Friday the 13th (2009) Preview

Huge week for BMT as we finish up our adventure through the Friday the 13th series. I’m actually getting a little emotional as I relive our journey from F13 n00bs to veterans of the series and big enough fans to be legitimately disappointed when they scrapped the planned reboot this year. The 11th movie in the series, Freddy vs. Jason, pitted two of the most famous film slashers against each other and earned enough goodwill to not qualify for BMT, so that’s just a bonus this week. As for the Bring A Friend for Friday the 13th we went with Black Friday the 13th, pairing a Bargain Bin C-list Gary Daniels martial arts film, Black Friday, with the conclusion of the horror franchise. There had been some questions for as as to what qualified for “Bargain Bin,” but this certainly does: stars a C-list actions star, does not have a trailer, and was directed by the same guy who made Saving Christmas. That is legit lower than Direct-to-DVD… that’s like Might-not-ever-be-on-DVD level. But of course my local public library had a copy ready to rent (my library is amazing). All things considered I’m willing to bet watching Black Friday will be a more horrifying experience than finishing up Friday the 13th. Let’s go!

Friday the 13th (2009) – BMeTric: 46.6

Fridaythe13th_BMeT
Fridaythe13th_RV

(Nice. Opened high with the horror fans hitting the ratings hard, and they it goes a-tumblin’ down to the “mean”. The idea of an average rating is actually quite fascinating. The mean rating for IMDb as a whole is something like 7.0 (weighted by number of votes). For the top 10 thousand films (by popularity) it is closer to 6.4 instead. And I think if you were to postulate a limit, the mean rating a movie would hit if it was (1) perfectly average, and (2) an infinite number of people rated it, I think it would be around 5.8 all said and done. What does it say about BMT that so many of our movies approach this 5.8 limit like clockwork? I think it tells you a bit about how bad the “average” movie is, but this could also all be horseshit. Only deep diving data-analysis can tell the tale. Stay tuned.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  The 12th Friday isn’t a sequel but something like a remake of the 1st and 3rd. As before, some annoying teenagers encounter the silent, murderous Jason, who chops, stabs, and bludgeons his way through the cast, though without as much gore as in previous entries. Plodding, dull, and repetitive, this is only occasionally creepy and never scary. Yes, there’s a setup for a sequel, if anyone cares.

(Leonard loves lists. Although I do like the rhythm created by “chops, stabs and bludgeons” and “Plodding, dull, and repetitive”. Brutal takedown at the end, mainly because yeah, no one cared and Paramount cancelled the sequel mere months ago. Sigh.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVsVKn-MS14

(As far as a remake is concerned this is probably the best storyline available. Use the hiker looking for his sister conceit. Replace Mama Voorhees with Jason. And give a few call backs (like the bag over the head). I like the idea of him being a weirdo protecting his territory as well. I am genuinely interested in seeing how they screw it up. Although judging by how much Camp Crystal Lake there is in the trailer, they might have caught a case of over-explainitis.)

Directors – Marcus Nispel – (Future BMT: Conan the Barbarian; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: Pathfinder; Friday the 13th; Notes: Was originally attached to End of Days as his feature directorial debut, but left due to budget issues. Was originally a commercial and music video director.)

Writers – Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Freddy vs. Jason; Future BMT: Baywatch; BMT: Friday the 13th; Notes: True blue writing partners (they even have a joint wiki page). Brought in after Wheaton (and the originally attached director) was fired, having written Freddy vs. Jason.)

Mark Wheaton (story) – (Future BMT: The Messengers; BMT: Friday the 13th; Notes: He wrote for a number of film magazines prior to becoming a screenwriter despite going to school for playwriting. Writes for video games as well, and has had a few crime novels published in the past few years.)

Victor Miller (characters) – (Known For: Friday the 13th; Freddy vs. Jason; Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI; BMT: Jason X; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Friday the 13th; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: Wrote the original film.)

Actors – Jared Padalecki – (Known For: Phantom Boy; Future BMT: House of Wax; Cry_Wolf; Flight of the Phoenix; BMT: New York Minute; Friday the 13th; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: His IMDb profile is very details and weirdly focused on his high school academic achievements (like being a Presidential Scholar and an “exceptional” chess player). Played Dean Forester on Gilmore Girls.)

Amanda Righetti – (Known For: Captain America: The First Avenger; Role Models; BMT: Friday the 13th; Notes: Was Hailey Nichol on The O.C.! That’s Kirsten’s little sister for those playing at home. Mainly a television actress she had major parts on The Mentalist and Colony most recently.)

Derek Mears – (Known For: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore.; Predators; Signs; Zathura: A Space Adventure; Død snø 2; Hatchet III; MacGruber; Future BMT: Wild Wild West; The Haunted Mansion; The Hills Have Eyes II; Cursed; Men in Black II; Live by Night; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; The Demolitionist; Gangster Squad; BMT: Dragon Wars; Friday the 13th; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Notes: Known for his “towering height”. Makes sense he would take over as Jason. I don’t have issues with not having Hodder return in the remake, if they had planned on making it a series I think you try out a few people to find someone who can bring something new and fresh to the part.)

Budget/Gross – $19 million / Domestic: $65,002,019 (Worldwide: $91,379,051)

(I mean, that’s a hit. $65 million is nothing to scoff at for a horror. They probably expected more, but none of these films made money, so I don’t know why they would. I am actually stunned they cancelled the sequel. The only plausible explanation is that they are rebooting it again to give it back that microbudget feel with a Blumhouse Pictures deal, but who could possibly know. Perhaps the cut they saw was so bad it would have killed the franchise forever.)

#7 for the Horror – Slasher genre

fridaythe13th09_slasher

(Second best of the remakes of classic horror franchises, beaten only by Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This franchise died with the remake wave. Is there no novel ways to make a slasher? Is the genre too narrow and self-aware. Possibly. Only time will tell. Would make me sad if true, but I have to imagine someone will come up with a twist and revive it, even if the glory of practical effects fueled 80s slashers are dead and gone.)

#7 for the Horror Remake genre

fridaythe13th09_horrorremake

(You can kind of see how the slasher died at the same time the remake boom died. There aren’t really any 90s horrors worth rebooting, so possibly they are just waiting a bit before delving back into more recent films? Unclear. Horror is experiencing a renaissance at the moment, so remakes don’t seem like the are entirely wanted or needed.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (42/166): Though technically well-constructed, Friday the 13th is a series rehash that features little to distinguish it from its predecessors.

(Yeah … well I’m not sure going the other way would have worked out very well either. Honestly, I’m hard pressed to think how you could reboot a horror franchise like this without rehashing quite a bit. Any type of “innovation” I don’t think comes across as anything but gimmicky. Maybe set it after all of films (besides Jason X …) and don’t explain his resurrection? Soft reboot into Jason as a ghost story in the woods around Crystal Lake, something everyone forgot about.)

Poster – Friday the 13th (B-)

friday_the_thirteenth_ver2

(I like it! Some similarities to the original, although less artistic and more generic. Like the spacing, Jason-centric nature of it, and the coloring is dark but nice. Biggest flaw is they took a series with unique font and made it boring as shit.)

Tagline(s) – Welcome to Crystal Lake (B-)

(Concise and to the point, hinting at what’s to come (hopefully): a Friday the 13th film. Not clever in the least bit though.)

