Mrs. Winterbourne Recap

Jamie

Connie Doyle is down on her luck and pregnant. As if things couldn’t get worse she gets in a train accident and is mistaken for the wife of a prodigal son of a wealthy family. Taken in by the eccentric mother and grumpy identical twin brother, she’s in quite the pickle. Can she set things straight (and also maybe get the guy) before it’s too late? Find out in Mrs. Winterbourne.

How?! Connie Doyle comes from a troubled background. At a young age she runs off to NYC and finds herself pregnant. The father, Steve, is a con man asshole and so wandering alone around the city she finds herself mistakenly on a train to Boston. A nice man named Hugh helps her and while palling around with his similarly pregnant wife they get in a terrible train accident. Connie wakes up in the hospital having been mistaken as the wife of Hugh Winterbourne, the prodigal son of an intensely wealthy New England family. While she tries to escape the Winterbourne’s and set things straight, she is also amazed at the wealth and comfort they live in as they pamper the new “Mrs. Winterbourne” and the new grandson. Hugh’s mother, Grace, is particularly taken with the pair, while his identical twin brother Bill is suspicious and cold. Connie is different from the typical Winterbourne ilk and Grace kinda digs it, so she forces Bill to spend time with her. This is wildly (almost unbelievably) successful as Bill falls in love with Connie after spending approximately two hours with her. At the same time he discovers her dark secret and the guilt weighs heavily on him. Connie attempts to leave several more times until Bill makes it clear that their hours together have been the happiest of his life and that he wants to marry her. Through the publicity of the wedding, Steve tracks down Connie and attempts to blackmail her. Distraught, she decides to kill him, but in a truly farcical manner both she and Bill converge on Steve’s hotel room to discover he’s dead. At the wedding the police show up and more farcical things happen, but ultimately it’s made clear that Steve’s new girlfriend was the killer. Having resolved that, Bill and Connie get married and wink at the screen to prepare us for the sequel Meet the Doyles. THE END.

Why?! It’s quite the farce as no matter how hard Connie tries she can’t seem to make it clear that she’s not part of the Winterbourne family. The reason is made pretty clear. While she wants to be truthful, she also wants what’s best for her son (which is wealth and privilege). What is a mother to do? Probably the weirdest motivation is Bill, who seems sullen and distant until he spends a single day with Connie after which it’s love and marriage. Why? I actually don’t know.

Who?! There is an amusing scene where the father of Connie’s baby is watching TV and is laughing at Bobcat Goldthwait and he is being predictably weird in his standup and Steve is laughing at it and I think the point is character development to be like “he’s the kind of guy who laughs at Bobcat” and I kinda love it. Bobcat of course goes uncredited. Connie’s nurse after the accident is played by Paula Prentiss who was a prominent actress who hadn’t made a film in 15 years and her performance is predictably weird… and uncredited.

What?! I’m sure there were some weird semi-50’s props from this film that found their way to a Toronto area dumpster. The only thing that stuck in my mind a bit was the Winterbourne ring representing a special type of prop… one that holds some kind of power over Connie’s transformation in Mrs. Winterbourne. But really it’s just because it’s what seals a connection to the film Two Much which is startlingly similar to this film and yet we decided to watch it next week for some reason. Maybe to enjoy Jeff Fahey having sex on a motorcycle for this week.

Where?! Really fabulous Massachusetts film. We know Connie is heading MA way on the the train and then she is delivered to the Massachusetts manor of the Winterbournes. This would just be OK, but they add in a Tour de Boston in the middle of the film where Connie and Bill walk by Paul Revere’s home and through Boston Common not once but twice. That deserves at least a B+.

When?! I don’t know when this takes place. My guess is Spring and that Connie and Bill rush to a Spring wedding, but hard to say. The film doesn’t really take all that much time really because, as I mentioned, Bill falls in love with Connie in a matter of days and insists on getting married in just a couple weeks… even though this is apparently the widow of his estranged identical twin brother who just gave birth to his nephew. It’s all very bizarre. Would have made more sense if the film took place over a much longer time period while Connie recovered from being in a terrible train accident.

This is certainly a film. It has charm at times, but suffers a little bit with a lead that is a little overmatched by Shirley MacLaine and Brendan Fraser. It also has one of those weird production design choices that makes most of the film feel like it’s set in the 1950’s, while whenever they venture away from Winterbourne manor you realize that it’s the present day. Overall I think I would have said this was just a meh film except that I actually did like the character of Paco. A gay Cuban who was persecuted by his government, he found a place in Mrs. Winterbourne’s household and knows that no matter what problems Connie has she will be accepted there. It’s very sweet and so I’d say this is slightly better than nothing. As for Woman of Desire, phew… hose me down. Jeff Fahey having sex on a motorcycle. Uh yeah, yes please. Yes for sure. You’re saying The Lawnmower man is having sex on a motorcycle? Yah. Add in some truly humorous 90’s concepts of DNA technology in regards to identical twins and I very much enjoyed Woman of Desire. Did I mention Jeff Fahey has sex on a motorcycle? Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Somehow we keep on watching films which would have been pitch perfect for the US Mapl.d.map. First Urban Legend for New Hampshire, and now Mrs. Winterbourne for Massachusetts. We’re on a tour of New England! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I had literally never heard of this film prior to building this twin cycle. It looks like … Change of Seasons? A film that was made. It exists. It has a really famous cast. But it seems impossible anyone actually watched the film at the time. I know that’s wrong because this style of rom com was huge, so obviously there had to be bad versions that were released. You just rarely hear of them I guess. What were my expectations? To be bored. There aren’t many reasons a film like this is slammed by critics, the most common reason is because it is boring.

The Good – Shirley MacLaine and Brendan Fraser are both quite good, especially MacLaine. I also really liked Miguel Sandoval’s storyline as Paco, the Winterbourne’s valet. Great Massachusetts film. And finally, the film is more interesting than I would have immediately given it credit for, it is not nearly as boring as you would expect. If not for a really weak leading actress I think this would have been well received based on MacLaine’s performance specifically. Best Bit: MacLaine.

