The Guardian (1990) Preview

Hats backward and cargo shorts a-baggin’, Rich and Poe skateboard their way to the Italiano Arcade & Pizzeria to smash on some video games and eat some ‘za. They immediately own a bunch of middle schoolers in Super Mario Bros 3 like some video game wizards and make their way to the top of the social pyramid. There are some dope tweens around, but they are by far the dopest. “Haven’t seen you two around here before. You guys sure can whiz on the j-stick,” one of the kids say, “they call me Toad, who are you?” Rich steps up, “I’m Big M and this is my bro LJ. We’d mash the ‘cade all day, but our Granny is a real lamester. You chilling me?” Toad nods and laughs while Poe tries not to cry. That’s his beloved Granny they’re talking about. Nobody calls her a lamester. Rich continues, “but maybe that’s not the worst thing, you feelz? We heard some real slippery things going on around here.” Toad looks a bit nervous, “Yeah, real canopy thang. But it’s just Elivira, the new nanny. Everyone else is icy.” Rich and Poe look at each other. Elvira? That doesn’t sound like Gruber. They looks around but Poe can’t see anyone that looks suspicious. “Rich, I don’t think this is working… Rich?” Rich is staring off into the distance. The crowds part between him and the most beautiful woman in the world. She flips her golden hair to the side and beckons to him. He floats towards her… the seductive and super creepy nanny who looks both ageless and yet thousands of years old. His mind is telling him to resist, but he has eyes only for this scary witch nanny and the creepy tree she’s sitting in. Wait, what? That’s right! You knew right from the start when I was talking about witch nannies and creepy trees that there was only one film I could be talking about. Let’s say it all together. The Guardian (1990). Of course. That film that everyone knows. Well at least one person knew about it and his name was Roger Ebert and he hated this film. In fact he said it was one of the worst he had ever seen. Good enough for us. Let’s go!

The Guardian (1990) – BMeTric: 31.9

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(The rating feels really low for a film from the early 90s and for a film I’ve never heard of. Even after the regression that is pretty astonishing. It really must be a terrible horror film. Getting a little excited here.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Yuppie couple hires a nanny for their newborn child, but we know there’s something odd about her: she feeds babies to a tree in a nearby gully. Friedkin’s first return to horror after The Exorcist has a few good scenes, but a ludicrous story and a hormorless approach. Seagrove is very good in an almost unplayable role. Cowritten by the director from the novel The Nanny by Dan Greenburg.

(I probably knew this was based on a book and forgot to be honest. Everything in this preview is about Friedkin. He really squandered a lot of his good will by 1990 it seems. He only really directed sporadically after 1985.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbl1b664ivk/

(‘Member the Exorcist? Me too … member that thing where William Friedkin was the director … cool me too.’ I literally have no idea what this film is about or what it is beyond a horror film made by the director of the Exorcist. Should I watch the Exorcist then? It feels like a good extra homework assignment.)

Directors – William Friedkin – (Known For: The Exorcist; The French Connection; Killer Joe; To Live and Die in L.A.; Cruising; Sorcerer; Bug; The Boys in the Band; Rampage; The Brink’s Job; Future BMT: Jade; Deal of the Century; The Hunted; Blue Chips; Rules of Engagement; BMT: The Guardian; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Cruising in 1981; Notes: Given he directed The Exorcist it might be surprising to know he grew up Jewish, became agnostic, and then is clearly a Christian in some capacity given recent quotes.)

Writers – Dan Greenburg (novel & screenplay) – (Future BMT: Private Lessons; BMT: The Guardian; Notes: Was married to Nora Ephron ages ago. His son was the kid in Lorenzo’s Oil.)

Stephen Volk (screenplay) – (Known For: The Awakening; Gothic; Future BMT: Octane; BMT: The Guardian; Notes: Famously wrote and directed Ghostwatch, a fake documentary which played on the BBC which confused a bunch of people who thought it was real. It was banned from replay for a decade.)

William Friedkin (screenplay) – (Known For: To Live and Die in L.A.; Cruising; Rampage; BMT: The Guardian; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Cruising in 1981; Notes: Cruising was considered by many as anti-gay, and the film was protested by the gay community at the time of production)

Actors – Jenny Seagrove – (Known For: Local Hero; Another Mother’s Son; Moonlighting; Future BMT: Run for Your Wife; BMT: The Guardian; Notes: Long time partner of Bill Kenwright who is an actor and … the chairman of Everton F.C. since 2004? Still works as an actress, although not as often.)

Dwier Brown – (Known For: Field of Dreams; House; Red Dragon; Gettysburg; To Live and Die in L.A.; The Cutting Edge; Reunion; Future BMT: House II: The Second Story; Mom and Dad Save the World; BMT: The Guardian; Notes: If you’re racking your brain trying to figure out who he was in Field of Dreams, he was Kevin Costner’s father at the end.)

Carey Lowell – (Known For: Leaving Las Vegas; Licence to Kill; Sleepless in Seattle; Fierce Creatures; Future BMT: Club Paradise; Love Affair; BMT: The Guardian; Notes: You’d know her from Law & Order, she was on the order side of things, as a DA.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $17,037,887

(Probably not great … although you could make these things for less than a million around this point in time, so maybe it turned as profit.)

#233 for the Horror – R-Rated genre

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(It feels like this came at a peak of the genre in the late eighties. Kind of went on a bit of a hiatus after. Still having a moment now, especially with It Part 2 coming out this year, should be good for R-rated horror.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 22% (2/9): No Consensus

(Nice I get to make a consensus: Hysterically funny … wait, it was supposed to be a horror film? Reviewer Highlight: Maybe after years of banging his head against the system Friedkin decided with “The Guardian” to make a frankly commercial exploitation film. … give us a break. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – The Guardian Not Starring Kevin Costner (B+)

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(Too many words and the image itself is a bit small, but I’m digging the simplicity of it and the coloring. The font isn’t the worst either. Good effort.)

Tagline(s) – Tonight, while the world is asleep… an ancient evil is about to awaken. (F)

(I literally don’t understand this… when? Tonight? Is that like… when I’m watching the movie or is the film set over a single night during which the ancient evil awakens? Neither? Cool cool cool. Just one more thing. Would it have mattered if that ancient evil awoke while everyone was awake? No? Interesting.)

Keyword(s) – baby; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.6 Date Movie (2006); 92.1 Son of the Mask (2005); 91.0 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 84.0 Baby Geniuses (1999); 76.3 Junior (1994); 75.9 In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011); 74.7 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 73.9 Look Who’s Talking Too (1990); 70.6 The Animal (2001); 69.0 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013);

(Shit. I have to watch The Animal for a third time. Maybe Jamie will appreciate it more given it stars someone from Survivor. [Editor’s Note: I will])

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 24) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Xander Berkeley is No. 10 billed in The Guardian and No. 6 billed in Seeking Justice, 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) => 10 + 6 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 24. If we were to watch Savage Islands we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Jenny Seagrove was unhappy with the film’s constant re-writes, and wanted to make a completely different film. She said to The Guardian in 2007: “It was about this druid nanny who became a tree. I begged Universal to make it about a real nanny who kidnaps babies. ‘No, no, we can’t do that,’ they said, ‘the thirty somethings in America won’t come and see the film.’ I said, ‘I think you’re completely wrong; this film is total fantasy, and it’s just awful.’ Two years later The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992) was released, so I rang up my friend at Universal and he said, ‘Don’t. Don’t even talk about it, you were right.’ ” (haha)

Was to originally be directed by Sam Raimi, but he left the project early to direct Darkman (1990). Producers brought in William Friedkin, and the project suffered through several re-writes sending co-writer Stephen Volk into a breakdown. Friedkin eventually took over the writing duties. (oooooooooooof)

William Friedkin’s first horror movie in seventeen years since The Exorcist (1973). (Maybe a mistake)

One of only two feature films that William Friedkin wrote nothing about, positive or negative, in his memoir The Friedkin Connection (see also Deal of the Century (1983)).

A new effects crew was brought onto the scene after the initial tree failed to work mechanically. The new team constructed a tree that held 500 gallons of fake blood and detachable bark. (oh no, haha)

The delivery scene used real footage of an actual live birth. (oh no … I would just say haha here, but that would feel redundant)

The film was released three years after its source novel “The Nanny” by Dan Greenburg had been published in 1987. (Fact: I did not read this book)

The movie’s dark villain, Camilla (Jenny Seagrove), is included in the compilation film Boogeymen: The Killer Compilation (2001).

A cable television version of the film is not billed to William Friedkin, but to Alan Smithee, a generic name which is used by directors when they don’t want to be associated with a picture. This, despite the fact that Friedkin claims on the film’s audio-commentary he never heard of such a version. There are two versions of “The Guardian”: the theatrical cut, credited to Friedkin, and a modified cut, credited to Smithee. The Smithee cut has never been released on home video or DVD, and has only been shown on cable. It includes new scenes, including another scene in the hospital, different dream sequences, a scene of the nanny waking the wife up and alternate angles for other scenes. Also, the ending of the cable cut is different and omits much of the gore. (Oh wow, that is kind of cool. They cut a version and clearly didn’t ask him about it. Sounds like we can’t get it though)

Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert named the picture one of his “Most Hated Films” of all-time. (Noice, it is on his end of the year worst of list so …)

One of three movies with “The Guardian” title made during the modern era of Hollywood. This supernatural horror movie was made and released around six years after the 1984 action crime thriller The Guardian (1984) and sixteen years before the sea rescue drama The Guardian (2006). (We have now watched two for BMT. Martin Sheen’s 1984 film doesn’t have any reviews. That sounds like I have to cook up 5 fake reviews to get this onto Rotten Tomatoes …)

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Super Mario Bros. Preview

“Stop!” Shouts Poe, “or my grandma will shoot.” The mailman freezes as he spots Granny toting a comically large pistol. He backs away and speeds away in his car. Poe smirks at Granny, “what am I gonna do with you, you foul-mouthed old bat?” Granny smirks back, “you’ll finish your goddamn supper and we’ll watch Murder She Wrote.” Poe shrugs, “I guess this is what I get for retiring from the force early and moving to New Orleans to help you out. But sometimes… I just want another piece of the action.” Just as he closes the door a knock rings out. Granny is pissed and raises the pistol. “No wait,” Poe says softly, “I know that knock…” Just as he suspected Rich is there leaning against the porch. “You ready for another piece of the action, partner?” Poe is already shaking his head. He’s not a police officer anymore, he gave that up. It’s against the rules. Rich laughs, “Rulez? You really did retire. That’s too bad. Too bad you and Granny will end up dead.” He turns, knowing Poe can’t leave it at that. “Oh you haven’t heard,” Rich says snidely, “Helmut Gruber escaped and he’s out for revenge.” Poe stares in disbelief. Gruber? But he’s dead… isn’t he? Apparently not. With gritted teeth Poe asks quietly, “where is he?” Rich smiles. “He’s holed up in an arcade downtown.” Poe grabs his jacket but Rich stop him, “Woah partner, we’ll be too conspicuous heading down like this.” Poe grins and soon they are dressed like a couple of dope tweens ready to infiltrate the arcade and show Gruber what’s what. “Oh and Rich?” Rich says with a sly smile, “Better bring your Granny. These tweens need adult supervision.” And with that he cocks his gun. That’s right! We are finally watching an all-timer in Super Mario Bros. This was the first major motion picture based on a video game and oh what a start it was. Not only was it adapted as a post-apocalyptic sci-fi action film, but it looked real dumb to boot. It’s also appropriate timing for us to watch as it looks like Pokemon Detective Pikachu officially broke the 26 year long streak of video game adaptations being rotten on Rotten Tomatoes. It stands at 63%. Baby steps. Let’s go!

Super Mario Bros. (1993) – BMeTric: 84.7

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(Ah, I actually don’t think this shows a regression. What is happening here is that the rating is basically 3.9 for the last 7 years. That jump in 2014 happens right on January 1st. And that jump is really consistent across movies (but you only notice it in really bad films I think … I can’t remember). Look back at Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. That’s a regression. This … this is sitting right at 3.9ish for like a decade. That is what I’m talking about when I say a truly bad film won’t regress to the mean.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Super, indeed! This overblown, effects-laden turkey chronicles the convoluted story of the title boys from Brooklyn (Hoskins, Leguizamo), plumber-siblings who go up against the villainous King Koopa (Hopper), a semi-human dinosaur who instigates the kidnapping of Daisy (Mathis), a princess who possesses a magical meteorite fragment. This listless film has far less appeal than the video game that inspired it.

(First, my god the hyphens! I love you Leonard. There are three hyphens in this review. Second, the review is just a description of the film and then a little “not interesting” at the end. And third … 1.5 stars? Where does the 0.5 come from. Classic Leonard. Classic.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtMZKYnLg5c/

(Oh shit the music!!!!! Is this real? They literally showed a major bit of the end of the film in that trailer? The theory surrounding trailers for films really was wild back then. It was just “anything goes as long as it generates interest”. One of the worst trailers I’ve ever seen. Bar none.)

Directors – Annabel Jankel – (Known For: Tell It to the Bees; D.O.A.; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Notes: Both Jankel and Morton were known for their music video work and for create Max Headroom. This film basically ruined their directing careers. Tell It to the Bees was Jankel’s first big directing job since Super Mario Bros. … it was in 2018.)

Rocky Morton – (Known For: D.O.A.; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Notes: Jankel and Morton got divorced in 2005. Both won Emmys for NBC’s Friday Night Videos which was basically MTV on basic cable … which apparently was a thing in the early 80s.)

Writers – Parker Bennett (written by) – (Known For: The Thief and the Cobbler; Future BMT: Mystery Date; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Notes: Was a writer and cartoonist for Playboy at one point.)

Terry Runte (written by) – (Known For: The Thief and the Cobbler; Future BMT: Mystery Date; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Notes: Apparently he has a credit for this YouTube video … which has like 24 views? Wild wild stuff.)

Ed Solomon (written by) – (Known For: Men in Black; Now You See Me; Charlie’s Angels; Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure; Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey; Imagine That; What Planet Are You From?; Leaving Normal; Future BMT: The In-Laws; Mom and Dad Save the World; Now You See Me 2; Levity; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Notes: Is apparently writing the new Bill and Ted as well. And was married to John Cleese’s daughter for a long while.)

Actors – Bob Hoskins – (Known For: Snow White and the Huntsman; Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Brazil; Enemy at the Gates; Doomsday; Pink Floyd: The Wall; Mermaids; Paris, je t’aime; The Long Good Friday; Balto; Unleashed; The Cotton Club; Vanity Fair; Nixon; Made in Dagenham; A Christmas Carol; Inserts; Hollywoodland; Mona Lisa; Beyond the Sea; Future BMT: Son of the Mask; Maid in Manhattan; Michael; Outlaw; Live Virgin; Heart Condition; Hook; Shattered; Den of Lions; Stay; BMT: Spice World; Super Mario Bros.; Garfield 2; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Son of the Mask in 2006; Notes: Died due to complications with Parkinson’s in 2014. Claims to have never had an acting lesson in his life.)

John Leguizamo – (Known For: John Wick; John Wick: Chapter 2; Romeo + Juliet; Carlito’s Way; Chef; Moulin Rouge!; Ice Age; The Lincoln Lawyer; To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; The Infiltrator; Titan A.E.; Die Hard 2; Land of the Dead; Sisters; American Ultra; Executive Decision; Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Casualties of War; Ice Age 2: The Meltdown; Nancy; Future BMT: The Honeymooners; Spawn; The Counsellor; Collateral Damage; The Pest; Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie; Anarchy: Ride or Die; Ice Age: Collision Course; What’s the Worst That Could Happen?; The Fan; The Babysitters; The Hollow Point; Miracle at St. Anna; Out for Justice; Repo Men; Empire; Revenge; Jekyll Island; Love in the Time of Cholera; Kick-Ass 2; Ice Age: Continental Drift; Whispers in the Dark; Rage; A Pyromaniac’s Love Story; Spun; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; The Happening; One for the Money; Gamer; Righteous Kill; Ride Along; Notes: A noted comedian in the early 90s doing character impersonations. Has been doing mostly television recently including a role in Bloodline.)

Dennis Hopper – (Known For: Apocalypse Now; True Romance; Cool Hand Luke; Waterworld; Easy Rider; Blue Velvet; Speed; River’s Edge; Rebel Without a Cause; Hang ‘Em High; Giant; True Grit; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2; The Other Side of the Wind; Land of the Dead; Rumble Fish; Black Widow; Hoosiers; The Pick-up Artist; Edtv; Future BMT: The Crow: Wicked Prayer; Big Fat Important Movie; Hell Ride; Boiling Point; Chasers; Space Truckers; Meet the Deedles; Knockaround Guys; Swing Vote; The Blackout; Memory; My Science Project; Queen of Blood; Sleepwalking; The Trip; Straight to Hell; Flashback; Search and Destroy; 10th & Wolf; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Alpha and Omega; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Waterworld in 1996; Notes: Was a child actor, and then had a very rocky film career due to substance abuse. He created, directed, and starred in Easy Rider which is credited in ushering in the anti-establishment movement in Hollywood of the 1970s.)

Budget/Gross – $48 million / Domestic: $20,915,465

(Catastrophic. I’m actually a bit surprised it didn’t do better. You’d think a good number of video game fans would have been tricked into going to the film during the opening weekend. I would have thought it would have ended at like … $40 million maybe? On the other had it was 1993.)

#27 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(Our 18th video game film, driving quickly towards a 20th film (like …4% of BMT is video game films). The genre is really booming recently. And with Detective Pikachu I think there is a distinct possibility Nintendo will end up as the driving force in upping the quality overall.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (8/38): Despite flashy sets and special effects, Super Mario Bros. is too light on story and substance to be anything more than a novelty.

(A delightful novelty IMO. That percentage is a lot higher than I would expect for what is likely considered one of the worst films ever (although it isn’t on the wiki page interestingly enough …). Reviewer Highlight: As everyone knows, arcade-style diversions are not known for strong, original narratives or well-developed characters. In that sense, this film is worthy of its inspiration. – James Berardinelli, ReelViews)

Poster – Super Twin Time (B+)

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(I almost always default to the poster featured on IMDb, but for whatever reason they chose to use some foreign poster… I suspect because it looked so stupid that they thought it was funny? Hard to say. This was the primary theatrical poster I think and it’s actually fine. I wish it wasn’t so dark and they gave it some pop with the green and the red, but it’s nicely stylized and actually makes a very not cool thing look kinda cool with some nice spacing and font.)

Tagline(s) – This Ain’t No Game! (A)

(Clever. Good one to use on the first adaptation too as I think later on I would have thought it was a little generic and vague to constitute a good tagline. Here though I think it’s working.)

Keyword(s) – based on video game; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.4 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.9 House of the Dead (2003); 87.9 Street Fighter (1994); 87.7 BloodRayne (2005); 87.1 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 86.2 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.7 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 79.7 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 73.5 Far Cry (2008); 70.0 Wing Commander (1999);

(I kind of forget we haven’t officially seen Street Fighter for BMT. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen the film multiple times. We just used to not do filmes we’ve seen before for BMT. Now we do that quite frequently for good reason, so it’ll eventually come up, maybe in some ill-fated decision to watch every JCVD film ever made or something.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: John Leguizamo is No. 2 billed in Super Mario Bros. and No. 3 billed in Ride Along, which also stars Ice Cube (No. 1 billed) who is in Ghosts of Mars (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 3 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 3 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch Hook, Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – In his 2007 autobiography John Leguizamo states he and Bob Hoskins hated working on the film and would frequently get drunk to make it through the experience. Both men apparently knew the movie would turn out bad, so they simply tried to make the best of it. He also stated he felt one of the biggest reasons the movie turned out the way it did was because the directors wanted a more “adult” movie while the studio, considering the source material, was looking for a children’s film.

During a chase scene, Bob Hoskins broke his finger when the van’s door slammed on his hand. For the rest of the film, Hoskins is wearing a cast that was painted pink to look like a hand. (Having just watched it, I never noticed it)

Bob Hoskins didn’t know that the film he was making was based on a game, until his son asked him what he was working on. When Hoskins mentioned the film’s title, his son immediately recognized it and showed Hoskins the game on his own Nintendo.

An article in “Spy” magazine claimed that the script was being rewritten so many times during production that the actors stopped paying attention to these daily rewrites.

Although Bob Hoskins said that this is the worst film he ever made, his son Jack Hoskins is a fan of this film, praising his dad’s performance. He said that he was too young to understand the poor reviews and now that he’s old enough, he doesn’t care. He quoted on the film’s fan website “SMBArchive.com”: “If there’s anyone reading this, please understand that it’s no one’s intention to ruin the classics. One last thing; if you remember your past enjoyments, then it would definitely keep your childhood memories alive and safely locked in your head forever.”

The “De-evolution” guns seen at the end of the film are simply repainted versions of the Super Nintendo light gun accessory, the “Super Scope.” (Awesome. I’m serious … that’s awesome)

After the film bombed at the box office, Nintendo never produced any more live-action theatrical films based on their video game franchises. A “Metroid” film was put into development, but never went past pre-production. (They still haven’t. They have at least one film in production, another Super Mario film, but it is CGI I believe … which will probably work out better)

Dennis Hopper explained why he did the film – “I made a picture called Super Mario Bros., and my six-year-old son at the time – he’s now 18 – he said, ‘Dad, I think you’re probably a pretty good actor, but why did you play that terrible guy King Koopa in Super Mario Bros.?’ and I said, ‘Well Henry, I did that so you could have shoes,’ and he said, ‘Dad, I don’t need shoes that badly.'” (Sick burn)

The Yoshi puppet was capable of making 64 separate movements due to 200 feet of cable crammed inside its 3 foot tall structure. In all, no less than 9 puppeteers were used to operate the Yoshi puppet. (Yes, it was possibly the last great puppet animatronic since the film came out the same year as Jurassic Park. The CGI afterwards likely killed the industry. There might be other good examples, the Lost World or something, but 1993 marks the point where puppets weren’t the first thought in a directors mind on how to create a lifelike fictional animal.)

An early draft of the script shows that Bowser only disguises himself as a human in his first two scenes, the Princess character is named Hildy and Bowser wants to marry her in attempt to obtain the Crown of Invincibility with which to take over the Mushroom Kingdom. Actual game enemies such as Piranha Plants and Thwomps make appearances, Toad accompanies the Mario Bros. throughout their journey as a main character, a baby dinosaur named Junior thinks Mario is his mother, Luigi gets Raccoon Power at one point, one of Bowser’s lackeys (a possible prototype for Kamek) tells Mario “Your Princess Is in Another Castle”, Mario and Luigi sing a song for Bowser, Bowser ends up falling into a pit of lava… In other words, this draft is much more faithful to the games. (Yeah … that sounds like it would be absolutely terrible though)

Dennis Hopper described the film’s production – “It was a nightmare, very honestly, that movie. It was a husband and wife directing team who were both control freaks and wouldn’t talk before they made decisions. Anyway, I was supposed to go down there for five weeks, and I was there for 17. It was so over budget.”

In a 2011 interview with The Guardian, Bob Hoskins described the film’s production – “It was a f*ckin’ nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare. It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks their own agent told them to get off the set! F*ckin’ nightmare. F*ckin’ idiots.” (These two notes are eerily consistent)

Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario’s creator, stated, “[In] the end, it was a very fun project that they put a lot of effort into,” but also said, “The one thing that I still have some regrets about is that the movie may have tried to get a little too close to what the Mario Bros. video games were. And in that sense, it became a movie that was about a video game, rather than being an entertaining movie in and of itself.” (… what? It is nothing like the games.)

Rocky Morton reflected on the movie in 2016 as a “harrowing” experience. He explained that he and Annabel Jankel, along with the rest of the cast, agreed to make the movie based on the script originally written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, which focused on Mario and Luigi’s complicated but loving family dynamic that they had developed in the absence of their parents. However, just a few weeks before shooting was to begin, the studio financing the film demanded significant rewrites to make the film more childlike and comedic. The final result, according to Morton, was a script that was not at all like the script that he, Jenkel, and the cast had signed on to film, and that the tone of the new script was not at all compatible with the sets, which had already been built. Morton also reflected that he felt very uneasy being put in the position of having to defend the new script. In addition, working with Dennis Hopper was “really, really hard. Really hard. I don’t think [Dennis Hopper] had a clue what was going on.” Despite describing the overall experience as humiliating, Morton is proud of the film considering the chaos created as a result of the late and unexpected script rewrites. (Hmmmmmmmmmmmm)

Allegedly due to drinking on set, John Leguizamo was hit by a car, breaking his leg. You can even see the cast in some shots of the movie. (Jesus!)

This was the first Hollywood film directly based on a specific video game property. (And it went swimmingly)

John Leguizamo was annoyed that he wasn’t allowed to ad-lib in the film.

Parker Bennett and Terry Runte submitted a script represents the early transition from the original fantasy-oriented take to the more grounded sci-fi take of the final film. They felt that the story was never funny, scary or outlandish enough, so to make it more compelling they sought to focus more on Mario and Luigi’s relationship, to develop Daisy into a more proactive character and to expand Koopa’s plot so that it would also endanger Earth. However, the pitch still contains various fantastical elements, including Mario and Luigi being icons of a “prophecy,” a magical talking book that aids them on their quest and a mushroom-infested world complete with a castle. The sci-fi concept of a parallel world inhabited by humanoid dinosaurs is essentially only retrofitted onto the fantasy story already written. (What the hell? That was the “brilliant” story everyone was gutted to see changed?)

Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel were hired to direct the film, based on their work on Max Headroom (1987).

Lead creatures designer and supervisor Patrick Tatopoulos was aware of the concurrent Jurassic Park (1993) production, so consciously designed the dinosaurs more cute and cartoony with inspiration from Beetlejuice (1988).

Producers from Jurassic Park (1993) visited the set and were so impressed with the Yoshi puppet they briefly considered hiring its engineers for a second Jurassic Park creatures shop. (Yeah this is the thing I had heard, that they were still kind of figuring out whether they wanted to go animatronic for the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, but the CGI eventually won out)

Despite its box office failure and troubled production, Roland Joffé remains proud: “It’s not that I defend the movie, it’s just that, in its own extraordinary way, it was an interesting and rich artefact and has earned its place. It has strange cult status.” (This is absolutely true. It is one of the most baffling things you’ll ever watch. Just extraordinary that it exists at all)

Greg Beeman was attached to direct and development had already moved into pre-production, but the failure of Beeman’s recent Mom and Dad Save the World (1992) led to his dismissal by nervous producers. (Now that is an absolutely awful film … weirdly the carnivorous mushrooms would have been a decent idea for goombas in this film)

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot Quiz

Wait, I remember that I’m a successful detective in the LAPD, but then my mother came to town, I hit my head, and now I can’t remember what happened. Do you remember what happened in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film we see Stallone attempting to call his mother late night in a bar, and then later the next day as well. Why is he calling, and why doesn’t she pick up?

2) On the way back from the airport Stallone gets called to the scene of a potential suicide attempt. Why does the young man want to kill himself?

3) Right off the bat Stallone’s mother is all up in his business. That first night she tries to do three nice things for him which do not go over well. What are they?

4) Why aren’t thing working out so well for Stallone with his lady friend (and boss! That seems inappropriate)?

5) There is an entire B-story crime subplot here I haven’t even touched on. Explain it as best you can.

Answers

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot Preview

While Patrick creates an intricate outline for the Rich & Poe sequel, 2 Rich 2 Poe: Reclamation, Jamie paces their Brooklyn apartment slamming Mountain Dews and scratching at his cable-knit sweater. “You know what’s kind of funny?” says Patrick looking up from the page, “This is kind of like that Eddie Murphy film Vampire in Brooklyn.” Jamie looks confused and Patrick continues, “didn’t you say you were bitten by a vampire while I was in the z-universe?” Jamie nods slowly, “Oh, right. Months ago now. Guess I forgot about that.” He runs his hand over the scar, “oh well, I’m sure that’ll come back to… bite me.” And with that Jamie and Patrick laugh and laugh and laugh. Getting right back to business Patrick goes through his analytical checklist of everything he knows to make a bad movie. “Alright, so we need to recast. Let’s get Chris Klein and Neal McDonough in here to spice things up Street Fighter style. We gotta take it to New Orleans where Nic Cage butters his bread and also go to space. Add in a couple twisty-turns, a steamy sex scene, and I think we have it.” Jamie takes a look at the outline and slowly takes a sip of Dew. “You sure about this?… I mean, this sounds kind of rad.” But Patrick tells him to trust him. Ratchet this shit up to X-treme levels and it’ll get the job done. Crazy=bad, it’s a formula as old as time. “Well OK, but how do we get Rich and Poe to New Orleans?” Jamie asks scratching his head. “Easy breezy,” says Patrick, “three words for you: gun-totin’ grandma.” Jamie’s eye’s light up, “Can she be foul-mouthed?” Patrick grins, “Darn tootin’,” That’s right! We continue our journey through Siskel and Ebert’s worst of the worst by heading to a film that we’ve been saving for a rainy day. Sly Stallone films are a rare commodity that can’t be thrown around willy-nilly (particularly when they have to be saved for the Stallonian Calendar). But it felt right for this cycle as Siskel and Ebert hated it so much. It’s finally time for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Let’s go!

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992) – BMeTric: 80.0

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(It’s a bit surprising this is regressing to the mean. I would have imagined this would be a classic, and something people would be seeking out in order to specifically give it a terrible review. The regression kind of suggests that normal people are the ones mostly stumbling onto this and rating it after the fact … why would anyone watch this?)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Cop Stallone is joined by his loud-mouthed, gun-toting mamma (Getty), and they erase crime from the streets of L.A. One joke action-comedy which quickly wears thin; Getty’s character, meant to be funny, comes off as thoroughly obnoxious.

(Oh God. Yeah. You can tell from the trailer the movie is a complete one joke pile of garbage. Shoot. This is going to be a trainwreck.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMQ-RoCKa6o/

(Oh Jesus. It appears to just be one long aggravating joke over and over. My mother is suffocating, she doesn’t know about police business or guns, she’s interfering in my love life. Unpleasant. This isn’t going to be funny, it is going to be unpleasant.)

Directors – Roger Spottiswoode – (Known For: Tomorrow Never Dies; The 6th Day; Turner & Hooch; A Street Cat Named Bob; Deadly Pursuit; Under Fire; Shake Hands with the Devil; Future BMT: Air America; Terror Train; The Best of Times; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Notes: Wrote 48 Hrs. and was nominated for an Emmy for directing And the Band Played On in 1993.)

Writers – Blake Snyder (written by) – (Future BMT: Blank Cheque; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot in 1993; Notes: Died in 2009. Somewhat notable for his Save the Cat! trilogy of screenwriting books)

William Osborne (written by) – (Known For: Twins; The Scorpion King; Future BMT: Thunderbirds; Ghost in the Machine; The Real McCoy; Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Notes: Novelist. He is a lawyer and is married to Debra Hayward which maybe explains his involvement in movies.)

William Davies (written by) – (Known For: How to Train Your Dragon; Twins; Mia et le lion blanc; Flushed Away; Puss in Boots; The Guilty; Alien Autopsy; Future BMT: Ghost in the Machine; The Real McCoy; Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde; Johnny English; Johnny English Strikes Again; Johnny English Reborn; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot in 1993; Notes: Brother of rather successful producer Michael Davies. Sold a spec-script Fool on the Hill for $4 million after Jim Carrey expressed interest in it, but it went unproduced.)

Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Creed II; Rocky; Creed; The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; First Blood; Escape Plan; Rocky Balboa; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Rocky II; Antz; Cop Land; Bullet to the Head; Escape to Victory; Death Race 2000; Nighthawks; Future BMT: Escape Plan II; Staying Alive; Rocky V; D-Tox; The Specialist; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Rambo III; Avenging Angelo; Daylight; Ratchet & Clank; Backtrace; Collection; Assassins; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Oscar; Rocky IV; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Driven; Zookeeper; Get Carter; Rhinestone; Judge Dredd; Cobra; Over the Top; The Expendables 3; Tango & Cash; Grudge Match; Lock Up; Demolition Man; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Rocky IV in 1986; Winner for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Winner for Worst Actor in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1989 for Rambo III; and in 1993 for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Spy Kids 3: Game Over in 2004; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990 for Cobra, Cobra, Lock Up, Lock Up, Over the Top, Over the Top, Rambo III, Rambo III, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rhinestone, Rocky IV, and Tango & Cash; Nominee for Worst Director for The Expendables in 2011; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1986 for Rocky IV; in 1987 for Cobra; in 1989 for Rambo III; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1994 for Cliffhanger; and in 2002 for Driven; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1987 for Cobra; in 1988 for Over the Top; in 1990 for Lock Up, and Tango & Cash; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for The Specialist; in 1996 for Assassins, and Judge Dredd; in 1997 for Daylight; in 2001 for Get Carter; and in 2014 for Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and Grudge Match; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn in 1999; Notes: Rambo V is going to be crazy. Whether it is good or bad is immaterial. It is going to be crazy … and it is basically the only thing the news is reporting about Sly recently.)

Estelle Getty – (Known For: Stuart Little; Mask; Tootsie; Future BMT: Mannequin; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot in 1993; Notes: She died in 2008 and is probably most famous for her role in Golden Girls as Bea Arthur’s mother.)

JoBeth Williams – (Known For: Poltergeist; Wyatt Earp; Kramer vs. Kramer; The Big Chill; Stir Crazy; The Perfect Catch; The Big Year; In the Land of Women; Teachers; The Dogs of War; TiMER; Desert Bloom; Barracuda; Just Write; Future BMT: Jungle 2 Jungle; Poltergeist II: The Other Side; Switch; Dutch; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Notes: Nominated for Best Live Action Short in 1995 for On Hope. Despite that she didn’t direct anything significant in her career.)

Budget/Gross – $45 million / Domestic: $28,411,210 (Worldwide: $70,611,210)

(That is a bomb, but not as bad as one would expect … did Sly really have such clout that this films would earn like $40 million overseas? I’m not sure I believe it.)

#16 for the Mother genre

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(Beats out the Pringle’s Mom’s Club which is nice. It actually made me wonder, do more “mother” films come out around Mother’s Day? A quick look and you’ll find that indeed May has traditionally had the most “mother” films released. November and December also have quite a few, but perhaps that makes sense as people will be going to the movies with family around the holidays as well.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (2/26): Thoroughly witless and thuddingly unfunny, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot gives its mismatched stars very little to work with – and as a result, they really don’t work.

(Unfunny. It is going to be brutally unfunny. And just exasperating. Sigh. Reviewer Highlight: It is moronic beyond comprehension, an exercise in desperation during which even Sylvester Stallone, a repository of self-confidence, seems to be disheartened. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.)

Poster – She Got a Guuuuuuuuuuuun (C-)

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(Oh man, that’s a lot of color. Much like the very common sky background, this passing cars background in unexplainable. Even more so because it actually makes the poster hard to look at. Otherwise I’m actually OK with this because there is literally no other poster you can make. This is the poster: aimed with laser focus at capturing the Stallone-and-old-lady-with-gun market.)

Tagline(s) – Detective Joe Bomowski’s mom is in town for a visit. She did the laundry, washed the windows and scrubbed the floors. Now, she’s gonna clean up the streets. (D)

(Oh no. No! No! No! You got an old lady with a gun and Sly Stallone and you go old school paragraph tagline?! You have so much to work with! I only don’t give this an F because I liked the roundabout cleaning pun they dropped in. But come on.)

Keyword(s) – mother; Top Ten by BMeTric: 86.4 Troll 2 (1990); 85.8 The Cat in the Hat (2003); 82.0 I Know Who Killed Me (2007); 80.0 Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992); 70.0 Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017); 68.0 It’s Pat: The Movie (1994); 65.1 Leprechaun (1993); 60.6 The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999); 56.5 XX (2017); 55.2 Queen of the Damned (2002);

(We aren’t watching Jeepers Creepers 3, that film is legitimately made by a pedophile. Screw that.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sylvester Stallone is No. 1 billed in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and No. 1 billed in Expendables 3, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 10. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger were competing against each other at that time, and Schwarzenegger faked interest in this movie in order to make Stallone audition for it. Stallone, who heard that Schwarzenegger was interested in headlining in this movie, immediately dropped everything and contacted the producers, saying that he wanted to headline. He deeply regrets this. (Oh God. What a weirdo. Definitely something Arnold would do. Watch Pumping Iron, he always seemed to be a step ahead of the other weightlifters and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was always a step ahead of Sly as well)

Sylvester Stallone considers this the worst film he’s ever done.

When Estelle Getty found out that filming the movie would involve guns, she said that she would only do the movie if there were no guns in it. The producers lied to her (and told her that there would be no guns in the movie) in order to get her to sign on. (That’s mean)

The picture was nominated for Worst Picture at the Hastings Bad Cinema Society’s 15th Stinkers Bad Movie Awards in 1992. (For reals, was this a thing back in the day. I’m very aware of it existing, but I never remember anyone actually knowing about it at the time)

When Estelle Getty is showing pictures of her son to the people that were aboard the plane, there is a black and white picture of a boy in a checkered shirt, which happens to be Sylvester Stallone as a young boy. This picture was also used in Rocky (1976), and can be seen sitting on Rocky’s mirror. (Makes sense)

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone, 1993)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Estelle Getty, 1993)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Blake Snyder, William Osborne, William Davies, 1993)

Vampire in Brooklyn Quiz

Hmmmmm, let’s see. Watching all of these bad movies is bad for my health, because the last thing I remember was seeing a vampire and him telling me I was going to become his ghoul … what the hell does that mean? Can you help me remember what happened in Vampire in Brooklyn?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why does Eddie Murphy’s character Max go to Brooklyn in the first place?

2) During the film everyone is on tenterhooks concerning Rita’s mental state. Why?

3) What does Rita think happened to her father?

4) During his attempts to woo Rita, Max saves her life twice. From what does he save her?

5) What can’t Rita do (according to the vampire hunter Justice talks to) before Max is killed in order to make sure Rita can return to her mortal human form?

BONUS: Julius loses four body parts as Max’s ghoul. Name them.

Answers

Vampire in Brooklyn Preview

Jamie stares, mouth agape, as Santa recounts his gritty origin story. Long ago the Coca-Cola Corporation devised an advertising scheme around a jolly man in a red suit. Unbeknownst to them this was the final stage of a dark prophecy that brought him forth from Hell into this world. However, a family of elves took pity on the vile creature and decided to use him for good instead of evil. While Santa has struggled with why he was preserved and let loose on the other monsters of the realm, using his well-oiled muscles to rip them to shreds, he has come to terms with his terrible power… with that Santa takes a long satisfying sip of a Coca-Cola and looks at Jamie, who is weeping uncontrollably. Suddenly Patrick has an idea, “wait, Santa. Did you say that the Coca-Cola Corporation created you in this world using an advertising scheme in our world?” Santa nods, “and it was a truly terrible advertising scheme at that. Craven capitalist cynicism,” he says with a look of disgust on his face. Disgust that can only be washed away by the refreshing taste of a delicious Coke. Patrick shakes Jamie out of his stupor, “Don’t you see? It was within us the whole time.” Jamie nods, “You mean love?” Patrick shakes his head, “no, not love. Something even better. Bad movies. Rich and Poe aren’t here yet because our first film was a wild critical success.” Jamie’s eyes alight, “My god, a sequel… but how do we get back home so we can write it?” Patrick ponders for a second and remembers the great power he tapped into in order to save Santa. He reaches for it again, but this time the query fails. “You try,” he tells Jamie, but within him there is no light… he can only see the one in Patrick. He reaches for that and *pop* they are back in their apartment. They stare in wonder and clap hands in a manly bro hand hug. Time to get to work. They don their cable-knit sweaters, hop in their Volvo and head to Brooklyn. That’s right! We’re transitioning from the Worst Films Ever Rejects into a cycle consisting of films that Siskel and Ebert put on one of their end of year worst films lists. These leads us right to another Eddie Murphy special with Vampire in Brooklyn, his attempt to cash in on that sweet vampire money. This is also the second film where Murphy played multiple roles. In this case Maximilian, Preacher Pauly, and Guido… well that already sounds offensive. Let’s go!

Vampire in Brooklyn (1995) – BMeTric: 68.5

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(Very consistent across the years, and impressively low. Heartening. While I knew of this film obviously, it is nice to see it have a bit of cred among the people.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Sleek Caribbean vampire Murphy, to perpetuate his race, needs to persuade Brooklyn cop Bassett that she’s his soul mate. Oddball film has Murphy cracking jokes, but he’s thoroughly evil; on the other hand, it’s not scary enough to work as a horror film … and it’s overlong, to boot.

(Ah classic. This is my problem with almost all multi-genre films. It seems like it isn’t a good comedy, or a good horror film. I find that a lot of these types of films are graded on a curve as a good-for-what-it-is in that much smaller (and worse) sub-genre. There are exceptions though, like Shaun of the Dead.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qzFuLGeVGI/

(Yeah doesn’t seem very funny. Just a bunch of corny vampire jokes. And Maltin seems to be correct, it seems kind of too true to vampire lore to be anything but a horror film in spirit.)

Directors – Wes Craven – (Known For: Scream; A Nightmare on Elm Street; Scream 4; Scream 2; Red Eye; The Last House on the Left; The Hills Have Eyes; The People Under the Stairs; Swamp Thing; Paris, je t’aime; New Nightmare; The Serpent and the Rainbow; Music of the Heart; Future BMT: My Soul to Take; Cursed; The Hills Have Eyes Part II; Scream 3; Shocker; Deadly Blessing; BMT: Vampire in Brooklyn; Deadly Friend; Notes: An original of the slasher genre, and is credited with bringing it back with the self-referential Scream series. Died in 2015.)

Writers – Eddie Murphy (story) – (Known For: Coming to America; Beverly Hills Cop II; Boomerang; BMT: Norbit; Vampire in Brooklyn; Another 48 Hrs.; Harlem Nights; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Harlem Nights in 1990; Winner for Worst Actor, Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Supporting Actress for Norbit in 2008; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 2010 for I Spy, Imagine That, Meet Dave, Norbit, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; Nominee for Worst Director for Harlem Nights in 1990; Nominee for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Couple for Norbit in 2008; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2003 for I Spy, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; in 2009 for Meet Dave; in 2010 for Imagine That; and in 2013 for A Thousand Words; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2003 for I Spy, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; and in 2009 for Meet Dave; Notes: Y’all know Eddie Murphy. It actually does seem like Coming 2 America is happening. So maybe Beverly Hills Cop 4 will as well.)

Vernon Lynch (story) – (BMT: Vampire in Brooklyn; Notes: Half-brother of Eddie Murphy. This was a truly a family affair.)

Charlie Murphy (story) (as Charles Murphy & screenplay) (as Charles Murphy) – (BMT: Norbit; Vampire in Brooklyn; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Norbit in 2008; Notes: We did it. Interestingly it feels like whenever Murphy is looking to be on the ropes he dusts off a script he and his brother wrote. This was the end of a long fall which ended with a tack to family friendly films with the Nutty Professor. Norbit kind of marks the end of Murphy’s second leading man career.)

Michael Lucker (screenplay) – (Known For: Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron; Home on the Range; BMT: Vampire in Brooklyn; Notes: Wrote a bunch of those direct-to-video sequels to Disney films back in the days. Seems to produce now.)

Chris Parker (screenplay) (as Christopher Parker) – (Known For: Heaven Is for Real; BMT: Vampire in Brooklyn; Battle of the Year; Notes: Appears to maybe be doing uncredited writing for animated films. There is little about him online.)

Actors – Eddie Murphy – (Known For: Mulan; Trading Places; Shrek; Coming to America; Beverly Hills Cop; Shrek 2; Doctor Dolittle; Shrek the Third; Shrek Forever After; Beverly Hills Cop II; The Nutty Professor; Life; Dreamgirls; Boomerang; 48 Hrs.; Tower Heist; Bowfinger; Dr. Dolittle 2; Imagine That; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; The Haunted Mansion; Meet Dave; Holy Man; Showtime; Daddy Day Care; Metro; The Distinguished Gentleman; BMT: Norbit; The Adventures of Pluto Nash; Vampire in Brooklyn; I Spy; Beverly Hills Cop III; Another 48 Hrs.; The Golden Child; A Thousand Words; Harlem Nights; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Harlem Nights in 1990; Winner for Worst Actor, Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Supporting Actress for Norbit in 2008; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 2010 for I Spy, Imagine That, Meet Dave, Norbit, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; Nominee for Worst Director for Harlem Nights in 1990; Nominee for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Couple for Norbit in 2008; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2003 for I Spy, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; in 2009 for Meet Dave; in 2010 for Imagine That; and in 2013 for A Thousand Words; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2003 for I Spy, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; and in 2009 for Meet Dave; Notes: Apparently Pete Davidson bought a vintage magazine featuring Eddie Murphy for $45 the other day … fun.)

Angela Bassett – (Known For: Bumblebee; Black Panther; Mission: Impossible – Fallout; Contact; Kindergarten Cop; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Meet the Robinsons; Olympus Has Fallen; Boyz n the Hood; Malcolm X; Strange Days; What’s Love Got to Do with It; The Score; Notorious; White Bird in a Blizzard; Chi-Raq; Waiting to Exhale; Akeelah and the Bee; F/X; How Stella Got Her Groove Back; Future BMT: Supernova; Meet the Browns; Green Lantern; Survivor; Masked and Anonymous; Innocent Blood; Gospel Hill; BMT: Vampire in Brooklyn; London Has Fallen; This Means War; Notes: She’s done some voice work for Bojack Horseman. Nominated for Best Actress for What’s Love Got to Do with It.)

Allen Payne – (Known For: The Perfect Storm; New Jack City; Jason’s Lyric; CB4; A Price Above Rubies; 30 Years to Life; Future BMT: Crossover; Cookie; The Walking Dead; BMT: Vampire in Brooklyn; Notes: Vegan. One of the star of House of Payne, appearing in 170 episodes.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $19,751,736

(That seems really low. I imagine Eddie Murphy was getting paid multiple millions of dollars to appear in it, so almost definitely a bomb.)

#30 for the Horror Comedy genre

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(This is what I mean, I don’t really get why they are trying to make horror-comedies happen. Blank-comedy as a genre is a cool idea. When done right it is brilliant as it is able to skewer the non-comedy genre like nothing else can (see Cabin in the Woods, Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz). But they are obviously really hard to make. Making a horror film is hard. Making a comedy is really hard. Doing both at the same time is double hard. I literally think Cabin in the Woods is the last good one from that Box Office Mojo list.)

#35 for the Vampire genre

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(We might as well ignore that graph, the giant bump is just Twilight and the copycats there. Interesting nonetheless.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (3/29): Neither scary nor very funny, this misguided effort never lives up to its premise.

(Yeah, see. The double genre ploy almost never works … except for Marvel films which manage to be not very funny comedies and just ok action films, but people kind of accept those as “good” action-comedies.)

Poster – I’m a Vampire This Time (B+)

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(I think my favorite genre of film poster is the “I’m a giant star poster.” Best recent example was The Mummy, which made it seem like Tom Cruise was the titular mummy. Here we get more a story with the moon and the cityscape, but let’s not get it twisted. It’s the Eddie Murphy show and I’m excited.)

Tagline(s) – A comic tale of horror and seduction. (D)

(A lot of genres being thrown around. So it’s a comedy-horror-romance? Cool cool cool. In fact we don’t learn much about the film other than three very broad genres. Also as bland as you can make it.)

Keyword(s) – vampire; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.1 Vampires Suck (2010); 87.7 BloodRayne (2005); 81.8 Ultraviolet (2006); 78.0 The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009); 72.1 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011); 69.8 Stan Helsing (2009); 69.1 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010); 68.5 Vampire in Brooklyn (1995); 64.1 Dudley Do-Right (1999); 63.9 Dracula 2000 (2000);

(Wowza. We need to up our vampire game … although to be fair I’ve seen all of the Twilight films in my free time (my life!) so it really is just a matter of doing a re-watch.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Eddie Murphy is No. 1 billed in Vampire in Brooklyn and No. 1 billed in Harlem Nights, which also stars Richard Pryor (No. 2 billed) who is in Superman III (No. 2 billed), which also stars Annette O’Toole (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 7 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 5 + 7 = 18. If we were to watch The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Sonja Davis, Angela Bassett’s stunt double, died in an accident on the set. (Oh no, I forgot about this. Very sad).

On The Directors (1997), Wes Craven suggested that Eddie Murphy ignored his requests to play the character vulnerable, and felt compelled to showcase his comedic talents. (Wait a second! Later on in an interview Charlie Murphy claimed Wes Craven wanted it to be a comedy!)

Final film of Ray Combs. He died soon after.

In a November 2011 interview with “Rolling Stone”, Eddie Murphy stated that he made this movie for one reason: Paramount agreed to release The Nutty Professor (1996)’s rights in exchange for finishing his deal with the studio. Murphy also said that the wig his character wore was so awful it immediately made people despise the film. (Huh, interesting. So Murphy had the idea to basically reinvent his career prior to making the film. And then probably used his script to finish things off, see the next note).

Eddie Murphy wouldn’t write another story until Norbit (2007), twelve years later. Interestingly, his co-writer of both movies was his brother Charlie Murphy. (Yeah, again, I think they write scripts and then just leave them aside until the point where they are desperate to get something going. Murphy had had a few bad misses leading up to this).

According to Charlie Murphy, the movie was meant to be a straight horror movie with no laughs but Wes Craven brought a different focus to the film. (This contradicts the above note. I’m not sure which one I believe. This might seem unlikely, but Craven would use humor in Scream to satirize the slasher genre in Scream only a few years later)

This is Angela Bassett’s second vampire movie. She previously starred in Innocent Blood (1992). Bassett would also play a vampire many years later in season 5 of American Horror Story (2011). (That is actually kind of a fun fact)

First horror-comedy for Eddie Murphy. He would star in The Haunted Mansion (2003) eight years later. (Ooooooof, neither of those were particularly good).

“Veder” loosely translates to “Vater”, which means “Father”, in German, foreshadowing Ritas father was a vampire. (Darth Vader)

Hellboy (2019) Preview

Patrick and Jamie look through binoculars at their prey. Santa is happily carving a toy for a child amongst his elf friends in the BMTverse’s North Pole. Poor bastard. Jamie leans back, “I’m not even sure why you’re here,” he says and Patrick squints at him in confusion. Jamie shrugs and snaps into a slim jim, “I mean, I was the one that told the troll I would do him a favor. Not you.” Patrick smiles and sends Jamie to start on a Santa trap. Patrick needs time to think. Hours pass, sweat drips down his brow, but Patrick can’t think of a way to save Santa. In his calm he withdraws deep within himself and finds a light. Reaching for it he suddenly has access to a great power. “I need something to save Santa,” he thinks and a large amount of silk from the rare Siberian Silkworm winks into existence. Thinking quick he used his twin powers to construct a flawless (but highly illegal) Santa costume and dons the disguise. Looking up he is horrified to see Jamie having completed an elaborate tiger trap and Santa bumbling his way towards it. Using his preternatural speed, Patrick is able to tackle both he and the real Santa into the trap. The troll comes cackling forward, but is confused by the appearance of two Santas. Who should he shoot?! He points his gun back and forth and the hesitation is enough for Jamie to trip the troll right back into the tiger trap. Hooray! With the troll dispatched, Jamie, Patrick, and Santa sit around the fire with some delicious Coca-Colas. Patrick is distracted by the discovery of the great power within, but Jamie is ready for some magical tales of wonder. “Santa, where did you come from?” he asks and Santa smiles a jolly smile. “Oh ho ho ho, that’s an interesting story, my boy. Well, I guess it started when I was born… IN HELL.” Bum bum bum. That’s right! It’s the first BMT Live! of the year after a … frankly it was a shockingly light bad movie winter season. Here’s to watching an unnecessary reboot and to a hopefully bumper crop of bad movies in the spring season. Let’s go!

Hellboy (2019) – BMeTric: 42.5

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(That rating actually look right. I think it’ll perk up a bit in three months once non-Hellboy fans get a hold of it, they won’t care about some of the most nitty-gritty issues with the film as related to the comic or the Del Toro versions.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  Individually, Harbour might have a humorous moment or two with his co-stars, but decreasingly so as the movie staggers toward its messy, cacophonous end. And it just will … not … end. After an overlong two-hour running time, “Hellboy” suggests optimistically that it’s the start of its own franchise, but it will probably end up stuck in purgatory instead.

(Long and boring! Noooooooo. I don’t want to see a long and boring film in theaters! But I must. You guys owe me.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt5g5_1cKVk/

(The “Sorry, my bad” joke in the beginning is obvious and dumb. And the reset looks … loud and incoherent? I have a feeling the soundtrack is an abomination.)

Directors – Neil Marshall – (Known For: The Descent; Dog Soldiers; Doomsday; Centurion; Tales of Halloween; BMT: Hellboy; Notes: Most famous for directing some of the most notable Game of Thrones episodes (Blackwater, and The Watchers on the Wall).)

Writers – Andrew Cosby (screenplay by) – (BMT: Hellboy; Notes: Created the television series Eureka. Created BOOM! Studios which is a comic book publisher.)

Mike Mignola (based on the Dark Horse Comic Book “Hellboy” created by) – (Known For: Hellboy; Hellboy II: The Golden Army; Batman: Gotham by Gaslight; BMT: Hellboy; Notes: Created the comic. Apparently he handed off the spin off series (B.P.R.D.) which has recently ended. I don’t think there is a current active Hellboy series, although it is unclear.)

Actors – David Harbour – (Known For: Brokeback Mountain; The Equalizer; War of the Worlds; Quantum of Solace; Revolutionary Road; A Walk Among the Tombstones; The Green Hornet; End of Watch; Black Mass; State of Play; Snitch; Kinsey; X/Y; Parkland; The Convincer; Future BMT: Sleepless; Suicide Squad; Every Day; Awake; W.E.; Knife Fight; Between Us; BMT: Hellboy; Notes: Been around for a while obviously as a character actor, but has rose to a new level of fame as one of the stars of Stranger Things.)