Keyword(s) – camp; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.5 Batman & Robin (1997); 85.3 Troll 2 (1990); 81.3 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959); 78.4 Pledge This! (2006); 75.9 Freddy Got Fingered (2001); 69.8 Year One (2009); 64.0 Seed of Chucky (2004); 60.5 Shrooms (2007); 53.6 Exit to Eden (1994); 50.8 Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987);

(Booooooo, unless … does camp mean like a camp … or like campy? Because then Batman & Robin makes sense. Seems like a mix to be honest, which would make this list an absolutely bonkers marathon.)

Notes – The first time Paramount has any association with the “Friday the 13th” series since 1989.

Producer Michael Bay walked out in the movie premiere, stating that the movie featured too much sex. (Ha! Just too much for him)

Adrienne King, star of the original 1980 film, was approached by producers Andrew Form and Bradley Fuller to do a cameo appearance during preproduction. A few days later, the producers called her back and told her they didn’t want anyone from the original film to appear in the remake. (This production sounds organized).

The first film in the series released by both New Line Cinema and Paramount Pictures. Originally, Paramount owned the rights to the series after the original was released in 1980 but sold the rights to New Line Cinema in the early 1990’s after poor box office returns of Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989). New Line bought the rights to the characters of Jason Voorhees and Pamela Voorhees, the Crystal Lake name, and the trademark for the title “Friday the 13th”. All footage from the first eight films and the remake rights for the first film remained the property of Paramount. New Line Cinema released Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Jason X (2001) and Freddy vs. Jason (2003). When Platinum Dunes came aboard to develop the new film, they wanted the freedom to use scenarios and characters from the films still owned by Paramount. After a legal dispute, the companies decided to co-produce the 2009 film.

In this movie Jason wears both the legendary hockey mask and the burlap sac, although neither of those appeared in the original Friday the 13th (1980). (Hmmmm, that’s a lot of fan service)

With $42.2 mil, had the biggest opening weekend of a horror-remake beating out former record holder The Grudge (2004) ($39.1 mil).

The title card of the movie isn’t displayed until the end of the opening segment, nearly 25 minutes into the film, which is one of the longest prologues for a horror film ever. (Holy shit, that is ridiculous)

Tommy Jarvis, a character that appeared in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), and Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986) was at one point confirmed by producers Bradley Fuller and Andrew Form of Platinum Dunes to be returning as Jason’s nemesis. (That would have actually been cool maybe, set them up in a trilogy or something to battle it out. I could have gotten behind that).

According to co-writer Damian Shannon, the character of Jason Voorhees was re-envisioned as more territorial, like a hunter, someone who doesn’t kill people at random but will defend his territory from anyone invading it, and this in the most horrible manner. Director Marcus Nispel similarly claims the film shows new aspects of Jason’s personality. Derek Mears says his portrayal of Jason as a survivalist defending his territory is partially inspired by the character of John Rambo in First Blood (1982). (That makes a lot of sense)

Despite the title, the date the events supposedly take place on, Friday the 13th, is only mentioned once. The date can be seen on a tear-away type calendar in the police station, as the officers leave to investigate towards the end of the movie.

One of the victims was originally supposed to drown due to exhaustion as Jason waited her out from the shore of the lake.

Travis Van Winkle portrayed the same character from Transformers (2007) which was directed by Michael Bay.

The film’s setting (New Jersey) is an homage to the original film being filmed in New Jersey. (Wellllll … Crystal Lake is in New Jersey so easy peasy).

Jason just randomly appearing out of thin air as in the earlier films wouldn’t fly this time around. So, they decided he traveled via a series of underground tunnels. That concept was in Mark Wheaton’s original script, but Mark Swift and Damian Shannon claimed to have never read Wheaton’s script until the film was finished, having come up with the same idea about the tunnels on their own. As for the marijuana plant farm which Jason appears to use to lure teenagers into traps, apparently no writer can claim that as their own. According to Swift and Shannon, that was actually director Marcus Nispel’s idea from early on in the development process, and it was their job to work it into the script. (Huh, that could work, but it sounds a bit too over-explainy to me).

The character of Sheriff Bracke, played by Richard Burgi, is named after author Peter Bracke, who wrote the book “Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th”.

Screenwriters Mark Swift and Damian Shannon wanted Jason’s body count in the film to be just 13 as an easter egg for fans. It was surprising how much work it was to kill thirteen people.” Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter pulled off the “just 13 kills” thing as well, and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives writer/director Tom McLoughlin originally turned in a film featuring just 13 kills. Executive Producer Frank Mancuso, Jr. forced him to perform re-shoots to up the body count to 18. (Ha, yeah, 13 is pretty close to typical for Friday the 13th, 18 is a lot).

A follow up to 2009’s Friday the 13th was slated for release on October 13, 2017, and was all set to go into production in a matter of weeks. But in February 2017 it was announced that paramount had pulled the plug on the project. (Sigh, yep, this is why we were doing this entire thing)

The film takes place on June 13, 1980 and in 2009.

It shares screenwriters with Freddy Vs. Jason, who had previously turned down the chance to do a Freddy Vs. Jason sequel. Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, as a result of the legal delays, Friday the 13th lost its original director (Jonathan Liebesman) and screenwriter (Mark Wheaton). Freddy Vs. Jason writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, who had earned their first writing credit with Freddy Vs. Jason but had yet to get another script onto the screen, were brought in to replace Wheaton. Both grew up huge Jason/Freddy fans, but their Freddy Vs. Jason script was largely re-written by David S. Goyer, who went uncredited, and the far campier film that came out of that was not to their liking. Still, New Line actually offered them the chance to pitch ideas for a Freddy Vs. Jason 2, which they turned down, according to Shannon, because “we thought maybe somebody else should tackle it because we shot our wad so to speak. Every idea we had about that was in the first. I don’t know what we could have done with a second one.”

Mark Wheaton’s original pitch to New Line was to reboot the series with “a new Part V,” ignoring the original “New Beginning” and everything that happened after while featuring a prologue showing Jason Voorhees witnessing the murder of his mother. The characters who come to Crystal Lake then know of Jason as they did in Friday the 13th Parts 2, 3-D, and IV, but Voorhees is not yet supernatural as he is beginning with Part VI (or is a demon worm, or has gone to space, etc.). To further suit the needs of a reboot, Wheaton had Voorhees in first the canvas bag as he was in Part 2 only to replace it with the hockey mask halfway through the film.

The character Richie was one of a few characters to have CGI effects added into his death. Derek Mears (Jason) was holding only the handle with half the blade of the fake machete, making it look like it impaled Richie’s (Ben Feldman’s) head. The visual effects crew digitally superimposed the fake machete to look like it was a completely bladed weapon in the final film. Director Marcus Nispel usually allowed minimal use of CGI effects into his films.

Advertisements

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Recap

Jamie

After surviving a maniacal murderer last summer, Julie needs a little R&R. Lucky for her, she wins a trip to The Bahamas. Unlucky for her, the murderer shows up for another shot at revenge. Can she stop him before it’s too late? Find out in… I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.

