Urban Legends: Final Cut Quiz

Oh boy. This is embarrassing. Because I’m again involved in some urban legend murders, and for the life of me I can’t (again) remember who the murderer was! Do you remember what happened in Urban Legends: Final Cut?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Again, just sock it to me, what urban legends do we see in the film?

2) Where does our main character get the idea for an urban legend film?

3) After Travis Stark supposedly kills himself his twin brother Trevor shows up to try and solve what he thinks must be a murder. Why didn’t anyone seemingly know about Trevor?

4) In the end what is the connection between all of the murder victims, and how do they figure it out?

5) So who was the murderer and why did he kill all of these people?

Answers

Urban Legend Quiz

Whoa! Last thing I remember I was chilling on campus while a bunch of gnarly urban legend murders were happening. Scary! But I don’t remember if they caught the guy or anything … do you remember what happened in Urban Legend?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Right up top, can you name the urban legends featured in the film?

2) Our second victim (Joshua Jackson aka Pacey from Dawson’s Creek) isn’t recognized as a victim initially because he is thought to be on a trip. Where was he supposed to be going?

3) On campus there is a closed down dorm due to a spooky event that happened there that was covered up. What was the event?

4) It is revealed that Robert Englund got his professorship through not-so-academic means. How?

5) In the end, why did the killer do what the killer did?

Answers

Urban Legends: Final Cut Preview

“Hey Poe, what’s wrong? Looks like you saw a ghost.” Rich’s mouth has run dry at the sight of none other than Helmut Gruber. He leaps to his feet and tackles him to the ground, handcuffing him to the desk. “What the hell are you doing Poe?” the captain asks incredulously. “Let DETECTIVE Heinerich Gruber up and get to work.” Detective? Heinrich? Rich needs to get out of here and fast, but before he can leave the chief grabs his arm and stops him. “I know this is hard, but do this for Rich. The fact is that we no longer think his death was a freak dressage accident. We think it’s… murder.” Everyone gasps. Murder? But why? “For this,” the chief says and turns on a projector. On the screen is the Obsidian Dongle. Gasps ring out again. “That’s right,” the chief says, “Rich had gotten close to a seller of the Dongle. You think you can keep it cool and get this done?” Rich stops rubbing his chest and nods his head. In the car he and Gruber discuss the plan. A quick karate chop to the neck should do it. When they enter the abandoned cement factory where the deal is supposed to take place they are greeted with a gruesome scene. “Is that… the seller?” Rich asks. Gruber nods and gulps, taking in a man pinned to the wall by an arrow, his blood smeared on the wall, “Sincerely, The Sparrow.” Rich ponders for a moment. Sparrow… arrow… he turns to Gruber and asks again how Rich was killed. Gruber sighs, “Like you heard, a freak dressage accident. He got tangled in the reigns of his horse and literally rode until he couldn’t anymore.” My god, Rich thinks, we’ve got a serial killer on the loose. That’s right, we’re doubling up and crushing the Urban Legend(s) franchise. While the first is totally bereft of twins (mistake), the sequel is twin centric. Hopefully the twins are used for good instead of evil. But there’s only one way to find out. Let’s go!

Poe looks at the twin dragons circling the smoking mountain. If that’s the way back to help Rich then that’s where he will go. “How?” he asks his twin protectors. They look at each other and nod, “To defeat the twin dragons you must have strength.” Poe thinks for a moment, “So like a killer workout routine?” But the twins laugh. “No,” they say, still shaking their heads, “food… it’s munchies time.” That’s right! We’re pairing up our horror cycle with the Gremlins super-knockoff Munchies where they literally hired the editor of Gremlins and told her to make another one. Let’s go!

Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000) – BMeTric: 68.8; Notability: 31 

(Brutal rating. It floated sub-4.0 for years prior to a more recent inexplicable uptick. I think I finall have a good grasp on the notability. A film with 50+ means they are pulling out all the stops on the budget and pretty rare for bad films. 30-50 are normal theatrical releases. Some odd tweener films are from 20-30 where it is released to theaters, but they are going with a smaller budget or skimping on the cast. Anything in 10-20 might be independent, or some straight-to-video with recognizable faces, etc. Anything below 10 is a nothing movie. There you have it.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – I don’t know if you’re tired of terrified girls racing through shadowy basements pursued by masked slashers while the soundtrack pulses with variations on the “Halloween” theme, but I am. Real tired. This time the killer wears a fencing mask, and at the end no one even thinks to say “touche!”

(I can’t believe he gave this a 2, that’s so crazy. By all accounts this is much worse than the first, and yet he just shrugs and is like “all the same to me I suppose”. If he’s so tired of the genre why give it a two out of four?)

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

(Oh shit, the scene where they fake the girl’s death they clearly had to color the blood black to get around issues with putting the trailer on television. It is the only explanation. Immediately a much worse concept than the first film … basically just a rip off of the cooler concept of Scream 2. Seriously, what is wrong with the people making Urban Legend that they are literally just copying Scream beat for beat?)

Directors – John Ottman – (BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Notes: Mostly a composer, he is the notorious editor for Bohemian Rhapsody, a film most critics seemed to think was poorly edited, but evidently the mere fact that he cobbled together a film from what was apparently a pile of nonsense earned him accolades in the editor community (who are the ones who vote on the award).)

Writers – Silvio Horta (characters) – (Future BMT: Urban Legend; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Notes: Didn’t seem to actually write this, this is just a character credit. Executive produced The Chronicle a one and done workplace comedy set at a tabloid newspaper.)

Paul Harris Boardman (written by) – (Known For: The Exorcism of Emily Rose; Future BMT: Deliver Us from Evil; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Devil’s Knot; Notes: Appears to have only written horror films in his career. Wrote Hellraiser: Inferno, the fifth Hellraiser film.)

Scott Derrickson (written by) – (Known For: Doctor Strange; Sinister; The Exorcism of Emily Rose; Land of Plenty; Future BMT: Sinister 2; Deliver Us from Evil; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Devil’s Knot; Notes: A major director and producer now for Disney, he not only wrote Doctor Strange, he also directed it and is involved with the Labyrinth sequel.)

Actors – Jennifer Morrison – (Known For: Bombshell; Star Trek; Warrior; Star Trek into Darkness; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; The Report; Assassination Nation; Stir of Echoes; Superfly; Miracle on 34th Street; Back Roads; All Creatures Here Below; Sun Dogs; Some Girl(s); Future BMT: The Darkness; Amityville: The Awakening; Surviving Christmas; Intersection; Big Stan; Knife Fight; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Grind; Notes: You’d know her from the first few seasons of House, and she was one of the main characters in Once Upon a Time. Started modelling as a child in things like JCPenney.)

Matthew Davis – (Known For: Legally Blonde; Blue Crush; Tigerland; Below; Heights; Future BMT: BloodRayne; S. Darko; Pearl Harbor; Finding Bliss; Seeing Other People; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Waiting for Forever; Notes: Briefly a star in the early 2000s, he was the bad guy in Legally Blonde. Starred in Vampire Diaries and the spinoff series Legacies.)

Hart Bochner – (Known For: Die Hard; Carrie; Batman: Mask of the Phantasm; For Your Consideration; Rules Don’t Apply; Breaking Away; Bulworth; Anywhere But Here; Making Mr. Right; Rich and Famous; Islands in the Stream; Apartment Zero; Future BMT: Supergirl; Spread; Liberty Stands Still; Terror Train; Mr. Destiny; The Innocent; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Notes: Was the yuppie asshole Harry Ellis in Die Hard, and has always been juuuuuust not quite a star throughout his career. Directed PCU and High School High, and is the son of Lloyd Bochner who was all over television and film in the 60s and 70s.)

Budget/Gross – $14,000,000 / Domestic: $21,468,807 (Worldwide: $38,574,362)

(Ehhhhhh this would be considered a pretty bad haul by most standards just because it relies on worldwide take to recoup a 2x on the budget. So definitely not surprising they didn’t go for a third. I have to assume at some point you’re running on fumes with some mediocre urban legends.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (7/82): This teen horror movie brings nothing new to an already exhausted genre. And it’s bad. Really bad.