The Bad – Ricki Lake is so bad in the lead role that it completely sinks the film, it is only saved a tiny bit by how genuine the romance that anchors the plot feels, and I think if the story was better Lake’s performance could be forgiven. The main issue is the storyline is just a huge downer. You bookend the film with two lovely and generous people tragically dying in a train wreck, and a murder of a dirtbag blackmailer. Everything in between is poisoned by just how depressing the core of the story is. Unfortunately there isn’t much to be done, it isn’t quite so easy to just put everyone in comas and call it a day, and I suppose all of this comes from the book. Fatal Flaw: Downer story.

The BMT – Slightly higher that you would think. It is definitely one of the better Big Wedding type garbage rom coms I’ve seen. If someone wanted to watch Mrs. Winterbourne I wouldn’t flat out refuse like with a lot of other films. But the BMT cred is mostly just as a twin film as usual with this cycle. Did it meet my expectations? It exceeded them by not merely being a boring mess of a film. The fact that there were some truly heartfelt moments, and a whole lotta weird choices made it at least a bit interesting to watch, even if it isn’t a particularly good-bad film.

Roast-radamus – A fantastic Setting as a Character (Where?) for Massachusetts and Boston in particular complete with a walk along the Freedom Trail. And throw out the Worst Twist (How?) for the incredibly obvious twist that Steve’s new pregnant girlfriend murdered him. So obvious in fact that they literally show the woman leaving the motel in the scene before. I think this is closest to Bad … although I could be convinced this is actually a good movie if you ignore Ricki Lake’s performance.

StreetCreditReport.com – I actually did find a blog / old website list from 1996 with Mrs. Winterbourne on it which is kind of amazing. Otherwise I think you throw this on a top 10 worst films set in Boston list. I imagine it could make a list for the worst mistaken identity films. Almost all of its credit, as is usual, is because the film is a twin film, and we love twin films.

Bring a Friend Analysis – This week we curled up with our old friend Jeff Fahey for what I would consider a rare instant classic for BMT Bring a Friend, Woman of Desire. In the end it shouldn’t be too surprising that most of the friends we watch aren’t actually particularly fun to watch, they are mostly just amusing disasters. This film from a zoomed out perspective is no different, messy, weirdly almost set in South Africa, and kind of dull. But then you get not one, but two Jeff Fahey / Bo Derek sex scenes one of which (wait for it) is performed on a motorcycle parked in Jeff Fahey’s living room. Wait a tick, that can’t be right … but oh, it is so so right. I will remember this film for one thing and one thing alone: Jeff Fahey and Bo Derek have sex upon a motorcycle sitting in Jeff Fahey’s living room. You can’t ever take that away from me. A. I don’t care what anyone else thinks, I would watch that entire film again just for that sex scene. I only wish Jeff Fahey played smooth jazz on a saxophone afterwards. Maybe that’s in the director’s cut.

Twin Analysis – In this case our two movies have the connection that one of the twins is deceased for the vast majority of the film. In the case of Mrs. Winterbourne we have Brendan Fraser playing Bill and Hugh Winterbourne which fall into the Opposite Twin trope with Bill being a straightlaced businessman, and Hugh clearly dressed as a kind of Bohemian hipster type. No split screen, but the fact that they are twins is a huge part of the story, so I’m going to give it a solid A-. Just wish we could have seen Brendan Fraser act opposite of Brendan Fraser. As for our friend Woman of Desire we again have the Opposite Twin trope with Steven Bauer playing Jonathan and Ted, where the eeeeeevil twin has murdered his own brother with the help of his brother’s lover Bo Derek. The twin energy is real here, and incredibly important. As the defense attorney says at the end “the government overlooked one little known fact: twins have the same DNA.” Wait … they did what?! Is that a little known fact? I guess in 1994 you might have to explain to a jury that indeed, the two people who look identical have the same DNA, but that sounds like a screenwriter thinking he’s about ten times more clever than he actually is. I wish Jeff Fahey was the twin though, Bauer actually wasn’t really in the movie as much as you would think. B+, great twin energy, but in a supporting role.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Mrs. Winterbourne Quiz

This time its for real, I got into a crazy train crash and now legit can’t remember a thing. I do have this baby though and am hanging with a rich family, so that’s fun. Do you remember what happened in Mrs. Winterbourne?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) After getting the boot from her lowlife boyfriend Connie Doyle is on the streetz. How does she accidentally end up in a wealthy Boston suburb and possible heir to a fortune?

2) Paco is a very funny butler / driver for the Winterbourne family originally from Cuba. Why did he leave Cuba?

3) And Bill Winterbourne runs his family business and has long resented his now dead identical twin brother Hugh. Why does he resent Hugh?

4) After falling in love Bill and Connie are to be wed. But baby Hugh’s baby daddy, Steve, is back and ready to blackmail Connie. How much money does he demand of Connie, and what is ultimately his blackmail plan?

5) Who killed the dirtbag baby daddy in the end and why?

Answers

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”

Heartbeeps Recap

Jamie

Val and Aqua are a couple of robots designed for everyday life. He’s a business robot while she’s a social robot and there is an instant attraction. They escape from the robot factory for an excursion and build a son, all while getting pursued by a police robot. Can they escape the police robot (and perhaps find love) before it’s too late? Find out in… Heartbeeps.

How?! This is gonna be a tough one. This is basically just a story of a boy and girl robot, Val and Aqua. Boy robot meets girl robot and the rest is history. No, I’m serious. That’s the movie. They go out to look at some trees (along with crazy uncle robot Catskil) and this sets off all kinds of alarms at the robot factory and triggers a police robot to begin pursuit. Meanwhile, Val and Aqua build a son robot, Phil, and go on their merry way. They look for batteries here and there. They hide from the police robot here and there. They see a bear. They end up in a dump. Etc. etc. etc. Crazy kooky robot adventures. Once they realize that they may not have enough battery to make it back to the robot factory they begin to panic because they realize that no one knows about Phil. They worry that they may not be able to alert the factory to his existence, in which case they could have their memories wiped and Phil would be all alone! Oh no! Catskil gives up his battery to him, but it’s all for naught as Val and Aqua shut down and are taken back to the factory without Phil. Fortunately love prevails! Hooray! Because no matter how many times they wipe their memory and fix them Val and Aqua end up back in for repairs. Eventually they are dumped… which was the plan all along! They live out their days in the dump with their friends and a new little robot baby. It’s really a story of domestic bliss… with robots. THE END.

