Double Impact Preview

Jill McBrawn taps nervously at the table looking at Rich. He begins to try to explain but she interrupts, “it’s about the Dongle, right?” she stammers, “It’s all he was talking about all this last month. It’s like he’s been infected and the only cure is to his hand on that damn Dongle… I’m sorry” She takes a sip of water and looks away. Rich isn’t sure how far to press. He places a hand on her arm. She flinches and apologizes, “it’s just you shouldn’t be here. It’s all he talked about. ‘My father is the key,’ he would say. ‘He has the Dongle and I’ll get it from him.’” Her eyes are asking him whether it’s true, whether it’s possible, but Rich shakes his head in disbelief. As he does, his chest begins to glow, responding to the words being spoken. Just as has happened during the four trials of the gamemasters. The light gets brighter and so does Jill’s eyes. “You must give it to me, before he gets back!” she yells desperately, “you don’t understand how strong he is. The hatred, the power, he likes it. But I know him. I can keep it from him.” She puts out her hand and as she does Rich tentatively reaches towards his chest and pulls out the shard of the Dongle. Suddenly Jill jumps for it and grabs it and begins to cackle with glee and the world around them crumbles revealing the ceremonial chamber in which the Nic Cages have been toying with Rich’s mind. All an elaborate game in order to have him hand over the shard of his own volition. “You fool,” Travolta Nic Cage says, “with the Dongle and our power combined the world is doomed. Double impact, babbbby.” That’s right! We’re watching Double Impact starring JCVD for the Bring a Friend section. This is the earlier of the two JCVD twin films, so fortunately we haven’t yet exhausted our stock. Let’s go!

The dragons are quite smitten with their buddy cop beaus and have decided to keep them around Hell for eternity when suddenly Poe forgets momentarily to undo his ponytail while also wearing the glasses. “Wait… where’s Rich?” one of the dragons screeches in horror and both began to wail in heartbroken agony. I guess this is the end for Poe… except suddenly his twin protectors step. The twins are just as smitten with their new twin beaus and scoff at Poe and his equally substantial and well-oiled muscles. Stepping past them to the volcano’s edge, Poe hopes this is what he needs to do. He jumps, “I’m coommming Riiiiich.” That’s right! Since this is the Bring a Friend cycle we thought we better do something good for the Bring a Friend entry. So we took the Breen plunge and jumped full tilt into the latest Neil Breen joint called Twisted Pair. Breen plays a set of twins with special powers and that’s all you really need to know. It’s Neil Breen. If you don’t know him then look him up, he’s garnered some real bad movie cache in the last decade.. Let’s go!

Double Impact (1991) – BMeTric: 43.8; Notability: 33 

(I’m really surprised by how low the rating is for this film on IMDb. This seems like exactly the type of film which would have an ironic inflation of its score over the past ten years. But it seems to be following a normal trajectory, and is still below 6.0.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – Inspired by the example of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is now the No. 1 movie star in the world, the entire martial arts genre is going upmarket as fast as it can. The established names in the field, including Steven Seagal, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jeff Speakman, are appearing in slicker productions with better scripts and sexier locations, and there are times, watching these ambitious films, when I feel a twinge of nostalgia for the bargain-basement Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee pictures, which had fewer pretensions and projected a crazed intensity. … Because the martial arts genre has had so much success recently, its stars are condemned to play only leading men. Van Damme and Seagal are always at the center of their plots. That will hurt their careers in the long run, since martial arts movies are limited by their formulas, and the heroes are supplied with almost ritualistic plot patterns. Since Seagal seems to have more talent than any of his movies has been able to use, and Van Damme also has possibilities, it’s too bad the marketplace won’t let them play supporting roles in more ambitious movies. They would make splendid villains. And we wouldn’t believe it if they couldn’t hit anything.

(This is an extremely prescient review. He basically predicts the trajectory of JCVD and Seagal’s careers to a tee and diagnoses it (correctly) as their inability to break from the mold to become supporting actors or villains in film. To hear Speakman’s name being uttered in the same breath as Seagal and Van Damme is something else entirely. It actually makes little sense, but was probably Ebert just grasping at the other martial artist who made a film in 1991, because Speakman’s one and only wide release film was The Perfect Weapon in 1991 so it really is bizarre to pick him out as a guy who wouldn’t last in film … he wasn’t even a thing in 1991 and never became a thing afterwards. Wild.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rftm3yRSD_0/

(Wow the hard guitar riffing soundtrack. Double the “Van Damage”? This is somehow everything I want, and the worst thing I’ve ever seen. It is a little odd because it feels a lot like Knock Off which would come out seven years later. Like they had a bunch of leftover Hong Kong footage lying around and decided to make that one on a lark.)

Directors – Sheldon Lettich – (Future BMT: The Order; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; Only the Strong; BMT: Double Impact; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Rambo III in 1989; Notes: Directed a bunch of straight to video films starring Dolph Lendgren, but mostly Van Damme. Is slated to direct a few films in the upcoming year.)

Writers – Sheldon Lettich (screen story & screenplay) – (Known For: Bloodsport; Future BMT: Legionnaire; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; Russkies; Max; Only the Strong; BMT: Double Impact; Rambo III; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Rambo III in 1989; Notes: Was in the Marines for four years including fighting in Vietnam. Originally a photographer prior to writing scripts.)

Jean-Claude Van Damme (screen story & screenplay) – (Known For: Kickboxer: Retaliation; Future BMT: Kickboxer: Vengeance; The Order; Kickboxer 2: The Road Back; Legionnaire; The Quest; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; Kickboxer; BMT: Double Impact; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Double Team in 1998; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Bloodsport in 1989; Notes: Van Damme was the closest martial artists to get to that Sly Stallone stature, so he wrote a bunch of films in the 90s. He also directed, and used to edit a bunch of films really early in his career to punch up the action scenes. Impressive run.)

Steve Meerson and Peter Krikes (screen story) – (Known For: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Anna and the King; Back to the Beach; BMT: Double Impact; Notes: )

Actors – Jean-Claude Van Damme – (Known For: Bloodsport; Kung Fu Panda 3; The Expendables 2; Hard Target; Kung Fu Panda 2; Timecop; Sudden Death; Kickboxer: Retaliation; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; Lukas; JCVD; Enemies Closer; Future BMT: Street Fighter; Derailed; Welcome to the Jungle; Kickboxer: Vengeance; The Order; Legionnaire; Maximum Risk; Inferno; Replicant; The Quest; Black Water; Missing in Action; Pound of Flesh; Nowhere to Run; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; Breakin’; Last Action Hero; Kickboxer; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Double Team; Cyborg; Knock Off; Double Impact; Universal Soldier; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Double Team in 1998; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Bloodsport in 1989; Notes: We have a ton of JCVD films to do. Out of all of the martial arts stars from the 90s I think he ended up coming out looking okay. At least he isn’t a weirdo like Seagal or have tax problems. Just seems like he does a ton of straight-to-video garbage.)

Geoffrey Lewis – (Known For: The Devil’s Rejects; Maverick; Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; Heaven’s Gate; High Plains Drifter; Night of the Comet; Thunderbolt and Lightfoot; The Way of the Gun; Point of No Return; 10 to Midnight; My Name Is Nobody; The Man Without a Face; Tom Horn; The Wind and the Lion; Down in the Valley; Dillinger; Bronco Billy; The Great Waldo Pepper; Wicked Little Things; Macon County Line; Future BMT: Blueberry; Pink Cadillac; The New Guy; Moving McAllister; Fletch Lives; Any Which Way You Can; Every Which Way but Loose; Lucky Lady; Only the Strong; Lust in the Dust; BMT: The Lawnmower Man; Double Impact; Tango & Cash; Notes: Received a Golden Globe nomination for a supporting role in the television series Flo (which I had never heard of). He has 10 children, at least 6 of which are in the industry including Juliette Lewis)

Alonna Shaw – (Known For: King of New York; BMT: Double Impact; Notes: Was a model prior to becoming an actress. Appears to have been retired for a while. She does not have a wikipedia which is insane … she starred in a major motion picture in 1991!!)

Budget/Gross – $15 million / Domestic: $30,102,717 (Worldwide: $30,102,717)

(Actually halfway decent. I’m not surprised it didn’t get a sequel though. I imagine it is a pain in the ass to do the whole double thing with the split screen. This is the type of film where you do it to get some media play, and then you never ever do it again.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 35% (7/20)

(Surprisingly good reviews, mostly saying that the action scenes are excellent and the film brisk. I think the good reviews tend to be more recent, whereas Ebert’s probably captured the spirit of the time a bit better: I wish it didn’t seem so pretentious and was more like older martial arts films. Reviewer Highlight: The notion of casting pretty-boy kickboxer Jean-Claude Van Damme — the Rob Lowe of the steroid set — in a double role sounded like fun. In fact, it doesn’t come to much. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Identichop

(I’ve always called it a Twin Chop, but Identichop seems appropriate for the poster. This looks like garbage which is appropriate for the film. I actually am not sure what would have happened if I saw this poster hanging in a movie theater… fainted probably. It’s mediocre/not good in almost every way. C-)

Tagline(s) – Feel The Impact (A+ but ironically)

Twin brothers torn apart by violence. On a mission of revenge. One packs a punch. One packs a piece. Together they deliver… (A+ but not ironically)

(The second one is now the tagline for BadMovieTwins.com. Can we be sued? I don’t care. Together me and Patrick deliver the goods so it’s simply truth in advertising. I don’t love “One packs a piece” let’s work on that. Ok. “One packs a punch. One packs a lunch.” nailed it. First try. In this scenario, of course, one of us is a skinny cop and the other a jolly fat cop.)

Keyword – twins

Top 10: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Doctor Sleep (2019), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), House of Wax (2005), Meet the Robinsons (2007), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), The Great Outdoors (1988)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 58.2 Deck the Halls (2006), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 54.9 The Back-up Plan (2010), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 36.2 A Cinderella Story (2004), 31.0 It Takes Two (1995), 13.4 Little Women (2018);

BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), Jack and Jill (2011), Double Impact (1991), Father Figures (2017), Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), Pluto Nash (2002), Mrs. Winterbourne (1996), The Identical (2014)

(There it is, ten films with the keyword “twins”. And we have another on the docket next week, so we’ll get to 11. And I’m sure if I continued to add the keyword where appropriate it will turn out we have done like … 20 of these. I should probably put together a definitive list at some point. Maybe include twin reviews on the website or something.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jean-Claude Van Damme is No. 1 billed in Double Impact and No. 1 billed in Double Team, which also stars Mickey Rourke (No. 3 billed) who is in Get Carter (2000) (No. 4 billed), which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed), 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 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 19. If we were to watch Maximum Risk we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Van Damme wanted to play twins to help change his image. “One of them is violent and the other is not, so the audience can see the contrast in my work,” he said. “This picture has comedy, romance, a love story. So it is not all action and fighting. When I fight on screen, I blend dancing and fighting. Grace plus power is very nice.” (Actually kind of true. The Bad Damme, Alex, hits a woman in the film and everything. It is pretty nuts)

Van Damme said his real life personality was closer to Chad than Alex. “In real life I am not this cold, quiet guy who goes around kicking butt.”