How?! A year after the events of the first film, we find our hero Julie working hard at Harvard to make up for her freshman academic woes. She’s still dating Ray, the fisherman living back home, but their relationship is on the rocks. With July 4th approaching, Julie dreads heading home, so when her roommate Karla wins a trip for four to The Bahamas it provides the perfect excuse. Ray plans on surprising Julie by coming on the trip, but on his way to Boston the fisherman murderer shows up and seriously injures him. He’s left scrambling to try to make it to The Bahamas to warn Julie. With Ray nowhere to be found Julie’s totally platonic whitebread nerd-alert friend, Will, tags along as they head down to paradise… or so they think. Turns out the resort is on a secluded island that is basically deserted for storm season. Trapped by a monster storm on the horizon, Julie and her friends are terrified to find that the murderer has followed them. Turns out that [SPOILER ALERT] the fisherman murderer actually used to work at the resort and was suspected of murdering his two-timing wife decades ago before fleeing. Also turns out that Will is actually his son and they teamed up to trick Julie into going to the island. They corner her in a spooky scary graveyard, but at the last moment Ray arrives and together they defeat Will and his father. He is definitely dead this time and will never come back ever obviously because that would be ridiculous. But wait, what if… it wasn’t? Bum, bum, bum!

Why?! As is the case with most horror films the motivation lies entirely in the hands of the murderer. Julie, Ray, and the rest of the gang are just looking to get laid and paid. The murderer on the other hand is doling out years of revenge. As I see it, he is angry because: 1. His daughter was killed in a road accident and the driver wasn’t punished enough… this enraged him. 2. After murdering the driver he was hit by a car… this extra enraged him. 3. After doling out some revenge he was thrown off a boat and lost his hand… this double extra enraged him. None of this really explains his obsession with waiting for July 4th each year to enact revenge, but to each his own I guess.

What?! No great product placement here. Instead I’ll highlight another favorite of ours: when other pop culture references show up in a film. Like posters for films, books, etc. Early in this film we get a super close-up of a book that Julie is reading. It’s the sequel to Scott Turow’s book Presumed Innocent, The Burden of Proof. Sometimes they’ll drop something like this into a film as weird foreshadowing, if it relates to other works done by people associated with the film, the maker is just a fan of the work, they simply needed a prop, or it’s a joke. This feels like a “prop.” (PATRICK NOTE: I am now reading Presumed Innocent because of this, I’m a crazy person, welcome to my Bad Movie Book Book Club (BMBBC)).

Who?! The obvious highlight here is Jack Black who appears uncredited despite appearing in three major scenes in the film. He’s ostensibly comic relief as a stoner/forgettable murder victim, but his appearance almost comes across as parody. Pretty early in his career to take an uncredited role, but maybe he was aware of how badly this film would be received? Don’t know.

Where?! After very obviously being set in NC, this film takes a wild jump to international waters to The Bahamas. Really nice A- setting as it truly depends on the tropical locale. This is also a great film to foreshadow an upcoming world map game where we collect all the countries of the world. It will of course be called Backstreet’s Map, Alright!

When?! Again we have to sound the Secret Holiday Alert! The murderer loves killing on July 4th. It’s almost like they were trying to have their own Halloween franchise, but with a decidedly unscary holiday. Also a Solid A.

While I still know that I thought this film was entirely ridiculous, you have to give them a hand for those setting. Just spectacular. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! I Still Know What You Did Last Summer?! I still don’t wanna know! Two for the price of one on that NY Post headline. Actually the headline would have been something like “Audiences Didn’t Want To Know!”. So you just made a moderately successful film in the newly-minted Scream-induced resurrection of slashers, what is your next move? Yes, let’s take this to The Bahamas and introduce a ludicrously convoluted backstory for our favorite killer … Ben Willis (ooooh yeah … what you aren’t scared of Ben’s sweet hook action?). Let’s get into this!!

The Good (Sequel Prequel Remake) – One of the best comedies I’ve seen in years. When Jamie and I discussed this film there was a point in which we just described the storyline and started laughing. It is some of the funniest shit you’ll see. In the same vein: Jack Black is amazing-but-really-terrible-but-you-get-it-like-…-he’s-amazing in this film. It is like a parody film. Oh did none of this seem particularly good … yeah, this film is hilariously bad, almost mind-bogglingly so. Obviously I’m going Sequel because I need to know everything about the Willis family (Myers, VoorHees, Krueger … Willis, that is the Mount Rushmore no?). We know Ben Willis killed his wife in the Bahamas and moved to North Carolina with his son and daughter. Let’s go further. A young Ben Willis is a happy-go-lucky lad in Massachusetts, fishing with Papa Willis and having a grand old time. But one day he snaps and kills his entire family never to be seen again (perhaps he went to the Caribbean for some R&R …). Years later a traumatized Julie James and her husband Ray move into a house on Cape Cod. Little do they know the entire deal was set up by Ben Willis (who spent a few years getting his real estate license, natch) to bring them to his all-too-familiar familial home for one last shot at ice hook vengeance. It makes no sense, but you’ll learn everything about grandpa and grandma Willis in …. I Knew What You Did Last Summer.

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – This film is laughable. The acting, the premise, the fact that they felt the need to make a sequel to a mediocre slasher which is … the same movie except on a bad Caribbean set. It isn’t scary, they hide half the kills from you (probably for budget reasons), and did I mention it makes no sense. Ben Willis is from The Bahamas? Where the hell was his son during the events of the first movie? Did the son not go to highschool with the other kids? How did he get into Harvard without anyone noting the fact that two people from this incredibly small town both went to Harvard in the same year? It. Is. Ludicrous and I love it. Pure distilled trash. The analogy is probably something like Halloween Resurrection (although I haven’t seen that). That just seems like the right mix of follow-up-to-a-mediocre-slasher-that-crosses-the-rubicon-into-ridiculousness. Maybe Species II as far a ridiculous sequels to horror films go, if you want to stick to BMT.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – The legacy of this film should be quite nice. As far as BMT is concerned this is the first real post-90s slasher sequel we’ve done and it hits right at a time when the genre thought they could sustain such garbage and be fine (it can’t and didn’t). I will always remember this film for how they just blew out Ben Willis’ backstory for no reason and basically made a comedy from what would have otherwise been a boring forgettable genre sequel. And this time I’m somewhat stunned that I Still Know What You Did Last Summer got no play as far as I can tell for worst of 1998. People seemed distracted by Armaggeddon and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (of all things). I would have usually chalked this up to the fact that critics tend to ignore horror films, but Phantoms, Urban Legend, and Species II all made some lists. A travesty. The Will Benson reveal does get a little play as either a great or terrible twist though (it is terrible, for the record).

And I’ll close with a little Book Review. Little did we know I Know What You Did Last Summer was based on a book! And yes, we both read it which is crazy. The book is a very short lightweight teen thriller and in general is a pleasant enough read. Solid twist even. But I can see why the author was pissed about the adaptation … it isn’t a slasher. Almost the opposite. It is about guilt and the unforeseen consequences that chaotically reverberate across a small town from what was an unavoidable tragedy. Interesting read. Especially subsequent interviews about the movie (which, as I said, she hated). I’ll leave it there.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

I Know What You Did Last Summer Recap

Jamie

After accidentally hitting a man with a car, four teenagers dispose of the body and vow to tell no one. A year later they all receive threatening notes regarding the accident. Can they stop this maniacal killer before it’s too late? Find out in… I Know What You Did Last Summer.

