee, Washington in September 1993 during the shooting of this movie, F. Murray Abraham was injured in a car crash, suffering a fractured wrist, bruised ribs, and facial lacerations, after he was struck by a drunk driver.

Almost all of the “city” scenes were filmed in downtown Wenatchee, Washington. Most scenes were filmed with a two-block perimeter of Mission, Orondo, Palouse, and Columbia streets, plus the alley behind the Liberty Theater off of Mission Street. The area includes the infamous Bruce Hotel, which became Bruce Transitional Housing for the homeless in the early 2000s.

This is one of numerous movies based on the short story “The Most Dangerous Game”, written by Richard Connell, first published in 1924 in Collier’s Magazine.

Despite being bookended by scenes set in Seattle, Washington, not a single frame of the movie was actually shot there.

The same year this movie was released, Ice-T’s metal band Body Count recorded an unrelated song with the title “Surviving the Game”, which appeared on their second album, “Born Dead”.

While traveling to the campsite in the plane…Jack Mason ( Ice T ) looks out the window…Below was an Albino moose… In Canada, it is a unique variety and is considered by the local population and good luck to the indigenous culture.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers Recap

Jamie

Lore, baby! Lore. This is what happens when a film becomes pure lore and it is a BMTutiful sight to behold. Let me riff on this for a second. And by a second I mean for far longer than that. You have to dive deep to understand the level of lore we are dealing with here. It’s not just an origin story for Michael Myers. Not just a simple “Freddy Kruger was the progeny of a hundred criminally insane maniacs.” No, this film takes all of the previous five films and like a crazed conspiracy theorist weaves them all together. Magnifique.

To start, the fifth film ended on an insane cliffhanger where Jamie and Michael are taken from prison by the Man in Black. The Man in Black was a wholly unexplained character in the film, so it was left to whoever made the sixth film to define him. Indeed, the screenwriters of The Curse of Michael Myers jumped right in and proclaimed that this mysterious character from film five was connected to the mysterious symbol on Michael’s wrist from film four. They are the Cult of Thorn and they are here to use Michael for their own nefarious deeds.

But who are they and what do they want? For that we actually are best served by going back to Halloween 3 (that’s right, the film that has nothing to do with Michael Myers… or does it?). That’s because when they veered away from Michael the focus of the series briefly shifted from the singular killer to the very idea of Halloween. They went back to the original idea of the holiday (aka Samhain) and its connection to sacrifices. Much like in the third film the primary antagonist isn’t Michael Myers anymore, but really a puppetmaster of sorts who is using the powers of sacrifice to gain strength. This is basically the entire plot here: Michael Myers was cursed by this cult and every so often on Halloween (when the thorn symbol appears in the stars) awakens and goes on a killing spree to murder everyone in his family (and beyond?). This benefits the cult in some vague way. So when Jamie escapes from the cult with her baby (Michael Myers’ final sacrifice) they are left with no other choice but to set him loose on Haddonfield again to finish the job.

This is also how the second film most strongly connects to the sixth. Not really through Samhain (which is mentioned briefly in that film as being connected to Michael), but rather through the killing of his family. It’s impossible to forget that the second film is where they made the terrible mistake of retroactively making Laurie Strode the sister of Michael. The later films are worse than the second, but I think that’s still the worst thing they ever did. Anyway, this gives a rock solid (and totally unnecessary) explanation for why Michael would want to kill his family. As if a maniac needs such an explanation!

Finally that brings us to the first film (and my favorite of the lore building). So Michael is loose on Haddonfield and thus, like the yin to his yang, the even more insane Dr. Loomis’ reign of terror begins anew. He teams up with his old colleague Dr. Wynn and Tommy Doyle (both not seen since that first film) to track down Jamie’s baby and keep him safe from Michael. This is all before Dr. Wynn is revealed to be the Man in Black himself! And you know what this clears up? In the first film there is some mystery around how Michael Myers knew how to drive like a pro after spending his entire life in a hospital and Loomis explains that he seemed to be driving just fine when he saw him so maybe “someone taught him.” You bet someone did. Dr. Wynn, Cult of Thorn maestro himself. It should be noted that in the novelization of the first book it is claimed he learned by watching Loomis. Bah! Trust in the Lore is my motto. You best believe Dr. Wynn spent many Saturdays giving driving lessons to Michael.

Behold my masterpiece on the pure lore that is the sixth film. So I must have loved it, right? Hell no. This is by far the worst of the films. I actually forgot what a catastrophe it was. It is horrible. Straight dog poo. The hilarity of the lore is its only redeeming quality. It was so bad that they had to basically smash cut and ADR their way to a reshot ending in the insane asylum that actually ended up as the best part of the film. A nonsensical reshoot was somehow better than the rest of the garbage they put to screen. 

As for New Year’s Evil? Well, for horror completionists I think this is a must. It’s such a weird film and I think indicative of just how lost some people got in trying to replicate the success of other slasher films. But it is quite fun for a few reasons: some really weird motivations for the characters, excessive use of the “punk” stereotypes of the 80’s, and a real dumbo killer. To elaborate a little on the last point: unlike many horror films that try to hide their killer, we spend about half the film riding around with the murderer as he does his murdering and he… is… terrible at it. Throw away the notion of an unstoppable force of evil. This is a very stoppable man who bumbles his way to his own death. Suicide by being real bad at stuff. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers? More like More Halloween? Curse you Michael Myers! Amirite? Only if you imagine me shaking my fist ruefully at Michael Myers. Let’s go!