(Yeah, that’s a rouch sub-10 percentage there. It is pretty sad how exhausted the slasher genre got only a few years after Scream revitalized it. Reviewer Highlight: It delivers bald-faced variations on devices that were originally deployed, albeit with a redeeming glint of irony, in the Scream films and in Scary Movie. – David Chute, Los Angeles Times)

Poster – Karl Urban Legends: Ghost Ship with the Most Ship

(I really appreciate that they went all in on a Jason style mask even before the mask premiered in the franchise. As if we are supposed to know what a fencing mask is supposed to mean in this context. Like the orange, but needs that sweet sweet font and feels very crowded. C+.)

Tagline(s) – Legends never die (A)

(I think… I think I like it. It’s very short and sweet and gets to the point. It’s also a little double meaning mixed in and lets you know you’re in for some thrills and chills. Yeah, I like it. Weird to use a word from the title in the tagline, but OK.)

Keyword – twins

Top 10: Doctor Sleep (2019), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), The Great Outdoors (1988), House of Wax (2005), Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), Despicable Me 3 (2017), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 58.2 Deck the Halls (2006), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 54.9 The Back-up Plan (2010), 52.0 The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 43.7 Double Impact (1991), 36.2 A Cinderella Story (2004), 17.3 Mrs. Winterbourne (1996), 13.4 Little Women (2018);

BMT: Jack and Jill (2011), Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), Father Figures (2017), Pluto Nash (2002), The Identical (2014)

(We are getting there. We have at least three more of these on the docket, so we are moving through them. Came in right before the big twins boom of the Harry Potter franchise it looks like.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Eva Mendes is No. 6 billed in Urban Legends: Final Cut and No. 2 billed in Ghost Rider, which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 6 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Kingdom Come we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Originally set to film on the campus of the University of Western Ontario, it was turned down by the administration, because of its violent nature.

The opening sequence in the film was originally supposed to take place on a boat. During a location scout, they found the airplane set, and decided to revise the script. As it turns out, the original boat sequence was originally inspired by the airplane sequence in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983).

The character of P.A. Kevin was based on an actual student at USC, where John Ottman, Paul Harris Boardman, and Scott Derrickson attended. (Ha)

The snow storm seen in the film was unintended.

Since the campus used as Alpine University in the film didn’t have an actual bell tower, a one hundred fifty foot tower was built at an estimated one hundred fifty thousand dollars. All of the interiors were done on a separate stage and the bell was papier-mâché. (Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat)

The campus used during filming was Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.

Anson Mount originally auditioned for the role of Travis/Trevor. (I think he would have been better honestly)

Reached number one at the box office opening weekend with a mere gross of $8,505,513. The film was a moderate financial success, but only grossed about half of what the original made, leading to the third film, Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005) being released straight-to-video.

The ice in the bathtub during Lisa’s death scene was actually made of silicon, and very heavy. The kidney used in this scene was actually a goat’s kidney.

The sequence with Lisa (Jacinda Barrett), Trevor (Matthew Davis), and Toby (Anson Mount) at the bar shortly before her death was a reshoot. It was filmed several months after principal photography was completed. It was decided after the film was done, that a death scene needed to occur much earlier in the film to add a sense of danger. This is why the character is never mentioned before or after her appearance. Mount had to wear a wig during this sequence, because he had cut his hair significantly since. (Ahhhhhh this makes so much sense! Because there is no logical reason for the murders to have started occurring until the idea of an Urban Legend film was pitched, but that happens after the first death)

While the killers are different (as was the studio that produced it), this film picks up on the same urban legend where the first movie left off, The Kidney Heist. (Yeah I find that a bit odd actually)

The character of Vanessa being revealed to be a lesbian with a crush on Amy was a holdover from the original draft of the first film, where Reese was originally going to be a lesbian.

Urban Legend Preview

“Hey Poe, what’s wrong? Looks like you saw a ghost.” Rich’s mouth has run dry at the sight of none other than Helmut Gruber. He leaps to his feet and tackles him to the ground, handcuffing him to the desk. “What the hell are you doing Poe?” the captain asks incredulously. “Let DETECTIVE Heinerich Gruber up and get to work.” Detective? Heinrich? Rich needs to get out of here and fast, but before he can leave the chief grabs his arm and stops him. “I know this is hard, but do this for Rich. The fact is that we no longer think his death was a freak dressage accident. We think it’s… murder.” Everyone gasps. Murder? But why? “For this,” the chief says and turns on a projector. On the screen is the Obsidian Dongle. Gasps ring out again. “That’s right,” the chief says, “Rich had gotten close to a seller of the Dongle. You think you can keep it cool and get this done?” Rich stops rubbing his chest and nods his head. In the car he and Gruber discuss the plan. A quick karate chop to the neck should do it. When they enter the abandoned cement factory where the deal is supposed to take place they are greeted with a gruesome scene. “Is that… the seller?” Rich asks. Gruber nods and gulps, taking in a man pinned to the wall by an arrow, his blood smeared on the wall, “Sincerely, The Sparrow.” Rich ponders for a moment. Sparrow… arrow… he turns to Gruber and asks again how Rich was killed. Gruber sighs, “Like you heard, a freak dressage accident. He got tangled in the reigns of his horse and literally rode until he couldn’t anymore.” My god, Rich thinks, we’ve got a serial killer on the loose. That’s right, we’re doubling up and crushing the Urban Legend(s) franchise. While the first is totally bereft of twins (mistake), the sequel is twin centric. Hopefully the twins are used for good instead of evil. But there’s only one way to find out. Let’s go!

Poe looks at the twin dragons circling the smoking mountain. If that’s the way back to help Rich then that’s where he will go. “How?” he asks his twin protectors. They look at each other and nod, “To defeat the twin dragons you must have strength.” Poe thinks for a moment, “So like a killer workout routine?” But the twins laugh. “No,” they say, still shaking their heads, “food… it’s munchies time.” That’s right! We’re pairing up our horror cycle with the Gremlins super-knockoff Munchies where they literally hired the editor of Gremlins and told her to make another one. Let’s go!

Urban Legend (1998) – BMeTric: 45.7; Notability: 34 

(While it is rising, this has a much lower rating that I would expect. Considering how 90s nostalgia works I would have expected people to eventually get over the comparisons to Scream and embrace it as a silly send up of Horror tropes as well. It might eventually reach mediocrity, but it still seems like the consensus is the film just isn’t that good.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – “Urban Legend” is not art. But for its teenage audience, it serves the same purpose, which is to speed the meeting of like minds. Everybody knows how it works: The guy puts his arm casually around his date’s shoulders. Onscreen, Natalie/Brenda, etc., goes poking around in the abandoned campus building where the massacre took place years ago. The Creep Chord blasts out of the Dolby speakers, everyone jumps, and if in the confusion his hand slips south, well, who says cable will ever replace the theatrical experience?

(Oh Roger, you rascal. Much like a lot of critics it feels like Ebert might have mixed feelings on the slasher as the genre. But this review truly sounds like Ebert is at the very least game to learn the tropes of the modern slasher. And it sounds like he mostly understands the purpose of something like Urban Legend, and also how it is an inferior version of the truly fun / interesting slashers of the time.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4d1_D90BwU/

(Really good concept for a slasher film. It is actually a little bit amazing it hadn’t been done in the slasher heyday of the 70s and 80s. I have to say, playing up the Englund appearance was solid, I would have easily been sold for this film just from that, as silly as it looks.)

Directors – Jamie Blanks – (Future BMT: Valentine; Long Weekend; BMT: Urban Legend; Notes: Pitched for I Know What You Did Last Summer, but the directing jobs had already been filled. Producer Moritz then tagged him for the next slasher in Urban Legend. Is now a composer for film in Australia.)

Writers – Silvio Horta (written by) – (Future BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; BMT: Urban Legend; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy as a writer for Ugly Betty. Was a consultant for P-Valley this year, although he sadly passed away last January.)

Actors – Jared Leto – (Known For: Fight Club; Blade Runner 2049; Requiem for a Dream; American Psycho; The Thin Red Line; Dallas Buyers Club; Girl, Interrupted; Panic Room; Mr. Nobody; Lord of War; How to Make an American Quilt; Lonely Hearts; Prefontaine; Future BMT: Alexander; Black and White; Suicide Squad; Chapter 27; The Outsider; Switchback; Basil; BMT: Urban Legend; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Suicide Squad in 2017; Notes: Was mostly a star in the late 90s despite winning an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club in 2014, and playing the Joker in 2016. The lead singer and songwriter for the band Thirty Seconds to Mars, which amazingly had a number two album in 2018 and several number one singles on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart.)