How?! Julie, Ray, Barry, and Helen are the raddest kids in town and boy howdy do they know it. Celebrating the 4th of July before they leave their podunk North Carolina town for college, they accidentally hit a man walking along the darkened road on the seaside cliffs. Fearing jail and loss of reputation the kids vow to tell no one and dispose of the body in the sea. A year later this devastating secret has wreaked havoc on their lives. Julie is struggling in school, Ray has settled for being a townie fisherman, Helen never made it big in acting, and Barry is a total asshole (but wasn’t he always?). As July 4th approaches they begin to get threatening notes hinting that their secret may not be so secret after all. These notes culminate in a murderer in a fisherman’s outfit coming after them with a giant hook. After Barry and Helen are fatally hooked by the fisherman, Ray and Julie figure out that [SPOILER ALERT] the man they hit survived! Lured onto the man’s fishing boat in a moment of panic, Julie and Ray must confront their tormentor. Ray is able to gain the upper hand and throw the man overboard. Unfortunately, the police are never able to recover a body, only his severed hand clutching a hook. Bum bum bum!

Why?! So the incredibly detailed backstory involves a fisherman named Ben Willis whose daughter is killed in an accident. He blames his daughter’s boyfriend who was driving at the time for her death. On the anniversary of the accident he sent a threatening note to the boyfriend (mistaken for the boy’s own suicide note) who despondently goes to the seaside cliffs to drink his sorrows away. There Ben Willis kills him. Presumably super satisfied with a job well done, Ben Willis proceeds to walk down the darkened road back to town when all of a sudden he gets his just desserts and is hit by our protagonists. His “corpse” is dumped in the ocean, but he is somehow able to survive. Enraged by the arrogance of these kids he vows revenge… again… a year later… again… because he’s a crazy person and everything has to happen on July 4th? I don’t know, his motivations are straight bonkers. I feel like he should have recovered from the accident and been like, “Gotta admit. Karma’s a bitch.” As for our protagonists, they just want to get paid and laid… oh, and live.

What?! It’s no secret what the coolest teens in town are drinking this summer. With a cool refreshing taste and zero calories there’s nothing to feel guilty about when you hook yourself a delicious… Diet Coke!

Who?! Nearly forgot that a band appears in the film at a beach party the teens attend just prior to MURDERING SOMEONE. According to IMDb that band is Southern Culture on the Skids and they are a staple of 90’s and 2000’s comedies. Can’t wait to hear them again in Without a Paddle.

Where?! Very nice settings film. It is made clear that this film takes place in Southport, NC. This is a real town in North Carolina and is apparently also the setting for The Birds II: Land’s End, the totally unavailable TV movie sequel to The Birds. Cool stuff. B+.

When?! Secret Holiday Film Alert! As mentioned this takes place on July 4th. Even has a fantastic scene where the killer exclaims “Happy 4th of Joooo-ly.” That is an A if I’ve ever seen one.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! I Know What You Did Last Summer? I’d rather not know! Four teens are given a tough choice: face the music in a vehicular manslaughter charge, or tango with a murderous fisherman ghost. And they make a pooooor decision, let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – I actually didn’t mind this film for the most part. It had a few moments of Scream in there, kind of a humorous play on tropes. If you can get past the fact that it is one of the least scary horror film you’ll ever see (and isn’t that the point?) it is probably high up on a list of solid big-release horror films made between 1995 and 2005. I would go as far to say I dug the final fight. They go two-on-one with Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt versus the bad guy which is actually a pleasantly equitable battle. And they have a very nice fishing boat set piece used to great effect. If anything I would remake it. Keep the core story, introduce an early kill to the film, and bring it back to the low budget slashers of the 80s. If that sounds unclear it probably is because it is unclear … I’m not sure it would fix any of the problems. I mainly just want an early kill (see below).

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – Let’s get this out of the way in this recap: neither of these films are scary. Not even for a moment. The killer has a lame ass weapon. It lends itself to some nice corpse dragging effects, but other than that they have to kind of pretend he can do more with it than hook people’s mouths (as unpleasant as that already is) … he can’t, that’s his one solid move. The acting is pretty rough despite having what appears to be a star studded cast. They also go a little far with the horror-movie-magic … you’re telling me a weirdo fisherman is clearing up a dead body and a bunch of crabs out of a trunk in broad daylight? Give me a break (fine … it was probably a delusion by Julie James, but that is even worse). It is a weak slasher, despite the occasional bright spot. It isn’t a BMT film (nor will it be), but I feel like the analogy is something like Halloween H20. Some bright spots here and there, maybe some decent kills … but still a poor excuse for a slasher. Complete with its own travesty of a sequel.

The BMT (Legacy + StreetCreditReport.com) – I don’t think this has a legacy besides I guess being on a long list of not very good late 90s horror films. And as far as street cred … there is none, nary a whisper among the critics at the time. You see, this is a bonus film through and through. It is barely BMT. It isn’t good, but it also isn’t totally bad. I generally agree with the attitude that this film would have been much better received if it came out before Scream, but got a bit of a short end of the stick because it is somewhat correctly viewed as a copycat of that superior film. The end.

I’m going to do a quick Sklognalysis here. We’ve been watching a lot of slashers recently, specifically Friday the 13th, and I feel like I’ve come to an understanding and appreciation of the genre. In I Know What You Did Last Summer, there is one thing I simply could not get past nor abide: it takes like 40 minutes before you see a kill in this film. Friday the 13th always rocked the opening kill. It gets people in the mood, gives a little preview of the killer’s MO, etc. But the thing I hesitate with is: Is it a necessity in a good slasher? Perhaps my view is colored by what might be termed the Stalker version of slashers (Scream, this, eventually Friday the 13th are examples) where the killers come and get you. There it feels like you want an early kill to get people tense about the approach of the killer. In the Cabin in the Woods killer though the good guys go to the bad guy who is kind of just chilling in the woods. There the happy-to-terrified journey is itself tense (something is wrong -> the characters slowly realize it -> first kill -> all hell breaks loose is a solid formula). Here we got a Stalker, and we needed to see him wield that sweet ice hook early and often, otherwise you lose steam and kind of end up bored. That’s my opinion: the fatal flaw of this film was no early kill. I’d even say it takes precedence over hiding the killer’s identity (that rarely works), just give me a kill!

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Preview

Clearly when we double our work for a week by watching a double bill there is only one thing that we can do. That’s right! Watch another double bill for the horror entry in the Calendar cycle. My Gawwwwwd! Is that… I Know What You Did Last Summer/I Still Know What You Did Last Summer’s music? I’ve been really looking forward to watching this series for BMT. Not only is the title ridiculous, but it’s based on a book (!) and features one of the underrated stars of BMT, Freddie Prinze Jr. It landed on the Calendar for November 13th beating out the likes of 2012, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, and Love the Coopers. Let’s go!