  • My god, look what they’ve done to my boy! Halloween, you’ve never looked so bad. Top to bottom, front to back, side to side gobbledegook. Just nonsensical garbage. Dare I say it? I ran up to this film, a lover of horror mega-franchises and slashers in general and they slowly pushed dog poo right into my face.
  • You know I love to say it: this film is a slap in the face to fans of the franchise.
  • When I go back to school to get my PhD in BMT-ology (at BMT University) my dissertation will be entitled: How to Ruin Horror Franchises, Lore in its Many Forms. The crowning jewel of the thesis will be about this film.
  • The Cult of Thorn. Don’t you see? The mark of Thorn condemned a child to kill their family in a blood sacrifice according to Celtic legend. But then why does Michael only escape on occasion? Well, because a constellation in the shape of Thorn only appears every so often. … nailed it? What absolute drivel, answering questions no one is asking.
  • Weirdly, if they had just landed on that lore earlier in the series it could have worked. Michael is dead? Who cares? The whole issue was the insistence that The Shape NEEDED to be Michael Myers! So now he becomes an invincible unstoppable force and the whole thing is a retcon. Lore. Ruins. Everything.
  • I’m now very intrigued to see just how bad Halloween: Resurrection is. Because this movie is garbage. It might actually be the worst of all of the mega-franchise horror I’ve seen. Zero interesting kills. Terrible acting (yes even Paul Rudd). Perplexing decision making. Poor direction.
  • Obviously you always need to give a Setting as a Character (Where?) for Haddonfield when it comes to Halloween. And an A+ Holiday Film (When?) for Halloween. And I’m going to throw out the Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal that the other doctor from the first film was the head of the Cult of Thorn and Man in Black the whole time. Definitely a BMT I think, just for how terrible it is.
  • Oh, and our friend! New Years Evil is an early slasher (1980) and actually quite interesting. An interesting killer obsessed with time. A very old school 70s feel. But … horrible acting and it feels like a television film. It is interesting to see how people were still creating that early slasher feel into the 80s when the big franchises were just starting to exploit the genre. And I’m shocked they have never tried to remake it or create a modern sequel. There is a nugget of a cool idea there for sure.

Time to dive into my reworking of the series. After the third film they should have stuck with Michael being dead. But then The Shape should appear again. And the big reveal there would have been something like Tommy Doyle was the new Shape. Loomis though begins to get confused. Tommy? He wasn’t a psycho, just in such shock from the events of the first film that he had gone to the same asylum as Michael had been at! The middle trilogy then is the unraveling of the Cult of Thorn, where it is revealed that Michael was the first test subject. A young sociopath that a cult-obsessed doctor had cursed with Thorn 10 years prior. And the three movie set then finishes with the destruction of Thorn … but can you contain such a powerful and ancient evil? Probably not. Would have set it apart from the other major horror franchises at least.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers Quiz

Oh man, so I went to Haddonfield (again) on Halloween (again) and I got bopped on the head (again) by Michael Myers (again). Well, now I can’t remember anything (again). Do you remember what happened in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) The film opens in a spoooooooky cult … factory? Anyways, Jamie escapes from there with her child. Who helps her escape?

2) While being chased by Michael where does Jamie hide her newly born child (who eventually Tommy Doyle finds the next day)? How does Tommy know this?

3) What does Tommy name the baby?

4) We get quite the exposition dump about Thorn. Mainly two things stuck out. Why was a child from each tribe inflicted with the Curse of Thorn according to old Celtic legend? And why, does Tommy suggest, Michael only occasionally strikes on Halloween?

5) Who, is it finally revealed, is the Man in Black? Ultimately it is his game … where does he want to play it?

Bonus Question: Michael Myers is dead, long live Michael Myers. In the mid-credits scene who do we see the severely injured Michael meet up with once again?

Answers

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers Preview

Jamie and Patrick look over a ridge at the closely guarded church where LePumice’s time machine is held. The trio are dismayed at the unexpected hitch in the plan. Patrick suggests heading back to their own machine, but LePumice rightly asserts that if the puppetmaster of the dastardly plan to frame the Bad Movie Twins already knows of his own betrayal then he must also know about their own machine. He quickly explains in expository detail how because the plan against them is being formed in the future then, “they already know every move we’ve made,” Jamie finishes astutely. “It’s science,” agrees LePumice. “Then we’ll just have to do the unexpected,” Patrick says slyly. Minutes later Jamie and Patrick start to proceed towards the church with a gun trained on LePumice. “No one moves an inch or this knockoff Time Cop gets it!” Jamie screams, much to the confusion of the guards. They check their patented Time Cop Watches to confirm that LePumice is their future adversary, but can’t square with what they are seeing. In their momentary confusion they leave themselves open to a few well placed Twin Chops. “Let’s get inside and get out of here,” LePumice says but stops dead upon entering the church. “Mikey?” Jamie and Patrick exclaim, confused. Indeed, there is little Mikey Myers from down the block, but instead of the ‘aw, shucks’ look he had the last time they saw him at the casino, this time he means business. “Yes, it’s Mikey, and you’ll curse the day you ever put a fish in my overalls. Or should I say, you already curse that day. Isn’t that right, Mikey?” From behind the time machine the adult Mikey Myers comes out, a Time Cop Watch on his wrist. “Curses,” LePumice says. That’s right! Keep on churning through those Halloweens with The Curse of Michael Myers. I remember this one being the worst of the bunch that I watched back in the day and blessedly another short one for our journey. Pair this up with a Bring a Friend holiday horror special, New Year Evil and we’ve got a party. Let’s go!

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) – BMeTric: 67.9; Notability: 24

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.8%; Notability: top 25.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 4.7%; Higher BMeT: Showgirls, Vampire in Brooklyn; Higher Notability: Batman Forever, Congo, Cutthroat Island, Judge Dredd, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, Virtuosity, Showgirls, Four Rooms, Stuart Saves His Family, Tank Girl, Panther, Jade, Assassins, Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, Money Train, Jefferson in Paris, Hackers, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Canadian Bacon, Just Cause, and 43 more; Lower RT: The Big Green, National Lampoon’s Senior Trip, Theodore Rex, Delta of Venus, Jury Duty, The Walking Dead, Top Dog, Born to Be Wild, A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, The Hunted, It Takes Two; Notes: I can’t believe it hit 5.0 at one point! Anyways, solid sub-5.0 film with an appropriately gaudy BMeTric. We still haven’t seen Showgirls for BMT.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Pursued by the masked killer, Michael’s niece escapes from mysterious catacombs with her newborn baby. Then he starts killing a family which has the misfortune merely to live in his former home. Routine slash-fest, of interest only to the dedicated, even though this time it links Michael to the Druids!

(Yeah this is really the worst of the bunch in my opinion. The cult thing is just really weird. Only kind of fun because Paul Rudd is in it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAaPBxBxaV8/

(Just give me that soundtrack babbbbbbbby. Oh snap, it had a different name! The Origin of Michael Myers is … a terrible name with a terrible promise. We know the origin of Michael Myers! He was a psycho kid who tried to kill his family a whole mess of times.)

DirectorsJoe Chappelle – ( Known For: An Acceptable Loss; Takedown; Thieves Quartet; BMT: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Phantoms; Notes: Huge television director directing CSI: Miami, and The Wire, and Chicago Fire, etc. He directed The Skulls II prior to moving to exclusively television work.)

WritersDebra Hill – ( Known For: Halloween; Halloween; The Fog; Escape from L.A.; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Future BMT: Halloween Kills; Halloween; Halloween: Resurrection; BMT: Halloween II; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; The Fog; Notes: Long time collaborator with Carpenter. At this point her and Carpenter would just get credit for any Halloween film ever made.)