Alicia Witt – (Known For: Dune; Mr. Holland’s Opus; Two Weeks Notice; Citizen Ruth; Last Holiday; The Upside of Anger; Cecil B. Demented; Liebestraum; Bodies, Rest & Motion; Fun; Playing Mona Lisa; Future BMT: Bongwater; Peep World; Four Rooms; I Do; BMT: Urban Legend; A Madea Christmas; 88 Minutes; Vanilla Sky; Notes: Did a bunch of Hallmark Christmas movies in the mid-2010s. She’s also a musician, although there is little information about whether she’s charted in any meaningful way.)

Rebecca Gayheart – (Known For: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Scream 2; G.B.F.; Pipe Dream; Future BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Jawbreaker; Harvard Man; Nothing to Lose; Shadow Hours; BMT: Urban Legend; Notes: Was a model and at one point engaged to Brett Ratner. Is married to Eric Dane, although they filed for divorce in 2018. Convicted of vehicular manslaughter in 2001 and sentenced to probation in the accidental death of a boy in Los Angeles.)

Budget/Gross – $14,000,000 / Domestic: $38,072,438 (Worldwide: $72,527,595)

(Not exactly a Scream performance, but it still shows why pretty bad slasher schlock can be such a draw for production companies. $14 million in young actors and fake blood and you can make money hand over fist.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (12/56): Elements of Scream reappear in a vastly inferior vehicle.

(Ah interesting. Perhaps this is a little hindsight creeping in, but I guess it is understandable to view this as merely a copycat of Scream as that had temporarily resurrected the teen slasher genre. Both I Know What You Did Last Summer and this seem to have a pretty distinct premise though. Reviewer Highlight: It’s just a weary sigh over how Scream’s juicy archness has already turned into boilerplate. – Ty Burr, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Keith Urban Legend

(There is just a lot going on here. I appreciate the effort and the artistry on this one, but it’s very busy. Some nice color and spacing. Needs a distinctive font. FInally, is this somehow a play on breaking a mirror gives you bad luck? Anyway, interesting but not necessarily in a good way. C+.)

Tagline(s) – What You Don’t Believe Can Kill You. (C)

(I was trying to figure out whether this was a play on a phrase and apparently yes. “What you don’t know can’t hurt/kill you,” which is probably more commonly heard in reference to like “What Mom doesn’t know won’t kill her.”. A phrase so entrenched that cultural touchstone Murder She Wrote played on it for Episode 22 of Season 12 What You Don’t Know Can Kill You… what I’m saying is that this is taking mediocre to an entirely different level.)

Keyword – slasher flick

Top 10: Truth or Dare (2018), Unfriended: Dark Web (2018), I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), Candyman (1992), Halloween (2018), Scream 4 (2011), Hostel (2005), Scream 2 (1997), Happy Death Day (2017), Child’s Play (2019)

Future BMT: 82.8 Prom Night (2008), 82.5 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 72.6 Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017), 69.3 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), 68.8 Black Christmas (2006), 68.4 Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), 65.9 Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), 64.3 Valentine (2001), 63.6 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), 61.7 My Soul to Take (2010);

BMT: Truth or Dare (2018), Urban Legend (1998), Friday the 13th (2009), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Friday the 13th: Part III (1982), Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981), Jason X (2001), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

(The genre has certainly been relegated to things like Shudder in recent years, although Blumhouse has busted out a few (which would also mean low notability as they operate on a shoestring budget). The big bump around 2004 I think might be things like Hostel where there was a flurry of torture porn all of a sudden. You can also see how it died in the mid-90s before Scream.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 7) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Alicia Witt is No. 1 billed in Urban Legend and No. 2 billed in 88 Minutes, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 = 7. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – When Paul and Natalie walk into the hidden room in Professor William Wexler’s office, a puppet of Freddy Krueger can be seen just before they see the axe. Robert Englund, who played Professor William Wexler, played Freddy Krueger in the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” films.

The killer’s outfit is based on the fact that the film was originally planned to be set in the middle of winter. When the weather was too warm, it was decided to drop the winter aspect of the storyline, rather than fake snow in all the outdoor scenes, and dress all of the extras in winter outfits, but they kept the killer’s costume. (Well it certainly was initially supposed to be winter because one of the characters goes on a ski trip to Vermont, but yeah, the date is supposed to be around April 27th during filming. Weird they didn’t change the ski trip at least)

The SUV driven in the beginning, was originally supposed to be a Land Rover. It was changed to the Ford Expedition (the largest 4×4 available at the time), because the filmmakers discovered they couldn’t swing an axe inside of a Land Rover. (I don’t believe it, this had to be product placement, that is ludicrous)

Brenda is seen wearing a blue ribbon around her neck at the end of the film, as this is a minor reference to another urban legend about a girl whose head falls off if she removes the ribbon around her neck.

Joshua Jackson (Damon Brooks) cranks his car before he takes Natalie to “that” spot in the woods. When it cranks, the radio plays Paula Cole’s “I Don’t Want to Wait” from Dawson’s Creek (1998) also starring Jackson. (Booooooooooooooooooooooooo)

The book sitting on the desk in Professor William Wexler’s desk in his class, is “The Vanishing Hitchhiker”, which is one of the seminal texts on urban legends. (He is an urban legend professor after all)

Danielle Harris (Tosh) was a smoker at the time and thrilled to be allowed to smoke while working. She quickly realized that shooting scenes while smoking meant that she was going to have to smoke cigarettes for hours all day while they shot. She eventually got sick of it and quit smoking.

Rebecca Gayheart got sick after eating Pop Rocks all day for the classroom scene.

Julian Richings who plays the “Weird Janitor” later had a recurring role as “Death” on “Supernatural” (2005), the first season of which was mostly based on urban legends.(Huh … I might have to check that out actually)

At the end when students are recounting the events and one comments “Yeah and Brenda was the girl from the Noxema commercial ” – Rebecca Gayheart (Brenda) WAS the Noxema girl in the commercials at that time. (This is all very Scream which is pretty dumb)

Filmed at the same university as “Killer Party” (1986), another campus-set slasher. Incidentally, both films feature a costume party at a fraternity, characters being targeted by a masked killer, and an urban legend about murder at an abandoned dormitory. (Huh, now I REALLY have to watch that one)

The film was inspired by the huge success of “Scream” (1996), and whereas that film was a self-aware satire of horror film tropes, this one is a self-aware satire on urban legends. The film’s negative reception was a result of many critics finding the film to have been an imitation of “Scream”.

The film’s fictional location is Melbourne, New Hampshire. Director Jamie Blanks home city is Melbourne, Australia.This film co-starred two of Hollywood’s most iconic mass murderers. Brad Dourif, who portrays Chucky in the “Child’s Play/Chucky” films, and Robert Englund, who played Freddy Krueger in the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” films.

Event Horizon Recap

Jamie

Captain Miller and his space rescue team of the Lewis and Clark are sent to check out a distress signal from a long disappeared experimental ship, Event Horizon. All is not right with the ship or with Dr. Billy Weir, the scientist who helped design it. Can they stop the eeeeevil ghost ship and save themselves before it’s too late? Find out in… Event Horizon.

How?! Just before going on leave, Captain Miller and the crew of the Lewis and Clark are told to get ready to go to Neptune. They are joined by Dr. Billy Weir and informed that they are going to check out a distress signal from the long lost Event Horizon, an experimental ship meant to test out a new wormhole drive. How does he know? He designed it. Bum bum bum. Once there, it quickly becomes clear that the ship is real spookified and all kinds of terrible things have happened. They want to get out of there ASAP, but an energy pulse from the experimental gravity drive damages the ship. Dr. Weir insists that the drive is perfectly safe, but soon everyone on the ship is seeing and experiencing images of their darkest fears and terrible memories. They start to die one by one at the hands of these visions and Weir goes further and further off the deep end. Turns out the gravity drive didn’t create the artificial black hole to a location far off in space after all… it created a portal to HELL. Bum bum bum! And Weir is completely in its control! Just when they are on the verge of getting their ship repaired and Miller is set to blow up the Event Horizon, Weir is able to sabotage the plan and trap them. Miller is able to blast him out into space and in a last ditch effort blows apart the Event Horizon sending the gravity drive back through a black hole and leaving the remaining survivors floating in stasis through space. Days later they are rescued and are safe (or are they? (I think they are (are they?))) THE END.