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998) – BMeTric: 76.1

IStillKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer_BMeT

IStillKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer_RV

(This is much more like a really terrible film. The regression to the mean maybe means this will be more boring that really funny-bad, but I still have some hopes. It has an impressive number of votes, but a lot of horror films do. Popular – bad film here, and a classic step down as far as a sequel goes.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Hewitt and friends win a vacation to a Caribbean island, where they are pursued by the killer with a hook from the first movie, I Know What You Did Last Summer. Another film in which the cast runs around screaming while being killed, one by one. Plotless mess lacks any suspense, and makes the original look like a classic. Jack Black appears unbilled.

(Deep burn on the first one Leonard. Although I’ve mentioned time and time again that Maltin has said he doesn’t particularly enjoy horror films, so I doubt he would have considered it a classic regardless. I’ll have to watch out for Jack Black, hopefully it is more substantive than his bit part in Waterworld.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99yCJwP97Uo

(Ahhhh, now that looks like complete shit. There we are, everything is right with the world. Everything looks like shitty sets, it looks like they repeat a bunch of stuff, and the storyline appears to be ludicrous. It went full Scream 3, but with worse acting for sure. Congrats.)

Directors – Danny Cannon – (Known For: Goal!; Phoenix; Future BMT: The Young Americans; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Judge Dredd; Notes: Started as a movie director, but is now mainly a television director / producer including most recently Gotham. He is from Luton in the UK which is home to the airport you really hope you don’t fly into because it means it will take you forever to get to London.)

Writers – Lois Duncan (characters) – (Known For: Hotel for Dogs; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Mentioned above she is the author of the original book. In more sad info, one of her books is a non-fiction account of her search for the person who killed her daughter in the 80s, a cold case that was never solved. She became a children’s book author after the event, not being able to write thrillers anymore.)

Trey Callaway (written by) – (BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Almost exclusively a television producer / writer, this was one of his first writing gigs. Given that his only writing credit prior to the film was two episodes of Timon & Pumbaa, one might wonder how he got the job …)

Actors – Jennifer Love Hewitt – (Known For: Tropic Thunder; Can’t Hardly Wait; Heartbreakers; Future BMT: Garfield; Garfield 2; Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit; Delgo; The Suburbans; House Arrest; The Truth About Love; Jewtopia; Telling You; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; The Tuxedo; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: At the age of 12 she recorded her first album Love Songs. It was released exclusively in Japan and made her a pop star in Japan for a brief period. She released a few other albums all the way up to 2002, but never really found success in the United States.)

Freddie Prinze Jr. – (Known For: The House of Yes; Brooklyn Rules; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; Happily N’Ever After; Summer Catch; Boys and Girls; Head Over Heels; She’s All That; Delgo; To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday; Jack and Jill vs. the World; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Wing Commander; Down to You; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Scooby-Doo in 2003; Notes: I know him best as Best Friend Forever to Matthew Lillard. He was in Scooby Doo, Scooby Doo 2, Summer Catch, Wing Commander, and She’s All That with him, it is crazy!)

Brandy Norwood – (Known For: Arachnophobia; Osmosis Jones; Future BMT: The Perfect Match; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor; Notes: A singer / rapper first who made an incredibly successful transition to acting, although mostly in television, most famously as the title character in Moesha. Kobe Bryant took her to senior prom.)

Budget/Gross – $24 million / Domestic: $40,002,112

(Still not too bad. I’ve mentioned before during our viewings of various Friday the 13th films that slasher films ultimately don’t really make money. Two Scream films are the only ones to have broken one hundred million domestic, and $40 million is honestly a rather impressive take. Especially considering it got such bad reviews.)

#17 for the Horror – Slasher genre

istillknowwhatyoudidlastsummer_slasher

(This came right at the peak of post-scream 90s horror. How big the genre got in the early to mid 2000s kind of surprised me, but that was fueled by a binge on remakes of the big 80s franchises. It has since, obviously, collapsed. Which is kind of sad. Slashers never made money, but you can make them on a shoestring, which should be right up Blumhouse’s alley. Hopefully it hasn’t been permanently relegated to VOD. This came in a shade above the original Friday the 13th’s gross in 1980 … yeah, maybe not so great.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (4/56): Boring, predictable, and bereft of thrills or chills, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer is exactly the kind of rehash that gives horror sequels a bad name.

(Boring? Boring?! I don’t believe it. This looks like a cartoon come to life and a testament to everything that is wrong with horror (and specifically slashers) since the major franchises up and died. How can one not be entertained watching the film that gives horror sequels a bad name!)

Poster – I Still Know What You Sklogged Last Summer (B+)

i_still_know_what_you_did_last_summer

(Ehhhh, not loving the hook they added in this one. But the coloring is slightly better and they added some flair to the font for “Still.” Only a small step back.)

Tagline(s) – Some secrets will haunt you forever. (C+)

Someone is dying for a second chance. (C-)

(Both of these are not good. The first is the better of the two. Short and a small hint at the concept of these films, but lacking creativity. The second makes me sad. All I can think of when I read it is someone smirking and saying “nailed it.” Too clever by half and largely meaningless besides letting us know that this is indeed a sequel.)

Keyword(s) – fisherman; Top Ten by BMeTric: 88.0 Vampires Suck (2010); 76.1 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998); 73.2 Swept Away (2002); 52.5 Free Willy 3: The Rescue (1997); 52.3 Gone Fishin’ (1997); 52.0 Sura (2010); 47.4 I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997); 44.1 The Incredible Melting Man (1977); 42.3 Flipper (1996); 41.1 Clash of the Titans (2010);

(Wow, this is like a who’s who of films I feel like we should have seen. Swept Away I actually did see (we illogically owned that on VHS whilst in high school, a combination of the local rental place’s bargain bin and gag gifts), but not yet for BMT. It is coming. Gone Fishin’ is also on the calendar, and we will see Elijah Wood’s tour de force Flipper at some point.)

Notes – Peter Jackson was asked to direct. (and he said NO)

The character of Karla Wilson was originally intended to be a Caucasian girl, until Brandy auditioned and won the role. (I’m sure the character description in the script read “Karla, a caucasian woman white as the driven snow”. Give me a break)

Scheduling conflicts with Dawson’s Creek (1998), The Faculty (1998), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), and gearing up to direct Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999) prevented Kevin Williamson from writing the screenplay for both this film and Scream 3 (2000) after having written their predecessors. (If it gave us Dawson’s Creek then ANYTHING GOES. Dawson’s Creek is a national treasure. They had a student-teacher relationship in the FIRST EPISODE!!)

Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Muse Watson are the only actors to reprise their roles from the previous film, with Sarah Michelle Gellar only reappearing as Helen Shivers via a photograph. (I presume this is a spoiler alert: I would guess Gellar’s character died)

Due to the negative critical reaction to the film upon its release, Freddie Prinze Jr. admits that he has never seen the film because of its reputation. (ha!)

Early promotional material, including the theatrical trailer, credit Stephen Gaghan as co-writer of the screenplay. In the final credits, only Trey Callaway is credited. (That is strange. I wonder how such a thing happens)

While the film is set in The Bahamas, it was actually shot at: El Tecuan Marina Resort Costalagree, in Jalisco, Mexico.