Due to a strong friendship formed between the two actors on the set of Bloodsport (1988), Jean-Claude Van Damme wanted no one but Bolo Yeung to play the lead villain in this movie. (Yeah, he’s great. A martial artist body builder? I guess there are a ton of people kind of like that these days, but he just has a very interesting body shape for the time)

In 2010, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bolo Yeung were giving a martial art demonstration and Van Damme said hopefully one day he and Yeung will put a project together “Double Impact 2” and maybe Yeung will play a friend and not any enemy. In a 2012 interview promoting The Expendables 2 (2012), Van Damme mentioned that he would like to make another Double Impact movie with a more serious tone. During the interview, he also gave a rough idea of the plot: “Two twins one is coming back from Asia to Los Angeles to help his brother who is a con-artist and pretending to be a big Hollywood producer and he’s in trouble with the mob”. A Double Impact 2 script has been written by Van Damme and Sheldon Lettich (who co-wrote Bloodsport and Double Impact). Van Damme said “Hopefully, somebody smart enough, like an agent or a producer, can put that back together…I’m excited about it, you know?” (Hoooooooly shiiiiiiiiit. I’m down)

Director Albert Pyun was briefly approached when the project was then called ‘The Corsican Brothers’ in the late 1980s. He said on his Facebook page in 2012: “The last time I’ve spoken with JCVD was on the roof of a building across the street from Cannon on Wilshire. JCVD wanted to talk in private and he told me the story he wanted to do for his next film called “Corsican Brother” which became Double Impact I believe. JCVD asked if I would want to direct it for him. The whole idea of TWO JCVDs seemed a bit far fetched and I did not commit either way but told him I had reservations about how the twins idea would work. I told him I thought he should keep moving in the direction of a pure action star and leave the gimmick movies behind. Haven’t seen or talked to him since directly.” (Jesus Christ, why would you call it that? Were there bits about the twins being able to “feel” each other in the original script? Also Pyun was wrong. The biggest issue for JCVD was always going to be his accent. Unlike Schwarzenegger he never had the acting chops or charm to overcome it. So what is the point in not doing gimmick films?)

Freely based on Alexandre Dumas’s novel “The Corsican Brothers”, as the original working title was. It was even set to take place in France and Corsica. (What the hell are they even talking about!?)

The Astronaut’s Wife Preview

“Alright, kid” Rich says, tipping his hat and taking a long drag from his cigarette, “what’s a nice dame like you doing in a dangerous place like this? Why don’t you let me handle the Dongle?” Dr. Summersly smirks and replies huskily, “and what? Let you have all the fun? If anyone’s going to handle the Dongle it’s going to be me.” Gruber watches this display in disgust. It’s all a little… overt for his tastes. Rich winks at Dr. Summersly and gets back to brass tacks. He’s got to get his hands on that Dongle and fast! Dr. Summersly is counting on him and perhaps with its vast power he’ll be able to bring back Poe and then he can sort out this damned case of mistaken identity. He and the good doctor are meant to be! Poe just has to realize that! Putting their heads together they try to think of who could be the secret buyer of the Dongle. “El Flamenco?” Summersly suggests, but Rich is pretty sure he’s safely behind bars. “What about Spider Gruber?” Gruber interjects, shuddering at the thought of the Spider version of himself, but he’s a big ol’ gross spider person and could hardly skulk around unnoticed. Suddenly Rich has an idea. “Get in the car,” he says putting on his fedora. As they drive, Rich recounts the devious plan to ransom the moon of 2 Rich 2 Poe: Reclamation fame. Summersly suddenly gasps, “Jim? It can’t be.” That’s right, Jim McBrawn, renowned astronaut and sex symbol, who was never the same after the plan left his reputation in tatters and estranged from his father… Poe. They pull up to a suburban house. “This is the place?” Summersly says, confused. But Rich shakes his head. “Not Jim… his wife.” That’s right! We’re watching The Astronaut’s Wife as the SciFi entry in the cycle. Johnny Depp plays an astronaut who comes back from space changed and immediately impregnates his wife with twins… very specifically twins. Can’t wait to figure out what creepy reason they came up with that necessitates alium twin babies. Let’s go!

Three’s a crowd, but four’s a party. But where is Poe gonna find a fourth for this Dragon Party (patent pending). Suddenly he has an idea and whips out a pair of total nerd glasses he keeps handy for his incognito undercover cases. “Why hello,” he says and then puts on the glasses, “and also hello, we are Rich and Poe. Two people for two beautiful ladies.” The Dragons are confused, but intrigued. Perhaps they’ll entertain this odd couple, RIch and Poe, before blasting them away in a total… That’s right! We’re watching Firestorm as the SciFi Friend. It takes place in the far future where two twins have to something something something. Twins, future, Firestorm. That’s all you need to know. Let’s go!

The Astronaut’s Wife (1999) – BMeTric: 52.1; Notability: 35 

(The BMeTric is shockingly high. The sheer number of votes is also weirdly high to me. This film is perplexing, I do not remember this coming out at all, and yet it seems to be a fairly large release, considered fairly bad, and has been seen a decent amount. Weird.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Happily married astronaut has a strange experience during a space mission. Has he changed somehow, or is it his young wife’s imagination? Rosemary’s Baby-style thriller is just a big tease; sluggish and unsatisfying, with an especially stupid finale.

(Yes! I’m here for an incredibly stupid ending … unless the real tease is this review. Now we’re cooking with fire, this seems like maybe it is a genuinely terrible low key sci-fi film. Do you know what else is a tease? Leonard with semicolons. Absolutely love it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu_TmXgGEG8/

(Alien Twins. Bad Twins. There are so many good titles for this film which is so so incredibly about twins in the weirdest way possible. Looks boring otherwise, but the Maltin review gives me hope.)

Directors – Rand Ravich – (BMT: The Astronaut’s Wife; Notes: Now produces and writes for television, Life being one of the bigger examples.)

Writers – Rand Ravich (written by) – (Future BMT: Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh; BMT: The Astronaut’s Wife; Notes: Started writing straight-video / cable films including Inside Out IV, a send of soft core films made by Playboy … which is crazy.)

Actors – Charlize Theron – (Known For: The Old Guard; Bombshell; Mad Max: Fury Road; Prometheus; The Devil’s Advocate; Fast & Furious 8; Monster; The Italian Job; Long Shot; Snow White and the Huntsman; The Addams Family; Atomic Blonde; The Cider House Rules; The Road; That Thing You Do!; North Country; Hancock; Tully; The Legend of Bagger Vance; Young Adult; Future BMT: The Last Face; Reindeer Games; A Million Ways to Die in the West; Waking Up in Reno; The Huntsman: Winter’s War; 15 Minutes; Gringo; Dark Places; Trapped; Sleepwalking; Sweet November; Head in the Clouds; The Burning Plain; BMT: The Astronaut’s Wife; Æon Flux; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Combo for A Million Ways to Die in the West in 2015; and Nominee for Worst Actress for Sweet November in 2002; Notes: Still absolutely one of the biggest actresses around, and branching into production. She was the executive producer on the very excellent show Mindhunters which sadly has been cancelled and won’t get a third season. But the first two seasons are excellent.)

Johnny Depp – (Known For: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Waiting for the Barbarians; Murder on the Orient Express; Platoon; Sleepy Hollow; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Alice in Wonderland; Edward Scissorhands; Tusk; A Nightmare on Elm Street; 21 Jump Street; Blow; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Donnie Brasco; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; Public Enemies; Future BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Yoga Hosers; London Fields; Sherlock Gnomes; Private Resort; The Tourist; Dark Shadows; Alice Through the Looking Glass; Nick of Time; The Libertine; The Man Who Cried; The Brave; Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald; The Professor; BMT: Jack and Jill; The Astronaut’s Wife; Mortdecai; Transcendence; The Lone Ranger; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2014 for The Lone Ranger; in 2016 for Mortdecai; in 2018 for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; and in 2019 for Sherlock Gnomes; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Alice Through the Looking Glass in 2017; and Nominee for Worst Screen Combo in 2016 for Mortdecai; in 2018 for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; and in 2019 for Sherlock Gnomes; Notes: Has become somewhat of a joke in the past 15 years or so. Mostly this is just because of his apparent insistence on wild makeup and acting choices (e.g. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Is currently going through a high profile divorce and libel trial involving his ex-wife Amber Heard.)

Joe Morton – (Known For: Justice League; Terminator 2: Judgment Day; Speed; Godzilla: King of the Monsters; American Gangster; What Lies Beneath; Ali; Of Mice and Men; Blues Brothers 2000; Crossroads; Forever Young; Apt Pupil; …and justice for all.; Executive Decision; Lone Star; Bounce; The Brother from Another Planet; Tap; The Good Mother; Between the Lines; Future BMT: Curse of the Pink Panther; The Pest; The Night Listener; Dragonfly; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; The Walking Dead; The Inkwell; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Stealth; The Astronaut’s Wife; Paycheck; Notes: An amazingly prolific television actor starring in Eureka, Scandal, and God Friended Me. Was nominated for an Emmy for his work in Scandal.)

Budget/Gross – $75,000,000 / Domestic: $10,672,566 (Worldwide: $19,598,588)

(Holy crap, that is a colossal failure. An incredible failure. Why would a weirdo Sci-Fi / Thriller get a $75 million budget? Maybe … I bet this was supposed to be a space thing. I bet they spent a ton of money on space hoping to get people in looking for big CGI. It is the only thing that makes sense.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (9/59): Despite the best efforts of its talented leads, The Astronaut’s Wife moves at a snail’s pace and fails to generate enough intrigue to keep viewers engaged.

(I actually have to do two Reviewer Highlights here for the terrible overplayed cliches. Reviewer Highlight: Houston, we have a problem. It’s called The Astronaut’s Wife. – Andy Seller, USA Today. Reviewer Highlight: In space, no one can hear you snore. – Peter Howell, Toronto Star)

Poster – More like Astro-NOT

(I think… I think I really like this. I was gonna criticize the darkness of it and the font. But I think there is something artistic in the framing that is pretty nice… the font could still be better. A-.)

Tagline(s) – Imagine the face of terror is the one you love. (A-)

(This is pretty good. I’m a little surprised it hasn’t been used before. Because it’s almost everything I’m looking for. It tells me what’s up, it twists things around in a clever way, and isn’t egregiously long. Could be a little cleverer and shorter, but pretty good.)