John Carpenter – ( Known For: Halloween; They Live; Halloween; Escape from New York; The Fog; Escape from L.A.; Prince of Darkness; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Assault on Precinct 13; Dark Star; Assault on Precinct 13; Eyes of Laura Mars; Black Moon Rising; Future BMT: Halloween Kills; Halloween; Lockout; Halloween: Resurrection; BMT: Ghosts of Mars; Halloween II; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; The Fog; Notes: Same as above. He’s an interesting guy, apparently he’s very into video games. So much so that when Metal Gear Solid obviously ripped off Escape from New York he declined to sue since he liked the game.)

Daniel Farrands – ( Known For: Aileen Wuornos: American Boogeywoman; The Girl Next Door; The Haunting of Sharon Tate; Havenhurst; BMT: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for The Haunting of Sharon Tate in 2020; Notes: He created the seven-hour documentary Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th, so he has his hands in multiple major horror franchises.)

ActorsDonald Pleasence – ( Known For: Halloween; The Great Escape; Oh, God!; You Only Live Twice; Escape from New York; THX 1138; The Eagle Has Landed; Phenomena; Prince of Darkness; Fantastic Voyage; Escape to Witch Mountain; Soldier Blue; Wake in Fright; The Greatest Story Ever Told; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; The Thief and the Cobbler; 1984; Cul-de-sac; Buried Alive; Dracula; BMT: Halloween II; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: He would die prior to this film’s release. He was really the major player in the franchise and obviously loved by Carpenter, also appearing as the President of the US (with a British accent) in Escape from New York.)

Paul Rudd – ( Known For: Ghostbusters: Afterlife; Avengers: Endgame; Romeo + Juliet; Captain America: Civil War; Clueless; The Perks of Being a Wallflower; The 40-Year-Old Virgin; Ant-Man and the Wasp; Ant-Man; Forgetting Sarah Marshall; This Is 40; This Is the End; Knocked Up; Night at the Museum; Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy; I Love You, Man; Sausage Party; Role Models; Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story; Between Two Ferns: The Movie; Future BMT: How Do You Know; Admission; 200 Cigarettes; The Ex; Reno 911! Miami; Over Her Dead Body; BMT: Year One; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Notes: One of those classic actors who started with a crap horror film. He’s now Ant-Man and is in shows like The Shrink Next Door and still doing random comedy like Saturday Morning All Star Hits! and appearing on Conan (usually showing a random clip from Mac & Me).)

Marianne Hagan – ( Known For: Stake Land; Perfume; Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List; I Think I Do; Rick; BMT: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Notes: Was educated as a journalist and has written books with her sister and published some journalism pieces as well over the years.)

Budget/Gross – $5 million / Domestic: $15,116,634 (Worldwide: $15,116,634)

(Not bad actually. But the writing was on the wall at this point. There was nowhere to go with the franchise, horror was dying in the late 90s, and once Scream came along a year later it completely changed the landscape.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (3/34): Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers trades the simple, brutal effectiveness of the original for convoluted mysticism, with disastrously dull results.

(Yup. Never explain!! You never explain your unstoppable killing machine. There is no point. What is the point of saying Michael Myers is doing all of this because of some cult? Who care?! No one, that’s who. Always a huge mistake.)

Reviewer Highlight: Although the series has obviously run out of steam, the ending leaves the door open for Michael’s return. Really, it’s about time the masks were removed once and for and all. – Stephen Holden, New York Times

Poster – Curses! The Michael Myers Story

(This is as classic as they got in the original series. Pretty similar to the first film’s poster. I like the blue tone and overall framing. Font has never been Halloween’s strong suit. So I’ll give it a bit of a pass. B+.)

Tagline(s) – Terror Never Rests In Peace! (C)

(Neither bad nor good really. It’s short and sweet and gives the sense of the character, but really as bland as they come.)

Keyword(s) – cult

Top 10: Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood (2019), Midsommar (2019), Scooby-Doo (2002), Get Out (2017), Hereditary (2018), The Shining (1980), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Reservoir Dogs (1992), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Wrong Turn (2021)

Future BMT: 76.7 Paranormal Activity 4 (2012), 65.2 The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008), 61.3 Scooby-Doo (2002), 58.4 Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992), 56.6 An American Werewolf in Paris (1997), 55.1 Annabelle (2014), 51.3 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 45.9 Darkness (2002), 45.2 Children of the Corn (1984), 44.5 The Reaping (2007)

BMT: Friday the 13th (2009), Drive Angry (2011), The Circle (2017), Cobra (1986), Conan the Destroyer (1984), The Wicker Man (2006), Babylon A.D. (2008), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), Alone in the Dark (2005), Bless the Child (2000)

Matches: Midsommar (2019), Doctor Sleep (2019), The Master (2012), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Mandy (2018), Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011), The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020), Drive Angry (2011), Annabelle (2014), Colonia (2015), Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), Apostle (2018), The Endless (2017), Children of the Corn (1984), Cobra (1986), Holy Smoke (1999), V/H/S/94 (2021), Society (1989), Midnight Special (2016), How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017), Babylon A.D. (2008), Cult of Chucky (2017), Red State (2011), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), The Other Lamb (2019), Alone in the Dark (2005), Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1982), Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992), … (and many more)

(We’ve done a ton of 00s cult films for some reason. The Wicker Man, Babylon A.D., Bless the Child. My god! There were a lot of them. We have to start killing up Children of the Corn at some point.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Donald Pleasence is No. 1 billed in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and No. 2 billed in Halloween II, which also stars Jamie Lee Curtis (No. 1 billed) who is in Christmas with the Kranks (No. 2 billed) which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 2) + (1 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (6 + 1) = 15. If we were to watch How Do You Know, and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Paul Rudd’s film debut; it was filmed before Clueless (1995), his first big-screen appearance.

Most of the cast and crew disowned this movie. On the Halloween: 25 Years of Terror (2006) DVD, they stated that the studio, producers, and director interfered and argued to the point of ridiculousness which resulted in a very poorly directed and edited film.

The producers of the movie wanted Brian Andrews to reprise his role as Tommy Doyle from the original Halloween. However, Andrews did not have an agent, so they could not get in contact with him. He’s stated since that he regrets missing the opportunity.

It was Daniel Farrands who suggested that the film be called The Curse of Michael Myers due to the troubled production.