Why?! Interesting… I guess the motivation for the good guys is first professionalism. It’s their job so they are going to check out the Event Horizon. Then it’s just survival. As for the eeeevil in the ship… well, it’s evil and pure chaos. It does distill down just how classic horror this really is. That’s been the trend, survival for the good guys and evil for the bad guys. Not particularly interesting.

Who?! Just a small factoid for this section. For whatever reason they note in the credits that Andrew Kevin Walker was a “script doctor (uncredited)” on the film. It’s an interesting note given that there must be thousands of script doctors who have worked on films and don’t get that uncredited credit… so is it just because it was known from an interview or something? How do we even know it’s true? Little known fact, I was a script doctor on Cloud Atlas. Yup. Your move IMDb.

What?! Event Horizon is the perfect film for selling props. Distinct visual effects and large set pieces with a lot of moving parts. Can I dress up as one of the characters? For as little as 10,000 pounds I can. Can I get a piece of the gravity drive? Yup. And that’s really the big one here. It’s almost a MacGuffin. Dr. Weir wants to possess it, Miller wants to destroy it, we don’t know how it works really but we know it’s pretty damn powerful.

Where?! We don’t get a single scene on Earth. Even before setting off for Neptune we only see Dr. Weir waking up on a space station somewhere. This is a true blue (literally) Neptune film. Can we get the whole solar system. We obviously have Earth, Mars, and Jupiter (ascending). And now Neptune. Really we might have hit the limit right there. A-. Very important to the plot, but really couldn’t it have been a different planet.When?! 2047. All told specifically in a series of intertitles. There are even a few more facts given for context. Like 2015 is when the moon is colonized. Breaking news, I guess. You would have thought that President Obama would have made a bigger deal about that on the way out. It is the only major release set in that year… although the sequel to Iron Sky is as well (but that was hardly a major release). A. For all the context given.

When?! 2047. All told specifically in a series of intertitles. There are even a few more facts given for context. Like 2015 is when the moon is colonized. Breaking news, I guess. You would have thought that President Obama would have made a bigger deal about that on the way out. It is the only major release set in that year… although the sequel to Iron Sky is as well (but that was hardly a major release). A. For all the context given.

I kinda dug this movie. It’s got fun atmosphere and was using CGI to some effect given that it was 1997. I can certainly understand the criticisms. It was much more of a Hellraiser ripoff than I thought it would be. Particularly near the end. And while creepy at times it wasn’t really all that scary. Definitely stronger first half than second half, but didn’t peter out as much as I thought it would and I enjoyed the spectacle more than I typically do. Guess I’m a sucker for some sci-fi thrills and chills. The only thing that rankles a little bit is that this had a definite whiff of anti-science, where in the pursuit of space travel scientists have pushed too far and have arrogantly flown too close to the realm of God and thus released hell. This is a little pointed too as the scientist is the one insisting that the Gravity Drive is perfectly safe all while clawing his own eyes out. Not looking so hot in this day and age. Patrick?

Patrick 

‘Ello everyone! Somehow, this is the fourth sci-fi film we’ve watched for BMT which involved demons in space. Ghosts of Mars, Doom, and Hellraiser: Bloodline. Against all odds, this hard sci-fi cult classic is closest to Hellraiser. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Growing up being spooky scared of horror films, there had been a few films on my watch list periphery which never got touched because, it turned out, they were horror films. Event Horizon seeeeems like it is just a regular sci-fi film about black holes, but in reality it was a horror film, so I never watched it. Then I realized it qualifies for BMT, and, even better, was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson who makes a whole lotta bad movies. So here we are, finally watching his follow up to Mortal Kombat. What were my expectations? I … don’t know. I guess I imagined it would be cheesy like Mortal Kombat, but all of the reviews online suggest it was just too gory for the era. I don’t like gory horror films, but if that was its biggest issue then … maybe it isn’t bad anymore? I guess we’d see.

The Good – Ultra cool designs. The Event Horizon in particular is an amazingly designed sci-fi ship, and perfectly explains why the film is a cult classic in the first place. The haunted-house-in-space concept works really well here. This is maybe the best possible example of that niche genre as I could imagine. And a bunch of the actors are great as well, Laurence Fishburne in particular. Finally, while I disagree with some of the lore choices here, I appreciate the direction they went with the question of what is beyond the black hole in the Event Horizon’s engine. Best Bit: Ship design.

The Bad – Mainly I’ll just say the lore falls a bit short. The main reason for this is that it unfortunately comes across as a Hellraiser rip-off. Sam Neill’s descent into Hell and as an extension of the Event Horizon is effectively the same as Dr. Phillip Channard in Hellraiser II. Both desire their destiny, and run towards their demise with open arms. And it is no coincidence that the Event Horizon engine and the Lament Configuration share some design choices. I think it is a testament to this film that this was really the only complaint I had about it. If Event Horizon comes out a decade earlier and Hellraiser didn’t exist, would we have seen multiple Event Horizon sequels? I think it is possible. Fatal flaw: Derivative.

The BMT – It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad! I couldn’t even bring myself to mention the gore in the good or bad parts of the recap. I just don’t think it was ultra-gory, or at least not enough to note. The film itself though is quite entertaining, and it works really really well as a haunted house in space (I haven’t seen another more successful version of that in fact, the terrible Hellraiser: Bloodlines is closest maybe). I liked it, even if it feels like it borrows a tad too much from the superior Hellraiser lore. Did it meet my expectations? I didn’t really have expectations, but that didn’t matter because I think this is not a bad movie in the first place. So no matter my bad movie expectations, this didn’t meet it, since it is a good movie.

Roast-radamus – Once again, as will be usual with this cycle the Setting as a Character (Where?) and Period Piece (When?) is off the chain. The setting is literally a character (the Event Horizon), but space is always an excellent setting. And the film is set in the kind-of-near-future of 2047 must have seemed super realistic at the time, 50 years to making trips to Neptune. I like this for MacGuffin (Why?) in that the entire film is focused on finding and recovering the mysterious Event Horizon. And I think this has a decent shot for Good in the end.

StreetCreditReport.com – I don’t think it is that surprising this film doesn’t show up on many lists, specifically because gore seems to be the main critic complaint and that doesn’t really translate to “worst film of the year” material. I did find a list for worst horror films set in space where it is number 11. Which I think it fair, worse than something like Alien: Covenant, but better than Alien: Resurrection. I don’t even think this is the worst black hole centric films! The Black Hole I think is genuinely worse, and I liked The Black Hole.

You Just got Schooled – Here I think I had a few choices, just because Event Horizon apparently draws a lot from classic sci-fi like The Forbidden Planet (which I believe I’ve seen before). I went with Disney’s 1979 box office flop The Black Hole though. And I have to say, it was really good. It looks pretty old school, with clearly just-people-in-costumes versions of robots. But overall it fits in nicely with Event Horizon. Both films deal with the egomaniac who has created the ability to go through black holes, and the exploration of his ship which holds dark secrets within. Whereas Event Horizon draws on The Haunting to become a haunted house film, The Black Hole ends up drawing on something like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, with our heroes trapped aboard an incredible craft with Dr. Hans Reinhardt and his army of automatons. It is a pretty impressive space adventure, even if it would appear dated side-by-side with Star Wars (which had come out two years prior). And the cast is pretty sweet with Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster, and Ernest Borgnine to name a few. B+. Not the nicest film to look at from that time period, but a cool space film and an apt non-horror film to watch alongside Event Horizon.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Event Horizon Quiz

Man, the last thing I remember I was on a search and rescue mission in space, and then a portal to hell opened up, and a demon popped out and bopped me on the head! Now I can’t remember anything that happened to me. Do you remember what happened in Event Horizon?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) We start the film with Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill) being assigned to a search and rescue mission led by Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne). Towards what planet are they headed?

2) Once arriving they discover the long-missing deep space explorer vessel Event Horizon. What was the Event Horizon’s mission that it got lost on?

