Hellraiser: Bloodline Recap

Jamie

Pinhead is back, Jack! And boy howdy does he want to take over the world. How? By forcing John Merchant, the extra special descendent of the original creator of the puzzle box/portal to “Hell,” to build a giant permanent one. Can John stop the horrors before it’s too late? Find out in… Hellraiser IV: Bloodline.

How?! We open in 2127 on a space station… … *checks notes* yeah, I guess… I guess this is Hellraiser now. Cool, cool, cool. A mad scientist named Phillip Merchant has worked tirelessly to destroy Pinhead once and for all but just as he opens the portal to the Hellraiser dimension he is captured by some space police (all rights reserved). He explains that far in the past (1796 to be exact) his ancestor Paul L’Merchant was commissioned to create a puzzle box. Upon delivering his art piece an eeeeeevil Duke uses it to open a portal to “Hell” and use black magic to summon a demon named Angelique. Him and his protege, Jacques, have a grand old time experiencing the forbidden pleasures of the alternate dimension until our boy Phil attempts to steal back the puzzle box and modify it so as to close it forever. Unfortunately the demon kills him and curses his bloodline for all eternity. You’d think that the demon would go on to wreak havoc upon the world at this point but she is controlled by Jacques who just wants her for his own hedonistic pleasures and to live forever (I think, it’s hard to follow). Anyway, they basically bang until 1996 (that’s a lot of banging) when she’s all like “yo, I rediscovered that curses bloodline in John Merchant and I really want to use him to reopen the portal” but Jacques is like “but can’t we just bang?” and Angelique is like no and kills him and heads to NYC. There she finds the building shown at the end of the third Hellraiser and frees the puzzle box from its foundations. She opens the portal and frees Pinhead and begins work on using her sexy demon wiles to trick John into using the building as an even bigger puzzle box and opening a permanent portal to “Hell.” Pinhead tires of this and decides to take John’s family hostage instead. They all run around for a while and there is a cenobite dog and some cenobite twins and shit. Eventually they get him to activate the building, but he does some fancy hacking on the computer like a computer whiz and reverses the portal to send them back to “Hell.” Flash back to space and the space police (all rights reserved) are shook. Pinhead starts killing them and so they let Paul go so he can try to stop him. He again uses some fancy computer work to trick Pinhead with a hologram and then zooms away on a spaceship as the space station turns into a puzzle box and explodes for some reason and this apparently kills Pinhead (though I’m not sure why you would necessarily believe that). THE END.  

Why?! Hoo boy. Uh… the demons are still demons but this time you control them if you summon them (unless you get in the way of Hell’s plan). When Angelique finally tires of banging Jacques after 200 years she is freed and then only wants one thing: to permanently connect Earth and “Hell.” Everyone else in this film is kind of useless and don’t really know what they are doing most of the time. Only Paul has the right idea with his super genius space station bomb that kills pinhead for some reason… It’s a dumb film.

Who?! Oh boy! It’s one of our favorite. A rare treat where we get a new Twin Film that we weren’t expecting. That’s because in Hellraiser: Bloodline there are a couple of twin security guards who stumble upon Pinhead and Angelique. They are promptly turned into twin Cenobites and… basically disappear from the film. Underutilized talent! Come on! Use those twin cenobites or lose those twin cenobites. Fun nonetheless.

What?! Have to talk about the occasional MacGuffin, the Lament Configuration. It’s a puzzle box that is the key to unlocking “Hell” and all its pain. In the first film it is simply that, but as the films go on it gains more and more power. In the third it is what keeps Pinhead locked away in “Hell” and thus what he most wants to destroy. In the fourth it could forever connect Earth and “Hell,” but also (if configured correctly) is the key to destroying Pinhead forever. I’m sure it gets even weirder and crazier in the later straight-to-DVD entries, but scientists contend we may never know the plots of those films.

Where?! I believe the first two films took place in an undisclosed location. Filmed in the UK and certainly looked like it. In the third, though, they veer over to the Big Apple and stick around there for the fourth one. There is a flashback scene in France and a future scene in Space, but the primary focus is in NYC and its nice cityscapes. B.

When?! We start in 2127 and jump back to 1796 and then forward two hundred years to 1996 before finishing back in 2127. While these are no more specific than years, some bonus points for the intertitles informing us of that information and specific years in the far past and far future. It’s pretty amazing and I love it. A-.

There is nothing like trying to write a recap for a film to help you realize just how much nonsense it is. This film makes no sense. It’s almost like they made a film, didn’t like it, reshot a huge amount, then tried to cobble it together into a film and failed miserably. Oh wait, that’s exactly what happened. It hurt my brain trying to meander through the plot and the best things in it (Twin cenobites!) are thrown out immediately and barely play a role at all. What a tragic mistake. Put another notch in the belt you use to keep track of all the horror films that haven’t gotten better by taking it to space: Leprechaun, Friday the 13th, James Bond, and now this. What’s that? James Bond isn’t a horror franchise? News to me, cause he slayed the ladies. Boom. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You ever watch a movie and are like “wow, that was cool, I want some more.” And then the creators just shove dog poo in your face continuously for multiple sequels? Well I have with Hellraiser. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I had seen Hellraiser before a while back and looooooooved it. I’m not a huge fan of gory horror, but this had cool practical effects, an interesting story, and enough mystery to make the cenobites and living dead feel like something very rare and interesting as far as horror went. Like with the Friday the 13th series, I was excited to actually tackle a franchise in full.

The Good – Uh, with the fourth one? As a matter of fact with the second or third as well? Not much. The second brought back all of the main players, and did attempt to expand on the lore which, at first was interesting. Then woof. The third and fourth really don’t do much, although the woman who played Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space 9 was the main character in the third which was cool. And that one had a fun journalist team-up with a street rat thing going for it. That’s it, the fourth is trash.

The Bad – The lore. They expand upon it in an interesting way in the second one for a short bit, and then things go off the rails. It’s actually hell now, there are weird circuses, pinhead is the only cenobite now, he makes new cenobites, he was good, now he’s bad, now he wants to bring hell to earth, now he’s dead. The entire problem with most horror franchises is they try and expand on the lore too much. Hellraiser takes that to 1000% and then hires a bunch of television actors, and throws blood and guts everywhere as if that is what I want. It isn’t. I hated this series after the first, it was a travesty.

You Just Got Schooled – Fun fact, I read the short story that became the first film, Hellbound Heart. It was great. Being able to expand a bit more about where our antagonist Frank ends up, and lending a bit more mystery to the cenobites (who are almost definitely non-human interdimensional beings of some kind). And in the end it makes a ton of sense that the first film does the adaptation so well. The underlying lore established in the short story is concise and interesting without delving too deeply into the details. Perfecto. I would grade the initial adaptation as an A, and then all subsequent adaptations as F’s. It is inexcusable to make the cenobites transformed humans residing in hell. It doesn’t even need an explanation! They can just be cenobites!

The BMT – A huge success naturally. I love expanding my sub-genre experiences, especially with horror. And this franchise is basically the entirety of a niche supernatural gory horror genre. I don’t like gore, although when done practically it was quite spooky. And I think this is just an added example of one of my film hot takes: horror lore is the worst and should never be expanded. Nothing ruins a franchise quite like over-explanitis.