In early 1995, after filming and editing was completed, Halloween 6 was given a test screening which, as described by actress Marianne Hagan, “consisted primarily of 14-year-old boys.” During the Q&A afterward, one of them expressed great displeasure at the ending of the film, which entailed a Celtic ritual and the passing on of the Curse of Thorn to the Dr. Loomis character. This led to reshoots to craft a new ending, but there was a big problem: Donald Pleasence could not be present for them on account of having died in February. Not only was a new ending shot anyway, but over twenty minutes of other footage was changed as well, leaving gaping plot holes that rendered the film nearly incomprehensible.

Danielle Harris wanted to reclaim her role as Jamie, but turned it down when Dimension Films refused to pay her the $5,000 she wanted. Harris stated in an interview that when her agent learned that filmmakers were looking to cast an actress who was at least 18 or older to play Jamie in this film, she was only 17 but wanted to do the movie enough that she got herself legally emancipated from her parents at the suggestion of filmmakers so that she could work longer hours without having to go to school. Harris spent time and thousands of dollars on the legal process, but ultimately turned down the film due to her own dissatisfaction with her character’s story and Dimension’s refusal to pay her a salary that would have recovered her legal fees. Harris also stated that she eventually met and befriended J.C. Brandy, who took over the role of Jamie in the film and was treated poorly on the set because Harris turned down the role.

The original title of the movie was “Halloween 666: The Origin of Michael Myers”. There are even existing ad prints and early trailers with that title. Later, it became “Halloween 6” and finally “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers”.

For years after the theatrical release of this film, the only way to watch the Producer’s Cut was by bootleg copies which had poor video and audio quality rendering it nearly unwatchable, the footage managed to survive being destroyed by being released illegally. On September 23rd, 2014, Shout Factory released the original Producer’s Cut on Blu Ray, with a restored picture from the original negative which is available in the Halloween Complete Collection for the first time. It was finally given an individual release by Miramax films on September 2015 though without the bonus features from the collection.

Many of the crew have gone on the record to state that director Joe Chappelle told them from the outset that he didn’t like the Halloween films, and was only involved in this project because it got him a three-picture deal with Miramax. His next two films after this were both Miramax releases.

Daniel Farrands was a longtime fan of the series. He had compiled a notebook filled with research on the series, including a timeline, bios for every character, a “family tree” of the Myers and Strode families, and research on the runic symbol of Thorn that had appeared in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989).

Daniel Farrands stated in an interview that Joe Chappelle used little to no ideas from his script. He had completely re-written the entire third act which included a completely (confusing) different ending. Daniel’s original script dealt more with the cult and rune of Thorn.

Kevin Williamson’s initial treatment for part 7 originally acknowledged the events in 4, 5 and 6, but it was dropped to avoid confusing and complicating things for viewers.

This first Halloween movie where the sheriff of Haddonfield is not a main character in the movie.

Other than this film, the only film in the series that displayed the Thorn tattoo on Michael’s wrist was Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. It has not been used in any subsequent films.

After We Fell Recap

Jamie

After is back, Jack! And boy are these jokesters in love. Tessa and Hardin are totally into each other. But now Tessa is moving to Seattle and Hardin is super jelly all the time. Add to the mix some more of their tumultuous personal lives and things are pretty rough. Can they stay super steamy in love with each other before it’s too late? Find out in… After We Fell.

How?! Tessa and Hardin are sticking by each other even though Hardin is an alcoholic and they basically don’t talk to each other. They just f-f-f-f-french all night. Tessa is even keeping secret that she is transferring to Seattle in order to stay in school while taking the job at the Big Publishing House (BPH). When Hardin finds out he’s like “but I won’t have any friends,” and he’s right, he won’t. He thought they were heading off to London, but she’s like whatever, I’m going to Seattle. In the meanwhile her estranged alcoholic father comes and stays with them and strikes up a friendship with Hardin. Before moving to Seattle, Tessa and Hardin go to his Dad’s lake house and it’s real sexy until it’s not sexy at all and they get in a big ol’ fight, but everyone knows they are meant for each other. Tessa moves to Seattle and is a real saddo and Hardin finds a journal she left behind that explains to him just how much of a dick he was. Communication! He spends time bettering himself by making friends and getting into boxing and helping out her dad. Hardin comes and apologizes for all the pain he caused her, but for some reason he can’t get over a nightmare he had of Tessa cheating on him. They talk and have steamy sex and he like “you’re right, dreams aren’t real.” He decides to take her to his Mom’s wedding (which he didn’t even want to go to) and while there finds Tessa’s boss, Vance, totally f-f-f-f-frenching his mom (probably shouldn’t have went). After Hardin confronts his Mom, Vance decides the best course of action is to reveal that he’s actually Hardin’s daddio because that’ll probably help a bunch. Hardin and Tessa kiss because they only have each other and their love. THE END.

Why?! Love.

Who?! In what will likely be debated for centuries to come, there is a Jeff Bezos lookalike/cameo in this film that has all the bad movie twins abuzz. Patrick wondered how they got Bezos to even appear. I scoffed at the idea that that was Bezos and in fact just assumed they got a random bald man to get people to ask the question “wait, is that Jeff Bezos?” Point in my favor: why would Bezos be in this film? Point in Patrick’s favor: set in Seattle, so maybe? Wrong, filmed in Bulgaria. Conclusion: no way that was Jeff Bezos.

What?! Patrick was reminiscing about his sweet Sainsbury’s that he’s already mentioned. I will concur that it is fun when a product placement isn’t really seen, but is such a staple of a location that the mere mention is enough to transport the viewer from Bulgaria to London. Movie magic. Really the most prominent product placement is for safe sex. Good on Tessa and Hardin practicing it in a variety of ways throughout the film: condom, morning after pill, birth control. 

Where?! Much like all romantic films of this era, this film takes place in Washington state. It’s basically the triad of modern romance: Bad Boys, Publishing, and Washington State. Not totally sure how publishing even got in there since this all seems to stem from Twilight where Bella wanted to be a [checks notes] wife of a vampire when she grew up… or I guess never grew up or whatever. Got a dash of London in there. Pretty good. B+.