Keyword – twins

Top 10: Doctor Sleep (2019), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Meet the Robinsons (2007), The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), House of Wax (2005), Despicable Me 3 (2017)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 58.2 Deck the Halls (2006), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 54.9 The Back-up Plan (2010), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 43.7 Double Impact (1991), 36.2 A Cinderella Story (2004), 31.0 It Takes Two (1995), 13.4 Little Women (2018);

BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), Jack and Jill (2011), Father Figures (2017), Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), Pluto Nash (2002), The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), Mrs. Winterbourne (1996), The Identical (2014)

(I forgot I added twins to Cheaper by the Dozen and its sequel. So we are at nine films. Which means once we watch Double Impact we will have watched ten films with the twins keyword. A truly landmark achievement for the Bad Movie Twins.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Johnny Depp is No. 1 billed in The Astronaut’s Wife and No. 1 billed in Transcensdence, which also stars Paul Bettany (No. 2 billed) who is in Firewall (No. 2 billed), which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 = 13. If we were to watch Reindeer Games, and Pearl Harbor we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – The movie that Jillian and Spencer watch together is Penny Serenade (1941).

Clea Duvall (Nan) can be seen wearing blue contacts during several scenes in the movie. In some scenes, she sports her natural brown eyes.

When Mr. Reese tracks Jillian to the toy store, he opens his briefcase to show her documents. The lock code was set to ‘666’.

According to the script and novelization, Spencer has formed a telepathic link with the twins his wife is carrying. The fetal twins emitted supersonic pulses which tuned with their father’s senses. This explains why the alien always managed to track down Jillian wherever she went.

Fatal Instinct Preview

Dr. Summersly shakes out her long luxurious hair. “Wha-wha-whaaaaa…” Gruber exclaims. The killer is a… woman?! “And not just that,” explains Rich helpfully, “she’s also the inventor of the Obsidian Dongle.” Now Gruber is floored. A murderer and an inventor? What can’t this woman do? Dr. Summersly shakes her head ruefully. The Dongle was her greatest invention and yet also her most terrible. She’s roamed the earth searching for it. Here she had hoped to finally take it from the dead hands of whoever had bought it from Cock Robin. “But instead I just found you, Poe.” Rich steps towards her, extending his hand to let her know that he’s there for her. She recoils, “No, Poe, you know I love him… loved… him. Your friend, your brother. But now he’s dead and I’m…” she bites her lips, stopping herself from uttering that final, painful word. This is all so confusing. The chief, now Dr. Summersly, they both think he’s Poe and that Rich is dead. And yet if only they knew that likely the opposite was true. He’s living a lie in order to get what he wants. But what is it he wants? Is it the Dongle? Does he truly want to save the world? Or perhaps what he’s been searching for has been love the whole time. Something tugs at the back of his mind. Something is wrong. His instincts tell him to run. To find Poe and stop… something? Someone? Dr. Summersly collapses into his arms and pounds her fists into his rock hard abs, his shirt soaked with the sweat of a humid night in the city. “Cheer up, kid,” he says lifting her chin, his instincts screaming that he is making a fatal mistake. And with that they kiss. That’s right! We’re watching the long forgotten spoof film Fatal Instinct. Obviously a play on Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct. Given that this appears to be a spoof of erotic thrillers this should be right up out alley… but probably isn’t. It also is our Chain film as Rosie O’Donnell plays a bird salesperson in the film. Let’s go!

Every corner he turns the woman seems a step ahead. With his runner’s physique and endurance for days, this should be impossible. And yet she seems to always be ahead of Poe. Suddenly he rounds a corner and there are two of them. Identical twins! Egad. Two’s company, three’s a crowd and this is a little too rich for Poe’s blood. But as he backs away he bumps up against his twin protectors who eye the women warily. “Dragons,” they say and Poe looks at the women in astonishment. That’s right! We were actually going to watch this as a main film until we realized that a) it was never widely released to theaters in the United States and b) only has Banderes pretending to be twins. We relegated it to a Friend for the Chain. Let’s go!

Fatal Instinct (1993) – BMeTric: 25.8; Notability: 43 

(Completely inexplicable that people are still watching this film and, weirdly, thinking it is underrated somehow? Whatever it is it is moving towards the mean IMDb rating, which is just bizarre. The Notability is huge … I wonder if parody films tend to have high Notabilities because of the ensemble cast.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – It was inevitable that the genre of erotic thrillers would be given the “Airplane!” treatment. Movies like “Basic Instinct,” “Body Heat,” “Sleeping with the Enemy” and “Jagged Edge” offer themselves to parody like a steak to the barbecue. Sometimes, indeed, it’s hard to tell the put-ons from the movies with straight faces; I didn’t much like the recent thriller “Malice,” for example, but some of my correspondents assure me it was all meant as a joke. … Some of these movies work (“Airplane!,” “Top Secret!) and some don’t. And you can’t say why, except that sometimes you laugh, and sometimes you don’t, and the reasons for that are not arguable.

(Maybe some of the truest words about parody films I’ve read. That’s it isn’t it. Sometimes those films work, and it must have something to do with the director/writers and the actors they work with because otherwise people like Mel Brooks wouldn’t have been able to do the genre so well for so long. But most don’t. Apparently this one didn’t.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLYus-Z2I9s/

(Without the music the trailer would be … well it wouldn’t be funny. That is not at all how I would describe it. But at least it would be tolerable. It is a very who’s who of early 90s barely-stars which is also rather interesting. Unlike something like Men in Tights where you at least have Elwes with the Princess Bride connection.)

Directors – Carl Reiner – (Known For: Summer School; The Jerk; All of Me; The Man with Two Brains; Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid; Oh, God!; Where’s Poppa?; That Old Feeling; The Comic; Enter Laughing; Bert Rigby, You’re a Fool; Future BMT: Sibling Rivalry; Summer Rental; BMT: Fatal Instinct; Notes: Just died in June. Long time collaborator with Mel Brooks, he won 11 Emmys in his career for Caesar’s Hour and The Dick Van Dyke Show mostly. A huge comedy director in the 80s.)

Writers – David O’Malley (written by) – (Known For: Hangar 18; Future BMT: The Boogens; BMT: Fatal Instinct; Notes: Seems like an odd choice considering he mostly made thriller (the non-erotic kind), and some horror films prior to writing this film. Wrote a Corey Feldman and Don Swayze film called Edge of Honor which seems intriguing.

Actors – Armand Assante – (Known For: American Gangster; The Road to El Dorado; Dead Man Down; Little Darlings; The Lords of Flatbush; Private Benjamin; Hoffa; Paradise Alley; Q & A; The Mambo Kings; I, the Jury; California Dreamin’; Looking for an Echo; Belizaire the Cajun; Future BMT: Prophecy; Two for the Money; Trial by Jury; 1492: Conquest of Paradise; Unfaithfully Yours; Goat; Breaking Point; Citizen Verdict; Animal Behavior; BMT: Striptease; Judge Dredd; Fatal Instinct; The Marrying Man; Notes: Bizarre career in that he has been mostly a TV / video actor for over 40 years now, but was briefly a leading man in the early 90s. Won an Emmy for the miniseries Gotti which I will be watching once we get around to John Travolta’s Gotti.)

Sherilyn Fenn – (Known For: Just One of the Guys; Wild at Heart; Of Mice and Men; Raze; Three of Hearts; Ruby; Just Write; The Scenesters; Future BMT: Wish Upon; Boxing Helena; Two Moon Junction; The Wraith; The United States of Leland; Outside Ozona; BMT: Fatal Instinct; Notes: If you recognize her it is almost definitely because of her role in Twin Peaks. She also appeared in the Psych episode Dual Spires which was a send up of the series and is amazing.)

Kate Nelligan – (Known For: The Cider House Rules; Wolf; The Prince of Tides; Dracula; Frankie and Johnny; Eye of the Needle; How to Make an American Quilt; Shadows and Fog; Without a Trace; Eleni; Margaret’s Museum; Future BMT: Premonition; Up Close & Personal; U.S. Marshals; BMT: Fatal Instinct; Notes: Was nominated for an Oscar for her supporting role in Prince of Tides. Was apparently almost the Canadian Junior tennis champion.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $7,839,327 (Worldwide: $7,839,327)

(Unfortunately, despite lacking data, I have to imagine due to the set pieces and ensemble cast that parody films often demand, I wouldn’t be surprised if the budget was quite high. I suppose the counter is you can usually get away with television / cheaper actors … so who knows.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 18% (4/22)

(Consensus time: Rarely funny, Fatal Instinct instead just reproduces famous scene from other movies while burying its wit under layers of set pieces. Reviewer Highlight: It’s a real pity, because Reiner has certainly been funnier and more inventive on other outings and Sherilyn Fenn makes a winsome gal Friday. – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader)

Poster – Motorcycle Sex

(This is fine. Clever in a cheesy, cheap kind of way. Doesn’t scream “Wide Release Film” to me, though, which is in line with me being shocked that it was a wide release film. I do like the fallen over A. Adds a little pizzazz. C+.)

Tagline(s) – Sex, murder and revenge were never this funny. ()

(I like this one quite a bit. It makes a lot of sense for what they are trying to portray. Takes the three ingredients of the erotic thriller and spins it around. A little long, but all in the name of getting where they want to go. Solid. B+.)

Keyword – twin sister

Top 10: The Green Mile (1999), A Simple Favour (2018), Constantine (2005), Sin City (2005), Snatch (2000), Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014), Grease 2 (1982), What a Girl Wants (2003), The Snowman (2017)

Future BMT: 87.3 Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003), 75.4 Grease 2 (1982), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 43.9 The Watch (2012), 42.7 The Sitter (2011), 40.3 Suburbicon (2017), 38.8 What a Girl Wants (2003), 13.5 Nothing to Lose (1997);

BMT: The Snowman (2017), 88 Minutes (2007), New York Minute (2004), Fatal Instinct (1993)

(Oh yeah, in this case it is hard to give the film the patented “twins” keyword because really you don’t get the antagonist is the twin sister of … the other antagonist (?) until relatively late into the film. Looking at these other films though … uh, did Grease 2 have a twin in it? One second we might have to redo the Romance category of this cycle … ah, its a bit part. Still would count once we launch our podcast Twinsmersion.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Armand Assante is No. 1 billed in Fatal Instinct and No. 3 billed in Judge Dredd, which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed), 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 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 14. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 10.

Notes – Sherilyn Fenn was originally considered for the role of the femme fatale Lola, eventually played by Sean Young. Fenn opted for the role of Armand Assante’s lovesick secretary Laura and suggested director Carl Reiner cast Young as Lola. (Yep, good choice. It is incredible to me that Sherilyn Fenn didn’t have a bigger television career at least, she’s great.)

A scene was filmed with Dudley Moore appearing in drag as Max Shady’s mother, testifying at Lana’s trial. Although the scene was cut from the movie, it is included on the DVD release.