Welcome to Earf – I don’t believe we’ve seen any of the main players in other BMT players, so, to IMDb I go! Ah yes, Adam Scott is inexplicable in this film, which we have seen in at least one other BMT film, Torque starring Ice Cube, who was in Ghosts of Mars with Jason Statham, who was in Expendables 3 with Sylvester Stallone, who was in Zookeeper with Adam Sandler, who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – The film is too small to make the main lists, but I knew it was going to be on a worst horror of the 90s list. And it makes perfect sense. A nail in the coffin for a signature 80s horror franchise. And yeah … the 90s was horrible for horror.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Hellraiser: Bloodline Preview

Patrick and Jamie start their police careers on Predator patrol. What a joke, right? “If I wanted to chase after aliums I would have joined the Alium Brigade” Jamie says resulting in a chuckle from Patrick. Just then a Predator ninja flips from the shadows and rips a civilian in half. “Jesus Christ!” yells Patrick and they are on the chase. Using their knowledge of the city and their extraordinary endurance, they just barely keep up with the greatest predator the universe has seen. Suddenly the Predator finds itself cornered and Patrick and Jamie pull out their guns. “Freeze, dirtbag,” Jamie says, but as they ready to make the arrest a strong gust of wind knocks the guns from their hands. With that the Predator is upon them and it spells certain doom for our heroes. Suddenly Jamie notices a distinctive birthmark on the mandibles of the Predator. “Wait… Predator? Is that you?” Recognition alights in its eyes. Of course. This must be the same Predator Jamie zoomed across the universe with just months ago. “But Predator, last time I saw you you were slamming Tacoz Fritos Mountain Dew and doing X-treme stuff… killing us isn’t X-treme. Ripping civilians in half isn’t X-treme. What happened?” The Predator looks ashamed and shrugs. “You know what is X-treme?” Jamie asks and the Predator looks up hopeful. “The most X-treme adventure of them all… death.” Jamie holds his breath. Could this really work? Did he want it to work? But he knew it was the only way. Recognition shows in the Predator’s eyes. It nods and pulls out an intricately carved puzzle box. Jamie and Patrick look at each other in horror, “What the fuuuuuuuuuuu…” That’s right! We’re watching the Hellraiser franchise… literally. There were four Hellraiser films released theatrically, and more or less people accept this as the original quadrilogy with the many straight-to-DVD films that followed considered separate. The fourth is the only one that qualifies for BMT as they steadily got worse reviews until arriving at the film that would stop the franchise in its tracks. The trailer is amazing and it’s one of the few BMT qualifying Alan Smithee films ever. I’ve gotten pretty hyped about it. Let’s go!

Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (1996) – BMeTric: 53.1

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(I shouldn’t be surprised anymore that these things start absurdly low and then rise steadily over time. Horror films have finicky fans so they slam the films which then have nowhere to go but up as general audiences get ahold of them. 50+ and holding steady, so good enough for me.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Pinhead matches wits with a demon lover/cohort, ironically named Angelique (Vargas). Dull and plot-heavy, even if you’re a Clive Barker devotee. Re-caulk your bathtub instead. Followed by five direct-to-video sequels.

(The other films in the series went 2.5, 1.5, and 1.5, so none of them really were well received by Leonard. I guess not a giant surprise since Leonard notoriously hates horror films.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLfpZMAJW3k

(Oooof. That looks like a load of shit. The laser beams. The period pieces. The “Welcome to oblivion” at the end. It is exactly what you expect but don’t want in a horror mega-franchise of the time. Can’t wait.)

Directors – Kevin Yagher – (BMT: Hellraiser IV: Bloodline; Notes: Renowned make-up artist famous for Tales from the Crypt which is where he started directing. His older brother was in the second and third Atlas Shrugged films.)

Alan Smithee – (Known For: Catchfire; Future BMT: An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; BMT: Hellraiser IV: Bloodline; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn in 1999; Notes: A pseudonym previously used by the Directors’ Guild when a member wished to take their name off of a film. It was popularized by the film An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, so they reportedly retired it, although it has been used since.)

Writers – Peter Atkins (written by) – (Known For: Hellbound: Hellraiser II; Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth; Future BMT: Wishmaster; BMT: Hellraiser IV: Bloodline; Notes: Was a member of The Dog Company, an avant garde theatre group featuring Clive Barker and Doug Bradley.)

Actors – Bruce Ramsay – (Known For: Holes; Alive; Behind the Candelabra; Jacknife; The New Age; Hit Me; Future BMT: Collateral Damage; Brick Mansions; Curdled; Killing Zoe; BMT: Hellraiser IV: Bloodline; Timeline; Notes: Canadian. Made a bizarrely ill-received version of Hamlet which he directed and starred in in 2014 which possibly ended his career?)

Valentina Vargas – (Known For: The Name of the Rose; The Big Blue; La Noche de Enfrente; BMT: Hellraiser IV: Bloodline; Notes: Born in Chile, raised in France, she is trilingual and has played parts in French, Spanish and English.)

Doug Bradley – (Known For: Hellraiser; Hellbound: Hellraiser II; An Ideal Husband; Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth; The Cottage; Book of Blood; Future BMT: Nightbreed; BMT: Hellraiser IV: Bloodline; Notes: Pinhead. Old school friends with Clive Barker he played the character in eight different films.)

Budget/Gross – $4 million / Domestic: $9,336,886

(That is weirdly fine. I mean, it isn’t a lot of money, but it cost almost nothing apparently, so … weirdly fine.)

#302 for the Horror – R-Rated genre

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(Just watched by far the most lucrative BMT film in the The Nun. This genre has transcended its roots and, like action films, can basically print money at this point. And to think that PG-13 horror used to dominate the genre.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 31% (4/13): No consensus yet.

(The only Hellraiser film that qualifies as, from this point forward they aren’t released in theaters, and previously they were too well received, making it a rarity among horror mega-franchises. Reviewer Highlight: Except for the most undiscriminating gorehound, pic is a pointless mess. – Daniel M. Kimmel, Variety)

Poster – Hellskloger: Sklogline (B)

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(That’s actually pretty good… other than the Earth at the bottom that screams “this movie may or may not be set in space and is thus almost certainly super lame.” They needed to do a little more with the font too.)

Tagline(s) – This year, the past, the present and the future will all meet at the crossroads of hell. (D)

(The poster technically doesn’t have a tagline, but one of the alternates does so I’ll let it slide. If only to say that this one sucks. It’s too long and the “This year” makes it real clunky and hard to even think about.)

Keyword(s) – 22nd century; Top Ten by BMeTric: 67.2 Ghosts of Mars (2001); 53.1 Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (1996); 50.7 Judge Dredd (1995); 35.0 Dark Planet (2009); 22.0 Alien³ (1992); 21.9 Alien: Covenant (2017); 18.2 Dark Star (1974); 18.0 Space Battleship Yamato (2010); 13.4 Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966); 10.9 Vanilla Sky (2001);

(Been obviously smashing these. The Dalek one is crazy as that is surely a Doctor Who television movie no? Pretty nuts it manages that high of a BMeTric, but then again I guess there aren’t many films with the keyword.)

Notes – Walt Disney Pictures came under fire in the media when they purchased the then controversial and hip Miramax Films. The initial slate of films that Miramax would be releasing under the Disney deal included Hellraiser: Bloodline, Scream, The Prophecy, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and Mother’s Boys. The outcry was due to the fact that Disney would be directly involved in the marketing and release of horror movies.

The US theatrical 1-sheet for the film does not have any credits. This was because original director Kevin Yagher had his name removed and replaced with the Directors’ Guild of America pseudonym Alan Smithee. Fearing this would negatively reflect on the quality of the film, Miramax opted for a credit-free 1-sheet. (Actually a good choice, I wouldn’t even notice)

Adam Scott was grateful for getting cast, citing the film as being a huge deal for booking a real movie, which he took very seriously. He remarked that on his first day to the set, he was shown his chair that was mistakenly labeled as Adam Craig. Scott said it was a nice welcome to Hollywood. Despite the film’s troubled production and box office failure, Scott didn’t care as long as he was working. Later in need of work, Scott even auditioned for the sequel with the hope that the casting directors wouldn’t remember him from the last film and no one said anything at the audition. However Scott suspects someone remembered him as he wasn’t hired for the sequel. (That is awesome)

Editor Randolph K. Bricker was brought in by Joe Chappelle (who was Miramax’s replacement for original director Kevin Yagher) to assemble a completely new cut of the film. This version was the one that was ultimately released in theaters in 1996.

The last “Hellraiser” movie to get a theatrical release. (Ayup)

Though promotional photos of Aristocratic Cenobites wearing white powdered wigs were released in various sci-fi magazines to promote this film, the Cenobites were cut from the finished film, along with Demon Clowns and an entire ballroom fancy dress party as the studio wanted to get to Pinhead’s story sooner.

Was intended to be the final installment of the “Hellraiser” franchise, ending with Pinhead destroyed once and for all. 5 direct-to-video sequels followed. (Whoops)

The film takes place in 1796, 1996 and 2127.

In the Hellraiser films and their legacy, author Paul Kane described his screenplay as ambitious and “one of the best Hellraiser sequels.” The screenplay featured a linear timeline, more special effects, and violent confrontations between Pinhead and Angelique. When Miramax was unwilling to provide a budget to realize the scenes, the film was scaled back. Stuart Gordon, known for his low-budget horror films, was approached to direct but backed out after artistic disagreements. Special effects technician Kevin Yagher was subsequently hired after his cost-saving directing work on Tales from the Crypt for Joel Silver. Yagher was initially hesitant about taking the job, as he did not want to do a retread of the previous installments of the series. However, he was impressed with the script and became enthusiastic after Barker describe his vision for the film. (Awwww, and then he declined to even put his name on it in the end)

Clive Barker acting as executive producer, wanted a fresh turn for the series after two sequels to his original 1987 film. The initial premise for the film, a shape-changing structure used to trap Pinhead, was inspired by the ending of Hellraiser 3 which featured a building whose architecture resembled the Lament Configuration. Barker suggested a three-part film set in different time periods, and Peter Atkins added the Lemarchand storyline, going back to Barker’s novella. Atkins had previously written Hellbound Hellraiser II (1988) and co-written Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992) Atkins and Barker pitched the idea to Miramax who greenlit it without requiring an outline.

Gary J.Tunnicliffe of Image Animation, who had previously worked on Hellraiser III:Hell on Earth (1992) was recruited to perform special effects. Tunnicliffe was worried that director Kevin Yagher would want to perform the effects himself, but Yagher wanted to collaborate with Image Animation and believe their experience with prior films in the series would be valuable. Kevin Yagher only contributed to the Chatterer Beast.

The word Cenobite means a member of a monastic order.

Kevin Yagher: disowned the version with cuts made behind his back due to conflicting artistry ideas. Yagher’s version contained much more graphic imagery, plot, and explained everything that happened in the film. The producers disagreed and demanded Pinhead should appear sooner despite every version of the script up until then having him appear around the 40-minute mark. When Yagher was unable to satisfy he disowned it and never finished filming some final scenes. Joe Chappelle was brought on to finish the film, filming new scenes from re-writes including the narrative framing device. Some scenes of the original script were thus never shot. Joe Chappelle was the studio’s first choice to direct the film, and actually agreed to direct Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) on the understanding that he’d be allowed to direct this film (which he was more interested in) next, but eventually declined the offer due to feeling burned out after the troublesome production of that film. (Wowza, I didn’t realize Halloween and Hellraiser had that connection)

Ghosts of Mars Preview

A small note prior to this post: Last July we decided to take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews before 2013ish we also decided to provide a preview for the movie. This is the second in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediately afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

Ghosts of Mars (2001) – BMeTric: 67.2

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(that is quite a low rating I’m going to be honest. I’m not really surprised, the movie is a hilarious debacle, but you’d think those John Carpenter heads out there might be keeping the rating afloat a bit.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  In the near future, Mars has been colonized, but there’s an outbreak of mass murder in some remote settlements. People are possessed by vengeful Martian ghosts; it’s up to the leam of a lady cop and a hardened criminal to battle them. Routine, predictable, and dull; unimaginatively, the Martian-possessed people adopt a punk/grunge look. Basically a remake of Carpenter’s early Assault on Precinct 13.

(Multiple places note the similarities between this as Assault on Precinct 13. The reviews seem like a mix between either dull and predictable or so bonkers it is amazing. Suffice it to say: we thought it was so bonkers it is amazing.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbmFwk8n0f0

(Wow … well, that was certainly stylized. The premise is kind of a western (with alien possession being akin to some Native American burial ground perhaps, or just a Native raid on a mining outpost), and the costumes certainly seem to match at times.)

Directors – John Carpenter – (Known For: Halloween; Halloween; They Live; Escape from New York; Escape from L.A.; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; The Fog; Prince of Darkness; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Assault on Precinct 13; Assault on Precinct 13; Eyes of Laura Mars; Dark Star; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Halloween; Lockout; Black Moon Rising; Halloween II; BMT: The Fog; Ghosts of Mars; Notes: One of the most influential horror directors in history. One of my favorite directors. Halloween and The Thing are two great movies to introduce two very different approaches to the genre.)

Writers – Larry Sulkis (written by) – (Future BMT: Village of the Damned; BMT: Ghosts of Mars; Notes: Very likely close to or a production partner with Carpenter at the time, uncredited as a writer of his Village of the Damned as well.)

John Carpenter (written by) – (Known For: Halloween; They Live; Escape from New York; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Escape from L.A.; The Fog; Assault on Precinct 13; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Prince of Darkness; Assault on Precinct 13; Dark Star; Eyes of Laura Mars; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5; Halloween; Black Moon Rising; Halloween II; BMT: The Fog; Ghosts of Mars; Notes: He wrote a good number of the films he directed back in the day. Notably he also often produced the synth heavy soundtracks. I was in Edinburgh and missed a concert by him by one day. I was very sad.)

Actors – Natasha Henstridge – (Known For: The Whole Nine Yards; Bounce; Future BMT: Maximum Risk; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; Steal; Deception; Dog Park; BMT: Species II; Ghosts of Mars; The Whole Ten Yards; Species; Notes: Canadian, but started as a model in Paris. Species was her first role in the biz, which makes perfect sense.)

Ice Cube – (Known For: xXx: Return of Xander Cage; 21 Jump Street; Friday; Boyz n the Hood; 22 Jump Street; Three Kings; The Book of Life; Higher Learning; Barbershop; Barbershop: A Fresh Cut; Rampart; Trespass; Barbershop 2: Back in Business; The Longshots; The Glass Shield; Future BMT: First Sunday; Lottery Ticket; Fist Fight; Friday After Next; I Got the Hook Up; All About the Benjamins; Next Friday; Dangerous Ground; The Players Club; BMT: xXx²: State of the Union; Torque; Anaconda; Are We Done Yet?; Are We There Yet?; Ghosts of Mars; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes: Basically a BMT staple at this point, and we got plenty of time to go. Has had an interesting acting career going from mostly thug / gangbanger, to comedy, to kids’ film, and now he tends to be a cop in comedies.)

Pam Grier – (Known For: Mars Attacks!; Jackie Brown; Escape from L.A.; The Man with the Iron Fists; Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey; Above the Law; Foxy Brown; Something Wicked This Way Comes; Beyond the Valley of the Dolls; The Big Bird Cage; Holy Smoke; Class of 1999; Coffy; Just Wright; The Big Doll House; The Package; Fort Apache the Bronx; Original Gangstas; Future BMT: Bones; Fortress 2; Snow Day; Jawbreaker; Larry Crowne; Posse; The Allnighter; In Too Deep; Scream Blacula Scream; BMT: Pluto Nash; Ghosts of Mars; Notes: Insane life. She started in blaxploitation cinema filming in the Philippines where at some point in the 70s she contracted some tropical disease, lost all her hair, and temporarily went blind taking over a year to recover. Then in 1988 she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 18 months to live. She survived both. Say what?)

Budget/Gross – $28 million / Domestic: $8,709,640 (Worldwide: $14,010,832)

(Absolute catastrophe! Oh no John Carpenter, why?)

#71 for the Action Heroine genre

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(Ah right there before the peak, that’s definitely fun. Considering the notes indicate Henstridge was basically dying of exhaustion during filming from making so many movies it does seem like it was the time to be a fit female actress in Hollywood. You got to just pick a franchise and run with it for a bit there.)

#43 for the Sci-Fi Horror genre

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(You’d think this would be surging a bit more with the recent Horror surge … especially because sci-fi feels like one of the genres that can benefit from a low budget shoestring approach. We’ve seen quite a few of these at this point. Can’t genre I enjoy the genre much to be honest. Kind of like action comedies … not really good action films, not really good comedies. Sci-fi horror tends to make for a not really good sci-fi film and a not really good horror film.)

#30 for the Zombie genre

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(Right at the forefront of a Zombie resurgence! Rather interesting because this is still the only bad zombie film we’ve done which seems … unbelievable. Although I guess that is mainly because we haven’t done any of the Resident Evil films. Really became a thing around 2015, has since cooled.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (22/104): John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars is not one of Carpenter’s better movies, filled as it is with bad dialogue, bad acting, confusing flashbacks, and scenes that are more campy than scary.

(The flashbacks! That is one of the best parts to be honest. Once you are like 4 layers deep you kind of forget who you are and why you are even watching the film. Reviewer Highlight: Someday we’re all going to look back on this one and l-a-a-a-augh. – Cody Clark, Mr. Showbiz)

Poster – BANANANANANANANAS! (D)

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(I really really really wanted to like this poster but I have several problems with it. It looks cheap and dumb. The color scheme is both obvious (red is for Mars, black is for spoooooky) and poorly done. The alien guy looks silly. He wouldn’t look that silly, but they you notice his multiple finger piercings and you are like “that looks silly”. I desperately want to think any part of this is cool, but it isn’t. The font is maybe okay, the gradient is tough to replicate exactly on the fly.)

Tagline(s) – It’s their planet… we are the aliens. (B-)

(I like the idea of it, but it just doesn’t roll of the tongue as much as it needs to to get it a better score. Kind of obvious, but with the poster above I think it works enough, like you see the weird looking guy and you know it is kind of talking about him / them / it specifically.)

Keyword(s) – martian; Top Ten by BMeTric: 70.0 Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964); 67.2 Ghosts of Mars (2001); 61.0 Doom (2005); 51.4 My Favorite Martian (1999); 45.9 Mars Needs Moms (2011); 39.4 Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003); 26.8 Contamination (1980); 26.3 Spaced Invaders (1990); 26.2 Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991); 24.7 Mars Attacks! (1996);

(I’m kind of shocked at how few of these we’ve done. I bet we could get a lot more done. Maybe with a stellar cycle … would have to think of how best to do something like that though.)

Notes – John Carpenter revealed that he had become burnt out after he had made this film and made the decision of leaving Hollywood for good. It would not be until nine years later that he made a full feature film, which was The Ward (2010).

Filmed entirely at night.

The prosthetics that the main bad guy wears were rather too large for his mouth and resulted in most of the “ghost-speak” having only the “a” vowel sound. (kind of like him sounding like he’s saying banananananans the entire time? … yeah I might have noticed that a bit)

Much of the location shooting was done on a gypsum mine near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The gypsum, which is almost pure white, was sprayed with a biodegradable red food dye to give the appearance of a Martian landscape. (Oh they didn’t create a giant biohazard by spraying it with blood?)

Jason Statham was originally hired to play James “Desolation” Williams, but was replaced by Ice Cube for star power.

Natasha Henstridge replaced Courtney Love (the original choice) at the last minute. Love left the project after her boyfriend’s ex-wife ran over her foot in her car while she was in training for the picture. Michelle Yeoh, Franka Potente and Famke Janssen were briefly considered. Henstridge was suggested by her then-boyfriend Liam Waite, and was able to join the cast just a week before production began. The actress found the experience to be very harrowing, due to the heavily physical nature of her role and the difficult working conditions.

In a 2006 interview, Ice Cube nominated this as the worst movie he had appeared in, calling it “unwatchable in many ways. John Carpenter really let us down with the special effects on that one – it looked like something out of a film from 1979”.

This film contains Jason Statham’s first ever on-screen kiss.

Production had to shut down for a week when Natasha Henstridge fell ill due to extreme exhaustion (she had just done two other films back-to-back before joining the production at the last moment).

For the film’s score, music producer Bruce Robb brought in famed heavy metal band Anthrax to play to picture for director John Carpenter, who had originally filmed the movie listening to Metallica. The film’s score is entirely original and was recorded by Robb at his Cherokee Studios in Hollywood. The film’s DVD offers a bonus feature with behind-the-scenes footage in the studio with the musicians, Carpenter and Robb.

The narrator on the trailer is Keith David.

The film is considered to be a futuristic remake of John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 (1976). (Eh makes sense I guess. I’ve seen the original Assault on Precinct 13, very grindhouse style which is good and bad I think)

Originally called Escape from Earth, a supposed sequel to Escape from L.A. (1996) that features Kurt Russell as Snake Plisskin before changing its script due to box office failure.

For the film’s soundtrack, director and composer John Carpenter called upon various rock musicans to help enhance his own score. They include members of Anthrax, Steve Vai, Guns N’ Roses’ guitarists Buckethead and Robin Finck and Elliot Easton (formerly of The Cars).

The film takes place in 2176.

Truth or Dare Recap

Jamie

A bunch of dum-dums travel to Mexico to party it up one last time (literally). They end up playing a game of Truth or Dare in a spooky abandoned mission (naturally) and awaken a demon that uses the game to torment and eventually kill them one by one. Can they stop the demon before it’s too late? Find out in… Truth or Dare.

How?! I feel like I’ve written this one several times before. A bunch of (kinda douchey) friends are spending one last Spring Break in Mexico drinking and partying. Near the end of their time there they are invited out to a sketchy abandoned mission by a sketchy guy for sketchy reasons, but they follow him there (duh). He asks them to play truth or dare and they oblige because they are dumb. Turns out that he was using them to get more people involved in a demonic game of truth or dare run by a demon trickster. This demon trickster proceeds to torment them by having them reveal their deepest darkest secrets to each other or attempt death defying dares. When one refuses or is unsuccessful they are possessed and kill themselves. Weirdly, a lot of the truths and/or dares actually seem like they are helping the characters. Like they finally confront things in their lives that they’ve so far refused to confront. Like one guy has been scared to come out to his dad but the demon forces him to and he actually seems better for it. More true to himself. Kinda a good guy demon sometimes. Anyway, in the end they track down the source of the demon and find a way out of the game. But the demon is too tricky and smart and outwits them at the last moment. Our final girls are doomed but in a shocking twist (what a twist!) they post a video on YouTube inviting the whole world into the game thus dooming a significant number of people to death. Cooooool. THE END.

Why?! The motivations are where I think they could have played with the concept a little more. Like they have a bunch of people, most of who are objectively terrible, that get caught up in a game of terror with no other motivations other than to survive. Instead of having cartoonish misogynist Ronnie turn out to be a sensitive good guy… he is slaughtered in the first thirty minutes for laughs. Instead of having the fake prescription writing future med student learn the errors of his ways… he is also slaughtered. Instead of the two main characters knowing that while they’ll likely die as part of this game they actually were able to finally be fully truthful with each other after years of hiding their secrets away… they use the internet to turn the world to chaos (presumably). In the end it’s because the trickster demon of course doesn’t want to help them, he not some demon therapist trying to have them communicate better with each other or anything, but at the very least they could have acknowledged that that is kinda what the demon was doing. He helps a kid come out as gay to his homophobic dad for god’s sake!

Who?! I do want to discuss Ronnie a little bit. He’s not a true Planchet as his motivations are not pure (he is clearly a fratty horndog), but he does seem to just want to hang out with our terrible group of main characters and they’re like “gross, Ronnie.” There was opportunity to use him in a more creative way rather than as an obvious first kill… like why couldn’t the main character be dared to hook up with Ronnie but then find he’s actually a good dude and it’s all an act? Nope. Just killed off after his 1000th joke about wanting to bone some hot chick with big bazongas or whatever.

What?! The use of SnapChat, Facebook, YouTube, etc. throughout the film isn’t product placement perse. Seems more like a little signaling to let youngsters know that the writers “get it” and aren’t a couple fuddy-duddy old people. In particular when the main character says that she uses YouTube for videos about her volunteer work and SnapChat if just for fun. Classic. And yes, I used the term “fuddy-duddy” to signal to all the octogenarians that read BMT that I “get it.”

Where?! A nice balance of Mexico and California. They seem to go to the made-up Westlake University in the LA area as evidenced by the quick trips to Mexico, CA license plates, and bars and restaurants located in that area. While obvious it’s not super necessary to the plot. B+.

When?! Obviously around Spring Break, but we are no treated to an exact date. Weirdly our main characters are lured into playing the game by a previous group of players desperate to try to save themselves. It’s clear from some articles we see in the film though that this previous group was playing around June 4th. So we are either expected to believe that they have been continuing to play for almost a year or whatever school these dum-dums go to has Spring Break in the middle of June. I choose neither. They probably just screwed up the timing when making the props or whatever. C+.

I was actually really surprised at how bad this film was. Felt very Rings or Ouija to me and that’s not what you typically get from Blumhouse. They are supposed to deliver high concept horror/thriller, but this literally seems like the lowest, most cliched concept with a terrible script to boot. Patrick pointed out to me that rewrites aren’t generally in the cards for the budgets that Blumhouse are after but… I mean… at some point you have to, right? This was really bad. At moments you could get whiffs of Happy Death Day (which similarly had the main characters be damaged and somewhat unlikeable), but then it would disappear like a mirage. Is it better than Slender Man… eeesh. Probably. But barely and that’s not a good look. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! What do you get when you cross Rings with Final Destination? Apparently a really dumb film with a terrible ending … let’s get into it!

The Good – The film looks okay. The concept is also at least original to a degree, with a kind of trickster demon being the crux of the whole thing. It is just Rings, so originality is really only superficial ultimately. I liked the actors even if they were terrible. And I still think I like Blumhouse. I think the concepts they bring to horror and the way they make them is fantastic for the genre and, honestly, I hope that similar things can be done with other flagging genres. Like rom coms, or original sci fi, or fantasy, see what you can do with a small budget and small television actors and see if there is any interest. Although the issue will likely be that horror audiences are dependable, you almost always get at least $10 million from teenagers no matter how bad the film is.

P’s View on the Preview – Everything pointed towards this being a boring PG-13 horror film. The only thing that made me a bit curious was why they added new rules to the game. In the preview it was suggested that you have to do a dare after two truths in a row. That isn’t real. That isn’t a real rule! That is just some made up bullshit to make sure the people in the film didn’t find the most obvious loophole to the stupidest game of all time. I was hoping I was wrong, but I wasn’t. Sigh.

The Bad – This film is not scary, is mostly boring, and the hook is silly to the point of just making my laugh (like The Bye Bye Man). The entire film is predicated on the assumption that no one gives a shit that a handful of people who all know each other are killing themselves and dying and shit. Number one thing people would assume it that these people are all on some crazy drugs, they wouldn’t be running around solving mysteries. The action doesn’t start quick enough, the acting is bad, all of these people are horrible people I don’t care about who make poor decisions and are dumb. If not for the ending I would have just said the film was shiny nonsense like Flatliners, but the ending might be one of the worst shoulder shrugs of an ending I’ve ever seen. It pushes it right into Bye Bye Man level nonsense. Like … I hate this movie? Wait … is this dog poo in my face at the last second three pointer!?

You Just Got Schooled – Do you know what would be fun? Looking through the wiki page on the game Truth or Dare in general. First we have this bonkers 1986 straight-to-video feature. WTF, the writer-director was 18 when it was made! There are also films of the same name in 2011, 2013, and 2017 which is pretty incredible. The game itself seems to date to at least 1712 described thusly: “A Christmas game, in which the commander bids his subjects to answer a question which is asked. If the subject refuses or fails to satisfy the commander, he must pay a forfeit [follow a command] or have his face smutted [dirtied].” It also is similar to the ancient Greek game basilinda where a king would tell him subjects what acts to perform. Fun. Facts.

The BMT – This probably enters the worst endings hall of fame for me personally. Somehow the ending to Rings worked, whereas this just feels like a cop out. I’ll probably also note this as a bigger version of what we saw in The Call starring Halle Berry where the ending flies so totally in the face of how a character acts throughout the film that is it jarring and weird. Otherwise is just stands alongside Slender Man and Bye Bye Man and the like. Supernatural horror churns out a ton of films (five qualifying films this year alone) so it isn’t a surprise we collect them like pokemon.

Welcome to Earf – There was a zero percent chance I was getting any connections without looking up at least the first step. The number one best option would have been The Canyons starring Lindsay Lohan and (for reals, third billed) Nolan Funk … which I’ve seen, but it wasn’t released to enough theaters to count for BMT. So I’ll have to fall back to Sam Lerner who played our first hapless victim Ronnie, and was a child actor in the Jack Black classic Envy with Ben Stiller, who was in Zoolander 2 with Owen Wilson, who was in I, Spy with Eddie Murphy, who was in Norbit with Terry Crews, who was in Blended with Adam Sandler, who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth! Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – Interestingly the cred is a little thin here. It is obviously mentioned in review-based worst of lists (like this one), but elsewhere it seems to be ignored. There are individual reviews lamenting it as one of the worst of the year though. I certainly think it is. But some people seem to disagree about the ending in particular. I think that up until that ending they had a chance to be an Ouija with a decent prequel. Now? Trash.

This film is pretty bad, and now I’ve seen seven films from this year. From worst to best I think I would currently put them at: (1) Fifty Shades Freed (2) Show Dogs (3) Truth or Dare (4) Slender Man (5) Death Wish (6) The Predator (7) Hunter Killer. Stay tuned for an updated list.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

 

Truth or Dare Quiz

In Truth or Dare a group of teens get challenged by a demon to a game of well … truth or dare. On this website a demon (me) challenged a group of people to a game of Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) When we meet our garbage dump of a hero she is very hesitant to go a-partying in sunny Mexico. What does she have plans to do for spring break instead, and why does she decide to go?

2) In Mexico a man named Carter traps them in a deadly game of Truth or Dare (ah, that’s the name of the movie!). Name as many of the truth/dare as you can.

3) In the end all but two of our seven newcomers to the game die. How did those five (Ronnie, Tyson, Penelope, Brad, Lucas in that order) die? Bonus for the other two players we see die as well.

4) In the end what is the only way the players can end the game?

5) How can the players end the game once the option described above is impossible, and what ultimate decision do they make concerning the game?

Answers

Truth or Dare Preview

In deep pursuit of the parkour thieves who ruined Arf Collector Von Schnauzer’s promising career in dog showery, Jamie and Patrick don their alter egos, the Angels of Death, and become vigilantes of the night. You a criminal? Better watch out cause the Angels of Death might lure you into a criminal trap and totally take you out when you try to do criminal things. Just sitting there thinking about criminal things? Still watch out, they don’t like people thinking about being criminals. Next thing you know you might be doing those criminal things. You trying to stop them from stopping criminals? That’s probably OK if you are the police, but if you are a criminal and want to stop them so that you can continue to be a criminal then watch out! Jamie and Patrick go about their vigilante business for a while until one day they find a cell phone on the ground with a text message that tells them the exact whereabouts of the secret lair of the parkour thieves. What luck! They go to this hideout in an abandoned doll factory and start knocking the bad guys out with their patented Twin Chop®. Their bloodlust cannot and will not be satisfied until those responsible are held accountable. Justice! They finally arrive in the office of the parkour ringleaders and tell them to drop their weapons and give up because justice is there and it’s not square. The two ringleaders look at each other and pull back their hooded sweatshirts. Jamie and Patrick gasp. “My god, they’re beautiful.” Two beautiful ladies are the ringleaders. “Who… who are you?” Jamie stammers. “Ready to play a game?” One responds. “Just call us Truth or Dare,” the other one finishes. That’s right! We’re watching one of the many trash horror films to come out this year, Truth or Dare. Much like Ouija this seems to be an attempt to take something that not really all the spooky (a rousing game of Truth or Dare) and make it super scary spooky. Maybe Hide and Seek is next. Wait, that just might work. Let’s go!

Truth or Dare (2018) – BMeTric: 57.2

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(I’m rather intrigued by how swiftly it seems to be rising. It is still really really low obviously. Sub-5.0 would have put it among the worst of the year, but it is getting to the point where it is perhaps merely “quite bad”.)

RogerEbert.com – 2 stars –   [T]he joke is on our heroes, but this time, every cruel punchline is seemingly pulled at the last minute. We’re supposed to like these victims, not gasp in horror and delight when they’re compelled to die campy—but bloodless!—deaths by an evil game you play when you’re kinda bored and kinda hormonal, but not imaginative or bold enough to do much about it.  

(Oh shit. Burned. I’m just hoping the film isn’t terribly boring. For the most part do you ever like these people … I’m flashing back to The Gallows now, where everyone was just a complete dick to everyone and you just didn’t give a shit that they were dying.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cgnk3MLw9TM

(Sigh. That just looks like any of the other terrible supernatural horror films we’ve seen. Rings, The Bye Bye Man, Slender Man, etc. And it doesn’t seem to have a hilarious Bye Bye Man I can laugh at. Double sigh.)

Directors – Jeff Wadlow – (Future BMT: Cry Wolf; True Memoirs of an International Assassin; Kick-Ass 2; Never Back Down; BMT: Truth or Dare; Notes: Katie Couric’s nephew. He was interviewed on Today by Katie Couric.)

Writers – Michael Reisz (screenplay by & story by) – (BMT: Truth or Dare; Notes: Worked on Boston Legal at the time that it won a Peabody Award. Is a prolific voice actor. Was a lawyer prior to entering the entertainment business.)

Jillian Jacobs (screenplay by) – (BMT: Truth or Dare; Notes: He first foray into screenwriting (at least credited). Was a producer for Big Brother in 2012, and is writing the upcoming Fantasy Island film which also stars Lucy Hale.)

Christopher Roach (screenplay by) – (Known For: Non-Stop; BMT: Truth or Dare; Notes: Appears to be a writing partner of sorts with Jillian Jacobs. He has produced hundreds of episodes of reality television, and written mostly WWE specials.)

Jeff Wadlow (screenplay by) – (Future BMT: Prey; Cry Wolf; True Memoirs of an International Assassin; Kick-Ass 2; BMT: Truth or Dare; Notes: Wait … literally this entire film’s crew is writing and directing Fantasy Island. Which is also a Blumhouse production. I don’t know if any of Blumhouse’s nostalgia adaptations have worked (or even come out) yet, Jem and the Holograms certainly didn’t.)

Actors – Lucy Hale – (Known For: Scream 4; The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2; TinkerBell and the Secret of the Wings; BMT: Truth or Dare; Notes: Won American Junior Competition in 2003, and signed a record deal in 2012. Seems like her acting career is taking off though.)

Tyler Posey – (Known For: Men of Honor; Future BMT: Yoga Hosers; Maid in Manhattan; Collateral Damage; Legendary; BMT: Scary Movie 5; Truth or Dare; Notes: The son of long time television actor John Posey, who is vaguely famous for playing the original Danny Tanner in the Full House pilot. Tyler and John both star in Teen Wolf.)

Violett Beane – (Known For: Slash; BMT: Truth or Dare; Notes: Oh shit, she’s in everyone’s favorite show! That’s right, God Friended Me!! Was also a major character on The Flash.)

Budget/Gross – $3.5 million / Domestic: $41,254,705 (Worldwide: $94,841,481)

(My God. Yeah, Blum has this down. I can’t say it is a particularly pretty model at times, but it certainly harkens back to the early 80s when a cheap camcorder, a dozen willing teen actors, and a mask could make you a cool hundred million for $30K. Like … I doubt Truth or Dare 2 would happen, but does it need to happen really? They just made $100 million!)

#57 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

truthordare2017_supernaturalhorror

(I guess we haven’t looked recently, but it is pretty nice to see how popular genres operate in this regard. It isn’t necessarily that you make more money per theater. It is that you are in more theaters that tend to mean your genre is having a moment. Also these I think have been getting cheaper as well. We’ve seen 19 of these. Hmmm, what could be our twentieth? I wish I could tell you it would be Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, but it is going to be The Nun. Spoiler alert.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (21/141): Truth or Dare’s slick presentation isn’t enough to make this mediocre horror outing much more frightening than an average round of the real-life game.

(Slick presentation … that’s intriguing maybe. That points to maybe the director having an interesting idea. Although this review suggests otherise. Reviewer Highlight: It does nothing to cleanse Mr. Wadlow of the lingering stench of his 2013 effort, “Kick-Ass 2.” Even so, some setups can be unwittingly funny. – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times)

Poster – 2 Rich 2 Poe: The Return of Truth and Dare (D+)

truth_or_dare

(It’s daring but in a bad and not good at all way. Really I can’t say there is anything I like with this poster other than the boldness of choosing a weird poster with a giant pink question mark on it. That’s enough to move it a little out of the basement though.)

Tagline(s) – The Producer of Happy Death Day and Get Out invites you to play. (F)

(No.)

Keyword(s) – forced suicide; Top Ten by BMeTric: 57.2 Truth or Dare (I) (2018); 45.7 Unfriended (2014); 41.7 Village of the Damned (1995); 38.6 The Boogey Man (1980); 34.8 Little Evil (2017); 30.7 Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013); 30.4 Marked for Death (1990); 30.3 By the Gun (2014); 30.3 Crawlspace (2012); 30.1 Push (2009);

(Huh, interestingly rich keyword it looks like. Obviously all horror films (or thrillers maybe). And bam, got the best one apparently. Although … wouldn’t The Happening count?)

Notes – The menacing grin that comes with the killing Truth or Dare force is nicknamed the Willem Dafoe grin, and is in part inspired by his menacing smile and the facial disfigurement of the Gustavo Smile. (I had to look it up, thinking it was a real thing. Dafoe plays Gustavo in a short I think, but whatever)

The actors had to mimic the facial structure of the Calux smile prior to the CGI rendering of the face itself. (I guess Calux is a demon or something? All the pictures are basically of The Joker though, it seems fictional)

The game Truth or Dare has existed by record for centuries, with earliest history as 1712 suggesting origin in being a Christmas questions and commands game. (fun facts)

The mission in Rosarito, Mexico does not exist and is actually a constructed set on a managed soundstage. (Cool)

Jeff Wadlow pitched nothing but the title and opening sequence to Jason Blum to get him to sign on to the film. (Well I can’t wait until the opening sequence then)

Jeff Wadlow had been drawing scary grins since high school and after becoming acquainted with snapchat and the face altering filters became inspired to give the entity Calux such a grimace as he takes control of the characters.

Released on Friday the 13th like the previous Blumhouse teenage slasher film “Happy Death Day” (2017), which also bore a PG-13 thematic rating despite featuring the unexplicit murder of teenage protagonists and mild, grisly demises.

An Unrated version of the film was released featuring more gruesome death sequences of the characters, prolonged dare sequences at the Rosarito Mission in the beginning and a racier sex scene between Lucy Hale’s Olivia and Tyler Posey’s Lucas. (Hope we got that, since the theatrical cut is PG-13 I think)

The warped faces caused by the force are edited to resemble the bizarre morphs of Snapchat and various phone photo application filters, particularly the Big Eyes, Big Mouth filter. (Huh, that is one way to keeps costs down)

The film was initially going to be released on April 27, 2018, but in January 2018 the release was moved up two weeks from its original release date of April 27, 2018 to April 13, 2018. This was likely done to avoid competition with the highly anticipated “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018) which is set to be released on April 27, 2018. (I mean … maybe. They, maybe surprisingly, probably do have considerable audience overlap)

The brand of cigarettes the girl at the beginning of the film asks the cashier for are the same brand smoked by The Smoking Man in the TV Series “The X-Files”. (lol, okay, these notes are starting to push it a bit)

Stars Hayden Szeto and Morgan Lindholm previously appeared together in the unreleased short film Never Have I Ever (2016) .. also centered around a popular party game. (That’s ridiculous)

The first Blumhouse feature marked in title by Jason Blum’s distributing company handle. (Oh that is interesting though, got a bit of cache it looks like)

The game itself operates by rules: 1. The option.of Truth amongst the players can only be selected twice before the game automatically sets the next selected participant to do Dare. 2. The game passes along from group to group. 3. The game’s truth aims at turning others against one another, and establishing complete honesty of character 4. Dares are physically dangerous challenges that usually resulting in severe bodily harm or death. 5. Refusal of the options results in immediate grisly death. (Number two is bullshit)

The library scene in which the game forces Olivia to reveal Markie’s frequent affairs on Lucas pays homage to actress Lucy Hale’s role as Aria Montgomery on “Pretty Little Liars” (2010-2017), in which her character was harassed by an anonymous game playing assailant entitled A, who would on occasion turn the protagonists of the show against each other and have Hale’s character reveal other’s affairs. (I don’t care about this note except to say that yet again we have a horror film going to the library. Y’all best not besmirch the library)

Jaws: The Revenge Preview

Jamie is spirited away by Vampiro to the nearest Viking settlement, all the while grumbling about the threat of the little old librarian. “You must forgive me,” he implores, “I never thought this day would come.” Upon arriving at the settlement Vampiro whispers in the ear of their leader Vikling. Vikling stares in astonishment and beating his spear against his shield summons the warriors of his clan to kneel. “He has come, the destined warrior. He shall defeat Vlurg, the Viking scourge of Vikling.” Jamie is led with knees a-quaking down to a seaside cave which serves as the home of Vlurg. Tiptoeing in he comes face-to-face with the most terrible creature he has ever witnessed. It’s got horrific teeth and a full six-pack. Its nicely muscled legs are well proportioned to its bulging biceps. It is like a giant, horrific looking Dwayne Johnson. Just a true specimen of a monster. It smiles sickly and takes a step forward but catches its toe on a rock and trips. In a crazy freak accident it falls and snaps it neck, instantaneously killing it. Dragging the corpse from the cave Jamie is cheered. “You have defeated Vlurg! Now we can use Vlurg as bait for the monstrous Frang. For it is your destiny to defeat Frang for Vikling. You don’t even want to know what Frang is… I’ll give you a hint: It’s a giant shark.” Jamie can only sigh sadly. That’s right! We’re finally finishing the Jaws franchise with Jaws: The Revenge. Apparently it’s now the case that the shark is stalking the Brody family and follows them down to the Caribbean to kill once again. This is the worst plot imaginable and yet the most ludicrous parts of the novelization (the shark was cursed by a Voodoo woman with a grudge against the Brody’s!) didn’t even make it into the film. Let’s go!

A stunned Patrick stares at Stick and Stones, his mouth agape. “What is the Z-Movie Multiverse?” Sticks and Stones visibly relax, their corruption seeming to be glossed over by a much more interesting question. “Gosh dern it. Well, you see, the world you come from is one universe among many. The one your buddies Rich and Poe come from is the Bad Movie Multiverse. That’s where the Obsidian Dongle came from originally, and it connects all of the bad movies that ever were and ever will be. This? This is a slightly … less polished universe, the Z-Movie Multiverse. Where all of the borderline unwatchable garbage comes from. Something happened to send you here, and we’re here to help send you back. You don’t belong here. Get it?” Patrick stares blankly at Sticks and Stones. “Wait … Rich and Poe are real?!” “Enough talking,” Sticks says gruffly and grabs Patrick and throws him through the next door onto a beautiful beach set. “Just watch for the birds.” Patrick looks around at the weird hovering CGI birds, unmoving and non-threatening. “This place is so weird.” He says, knocking one of the birds down easily and wandering down the beach after Sticks and Stones. That’s right! We are also watching Birdemic: Shock and Terror. One of the worst films ever made, this not-really-a-film has become a cult classic alongside Troll 2 and The Room among bad movie aficionados. Let’s go!

Jaws: The Revenge (1987) – BMeTric: 88.6

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(Below 3.0 is absolutely crazy. Not that surprising that the rating is going up with the votes … except usually with truly worst-films-ever type deals people are literally seeking out the film to try and see a terrible film, so sometimes it stays really low. So maybe it doesn’t really quite fit into that category.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Watchable but mediocre retread of Jaws, the fourth time around, with Gary as the widow of sheriff Scheider (from the original film) who’s convinced the great white shark is deliberately seeking out and killing off members of her family. Marginal movie sunk by stupid, abrupt finale; Caine wasted in frivolous supporting role.

(Watchable … is an interesting word to use here. Everywhere else I’ve heard it is literally so dumb it is unwatchable. I’m also surprised this isn’t a BOMB. This is one of the worst reviewed films of all time, so it does seem like Leonard is going a bit light here.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnYzwUkm-PY

(This is a real television spot. There is also a crazy “trailer” on youtube, but the music choice (Blondie’s One Way Or Another) suggests that it is probably fake. So I’ll stick with this one. It is … fine. The conceit of Jaws hunting this one family down is ludicrous though since “Jaws” is killed at the end of each and every one of these films. One more and they might have gone full Halloween and made some story about a cult creating a super-Jaws to attack the family which would have been amazing.)

Directors – Joseph Sargent – (Known For: White Lightning; The Taking of Pelham One Two Three; Colossus: The Forbin Project; MacArthur; Future BMT: Nightmares; BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Jaws: The Revenge in 1988; Notes: Directed of the more famous original Star Trek shows (The Corbomite Maneuver). Was directing from the 1950s, with this being his last non-TV movie of his career.)

Writers – Peter Benchley (characters & novel) (uncredited) – (Known For: Jaws; Jaws 2; The Island; Future BMT: The Deep; BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; Jaws 3-D; Notes: Was a speechwriter for Lyndon Johnson, he wrote the novel Jaws that the entire series is based on.)

Michael De Guzman (written by) (as Michael de Guzman) – (BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Jaws: The Revenge in 1988; Notes: Was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for the TV movie Caroline? (Also directed by Sargent). This was his only non-TV movie of his career.)

Actors – Lorraine Gary – (Known For: Jaws; Jaws 2; Car Wash; Future BMT: 1941; BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Jaws: The Revenge in 1988; Notes: Has been married for 62 years! Her and Sidney Sheinberg got married when they were 19 and 22 respectively. She declined a spot in acting school to study political science at Columbia. This was her last film, she had retired in 1979, but came out of retirement to reprise her classic role in Jaws.)

Lance Guest – (Known For: The Last Starfighter; Late Phases; Future BMT: Halloween II; BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; Notes: Has done a lot of theater, including a somewhat notable role as Johnny Cash most recently that he has seen some acclaim for.)

Mario Van Peebles – (Known For: New Jack City; Ali; Heartbreak Ridge; The Cotton Club; Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song; How to Get the Man’s Foot Outta Your Ass; The Hebrew Hammer; Stag; Future BMT: Highlander III: The Sorcerer; Solo; Exterminator 2; Gunmen; Posse; Submerged; We the Party; Multiple Sarcasms; BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; Notes: Son of Melvin Van Peebles, who is widely credited for helping to create the Blaxploitation genre. Has a B.A. in Economics.)

Budget/Gross – $23 million / Domestic: $20,763,013 (Worldwide: $51,881,013)

(Like … not bad. But at that point Jaws had become a punchline. It ended up (somewhat oddly) representing the 80s trope of running series into the ground. This is despite the fact that the horror series like Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Nightmare on Elm Street did that way better than Jaws ever could. And yet it was Jaws that was made fun of in Back to The Future Part II.)

#26 for the Christmas – Setting Only genre

jaws4_christmassetting

(From the (very incomplete) list, we’ve only seen Getaway. It is interesting that they seem to have been a major thing in the 80s and early 90s, but their ability to pull in the big bucks seems to have waned over the years.)

#51 for the Creature Feature genre

jaws4_creaturefeature

(Literally just watched two of these in the Anaconda Series. The Predator is coming out this week, so it seems somewhat likely we could go back-to-back as well. I couldn’t say why it waxes and wanes … maybe it takes a bit to reload and look around for the new tech needed to really kick start the genre every couple of years.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/34): Illogical, tension-free, and filled with cut-rate special effects, Jaws 4 – The Revenge is a sorry chapter in a once-proud franchise.

(Was it a once proud franchise? When? After the second and before the third when they explicitly sold out to become a giant advertisement for Seaworld? Reviewer Highlight: The shark models have so little movement that at times they seem to be supporting themselves on boats, instead of attacking them. Up until the ludicrous final sequence of the movie, the scariest creature in the film is an eel. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Watch Out! I’m a Big Ol’ Shark and Imma Gonna Get’cha! (A-)

jaws_the_revenge_ver2

(OK… I love this poster. I would put this up on my wall. Both because it’s fun and it’s also funny because you’re not sure whether the shark or the person is out for revenge… the idea that the person is out for revenge is already hilarious. But the idea that the shark is out for revenge is even funnier.)

Tagline(s) – This time… It’s personal. (FFFFFFFFFFuck)

(That is crazy. It’s straight up a joke. Like someone got tired, suggested it as a joke, and then had it taken seriously.)

Keyword(s) – 1980s; Top Ten by BMeTric: 88.6 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 86.5 Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003); 86.0 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987); 85.5 Jaws 3-D (1983); 82.3 Glitter (2001); 81.1 Sex and the City 2 (2010); 76.2 Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989); 74.7 Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988); 73.2 Howard: A New Breed of Hero (1986); 72.3 Caddyshack II (1988);

(Kind of a funny mix of films that are set in the 80s and films that were actually just … made in the 80s. We are actually definitely going to finish this list … and I don’t even think it’ll take that long. I have absolutely no idea why Sex and the City 2 would have this keyword attached.)

Notes – This is one of British screen legend Michael Caine’s notorious “paycheck pictures”, along with The Swarm (1978), Ashanti (1979), Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979), The Island (1980), The Hand (1981) and Blame It on Rio (1984). When Caine was asked about this movie in an interview, he answered, “I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.” (classic anecdote … how did he survive making five paycheck films in four years though?)

Lorraine Gary’s final film, and her first film role in eight years.

The movie’s main tagline “This time it’s personal” was parodied in Back to the Future Part II (1989) where the fictional “Jaws 19”, directed by Max Spielberg, has a movie poster that says, “This time it’s REALLY personal!”. The phrase “This time it’s personal” has since become a clichéd tagline for several sequels. (Deserved there … although Back to the Future Part II must have been on their game. These two films were released in the same year)

Michael Caine accepted his role after seeing only the first line of the script, which was, “Fade in: Hawaii”. Caine had wanted to shoot a movie in Hawaii for a while. (lol)

The original script features a cameo for Richard Dreyfuss’s character from the original Jaws (1975), marine biologist Matt Hooper. In Hooper’s scene, he calls the Brodys and is greeted on the phone by Thea, who knows him as “Uncle Matt”. Hooper is established as being close to Michael and Carla, who calls him “my second favorite marine biologist”, and he gives them his condolences about Sean’s death. Hooper and Michael discuss their careers, the late Martin Brody, and Hooper’s once spending Christmas with the family, with Martin dressed as Santa Claus. The scene ends when Michael heads off to summon Ellen to the phone to talk to Hooper.

Roy Scheider was offered a cameo, but declined, stating “Satan himself could not get me to do Jaws part 4”. Reportedly, if Scheider had accepted the bit part, the shark would’ve killed his character at the start of the movie. The end result has Scheider in the film through archive footage from the original film that is inserted during some scenes in the film.

This film is listed among the 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made in John Wilson’s book “The Official Razzie® Movie Guide.”

The only movie in the franchise which doesn’t take place in the summertime. The first Jaws takes place around July 4th, Jaws 2 takes place in June, Jaws 3 takes place at some point in the summertime, and this movie takes place around Christmas and New Year’s (Secret holiday film?)

According to this film, the events that occurred in Jaws 3-D (1983) never took place, which would explain why Mike did not marry Kathryn, and why he isn’t working as an engineer at SeaWorld, and this also would explain why Sean now works as a Deputy in Amity Island, as if he never moved to Colorado. (HA)

Would be one of Judith Barsi’s last films before her untimely death, at the age of ten, one year after this film’s release. Lance Guest, who plays her on-screen father Mike Brody, served as one of her pallbearers at her funeral. (Oh gosh, that is a terrible story)

Bruce the Rubber Shark was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor in this film, thus making him the first animal nominated for one. (Probably the first not-real thing as well)

Michael Caine said: “Won an Oscar, built a house, and had a great holiday. Not bad for a flop movie.” He was paid 1.5 million dollars for seven days work in the Bahamas, and the schedule was so tight, that the producers were unable to spare him, so that he could attend the Oscar ceremony, and he went on to win the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986).

Mario Van Peebles wrote his own part.

Michael Caine is the second actor to follow up an Academy Award-winning performance with a Razzie Award-nominated performance in a Jaws (1975) sequel. The first was Louis Gossett, Jr., who won an Oscar for An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), and then was nominated for a Razzie for Jaws 3-D (1983). (Amazing. Why did I not remember that Louis Gossett, Jr. won an Oscar?)

Set mostly in the Bahamas, the film’s storyline includes its Junkanoo Festival, previously known to movie-goers from also featuring in the earlier James Bond movie Thunderball (1965). The annual parade is also featured in the later movie After the Sunset (2004). (Bahamas baby. We are a-traveling the Caribbean)

Mostly set in the Bahamas, the bulk of the movie was filmed on Oahu, Hawaii’s North Shore, near Turtle Bay, and on the northeast side of the island.

Director Joseph Sargent briefly looked into the possibility of producing the movie in 3-D, and contacted the company who had supplied the cameras for Jaws 3-D (1983). However, they told Sargent that they could not guarantee the cameras would work reliably in the climate of the Bahamas, and so the idea was scrapped. (Good)

Comedian Richard Jeni considered this the worst movie of all time, and built a substantial portion of his stand-up comedy act around it. (Lol here’s the link)

On the TV Tropes site, the film, specifically the novelization, is the Trope Namer for Voodoo Shark, defined as an attempt in a story to explain away a plot hole, except that it falls flat, because the explanation itself is a plot hole, and which ends up raising more questions. The name of the trope refers to the novelization of the film, which explains the shark’s motivations as being the result of a curse by a voodoo witch seeking revenge on the Brodys after a scuffle with Michael. (HOLY SHIT THEY DID HALLOWEEN IT!)

According to ‘Rating the Movies,’ “After a miserable theatrical showing in the U.S., the film was given a new ending for its European release.” The ending is the version where when the shark is stabbed, the shark is blown to pieces (using three shots from the first movie). This ending also has Jake (Van Peeples) floating around after the shark’s destruction. When the film was released to video in North America, the European ending was used. When AMC aired Jaws: The Revenge in the early 2000s, they would show the American ending where the shark is stabbed, bleeds profusely, then sinks. As of 2014, however, AMC shows the European ending, rather than the American one. This often leads to confusion for viewers on the original ending, when watching a re-run on television. (Wowza, that is a bit nuts)

The shark’s head exploding is explained when Jake throws an explosive, that’s powered by electrical impulses into the shark, before he is grabbed by the shark and taken under the water, and later when the shark is impaled by the broken bowsprit in the exact spot where the bomb is, it ignites the bomb, which causes the shark’s explosive demise. (I’ll leave that there, that is ludicrous)

Awards: Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Visual Effects (Henry Millar, 1988)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Joseph Sargent, 1988)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (1988)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Lorraine Gary, 1988)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Michael Caine, 1988)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Joseph Sargent, 1988)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Michael De Guzman, 1988)