When?! It appears to take place mostly in the Spring because Hardin eventually attempts to transfer to be closer to Tessa but is told he can’t do it because he is too close to graduating. This is more certain with the context of the previous entry in the series, which took place around Xmas and the New Years, so it would seem Tessa’s transfer does occur after holiday break and most of the events of this film is in that second semester. C

I love franchises! It’s kinda my thing now. I’m the franchise guy who loves franchises. I want Tom Cruise to come back and make another Mummy (have I mentioned that before?). And so when we saw that the After franchise keeps on keeping on I was thrilled. The first one was kinda dumb, but any high school or college rom com/dram has a kernel of fun. The shared experience of youth, etc. etc. And then the second one was surprisingly good. Like all about Hardin being tragic and an alcoholic and everyone (rightfully) telling Tessa that it probably won’t work out and she’s going to be hurt and yet they try to make it work like so many people do. It felt real. After We Fell reverted so fast to the immaturity of the first one that it went all the way past it and became an actually bad movie. Hardin and Tessa don’t communicate and instead have what is best described as fake steamy sex in a series of places that no one actually has sex. A boxing gym, a hot tub, and even using ice cubes as an accoutrement. It was all so cartoonish. He’s getting super jelly all the time in over the top ways, while she gets offended when Hardin rightfully says that it’s going to be hard for him to move to Seattle where he doesn’t know anyone and would only have her and be sad. And instead of working that out he’s eventually like “You’re right, I should move to Seattle and you’ll be my entire life.” Gah! It’s a frustrating film and I don’t really see how the fourth isn’t going to be just as frustrating… oh you didn’t know there is going to be a fourth? There is. And apparently a fifth and a prequel. Nevermind! I’m back in! Franchises! As for Woman in the Window, I’ll keep it brief. I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as it was made out to be. Sure it’s tedious and the plot is well worn territory, but the same kind of goes for the book. I enjoyed the book, but it didn’t blow my socks off and I’m not surprised a straight adaptation didn’t surpass it in quality. The movie did have some interesting directorial choices and some good acting, even in the extreme. I guess Patrick is the better judge since he didn’t read the book. I think that may have colored the reviews in some ways. Patrick?

Patrick

Hello everyone! We got drama! We got bad boys! We got bad boys punching four or five people in the face and being like “I’m so broken, fix me”! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – You better believe this qualifies … barely. It basically didn’t. It was, in reality, released to a few hundred theaters a few months ago. But for one day only it was expanded to 1200 theaters. This is probably some contractual arrangement, but that’s all you need. You just need a maximum of 600+ theaters and more than five reviews on Rotten Tomatoes with <40% average. So here we go again. What were my expectations? Uh … bad sex scenes, bad boys punching people, and me remembering why romdrams aimed squarely for that Wattpad fanfic audience are excellently weird bad movies.

The Good – I can’t really explain it, but I really like the main actress in these films. There is just something about her in that why-isn’t-this-a-CW-show kind of way. And I’m going to be honest, that is the only actually good thing about the films. I enjoy Hardin punching multiple people, which is absurd, but it is in no way a good thing, just highly amusing. Best Bit: Langford and it isn’t even close really.

The Bad – This might be the one that jumps the shark for the series. Nothing happens in this film. They don’t really trust each other, but that was already established. The new bit is that she kind of moves to Seattle. They are both still fabulously wealthy (or inexplicably know multiple people who are fabulously wealthy). And I have to say it, this has two of the grossest sex scenes I’ve ever seen put to film. Having sex in your family’s hot tub? Gross. Having sex (as a house guest) in the home gym? Double gross. Just disgusting. Fatal Flaw: Not only are the sex scenes boring, they are also, routinely, disgusting.

The BMT – Why can’t I quit you weird romdrams? They are my shame. I have to watch all of these now. Wattpad is my new favourite production company. But … this isn’t a very good BMT film. This ain’t no Fifty Shades. This wishes it was that. This isn’t even After. I expect better. So next time, when I definitely watch the sequel next year, I expect more After. I’ll be waiting. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, I got multiple punches by a bonafide bad boy. That is enough to sustain me, but I expect more next time from you After. Bring me that drama.

Roast-radamus – Right at the last second a great Product Placement (What?) for Sainsbury’s while they are in London. And a decent Setting as a Character (Where?) for Seattle I think, complete with either Jeff Bezos or a Jeff Bezos lookalike at a party for Vance Publishing, they must be a big deal. This is tough … like do I love this film? Do I hate it? It feels like it is a Bad film because it is, in reality, boring with far too little drama to make up for the thinnest of all possible plots.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – This is tough since there is already a sequel and prequel in the works … I think our only option is a BMT Crossover Episode. And this is going to be a special one. I think we need to assemble the bad boy Avengers. Landon Carter from A Walk to Remember, David Elliot from Endless Love, and Kelley Morse from Here on Earth show up just as Tessa and Hardin land from England. “Hardin, I think we’re going to need your help.” They are part of an elite teen romance punching crew, and you know they are bad boys with hearts of gold. They need to infiltrate a fraternity at the University of Washington, and they need Hardin’s experience with both fraternities and punching. He broods a bunch and secretly reads poetry but also drinks a bunch and the frat bros are like “this guy is deep, we need him in the frat.” And he’s in! In the end they find out the frat is a front for a secret society, and what are they hiding in the basement? None other than Luke McNamara, the Nick Fury of H.O.G. (Hearts of Gold). After springing him he calls on The Skulls to destroy the frat, and slips Hardin a note. “I’m going to call on you again Hardin … you have one of the most powerful hearts of gold I’ve ever seen.” Bad Boys Assemble: Hearts of Gold.

Patrick’s IMDb Trivia Section – A new section for those weeks where I haven’t schooled myself in anything! If you’ve ever read IMDb’s trivia section you’ll know that it can get a little weird. He’s my entry for After We Fell. Trivia: When in London Hardin’s mother suggests he go to Sainsbury’s to get something to eat. Sainsbury’s is one of the most popular grocery stores in the United Kingdom with over 1400 locations in all four countries. Other possible places for Hardin to go would be Tesco, which has over 4000 locations, M&S and Whole Foods (given that they are in London). Hardin doesn’t want to cook, so Iceland would be a poor choice as they specialize in frozen foods. God, I love it. I love it so much I’m going to throw in a bonus Goof: When talking with Vance in the hotel bar at the end of the film Vance can clearly be seen drinking a regular US pint of beer. In England you would either have a larger (~568ml) imperial pint, or a smaller half pint. Took me right out of the film.