Brandy’s second time playing a character that won a fixed radio contest. Once in this film and a second time in Double Platinum (1999) in the following year. (hilarious fun fact)

I Know What You Did Last Summer Preview

Clearly when we double our work for a week by watching a double bill there is only one thing that we can do. That’s right! Watch another double bill for the horror entry in the Calendar cycle. My Gawwwwwd! Is that… I Know What You Did Last Summer/I Still Know What You Did Last Summer’s music? I’ve been really looking forward to watching this series for BMT. Not only is the title ridiculous, but it’s based on a book (!) and features one of the underrated stars of BMT, Freddie Prinze Jr. It landed on the Calendar for November 13th beating out the likes of 2012, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, and Love the Coopers. Let’s go!

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) – BMeTric: 47.4

IKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer_BMeT

IKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer_RV

(Maybe it is because we’ve been doing just brutal films, but I am fascinated by this plot. It is almost entirely a function of it having so many reviews while still being slightly below average (average is roughly 6.0), and the way it just floats around the same value … it is kind of the definition of regression to the mean. It has managed to just follow a contour line on the rating-vote plot perfectly. Very nice. Very popular – below average film.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  In coastal North Carolina, four friends accidentally run down a pedestrian on a lonely road. They dump the body in the sea and vow never to mention it again. But a year later, they each begin receiving the title message in the mail, and then the murders begin. … Scripter Kevin Williamson’s attempt at a Scream follow-up is too routine to succeed overall.

(Pretty low key review, but somewhat expected given this isn’t really supposed to be a truly terrible film. I’m actually pretty shocked that it is below 40% in the first place, but it is kind of barely there, and horror fans and critics alike are fickle when it comes trashing slasher films. Add in that late-90s horror outside of Scream was basically a garbage pit and maybe this will be relatively okay?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcWK0M4VMjA

(It seems real, but it is a bit unbelievable. The change of tone at the end gives off a thick Scream vibe, which is probably a smart move since Scream is basically the only big budget slasher film to be received well post 1990. I personally think this is going to be fun, but closer to Scream 3 than anything else. Like it knows what it should probably do to make the post-1990 slasher work, but never quites gets where it needs to get … vague, but I know what I mean.)

Directors – Jim Gillespie – (Future BMT: Venom; D-Tox; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Scottish. It is hard to say this film ruined his career as it was unclear if it was really on the upswing to begin with, but D-Tox, which was a big budget straight-to-DVD disaster. Anyways, it appears he might work for London Film School now.)

Writers – Lois Duncan (novel) – (Known For: Hotel for Dogs; BMT:  I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Note that in addition to writing the book Hotel for Dogs (which I didn’t know was adapted from a book …), she also wrote Killing Mr. Griffin which has an eerily similar plot, so much so it is mentioned on the books wiki page. And double weird, Kevin Williamson wrote Teaching Mrs. Tingle! Anyways, in sadder news she died last year.)

Kevin Williamson (screenplay) – (Known For: Scream; Scream 4; Scream 2; The Faculty; Future BMT: Cursed; Scream 3; Teaching Mrs. Tingle; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: He has a very interesting career, clearly very much focused in the horror genre. He was raised in North Carolina where this film is set, and ended up producing Dawson’s Creek. Horror films and Dawson’s Creek, who would have thunk it.)

Actors – Jennifer Love Hewitt – (Known For: Tropic Thunder; Can’t Hardly Wait; Heartbreakers; Future BMT: Garfield; Garfield 2; Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit; Delgo; The Suburbans; House Arrest; The Truth About Love; Jewtopia; Telling You; BMT:  I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; The Tuxedo; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Probably more famous for her later television work (The Client List and Ghost Whisperer in particular) at this point, she was a megastar when I was growing up due to Party of Five. In between … well she made bad movies basically. She is a huge fan of Glasgow Celtic Football Club apparently.)

Sarah Michelle Gellar – (Known For: Cruel Intentions; Scream 2; Small Soldiers; Funny Farm; Suburban Girl; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; The Grudge 2; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; Happily N’Ever After; The Return; Southland Tales; Simply Irresistible; She’s All That; The Grudge; Harvard Man; TMNT; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Is most famous as Buffy, and has basically been doing television work for the most part. I married to Freddy Prinze Jr., who also stars in this film.)

Anne Heche – (Known For: Donnie Brasco; The Other Guys; My Friend Dahmer; Catfight; Volcano; Wag the Dog; Rampart; Cedar Rapids; The Adventures of Huck Finn; Return to Paradise; A Simple Twist of Fate; Walking and Talking; Wild Side; I’ll Do Anything; The Third Miracle; Auggie Rose; Future BMT: Psycho; Nothing Left to Fear; Wild Card; Six Days Seven Nights; The Juror; Milk Money; Spread; Birth; Arthur and Mike; That’s What She Said; What Love Is; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress for Psycho in 1999; Notes: Growing up I mainly knew of her because she was Ellen DeGeneres’ partner for a few years. Recently she was on the podcast Doug Loves Movies where she thoroughly embarrassed herself and was kicked off.)

Budget/Gross – $17 million / Domestic: $72,586,134 (Worldwide: $125,586,134)

(Really solid haul for a slasher film. Basically right there with Scream, and is basically exactly what they were going for. This was when people thought slashers were back! They weren’t.)

#6 for the Horror – Slasher genre

iknowwhatyoudidlastsummer_slasher

(While the slasher genre made a triumphant comeback with Scream, it was not to last. The 2000s saw a bunch of remakes of 80s classics (like our beloved Friday the 13th) and then the genre basically disappeared. That isn’t to say there haven’t been any. Most Likely to Die is an example of what appears to be a fairly big slasher released basically exclusively to VOD in 2015. So it is likely that is where the genre is at the moment.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 35% (15/43): No consensus yet.

(I get to make one: Fun, energetic, uninspired, predictable, fairly scary … but not that scary. I Know What You Did Last Summer goes through the beats of a Scream knockoff, but never quite reaches the satisfying tongue-in-cheek peak of its obvious predecessor. That is basically the gist of it. A fairly scary, fairly satisfying Scream knock-off.)

Poster – I Know What You Sklogged Last Summer (A-)

i_know_what_you_did_last_summer

(Have to admit, this is nicely done. This is exactly how prominent pictures of stars should be employed on a poster. Just wish the color they used was better. I like the dash of red, the slightly modified font, and the spacing.)

Tagline(s) – If you’re going to bury the truth, make sure it stays buried. (C+)

(Well that’s a mouthful. Using the word bury twice sounds odd. This seems like a second draft of a tagline that they couldn’t quite make all the way to the end. Does give a hint at the plot and isn’t totally bereft of cleverness.)

Keyword(s) – overalls; Top Ten by BMeTric: 77.9 Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009); 71.9 The Next Karate Kid (1994); 68.9 Dance Flick (2009); 57.7 The Big Bounce (2004); 57.3 God’s Not Dead 2 (2016); 56.4 Troll (1986); 54.0 Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992); 50.3 Dhoom:3 (2013); 50.1 Runaway Bride (1999); 49.6 The Spy Next Door (2010);

(Ba-da-da-da-da I’m lovin’ it. Overalls!? We talking about overalls!? I want to hold a bad movie marathon announced as “IMDb keyword: Overalls”. Some of those are legit hilarious, although I would cut Dhoom 3 obviously.)