Why?! Other than serving as a very basic story of the purpose of life through the model of a couple of robots, I’m not really sure of the point of the movie. Perhaps we are supposed to look at Val and Aqua at the end of the film and realize “hey, wait a second. I just watched a whole movie about a couple of robots and forgot that they weren’t human… so what does that mean about being human?”… maybe. It’s really just a story of love.

Who?! Every once in a while there is a weird credit here that is hard to believe is true. I think maybe it’s a mistake on IMDb. That’s the case here as Jerry Garcia (yes, that Jerry Garcia) is credited as the voice of Phil. Seeing as Phil speaks in a series of beeps and boops, it’s hard to imagine Jerry Garcia doing that unless he was a close personal friend of someone… and that apparently was the case. Garcia and the director Allan Arkush were buddies back then and I guess Garcia played all those beeps and boops using a guitar or something. I guess that’s also why Garcia is credited on the score for Deathsport. Wild.

What?! I may as well use this part to point out that this film was actually nominated for an Academy Award for makeup. Much like Norbit, sometimes even really bad films are just amazing in some way. Stan Winston did a really good job with making Andy Kaufman look like a robot. Uncanny at times. Eventually Winston did win his only Oscar for makeup a decade later for Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

Where?! I’m not sure it’s made explicit where this is set. It seems like somewhere in Northern California probably, and that would be in line with where someone might write a robot factory to be set. The real problem is that the robots really don’t consider much about the world. They mostly just internalize their immediate situation. So they aren’t really talking about what state they may be in. F.

When?! Certainly in the near future, but a lot of stuff is pretty much the same as now (except now with robots). It’s far enough in the future that people are already lamenting the loss of the more primitive robots with simple purposes like driving forklifts and stuff for more intricate social and performative robots. Almost like someone reminiscing about when “a phone was just a phone” or something. D-.

This movie is hilariously bad. If I wanted to show someone a film to demonstrate the weird and wild (and really boring) films that we end up watching for BMT I could use this one. It is really slow, really boring, really bad, really not funny, really not anything. It’s strange that it even exists given that other than an actually good opening credits scene (scored by John Williams) it immediately starts in on a stretch of 70 minutes of… nothing. No scene that you would look at and understand what they were even trying to do. It’s almost like it was made begrudgingly. Like, “Fine, I’ll make this Andy Kaufman film,” and then after each take the director is just screaming at a producer, “Are you happy now? I’m making the film.” Truly a baffling venture. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You ever get that need. That need for a poorly received art film from the early 80s? Me neither, but we ended up watching one. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – This film is oddly legendary. But not in a good way. I think Jamie put is best using the word begrudging. The director seemed to begrudgingly make the film. And critics and bad move scholars alike begrudgingly put it onto worst-of lists. Everytime it came up while filling in cycles, I always had to remind myself that the film, indeed, qualifies for BMT. It looks like a film from the 70s, and certainly looks like the kind of film that was accidentally released to 300 theaters. But nope, it is a wide release film, it is real, and we had to eventually watch it. What were my expectations? To be bored out of my mind. All of the reviewers seemed bored. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be the first person in history to think Heartbeeps was an entertaining good-bad film.

The Good – There is a moment right in the beginning of the film where you think “wait … do I like this film?” and right before you scream “YES, I am a genius, this movie is secretly amazing,” the sheer boredom of the film makes your mind melt and it is ruined. I will say some of the “future” stuff is pretty fun, like the bags of Coke and Coors. And obviously the makeup is a pretty incredible achievement, it looks super crazy, but in a good way. The kind of makeup where you genuinely wonder how it was done. Read the IMDb notes if you want to know. Best bit: The makeup.

The Bad – Perhaps the most boring film ever made? As I said, it is an arthouse film masquerading as a real film that you would release to theaters. Andy Kaufman genuinely seems like he doesn’t know what he is doing. There isn’t really even a plot line. So it is an arthouse film in which you’d hear years later than everyone booed and walked out of the theater. There isn’t much to really say about it … it is a super weird and terrible film. Full stop, do not recommend. Fatal flaw: Ridiculously boring.

The BMT – Hellllllllllllls no. This film sucks. I’ll forget I watched it in a week, and then it’s only possible legacy in BMT lore is merely that it won the Smaddies Baddie for worst BMT film of the year. At least we’ll eventually be able to say that we watched every bad robot film ever made … presumably, in like 20 years. Did it meet my expectations? I guess so. I mean, I did say I expected to be bored out of my mind. And here I am explaining for the third time in this recap how bored I was watching this film … so yeah, I expected this to be a terrible BMT and it was. Why did we watch this film again?

Roast-radamas – Some great Product Placement (What?) with the technicians searching for our robot heroes drinking delicious and refreshing Coors throughout the film. Also they drink some futuristic Coke-in-a-bag. And you know what? I’m going to give it a pity MacGuffin (Why?) for the power of love! That’s right, our robots are striking out to discover and understand love and domestic bliss. How quaint. This might be a leader for Bad movie of the year, but only time will tell.

StreetCreditReport.com – Somehow it didn’t make Siskel and Ebert’s worst-of list for 1981. I figured that was the most likely place to find some actual cred. Luckily, just about any list of worst ever film robots will include Val, Andy Kaufman’s robot character. Just as an example, here it gets number two. That and this being an extremely rare Andy Kaufman led feature film is likely why I knew about this film at all prior to watching it.