Bring a Friend Analysis – For the friend this week we watched Woman in the Window. This was a two sided coin for me. On the one hand, I found the film very difficult to get through. It just felt very long and it all felt like very well-worn territory from much better films. On the other hand, as a person who watched Ice Road on a whim, I do like cheesy thrillers. And by the time they do finally get to the big reveal near the end I was pretty interested in seeing the conclusion to the story. One major issue though … I knew what was going to happen literally five minutes into the film. The instant the kid showed up I was like “he’s the killer and her family is dead.” He hadn’t even killed anyone yet! Well, I guess he had in Boston, but I didn’t know that. So I would say it is a decent enough thriller, beautifully shot, with great set design, and some great performances. If you don’t mind it being extremely rote and easy to predict if you’ve seen any thrillers in your life, then I think it is worth a watch B-.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

After We Fell Quiz

Oh man, so here’s the thing. I was in a basic vanilla relationship with this bad boy, and he was so totally bad (but secretly good, you know?). Then he accidentally bopped me on the head during a bar fight (so sexy) and now I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in After We Fell?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Where is Tessa going which she failed to mention to Hardin? Why? And where did Hardin want to go instead?

2) What book does Tessa pick up while packing that results in a pretty emotional montage?

3) Why does Tess get all mad at Hardin about the job in Seattle?

4) When Tessa goes to Seattle where does she stay?

5) Tess’s father breaks into Hardin’s house. Why? What does Hardin give him?

Bonus Question: In the mid-credits scene we see Hardin intensely boxing when he is approached by a mysterious person. Who?

Answers

After We Fell Preview

It was all so hard to comprehend. Could it be that they could be scapegoated as the bad guys in an effort to continue the never ending cycle of BMT? That someday they’d be laughing it up in their villa in Stockholm or Athens or Mozambique or wherever and suddenly a couple of new, rad Bad Movie Twins would twin chop them down to take their place? “It’s… impossible!” Jamie screams again in anguish, but he and Patrick also know that there was truth there. Things had gotten so… complicated. Deep down they could feel that Lou Cash was right. They solemnly nod their heads and quickly jot down a note for Kyle and Rachel. “Give this to them when the time is right,” Patrick explains and Lou Cash says he will. Jamie and Patrick predator high five in case it’s the last time they’ll ever get a chance and climb into the Deconvoluting Machine. As it powers on, things warp and change around them. One second they are children and the next old men. Their lives and all their many future lives flash before their eyes. Fighting Scott Bakula, winning the 2033 Nobel Peace Prize, working Predator Patrol, exploring Mars, and walking the sands of the wastelands of the BMTverse. Tears stream down their faces as they realize the knife’s edge they had been walking, the horror of where they were heading and yet always keeping at bay the chaos that is the ultimate product of the power of the Dongle. The feeling was that of riding a rocket into space, their bodies pushed against their seats to the point of near unconsciousness. And just when it felt like they would succumb to the pressure… they fell. That’s right! We were very happy to see that the After franchise continued this year with the third in the series After We Fell. It’s the story of a love and honestly I remember kinda liking the second entry. Somehow it managed a very brief wide release in theaters so we thought it would be fun to pair it up with Woman in the Window as Bring a Friend. That film was meant to be a wide release film, but ultimately after a number of reshoots it was released to Netflix instead. Let’s go!

After We Fell (2021) – BMeTric: 51.9; Notability: 16

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.8%; Notability: top 11.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0%; Higher BMeT: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Thunder Force, Home Sweet Home Alone, He’s All That, Cosmic Sin, Deadly Illusions, Music, Awake, The Misfits, Spiral, The Unholy, Tom and Jerry; Higher Notability: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Tom and Jerry, Music, Chaos Walking, Infinite, The Addams Family 2, Home Sweet Home Alone, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Red Notice, Dear Evan Hansen, Snake Eyes, Sweet Girl, Cherry, The Starling, Thunder Force, The Unforgivable, Reminiscence, The Birthday Cake, The Woman in the Window, Voyagers, and 9 more; Notes: Yeeeeeeeeeeah. The BMeTric is becoming slightly more important from a bad movie perspective as so many films don’t qualify, but are major releases. Impressive 0%, and impressive this actually did get released (for one day) at over 600 theaters.

AV Club – D –  For those keeping track at home, we’re now three installments deep into a franchise that started as One Direction fan fiction before morphing into a sort of Fifty Shades Of Grey for teenagers. … The problem is that most of After We Fell is too boring to even lend itself to mockery. The movie comes close to the right lack of self-awareness in a scene where Hardin watches in increasing sexual fervor as Tessa does some basic white girl hip-swaying at an office party. But you’ve got to sit through an awful lot of stilted scene work to get there.

(Boring isn’t good. But jokes on them, I love this kind of garbage and I’m also in too deep. I’ve seen the other two and I would watch a season of After webisodes if they were served to me in a convenient manner. I mean, I wouldn’t pay for them, but I would secretly watch them and then tell my wife about them for an hour one night when I got drunk. That would happen.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYdNN6C9hfI/

(Man that seems dramatic. Glad to see Hardin still punching people. Such a bad boy. So broken. So sexy.)

DirectorsCastille Landon – ( Known For: Fear of Rain; BMT: After We Fell; Notes: She appears to be a major director for the new Wattpad film studio. She is slated to direct Perfect Addiction, about a boxing trainer who trains her ex-boyfriend’s foe after she learns her ex cheated on her. She is also directing the next two After sequels and the prequel.)

WritersAnna Todd – ( Known For: After We Collided; BMT: After We Fell; After; Notes: The writer of the book which was originally One Direction fanfiction on Wattpad which makes sense that it is part of Wattpad Productions. Is Wattpad Productions the house that After built? Probably.)

Sharon Soboil – ( BMT: After We Fell; Notes: Also wrote the sequel. Has another film in production called Of Corset’s Mine.)

ActorsJosephine Langford – ( Known For: After We Collided; Moxie; Future BMT: Wish Upon; BMT: After We Fell; After; Notes: Australian, her sister is also an actress and was the star of 13 Reasons Why. Is in the next film, but doesn’t seem to be contracted for the other two (and I don’t know if her character is necessarily in those).)

Hero Fiennes Tiffin – ( Known For: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; After We Collided; The Silencing; Private Peaceful; Bigga Than Ben; BMT: After We Fell; After; Notes: Yup, he’s the nephew of Ralph Fiennes. He is also not contracted for the other two films, so I assume it follows a different After Cinematic Universe story of some kind. He’s slated for a few films which sound like direct-to-Netflix fare.)

Louise Lombard – ( Known For: After We Collided; Hidalgo; Tale of the Mummy; My Kingdom; Lichnyy nomer; BMT: After We Fell; Notes: Ah, she plays Hardin’s mother. I’m pretty surprised she is a bit part of this one. She was a British star to some degree it looks like, starring in The House of Eliott.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $2,170,750 (Worldwide: $21,782,642)

(That is a lot more money than I expected. I think Wattpad Productions will be okay …)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/11)

(Ooooo I get to make a consensus: A boring barely-movie with boring sex. Uh-oh … that seems bad.)