Notes – Lois Duncan has stated openly that she hates the movie, because the filmmakers turned her book into a slasher film. She especially detested it in the wake of her 18-year-old daughter’s murder in 1989. (Makes sense, I’ve read the book NBD, and it is nothing like this. Certainly not a slasher film)

Despite being part of the main cast and appearing in many key scenes together, the characters Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.) only speak to each other twice (Ray – “How do you know that?” Helen – “Missy, said there was a friend named Billy Blue)” (at around 1h 2 mins) and (Ray – “No, it’s not, it’s true” Helen “Yeah, I don’t think so, Ray”) (at around 10 mins). In real life, the two later fall in love and marry. (That is absurd)

Kevin Williamson wrote this script before Scream (1996), but was unable to sell it. Following the big screen success of his next screenplay, “Scream,” Columbia Pictures immediately bought I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) (Ha! Purely fueled by Scream. Calling this a knock-off is a little unfair I admit, since they share the same main screenwriter.)

The ice inside the storage of the boat was actually made of gelatin so Jennifer Love Hewitt could comfortably move around inside. (fun fact)

The group goes to “Dawson’s Beach.” This is a reference to Dawson’s Creek (1998), also written by Kevin Williamson. (Doubt it, seems like it would have to be the other way around given the years involved)

The set relocated from North Carolina to California for the scene where the four teenagers run over the man. Producer Erik Feig said that North Carolina was the flattest state and they needed a more ‘curvy’ and ‘dangerous looking’ road. (I’m sure it isn’t the flattest state, but it is flat)

The original trailer for the movie described Kevin Williamson and the movie as “from the creator of Scream (1996)”. Miramax, owners of the “Scream” franchise successfully sued Columbia Pictures for “false advertising” and the phrase was removed. (It was from the writer of Scream … amazing they could do that)

The scene where Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) escapes from the cop car mirrors a similar scene in Scream 2 (1997) with Sydney and Hallie. Sarah Michelle Gellar plays the sorority girl CeCe in said film. (Interesting)

After the first Croaker County Beauty Pageant, the band playing at the beach party is the alternative/surf rock band Southern Culture on the Skids. (Very interesting. Might have to go into our Who section of the recap)

(at around 38 mins) “Hush” from the soundtrack (played fully over the end credits) is heard briefly on the radio of Barry’s car. (Gross)

(The rest of the notes are all spoilers for the movie or the book which I figured were mostly unnecessary)

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan Recap

Jamie

Nearing the end of our Friday the 13th journey. Officially past the halfway point and quickly approaching Freddy vs. Jason. We’ll have to confront the philosophical question of why we watched through all of Friday the 13th before that entry, but have made no indication that we will do the same for the Nightmare films. Truly a conundrum. Until then let’s just get into some details.

What?! Jason’s back, Jack! After spending some more time chilling at the bottom of Crystal Lake, Jason is inadvertently resurrected… again. He then promptly boards a cruise ship filled with teenagers headed to the Big Apple. Can they take down Jason before he brings a new problem to New York City? Find out in… Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan!

How?! We open on an eerie night on Crystal Lake where a couple teens are looking to get it on. They drop anchor, hit an underwater electric cable, and Jason is electrocuted back to life (as always… or at least per the last few movies). He kills the teens and commandeers the boat. Inexplicably, He is then able to take this boat out of the lake to the Atlantic Ocean where he boards a NYC cruise populated by the recent graduates of a local high school. Most of the characters in the film are teens looking to party, but our protagonists aren’t really into that scene. Rennie is a girl with a troubled past. She had an encounter with Jason as a kid and has been left traumatized. Sean is the son of the captain of the ship. He’s expected to take over the family business of sea captaining, but he’s just not sure he’s up to it/wants to do it. Oh, and they’re also kinda in love or something. Anyway, everything goes to shit. Everyone dies except Rennie, Sean, and other less important people. They escape via rowboat and make it to NYC only to find that Jason has followed them. Uh oh! A chase ensues, ending in the sewers of NYC where Jason is dissolved in a wave of toxic waste… can’t wait to see how he lived through that!

Why?! We keep having to go over this. Jason kills! It’s his job. He punches in, kills some sex-crazed teens, and punches out. Despite the monotony, he loves it. Perfectly satisfied in his workaday position and not looking for a promotion to upper management. While he would appreciate the raise, he doesn’t want to get too far from the day-to-day killing, you know? For the most part this film is without much motivation for the teens, other than to celebrate their graduation in style. Eventually their motivation is to not be killed. Pretty standard for F13.

Who?! The actor who played Sean has made a bit of a career in country music, but he’s more of an actor-turned-musician than the other way around. I’ll instead highlight our animal friend in this film. Rennie’s dog Toby was portrayed by a dog actor named Ace. Ace doesn’t have a huge number of credits, but he was the dog actor in a Canadian TV Show called The Odyssey which featured Ryan Reynolds (Canadian child actor extraordinaire). Show looks weird. Someday we’ll have an animal actor cycle. The credits are fun.

Where?! A+ setting alert! Obviously a good chunk of this film takes place in Manhattan. Most of it takes place off the coast of New Jersey in the Atlantic Ocean. Either way we are pretty clear on where we are the entire time. A+.

When?! Well at least this time we have an idea of when this takes place. I’ve stated a number of times that the timeline for the series is fucked. There are numerous websites claiming that the year Part VIII takes place is anywhere from 1994 to 2004. Since this deals with a high school graduation we can at least be pretty certain this film takes place at the end of May/beginning of June. C+.

There really isn’t anything like the Friday series. We’ve truly gone through a journey with these films. I daresay 2017 will be remembered in BMT lore as The Year of Jason. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan? More like Friday the 13th Part VIII: Barely In Manhattan, amirite?! A director had a vision: take Jason from quaint Crystal Lake and drop him in the most exciting city in the world! And the producers said “great, but we already built this boat set sooooooooo ….” Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – A short rundown of the good in the film. Taking Jason out of his element was a solid idea on paper. Kane Hodder continued to impress as by far the most lively and interesting Jason in the franchise. Decent practical effects here and there. Felt a little bit more like a classic Friday the 13th than the fifth, sixth, or seventh (although that is not necessarily a good thing). As usual I would just kind of remake it as a part of remaking the whole series. I would keep the boat and do all the killing on that instead of ever getting to Manhattan. The close quarters, trapped at sea, nowhere to run. Could very well lead to some tense moments. In the end, a crippled heap of a boat floats into New York harbor, a ghost ship without a trace of Jason to be found. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Cruise Control.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – What didn’t work: The last bit in Manhattan didn’t work at all. There was a whole storyline about a girl being haunted by Jason due to an interaction she had with him as a child that was mainly stupid. Most of the characters are forgettable, so much so that at one point a teacher remarks “hey shouldn’t we go get the others from the restaurant?” to which another character says “there is no restaurant left” … okay, not sure how he knew that, but that is how the unceremoniously dumped a handful of ripe-for-the-killing teens out of this movie. Anywho, the real issue two-fold: the director/writer overreaching and the studio unwilling to yield on costs. The director has a solid idea on paper, but either didn’t have the resources or the ability to translate it to screen. What resulted was what I would consider the second worst Friday film in the first 8 released, which is pretty bad. I think the main culprit here was sloth. The produced-on-a-dime horror film would fall into a slumber, waiting to be awoken years later by Jason Blum.