3) To the best of your ability explain how the Event Horizon operates.

4) Ultimately where was the Event Horizon all of these years?

5) Let’s get a quick body count. There were eight people on the mission to start. How many survive, and how do the others perish.

Answers

Event Horizon Preview

“All for one, my ass,” says Rich as he and Poe attempt to push a large trunk over a log. They’ve been put on Planchet duty ever since their “rescue” and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight as the blue-clad backflipping buffoons don’t seem to be interested in anything but flipping around on ropes and trees and whatever other objects get in their line of sight. “We must save the King of France!” they scream for the thousandth time but Rich and Poe aren’t even sure if there is a King of France in this warped time sink they’ve fallen into. “Oh, Planchet! Dinner!” one screams, sitting on a log. Rich and Poe are pretty tired of the Planchet stuff so it’s time to climb the Musketeer corporate ladder. “Watch this,” Rich says with a wink and soon they are putting their years of culinary experience to good use showing off their knife skills in front of the Musketeers. At first they laugh, but soon are frowning at Rich and Poe. “No no no!” one screams, “You are Planchet! You don’t, how do you say… show off like some show off bird.” Puffing up and strutting around he challenges them to a duel. One after another the Musketeers come forward, and one after another they fall. With chests heaving and jorts brimming with sweat, Rich and Poe handily defeat the gang, who nod in appreciation. “You win, show off birds, we are now Planchets,” and they bow, asking where it is they want to go. Rich and Poe never even thought about that. As they look around they see a large wooden ship sunken into a bog in the distance. “There,” they point and the Musketeers begin to quake in fear, unwilling to go forwards. “G-g-g-g-ghosts,” they stammer out. That’s right! We’re catching up on the Paul W. S. Anderson classic Event Horizon that, while poorly reviewed in its time, has actually gained some cult following over the years. So this could really go either way in terms of being a BMT film. Set in the far future of 2047, this fits the bill for horror. Let’s go! 

Event Horizon (1997) – BMeTric: 14.6; Notability: 45 

(Oh snap, that is a pretty high notability, almost 50 on a film made in 1997. This is a true cult classic, so it isn’t that surprising that the IMDb rating is too high to give it a good BMeTric.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – It is observed darkly at one point that the gravity drive is a case of Man pushing too far, into realms where he should not go. There is an accusation that someone has “broken the laws of physics,” and from the way it’s said you’d assume that offenders will be subject to fines or imprisonment. Of course there are no “laws” of physics–only observations about the way things seem to be. What you “break,” if you break anything, is not a law but simply an obsolete belief, now replaced by one that works better. Deeply buried in “Event Horizon” is a suspicion of knowledge. Maybe that’s why its characters have so little of it.

(The production notes suggest otherwise (suggesting the film is actually just a Haunted House film in space, or a prequel to Warhammer 40,000), but that sounds suspiciously like they borrowed a major page from Jurassic Park and other “Science is Bad” films/books to suggest the hubris of scientists is humanity’s ultimate downfall … which makes me excited. As Dr. McCabe in Bats says: “I’m a scientist. That’s what we do. Make everything a little bit better.”)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix9CHnOo94k/

(F-it, that looks dope. I’m definitely not getting “science is bad” from that trailer. What I’m getting from that trailer is just a straight up haunted house film. And this is one dope looking haunted house film.)

Directors – Paul W.S. Anderson – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: Resident Evil: Retribution; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Resident Evil: Afterlife; Resident Evil; BMT: Pompeii; AVP: Alien vs. Predator; The Three Musketeers; Mortal Kombat; Soldier; Event Horizon; Notes: Married to Milla Jovovich. Changed how he billed his name by adding the W.S. due to confusion with Paul Thomas Anderson, but now he gets confused with Wes Anderson.)

Writers – Philip Eisner (written by) – (Future BMT: Mutant Chronicles; BMT: Event Horizon; Notes: Wrote the television sequel to Firestarter and has a new movie coming out staring Jason Momoa as a vengeful grieving father.)

Actors – Laurence Fishburne – (Known For: The Matrix; Apocalypse Now; John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum; Contagion; John Wick: Chapter 2; Man of Steel; The Matrix Reloaded; Where’d You Go, Bernadette; Boyz n the Hood; Ant-Man and the Wasp; Mystic River; The Mule; Mission: Impossible III; The Color Purple; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; The Signal; Predators; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; King of New York; School Daze; Future BMT: Biker Boyz; The Colony; Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fled; Running with the Devil; TMNT; Death Wish II; Quicksilver; Bad Company; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Just Cause; The Matrix Revolutions; 21; Band of the Hand; Once in the Life; Passengers; BMT: Ride Along; Event Horizon; Notes: Prior to 1993 was credited as Larry Fishburne and he mostly did supporting roles and television work (including as Cowboy Curtis on Pee-wee’s Playhouse). Nominated for an Oscar for What’s Love Got to Do with It.)

Sam Neill – (Known For: Thor: Ragnarok; Jurassic Park; The Hunt for Red October; Jurassic Park III; Hunt for the Wilderpeople; The Commuter; The Piano; Peter Rabbit; Possession; Wimbledon; Escape Plan; In the Mouth of Madness; Ride Like a Girl; Daybreakers; The Jungle Book; The Horse Whisperer; Dead Calm; Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole; The Hunter; Plenty; Future BMT: United Passions; The Final Conflict; The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box; Memoirs of an Invisible Man; Backtrack; Irresistible; A Long Way Down; Perfect Strangers; The Vow; Bicentennial Man; BMT: Event Horizon; Notes: Australian, he worked mostly in Australian cinema in the early 80s (like Attack Force Z with Mel Gibson), and then transitioned into American cinema around when he co-starred in The Hunt for Red October.)

Kathleen Quinlan – (Known For: Apollo 13; American Graffiti; The Hills Have Eyes; Breakdown; Horns; The Doors; Twilight Zone: The Movie; Breach; A Civil Action; Lifeguard; Lawn Dogs; Zeus and Roxanne; The Runner Stumbles; Wild Thing; Chimera Strain; Future BMT: My Giant; Elektra Luxx; Airport ’77; Sunset; The Battle of Shaker Heights; Trial by Jury; Hanky Panky; Warning Sign; Clara’s Heart; BMT: Made of Honour; Event Horizon; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Apollo 13. Was in a ton of non-theatrical stuff in the 80s, like She’s in the Army Now from 1981, which appears to be a blatant Private Benjamin clone.)

Budget/Gross – $60 million / Domestic: $26,673,242 (Worldwide: $26,673,242)

(Well that’s catastrophic. I guess that is how cult films work though. You can’t really become a cult film if you were a huge hit at the time of release.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (20/74): Despite a strong opening that promises sci-fi thrills, Event Horizon quickly devolves into an exercise of style over substance whose flashy effects and gratuitous gore fail to mask its overreliance on horror clichés.

(Ugh, I don’t like gore. But I think standing in contrast to the more protracted Alien maybe will make this an interesting exercise in Sci-fi horror. Reviewer Highlight: Director Anderson gets points for skillfully choreographing all of this, but he loses them for a consistent desire to brutalize the audience. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)

Poster – Ghost Ship with the Most Ship

(That’s a cool poster. That’s like a ‘hang on my wall’ cool. It feels real old school. Kinda low budget sci fi kinda stuff. I really really like that. Nice subtle font even. A+.)

Tagline(s) – Infinite Space – Infinite Terror (B)

(Unlike the poster this is merely fine. It’s snappy and short. But it doesn’t knock my socks off in the cleverness or originality department. I feel like it’s even a little limiting. Like this is more than just a space movie. You dig? Although, I will say… it still looks pretty cool on that super cool poster.)

Keyword – astronaut

Top 10: Ad Astra (2019), Interstellar (2014), Watchmen (2009), Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017), Toy Story 4 (2019), The Martian (2015), Rampage (2018), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Hidden Figures (2016)

Future BMT: 66.8 Thunderbirds (2004), 59.6 Virus (1999), 59.2 Space Chimps (2008), 58.7 Apollo 18 (2011), 56.2 Land of the Lost (2009), 52.0 Green Lantern (2011), 52.0 The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), 44.9 Fantastic Four (2005), 42.7 Mission to Mars (2000), 42.0 Red Planet (2000);

BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Armageddon (1998), Event Horizon (1997), Geostorm (2017), The Space Between Us (2017), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), Species II (1998)

(I wonder if the big peak in 2010 has to do with things like SpaceX launching their first rockets around 2008. Seems more steady than I would have expected though. The gap from 1990-1995 though is quite confusing. Besides Challenger there wasn’t any disaster around then, and that was 4 years prior. The only thing I can think of is that space films are expensive and that was around when a bunch of studios went bankrupt … that seems tenuous though. Maybe people just didn’t like space films for a while.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Joely Richardson is No. 4 billed in Event Horizon and No. 4 billed in Endless Love (2014), which also stars Bruce Greenwood (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 6 billed) => 4 + 4 + 3 + 6 = 17. If we were to watch Biker Boyz we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – Paul W.S. Anderson’s initial cut of the film ran 130 minutes and was quite graphically violent, so much so that both test audiences and the studio balked at the finished product. Paramount ordered him to cut the film by 30 minutes and tone down some of the violence, a decision he now regrets. Although it was announced in 2012 that a full version of the film had been found on a VHS tape, Anderson revealed in 2017 that due to bad archiving, a longer version no longer exists. The tape was in such poor condition when found that the footage was practically unwatchable, forcing Anderson to throw it away.

The space suits worn by the actors weighed 65 pounds (30 kilograms) each. Laurence Fishburne nicknamed his “Doris.” Due to the weight, standing upright in them for longer periods could lead to back injury, but sitting down was not possible either due to the backpack. Special “hanging poles” were constructed on the set, so the actors could rest on them between takes.

Everyone’s space suit has a flag showing hypothetical future political changes on Earth. Characters portrayed by American actors wear a flag of the United States with 55 stars. Characters portrayed by British actors wear a European Union flag with 22 stars, replacing the former Union Flag (the movie pre-dating the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in 2016). Sam Neill’s character wears a modified Australian flag, with the Union Jack removed from the top left-hand corner, and the Aboriginal flag in its place. (I should point out that the stars on the EU flag don’t represent countries and thus isn’t going to change after the UK fully extracts itself from the union. I would very much doubt they’ll ever change the number in that context)

The script originally described the Gateway machine as a smooth and featureless black orb, 10 meters (nearly 33 feet) in diameter, suspended in midair between large, rotating mechanical arms. It also was said to contain a stable black hole within it at all times (which the ship used as a power source), as opposed to briefly creating a temporary one. Paul Anderson decided to redesign it to involve interlocking circles as a homage to the puzzle box in Hellraiser (1987), which served as an inspiration. (That absolutely comes through in the finished product, it ends up being much closer to Hellraiser than any sci-fi film I’m seen)

Having just done a PG-13 movie, Mortal Kombat (1995), Paul W.S. Anderson was very keen to do something more mature and gruesome. This was why he turned down the chance to direct X-Men (2000).

Paul W.S. Anderson’s initial rough cut submitted to the MPAA received the kiss-of-death NC-17 rating.

The scene in which Weir explains how to bend space and time in order to travel huge interstellar distances is paraphrased in Interstellar (2014). Romily uses the exact same demonstration to illustrate the theory – folding a piece of paper and pushing a pen through it while explaining it to Cooper.

Although the film met with mostly negative reviews and a disappointing box office result at the time of its release, it amassed a considerable cult following over the years. Director Paul W.S. Anderson said that the movie’s cult status was predicted to him years before by Kurt Russell. Anderson screened Event Horizon before they started work on Soldier (1998), and Russell said “Forget about what this movie’s doing now. In fifteen years time, this is going to be the movie you’re glad you made”.

Philip Eisner wrote the movie after a family tragedy. He had recently entered a multi-picture writing agreement, and in an effort to force himself to get back to work he pitched the idea of “The Shining in space” to the studio, which was very receptive. Unfortunately he had no detailed treatment yet, and the subject matter blended with his emotional state to inspire a prolonged bout of writer’s block. The studio executive who had originally brought him on board, now a personal friend, helped keep Eisner on track, and the eventual first draft which was enthusiastically received.

The ‘Visions from Hell’ were inspired by works from 16th-century Renaissance painters Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel, which director Paul W.S. Anderson saw while he was touring art galleries with his production designer. Anderson was fascinated by these paintings, as the makers clearly believed in the reality of Hell as the complete antithesis of Heaven, and the images they created were terrifying and beautiful at the same time.

Some of the lost footage includes a great deal more of the Bosch-influenced Hell sequences and of the orgiastic video log that was found in the Event Horizon. This was shot by both director Paul W.S. Anderson and Vadim Jean, mainly on weekends.

Philip Eisner’s first draft of the script involved an alien infestation on the ship. When director Paul W.S. Anderson was approached, he liked the ‘Haunted House in space’ concept of the movie, but he had the source of evil changed from aliens to something more supernatural and diabolical.

Clive Barker, whose movie Hellraiser (1987) was a huge influence on the film, consulted on the project during pre-production.

The Event Horizon was modeled on Notre Dame cathedral. Its long corridor resembles a church nave, and its interior is filled with cruciform shapes, columns and vaults. Also, its engines resemble rotated church towers.

The working title was “The Stars My Destination”.

For his final scenes, Sam Neill would come to the studio at 3am so that he could spend 7-8 hours in make-up.

The original script had a sequence near the end where Starck (Joely Richardson) prepares the gravity tanks on the Event Horizon for the survivors’ escape, but one of them fills with blood, and a partially regenerated Dr. Weir (Sam Neill) without a skin appears inside. He breaks out and chases Stark, who flees and falls down a ladder to the room below; Weir follows, climbing down the same ladder upside-down. This scene was actually filmed but omitted from the movie. Weir’s upside-down walk was inspired by the infamous ‘Spiderwalk’ sequence from the extended version of The Exorcist (1973).

Primeval Recap

Jamie

Looking for the next big story for their news network, Tim, Steven, and Aviva are sent to Burundi to track down a giant, man-eating crocodile named Gustave. But Gustave isn’t the only thing they need to worry about as the area is terrorized by a local warlord nicknamed Little Gustave. Will they be able to catch the croc before it’s too late? Find out in… Primeval.

How?! Ace reporter Tim is in some hot water. Not (yet) because of a large killer croc, but because he screwed up a news story using an unreliable source. Uh oh! In order to make it up to his boss he is sent on a sensationalist story about a killer crocodile named Gustave in Burundi with hack (or is she?) reporter Aviva and his cameraman Steven. The place is a literal war zone, so they are immediately in danger from a local warlord nicknamed Little Gustave. Add a cranky local guide and an egotistical crocodile expert determined to catch, not kill, Gustave and you got a recipe for a horror film… you know… if a big crocodile who just wants to eat and be an animal is your type of monster. After their first attempt at capture goes awry and Steven catches Little Gustave’s minions killing a local priest on camera things quickly fall apart and they are trapped in the wilds with only Gustave for company. They start to be picked off one-by-one by Gustave only for things to get even worse when Little Gustave’s men show up to finish the job. In the chaos Steven is killed by Gustave and Tim and Aviva are able to just barely get away only to fall into the hands of Little Gustave himself. Meaning to destroy the evidence of his criminal activity, he forces Tim to take him into the swamp. Tim uses this to his advantage in order to bring Little Gustave and Gustave together, much to the detriment of Little Gustave. Tim and Aviva run off and are just able to escape with their lives from the clutches of Gustave. Flying back to America they are all happy and probably smooch or something. THE END.

Why?! Fame and fortune, kinda. Aviva wants to legitimize herself in the world of journalism and uses her connection to Tim’s boss to get this crocodile story off the ground. Tim on the other hand just had a story go awry and needs to get back in his boss’ good graces. Thus is born the super team of Tim and Aviva, animal hunting journalists extraordinaire. How didn’t this spawn a franchise? The crocodile on the other hand is just a giant animal and is hungry.

Who?! Every once in a while I realize that there is a new category we should probably be looking out for in this part. That’s because none other than Kent Shocknek appears in this film as a news anchor. He is best known as… well a newscaster who parlayed his popularity into a long career in film and TV. We’ve actually already seen him in such films as First Daughter, Envy, and xXx: State of the Union. Most often he appears as a newscaster, but other times as a “contentious reporter.” Oooo, feisty.

What?! The things that go on sale from film is sometimes bizarrely wonderful. In this case you can find a closed auction for the prop corpse of Orlando Jones. I mean, I guess I can understand why the studio decided they could let that prize go, but I can’t really understand why anyone would buy it. Maybe for a bachelor party or something where you get to go around town toting Orlando Jones for funsies. But afterwards that’s going in a trash can.

Where?! The true prize of this film is the Burundi setting. It’s so in your face that you could argue that this is more of a Burundi film than a crocodile film. I thought for sure we’d be uneasily sitting here asking ourselves whether mentioning Burundi once is enough to be sure the film takes place there. Nope. This is very very very very very very much set in Burundi. A. When?! I couldn’t catch a specific time for this film, but it is interesting that it seems to be a period piece. At the end of the film they talk about a 2005 Burundi Civil War cease fire in 2005 as if it took place after the events of the film, which was released in 2007. This seems confirmed by Variety which also concluded that “Since action is set in pre-2005 Burundi, violence is still rife between warlords and anyone who gets in their way.” Weird. D+.

When?! I couldn’t catch a specific time for this film, but it is interesting that it seems to be a period piece. At the end of the film they talk about a 2005 Burundi Civil War cease fire in 2005 as if it took place after the events of the film, which was released in 2007. This seems confirmed by Variety which also concluded that “Since action is set in pre-2005 Burundi, violence is still rife between warlords and anyone who gets in their way.” Weird. D+.

Meh… like, really. Meh. Not scary to a degree that makes you wonder whether they were even aware they were making a horror film. On the edge of dropping over into “Drama about a civil war in Burundi that also happens to feature a crocodile” territory, they seem even less interested in the crocodile that I was. It got to the point where in the end of the film, presumably where I was supposed to be rooting for our heroes to escape with their lives, I was mostly thinking that it was kinda lame that these randos walked into Burundi and started messing with this crocodile. The only other thing to say is that this is a good reminder why Dominic Purcell mostly spends his time promoting possible spin-offs and new seasons for the greatest thing that ever happened to him: Prison Break. He was… not good. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Like what if we made Jaws, but instead of a shark it is a crocodile whose CGI is so bad we can only really show it sporadically at night … that’s like the same thing as Jaws right? Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Obviously I was delighted at how Burundi this film was in the preview. Always fun seeing a strong setting. Otherwise there were two defining features of the preview. First, that the film is basically just television actor galore, which is a good sign for it being ultra cheesy. And second, the ad campaign surrounding this seems nuts. It is hard to tell how much they pushed the “serial killer” angle, but it apparently was confusing enough that The Numbers genuinely defines this film as a serial killer film … it is not. What were my expectations? I figured it was going to be just a bad creature feature. Trying to play the Jaws angle for a not very impressive ultimate reveal, as bad creature features are wont to do. And I figured the main actors were going to be terrible because … I mean they are the stars of The Net 2.0 and Prison Break so …

The Good – I guess one could say the political nature of the film is a bit admirable? Like it is trying to do something at least, and I want to give it credit for that. I enjoy how directly they address the creature in the film. They don’t beat around the bush. They go to the creatures stomping grounds, set up a trap, and then the creature kind of hunts them down as they pretty effectively try to escape. No cheesy ultra-intelligent magic creature nonsense, it ends up being just mostly unfortunate that our heroes keep getting corralled back into the crocodile’s area, which is a nice change of pace.

The Bad – This actually might be the worst creature feature I’ve ever seen. A lot of it I can forgive, like the acting and some of the writing seems like an unfortunate side effect of the budget. But the political A-story (because it is just that, the main story of the film) is just gross enough to beg the question: why am I hearing about the Burundi genocide during what is basically just Lake Placid in Africa? It boggles the mind. Combine that with a bad CGI crocodile who actually doesn’t kill a good number of people in the film (I think he kills seven total, whereas I think five people are killed by other humans), and it makes me wonder whether the producers were looking for a political film or a creature feature. I can’t think of another creature feature I enjoyed watching less, so that at the very least is a thing.

The BMT – I don’t think this has much legs beyond being mentioned in connection to other creature features, but as usual … it is a bomb Burundi film obviously. It is almost guaranteed that this will remain our one and only bad Burundi film for all of time, so there we go. Did it meet my expectations? No, a bad creature feature can still be fun, especially if the creature is a practical effects nightmare that looks like a puppet and the director insists on showing too much of it. This though, is just a movie about African politics dressed up as a creature feature, and it makes the whole affair unpleasant.

Roast-radamus – I wish I could give an award for Best Buds in the World for Dominic Purcell and Orlando Jones, but that isn’t a category. I looooooved the Range Rover Product Placement (What?) where a character just shouts “It can’t be stuck! It’s a Range Rover!”. Obviously a fantastic Setting as a Character (Where?) for Burundi which offered both a wildlife and political backdrop to the affairs. Can you call the crocodile a MacGuffin (Why?) … I’m going to allow it, fight me in real life if you disagree. Just an okay Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal that their guide from the beginning of the movie is, in fact, Little Gustave. Pretty dumb. I don’t think it is entertaining enough to get any superlatives.

StreetCreditReport.com – Let’s see. It doesn’t get mentioned in any 2007 lists, not even for worst horror or among numerous honorable mentions (admittedly, 2007 was a murderer’s row for bad movies with such things as The Number 23 featuring shockingly low on many lists). And it doesn’t get mentioned on many worst creature feature lists which are, naturally, dominated by the B-horror of the 50s. But it does feature 8th on this Worst Giant Animal horror list! Honestly, that is about it, and the small review there is the issue: it is barely a creature feature! It is mostly like Blood Diamond than anything else.

You Just Got Schooled – Naturally when watching one of the worst creature features I’ve ever seen, it made me think of all of the great creature features I hadn’t seen. So what better time to check out Piranha from 1978. One of the copy cat features that come out after 1975  in the wake of Jaws, it uses some of the same type of technology (lots of practical puppets with not-very-good underwater camera work), and comes across as a whole lot cheesier (to the point of feeling intentionally comedic). Overall I liked the film, even though it wasn’t very scary. And that is mostly due to the two leads in the film Bradford Dillman and Heather Menzies who worked well together as a drunk and a skiptracer who kind of accidentally release the piranhas into a river. Some nice vistas, and definitely a good pair with Jaws to give you an idea of the origins of modern creature features. While Jaws is the attack of Nature against man, Piranha is the man-made abominations punishing human arrogance (like Godzilla originally), and so it kind of shows the two paths creature features tend to take. Primeval and Anaconda go the Jaws route, for example, whereas Bats is the Piranha vein. B, a little old-fashioned, feels aged, but good nonetheless.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Primeval Quiz

Oh boy guys, I think when that killer croc came out of the river and attacked me I must have bopped my head on something, because I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Primeval?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why does Dominic Purcell get sent to Burundi to track down the killer croc Gustave?

2) And why does Gustave, the killer croc of Burundi, get the attention of the US media at this particular time, what happened?

3) What is the plan to catch Gustave, and why does it fall apart?

4) What is the big twist, who is Little Gustave really in the context of the story?

5) How many people die during the film? This counts either just general deaths we see, or specifically Gustave inflicted deaths.

Answers

Primeval Preview

In a fun montage we see Rich, Poe, and Roach enact their scheme to construct mashed potato based deep fakes of themselves to escape from Tiniman’s camp. Step 1: Enter the big camel race. Step 2: win camel race, beating Gen. Tiniman’s prized camel. Step 3: get potato peeling duty. Step 4: use natural artistic abilities to craft potato people. Step 5: place potato people in bed and sneak away. “Come on, Roach,” Rich says before accidentally plunging his hand into who he thought was Roach, but was in fact his potato person. They all laugh nervously at the unsettling photorealism of the duplicate and tiptoe their way out of camp. Just when it seems like they are in the clear, a light shines in their faces and Gen. Tiniman steps out from behind a spotlight. “But… but how?” Rich and Poe say, but when they turn to Roach he has a badge out and grunts “Cop.” Saboteur! A group of military police approach them and it seems like the end! Oh, woe is them, woe is the Earth! Suddenly the beacon of light shines from Rich’s chest again and Gen. Tiniman is temporarily blinded. Taking action, Rich and Poe escape Roach’s last blind grab and sprint into the fire desert. Rich and Poe’s muscles aren’t just for show and boy howdy do they demonstrate that here. Their endurace is stunning and their legs churn with lightning quickness taking them away from the pursuing trucks. They would almost certainly outrun the vehicles using their unrivaled athletic abilities, but suddenly Poe pulls up with a cramp. My god, the climactic tension is almost unbearable! Once again the military police approach, but no light is there to save them now. Suddenly a deafening roar rings out. The alligators are here. That’s right! We’re watching the not-so-original big crocodile horror film Primeval. Set in Burundi and “based on a true story” it has been high on the list of craziest settings for BMT. Let’s go!

Primeval (2007) – BMeTric: 56.6; Notability: 28 

(Creeping up, but seems like it is settling right around sub-5.0 which is nice. Notability hits right where I imagine. I think the sense I’m getting it that 25ish is like a normal wide release. Above that and it scales with the size of the production. Below that (down to like 10) and you’re looking at a really small film (intriguingly so). Nice string of 50+ films recently it feels like.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  American reporters reluctantly trek to Africa to capture a huge man-eating crocodile the locals call Gustave, and becomes embroiled in a local war. Peculiar blend of Jaws and a Blood Diamond-like subplot has its moments, but is mostly routine, with herky-jerky editing in the frequent action scenes. Loosely based on real events.

(I am down with that. Mixing Jaws with some bizarre B-plot? Yes please. I’m very ready for a creature feature, and I’ll even take one with … herky-jerky editing? Alright, Leonard, let’s go with that description.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RARfk8cXPeg/

(The entire marketing campaign around this film was about this mayyyybe being a serial killer film … nope psych it is about a crocodile. This trailer is garbage though, way too many cuts to black and choppiness.)

Directors – Michael Katleman – (BMT: Primeval; Notes: Huge television guy. He directed individual episodes from the early 90s, and has been a major producer since 2000. I think my favorite one is the very short lived series Reunion … yeah I watched that live.)

Writers – Michael Ferris and John Brancato (written by) – (Known For: The Game; Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; Future BMT: The Net; The Hunter’s Prayer; Surrogates; Terminator Salvation; BMT: Catwoman; Primeval; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Catwoman in 2005; Notes: Most of their credits are for The Net and subsequent spinoffs of that. I vaguely knew there was a television series, but I didn’t know there was a straight-to-video sequel The Net 2.0. Ferris wrote Bloodfist 2 prior to them working together.)

Actors – Dominic Purcell – (Known For: Mission: Impossible II; Equilibrium; Straw Dogs; Blood Creek; Gridlocked; Vikingdom; The Gravedancers; Scenes of the Crime; Future BMT: The Carrier; Blade: Trinity; Bailout: The Age of Greed; Elimination Game; Killer Elite; BMT: Primeval; Notes: You will know him from Prison Break (which yeah, I’ve seen basically the entire series, want to fight about it?), but I first saw him in the short-lived series John Doe … man there are so many television people involved in this film.)

Orlando Jones – (Known For: Magnolia; Office Space; The Replacements; Bedazzled; Evolution; Runaway Jury; Drumline; Liberty Heights; Enemies Closer; Future BMT: Biker Boyz; I Think I Love My Wife; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant; Double Take; The Time Machine; Woo; Beyond a Reasonable Doubt; Sour Grapes; The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea; BMT: Primeval; Say It Isn’t So; Notes: Roomed with Artie Lange when both were on MadTV. That is basically where he got his start.)

Brooke Langton – (Known For: The Replacements; Swingers; The Deal; Playing Mona Lisa; Future BMT: Terminal Velocity; Kiss the Bride; BMT: Primeval; The Benchwarmers; Notes: Ha! She starred in The Net television show! No wonder she got the job in this case. Was on 68 episodes of Melrose Place.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $10,597,734 (Worldwide: $15,291,277)

(That is likely not going to do it. But I also imagine, given the talent was mostly pulled from television, that you maybe could have gotten away with a budget of $10 million? While trying to figure this out I ended up stumbling onto The Numbers page for Primeval. Their categorization of this film is “serial killer” … this is not a serial killer film from what I can tell, but for a hint as to why someone might think so go check out the tagline section.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (11/57): Primeval is a low-quality horror film, which due to the inane political messages does not even qualify as campy fun.

(Oh wow. Read the description of the film on Rotten Tomatoes … like, for a split second I thought “wait … is this a serial killer film?!”. Again, I don’t think it is, but some descriptions make it seem like it is. So many of the reviews slam the film for the political message, described as blending a giant crocodile film with Hotel Rwanda. Reviewer Highlight – The sub-sub-Anaconda bottom-feeder Primeval makes the mistake of taking itself far too seriously; with its exploitative images of civil war and genocide, it’s the Blood Diamond of 25-foot-killer-crocodile movies. – Scott Tobias, AV Club)

Poster – Sklogeval

(But… why? This looks like shit. The alternate poster with a bunch of bones that pretends the film is about a serial killer is much better. This just looks like a bad photo. Nice font though. C-)

Tagline(s) – Inspired by the true story of the most prolific serial killer in history. (D)

He’s 20 feet long, and has taken 300 lives. Now, he’s about to resurface. (D)

(Both of these aren’t great. The first is just being tricky with what the film is about. While I like when a tagline tells you about the plot, I don’t love when they basically lie about it. The second one is just using numbers and I guess that’s supposed to be interesting. Hard to say. Both are too long and not nearly clever enough to make up for it.)

Keyword – crocodile

Top 10: Suicide Squad (2016), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), Jumanji (1995), Annihilation (2018), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), Pan (2015), Octopussy (1983), The Legend of Tarzan (2016), Romancing the Stone (1984)

Future BMT: 43.8 King Solomon’s Mines (1985), 42.2 Pan (2015), 38.6 Firewalker (1986), 34.5 Suicide Squad (2016), 33.9 Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), 31.0 Rugrats Go Wild (2003), 30.2 Eraser (1996), 29.6 Inkheart (2008), 27.5 The Legend of Tarzan (2016);

BMT: Runner Runner (2013), Crocodile Dundee II (1988), Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004), Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001), Primeval (2007)

(The second recent film where we’ve used this keyword. The other is obviously Crocodile Dundee II. Really just crushing those Crocodile features recently. Maybe we’ll look into Firewalker soon, that would be a weird one.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 9) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Orlando Jones is No. 3 billed in Primeval and No. 3 billed in Say It Isn’t So, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 3 + 3 + 1 + 2 = 9. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – In real life, as seen in this film, an attempt to bait the crocodile failed. The team used a live goat as bait one night, and the team continued this for days. One day the goat disappeared. The camera failed the night before due to a storm, and then political issues in the area forced the team out of the country. Leaving them unable to know what happened that night.

Since Gustave has not been captured, his exact length and weight is unknown, but in 2002 it was stated that he could be “easily more than 18 feet (5.5 m)” long, and weigh more than 2,000 pounds (910 kg). He was estimated to be around 100 years old in order to achieve such outstanding size; however, further more careful observation of Gustave revealed a complete set of teeth when he opened his mouth. Since a 100-year-old crocodile “should be nearly toothless” (according to the documentary), he was estimated to be “probably no older than 60, and likely, still growing”. Gustave is also known for the three bullet scars on his body. His right shoulder blade was also found to be deeply wounded. Circumstances surrounding the four scars are unknown. Scientists and herpetologists who have studied Gustave claim that his uncommon size and weight impede his ability to hunt the species’ usual, agile prey such as fish, antelope and zebra, forcing him to attack larger animals such as hippopotamus, large wildebeest and, to some extent, humans. According to a popular local warning, he is said to hunt and leave his victims’ corpses uneaten. The documentary film also stated that since crocodiles can go several months without eating, Gustave could afford to select his prey carefully. In 2009 the croc had reappeared in Ruzizi River near Lake Tanganyika.

Gustave was named by Patrice Faye, a herpetologist who has been studying and investigating him since the late 1990s. Much of what is known about Gustave stems from the film Capturing the Killer Croc, which aired in 2004 on PBS. The film documents a capture attempt and study on Gustave.