Reviewer Highlight: Should come with a warning to viewers: contains extremely boring sex. – Cath Clarke, Guardian

Poster – After We Smelled

(I was hoping they would return to the form of the first film and give us an ultra sexy poster. But alas, just a poster smeared with Vaseline. Font is the only thing I’m digging and doesn’t nearly approach the hilarity of this alternate poster for the second film.)

Tagline – None.

(F obviously. And no, I don’t consider ‘Based on the Best-Selling Worldwide Phenomenon’ a tagline cause that would still be an F.)

Keyword(s) – based-on-young-adult-novel

Top 10: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), The Hunger Games (2012), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), After We Fell (2021)

Future BMT: 43.9 Allegiant (2016), 38.0 Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009), 37.3 Chaos Walking (2021), 37.1 The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013), 33.8 How to Deal (2003), 30.4 Mortal Engines (2018), 27.7 The Divergent Series: Insurgent (2015), 14.5 If I Stay (2014)

BMT: After We Fell (2021), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), I Am Number Four (2011), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), The Host (2013), The 5th Wave (2016), Vampire Academy (2014), The Darkest Minds (2018), Beastly (2011)

Matches: None

(The no matches would be expected haha. God there are so many still to do. How to Deal seems exciting. The plot is awesome, just nothing prior to 2000 (was there no designation or something?). And the genre died, although I would guess that it has just moved to streaming in general. You will be sorely missed, but maybe Wattpad can save it! I hope so, these films are hilarious.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 21) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Stephen Moyer is No. 7 billed in After We Fell and No. 10 billed in 88 Minutes, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (7 + 10) + (3 + 1) = 21. If we were to watch The Replacement Killers we can get the HoE Number down to 17.

Notes – Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, After We Fell (2021) was shot back to back with the final film After Ever Happy (2022) in Sofia, (Bulgaria) as opposed to Atlanta, Georgia (USA) where the first 2 movies were filmed. Sofia was chosen due to low cases and was considered Covid safe at the time.

Stephen Moyer replaces Charlie Weber as Christian Vance. Mira Sorvino replaces Selma Blair as Carol Young. Chance Perdono replaces Shane Paul McGhie as Landon. Arielle Kebbel replaces Candace King as Kimberley. (This might get confusing)

Hard to Kill Recap

Jamie

Mason Storm is… hard to kill. That’s right! After an attempt on his life kills his wife and leaves him in a coma, things are looking bleak for Mason. But seven years later he’s awake and ready to take out the scumbags that are trying to finish the job. Can he get the baddies (and maybe even reconnect with his son) before it’s too late? Find out in… Hard to Kill.

How?! Mason Storm is a police officer extraordinaire (and Academy Awards aficionado) hot on the trail of a corrupt bigwig looking to use the mob to take out a political opponent. After fleeing with evidence of the plot, Mason is ambushed at home. His wife is killed, his son flees into the night, and Mason is left in a coma. Knowing that he’s a target, a friend of Storm’s help fake his death and keep him safe at the obviously not fake LA Coma Center. Seven Oscar ceremonies later and Mason awakens to a changed world… mostly changed by the fact that a hot nurse is now super into him. Nice. The nurse, Andy, tries to contact Mason’s friend but inadvertently alerts a group of corrupt cops that Mason is alive and awake. They storm the hospital, but even in his weakened state Mason is able to escape with the help of Andy. She takes him to a friend’s house where he recuperates through martial arts, acupuncture, meditation and sweet sweet lovemaking with Andy (that also makes him sad, so he goes to pray at his wife’s grave… like for real). One day Mason recognizes the voice of big time Senator Trent as the voice of the corrupt bigwig from seven years ago. Mind like a steel trap! Realizing that this goes extremely high up, Mason recruits his friend to get his long lost son while he gets the evidence needed to put away Trent. They are supposed to meet at the train station, but things start to get crazy as Trent’s forces close in. Mason is snapping necks and taking no names, eventually arriving at Trent’s mansion where he dispatches a whole mess of people before confronting Trent. As the police stream in it becomes clear that Mason already sent them the evidence against the Senator and he’s arrested. Mason wins again! THE END

Why?! Mason Storm just wants justice… and his family to be safe… and to totally get with Andy. But mostly justice. Senator Trent wants power by any means necessary. At the beginning of the film he’s like some lowly city council member who needs someone dead to move on up in the world. So with seven years having passed and Trent becoming a Senator you’d think he’s got at least four or five assassinations under his belt when Mason wakes up.

Who?! We got a Senator… too bad he wasn’t VP Trent by the end. They even show a newspaper where he’s touted as VP for 1992. Gah! Just hold off for a second Seagal! Really I have to give a shout to the local LA newscaster Jerry Dunphy who legitimately plays a role in the plot of the film. This is his second BMT film after Beverly Hills Cop III.

What?! There is a fair amount of Miller High Life in the film. Like sodas, it’s always fun to find what brand a film represents. Patrick also noted a crazy thing where there is just a bunch of spearmint gum in a character’s briefcase. It’s things like that where I wish every movie had a ten part podcast or was required by law to have several DVD commentaries made… we need to really drill down into why the gum was in the briefcase.

Where?! Good LA picture, particularly since we get the legendary intertitle telling us that Seagal has spent seven years in the “LA Coma Center.” That… that’s not a thing. There is no such thing as a coma center and again… I want to know if everyone involved knows how crazy that is. Bring on the ten part podcast! B+.