The BMT Legacy – I think the legacy of this film, again, is mainly tied to us having watched the entire franchise in a year. I thought it was slightly better than the Rotten Tomatoes score would suggest, so it probably won’t have the legs, but then again, if we were holding, say, a Friday the 13th Bad Movie marathon, it would be pretty easy to pick out 3, 5 and 8 as the worst three of the franchise. Nice distribution there actually, basically get one or two good ones between all of the flops. So it’s got that going for it.

Time for a StreetCreditReport.com! My new favorite game, so fun I think it might actually end up as a permanent member of my recaps. People love to rank the Friday the 13ths (including us!), and this is typically second to last (this guy has #5 as fifth best though so …), or worst, or worst again, and finally number 9. This random blog ranks movies from specific years, and Manhattan gets number 3 for 1989! Two interesting things. One, it is quite common not to rank Freddy vs. Jason because it is apparently much more of a Nightmare on Elm Street film. We just had this debate ourselves and will likely watch Freddy vs. Jason as a part of this mini-challenge. Two, people really really don’t like number seven (The New Blood)! Which is interesting, because we both dug it and have it quite high in our own personal rankings. We’ll probably go through the Friday the 13th rankings again at the end of the run, but until then …

Cheerios, 

the Sklogs

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood Recap

Jamie

What?! Jason is back, Jack! We last saw Undead Jason trapped underwater in Crystal Lake. Lucky for us (not so much for his victims) he is freed from his watery grave by a telekinetic teenager, Tina. Can our Carrie ripoff stop Jason’s reign of terror before it’s too late? Find out in… Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood!

How?! As always we open on a young teen making her way to Crystal lake. This time, though, Tina’s not there to experiment with drugs and risky sexual liaisons. She’s there to confront her darkest secret: as a child she killed her father by inadvertently using her hidden telekinetic powers. These powers only come out in fits of rage and as a result she’s been cloistered up in a psychiatric ward. Now back at the lake, her nerves are frayed and she accidentally raises Jason from the depths of the lake. Oh no! Meanwhile, a bunch of teenagers are partying it up at a cabin celebrating the birthday of one of their friends. Long story short, loads of teens get laid, loads of teens get high, loads of teens drink refreshing ice cold Pepsi, and loads of teens get killed. Classic. Once pretty much everyone is dead, Tina ends up going mano a mano with Jason. She hangs him, blows him up, and ultimately raises her father from the dead (?!) to pull him to the depths of Crystal Lake once more. Phew. It’s probably over and Jason has definitely died for sure and we won’t ever see him again. The end.

Why?! How many times do I have to tell you? Jason kills! It what he does. He escaped death for the sole purpose of taking out a cabin full of teenagers and I love him for it. As for our Carrie doppelganger, she’s gone to Crystal Lake to confront her feelings of guilt over her father’s death. Many years before, he was killed by Tina in a fit of telekinetic rage over his alcohol-fueled abuse. Tina’s psychiatrist pretends to believe this confrontation will help her, but really he wants to get her telekinetic abilities caught on camera. He seems to think being near the lake will enhance them. Everyone else is just there to die… oh, and to get paid and laid, obviously.

Who?! No comic relief or Planchet (which is odd for a Friday the 13th film). Instead I’ll highlight an interesting cameo by Walt Gorney, who voiced the narrator at the beginning of the film. He’s actually the actor who played the “You’re all gonna die!” old man in the first two films (he was killed in Part II). Strange uncredited cameo. Skipped four films.

Where?! Oh you know where. That’s right! Back in Crystal Lake. Glad that starting with Part VI they seem to realize that sticking with what works (Crystal Lake, Jason kills people in weird and wild ways, breasts, etc.) might be the way to go. New Jersey straight up. B.

When?! The movie starts with a flashback to when Tina killed her father and we are treated to a wonderful close-up of a calendar telling us it’s October 13th. Unfortunately the main thrust of the film has no such luck. I couldn’t find a date and no one online seems to know either. Interestingly, most people seem to agree, given evidence from previous entries and the director’s statements, that this film likely takes place somewhere between 1999-2002… which is hilarious. D+.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood?! More like Friday the 13th Part VII: Hey You Blow! Ayyyyyoooooooooo. Jason has gone from a child, to a man in a bag, to an unstoppable maniac, to a zombie. Stick with unstoppable maniac zombie? Maniac zombie it is! Let’s go!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – The good in this film was that once they made the transition to full blown supernatural (provided the audience is game) they finally allow for a hero to match up with Jason by virtue of her psychic powers. The quality also progressed enough that I was genuinely digging some of the kills and what they did with Jason. If I had my druthers we’d someday see a good v. bad supernatural 80s mega-franchise movie be made. Freddy, Jason, and Michael for sure on the bad team. And I think Tina Shepard is the first Friday the 13th protagonist able to stand against Jason for reals. Do I personally like supernatural slasher films? Not really, but it is hard to stand against Jason who, unlike Freddy or Michael Myers, is built like a tank. Giving a little supernatural edge to the protagonist ended up being kind of fun once they painted themselves in a corner in making Jason a hulking man-beast.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Hmm. Let me walk through what I thought was bad here. The main supernatural conceit is cheap and the movie kind of has to hop-skip into it with a weird voiceover (and it still doesn’t really make sense … like, did Jason float over to this lady’s childhood cabin over time or what?). Most of the kills are just kind of dumb, reminiscent of the second and third in the franchise. They still have too many characters, at one point I counted up eleven living characters and realized at least nine more people had to die. It is too much. Not very funny, almost bizarrely sincere in its supernatural turn. Modest complaints honestly. … Maybe envy of the success other horror franchises had had with the supernatural up to that point? This came on the heels of Halloween’s own supernatural turn in 1988 and Nightmare on Elm Street had always been rooted in that. Otherwise maybe just gluttony, more kills, more boobs, more drugs, more sex, more 80’s, more bonkers, to the point where it is hard to even figure out why half of the stuff is in the film in the first place! Yeah, I think it is more gluttony there.

The BMT: Legacy – As we roll through this horror franchise I can only think the legacy of this film is merely that it represents a turn in horror that lead it down to sad path to things like Leprechaun (no offense, I just mean self-awareness to the detriment of the spooky tense slashers of the late-70s and early-80s). But Halloween 4, 5 and 6 will eventually provide BMT with that as well (and in a far worse manner, spoiler alert). This represents something for BMT in general in that this endeavor to watch the entire franchise in a year will definitely lead to more such “mini-challenges” as we’ve dubbed them. And that will eventually control the cycles we choose within a year a lot more closely and will affect at least some of the analyses we do concerning our bad films in general. It is exciting, but the actual legacy of the film I think will be minor.

Huh, I think once I wrote everything down I’ve come to the conclusion this film is better than the critics give it credit for, even if I do think it is a let down from the sixth installment which is surprisingly solid. At least I personally think so. The StreetCreditReport.com is pretty minor. I’ve only ever heard of this installment as the more supernatural one (which could be good or bad). Looking online it gets a mention as having one of the best and one of the worst (the sleeping bag kill, which is also rather famous) kills of the franchise. Otherwise the only major thing I could find was about how they changed the ending to please queasy audience members. For the record I too think the father should have been a rotting corpse at the end.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs