Black Dog Preview

Patrick sits nervously on his couch. “Can I get you officers anything,” he asks politely to Detectives Lost and Found. ‘Thank you, no,” says Found, “we just wanted to ask you a few more questions about the missing dog we’re looking for.” Patrick is all ears, but Lost appears agitated and butts in. “Where’s the other one of you two? Aren’t you two supposed to be crafting some new work of genius?” he asked aggressively, looking suspiciously around the apartment. “Uh… no… well, yes. But he left. He’s a real dumbo anyway, you wouldn’t want to talk to him,” Patrick responds glumly. “That’s too bad,” says Found, just as he whacks Patrick over the head with an elaborate candlestick. Rolling him up in a very expensive and classy Persian rug they sneak Patrick out of the apartment. “Too bad we couldn’t get both. Hope our… friend… holds up his end of the bargain,” Lost wheezes as they toss Patrick’s limp body into the back of a tractor trailer. That’s right! We’re heading on a cross-country, action-filled trip with Patrick Swayze a.k.a. The Swayze. I’ve actually had my eye on this one for a while since it was the last major release of Swayze’s career and seems to me like it’s been largely forgotten. Let’s go!

Jamie brushes the dust out his eyes as he squints at the dark figure approaching through the wasteland. At first glance he looks like a famous actor, but on closer inspection he is not… not at all. He doesn’t like the look of this at all, but just when he turns to hide he’s surrounded by a group of marauding mailmen.  “Not these guys again,” Jamie thinks, remembering how he and Patrick barely escaped them with their lives the last time they were in the waste… but Patrick’s not here now. Just when the mailmen approach to pummel Jamie, though, the dark figure appears at his side. That’s right! We’re buckling up for a high-octane thrill ride with Driving Force starring none other than *squits* Sam J. Jones… is that right? Also appearing in the film is Don Swayze. He of course plays the bad guy because… well, he kinda just looks like a bad guy. We chose it because I couldn’t believe that Don Swayze also had a truck driving movie. Let’s go! 

Black Dog (1998) – BMeTric: 36.8 

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(I’m a bit stunned by how many votes this has. I’ve never heard of this film, according to the rating it is considered quite bad by people who’ve watched it … and yet it has nearly eight thousand IMDb votes. Must be some sort of swayze effect.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  An ex-con trucker with a suspended license makes one last run to avoid foreclosure, and his rig turns out to be full of concealed assault weapons that his corrupt boss is planning to sell. There’s no dirty dancing for Swayze here but lots of dirty driving. Heavier on crashes than coherency.

(Did Leonard miss a comma before the last “but”? … nevermind. This review sounds suspiciously like “meh” which is … foreboding.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5FHxF0KqdA/

(Come to papa! This looks old school. They really don’t make theatrical films like this these days. As a matter of fact, that’s a fact. Seagal, Swayze, and Van Damme would all be relegated to straight-to-DVD by 2000 because these films just didn’t fly as “action” films anymore.)

Directors – Kevin Hooks – (Future BMT: Fled; Passenger 57; Strictly Business; BMT: Black Dog; Notes: Was an actor, particularly in The White Shadow, but now he only directs and produces. His father was also an actor, specifically in Star Trek III.)

Writers – William Mickelberry (written by) – (BMT: Black Dog; Notes: Directed the show Super Force, which sounds super rad. An astronaut in the future comes back to Earth and becomes a vigilante after learning his brother was murdered.)

Dan Vining (written by) – (BMT: Black Dog; Notes: Exclusively wrote TV Movies right up until this film … which was his last credit on IMDb.)

Actors – Patrick Swayze – (Known For: The Outsiders; Dirty Dancing; Point Break; Donnie Darko; To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; Ghost; Red Dawn; The Player; Next of Kin; 11:14; Uncommon Valor; City of Joy; Keeping Mum; Tall Tale; Green Dragon; Future BMT:Waking Up in Reno; Father Hood; Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights; Christmas in Wonderland; Youngblood; Powder Blue; Three Wishes; BMT: Black Dog; Road House; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 1990 for Next of Kin, and Road House; Notes: The Sexiest Man Alive in 1991, died of pancreatic cancer in 2009.)

Randy Travis – (Known For: The Rainmaker; Future BMT: National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Frank & Jesse; BMT: Baby Geniuses; Fire Down Below; Black Dog; Texas Rangers; Notes: A world famous country singer, he has won six Grammys. He had a stroke in 2013 which has permanently left him unable to fully perform.)

Meat Loaf – (Known For: Fight Club; The Rocky Horror Picture Show; Wayne’s World; Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny; The Salton Sea; The Mighty; Leap of Faith; Beautiful Boy; Motorama; Focus; Future BMT: BloodRayne; Stage Fright; The 51st State; The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag; Crazy in Alabama; The Squeeze; Roadie; BMT: Spice World; Black Dog; Notes: A true singer-actor. He’s been part of a number of bands, but throughout he’s also performed theatrically and in film. Specifically he got his start performing in a travelling production of Hair.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $12,951,088

(Yeah a bit unclear, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was a fine success. Clearly this is well after Swayze’s peak as a film star, and the stunts / sets seem like they could have been done reasonably on the cheap.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (2/20)

(Let’s get a consensus. If you like trucks, red meat, and country music? Well we made a terrible film that we hope you’ll spend money on. I do appreciate that almost all of the reviews note that this is basically an exploitation film. Exploiting trucks, and exploiting the audience who they think are demanding to spend money on films about them. Reviewer Highlight: Forget the Mortal Kombat movies–this trucksploitation flick is the closest the movies has come to video games. – Michael Dequina, TheMovieReport.com)

Poster – Black Sklog (C-)

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(While I 100% want to frame this and hang it in my home, I also think it’s absolutely crazy. Is the entire poster a dutch angle? Is the poster half fire? Why is there a tiny helicopter next to Swayze’s godlike face? So many unanswered questions and terrible font to boot. I won’t put it all the way in the trash because I also think it’s what I want out of a poster. Some love and care.)

Tagline(s) – The only way to stay alive is to keep moving. (D+)

(This is also the tagline for Shark: The Movie. This is the classic type of tagline that sounds like a tagline but then seems to peter out. Like you could imagine a film with the tagline “The only way to stay alive is to die” and it creates the unexpected twist. This just… doesn’t. It’s actually pretty bad when you think hard about it.)

Keyword(s) – betrayal by a friend; Top Ten by BMeTric: 67.1 Bodyguard (2011); 53.6 View from the Top (2003); 47.4 Little Black Book (2004); 40.8 The Alphabet Killer (2008); 37.9 Chasers (1994); 36.8 Black Dog (1998); 34.1 The Keeper (I) (2009); 34.0 Another 48 Hrs. (1990); 33.1 Broken Arrow (1996); 33.1 Drive Me Crazy (1999);

(I am shocked that betrayal by a friend isn’t more common … but maybe people don’t bother to add it to a bunch of films? Anyways, it is a bit unfortunate that the one I’m most interested in is Broken Arrow and it doesn’t qualify.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Patrick Swayze is No. 1 billed in Black Dog and No. 1 billed in Road House, which also stars Sam Elliott (No. 3 billed) who is in Ghost Rider (No. 5 billed), 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) => 1 + 1 + 3 + 5 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch Father Hood, The Rich Man’s Wife, and Killer Elite we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – On January 6, 1998, three Special Effects crew members were injured, preparing a gas-based explosion in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina. Two of the crew were hospitalized with serious injuries, and the third was treated and released. Improper safety measures that went against industry standards, allowed for a premature explosion as the crew was setting up the shot. The battery used to trigger the explosion was stored inside a truck engine compartment, rather than in the open. The battery was not disconnected when a cable touched the electrical contacts, causing detonation. Black Dog Productions was fined sixteen thousand eight hundred dollars by the state. These scenes that were filmed in downtown Wilmington, were not used in the final release. (This was definitely the opening scene. They were definitely in Wilmington, NC for that film and it makes sense that they wanted to have the truck his a big gas station or something … although they do end up blowing that truck up).

Patrick Swayze went through a real truck driving school to earn his Class A CDL (commercial driver’s license). (Awesome)

The bridge where the F.B.I. pull the truck over, is the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, one of the few “center span” drawbridges left in the U.S. The bridge opens by the entire center section being lifted straight up in the air between the two towers.