Milla Jovovich – (Known For: The Fifth Element; Dazed and Confused; Zoolander; Chaplin; Paradise Hills; A Perfect Getaway; He Got Game; Stone; The Claim; Dummy; Future BMT: Resident Evil: Retribution; Future World; Return to the Blue Lagoon; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Anarchy: Ride or Die; Survivor; Two Moon Junction; Resident Evil: Afterlife; The Fourth Kind; No Good Deed; The Million Dollar Hotel; Resident Evil: Apocalypse; Kuffs; Resident Evil: Extinction; Joan of Arc; Bringing Up Bobby; Shock and Awe; A Warrior’s Tail; Resident Evil; Dirty Girl; BMT: Ultraviolet; Zoolander 2; Hellboy; The Three Musketeers; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 2000 for Joan of Arc; and in 2013 for Resident Evil: Retribution; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for The Fifth Element in 1998; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Return to the Blue Lagoon in 1992; Notes: A bad movie all-star! Her recent big budget fair has mostly been via collaboration with her husband Paul W. S. Anderson who directed four of the six Resident Evil films.)

Ian McShane – (Known For: John Wick; John Wick: Chapter 2; Snow White and the Huntsman; Hercules; Coraline; Jack the Giant Slayer; The Golden Compass; Kung Fu Panda; Shrek the Third; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Death Race; Sexy Beast; Battle of Britain; We Are Marshall; Scoop; Performance; Cuban Fury; Bilal: A New Breed of Hero; The Last of Sheila; Nine Lives; Future BMT: Agent Cody Banks; The Hollow Point; Grimsby; Case 39; Pottersville; Hot Rod; BMT: The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising; Hellboy; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Notes: He’s been all over the place, but his cameo in Game of Thrones and starring role in Deadwood before that suggests he’s really but more famous on the small screen in the later career,)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $19,676,271 (Worldwide: $19,676,271)

(This is going to be a huge disaster, especially with Avengers: Endgame coming out in a week. Completely screwed and might kill the film franchise. Interestingly the comic series apparently came to a disastrous end just this week … so Hellboy legit might be completely dead as a media item which is crazy.)

#136 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre

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(This I think will end up near R.I.P.D. which is crazily mid-table for BMT in this sub-genre. Obviously Marvel/Disney has been dominating this recently with Black Panther having an insane $700 million domestically.)

#109 for the Superhero genre

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(I guess this is different than the previous one … it is obviously taking off recently with the recent Marvel/Disney succuesses.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (25/174): Bereft of the imaginative flair that made earlier Hellboys so enjoyable, this soulless reboot suggests Dante may have left a tenth circle out of his Inferno.

(The reviews are eviscerating basically calling the film a big void filled with action set pieces. This is an astonishingly low percentage, might just end up being the lowest score for a big budget film for the year. Reviewer Highlight: Watching the “Hellboy” reboot is like eating a rice cake – you don’t feel bad afterward, but at the same time you’re not entirely sure you really experienced anything at all. – Matthew Rozsa, Salon.com)

Poster – Hellsklog (C+)

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(Points for the font done in an interesting way (behind the horns, like a physical thing in the poster), deduction for kind of having a flat color, we get it he’s the devil. I think much like what the critics said about the film, it is mostly blah, but I’ll give it a little bump because I think it looks more cool that silly which I guess is what you want.)

Tagline(s) – Give Evil Hell (C-)

(I don’t think I like it. It doesn’t tell you anything, and it is definitely the “clever” product that came out of a writers’ room. But it does have that kernel of cleverness, so I won’t just give it an F.)

Keyword(s) – based on comic; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.6 Batman & Robin (1997); 85.9 Fantastic Four (2015); 71.0 The Spirit (2008); 69.7 Steel (1997); 65.9 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993); 62.0 Virus (1999); 61.7 Monkeybone (2001); 61.5 Transformers: The Last Knight (2017); 59.5 Red Sonja (1985); 59.3 Spawn (1997);

(Smashing it. I’ve seen The Spirit, which I’m sure I’ve mentioned in this section before. That film is completely incomprehensible garbage.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Milla Jovovich is No. 2 billed in Hellboy and No. 1 billed in Ultraviolet, which also stars Cameron Bright (No. 2 billed) who is in Godsend (No. 4 billed), which also stars Rebecca Romijn (No. 2 billed) who is in Rollerball (No. 3 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 2 + 1 + 2 + 4 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 2 = 17. If we were to watch Joan of Arc, Hook, Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – In mid 2012, Ron Perlman once again endured the 4-hour makeup routine required to transform him into Hellboy – not for a sequel or other acting job but to fulfill the Make-A-Wish request of a six-year-old boy named Zachary who has leukemia. Creature effects house Spectral Motion, who had worked on the two previous Hellboy films, applied Perlman’s Hellboy makeup (and later, also made up Zachary as Hellboy as well), so that Zachary could spend the day hanging out with his favorite superhero. Guillermo del Toro was so touched by this event that it inspired him to start production on Hellboy 3. However, the project was announced to be cancelled and this reboot’s development started soon after.

Following the success that Deadpool had in getting the movie made through social media, Ron Perlman tweeted a proposal that if #HellboyIII started trending that a third Hellboy film might finally get funds to be made.

In February 2017 Guillermo Del Toro stated “Spoke with all parties. Must report that 100% the sequel will not happen.” (I think these first three completely exemplify the weird relationship between the Hellboy franchise and its audience. It never really made money, but the hardcore fans believe in their hearts it would if given the chance. Spoiler alert … it wouldn’t, that film will never be made)

The VFXperts cite the Mike Mignola comics as a visual influence on the film’s creatures, and sought to avoid reference to the Guillermo del Toro films. Joel Harlow explained that as monsters, “their look is entirely nonhuman and very frightening, it’s a glimpse into a world of beings that do not follow the anatomical laws of anything on Earth.”

Mike Mignola takes a more direct involvement in the production of this film than he did on the Guillermo del Toro Hellboy films. According to him, the idea with this one was to downplay the superhero elements in the film and stay closer to the darker tone of the graphic novels, making a much more horror-oriented entry into the franchise. (Interesting. Recipe for a disaster, puts too much power into a single person to go ahead an F it up)

On August 21, 2017, Ed Skrein was cast as Major Ben Daimio in the film. However, upon discovering that Daimio was portrayed in the comic books as a Japanese-American character, Skrein announced a week later that he was pulling out to allow an actor of Asian heritage to be cast instead.Skrein’s decision marked the first time a white actor had left a high-profile role after such criticism according to The Hollywood Reporter. (First, bullet dodged for him. Second, I completely forgot about this, what a terrible look)

The movie originally began production as the second sequel to 2004’s Hellboy after The Golden Army, but Creative Differences led to Del Toro and Perlman both leaving, thus causing a long hiatus until it was decided to reboot following the rise of R-rated superhero movies. (There is no way they would have made a third film quickly, The Golden Army didn’t make that much money and Del Toro probably didn’t want to rein in the budget)

The movie’s title was Hellboy: The Blood Queen initially, before reverting to simply Hellboy. (I like the original better)

Hellboy claims he is a Capricorn. According to the comic, he was born in October 5, which makes him a Libra. (BOOOOOOOOOOO)

Doug Jones, who played Abe Sapien in the Guillermo del Toro Hellboy films, was offered a cameo but was unable to participate due to commitments to Star Trek: Discovery (2017). (He’s great in Discovery)

Levin interrupted Marshall frequently in front of the crew as Marshall tried to rehearse actors, sometimes giving them different directions than the director. Singer’s attorney disputed that: “In fact, Mr. Levin would speak to Neil Marshall after rehearsals and discuss issues with him at that time.” (Sounds pleasant)

Harbour repeatedly walked off set, refusing Marshall’s requests for more takes. Singer responded for Levin: “My client has no recollection of that ever happening. To the contrary, David Harbour gave everything he was asked of and more during filming.” (Sounds pleasant)

The script was re-written throughout the production. One said those doing the rewriting included actors Harbour and co-star Ian McShane. Singer responded: “Only a few scenes were rewritten during production, and neither David Harbour nor Ian McShane did any rewriting of the screenplay at all. Rewriting certain scenes of a movie during production is customary in the entertainment industry, including by actors, producers, writers and directors.” (Sounds fucking pleasant)