You Just Got Schooled – There was luckily a natural schooling session with this film, namely the Allan Arkush classic Rock ‘n’ Roll High School which was constantly on Comedy Central when I was growing up. Turns out it is actually really well reviewed, and watching it the film is really fun. Having The Ramones in the film is a little odd, especially because the main character is a little … odd looking, he isn’t exactly a classic Hollywood leading man. But P.J. Soles is great in it, the music is great, and it is a decent spoof film to boot. Interestingly the principal (Mary Woronov) and music teacher (Paul Bartel) have been in a few Arkush films including Heartbeeps, they were who of the people at the party the robots crash. So it ended up being a decent glimpse both into how some comedy films were made in that era, and a cool precursor to Heartbeeps. B+, a fun if rough around the edges 70s spoof film. If you’re looking to recapture that feeling of watching random movies on cable you could do a lot worse.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Heartbeeps Quiz

Oh boy, so get this, I was a robot sitting on a shelf, and I fell in love with this other robot and we decided to run away. And … then some factory workers bopped out and bopped me on the head and I don’t remember anything else! Go figure. Do you remember what happened in Heartbeeps?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) When we open the film, we meet a robot Val played by Andy Kaufman. He’s a next-gen robot and rather impressive indeed, but he’s been damaged. How was he damaged?

2) On the shelf where Val is waiting to be repaired he meets Aqua. What is Aqua’s purpose?

3) The robots fall in love and (along with Catskill, a comedian robot) escape the factory to see the outside world. They are pursued by the Crimebuster, a malfunctioning crime fighting robot. What malfunction do we see it perform when we first meet the Crimebuster?

4) After a lot of very boring adventures the robots realize they have to get back to the factory before their batteries run out. On the way Catskill sacrificed himself to save the baby robot they’ve created together. Why does Catskill have so much more battery left?

5) In the end the robots are all trashed (and live happily ever after with their buddies at the dump). Why were they trashed?

Answers

Heartbeeps Preview

After much cajoling, Rich and Poe and their gaggle of Planchets enter the spooooky ghost ship with the most ship. You better believe it’s real creepy. “Ok, you saw it. Let’s go. We’ll enjoy some brie and wine outside this, how do you say, ghost ship with the most ship,” says a Planchet, pulling at Rich’s arm. Just as he’s about to agree, Rich sees a glimmer in the corner of his eye. “Poe, did you see that glimmer, man?” Poe nods. The Planchets whisper urgently for them to come back, but Rich and Poe aren’t ones to let a glimmer slide. They hear the soft mumbling of super scary Latin phrases coming from the aft cabin. As they open the door they are confused. No one is there, just an intricate puzzle box. “This reminds me of something,” says Poe, but Rich just shrugs. “I remember this,” Poe insists and picks up the puzzle box. Suddenly it solves itself and a portal to hell is opened from which a couple sexy ladies walk out. One is a sultry minx (and also a robot) in a red dress, her smokey eyes turn Poe’s legs to jelly. The other has a book under her arm and is wearing glasses. She’s a total nerd (and also a robot), but suddenly she takes off her glasses and she’s also super sexy! But she was wearing those glasses! Who could have guessed? “Woah, I’m in love, bro,” says Poe. Rich is shocked. “Uh, those are obviously demons (and also robots). We should just close the portal.” But Poe shakes his head, “I can’t decide. There’s only one person who can help me with this… and that’s myself.” And with that he writes Dear Diary… Now this is starting to feel vaguely familiar to Rich. That’s right! We’re getting the classic robot love story Heartbeeps starring Andy Kaufman. Never heard of it? Neither did anyone else. This film was a test to see if Kaufman could carry a film before letting him make a Tony Clifton film and was a remarkable failure. It’s also one of the few BMT qualifying romantic comedies set in the future, so seemed appropriate for this cycle. Let’s go!

Heartbeeps (1981) – BMeTric: 23.9; Notability: 39 

(Brutal rating. Which I think makes sense. By all accounts it is just extremely weird and boring. Just an unpleasant watch overall. So no one watches it, and when they do they trash it. The Notability is off the chain though, for a $10 million movie from 1981? That seems crazy, but they had Stan Winston and John Williams on this thing, they really really went for it trying to see if Kaufman could carry a movie. He can’t.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Two robots fall for each other in this misfired futuristic comedy. Students of makeup might want to take a peek at Stan Winston’s work.

(My god. It is just “this is a movie … but the makeup is really good.” That’s barely a review!! Incredible. This can’t be anything but brutally boring.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvHlApBr6r4/

(Huh. That is not at all what this movie is about. The crimebuster character is part of the film, but is by no means the primary storyline. The primary storyline is about two robots falling in love … really weird advertising idea.)

Directors – Allan Arkush – (Known For: Rock ‘n’ Roll High School; BMT: Caddyshack II; Heartbeeps; Notes: Mostly a producer these days, including Crossing Jordan and Heroes. Tends to cast Mary Woronov in films he directs.)

Writers – John Hill (written by) – (Known For: Close Encounters of the Third Kind; Quigley Down Under; Little Nikita; BMT: Heartbeeps; Notes: Won an Emmy for writing on L.A. Law in 1991. His work on Close Encounters was mostly additional notes.)

Actors – Andy Kaufman – (Known For: God Told Me To; My Breakfast with Blassie; BMT: Heartbeeps; Notes: Famous for his reality blurring performance art which included wrestling and fake late night feuds. Sadly he passed away young, and his life is outlined in the film Man on the Moon starring Jim Carrey.)

Bernadette Peters – (Known For: Annie; The Jerk; Anastasia; The Mean Machine; Silent Movie; Pennies from Heaven; Alice; Impromptu; Snow Days; Future BMT: Pink Cadillac; It Runs in the Family; Slaves of New York; BMT: Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return; Heartbeeps; Notes: won a Golden Globe for Pennies from Heaven. She somewhat retired from motion picture acting in the 80s to focus on Broadway. She has won two Tony awards.)

Randy Quaid – (Known For: Independence Day; Brokeback Mountain; National Lampoon’s Vacation; Kingpin; National Lampoon’s Winter Holiday; Midnight Express; The Last Picture Show; Paper Moon; What’s Up, Doc?; Quick Change; The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle; Home on the Range; The Long Riders; The Last Detail; Freaked; Foxes; The Missouri Breaks; Get on the Bus; The Paper; No Man’s Land; Future BMT: Not Another Teen Movie; Major League II; Days of Thunder; Vegas Vacation; The Wraith; Last Dance; The Slugger’s Wife; Moving; Goya’s Ghosts; Milwaukee, Minnesota; BMT: Pluto Nash; Caddyshack II; Hard Rain; Grind; Heartbeeps; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar in 1974, he is the older brother of Dennis Quaid, and hit it big in Hollywood first. Mostly known for controversy these days, he has been involved in criminal issues between Canada and the US, and according to Twitter he is a huge Trump supporter.)