When Max Shady adjusts the setting on his silencer while planning to kill Ned Ravine on the train you will notice a volume setting that goes up to 11. This is a nod to Carl Reiner’s son Rob’s mock rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap (1984) which stars Christopher Guest. Guest’s character (Nigel Tufnel) proudly displays his amp that also goes to 11.

This went straight to video in the UK after a disastrous marketing campaign led to a shortened run at the US box office. (ha)

Laura makes a reference to Ravine as a “Mambo King type” a reference to his starring role in the film, The Mambo Kings (1992).

DIRECTOR CAMEO: The man standing next to Ned in the bathroom. (Yeah it is actually really in your face and obvious)

In 2018, when rerun on MoviePlex, the songs In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida and Brown Eyed Girl are not played during the bathtub scene and end credits. Instead you hear music from the movie sound track. (Ah makes sense, they probably lost the license. It was a wild time the early 90s for tv and movie music apparently.)

Mrs. Winterbourne Preview

“What do you mean ‘nursery rhymes’?” asks Gruber incredulously. But Rich nods his head, he means just that. The man they were meeting, Robin, killed by an arrow, and signed “The Sparrow.” And to drive home the point he tosses a classic Tommy Thumb book into Gruber’s lap. He flips through the pages and raises his eyebrows. “It’s pretty spot on… same with Rich, riding a horse until he can’t no more. Alright, I buy it. It’s super lame, but I buy it. So where are we going now.” Rich stops the car and points to his apartment. “Oranges and Lemons. Starts with a candle putting me to bed, ends with a chopper chopping off my head. But that’s not gonna happen… you won’t let it,” and he looks straight at Gruber who’s eyes grow wide. It’s a terrible plan for a terrible serial killer, but they have no choice. They must get the Dongle. Hours later Gruber is hiding in the closet and Rich is in his sleeping cap with a glass of warm milk in his hands. He’s quite cozy in his cozy clothes and slowly… slowly… slowly his eyelids begin to droop… when suddenly *creeak* a step is heard on the stairs. Gruber stiffens, Rich blows out the candle and the room goes dark. Suddenly a scream rings out and Gruber leaps from the closet. Was he too late? Did he miss his chance? When he flips on the light the murderer is standing over the bed with an axe plunged deep into the sleeping Rich. Gruber prepares to blow him away, but suddenly Rich has the killer in a headlock, the figure in the bed having been quickly crafted from some nearby papier-mache. Rich smirks, “Drop it, dirtbag… or should I say, Dr. Summersly.” That’s right, we are jumping straight into what is likely the best twin-centric romantic comedy that is truly just good clean fun (I presume there are some… less savory twin-centric “romantic” films out there). It stars Brendan Fraser and boy, does it seem not that exciting. Let’s go!

Slurping down his third Dr. Pepper infused pork rind sandwich, Poe is starting to feel a bit sick. But if this is the only way to defeat the dragons then he must. “Is this enough munchies? Are we ready” he asks queasily. But his twin protectors chuckle and keep eating. Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye he sees a glimmer of jade. A woman in green is fleeing and there is something… familiar. Something… irresistible about the glimpse he just got. Dropping his pork rinds he begins pursuit. That’s right! At least we can have some fun with the Friend as we are taking in Woman of Desire, a steamy Jeff Fahey classic tale of seduction. Jeff Fahey… steamy… a little redundant. Let’s go!

Mrs. Winterbourne (1996) – BMeTric: 17.5; Notability: 28 

(Pretty high rating. This is a normal bad 90s film I think. Around 30 notability. A low 6.0s IMDb score. It actually is just barely off from perfectly average for a qualifying film I would bet. For BMeTric that’ll be 20-25, and for notability I’ve mentioned 30 is very much what you expect for a bad film in general … maybe means this will be bland, average, and boring.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.5 stars – Brendan Fraser is solid as the lover who sees through deception and out the other side. And there are some nice moments with Paco (Miguel Sandoval), the gay Cuban chauffeur, who considers himself a Winterbourne of sorts, and tells the weeping Connie, “If bad things are going to happen, let them happen here.” “Mrs. Winterbourne” has the kind of plot that might have distinguished an old Hollywood tearjerker, and in fact, it did: “No Man of Her Own” (1950) with Barbara Stanwyck. It is an old-fashioned, manipulated romantic melodrama, where coincidence is a condition of the universe. Because it is light and stylish and good-hearted, it is quite possible to enjoy, in the right frame of mind. But I am not sure it is worth the effort of putting on your shoes and going out to the theater. This is more of a movie to see on video, on an empty night when you need something to hurl at the gloom.

(Nice I guess. Yeah, that is probably the best we could have hoped for a film like this. I would take melodrama ten times out of ten, over “this film is aggressively boring, I fell asleep during it.”)

Trailer –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukQ9SfY2gJo 

(The music!!! The voiceover!!! This trailer is incredible. Also, how the hell don’t they go with a coma, how do they start the film with two people and an unborn child perishing? Also, I distinctly remember McLaine doing the cigarette trick … it is either from this trailer when I was ten, or something she does in other movies.)

Directors – Richard Benjamin – (Known For: Mermaids; The Money Pit; Racing with the Moon; Little Nikita; My Favourite Year; Future BMT: Marci X; Made in America; My Stepmother Is an Alien; City Heat; Milk Money; BMT: Mrs. Winterbourne; Notes: Basically his last hurrah as a director, he was also a pretty big actor in the 70s. Was nominated for a Golden Globe for The SunShine Boys in 1975. His wife appears uncredited as the nurse in this film.)

Writers – Cornell Woolrich (novel) – (Known For: Rear Window; Phantom Lady; Cloak & Dagger; The Bride Wore Black; Mississippi Mermaid; The Window; The Leopard Man; No Man of Her Own; Union City; Future BMT: Original Sin; BMT: Mrs. Winterbourne; Notes: Kind of a sad story. Lived with his domineering mother for much of his life. After taking care of her during a lengthy illness he was burned out after she died and basically just drank himself to death in the subsequent 10 years or so. His funeral went unattended, and he bequeathed a scholarship to Columbia named after not himself, but his mother.)

Phoef Sutton (screenplay) – (Future BMT: The Fan; BMT: Mrs. Winterbourne; Notes: A producer and writer on Cheers, he has written a bunch of Darrow & Darrow mysteries for the Hallmark Channel more recently. He won two Emmys for his work on Cheers.)

Lisa-Maria Radano (screenplay) – (BMT: Mrs. Winterbourne; Notes: Hosts a podcast called the American Fashion Podcast which appears to be a weekly podcast about the fashion industry.)

Actors – Shirley MacLaine – (Known For: Steel Magnolias; The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; The Apartment; Terms of Endearment; Ocean’s Eleven; Being There; In Her Shoes; Bernie; Noelle; Two Mules for Sister Sara; Around the World in 80 Days; The Trouble with Harry; The Children’s Hour; Sweet Charity; Postcards from the Edge; The Last Word; Irma la Douce; Defending Your Life; The Turning Point; Some Came Running; Future BMT: Bewitched; The Little Mermaid; Wild Oats; A Smile Like Yours; The Evening Star; Closing the Ring; Bruno; Elsa & Fred; What a Way to Go!; BMT: Cannonball Run II; Rumor Has It…; Valentine’s Day; Mrs. Winterbourne; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Cannonball Run II in 1985; Notes: Amazingly nominated for six Oscars, and is the older sister of Warren Beatty (she changed her name because people had trouble pronouncing it).)

Ricki Lake – (Known For: Hairspray; Cry-Baby; Working Girl; Hairspray; Serial Mom; Gemini; Last Exit to Brooklyn; Cabin Boy; Cecil B. Demented; Where the Day Takes You; Inside Monkey Zetterland; Future BMT: Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Cookie; Park; BMT: Mrs. Winterbourne; Notes: Had her star turn in Hair in the 80s, and then transitioned into a television talk show host in the 90s amid attempts to break into film (while also having a bunch of weight loss/gain issues if I recall).)

Brendan Fraser – (Known For: The Mummy; Crash; The Mummy Returns; George of the Jungle; Bedazzled; Journey to the Center of the Earth; Blast from the Past; School Ties; Gods and Monsters; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; Dogfight; The Quiet American; A Case of You; The Passion of Darkly Noon; Still Breathing; Twenty Bucks; Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy; The Twilight of the Golds; Future BMT: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor; Eye for an Eye; G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; The Nut Job; California Man; Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star; The Scout; Son in Law; Inkheart; Airheads; Hustlers; HairBrained; Extraordinary Measures; The Last Time; Gimme Shelter; The Air I Breathe; With Honors; BMT: Furry Vengeance; Dudley Do-Right; Monkeybone; In the Army Now; Escape from Planet Earth; Mrs. Winterbourne; Now and Then; Notes: A huge star in the 90s, his career was somewhat waylaid by his divorce in the late 00s combined with just generally being an aging action star. Has revived his career somewhat with a few good television turns in The Affair and Doom Patrol.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $10,082,005 (Worldwide: $10,082,005)

(Wow, how was this film made for $25 million? I don’t get where the money could have went. Surely not to the cast. It is literally just to rent a mansion for two months? I don’t understand. Big bomb if true.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (3/30)

(Noice, I get to make a consensus: The type of film that relies on the lead actress to keep the it afloat … Ricki Lake is not that actress. Reviewer Highlight: The plot remains joyless in its contrivances. – Janet Maslin, New York Times)

Poster – Mrs. Winterboring

(This is not a movie I want to watch. Did they paint a picture and just put it in the middle of the poster. This whole thing is pretty terrible, but at least they gave it a little pop with the color and the font. Still… C- at best.)

Tagline(s) – The story of a girl who is going from filthy to rich (B)

(I appreciate this. I appreciate the effort. A little mean to refer to Ricki Lake as filthy… I mean, she was perhaps down on her luck, but not covered in filth or anything. But I think I like it despite the fact that it’s probably twice the length it should be.)

Keyword – twins

Top 10: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Doctor Sleep (2019), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), The Great Outdoors (1988), House of Wax (2005), Despicable Me 3 (2017), A Cinderella Story (2004)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 58.2 Deck the Halls (2006), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 54.9 The Back-up Plan (2010), 52.0 The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 43.7 Double Impact (1991), 36.2 A Cinderella Story (2004), 31.0 It Takes Two (1995);

BMT: Jack and Jill (2011), Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), Father Figures (2017), Pluto Nash (2002), Mrs. Winterbourne (1996), The Identical (2014)

(Let’s see. We have The Astronaut’s Wife, Double Impact, and House of Wax coming up. So by the time we are finished here we would have gone from two “twins” films to nine. Beyond those nine actually the rest are rather dubious twin films as well.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Shirley MacLaine is No. 1 billed in Mrs. Winterbourne and No. 5 billed in Cannonball Run II, which also stars Burt Reynolds (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 5 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 5 + 1 + 5 + 4 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch Extraordinary Measures we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – Despite having already lost 125 lbs, Ricki Lake was required to lose an additional 20 lbs before filming could begin.

Matthew McConaughey was considered for the role of Bill/Hugh Winterbourne. (Would have been his second twin film in BMT at the very least)

Based on a book “I Married a Dead Man”

Urban Legends: Final Cut Preview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tagline(s) – Legends never die (A)

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

Keyword – twins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The snow storm seen in the film was unintended.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Urban Legend Preview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poster – Keith Urban Legend

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

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

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

Keyword – slasher flick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bad Company Preview

Rich flexes his muscles, his glistening skin growing taut again the ropes that bind him. With a snap he is free and he leaps from the ceremonial table and jumps through a stained-glass window. Looking around he realizes he’s in a maze. “Heh heh heh, rats in a maze,” a Nic Cage says to his left, but when he turns no one is there. “Men in a cage,” the other responds to the right, but Rich is already off running. Suddenly he comes to a stop. “Fa… Father?” he stutters in astonishment. His father, long dead, is up ahead, beckoning him forward. He follows, but each turn he makes his father is already making the next turn. “Father!” he calls, “we have to find Poe. We have to find my… my brother.” Suddenly, he finds himself in a police station. He tries to tether himself to reality to stop himself from slipping back to bashing heads amidst the swirling papers.Yet he finds himself grabbing a stale slice of za from a box, readying himself to launch into his latest diatribe against those goddamn rulez when he hears “Poe! Get in here!” Poe! He looks around, but he doesn’t see his partner. When he looks back at the Chief he’s staring right at him. “Poe! Get a move on or I’ll have your ass.” Confused, Rich walks into the office and sits down. “I know it’s been hard since Rich has been killed, Poe, but we need your help,” the Chief sighs, “we need you to go undercover as Rich. Given your… similar… physical characteristics, you’re the only one that can pull it off.” Rich nods. “We also got you a little company. Meet your new partner.” Rich turns. His blood runs cold. That’s right! We’re watching Bad Company starring Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins. Rock plays twins separated at birth who are all mixed up in some spy shit. Let’s go!

Poe comes to love and respect his monstrous twin protectors as they nurse him back to health. Eventually, having gained strength from their delicious Dr. Pepper infused lasagna, he asks them where they are. They looked confused, “We are here,” they say. “So how do we get there?” Poe asks. They nod and point up. Poe’s eyes travel up the mountain to the swirling storm clouds above. His blood runs cold. That’s right! As a partner for Bad Company we are diving head first into Dragon Hunt, one of the action films made by the Twin Dragons, Canadian twin martial artists with moustaches for days. Let’s go!

Bad Company (2002) – BMeTric: 44.6; Notability: 51 

(My god, a 50+ notability film! And it’s Bad Company, how odd. The bad rating on this is really sticking right around 5.5. And you can definitely see the inflection there. The votes rising right around 2011 (when IMDb when mobile) and now tailing off again as the new user base saturates their ratings. I wonder if IMDb is going to be in trouble at some point as people finally stop having old movies to rate … I guess they only really make money off of IMDb Pro anyways.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – Hard on the heels of “The Sum of All Fears,” here’s Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Bad Company,” another movie about an American city threatened by the explosion of a stolen nuclear device. This one is an action comedy. There may come a day when the smiles fade. To be sure, the movie was made before 9/11 (and its original autumn 2001 release was delayed for obvious reasons), but even before 9/11 it was clear that nuclear terrorism was a real possibility. While “The Sum of all Fears” deals in a quasi-serious way with the subject (up until the astonishingly inappropriate ending), “Bad Company” is more light-hearted. Ho, ho.

(Well … this review just makes me want to watch Sum of All Fears. Or more realistically read some trash Clancy books. Oh, and yeah, I didn’t think about the impact of 9/11, but this one is one of the more wild versions of the story, all the way down to it maybe being the last film featuring a true blue Yugoslavian terrorist (it is hard to tell).)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h8wWFqwmcA/

(The “hand me a towel” joke is all I distinctly remember from the trailer when this came out. The trailer is interesting because it doesn’t indicate that the main character didn’t know he had a twin brother, but I suppose that is a minor point. The Saddam Hussien comment is also interesting considering it was released in June of 2002.)

Directors – Joel Schumacher – (Known For: The Lost Boys; A Time to Kill; Falling Down; St. Elmo’s Fire; The Client; Phone Booth; Flatliners; Flawless; Blood Creek; Tigerland; Veronica Guerin; Cousins; Future BMT: Twelve; The Incredible Shrinking Woman; Street Fleet; Dying Young; 8MM; The Phantom of the Opera; BMT: Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Trespass; Bad Company; The Number 23; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Batman & Robin in 1998; Notes: A stalwart director from 1980 through 2005, after which he semi-retired. Directed a few music videos like The End is the Beginning is the End by The Smashing Pumpkins. Died this year.)

Writers – Gary M. Goodman (story) (as Gary Goodman) – (BMT: Bad Company; Notes: Mostly a producer. Directed a single episode of the Police Academy television show in 1998.)

David Himmelstein (story) – (Known For: Power; Future BMT: Village of the Damned; BMT: Bad Company; Notes: Wrote a television movie called Soul of the Game about the players trying to break the color barrier in baseball.)

Jason Richman (screenplay) – (Future BMT: Swing Vote; BMT: Bangkok Dangerous; Bad Company; Notes: Was a professional musician. The creator of a few television shows including Stumptown.)

Michael Browning (screenplay) – (Future BMT: Six Days Seven Nights; BMT: Bad Company; Notes: Is also a producer on Bad Company. This is the last thing he is credited for in any category on IMDb.)

Actors – Anthony Hopkins – (Known For: The Silence of the Lambs; Thor: Ragnarok; Thor; Red Dragon; Bram Stoker’s Dracula; Legends of the Fall; A Bridge Too Far; Thor: The Dark World; Meet Joe Black; RED 2; Mission: Impossible II; Fracture; The Two Popes; Noah; The Elephant Man; The Mask of Zorro; Howards End; The Bounty; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Beowulf; Future BMT: Alexander; Misconduct; Freejack; Go with Me; The Wolfman; Slipstream; Desperate Hours; Collide; The Rite; Kidnapping Freddy Heineken; All the King’s Men; 360; Solace; Instinct; The Innocent; Surviving Picasso; The Trial; Hannibal; The City of Your Final Destination; August; BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight; Bad Company; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for A Change of Seasons in 1981; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 2018 for Collide, and Transformers: The Last Knight; Notes: Born in Wales, he was inspired by Richard Burton to become an actor. He’s now an American citizen and was allowed to keep his knighthood.)

Chris Rock – (Known For: Bee Movie; Madagascar; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Dolemite Is My Name; Dogma; Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa; Death at a Funeral; Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Beverly Hills Cop II; Doctor Dolittle; Osmosis Jones; Lethal Weapon 4; Boomerang; New Jack City; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Top Five; CB4; Krush Groove; Nurse Betty; Future BMT: The Week Of; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; Sandy Wexler; Nobody’s Fool; Pootie Tang; Beverly Hills Ninja; Down to Earth; Head of State; I Think I Love My Wife; Paparazzi; Sgt. Bilko; The Longest Yard; Panther; BMT: Grown Ups 2; Bad Company; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Grown Ups; Notes: Came up through SNL and into a supporting comedic actor in the 90s. He became a starring lead in the 2000s. Notable for his friendship with Adam Sandler and his participation in many of his recent films.)

Peter Stormare – (Known For: The Big Lebowski; The Lost World: Jurassic Park; Fargo; Constantine; Minority Report; John Wick: Chapter 2; 22 Jump Street; Awakenings; Pain & Gain; Chocolat; The Last Stand; The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus; Dancer in the Dark; Fanny and Alexander; The Zero Theorem; Penguins of Madagascar; Clown; How I Spent My Summer Vacation; Damage; Henry’s Crime; Future BMT: Tokarev; Witless Protection; Dylan Dog: Dead of Night; Rupture; Eye for an Eye; Horsemen; Dark Summer; Nacho Libre; The Brothers Grimm; Premonition; Anamorph; Every Thing Will Be Fine; The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature; The Million Dollar Hotel; Playing God; Lockout; Windtalkers; Strange Magic; Birth; Jewtopia; I Am Here; Small Apartments; Autumn Blood; 8MM; Circus; Unknown; Bad Boys II; Spun; BMT: The Tuxedo; Bad Company; Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Mercury Rising; Armageddon; Notes: A fun “that guy” since the mid-90s. He’s Swedish, but he tends to play a variety of nationalities, particularly Russian and Eastern European.)

Budget/Gross – $70,000,000 / Domestic: $30,160,161 (Worldwide: $66,200,782)

(That is slightly better than I would have expected, but pretty bad considering the listed budget. You obviously are hoping a Joel Schumacher film is a blockbuster.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (14/135): Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins fail to generate the sparks necessary to save the movie from a generic and utterly predictable script.

(Just a shade over 10% sadly, I do like collecting sub-10% Rotten Tomatoes films. Yeah, everything I remember about the film when it came out was how much of a miscast the pair of Hopkins and Rock were. Reviewer Highlight: Bad Company is a bad movie with really bad timing. – Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper.)

Poster – Sklog Company

(It is quite amusing that they have this big poster and are like “Hopkins”… “Rock” as if this is the teamup that we’ve all been waiting for. “Oh, when will I be able to see the dynamic action/comedy duo of Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins?! When will Hollywood finally deliver what we’ve all been clamouring for?!!! Pretty good poster though. Only critique is them riding that star power a little harder than it deserved. Get me a little taste of the plot please. B+)

Tagline(s) – The World is in Good Hands (D)

(Hands… hands… is this a pun I’m not picking up on? Why can’t these movies just figure out how to do a decent twin pun. Back-to-back weeks where the tagline has been merely lame or worse. This is boring fluff.)

Keyword – twin

Top 10: Doctor Sleep (2019), The Prestige (2006), Gone Girl (2014), Stand by Me (1986), Octopussy (1983), Avatar (2009), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), A Simple Favour (2018), Crazy Rich Asians (2018), There Will Be Blood (2007)

Future BMT: 71.1 The Spirit (2008), 70.0 The Unborn (2009), 68.1 Seed of Chucky (2004), 58.2 Deck the Halls (2006), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 52.2 The Divorce (2003), 51.2 Scary Movie 3 (2003), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 48.6 The Real Cancun (2003), 47.5 Dumb and Dumber To (2014);

BMT: 2012 (2009), The Snowman (2017), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), The Forest (2016), I Know Who Killed Me (2007), Old Dogs (2009), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Bad Company (2002), 88 Minutes (2007), New York Minute (2004), Babylon A.D. (2008), Grind (2003), The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007)

(So indeed there aren’t really twins in this film I don’t think, so I went with the “twin” keyword instead. This is a pretty good keyword as well. The Forest was a great twin film, as was I Know Who Killed Me, Old Dogs, New York Minute, and The Seeker: The Dark is Rising. Most of the other ones (like 88 Minutes) are more tenuous, in that one the first death in the film involves two twins who live together, although it is easy to forget that.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Chris Rock is No. 2 billed in Bad Company and No. 3 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) => 2 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 15. If we were to watch The Spirit, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – This was one of the last movies filmed in the World Trade Center (some of the subway scenes).

One of several movies that had its release date changed after the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001. This movie was originally set for release in November 2001, but was not released until June 2002.

Originally written as a sequel to Blue Streak (1999). (Huh that is actually super interesting)

When Jake (Chris Rock) is dining with Nicole (Garcelle Beauvais) in Prague, he says, “I’ll eat a pig’s ass if they cook it right.” This is a line from his 1996 HBO special. (Weird)

Originally titled “Black Sheep” until it was discovered that there was already a movie with that title, Black Sheep (1996). (Oh did they discover that? Did they dig into the archive and be like “Oh, Chris Rock, you’re friends with David Spade and Chris Farley right? Did you know they had a film called Black Sheep?! Get out of here with that.)

Father Figures Preview

Rich is dragged into a dark ceremonial chamber. He looks wildly between the identical Nic Cages. How could such a monstrosity be? Their ideniticalness is perverse. Unnatural. And yet their grips are like iron, with full twin power. And Poe! Sweet Poe. Dragged to whatever depths by John Travolta’s dark magic. The horror, the horror. As Rich is strung up to a ceremonial table, the Nics prep a variety of terrible tools to extract the delicate shard of the Obsidian Dongle from his heart. They sing a jolly Christmas tune, showing off those pipes that both Nic Cage and John Travolta are well known for. The tune brings back memories, and spur on vivid hallucinations of his past life as it flashes before his eyes. His childhood in Louisiana, a place of wonder. His mother’s fresh baked bread, the smell mingling with his father’s pipe smoke. His denim jacket! Oh how he and Poe laughed over the jackets. They were a present from his parents to both of them. They always treated Poe like a son, especially after… the accident. The jackets were totally rad and had a couple white cobras stitched into the back with the words “No Rulez 4 Life.”. He remembers when they first put them on. It felt like they’d never take them off. In fact, they never had and have been wearing them this entire time. They were so intertwined with those jackets that there was no need to ever mention them before. And in that moment when they first donned their trademark jackets his father said, “look at my boys… brothers for life. As long as you have each other you’ll never lose.” His father… Poe’s father, too, after… the accident. Using the last of his strength, Rich utters one word, “No.” That’s right! We’re watching Father Figures from 2017. I remember seeing the trailer for this film and thinking, “someday we’ll watch that for BMT.” And here we are. Destiny that a twin cycle would come along and Father Figures would be there to take its rightful Place. Let’s go!

Poe awakens. He’s covered in dirt and rocks and can barely move. Suddenly he feels the Earth shift above him and two hulking hands pull him from the rubble. “Are… are you dead?” two hulking identical monsters ask him, their ludicrous fashion stretched to the breaking point by their muscles. Using the last of his strength, Poe utters one word, “No.” That’s right! As a twin friend for this twin cycle we are watching Twin Sitters starring bodybuilders-turned-actors David and Peter Paul aka The Barbarian Brothers. They are twins and they are babysitting twin. Need I say more.

Father Figures (2017) – BMeTric: 41.9; Notability: 32 

(That notability is precisely what I would expect for a big comedy, I now know enough about notability to know that. And I bet in a few years this is a 50+ BMeTric. Just need to drop a few points off of that IMDb rating.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – “Father Figures” is what you might call a bastard comedy, and not just for the fact that it was once boldly titled “Bastards” and tells of two twins (played by Ed Helms and Owen Wilson) road-tripping to find their biological father. As a kicked-around project originally meant for a November 2016 release, and then a January 2017 release, and now coming out in time to be the comedy alternative to “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” it has that uncertain lineage in its very construction. Filled with insincere wackiness and sappiness, “Father Figures” never quite figures out whether it wants to be a raunchy, zippy road movie or a more dialogue-driven dramedy. Despite having no personality of its own, this movie just yearns to be recognized at all.

(Love the twin shoutout in the review itself. And this appears to be a very common complaint: the film has the feel of a family friendly road trip film, but then swerves inexplicable into a rauchy sex farce randomly. That could be interesting I suppose.)

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

(This definitely seems like a cheerful road trip comedy for the most part. Really weird they kind of went the Wedding Crashers route in the end. Probably just was received poorly with notes like “I want to see Owen Wilson in Wedding Crashers, and Ed Helms in Hangover again please.”)

Directors – Lawrence Sher – (BMT: Father Figures; Notes: Primarily a cinematographer he was nominated for an Oscar for his work on Joker. He also was the Director of Photography on the Hangover films, so he worked with Ed Helms before at the very least.)

Writers – Justin Malen (written by) – (Known For: Office Christmas Party; BMT: Father Figures; Notes: Wrote a Chinese comedy called Wished (under what I assume is a pseudonym Hongwen Mai), and is writing the script for the upcoming Clifford the Big Red Dog film.)

Actors – Owen Wilson – (Known For: Wonder; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Midnight in Paris; Cars; Wedding Crashers; Fantastic Mr. Fox; Inherent Vice; Night at the Museum; Cars 3; Night at the Museum 2; Meet the Parents; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; The Royal Tenenbaums; Starsky & Hutch; Zoolander; The Cable Guy; The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou; No Escape; The Big Year; The Darjeeling Limited; Future BMT: Breakfast of Champions; How Do You Know; Little Fockers; You, Me and Dupree; Are You Here; Drillbit Taylor; Hall Pass; Masterminds; Free Birds; Cars 2; Meet the Fockers; The Internship; The Hero of Color City; BMT: Zoolander 2; Anaconda; Marmaduke; The Haunting; I Spy; Father Figures; Around the World in 80 Days; Behind Enemy Lines; Armageddon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Zoolander 2 in 2017; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2003 for I Spy, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; Notes: Went to the University of Texas with Wes Anderson with whom he’s collaborated a number of times including The Royal Tenenbaums. Says “wow” in a distinct and easily mimicked way.)

Ed Helms – (Known For: We’re the Millers; The Hangover; Tag; Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story; Night at the Museum 2; Monsters vs. Aliens; A Futile and Stupid Gesture; The Senator; They Came Together; Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay; Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie; Jeff, Who Lives at Home; Stretch; Everyone’s Hero; Mune, le gardien de la lune; Cedar Rapids; Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story; Future BMT: Meet Dave; Evan Almighty; Coffee & Kareem; The Hangover Part III; The Clapper; Semi-Pro; Confessions of a Shopaholic; The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard; Christmas with the Coopers; Corporate Animals; Vacation; Someone Marry Barry; I Do… Until I Don’t; The Hangover Part II; BMT: Father Figures; Notes: At this point maybe most famous for his role in The Office than anything else. Started in UCB, and was a correspondent for the Daily Show as well, and is an accomplished banjo player.)

Glenn Close – (Known For: Guardians of the Galaxy; Dangerous Liaisons; The Natural; Mars Attacks!; Fatal Attraction; What Happened to Monday; Air Force One; Tarzan; 101 Dalmatians; The Big Chill; The Girl with All the Gifts; In & Out; Crooked House; The Wife; The World According to Garp; Cookie’s Fortune; Hoodwinked; Albert Nobbs; 5 to 7; Reversal of Fortune; Future BMT: 102 Dalmatians; Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil; The Stepford Wives; The Divorce; Mary Reilly; The Wilde Wedding; Anesthesia; Hook; Maxie; The House of the Spirits; The Chumscrubber; BMT: Pinocchio; Father Figures; Evening; Warcraft: The Beginning; Notes: Has won three Tony awards for her work on Broadway. Her role in Hook is as the Boo Box guy in an undisclosed cameo role.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $17,501,244 (Worldwide: $25,601,244)

(Not great. A film like this you’d expect at the very least a $50 million take, but you’d be quite pleased if you could pull off that rare $100 million comedy. Instead it kind of scrapes out what was likely a break even result once VOD was counted.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (8/48): Success has many fathers, but failure is Father Figures.

(Wowza, someone pay whoever came up with that insane consensus! I kind of love it, but probably because I hate it so much. Reviewer Highlight: Distinguished mainly by its overqualified cast and lack of inspiration, “Father Figures” can’t decide whether it’s a gross-out comedy or an uplifting tale of brotherly love; it embraces the worst of both worlds. – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times)

Poster – Rad Dads

(Nooooooooooo. This is everything I’ve been fighting against in talking about these posters. Look at that color scheme. Just a bunch of dumb human faces on a white background. Gross. Look at the spacing, the font, what story does it tell?! My god, it’s horrible. F.)

Tagline(s) – Finding Their Father Would Be a Family Miracle (F)

(Is… is “family miracle” a phrase? Are they doing this on purpose just to hurt me? What the hell is this tagline? Either my brain isn’t working and I’m missing a pun or this is one of the most nonsensical, trash taglines in history. You better hope my brain is broken.)

Keyword – twins

Top 10: Doctor Sleep (2019), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Despicable Me 3 (2017), The Great Outdoors (1988), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 58.2 Deck the Halls (2006), 54.9 The Back-up Plan (2010), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 43.7 Double Impact (1991), 13.4 Little Women (2018);

BMT: Jack and Jill (2011), Father Figures (2017), Pluto Nash (2002), The Identical (2014)

(Note for the coming weeks, I’ve added this keyword to a bunch of the upcoming films … so that’ll be nice. I mean, if they come in. I haven’t had much luck with IMDb keywords if I’m being honest, they are sticklers over there at IMDb. Unlike wikipedia, where I rule the roost. As for this film, you can see by 2017 we had entered the post-Harry Potter lull. I predict twins will be charging back to become a keyword force in American cinema yet!)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Owen Wilson is No. 1 billed in Father Figures and No. 2 billed in Zoolander 2, which also stars Penélope Cruz (No. 4 billed) who is in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (No. 2 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 + 2 + 4 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch The Internship, and Wicker Park we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – The script was sold less than two days after being pitched, in an impressive thirty-six hours.

Originally titled “Bastards”, but changed to “Father Figures” in September 2017, just three months before release.

The front desk worker in the hotel is Andrew Wilson; Owen Wilson’s older brother. (Oh wow, a rare Andrew Wilson sighting. He’s in quite a few small films at this point)

Bill Irwin filmed scenes as Dr. Tinkler, but Christopher Walken took over the role during re-shoots. (Big oooooof)

Although they play twins, Owen Wilson is five years older than Ed Helms in real-life..

Near the end of the film, Helen mentions that Peter (Ed Helms) and Kyle (Owen Wilson) were born “three days before Christmas” in December 1975. The film was released on December 22, 2017, Kyle and Peter’s 42nd birthday. (That’s fun, although likely unintentional since I think it was delayed for a bit before release)

Paramount Pictures was originally attached to the project, but they ended up dropping out, sending the script into turnaround and leaving Warner Brothers to release the film.

Ed Helms says that ” this is a ’75 stingray, the car is a 1981 corvette, not a ’75 (Huh)

During the epilogue, it is revealed that Kyle had twin babies. While there is no evidence that identical twins run in families., non-identical twins can do. (YUP. Actually also happened in The Identical where our Elvis stand in also is shown having had twins at the end of the film)

Towards the end of the film, Helen (Glenn Close) reveals to the boys their mother was an unmarried girl; she would not reveal the father’s name and her name was Jenny. Glenn Close played Jenny Fields in The World According to Garp (1982), a single mother who only knew her child’s father as “Technical Sergeant Garp”. (Now that is a fun fact!)

The Identical Preview

With their powers combined the robot vixens are no match for Rich and Poe. They bust those robots up and boy howdy, bustin’ makes them feel good. Rich looks at Poe and realizes that this is his moment to say goodbye. “It’s time to set yourself free,” he tells him. Poe steels himself and despite the love in his heart he delivers one last crosskick that sends the bots back into the puzzle box. With a second flying kick he forces the box close, thus sealing them away. With the spell finally broken, Poe picks up the box and has a moment of contemplation. Perhaps he should just throw the box into the fire and end it. Rich steps in, “I know you’re not ready to say goodbye and perhaps… just perhaps, we’ll see that puzzle box again down the road.” With that he gives a little wink and Poe nods, leaving the box behind. As they leave the ship they are greeted by a smiling Nic Cage and the masked gamemaster. “Congratulations, Rich and Poe, you have won. Earth is saved.” They smile and breathe a sigh of relief. “Unfortunately, the universe is lost,” the other gamemaster says and begins to cackle in glee. What? This doesn’t make sense! “But we won!” they scream. “Oh yes, you won, and for that you will pay dearly, for it revealed what is inside of you… what we are destined to possess,” and the gamemaster holds up the Obsidian Dongle! With a small shard missing! Rich’s hand immediately goes to his chest. “Nic Cage! Stop him,” they plead, but he just shakes his head and smiles. He then turns to the gamemaster who slowly takes off his mask to reveal… a second Nic Cage. They’re… they’re… identical. That’s right! We are kicking off the Twins battle cycle where we watch BMT films featuring twins paired with Bring a Friend’s also featuring twins! It’s a veritable twinstravaganza! First up The Identical. ‘What’s that?’ you ask. Who cares, no one remembers it, but it was all about an Elvis twin or something. Let’s go!

The Identical Nic Cage peers at Poe. “Oh, you don’t recognize me? Of course. The face. You see I had them take my face… off. And then I had his face put… on. You getting it yet?” Poe’s aghast. Travolta! The sequence of events is still a little confusing, but before he can get it clarified Travolta uses his sorcerer’s powers to send Poe deep into the Earth… to Hell! That’s right! We are pairing The Identical with Sorceress, an 80’s film that features magical creatures in some anonymous time of the past. Oh and sexy twin warriors. Pretty appropriate stuff. Let’s go!

The Identical (2014) – BMeTric: 25.4; Notability: 18 

(Odd plot. I think maybe the initial ratings were exclusive to people who actually went and watched the film in theaters … so like Elvis impersonators? Just seems insane the drop which almost definitely coincides with the film coming out on VOD or something.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – On January 8, 1935, a woman gave birth to twin boys in a little shack built by her husband in Tupelo, Mississippi. It is not known whether or not the twins were identical. One twin was stillborn, the other grew up to be Elvis Presley.  For the entirety of his life, Elvis missed his twin (named Jesse). He prayed to him, talked about him all the time. If you visit Graceland, there is a small gravestone for Jesse in the family burial plot outside the house. Elvis wondered if he had somehow sapped the strength of his twin brother in the womb, and if that was why he became the superstar that he did. He had guilt about it. … One positive thing about “The Identical” is that it will make you want to bust out Elvis Presley’s early Sun and RCA recordings, songs like “That’s All Right,” “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” “My Baby Left Me,” or “Good Rockin'” just to remind you that no, it didn’t happen the way it did in “The Identical”. Thank goodness.

(Oh wow … wait, this is basically some screenwriter who read this story about Elvis and made a fictionalized version of it with an Elvis impersonator? That is crazy. Do you know what else it crazy? Ray Liotta’s face which is the only thing about this film that I’m looking forward to.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LWy9hBy0Kk/

(Hmmm, they really hide the fact that this is pretty explicitly a Christian film. Not that I blame them for that, but you’d think this was just a vague fantasy biopic thingy based on the trailer. It assuredly is not.)

Directors – Dustin Marcellino – (BMT: The Identical; Notes: There is nothing about this person. I have a theory: there is a real estate agent in Tennessee with this name. This film was likely produced and shot in Tennessee where both Wade Cummins and Blake Rayne live. I think he probably directed impersonator / local commercials / real estate stuff and these two people are one in the same.)

Writers – Wade Cummins (written by) – (BMT: The Identical; Notes: Also had a cameo part in the film. He is also an Elvis impersonator!! Here’s his website.)

Howard Klausner (screenplay) – (Known For: Space Cowboys; The Last Ride; Future BMT: God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness; The Grace Card; BMT: The Identical; Notes: Seems to have transitioned to Christian films, including directing a small Kevin Sorbo film called The Secret Handshake.)

Actors – Blake Rayne – (Future BMT: Hounddog; BMT: The Identical; Notes: An elvis impersonator. Was a web designer prior to winning an Elvis impersonator content in Columbus, Ohio in 1998. His real name is Ryan Pelton.)

Ray Liotta – (Known For: Goodfellas; Marriage Story; Blow; The Place Beyond the Pines; Identity; Killing Them Softly; Field of Dreams; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Bee Movie; Cop Land; The Iceman; Heartbreakers; Kill the Messenger; Date Night; Wanderlust; Muppets Most Wanted; Observe and Report; Something Wild; Youth in Revolt; No Escape; Future BMT: The Son of No One; Operation Dumbo Drop; Go with Me; Crazy on the Outside; Revenge of the Green Dragons; Forever Mine; Revolver; The Lonely Lady; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud; Slow Burn; Even Money; Better Living Through Chemistry; Powder Blue; Unforgettable; Smokin’ Aces; Hannibal; Corrina, Corrina; Crossing Over; Flock of Dudes; Pilgrim; John Q; Local Color; A Rumour of Angels; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Turbulence; Wild Hogs; The Identical; Notes: Was adopted. Was a genuine A-list star in the 90s, but in more recent years he’s focused on television, like Shades of Blue with Jennifer Lopez.)

Ashley Judd – (Known For: Heat; Divergent; Natural Born Killers; A Time to Kill; Olympus Has Fallen; Frida; Barry; A Dog’s Way Home; Bug; Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; Animal Attraction; Simon Birch; Dolphin Tale; Smoke; De-Lovely; Dolphin Tale 2; The Passion of Darkly Noon; Ruby in Paradise; Normal Life; Helen; Future BMT: Tooth Fairy; Eye of the Beholder; Allegiant; Insurgent; Kuffs; Good Kids; High Crimes; Big Stone Gap; Flypaper; Double Jeopardy; Crossing Over; Where the Heart Is; Trafficked; A Secret Sin; BMT: Twisted; The Identical; Kiss the Girls; Notes: Went to the University of Kentucky and considered a run for U.S. Senate from Kentucky in 2014, but ultimately decided not to pursue the position. Was in Twin Peaks: The Return.)

Budget/Gross – $16 million / Domestic: $2,827,666 (Worldwide: $2,840,991)

(I cannot believe the budget was actually that large … I guess maybe they knew you could pull in church groups and make bank like Tyler Perry. Weird story to try that strategy with though.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (4/69): With nearly every element ringing as hollow as the ersatz Elvis at the story’s core, The Identical looks destined for a bright future on the ironic viewing circuit.

(Ironic viewing? Check. A saw a few reviews that mention the odd pro-Isreal slant the movie takes. Sounds like some weird and wild stuff. Reviewer Highlight: The script is so determined to deliver an upbeat message of faith and love, it forgets to be interesting. – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune)

Poster – Twins: The Musical

(It’s certainly… magical looking. I won’t even say it’s a bad poster or anything. It’s fine. A little old fashioned, but I think I expected that. Just wish they tried a bit harder here and there. C)

Tagline(s) – If He is in your dreams, nothing can stand against Him. (D)

(Oh my gooooodddddddddddddddddd. I don’t even think this makes sense, but I don’t care. Run, Patrick! Run! What have we done?!)

Keyword – twins

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

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 58.2 Deck the Halls (2006), 54.9 The Back-up Plan (2010), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 43.7 Double Impact (1991), 41.3 Father Figures (2017), 13.4 Little Women (2018);

BMT: Jack and Jill (2011), Pluto Nash (2002), The Identical (2014)

(Wow, how have we done so few? What a disaster. Looks like we are ready to fill up this keyword. Stay tuned because this same keyword plot will be coming at you every week for two months as we slowly watch every single BMT qualifying twin film (and I guess add the keyword to a few movies as well because this looks mighty incomplete to me!))

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Ray Liotta is No. 2 billed in The Identical and No. 3 billed in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 = 10. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Blake Rayne is a famous Elvis Presley impersonator. He was cast after one of his performances as Elvis garnered the casting director’s attention.

Joe Pantoliano appeared in La Bamba 27 years earlier, playing Ritchie Valens’ music manager, another movie about music and set around the 1950s. (I would have deleted this note as pointless … but there are so few notes for this film I’ll leave it in. Yes, sometimes actors act in two films with an extremely tenuous and vague connection …)

Ray Liotta and Amanda Crew previously starred together in the 2010 film Charlie St. Cloud, but shared no screen time together. (How is this a note? Step up your game random people on IMDb!)

Cyborg Preview

As Poe peers into the blinding light of the puzzle box supernova he glimpses Rich fighting for his life against the robot gals. They are pulling him towards the Hell that resides within and as they do he’s becoming younger and younger. Poe stares into the eyes of 12-year-old Rich, who is now barely able to fend off their robot strength. Young Rich, that dope tween who so many years ago in the bayou professed his love for B*Witched. Who wore the shit out of a jean jacket and helped Jellyroll out of every jam. Who taught Ernie how to dance and was… was Poe’s best friend. His best friend, whose eyes now pleaded with him for help. Together they could defeat them, but Poe’s love prevented that. “Think!” Poe screams in agony. “Why must love hurt so much?!” he shouts, pounding his fists against the puzzle box. It closes slightly under the force and suddenly Poe knows what he must do. Love won’t let him destroy his lady (robot) loves, but perhaps… perhaps their love could be preserved. And with that he reaches out to Rich. The power within Rich reaches out in response and together they make the impossible possible. Rich is ripped out of the box and back into the ghost ship with the most ship. He looks away and Poe asks what he saw. “You… you were an old man,” Poe nods in understanding. He saw a Young Rich, while Rich saw Old Poe. Make sense. But Rich stops him and continues, “you weren’t just an old man. You were the old man… from the Six Flags commercial.” And they both shudder in horror, the spell only broken by a cough from the robot ladies. “You ready for a cyborg fight?” they ask. That’s right. We’re watching the JCVD classic (?) Cyborg. It’s set in a far apocalyptic future and presumably has cyborgs in it. That’s enough for us. Let’s go!

“You’re a cyborg, too,” the guard whispers in fear, his eyes darting wildly around the room. “Yes,” the two disfigured men say, “but this ain’t no nightmare. And soon the… twins,” one spits in disgust, “will know what we are capable of. Once we possess their… power.” And with that they enter the portal. That’s right! We’re watching Cyborg 2, the straight-to-video sequel to Cyborg that starred Angelina Jolie in her first film role. A whole two years before Hackers! Let’s go!

Cyborg (1989) – BMeTric: 57.8; Notability: 18 

(I’m a bit surprised that a film produced by a studio which had basically already went bankrupt managed to get 18 well known people involved. The ratings they are arising, but it is still close to being in the fours which is very very low. Sweet 2011 inflection as well.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – I am not sure I remember the opening words of “Cyborg” exactly, but I believe they were, “After the plague, things really got bad.” I do remember laughing heartily at that point, about 30 seconds into the movie. Few genres amuse me more than post-apocalyptic fantasies about supermen fighting for survival. “Cyborg” is one of the funniest examples of this category, which crosses “Escape from New York” with “The Road Warrior” but cheats on the budget.

(Haha, yeah that sounds about right. It is a totally earnest knock-off of other better films while trying to make it all on a sub-$1 millon budget. Ebert shouldn’t have pulled the punch though, give it the full thumbs down.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BeaSdMxehg/

(Man I love Cannon. They made just insane films! “Take him out!” The cyborg-vision looks suspiciously like the interface in Universal Soldier. And oh shit, he’s doing the splits!!! I am amped for Cyborg!!!!)

Directors – Albert Pyun – (Known For: The Sword and the Sorcerer; Future BMT: Captain America; Kickboxer 2: The Road Back; Alien from L.A.; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; Dangerously Close; BMT: Cyborg; Notes: Inducted into the B-movie Hall of Fame in 2011. He thrived in the 90s straight-to-video era. Released a Director’s Cut of this film in 2011.)

Writers – Albert Pyun (written by) (as Kitty Chalmers) – (Known For: The Sword and the Sorcerer; Future BMT: Alien from L.A.; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; BMT: Cyborg; Notes: Apparently actually filmed a Cyborg sequel, but due to health issues it remains stuck in post-production.)

Actors – Jean-Claude Van Damme – (Known For: Bloodsport; Kung Fu Panda 3; The Expendables 2; Kung Fu Panda 2; Kickboxer: Retaliation; Kickboxer; Hard Target; Timecop; Kickboxer: Vengeance; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; Sudden Death; Lukas; JCVD; Enemies Closer; Future BMT: Street Fighter; Derailed; Welcome to the Jungle; The Order; Legionnaire; Double Impact; Maximum Risk; Inferno; Replicant; The Quest; Black Water; Missing in Action; Pound of Flesh; Nowhere to Run; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; Breakin’; Last Action Hero; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Double Team; Cyborg; Knock Off; Universal Soldier; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Double Team in 1998; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Bloodsport in 1989; Notes: Y’all know JCVD. He used to re-edit his early films to make the action scenes better, and this film is no exception. He apparently re-edited the film for two months prior to its release.)

Deborah Richter – (Known For: One on One; Promised Land; Future BMT: Square Dance; BMT: Cyborg; Notes: Was married to Charles Haid who was on Hill Street Blues (she played his wife in that show on occasion as well).)

Vincent Klyn – (Known For: Point Break; Future BMT: Kickboxer 2: The Road Back; In God’s Hands; BMT: Double Dragon; Cyborg; Notes: A professional surfer, he was at one point a top five surfer in the world. Pyun saw him at a tournament and then chose him as the antagonist of Cyborg based on his intimidating look.)

Budget/Gross – $500,000 / Domestic: $10,166,459 (Worldwide: $10,166,459)

(That is an incredible return! See, this is how Cannon made its dough back in the day. Well … Actually this was their last release before going bankrupt. They would come back for a bit in the early 90s, but they completely collapsed by 1994.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (3/15)

(I get to make a consensus: Just another martial arts film, and just another post-apocalyptic film with a main character which requires no acting ability to play. Reviewer Highlight: Mr. Van Damme’s Gibson is so opaque that he makes Mel Gibson’s Mad Max seem weepy by comparison. – Stephen Holden, New York Times)

Poster – Sklogborg

(I was trying to make the hardest to pronounce fake film name and I think I succeeded. Half sklog, half robot, all rock-and-roll. Sklogborg. Oh right, the poster. Uh, that’s crazy. But also just crazy enough that if I saw that in a theater I’d probably be intrigued. C+)

Tagline(s) – He’s the First Hero of the 21st Century…And He’s Our Only Hope. (D)

(Those seem like two random sentences smashed together into a cyborg of a tagline. It’s simply terrible. But not so terrible that I’m embarrassed for it.)

Keyword – cyborg

Top 10: Avengers: Endgame (2019), Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Terminator: Dark Fate (2019), Bloodshot (2020), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Deadpool 2 (2018), Alita: Battle Angel (2019), Mortal Engines (2018), Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Future BMT: 55.9 The Stepford Wives (2004), 50.1 Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016), 46.6 Solo (1996), 30.0 Mortal Engines (2018), 29.2 Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983), 25.0 Teen Agent (1991), 23.4 Impostor (2001), 22.0 Terminator Genisys (2015), 19.4 Terminator Salvation (2009);

BMT: Bloodshot (2020), Sucker Punch (2011), Jupiter Ascending (2015), Masters of the Universe (1987), Universal Soldier (1992), Judge Dredd (1995), RoboCop 2 (1990), Jason X (2001), RoboCop 3 (1993), Cyborg (1989), Universal Soldier: The Return (1999)

(The later uptick is clearly because of Marvel and DC films … but it does seem like cyborgs are having a moment doesn’t it? Ooooo I really want to watch Solo, it seems like an insane film.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jean-Claude Van Damme is No. 1 billed in Cyborg and No. 1 billed in Double Team, which also stars Mickey Rourke (No. 3 billed) who is in Get Carter (2000) (No. 4 billed), which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed), 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 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 19. If we were to watch Maximum Risk we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Jean-Claude Van Damme accidentally wounded Jackson ‘Rock’ Pinckney’s eye during a swordfight scene, permanently blinding him in that eye. He took Van Damme to court, and eventually won a settlement.

This was the last official theatrical release for Cannon Films after going bankrupt in 1987. (Wow! That is fun)

Jean-Claude Van Damme re-edited the film, much as he did with Bloodsport (1988), to make the fight scenes more exciting and trim down the drama. Van Damme spent two months editing the film. He would do the same on Hard Target (1993) (WTF?!)

This film was conceived to use the costumes and sets built for a Masters of the Universe (1987) sequel and a live action ‘Spider-Man’ film. Albert Pyun planned to shoot both projects simultaneously. Cannon Films had to cancel deals with Mattel and Marvel because of their financial troubles, and they needed to recoup the money spent on both projects. Pyun created the film’s script, under the pseudonym of Kitty Chalmers, using two previous scripts, “Johnny Guitar” and “Alex Rain”. Some network television channels still give the film’s title as ‘Masters of the Universe 2: Cyborg,’ leading people to think it’s a sequel. (WHAT IS HAPPENING! That is a crazy story. I want to read both Johnny Guitar and Alex Rain!)

The MPAA originally gave the film an “X” rating. Numerous cuts got it rated “R”, including a good deal of blood in the village massacre and one character’s death scene. (What? The film isn’t even that violent)

The test screening was a disaster. Only one out of 100 people surveyed liked the film. Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus tried to convince Jean-Claude Van Damme to allow them to release the movie as it was. Instead, Van Damme convinced both producers to let him edit the film, as he had done with Bloodsport (1988), and asked them for 2 months. Cyborg was finally released 2 months later. (Jeez)

The budget, including Jean-Claude Van Damme’s salary, was $500,000. The studio had already spent $2 million on production design, costumes, and miscellaneous prep work on the aborted projects “Masters of the Universe 2” and “Spider-Man.” (Ah, so with the box office take of about $10 million it was probably not that far from a wash in the end)

Matthias Hues turned down a role in the film. Years later, he claims to regret the decision. (But why would he regret it?)

The chain mail and forearm guards worn by Fender were part of the costume for the character “Blade” in Masters of the Universe (1987). (Ahhhhhh right!)

After the success of Bloodsport (1988), Cannon films offered Jean-Claude Van Damme the lead in Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990), American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (1989), or this film. He chose the latter, and later admitted “I didn’t like the film so much.” (Neither of the other two were very good though.)

Albert Pyun originally envisioned the film as a heavy opera without dialogue, shot in granulated black and white. The producers rejected the idea. (How much cocaine was Pyun doing when he pitched that idea?)

Albert Pyun is currently developing a prequel to this film, which was originally titled “Cyborg: Rise of the Slingers”, before the title was changed to “Cyborg Nemesis”. The film which takes place before “Cyborg”, details the formation of the Slingers, after the plague brought about the fall of civilization and the Pirates begin terrorizing the survivors and the Slingers are organized to deal with them. (Yeah it isn’t happening because Pyun retired after being diagnosed with MS)

In 2011, Curnan Pictures got hold of the missing tapes of the original cut of the film through Tony Riparetti, Albert Pyun’s original choice for score artist. This director’s cut features Pyun’s editing and previously unreleased scenes. It is commercially available through the director himself. Pyun’s director’s cut was released in 2014 in Germany with the film’s original title, “Slinger”. (What? Wait …. What? I can watch the Director’s Cut of Cyborg?)

The original theatrical version does not explain what Slingers are. In the director’s cut, the opening crawl defines Slingers as hired warriors who safely escort people out of cities and protect them from pirates.

When the film was first released on VHS in Germany, so many violent scenes were cut out that it ran only around 58 minutes, not even reaching feature length.

The film is included on the film critic Roger Ebert’s “Most Hated” list.

The film is believed to be a remake of Fist of the North Star (1986).