Kevin Sorbo was originally signed to star, but had to pull out due to medical problems. (Wow, what a miss there)

The “F.B.I. Headquarters” shown in the film, is actually the Georgia-Pacific building in downtown Atlanta, Georgia.

According to Vic Armstrong, the stunt crew, including Second Unit Director and Stunt Coordinator Gary Hymes, were fired from the film by the producers. They then called in Vic Armstrong, to film the truck chase, and finish the stunt scenes. Parts of the stunt crew remained on the set, and was rehired by Armstrong.

When Jack talks to his wife he mentions moving out of Newark. However, when you look at the cars and trucks there are no front license plates. (Okay? That’s standard. Everything in the movie points to them living just outside of Newark, it is on his job sheet when he gets extorted by his boss in the beginning)

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Lost & Found Preview

Jamie and Patrick sit dejected in their tuxedos. Stallone just left, having thanked them profusely for winning him an Oscar for the 6-hour double feature release of Rich and Po3: Dark Web 3D/Daylight. ‘The irony!’ the critics exclaimed about the film. ‘A classic send-up of Hollywood excess!’ they raved. Sigh. Can’t anyone make something bad anymore? But Patrick isn’t so easily discouraged. “Time to put our big boy cable-knit sweaters on and get back to it. What should the fourth film be called?” But Jamie isn’t hearing it and rips off the sleeves of his tuxedo. “It’s time to take matters into our own hands and enter the tournament of champions ourselves. I know we can win. Look at these big ol’ muscles.” But Patrick insists that they need to find Rich and Poe. Nic Cage was very clear. “Humph,” sighs Jamie, “write it then. But I’m going back.” With that he reaches for the power in Patrick and *blink* he’s gone. Patrick tries to follow, but the power within him doesn’t work that way. Only gives him mad hacking skillz… and what use is that now? He sighs and settles down to write. Hours later, and only a few words typed, he hears a knock at the door. Opening it, two police officers greet him. “Bad Movie Twins? I’m Detective Lost and this is my partner Found. May we come in?” They look vaguely familiar to Patrick. That’s right! We’re watching Lost & Found starring the one and only David Spade. I didn’t even really know that this film existed until I was searching for a poorly reviewed Martin Sheen film and this seemed to fit the bill. And lest you get concerned that it wasn’t a real movie it got released to 2500 theaters and still has the 46th worst opening for a wide release film of all time. Probably because it was released at the same time as The Matrix… otherwise I’m sure it would have made mad bank.

Meanwhile, Jamie is back in the wasteland of the BMTverse. Better start his walk to New Angeles. In the distance a plume of dust rises and a bunch of rollerbladers approach. “Finally,” Jamie thinks, “some people a rad as I am instead of that dumb Patrick and his dumb scripts. Maybe they can help me find this tournament.” But as they approach they seem to morph into one dark figure… and the air around Jamie turns cold. That’s right! We’re watching the Joe Estevez vehicle Soultaker. We picked this mostly because it actually stars Estevez, rather than just featuring him, and seemed ridiculous, without us realizing it was a MST3K film from season 10. Apparently a well regarded episode, so something to watch in conjunction with the film.

Lost & Found (1999) – BMeTric: 41.8 

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(Pretty stable. Seems like a genuine bad film, which everyone agrees is bad, and it only doesn’t cross the 50 mark because no one bothers to watch it. Just wait for the Bad Movie Twins bump!)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – Spade plots to win his beautiful new neighbor’s affections while they search for her missing dog – which he has kidnapped. Crude, offensive, unoriginal, often painful to watch; only redeeming feature is the engaging Marceau. Fundamental error: her “slimy” ex-boyfriend is more likeable than the leading man. Spade also takes credit as cowriter. 

(Judging by the preview I find it hard to believe the boyfriend is more likeable. Crude and offensive is better than boring and unfunny. As a matter of fact, Maltin doesn’t really say it isn’t funny. It probably isn’t, but that is maybe a promising sign.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUNgL4jTPeQ/

(That music! That voiceover! I remember the “you couldn’t raise my shorts with a crane” joke … otherwise I literally don’t remember anything about this film. Looks dumb.)

Directors – Jeff Pollack – (Known For: Above the Rim; Future BMT: Booty Call; BMT: Lost & Found; Notes: I think he was a music video director, and then ended up producing and writing Fresh Prince. His directorial efforts all seem somewhat out of nowhere to be honest.)

Writers – J.B. Cook (written by) – (BMT: Lost & Found; Notes: Not much about him, except he then went on to write / produce mostly cartoons including Kind of the Hill.)

Marc Meeks (written by) – (BMT: Lost & Found; Notes: Almost all of his credits are for Location Management, which he now does for Netflix. If I were to guess I think he was likely in the general Sandler / Happy Madison production team, but never really got credits. He did other management stuff, and then got hired on in a more official capacity at Netflix after Sandler’s deal. Again, entirely a guess.)

David Spade (written by) – (Future BMT: Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star; Joe Dirt; BMT: Lost & Found; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Jack and Jill in 2012; Notes: Became famous alongside Chris Farley and Adam Sandler on SNL in the early 90s. Ended up starring in a series of buddy comedies with Farley prior to his death.)

Actors – David Spade – (Known For: Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation; The Emperor’s New Groove; Hotel Transylvania; Reality Bites; Tommy Boy; Hotel Transylvania 2; A Very Brady Sequel; Politically Correct Party Animals; Beavis and Butt-Head Do America; The Rugrats Movie; Light Sleeper; Future BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Coneheads; Loser; Sandy Wexler; Racing Stripes; Father of the Year; The Do-Over; Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star; 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag; Joe Dirt; Senseless; Black Sheep; Entourage; BMT: Jack and Jill; The Ridiculous 6; Grown Ups 2; The Benchwarmers; Lost & Found; Grown Ups; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Jack and Jill in 2012; Notes: His older brother was the husband of the designer Kate Spade who passed away in 2018.)

Sophie Marceau – (Known For: Braveheart; The World Is Not Enough; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Al di là delle nuvole; Female Agents; Un bonheur n’arrive jamais seul; Firelight; Future BMT: Ne te retourne pas; Anna Karenina; BMT: Lost & Found; Alex & Emma; Notes: A very famous French Actress she’s been attached, but never married to a series of equally famous French directors / producers / actors including Christopher Lambert for 7 years.)

Ever Carradine – (Known For: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Dead & Breakfast; Future BMT: My Boss’s Daughter; Bubble Boy; Foxfire; Safelight; Constellation; BMT: Lost & Found; Notes: Daughter of Robert Carradine and married to Coby Brown who is a film composer.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $6,552,255

(Absolutely brutal. A top fifty worst wide openings ever, plausibly because they thought it could perform like There’s Something About Mary … but it didn’t.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (7/52): Aside from a few laughs, everything else is entirely predictable, including the jokes.

(Predictable and not funny … great. Reviewer Highlight: A rancid little nothing of a movie! – Stephen Holden, New York Times)

Poster – Sklog-st & Found (F)

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(Oh boy… I’m trying to imagine seeing that in a theater. It’s like an anti-advertisement. Look at all that empty space? And no color scheme. And terrible font. And not even clear it’s telling me anything about the film. It’s simply awful.)

Tagline(s) – A comedy about a guy who would do anything to get the girl of his dreams – and did! (F)

One of these dogs must be Spade. (either an A+ or an F)

(The first is stupid and a bit embarrassing. The second is one that I’ll hold close to my heart for all eternity. It’s off the chains in both a supremely terrible and kinda good way. It’s like the BMT of taglines. So bad that it’s great.)

Keyword(s) – dognapping; Top Ten by BMeTric: 64.4 102 Dalmatians (2000); 46.4 Once Upon a Time in Venice (2017); 45.8 Beethoven (1992); 43.5 101 Dalmatians (1996); 41.8 Lost & Found (I) (1999); 33.3 Good Boy! (2003); 28.4 Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (1996); 21.2 Our Idiot Brother (2011); 16.9 Wrong (I) (2012); 14.8 Ingrid Goes West (2017);

(Wowza, likely our first dognapping film I guess. Those top four qualify from a quality perspective, although it is a bit unclear if Once Upon a Time in Venice was actually released to theaters. I don’t think it was.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: David Spade is No. 1 billed in Lost & Found and No. 4 billed in Grown Ups, which also stars Adam Sandler (No. 1 billed) who is in Jack and Jill (No. 1 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 15. If we were to watch Senseless, and Wicker Park we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – The part of Wally Slack was originally written for Chris Farley. After his death, it went to Artie Lange. (Makes sense)

Daylight Preview

Jacked in and jacked up, Rich and Poe zoom about cyberspace looking for the FangTime2000 virus. Soon a group of lawnmower men come into view and Rich and Poe use their cyberlasers to take them out, with a little kungfu to boot. As they get the final lawnmower man into a devastating headlock Gruber zooms into view, “Rich and Poe, my my, aren’t we the clever ones. Figure out my plan and stop the lawnmower men, all without getting killed… until now.” He’s got a gun! Could this be the end, could Gruber actually win? “Gruber, there’s always one thing you underestimate about us,” Rich says as Gruber sneers at him. Poe nods back at Rich, “the power of friendship.” Gruber laughs at the absurdity of friendship in the face of his gun. But suddenly a beam of light bursts from his chest. As his body is sucked of life it’s revealed that Brock, Bryce, and Blaze have unleashed the virus on him. They all come together for a big bro-hug and freeze frame on their smiling faces. THE END.

Jamie finishes the script with tears in his eyes. It’s his magnum opus… a true piece of shit. Patrick enters the room, “well, I have to hand it to you. That script is real bad. And I asked the studio whether they would agree to our terms and they said yes. There is no way that this film is anything but a disaster.” Jamie is surprised, “They agreed to our terms?… all of them?” and Patrick nods. The film will be released at midnight, January 1st playing as a required 6-hour double feature with the Sly Stallone classic Daylight. “Huh,” says Jamie. He’s starting to get a bad feeling about this. That’s right! We’re transitioning to the next cycle in the year which is the hotly anticipated Bring A Friend cycle. This year we’ve decided to highlight some of the major stars in Hollywood and their… less successful siblings. So starting it off with Sly Stallone in Daylight (also featuring Renoly Santiago aka Phreak from Hackers) paired with The Roller Blade Seven starring his brother Frank. This friend is actually a film I’ve been aware of since my grad school days, but only now pulled the trigger on getting it. Hope it lives up to the hype. Let’s go!

Daylight (1996) – BMeTric: 35.7 

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(Rather interesting how much is has regressed over the years. Seemed to stick to a low 5’s value for a few years there, and now it is almost 6.0. If it ever hits that it’ll look like a genuine good movie! That’s be weird.)

Leonard Maltin – 3 stars –  Good old-fashioned disaster movie, built on a formulaic foundation. Stallone is a disgraced Emergency Medical Services worker who springs into action when a huge explosion cripples a tunnel under N.Y.C.’s Hudson River, with a handful of survivors inside. Great stunts and special effects. That’s Sly’s son Sage as a cocky young scam artist being taken to prison.

(Wow. That is a decent review. It kind of makes me interested in watching this film again. Weirdly Jamie claims he’s never seen this, but I swear I’ve seen this film multiple times. So it’ll be interesting to see if he suddenly remembers bits and pieces of this film during the rewatch.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRWIfCpxNK4/

(Oh boy the deep voiced “there was a time” guy. That set looks bomb by the way. The movie looks dumb as shit. But that set? It looks bomb.)

Directors – Rob Cohen – (Known For: DragonHeart; xXx; The Hurricane Heist; Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story; Future BMT: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor; The Skulls; BMT: The Boy Next Door; Stealth; Alex Cross; Daylight; The Fast and the Furious; Notes: Has directed over 150 commercial spots in his career. He graduated from Harvard University.)

Writers – Leslie Bohem (written by) – (Known For: Twenty Bucks; Future BMT: The Darkest Hour; A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Nowhere to Run; Tracers; Dante’s Peak; House III: The Horror Show; The Alamo; BMT: Daylight; Notes: Played bass for the 80’s bands Gleaming Spires and the Sparks.)

Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Creed II; Rocky; Creed; First Blood; Rocky Balboa; The Expendables; Escape Plan; Rocky III; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Rocky II; The Expendables 2; Cliffhanger; Bullet to the Head; Antz; Cop Land; Nighthawks; Death Race 2000; Escape to Victory; Future BMT: Escape Plan II; Staying Alive; Rocky V; D-Tox; Escape Plan 3; The Specialist; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Avenging Angelo; Rambo III; Backtrace; Ratchet & Clank; 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; Daylight; 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: His daughter Sistine Rose Stallone just acted in her first feature film! 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. I was kind of hoping it would end up at BMT, but it ended up being too goo.)

Amy Brenneman – (Known For: Heat; Casper; Fear; A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Jane Austen Book Club; City of Angels; Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her; Words and Pictures; The Face of Love; Mother and Child; Nine Lives; Your Friends & Neighbors; Off the Map; Future BMT: The Suburbans; Downloading Nancy; BMT: 88 Minutes; Daylight; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Most famous for starring in the television show Judging Amy. She also played a character named Amy in an episode of Murder She Wrote.)

Viggo Mortensen – (Known For: Green Book; The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; Captain Fantastic; The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; The Road; Witness; Carlito’s Way; Eastern Promises; A History of Violence; A Perfect Murder; Crimson Tide; G.I. Jane; A Dangerous Method; On the Road; The Prophecy; The Two Faces of January; Appaloosa; The Portrait of a Lady; Hidalgo; Future BMT: Psycho; Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Boiling Point; 28 Days; Fresh Horses; The Passion of Darkly Noon; The Young Americans; Good; Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory; Todos tenemos un plan; BMT: Daylight; Notes: Nominated for three Oscars for Eastern Promises, Captain Fantastic, and Green Book.)

Budget/Gross – $80 million / Domestic: $33,023,469 (Worldwide: $159,212,469)

(A pretty big underperformance. You can psych yourself into the worldwide gross, but that domestic take is pitiful.)

#29 for the Disaster genre

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(Our eleventh disaster film right around Geostorm. Came out during the big disaster film peak. We were in a new peak for a bit up through 2016, but I think we’ve kind of coming out of it (as long as you don’t count creature features like Godzilla or some superhero films))

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (10/40): The opening’s got a great fiery explosion and Stallone puts in another earnest, sympathetic performance, but all else in Daylight feels designed to annoy the audience into submission.

(Some of these reviews are killer. Just dunking on Stallone left and right. Reviewer Highlight: “Daylight” is the cinematic equivalent of a golden oldies station, where you never encounter anything you haven’t grown to love over the years. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – SklogLight (B)

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(I find the title and poster of this film confusing. Clearly people are trapped in an underwater tunnel… so like… what’s the daylight that we’re seeing? Particularly given the implication of the tagline. Anyway, font is boring but the coloring is fun. And nice spacing and artistic quality.)

Tagline(s) – Hold your breath (C)

(This is pretty boring and still somewhat confusing. Are they holding their breath because the tunnel is sealed and they’re running out of oxygen? Wouldn’t that take a while? The tunnel is gigantic. Or are they swimming because the tunnel is filling up with water? Then where is the daylight? I’m still not sure what this film is about.)

Keyword(s) – underwater scene; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.1 The Last Airbender (2010); 89.0 House of the Dead (2003); 88.8 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 87.8 BloodRayne (2005); 85.9 Piranha 3DD (2012); 78.9 Jason X (2001); 78.0 Shark Night 3D (2011); 75.4 Elektra (2005); 73.0 Anaconda (1997); 72.2 A Sound of Thunder (2005);

(Noice. Just have to get on our trashy horror films / bad creature features and we’ll be done. A fantastic list though and I do believe all of these films have an underwater scene.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Amy Brenneman is No. 2 billed in Daylight and No. 4 billed in 88 Minutes, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 10. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – One reason Sylvester Stallone agreed to act in this movie was to help him overcome his fear of confined spaces. He’d agreed to appear in Cliffhanger (1993) to help him overcome his fear of heights. (As good a reason as any I suppose)

Sylvester Stallone was paid 17.5 million dollars to appear in this film.

Sylvester Stallone said this would be his last action film because he was getting too old for the genre. (That didn’t work out)

Rob Cohen originally wanted Nicolas Cage to play Kit Latura. Universal execs felt he was more of a “character actor”, and Sylvester Stallone was more commercially viable. (FALSE)

Sylvester Stallone’s son, Sage Stallone, plays Vincent.

The tunnel sequences were filmed in Rome’s Cinecitta Studios, on a set a third of a mile long. Cinecitta was chosen as the main studio set because of its enormous floodable sound stages. (Cool)

Whilst shooting in Rome, Sylvester Stallone insisted on staying at the luxurious Excelsior Hotel which charged 3,600 dollars a night. The Rome shoot lasted 3 months. (Lol well you do you Sly)

Before he was cast in Daylight, Sylvester Stallone was involved in another two movie projects. One was an action disaster thriller titled “No Safe Haven”, and he was going to play disgraced ex marine who visits his mother on Martha’s Vineyard at the same time when president and his family are there on vacation. But then the militia-like cult shows up and the members of it take over entire island, but president manages to escape and he and marine then join up to fight against cult members and save his family, and entire film would take place during large hurricane. Despite Universal studio spending $300,000 on buying the script after six hours long bidding war with other studios for it, “No Safe Haven” was cancelled very early in pre-production.The second project Stallone was involved in was another action thriller titled “High Roller”. Written by screenwriter J.F. Lawton, who wrote Steven Seagal’s action hit Under Siege (1992), High Roller was described as “Die Hard in a casino”, and it was about ex-hitman who has to fight against mobsters and his former boss inside huge Las Vegas casino which they took over and kidnapped the owner, and not only that he has to save the owner but he and some down on his luck gambler who got involved into entire thing by accident also must protect casino owner’s daughter from mobsters.The script for the film was sold for $1 million against $2.5 million in mid 1995 to Savoy Pictures studio who were in financial problems, which is why they disagreed with Stallone’s $20 million contract to star in the film, so he went on to make Daylight while they cancelled High Roller which, following the bankruptcy of their studio, was never again attempted to be made into a film, even though various studios tried to buy the rights for it in 1996 after Savoy Pictures went bankrupt. (MV Alert! I’m leaving it all in, it is just too interesting)

All the vehicles were shipped to Italy for filming in Rome. An on-set advisor was on hand to authenticate everything, including the paperwork on some of the office desks. (Fun facts)

Max Allan Collins wrote a novelization of the film. (I know what I’m getting Jamie for Christmas this year)

Both Daylight and Dante’s Peak were written by Leslie Bohem. In both movies, the audience is lead to believe the dog has died after it disappears, but in both films the dog reappears later and ultimately survives. (Good, I hate it when dogs die)

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing (Richard L. Anderson, David A. Whittaker, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Bruce Roberts, 1997)

Dracula 2000 Preview

“Gruber?” Rich whisper, but instead of the mad man one of the groundskeepers steps into view. Suddenly the man’s suit glows blue and a virus begins to download onto their computer. Poe and Brock rush into the room out of breath. “Stop! Rich… the groundskeepers. They are lawnmower men.” A gasp goes through the room. How could such monstrous beings be hiding right under their noses? No wonder Gruber wanted the tech so badly. A virus that controls lawnmower men would be devastating. Rich turns to his colleagues. “Now I understand. It’s so obvious. Gruber wanted us to find the virus, once we found it it activated the lawnmower men who then came and downloaded the virus from our computer. It’s all a frame job. Made to look like we released lawnmower men on the world.” My God! It’s all so clear! The lawnmower men cackle in glee as they run forwards and jack into the internet and enter cyberspace. Just then Poe has an idea. “Get me the virus file and a laptop. It’s time to get spectechular.” They all high five at his appropriate use of teen lingo. Putting on some sweet VR head gear they all get hacking and hack like they’ve never hacked before. Finally they find the garbage file and isolate the virus. “Tell me the name,” Poe yells, “we need to understand the code and then we can jack into cyberspace and take it down.” Rich reconstructs the degraded file and gasps, “It’s a money-making scheme meant to bleed the school dry of funds before escaping to the Caribbean.” It’s Poe’s turn to gasp as he understands the implications, “you don’t mean…” But Rich nods, “It’s a Dracula Virus. FangTime2000. And we’re on the hook. It’s time to jack in.” That’s right! We are going back in time to the far past of 2000 where just adding that number to a film’s name meant you were in for a wild ride. No better exemplified than with Dracula 2000, which attempted to move the well-worn property into the new millennium. We’ve been eyeing this one mostly for the opportunity to see a tiny Gerard Butler when he was just a wee lad. Jonny Lee Miller gave us the opportunity. Let’s go!

Meanwhile… having subdued the security guards using their country bumpkin disguises the two hooded figures finally remove their hoods. Gasp! It’s Sticks and Stones! The wiley Z-universe twin cops. On brand, they are up to no good and gaze upon their final destination: the BMTVerse Jackdrive. They activate the screen and up pops their BMTverse partner in crime. “We’re ready to jack in, Dr. Vampiro.” That’s right! We’re watching Dracula 3000 as the delightful pairing for the Bring a Friend cycle. This is a terrible film that makes me sad to even think about watching. Yay! Let’s go!

Dracula 2000 (2000) – BMeTric: 64.0 

Dracula2000IMDb_BMeT

Dracula2000IMDb_RV

(Extremely consistent which is a good sign. As usual I feel like what this means is that over time people are still looking at this film and thinking “this is garbage”. Sub 4.0 is really low. Promising.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Miller heads to New Orleans to save a sweet young thing from the charms of cinema’s most famous bloodsucker (Butler). Perhaps the only film in history that manages to get its producer’s name, lead character and release date all in the official title, this modern-day take on the vampire classic shows why some characters are best left in their own era. Has a few good moments and better performances than you might expect. Followed by two direct-to-video sequels.

(Oooof, no Oxford comma Leonard? That is really just too bad, I’m a huge proponent of the Oxford comma. Whatever, I don’t think Leonard watched this film, this review is too generic. A few good moments? Naw, I bet this movie is garbage. Just speculating.)

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

(My God, this looks like the rudest tudest late-90s / early 00s trash remake in history. Just spit right in the face of Dracula fans. I cannot wait, this is going to be so dumb.)

Directors – Patrick Lussier – (Known For: My Bloody Valentine; White Noise: The Light; BMT: Dracula 2000; Drive Angry; Notes: Started as a television editor, specifically on MacGyver. His son is also involved in film editing.)

Writers – Joel Soisson (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Trick or Treat; Future BMT: Piranha 3DD; Highlander: Endgame; Cam2Cam; BMT: Dracula 2000; Notes: Wrote the straight-to-video sequel Hellraiser: Hellworld. His wife Claudia Templeton often cameos in his films.)

Patrick Lussier (story) – (Future BMT: Terminator Genisys; BMT: Dracula 2000; Drive Angry; Notes: Also wrote straight-to-video sequels Dracula II: Ascension and Dracula III: Legacy. Despite the different names they are indeed sequels to this film.)

Actors – Gerard Butler – (Known For: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World; 300; Den of Thieves; Olympus Has Fallen; RocknRolla; How to Train Your Dragon; The Vanishing; How to Train Your Dragon 2; Tomorrow Never Dies; Reign of Fire; Nim’s Island; Coriolanus; Beowulf & Grendel; Mrs Brown; Dear Frankie; Harrison’s Flowers; The Cherry Orchard; Future BMT: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Tale of the Mummy; The Ugly Truth; A Family Man; The Game of Their Lives; Machine Gun Preacher; BMT: Movie 43; Dracula 2000; Geostorm; Gods of Egypt; The Bounty Hunter; Timeline; Gamer; Playing for Keeps; London Has Fallen; Hunter Killer; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2011 for The Bounty Hunter; and in 2017 for Gods of Egypt, and London Has Fallen; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple/Worst Screen Ensemble for The Bounty Hunter in 2011; Notes: His home was apparently destroyed in the Woolsey Fire, all of the recent news is dominated by press concerning his soon-to-be-released Angel Has Fallen.)

Justine Waddell – (Known For: The Fall; Mansfield Park; Killing Bono; Future BMT: Thr3e; Anna Karenina; BMT: Dracula 2000; Notes: Daughter of Gordon Waddell former captain of the Scottish rugby union team.)

Jonny Lee Miller – (Known For: Trainspotting; T2 Trainspotting; Mansfield Park; Byzantium; Melinda and Melinda; Afterglow; Endgame; The Flying Scotsman; Future BMT: Dark Shadows; Hackers; Mindhunters; Plunkett & Macleane; Love, Honour and Obey; BMT: Dracula 2000; Æon Flux; Notes: Star of Hackers, he is English and dropped out of school at 17 to pursue acting.)

Budget/Gross – $54 million / Domestic: $33,022,767 (Worldwide: $47,053,625)

(Not good. I’m stunned it had a 50+ million dollar budget at this point in time. That is really high, and for what? A remake of one of the classically overdone tales in cinema history. This is like how they keep making Robin Hood films that almost always bomb / suck.)

#128 for the Horror – R-Rated genre

dracula2000_rratedhorror

(Came right at the end of an initial peak. As far as gross goes, it comes in right around Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter … which is not a very good look. That movie was the 3rd sequel of a cheap 80s horror franchise. This cost $50 million dollars.)

#25 for the Vampire genre

dracula2000_vampire

(Our fourth vampire film for BMT. This came before the Twilight boom, but I’m pretty surprised at how consistently vampire films have been made throughout history.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 18% (12/68): This retelling trys [sic] to offer a different spin on the origin of Dracula. Unfortunately, there’s nothing here audiences haven’t seen before.

(That misspelling is just incredible. And now I’m getting a bit concerned this is just going to be boring. I still have hope this will be completely trash. Reviewer Highlight: A thudding, suspense-free montage of unshocking shock effects and more severed heads than toppled during the French Revolution. – Stephen Holden, New York Times)

Poster – Spectacula 2000 (B+)

dracula_two_thousand

(I like the feel of it. The color and framing particularly. The font is less interesting, but has a kind of shine to it. Overall pretty solid stuff.)

Tagline(s) – The Most Seductive Evil of All Time Has Now Been Unleashed in Ours. (D)

(If I wanted to read this much I’d buy a book. Also this is nonsense. Just stop reading it. It’s just gonna make less and less sense.)

Keyword(s) – number in title; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.8 Battlefield Earth (2000); 90.4 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 89.8 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 86.4 Troll 2 (1990); 85.9 Fantastic Four (2015); 85.9 Piranha 3DD (2012); 84.6 Movie 43 (2013); 83.9 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005); 83.8 The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011); 83.0 RoboCop 3 (1993);

(Oh shit. Well we have to watch Piranha 3DD at some point (it will be unpleasant). Human Centipede is never happening though. It is amazing how many terrible films have numbers in the title. I like the inclusion of Battlefield Earth which is sometimes subtitled “A Saga in the Year 3000”.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Gerard Butler is No. 1 billed in Dracula 2000 and No. 1 billed in The Bounty Hunter, which also stars Jennifer Aniston (No. 2 billed) who is in Just Go With It (No. 2 billed), which also stars Adam Sandler (No. 1 billed) who is in Jack and Jill (No. 1 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Must Love Dogs, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – The name of Van Helsing’s antique business, “Carfax Abbey” is also the name of house Dracula moves into in Bram Stoker’s book “Dracula”.

The line in the film where Jonny Lee Miller playing Simon Sheppard says, “Never, ever fuck with an antiques dealer,” was a line the actor would say on set as a joke. The director liked it and incorporated it into the scene. (Oh no!)

Dracula says, “I don’t drink… coffee,” in one scene. This is a spoof of “I never drink… wine” from Dracula (1931).

Script doctor Scott Derrickson told the story of how he got the job working on this film. Harvey Weinstein called him, saying, “I just bought this script, called, ‘Dracula 2000’.” Derrickson replied, “Oh, yeah? Is it good?” Weinstein replied, “It stinks!” Derrickson asked, “So why did you buy it?”, and Weinstein replied “Because it’s called, ‘Dracula 2000’.” Derrickson did the re-write, which Weinstein discarded. Ehren Kruger did the next rewrite. (Jesus Christ)

The typeface used on the title screen is a variation of the same typeface used on the first release of the Dracula novel in 1897. (Cool)

Nathan Fillion plays a priest in this movie. He would also go on to play Caleb, an evil Priest on the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) (Must be a young Nathan Fillion)

The doctor who screams as Dracula approaches him in the police station is named Dr. Seward, a reference to the Book. (Cool)

The character Lucy Westerman’s name is a reference to the character Lucy Westenra from Bram Stoker’s book. She is in the movie, as in the book, the best friend of the main character Mina (book)/Mary (movie). (Alright, it is starting to feel like the writers just read the book and shoehorned a bunch of shit in this thing)

Gerard Butler was given a break from filming The Cherry Orchard (1999) so that he could play Dracula in “Dracula 2000”.

Director Patrick Lussier remarked in an interview that the Father Uffizi character played by Jason Scott Lee in Dracula II: Ascension (2003) and Dracula III: Legacy (2005) was originally written into this film. (Huh, so a more direct sequel than I thought)

Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace Preview

Meanwhile… Poe and Brock are getting psyched for the big championship game. Suddenly Poe watches in alarm as the lawnmower men around the field stop in unison, their eyes suddenly glassy and unseeing. “Lawnmower Men,” Poe whispers while Brock stares on in shock. “Lawnmower Men? It can’t be. They… they are just silly legends used to scare kids.” But no, they are real and something has brought them out of their slumber. Poe suddenly realizes what it is and turns to Brock, “It’s Rich. He needs my help.” One of the other players begins to protest, but Brock stops them, “If you need my help, you have my bat, bro.” And they seal the deal with a Predator Handshake. That’s right! In celebration of the 500th BMT film (say what?!) we are also watching The Lawnmower Man and Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace. The sequel has been on my bad movie bucket list forever because it actually seems impossible that it got released to theaters. But it did and we couldn’t have asked for a better pairing for this celebration than the hacking computer technobabble extravaganza of Hackers and the Lawnmower Man franchise. Let’s go! 

Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996) – BMeTric: 67.2 

LawnmowerMan2BeyondCyberspaceIMDb_BMeT

LawnmowerMan2BeyondCyberspaceIMDb_RV

(Holy shit! That is really low. How does it only have 67 BMeTric? I guess 8000 votes it really really low, which is itself rather astonishing. This is blowing my mind.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Moron-turned-genius Jobe is back, still intent on ruling the world from cyberspace. This involves ruthless billionaire Conway, reclusive computer expert Bergin, docter Pouget, and young O’Brien, returning from the original film. The plot is both complicated and simpleminded, and aimed primarily at teenage computer fans – but the standardized Blade Runner future, routine action, and only intermittent computer graphics will likely leave them as disinterested as everyone else. Aka: Lawnmower Man 2: Jobe’s War.

(WHAT? This got a better review than the first one? Well I am now intrigued. Also this review is somehow longer than the review for the first one, which was already an epic that is uncharacteristic of Leonard. Of all the movies to become verbose over, the Lawnmower Man franchise?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MubmJ2jwvOM/

(To think, these two trailers came from a Stephen King short story that really doesn’t have much to do with either storyline. This thing is wild and reminds me of Highlander 2: The Quickening. Gloriously cheap sci-fi nonsense. Sock it to me.)

Directors – Farhad Mann – (BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; Notes: Mostly a television and commercial director, it kind of suggests he developed Max Headroom, although he’s only credited as the director of the pilot.)

Writers – Farhad Mann (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; Notes: Appears to mostly director British Crime procedurals like Murdoch Mysteries.)

Michael Miner (story) – (Known For: RoboCop; RoboCop; BMT: RoboCop 3; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; RoboCop 2; Notes: Wait one second … we finished Miner’s filmography? That is awesome. A self-described technophobe.)

Actors – Patrick Bergin – (Known For: Patriot Games; Free Fire; Ella Enchanted; Map of the Human Heart; Mountains of the Moon; The Boys from County Clare; Silent Grace; Future BMT: Eye of the Beholder; Sleeping with the Enemy; The Invisible Circus; Love Crimes; Age of Kill; The Wee Man; Strength and Honour; BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; Notes: A former math teacher in Ireland, he also had a top 10 hit song in Ireland called The Knacker. I’m sorry, but that is awful.)

Matt Frewer – (Known For: Watchmen; Hercules; 50/50; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Dawn of the Dead; The BFG; The Meaning of Life; The Fourth Protocol; A Home at the End of the World; Twenty Bucks; Weirdsville; Foreverland; Future BMT:Supergirl; Riding the Bullet; Cannonball Fever; Senior Trip; Going the Distance; Spies Like Us; Frankie & Alice; BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; Ishtar; Pixels; Notes: A significant voice and television actor now. He’s Big Russ in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (the neighbor) and also interestly enough was Max Headroom, which makes sense considering the director.)

Austin O’Brien – (Known For: Apollo 13; The Baby-Sitters Club; Future BMT: My Girl 2; The Lawnmower Man; Last Action Hero; BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star for Last Action Hero in 1994; Notes: Mostly a child actor. He was in the (non-qualifying) Prehysteria!)

Budget/Gross – $15 million / Domestic: $2,409,225

(Aaaaaaand, there is it. Play stupid games, win … a catastrophic box office bomb. There is an important lesson here: when you make a sequel hot garbage sometimes people don’t want to go see it no matter how rad it is.)

#18 for the Virtual Reality genre

lawnmowerman2_virtualreality

(YES, three for three! We went from having seen two films to having seen five in this category. Wait a second, I have to check something … there are nine total qualified films, of which we will have actually only seen four after this because Vanilla Sky is a rare non-qualifying film we did for BMT once. Still almost halfway through the genre now.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (1/9)

(I’ll have to make a consensus … Oh, wait, there are only two reviews with actual snippets and it seems like Rotten Tomatoes’ full review links are broken, so I can’t make one. Weirdly one of the two Top Critics was the only good review basically saying the special effects were okay. Reviewer Highlight: Mowing the lawn might be more involving than watching this subpar sci-fi sequel, which manages to be complicated and witless at the same time. – Andy Seller, USA Today)

Poster – The Lawnmower Man 2: Inspired by The Lawnmower Man: Inspired by Stephen King’s The Lawnmower Man (C-)

lawnmower_man_two_beyond_cyberspace

(Wow. So they just reused the same poster but made it even sillier (and removed Stephen King’s name, obviously). What could you possibly think this film was about if you didn’t already know?! Downgraded because it’s a blatant rip off.)

Tagline(s) – God made him simple. Science made him a god. Now, he wants revenge. (F)

(Oh for God’s sake. At this point they should have just stopped making the film. Unacceptable.)

Keyword(s) – psychotronic film; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.8 Battlefield Earth (2000); 94.6 Batman & Robin (1997); 92.2 Son of the Mask (2005); 91.1 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 89.8 The Wicker Man (2006); 89.2 Vampires Suck (2010); 89.2 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 89.0 House of the Dead (2003); 88.6 Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966); 86.5 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987);

(Psychotonic – denoting or relating to a genre of films that typically have a science fiction, horror, or fantasy theme and were made on a low budget. That does seem to fit. Vampires Suck doesn’t really though, and neither does Son of Mask. Battlefield Earth had an enormous budget.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 26) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Matt Frewer is No. 2 billed in Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace and No. 10 billed in Ishtar, which also stars Warren Beatty (No. 1 billed) who is in Town & Country (No. 1 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 9 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 2 + 10 + 1 + 1 + 9 + 3 = 26. If we were to watch Eye of the Beholder, The Island, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Director Farhad Mann found himself locked out of the editing room by the producers who wanted a film which would appeal more to their target demographic – teenage boys. (shiiiiiiiit)

Austin O’Brien is the only returning cast member from the first film. (Oooooof. A regular Atlas Shrugged up in here)

Although the film was set in the future, the cast donated their old 80s computers for the set in order to save money in the budget. (What? That is bizarre)

The 1993 VHS tape of the widescreen version of the first film had an announcement screen that read “Look out for Lawnmower Man 2: Mindfire” in 1994. This obviously never happened, and the film appeared 2 years later with a different title. (Huh, that is kind of fun. It also has a different name in Europe, Jobe’s War.)

The Lawnmower Man Preview

Meanwhile… Poe and Brock are getting psyched for the big championship game. Suddenly Poe watches in alarm as the lawnmower men around the field stop in unison, their eyes suddenly glassy and unseeing. “Lawnmower Men,” Poe whispers while Brock stares on in shock. “Lawnmower Men? It can’t be. They… they are just silly legends used to scare kids.” But no, they are real and something has brought them out of their slumber. Poe suddenly realizes what it is and turns to Brock, “It’s Rich. He needs my help.” One of the other players begins to protest, but Brock stops them, “If you need my help, you have my bat, bro.” And they seal the deal with a Predator Handshake. That’s right! In celebration of the 500th BMT film (say what?!) we are also watching The Lawnmower Man and Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace. The sequel has been on my bad movie bucket list forever because it actually seems impossible that it got released to theaters. But it did and we couldn’t have asked for a better pairing for this celebration than the hacking computer technobabble extravaganza of Hackers and the Lawnmower Man franchise. Let’s go! 

The Lawnmower Man (1992) – BMeTric: 49.5 

TheLawnmowerManIMDb_BMeT

TheLawnmowerManIMDb_RV

(Solidly below average. If it gets a few thousand more votes it could creep back up above 50, and that seems pretty appropriate given everything I know about it now.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Scientist Brosnan needs a guinea pig for hitherto failed experiments in drug therapy and computer instruction; who better than the grinning mental defective who mows his lawn? At least the pyrotechnics at the end (simulating “virtual reality”) are full of visual buzz. Fahey in a blond wig is really tough to take. Has nothing to do with the Stephen King short story it’s ostensibly based on.

(As usual Leonard teases me with his semi-colon work, he’s a true artist. And then “hitherto”? Now I’m really into it. This review is also somehow a novel, it is incredibly long, and I love it. He clearly just hated this film.)

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

(NOT FROM THE IMAGINATION OF STEPHEN KING. That is very very specifically not the case. That trailer makes the film look a lot more interesting that I suspect it ultimately will be.)

Directors – Brett Leonard – (Known For: Feed; T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous; Future BMT: Man-Thing; Virtuosity; Hideaway; BMT: The Lawnmower Man; Notes: Also a major music video director at the time. Won the 1994 MTV Music Award for best video for Peter Gabriel’s Kiss That Frog.)

Writers – Stephen King (title only) (credit removed following lawsuit) – (Known For: It; Pet Sematary; The Shawshank Redemption; The Shining; Stand by Me; Pet Sematary; The Green Mile; Gerald’s Game; The Mist; Carrie; 1922; Misery; The Running Man; Christine; Carrie; Cujo; The Dead Zone; Creepshow; Silver Bullet; 1408; Future BMT: Cell; The Rage: Carrie 2; The Mangler; Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice; Sleepwalkers; Graveyard Shift; The Dark Tower; Children of the Corn; Riding the Bullet; A Good Marriage; Thinner; Firestarter; Creepshow 2; The Night Flier; Needful Things; Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; BMT: Dreamcatcher; The Lawnmower Man; Maximum Overdrive; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Maximum Overdrive in 1987; Notes: This is a hilarious credit (apparently removed). I’ve read The Lawnmower Man short story by Stephen King and it has literally nothing to do with this film… I haven’t even see this movie but I guarantee you that.)

Brett Leonard (screenplay) – (BMT: The Lawnmower Man; Notes: He actually did kinda start the Cyber genre with The Lawnmower Man. Only major feature writing credit.)

Gimel Everett (screenplay) – (BMT: The Lawnmower Man; Notes: Producer who worked with Leonard on a number of credits. Died in 2011 at the age of 60.)

Actors – Jeff Fahey – (Known For: Alita: Battle Angel; Grindhouse; Machete; Planet Terror; Silverado; Wyatt Earp; Too Late; Psycho III; Body Parts; Sushi Girl; White Hunter Black Heart; Future BMT: Urge; Stranded; Impulse; BMT: The Lawnmower Man; Notes: Has had a very interesting life traveling the world and doing dance, then theater, and then film.)

Pierce Brosnan – (Known For: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again; The World Is Not Enough; Mrs. Doubtfire; Mamma Mia!; The Foreigner; The World’s End; GoldenEye; Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief; Mars Attacks!; Die Another Day; Tomorrow Never Dies; No Escape; The Ghost; The Thomas Crown Affair; Final Score; Seraphim Falls; Spinning Man; The Long Good Friday; The Tailor of Panama; The Mirror Has Two Faces; Future BMT: I Don’t Know How She Does It; Urge; I.T.; Survivor; Dante’s Peak; Lessons in Love; The Love Punch; Laws of Attraction; Salvation Boulevard; Nomads; The November Man; After the Sunset; Live Wire; Love Affair; A Long Way Down; The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot; The Only Living Boy in New York; Grey Owl; A Christmas Star; BMT: The Lawnmower Man; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Mamma Mia! in 2009; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for The World Is Not Enough in 2000; Notes: They just announced he is going to be working with Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams in a comedy film focused on the Eurovision Song Contest. I highly recommend Eurovision, it is hilarious.)

Jenny Wright – (Known For: St. Elmo’s Fire; Near Dark; Pink Floyd: The Wall; The World According to Garp; A Shock to the System; The Chocolate War; I, Madman; Future BMT: Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory; Queens Logic; BMT: The Lawnmower Man; Notes: Apparently people don’t even know where she currently is as they attempted to locate her for a Near Dark reunion unsuccessfully. Was apparently involved with Nic Cage for two years.)

Budget/Gross – $10 million / Domestic: $32,100,816

(That is an astonishingly high number. I’m going to assume that that is partially because the Stephen King name actually carried a lot of cache at the time. And it is absolutely no wonder they were already considering a sequel by the time the VHS was released (see the notes))

#135 for the Horror – R-Rated genre

lawnmowerman_rratedhorror

(This predates most of the other R-rated Horror films that have some out which have become a very on trend genre of late.)

#9 for the Virtual Reality genre

lawnmowerman_virtualreality

(Oh wow, I kind of didn’t realize both this and Hackers were put into this genre. That is awesome. We’ve officially doubled the number of Virtual Reality movies we’ve seen for BMT.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 35% (14/40): The Lawnmower Man suffers from a predictable, melodramatic script, and its once-groundbreaking visual effects look dated today.

(Basically all the reviews say that it is cheesy and the only thing it really has going for it are the special effects which admittedly dazzled at the time. Reviewer Highlight: So loosely based on a Stephen King short story as to constitute fraud, The Lawnmower Man goes right to the bottom of a growing list of failed King adaptations. – Richard Harrington, Washington Post)

Poster – The Lawnmower Man: Inspired by Stephen King’s The Lawnmower Man (B-)

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(This entire thing is silly. Look at that poster. It is literally a man mowing grass with a giant eye in the sky with a… gyroscope? In the center? What are you supposed to think this film is about? Spacing is fine, as is the color scheme. The font is unfortunate and I know in my heart they could have done better.)

Tagline(s) – God made him simple. Science made him a god. (A-)

(I like this. Tells me what’s up and does it in a clever way. It’s a little long, but you get what you pay for.)

Keyword(s) – virtual reality; Top Ten by BMeTric: 82.8 Spy Kids 3: Game Over (2003); 78.9 Jason X (2001); 67.2 Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996); 55.7 Stormbreaker (2006); 54.6 Soldiers of Fortune (2012); 52.0 Let’s Be Evil (2016); 51.9 Surfer, Dude (2008); 49.5 The Lawnmower Man (1992); 47.3 Open Windows (2014); 46.3 Kill Switch (I) (2017);

(Two of the ten! I quite like that. None of the other one except maybe Spy Kids 3 are on our radar.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 26) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Dean Norris is No. 7 billed in The Lawnmower Man and No. 3 billed in Death Wish (2018), which also stars Bruce Willis (No. 1 billed) who is in The Whole Ten Yards (No. 1 billed), which also stars Natasha Henstridge (No. 4 billed) who is in Ghosts of Mars (No. 1 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) => 7 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 26. If we were to watch I Don’t Know How She Does It, If Lucy Fell, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – New Line Cinema had obtained the rights to the Stephen King short story “The Lawnmower Man”, and the producers also had an unrelated script called “Cyber God”. They simply placed King’s title on the production of “Cyber God”. King was furious at this abuse of his name, and he sued the studio to have his name and title removed from the film and promotion. They refused, until the studio was ordered to pay ten thousand dollars and full profits. (Yeah that makes more sense than actually thinking this was an adaptation)

The scene where the cop (Troy Evans) says that the missing piece of the dead man is in the bird bath, is the only thing in the movie that was taken from Stephen King’s short story.

The eight minutes of computer generated effects took seven people eight months to complete on a budget of five hundred thousand dollars. (Wow, impressive)

It was discovered through FBI tapes that this was former Waco cult leader David Koresh favorite movie

Several of the symbols Jobe (Jeff Fahey) sees flying at him, during his first VR treatment, are demon evocation seals taken from the infamous Key of Solomon.

A remote controlled lawnmower was specifically built for the movie. In another movie adapted from a Stephen King story, Maximum Overdrive (1986), a remote controlled lawnmower chases a teenager. (And in yet another movie everyone almost dies in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids! due to a remote controlled lawnmower)

Dr. Angelo’s line “I’ve decided to take my work back underground”, was used as a sample in the intro track for the Music For The Jilted Generation album by The Prodigy. (Yet another connection to Hackers, Voodoo People from that album is on the soundtrack)

There are three video games based on the movie. Scrolling action game The Lawnmower Man (1993) for Game Boy, Genesis, and Super Nintendo, loosely follows the plot of the movie. FMV adventure game The Lawnmower Man (1993) for DOS, Macintosh, and SEGA CD, uses clips from the movie, and is a direct sequel to the movie, since Its plot begins where the movie ends. Adventure game Cyberwar (1994) for DOS and PlayStation is a non-FMV sequel to the FMV game.

Hackers Preview

“This is bullshit, bro,” says Rich staring sullenly at the screen. “What is?” asks Blaze. They’ve been playing the new “tech” in the computer lab for ages and have lost several thousand dollars. Dollars they don’t have. Gulp. “Well check this out,” says Rich and he goes all Beautiful Mind and Good Will Hunting on a chalkboard nearby. “Woah, you got a big ol’ brain! So what you’re saying is that the fact that the other player got three straight royal flushes is not likely.” But Rich shakes his head, “not just unlikely… statistically impossible.” And Blaze and Bryce look at each other “Woah.” But now they need to figure out what to do about it. Should they report them to the gaming commission… Rich shakes his head, it would blow his cover. They need to lure the creator of the tech out so they can get access and steal it for Gruber. What would lure a maniac like that out from hiding? Suddenly Rich has an idea, “the man is clearly an egomaniac and driven only by greed,” Blaze and Bryce nod their heads, “and what can’t an egomaniac handle? Calling his prized new tech garbage.” He quickly uses his 1337 skills to hack the mainframe and rewire the auxiliary dilator into the predictor array. Searching through files, he finds a blinking folder named “Garbage.” “There it is,” Rich says as he drags and drops the entire file into the garbage folder. With that his screen turns into a screen of mathematical equations flying in all directions. “Woah,” they all say in unison, but are interrupted by a cackling laughter behind them… That’s right! This week we’re doing what obviously must be done for the Sci-fi entry in the cycle. The inspiration itself: Hackers. While absurd that it qualifies, I also recognize that it is objectively a bad movie and is worth revisiting in BMT. Let’s go!

Hackers (1995) – BMeTric: 26.4 

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(6.2 is pretty solid, I can respect that. I have a feeling this will continue dropping. Honestly it might nit even qualify if they start backfilling reviews from blogs in the future, I’m sure 80s / 90s children who grew up with Hackers will like it a lot more than the adults at the time.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  A group of young computer fanatics is framed for crimes committed by computer whiz and would-be master criminal Stevens, and have to use their own hacking skills to prove themselves innocent. No great shakes, but fast pace and vivid direction make it fun.

(THANK YOU. Yes, this movie is a lot better than the reviews suggest. And not even in a “good for what it is kind of way”, it is genuinely fun to watch and is competent at worst. “No great shakes” is throwing me off as I don’t know what that means. Also it is spelled “skillz”, so that’s a rare typo for Leonard.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ql1uLyuWra8 

(Straight into my veins. I love it. I’ve never noticed this before, but in the movie the Da Vinci Virus naturally has a fake italian accent. In the trailer it is very very clearly just Fisher Stevens’ voice … while would have made the whole gambit more obvious to the FBI.)

Directors – Iain Softley – (Known For: K-PAX; Backbeat; The Wings of the Dove; Future BMT: Inkheart; The Skeleton Key; Trap for Cinderella; BMT: Hackers; Notes: The Wings of the Dove was nominated for four Oscars. He was a music video director prior to turning to film.)

Writers – Rafael Moreu (written by) – (Future BMT: The Rage: Carrie 2; BMT: Hackers; Notes: He was mostly an uncredited producer for Hallmark Entertainment prior to making Hackers. He appears to be mostly teaching since.)

Actors – Jonny Lee Miller – (Known For: T2 Trainspotting; Trainspotting; Byzantium; Mansfield Park; Afterglow; Melinda and Melinda; Endgame; The Flying Scotsman; Future BMT: Dracula 2001; Dark Shadows; Mindhunters; Plunkett & Macleane; Love, Honour and Obey; BMT: Æon Flux; Hackers; Notes: More recently has become a pretty accomplished television actor, specifically Elementary which ran for over 150 episodes. Was married to Angelina Jolie for 4 years.)

Angelina Jolie – (Known For: Girl, Interrupted; Wanted; Maleficent; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Kung Fu Panda; Salt; Changeling; Beowulf; Kung Fu Panda 3; The Good Shepherd; Kung Fu Panda 2; Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow; Pushing Tin; A Mighty Heart; Playing by Heart; Hell’s Kitchen; Future BMT: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Alexander; By the Sea; Life or Something Like It; The Tourist; Shark Tale; Playing God; Original Sin; Taking Lives; Foxfire; Beyond Borders; The Bone Collector; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Hackers; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 2002 for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and Original Sin; in 2003 for Life or Something Like It; in 2004 for Beyond Borders, and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; and in 2005 for Alexander, and Taking Lives; Notes: A huge star both for her major film roles, and for her somewhat wild marriage to Billy Bob Thornton, and subsequent relationship with Brad Pitt which ended somewhat messily a few years ago.)

Jesse Bradford – (Known For: Romeo + Juliet; Bring It On; Presumed Innocent; W.; Flags of Our Fathers; The Year of Spectacular Men; Falling in Love; King of the Hill; Happy Endings; My Blue Heaven; Cherry Falls; Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog; Prancer; Heights; Bound; A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries; Future BMT: Clockstoppers; 10 Rules for Sleeping Around; Dead Awake; Dancing at the Blue Iguana; Speedway Junky; Eulogy; BMT: Swimfan; I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell; Hackers; Notes: Jesse B from Swimfan is third billed? Bomb. He is also doing a bit of television recently, specifically as a guest star on Shooter.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $7,563,728

(Oh no, that is a depressingly low number. No wonder we didn’t get Hacker 2: Hack the Universe, the story of how Zero Cool / Crash Override and Acid Burn, now working for the NSA, thwart an alien invasion via their 1337 hacking skillz.)

#15 for the Virtual Reality genre

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(Goes in little cycles, and this indeed came out during one of the major peaks for this rather small genre. We’ve only seen Vanilla Sky and Johnny Mnemonic otherwise. Ready Player One was the most recent example.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 33% (15/45): Hackers has a certain stylish appeal, but its slick visuals and appealing young cast can’t compensate for a clichéd and disappointingly uninspired story.

(At the time people seemed to not like that it bought into the rebel Hacker trope that was booming at the time, and that it was a visual bombardment / mess. Reviewer Highlight: The movie is well directed, written and acted, and while it is no doubt true that in real life no hacker could do what the characters in this movie do, it is no doubt equally true that what hackers can do would not make a very entertaining movie. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Hack the Planet (A)

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(I really love this poster. The general color scheme tells you a little story about the film. Obviously they are highlighted by the glow of a computer. A mysterious blue that goes hand in hand with the mysteriousness of the hacker culture at the time. I’m intrigued. It also, as a bonus, avoids having our big stars portrayed without a clear color scheme. Finally, to tie it up nicely we have a sweet font for the title to let us know they aren’t messing around.)

Tagline(s) – Boot up or shut up! (B-)

Their crime is curiosity (C-)

(Neither of these are great. Boot up or shut up is a valiant try, but comes off a bit cheesy nowaways. Do you still boot things up? Did I boot up my phone today? The second one is just bland. It’s almost like the poster sets them up as being super rad and cool and then the tagline is like “don’t worry, they aren’t cool supercriminals, they’re just curious little cats.”)

Keyword(s) – computer virus; Top Ten by BMeTric: 74.5 Rings (2017); 65.5 Pulse (I) (2006); 57.0 Geostorm (2017); 55.7 Stormbreaker (2006); 51.8 Blackhat (2015); 49.5 The Lawnmower Man (1992); 47.7 Employee of the Month (2006); 43.2 Hitman: Agent 47 (2015); 38.4 Ghost in the Machine (1993); 35.5 The Net (1995);

(Oh we have to watch the Net at some point. It is like this movie except really really boring … in my opinion.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Matthew Lillard is No. 4 billed in Hackers and No. 9 billed in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 4 + 9 + 4 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch Mindhunters we can get the HoE Number down to 9.

Notes – Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie were married shortly after the making of the film, and then were divorced four years later.

All of the hacker handles proposed by the Joey were actual handles already used by real hackers. (This film is very accurate, no matter how it seems to look on screen)

The film’s writer, director, and some cast members attended the New York City 2600 meeting, a monthly hangout of the local hacker community, to observe and talk with real-life hackers.

The “Hacker Manifesto” read by Agent Bob was actually written by a hacker of great renown in the 1980s named Loyd Blankenship, who went by the name of The Mentor. It was published in PHRACK magazine, issue 07, file 03 in 1986.

The high school scenes were filmed at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, one of a few elite, exclusive high schools for students gifted in math, science and computers. Real school seniors were extras in many scenes.

The “pool on the roof” prank is actually based on an old Stuyvesant H.S. prank of the “Sixth Floor Pool”. The original Stuy building on East 15th Street in Manhattan had only five floors, and freshman were sent to look for a pool upstairs. The building had no pool. There was a literary publication at Stuyvesant referencing the prank called “Sixth Floor Pool”. The school moved into the new building (featured in the movie) shortly before filming began. (It is a fun prank, because like … you would never actually build a pool on the roof right? People do, but it is much cheaper from a design perspective I imagine to not have tons (literally) of water on top of a building).

The character name “Emmanuel Goldstein” is taken from George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. It is also used as a pseudonym by Emmanuel Goldstein (aka Eric Corley), who publishes the magazine “2600, The Hacker Quarterly”. Corley was an uncredited consultant for this film.

The “hacking”-sequences – the scenes where you see the “inside” of a computer – are mostly motion-controlled models, because director Iain Softley thought that actual computer graphics would look too artificial. (It was a good choice and something more movies should have done for much of the 90s)

Eugene Belford uses the pseudonym Babbage at the end of the film. Charles Babbage was the inventor of an early form of the computer.

William Gibson “invented” the term “Cyberspace” in 1982 for his book, Neuromancer.

The computer they break into is a fictional mainframe computer called a “Gibson” – a homage to cyberpunk author William Gibson.

“ARF! ARF! GOTCHA”, which appears near the end, when the Gibson is about to crash, is a reference to one of the earliest Trojan horse programs, EGABTR from 1985. Disguised as a graphics utility, EGABTR spread by email, wiped out everything on a victim’s hard disk, and left only the message, “Arf, arf, Gotcha!” on the screen. “ARF” may also serve double duty as a reference to the German hacker group “Asoziale Randgruppe Frankfurt”.

All of the books identified by Dade at the club were real manuals. All but two, the Pink Shirt Book and the Unix Bible, were published by the DoD and were part of a set of books known as the Rainbow Series.

Scenes in the movie, and in Razor and Blades show, depict using a cassette recorder to play tones into a phone to make free calls. Coins dropped into pay phones used to trigger specific sounds that actually could be duplicated and used to fool pay phones into thinking you had paid for a call. This was also accomplished using a device called a tone generator. Also known as a Red Box.

Cyberdelia was built from scratch in an abandoned indoor swimming pool on the outskirts of London, with the center of the club in the depths of what was the pool. Producer Ralph Winter notes, “We never knew why, but the pool was designated an historic landmark, so great care had to be taken not to damage anything and to return it to its original state.” (Uh …. Where is this?)

The bearded London hacker is Dave Stewart of Eurythmics.

“The Plague” writes a program that embezzles small amounts of money from the company at a time, thus amassing millions of dollars in a secret bank account. He tries to distract from his crime by framing the hackers with a computer virus set to capsize an oil tanker. The embezzlement-by-increments plot is called “salami slicing.” Richard Pryor’s character in Superman III (1983) does the same thing. (Yuppppp)

The part of Kate “Acid Burn” Libby was originally offered to Katherine Heigl, but due to prior commitments to Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) she had to turn it down. (Near miss there)

The hackers take over the Gibson computer with a Cookie Monster virus that starts gobbling up all the data. This is based on a real program from the era. Cookie Monster would come up on the screen and demand a cookie. You would type “cookie” and it would go away for a while. If you typed “Oreo,” it went away for a longer period of time. (Ha!)