Budget/Gross – $10 million / Domestic: $2,154,696 (Worldwide: $2,154,696)

(Oooooof disastrous. That budget makes a ton of sense, the makeup itself is pretty insane (nominated for an Oscar even). And if it wasn’t a weirdo art film then making $20 million is reasonable one would think.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/6)

(Wow, we haven’t had a 0% in forever. I’ll have to make a consensus as well: A truly unpleasant viewing experience, I would rather physically harm myself than sit through this film again. This about sums that up. I cannot find a major critic who had a review of this film.)

Poster – Love Machines

(What in God’s name is that? That is horrific. I find almost no redeeming qualities to that other than the fact that it doesn’t seem like it was made by a monkey at a typewriter. F.)

Tagline(s) – WANTED – Be on the lookout for this gang of misfit robots (D)

(What is happening? Is this supposed to intrigue me? Everything about this movie seems so weird? No mention of the fact that this is about robots falling in love? It seems like they decided that KOOKY ESCAPED ROBOTS was their best chance at getting some butts in seats… didn’t work.)

Keyword – robot

Top 10: Interstellar (2014), Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019), Jurassic Park (1993), Ready Player One (2018), The Matrix (1999), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Alita: Battle Angel (2019), Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

Future BMT: 84.5 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005), 83.1 Inspector Gadget (1999), 70.5 Zoom (2006), 67.3 Scooby-Doo (2002), 65.0 Max Steel (2016), 63.0 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997), 59.6 Virus (1999), 58.1 Toys (1992), 57.9 Supernova (2000), 57.1 Flubber (1997);

BMT: Sucker Punch (2011), Replicas (2018), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Jupiter Ascending (2015), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Pixels (2015), Masters of the Universe (1987), RoboCop 2 (1990), Judge Dredd (1995), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), The Benchwarmers (2006), Superman III (1983), Lost in Space (1998), RoboCop 3 (1993), Jason X (2001), The Avengers (1998), Meet the Spartans (2008), Old Dogs (2009), Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (1996), Pluto Nash (2002), Deadly Friend (1986)

(That dip in the mid-2000s seems real, but I lack any coherent explanation as to why people would be souring on robot films at the time … Anyhoo, I cannot wait to watch Max Steel, it is going to be so bad. And Toys is a great film from a nostalgia perspective.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Randy Quaid is No. 3 billed in Heartbeeps and No. 2 billed in Bye Bye Love, which also stars Amy Brenneman (No. 5 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 4 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 3 + 2 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch Last Dance, Intersection, Nights in Rodanthe, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 17.

Notes – Because this movie was so poorly received at the box office, Andy Kaufman’s “The Tony Clifton Story,” a movie about the life and times of his alter-ego Tony Clifton, was scrapped by the movie studios. (Oh nooooo, that would have been terrible, but would have been kind of a fun time capsule of a film)

Universal executives were horrified by the cut Allan Arkush presented them with. Their final cut was 79 minutes with credits.

Sigourney Weaver was offered the role of Aqua, and was interested in being in the film. Her agent talked her out of taking the part. (Smart agents)

Because of the weather at the Colorado shooting location, Stan Winston’s elaborate robot makeup, which took several hours to apply, gradually wilted in the heat, limiting how much footage could be shot in a day.

Allan Arkush, who had never helmed a big-budget project, staged scenes at a glacial pace that frustrated everyone but him. (Haha)

Universal Pictures gave Andy Kaufman a blank check to make this film after focus group testing indicated that children liked robots, apparently in the wake of R2-D2 and C-3PO. (Ooooof)

In a 1982 newspaper interview, Andy Kaufman said his voice for Val-Com was based on a combination of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. (Huh)

The characters Susan and Calvin, who appear in the junkyard scenes, are named after Susan Calvin, a frequently recurring character from Isaac Asimov’s Positronic Robot short stories.

Andy Kaufman grew increasingly bored with the proceedings. His friend/co-conspirator Bob Zmuda was specifically prohibited from the shoot, so Kaufman began acting out onset. (Not a good look)

Composer John Williams was hired to provide the music for the film through his association with producer Michael Phillips. The two had worked together previously on “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977). (Ah that explains the writer who also gave notes on Close Encounters)

Universal executives were concerned that Andy Kaufman hadn’t acted in films, except for a small role. They arranged for him to star in this film to see if he could carry a movie. (And he couldn’t)

Crimebuster 00719 is a redress of the Death Probe from The Six Million Dollar Man. (Wow, that’s a cool note)

The picture was nominated for Worst Picture at the Hastings Bad Cinema Society’s 4th Stinkers Bad Movie Awards in 1981.

To achieve the desired artificiality and to produce a new look for the makeup, Winston’s innovation was to use gelatin instead of painting on foam. “There was a translucency to gelatin appliances that was very nice, and it would also give me the smooth finish I was looking for,” said Winston. “So I decided to take a chance and use gelatin to create these full-face, multi-layered prosthetic makeups for the robot characters, mixing metallic colors right into the gelatin itself. This had never been done before.” The final appliances, which included foreheads, chins, cheeks, necks, noses, and ears, had just the translucent, metallic look Winston had sought; but the fragility of the gelatin resulted in their requiring constant maintenance on the set, nearly driving him to a nervous breakdown.

It was while nervously attending to Bernadette Peters’ makeup application one morning that Winston received a piece of advice he would take with him into every subsequent job. “I was in a stressed-out state,” he recalled, “which was fairly typical of me at that time, and Bernadette Peters said to me, ‘Relax, Stan. It’s just a movie.’”

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Makeup (Stan Winston, 1982)

Return to the Blue Lagoon Recap

Jamie

Lilli and Richard are a couple of crazy kids marooned on a tropical island. Fending for themselves they grow up together and eventually (beautifully, magically, truly, madly, and deeply) fall in love and start boning. Will they get rescued and ruin their perfect tropical utopia… uh… before it’s too late? Find out in… The Return to the Blue Lagoon.

How?! Picking up right where we left off in the last movie, Richard, Em and little Paddy are found in their drifting boat by a passing ship. Em and Richard have finished their mortal journey, but the child is alive. Hooray. Brought on board everything is wonderful… psych! This ship is totes filled with cholera and the kid is left with a mother and her child Lilli adrift in a small boat with a nasty sailor. Kicking that jokester to the curb, the mom and kids sail their way to the beautiful, natural blue lagoon and start living it up in the fun tree house from the first film. Growing up together they are super into god and each other and surviving. The mom dies of pneumonia and through the years Lilli and Richard grow up together and Lilli is into Richard and Richard is into Lilli, but they don’t know how to express that. Being all macho he’s like, whatever I’ll even go to the other side of the island where we aren’t supposed to go. There he sees the religious rituals of the visiting natives (thank god, we’ll finally get that resolution from the first film) and Lilli is super worried. Returning to camp they make up and make out and their natural love blossoms and it’s beautiful. They get married (obvs) and bone for the next couple months, but then are surprised when a passing ship stops in for fresh water. The captain is intrigued by the half educated, half ignorant kids and the captain’s daughter is intrigued by Richard’s sweet muscles and one of the sailors is intrigued by pearls and shiny objects. This all culminates in jealousy by Lilli and an attempted assault by the sailor, which Richard fends off. They ultimately decline the rescue and have a baby and live happily ever after. THE END.

Why?! Why is the sky blue? Why does the sun shine? Why is life? All these things just are. Like this film. It just is and Lilli and Richard are just meant to bone naturally and beautifully for all eternity. Forever and ever. Amen.

Who?! Going back to the well. Young Richard is played by none other than Garette Henson… who? WHO?! That’s Guy Germaine from the Mighty Ducks. The very Guy who is dating Connie Moreau. He’s a legend. Interestingly the very same year he portrayed a young Richard in this film he also portrayed the young Tom Kimball (aka the President) in 1990’s Captain America. This dude had beautiful natural love on an island with Milla Jovovich, dated Connie Moreau for Team USA/The Mighty Ducks, and was president. My lord.

What?! It’s crazy in this one when that case of cold, refreshing Coca-Cola washes up on shore and Richard takes a sip and says “Our love isn’t the only natural, beautiful thing on this island any more.” It’s crazy. Besides that though, we still don’t get any damned resolution with those natives. They even get a bit kinder in this one, no longer practicing human sacrifice and pleasantly interacting with Richard. Time must have softened them.

Where?! South Pacific for days. They are even a little clearer in this one talking about how weird it is that the island is not on a map. All this despite the fact that it’s a source of fresh water in the Pacific. I think perhaps the implication is that those pesky natives are killing all the people who stop in there (although we’ve never seen that in all the people that have visited)… or perhaps this is all some big religious allegory and it’s purgatory and Lost ripped this movie off. Who knows.

When?! This one at least gives up an intertitle in the beginning to let us know that we are in the year 1897 and the previous film took place in 1882-1897. Phew. That also means that by the time it got to the end of this film it was what? 1912… maybe a little later. Bros, World War I is about to start. Just stay there and wait it out. But maybe when WWII is going full tilt and you’re like 50 it might be time to jet. C.

It’s no accident that the synopsis of this film is more or less the same shit sandwiched between slightly different slices of bread. I was shocked at just how dire a SECOND viewing of what is essentially the same story would feel to me. Milla Jovovich was beautiful, but she was super unpolished (even sporting a slight Russian accent at this point) and Brian Krause was somehow worse! They even managed to make an already super dumb love story dumber by tying it closer to the Christian concepts only hinted at in the first one. It was hard to imagine that I would come out of this film (which had a much more interesting beginning and end than the first film) thinking it was worse than The Blue Lagoon, but I did. This film was terrible. It served no purpose and we should not have watched it. Thank god next week we have *checks notes* Blame it on Rio… my god. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Do you know what I thought when I left the Blue Lagoon? When can I Return to the Blue Lagoon?! Because it was great, I mean, the vistas! Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Ah there we are. The sequel is much more well known I think for being a catastrophe. Also somewhat notably a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes with 30 reviews (that is 15th most reviews for a 0% film, that is pretty nuts). So at the very least I had high expectations for this film being terrible. What were my expectations? I wanted just absolutely terrible acting combined with basically the same ludicrous (and pretty grossly exploitative) storyline as the first. Please, just make it a garbage fire. Please.

The Good – I think the last act is slightly more effective than in the first film. Nothing happened in the first film. At least here one of the two interesting things happen: either the heroes meet the natives of the island, or meet people from civilization again. They went with the latter, and it was fine. It is mostly what you would hope it would be from that perspective. Then, once again, the vistas are solid, you can’t go wrong with Fiji as a filming location. Otherwise it is pretty incompetant top to bottom.

The Bad – The acting is crazy crazy bad. You can kind of forgive Jovovich, she very clearly still has a vaguely Eastern European accent. It isn’t thick or anything, but there is just a twang with how she says some words where you can tell she had a slight accent she was trying to cover. Brian Krause though was really really bad, and it sinks the middle bit of the film. The religious undertones to this film are off the chain. You can argue the first film is some vague allegory to the Garden of Eden. Here, they literally stop, and juuuuust before they have sex for the first time, they both agree they should get married. It makes sense in the context of the story maybe, but it is just so weird in the context of what you expect going into the film. Nothing says “natural love” like … Victorian religious undertones? The inevitability of them remaining on the island due to the threat of rape by the sailors is also quite distateful I think. Also the film is just plain boring. Like the first one.

The BMT – The biggest crime this film commits is being boring. I think maybe if I watched it again out of context maybe I’d get why the Razzies and other bad movie sources think the film is amusing. It is mostly boring, with the film just feeling like a television movie and incompetently made throughout. Its biggest claim I think will come from when we complete the 0% on Rotten Tomatoes list. Did it meet my expectations? No. It is catastrophically made, and pretty gross in my opinion. But it is too boring to be a true garbage fire. It is like a garbage fire where there isn’t any actual flames. You know the garbage is on fire, and soon enough it’ll be a smoking ruin. But the fire itself is boring and just … smells like garbage. Nailed that analogy, 10/10 perfect landing.