When?! While the LA Coma Center is legendary, the 1983 Academy Awards setting for the beginning of the film is off the charts. Pretty easily my favorite setting I can remember and I’m only sad they didn’t have him later watch a bunch of movies during his recovery and then express dismay when Dances With Wolves wins Best Picture. A++++++

This is a pretty borderline BMT film in the end, but we felt like it was appropriate to start from the beginning with his first BMT qualifying film. Boy, we weren’t disappointed. Even his first, better regarded film, Above the Law is totally crazy and he continues his descent into martial arts mayhem with this entry. This starts out like a normal film (minus a truly hilarious setting centered around the 1983 Academy Awards) but then we wake up in a coma center (what?) to a totally changed world ourselves. That’s because Seagal is back, Jack, and he’s snapping necks left and right. It’s a pretty entertaining film in the end as long as you’re just looking for a whole mess of action and some pretty dumb stuff. Oh and I’m pretty sure the entire sequence where Mason has sex with Andy and then sadly visits his wife’s grave to pray is spoofed in MacGruber. You gotta be doing something right if you’re what a spoof film is spoofing. As for The Patriot… wow. I mean… that is basically not a movie. On occasion this happens. We will watch something so terrible that it is simply not a film. The Patriot is pretty much not a film. Sure there is an outbreak of a deadly flu and they ultimately solve it with flower power (literally), but most of the film is spent meandering around with Seagal specifically not fighting people. It’s almost like it was in his contract that they couldn’t have him do anything cool or interesting the whole time. It feels like you are peering into Seagal’s mind and it doesn’t feel good. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We’ve got Seagal! We got ponytails! We’ve got seven year comas! He’s Hard. To. Kill. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Hard to Kill baby! We’re finally on our way to watching all of Seagal’s 90s releases, and this week we hammered out three of them. In no way is that depressing. I definitely didn’t have a ton of better things to do this week … anyways, funny that Seagal was a cop in his first three films. What were my expectations? I just hoped Seagal actually did some sweet Aikido in his early films. It is a bit sad later on that he mostly shoots people.

The Good – Aikido babyyyyyy! He was genuinely good at it. And he also showed off a bit of how it worked. Early on he basically has to goad the guy we just saw in Wishmaster II into attacking him so he could Aikido him. Yeah, that is basically how it works, using your opponent’s momentum and body weight against them. At least that is a part of it. And a halfway decent storyline as well. The film (and his first film as well) are surprisingly good, despite Seagal not being a particularly good actor. Best Bit: AIKIDO.

The Bad – It is juuuuuuuuust a tad self-indulgent. Having your wife say “Steven Seagal has a giant penis” directly into the camera is just a whole other level of writing a film for yourself. Then he goes to someone else’s house and fucks up all of their trees and makes their guest bedroom into a Buddhist temple? And don’t get me started on how much he was exercising in Los Angeles with a blazing fire burning. Everything Seagal-y in the film is a little bit off, although fun to some degree. Oh, and the first two Seagal films he runs on screen and it is Leelee Sobieski level perfect. He cannot run. Fatal Flaw: Steven Seagal just cannot run, there is no way he was a track star like they suggested in the film. Took me right out of it.

The BMT – The first two Seagal films (and probably all of them up through Under Siege) are quite good. I understand why the critics were skeptical of the new brand of action hero, which tended to take rote storylines and insert whomever was available at the time, but even being not very good this was at least fun on a “police procedural two-parter from 1993” level. Did it meet my expectations? Yes. I finally managed to watch a Seagal film where he did Aikido, looked fit, and it wasn’t all played as a comedy (I’m looking at you Under Siege with your random Playboy Playmate running around cracking jokes).

Roast-radamus – I have to give the Product Placement (What?) to Spearmint Gum which you can see multiple packs of in a briefcase at one point. Why? Who knows, he never chews on the gum, he never offers it to someone. Presumably it was a character choice, like he was planning on quitting smoking. Solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for Los Angeles, and specifically you seem them venture out to Malibu and Venice Beach among other locales. Closest to Good for sure.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – There has never been a movie that was better suited for a BMT Crossover Episode than this. Sasha Petrosevich has found himself outnumbered and outgunned. Only a person as good as him at Aikido could get him out of this jam. But surely in this universe, such a person couldn’t exist! “Not in this universe,” Sasha says. Taking his infinity gauntlet he opens a portal to an alternate universe and pulls out Mason Storm, who (as luck would have it) is also half past dead. They aren’t twins, but they can kick some ass. Aikido-ing around like whirling dervishes they dispatch the bad guys and save their terrified families. “Hey brother, you can come to my universe anytime.” Once back in the world of Hard to Kill Mason Storm starts his own agency, Hard Past Dead. “That’s a portmanteau.” Mason Storm says with a smirk. Oooooooooh boy, the ladies love cool Mason. These crossover episodes are starting to really get deconstructed. Very dadaist.

Friend or Fiend – We went for a curious one, a Seagal film that was released straight-to-video, but which was released prior to his last film to be released theatrically, The Patriot (1998) (yeah not the Mel Gibson one). The film is about Seagal (a Montana rancher and *checks notes* leading military doctor for infectious diseases?) as he tries to find the cure for a military-developed virus when it is intentionally released by an eeeeeevil militia leader. Yep … that’s the storyline. And guess what the cure is that they take literally forever trying to develop? Flowers. Just some of the Eastern / Native American medicine that these idiot doctors would never think of. But Seagal does, and then the military drops flowers on the town and everyone is saved (I’m not joking, that’s the conclusion to the film, here’s some flowers, it is the best anti-viral in the world?). The film is a joke. It is so so weird. And in a way that is interesting and pretty funny, but those moments are few and far between. And the Eastern medicine is better than Western medicine garbage, and also the characters being mealy mouthed about condemning the violent ideology of the militia left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m putting this squarely in the Fiend territory.

You Just Got Schooled – Uh oh, turns out that the first ever Seagal film (which was just prior to Hard to Kill) was (vaguely) good! That’s right, I watched Above the Law (that’s three Seagal films this week, may God have mercy on my soul). The film is fun, as expected. Seagal is looking fit, and he’s hitting people hard and they are falling hard and you can immediately understand why he was such a magnetic character/actor at the time. The first hour of the film operates mainly as a normal buddy cop film, except the one of the buddies is Steven Seagal and all of the weird whispering baggage that entails. The last thirty minutes of the film? Pure comedy. Actually one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen. Seagal can’t run in this film either, and everything devolved into pure lunacy right when he sends his wife away to protect his family from his poor decision making skills. I think if you watch Above the Law, Hard to Kill, Under Siege, and Fire Down Below you’ll know exactly what Seagal was bringing to the table in the 90s. B+. Enjoyed watching it despite it ultimately being very very Seagal at the end.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Hard to Kill Quiz

Oh man, so I just woke up from a coma and I need to take down the guy who put me into it … one second, I need to go through years of physical therapy to heal my atrophied body. Also I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Hard to Kill?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film Seagal catches a criminal conspiring with a city assemblyman to commit a crime. What crime were they planning on committing? And why didn’t Seagal get them arrested?

2) How long was Seagal in a coma? And where does he hide out while getting into shape?

3) How did Seagal’s old buddy O’Malley find him in the end?

4) How was Seagal’s hideout discovered?

5) Before their plans were waylaid, what was the plan for Seagal and his son to get away?

Bonus Question: How long does Mason and Andy’s relationship last after the events of the film?

Answers