Roast-radamus – Once again a nice Setting as a Character (Where?) for the fictional (Fijian?) island of Palm Island. It is a character, with its own personality across both films. This is a definite Secret Holiday Film (When?) as a very vital section of the film takes place during Easter and features an Easter egg hunt. I think I’ll leave it there. There is an outside shot at Bad for this one maybe, but I bet we’ll get better ones in the back half of the year.

StreetCreditReport.com – This film was indeed featured on Ebert’s list of worst films of 1991, so immediately there is a ton of cred there. It also obviously has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, truly rarified air. It is a sequel to a terrible film, and was nominated for five Razzies. It has a ton of cred, and that isn’t even considering that it might be the worst shipwreck film ever made … wait. No. The Island of Dr. Moreau exists. Whatever, it is like top three.

You Just Got Schooled – You might be sitting there thinking to yourself “there is no way Patrick would actually watch the third totally unrelated Lifetime original Blue Lagoon film, right?” WRONG. That’s right, I watched Blue Lagoon: The Awakening. You might think this has very little connection to BMT, but it actually stars Brenton Thwaites who is the legit star of Gods of Egypt and the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, which is pretty crazy. The film has almost no connection to Blue Lagoon itself though, although they had to have filmed it with that in mind because the one and only Christopher Atkins, star of the original Blue Lagoon, plays a huuuuuuge role in the film as the lost students’ teacher. The storyline is basically just a teen rom com about two high school students who accidentally get stranded on a Caribbean island (for three months!!) … and that’s it. I mean, they have sex and stuff. And they talk about love and life, loss and hope. We grow together, and learn to never give up! Jeez guys, I’m not crying, you’re crying. F. This movie is awful and I hated every moment I wasted watching it.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Blue Lagoon Recap

Jamie

Em and Richard are a couple of crazy kids marooned on a tropical island. Fending for themselves they grow up together and eventually (beautifully, magically, truly, madly, and deeply) fall in love and start boning. Will they get rescued and ruin their perfect tropical utopia… uh… before it’s too late? Find out in… The Blue Lagoon.

How?! Em and Richard are on a trip to San Fran to start a new life with Richard’s father (Em’s uncle… just to be clear). Or are they? That’s because the ship catches fire and they are stranded on a deserted tropical island that is somehow not on any maps… which is never explained… like a lot of things in this film. With only the ship’s cook, Paddy, for company they learn to survive and live peacefully on the island until one night when Paddy swims off drunk and turns up dead. Sadly they take the boat and find a secluded blue lagoon to start anew. Growing up together they are pretty rambunctious, but also learning about themselves and life and love and the world and everything and it’s beautiful and natural. Richard is kinda crushing on Em and Em is kinda crushing on Richard, but their love is so natural that they aren’t sure what to do about it. That is until Em is almost killed when she steps on a poisonous fish and Richard nurses her back to health. From that point their natural and beautiful love blossoms all while they contemplate the existence of other people on the island and the concept of rescue from their beautiful love paradise. A short time later things start changing for Em and she ends up having a baby. They happily raise the youngster and everything is beautiful and natural and even when a ship arrives bearing their father/uncle looking for them they look at the ugly, unnatural thing and walk away. Happy to continue their life they go off to another part of the island, but end up drifting away and losing their oars. Cornered by a shark and facing certain death they sadly all eat poisonous berries and wait for sweet relief. A ship eventually arrives and finds them and when they check if they are alive they say yes, but sleeping… but they are probably dead (or are they?). They are. THE END.

Why?! Why do the birds sing? Why do bees make honey? Why are there so many creepy films like this? There just are and this film just is. Em and Richard simply live and through their natural, beautiful lives a natural, beautiful love blossoms and they naturally and beautifully bone. Ya dig?

Who?! It’s occasionally interesting to look at the child actors in a film. But only occasionally, as often they aren’t in much besides the film on hand. Here we have several youngsters portraying younger version of the main cast. Interestingly the young Brooke Shields/Em is portrayed by Elva Josephine who also appeared in a couple other possible BMT films. I say possible because early 80’s films can be tricky to figure out whether they were even poorly reviewed… like is Author! Author! a BMT film? Impossible to tell.

What?! Hard to do anything typical for this section so I’ll just highlight the fact that this film is rife with dropped plot lines. Like there is a whole setup for the tiny island they are on to be occasionally visited by natives of another island in order to pray to a god and perform human sacrifice. This, of course, never comes to any climax. No confrontation. No resolution as to how or why or where these natives are coming from. Nothing. That’s just solid storytelling.

Where?! We ended up determining that this was allowed for the Exotic Setting cycle primarily because Oceania would be quite bare if we didn’t start making up new places for the mapl.de.map. So welcome to the Creepy Sexy Blue Lagoon. It’s located somewhere off of South America in the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the creepy, sexy fun. B, but only because while the setting is obviously vital, it’s not very specific by design.

When?! Somehow the most interesting part of this film was trying to figure out when this all took place. Patrick did some research and it seemed to line up with sometime in the late 1800’s. Then the second film goes ahead and lets us know that the shipwreck at the beginning of this film takes place in 1882 and covers 15 years from then till 1897. Good to know for my year-by-year film timeline where I try to get film set in every year for all eternity. D-

I guess I expected worse. Is that possible? I thought this would be extremely uncomfortable viewing given the reputation of the film, but it just turned out to be merely boring. It really does serve the stated purpose: chaste, “natural” love of two people who know nothing but the island they grew up on (arguably less than that). Basically the Adam and Eve story down to them eating from forbidden/poisonous fruit at the end. And despite casting a 14-year-old Brooke Shields, you could see all the camera tricks they were using to switch out body doubles for particular scenes. It’s biggest crime is the overall portrayal of love itself, which is so wildly dumb and unrealistic that you wonder if people were insane in the 70’s and 80’s. It’s hard to imagine who this film was for. Certainly not me. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Ooooooooo, Natural Loooooooooooooorve. That’s sung to the same turn as Endless Love. Don’t worry about it. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I think these two films have always been on the radar for us. This is somewhat notable as one of the original Razzie films, and for the way they had to film due to Brooke Shields being 14 at the time. This is also technically one of the first non-qualifying BMT films we’ve done in years and years. It doesn’t technically qualify because there is no official record of how many theaters it was released to. Rest assured though, the film allegedly made over $50 million, so there is absolutely no way it wasn’t a wide release if that is true. So we’ve ruled that it counts at BMTHQ, two votes to zero, a unanimous decision. What were my expectations? I mean, I guess I hoped it was going to be merely boring. I feared that it was going to be a super creepy and exploitative film with a half naked 14-year-old model running around.

The Good – If you don’t mind the slow late-60s / early-70s style pacing to the film, then you could probably sustain yourself on the vistas alone. It is a beautiful film no matter how you cut it. I liked some of the characters, like Paddy. And overall the storyline was a fairly realistic version of what they could have done. There is a version of this movie that descends into madness, with cannibal natives and pirates and all kinds of stuff. They resist that and keep the film laser focused on *gulp* … Natural Love.

The Bad – The film is sooooooooo boring. Nothing happens in this film. It is a whole lotta montages, and fishing, and walking through jungles, and rowing. A bunch of animal reaction shots and vistas. That’s it. The two leads are awful, although Shields could be forgiven, and by all accounts became a serviceable actress in the 90s. The Natural Love story ages extremely poorly … there was a time when things like this and Endless Love and other films show you some weirdo version of “young love” and I just don’t get it. It could not come across as creepier. Ultimately the film is merely okay (if boring) and then just craps out right in the end when they just … float off into nothingness to die? Great. At least we get a wild eyed Mr. Feeny at times, floating about looking for his long lost son Richard.

The BMT – I think this has a poor legacy in the end. Mainly because the sequel has loads more cred. If this actually explicitly said it was set in like Fiji, it would have immediately had a ton of Setting longevity. Instead it has to be set on an uninhabited island only vaguely near Fiji (if you believe the book). I think I prefer ultimately to remember Return to the Blue Lagoon over this one. Did it meet my expectations? I think so. It was boring, and wasn’t so creepy I felt like I was committing some sort of crime. I’ll call that a win. It certainly could have gone the other way quite easily.

Roast-radamus – Definitely a solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for the uninhabited and unidentified Palm Island where both films take place. You really get to know these places by the end of things, you know? And why not, let’s give it a Worst Twist (How?) for the family drifting slowly off to sea, deciding to kill themselves, and then in an incredible coincidence getting saved (? Turns out not to be the case in the sequel, but whatever) right at the last minute by Mr. Feeny. And I think this has an okay shot at Bad if anything for being boring.

StreetCreditReport.com – There is no way you can really find lists for films from 1980. But the cred comes from the film winning the first ever Worst Actress Razzie for Shields. If this came out a few years later I don’t think she wins, instead she would have gotten the not-yet-developed-and-now-defunct Worst New Star, but whatever. It is probably one of the worst shipwreck films as well … the issue with all of this is that no matter how much cred you want to get it, Return to the Blue Lagoon will always beat it out!

You Just Got Schooled – There have been several adaptations of The Blue Lagoon over the years, and luckily The Blue Lagoon from 1949 is available on YouTube. This film is a wild departure from the 1980 film and original 1904 novel it seems (it appears that the 1980 is a very very faithful adaptation of the book). It takes place maybe 20 years after the setting of the novel, and there is a big interlude in the middle in which two criminals come to the island and attempt to trick Michael into getting pearls for them. The sequence is somewhat similar to the sequence in Return to the Blue Lagoon, in which outsiders come to the island and the traumatic experience dissuades out heroes from attempting escape from the island for a time. Somewhat constructed from a series of vignettes, I do think this was a slightly more successful version of the story. The religious undertones seem to serve a story of the downfall of man through the thirst for knowledge a bit better when it is slightly more explicit (all the way down to Eve causing the downfall of Adam, yikes!). It probably helps that it seems more genuine in a film from 1949 as well, as there is no possibility the movie was made just to show half naked young women running about. C+. A bit boring in the end, but an interesting contrast to the overly faithful 1980 adaptation here.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Return to the Blue Lagoon Quiz

Oh boy, I’ve done it again. I got shipwrecked on the same crap island as Richard and Emmeline Lestrange! And even worse, I bopped my head (on a coconut perhaps) and I can’t remember anything. Can you remember what happened in Return to the Blue Lagoon?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) The film opens with the reveal that Richard and Emmeline died, but Richard Jr. survived. Luckily a friendly widow Sarah Hargrave takes in Richard Jr. and they live happily ever after, right? WRONG. The entire ship comes down with a sickness, what is that sickness?

2) Now shipwrecked, quite coincidentally on the same island as Richard Jr. grew up on, the widow Hargrave, Richard Jr. and Lilli Hargrave try to make a life for themselves. Sadly the widow Hargrave dies when they are still quite young. How did she die?

3) In the opening scene after the smash cut to adulthood, Richard and Lilli are planning an Easter contest. What is the contest, who wins, and what is the prize?

4) In this movie there is also a traumatic event that brings the two “natural” lovers closer together and eventually into matrimony (so civilized of them!). What is this event?

5) Finally, a group of sailors find the island and end up promising to take the two “natural” lovers back to civilization. What were the sailors looking for on the island, and why does the plan to take them with them fall apart?

Answers

The Blue Lagoon Quiz

Oh boy, you see, what happened was I was making fun of my best shipwreck friend Brooke Shields and she threw a coconut at me and bopped me on the head with it! I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in The Blue Lagoon?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Richard and Emmeline Lestrange are travelling with Richard’s father Arthur through the South Pacific, but boy howdy does their boat get in trouble and they have to abandon ship. How are Richard and Emmeline related and where were they headed?

2) Richard and Emmeline are shipwrecked with the ship’s cook Paddy, who gives them two “laws” to live by. What are these two laws?

3) How does Paddy die?

4) What traumatic event brings the, now grown up, Lestranges closer together to begin their “natural love” romantic relationship?

5) How do they end up drifting out to sea, possibly dying in the process (it is unclear whether they are dead at the end of this film, although it is clarified in the sequel)

Answers