Vampire in Brooklyn Recap

Jamie

Maximillian is the last vampire in the world and he’s in search of a mate. Turns out Detective Rita Veder is the gal for him and half-vampire to boot. Can her and her partner stop Max from seducing her to the dark side before it’s too late? Find out in… Vampire in Brooklyn.

How?! Maximillian is a vampire in the Caribbean. Looking for his half-vampire bride, he travels to Brooklyn, killing a boat-full of people along the way. These deaths are investigated by Det. Rita Veder who, unbeknownst to her, is a half-vampire (what a coincidence!). Realizing she is his one true love, Max set out to woo her with his dancing skillz. Unfortunately Rita’s partner, aptly named Justice, is in love with her too and cock-blocks Max at every turn. Frustrated and angry Max starts to pull out all the tricks. In a really dark psychological turn, he employs manipulative tricks to try to isolate Rita to the point where she would want to give up everything and go with him (to the world of the undead, but he doesn’t tell her that). He seduces and kills her roommate and convinces Rita that her partner actually had sex with her. He transforms into a preacher and convinces her that her faith wants her to be evil. He transforms into a stereotype of an Italian gangster to further convince her that Justice is bad. Finally, he pretends to save her from a runaway cab and at her lowest convinces her to go to dinner with him. This dinner ends up being the first step to Rita becoming a vampire as she dances the night away. The next night Justice is shocked to find Rita all over him… but, like, in a vampire way, and he finds out that he’s got one last chance to save her. He’s got to stop her from feeding. Confronting Rita and Max, Justice is subdued, but at the last moment Rita retains her humanity and kills Max with a magic dagger (oh I forgot, there’s a magic dagger). With that Justice and Rita kiss (and presumably make some ¼ vampire babies), while Max’s ghoul, Julius, turns into a vampire for a sequel. THE END.

Why?! For love, baby. Or at least for trying to bring vampires back from the brink of extinction. Max is actually the last vampire in the world and needs to find his bride in order to help make more vampires. Apparently this will allow him to speed up the process… or perhaps they actually will just have a whole bunch of vampire babies. Hard to tell because at the end we see Max’s ghoul become a vampire without Max having to procreate in any way. As for Rita and Justice it’s both for love, but also to bring closure for Rita. She has always thought her mom was insane and feared that she would go insane too, but is probably relieved to find that it’s just because her mom boned a vampire and she’s half-vampire. Phew.

Who?! Obviously this stars major singing superstar Eddie Murphy. Seriously though I would hear an argument that Julius was actually a Planchet, although I don’t think he’s really competent enough. There has to be an element of unjust hate to a Planchet. There is an odd cameo in the film as Ray Combs, host of Family Feud, actually filmed a short spoof of the show specifically for this film.

What?! I do love looking for props. If this were 2013 I could be sporting a sweet black and red vampire coat worn in the film. Damn. I’d look real rad in that. Also, like Julius above, I think there is an argument that the magic dagger could mean something for BMT, but just not prominent enough to be notable.

Where?! It’s been a second since our last A+ Setting Alert! This obviously starts and end entirely in Brooklyn and it is a very large and essential part of the plot. I give it a bing thumbs up. A+.

When?! I searched twice through the film trying to find this, but alas could not. I’m not going to say it’s impossible since portions of the film take place in a police station (and there are always calendars floating around those sets), but it would be very hard and probably would take a while for me to figure out. F.

Meh, I mean the film is not very good. It’s much more a horror film than any other genre and Murphy seems to be unwilling to be even remotely funny in his role as Max. Likely purposefully so as this was also reportedly the case for Beverly Hills Cop III. Sounds like he was just trying to get out of his studio deal at that point. Only when he transforms into the preacher or Italian gangster does he let loose and both of those characters are offensive and have hands down the worst makeup jobs I’ve ever seen. It’s actually crazy just how bad the makeup is in this film. You know how bad it is? It’s so bad that I’m talking about the makeup. Anyway, I had high hopes for this film, but it’s hard to get excited when Murphy is so flat. The only good thing I can think about it is the kinda crazy psychological tools used by Max in the film… which was actually real creepy the more you think about it. The true horror was within humanity the whole time! *gasp* Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Watching Eddie Murphy films is just part of the life of any bad movie aficionado. You tick them off like a list of chores. Time for the Dracula one … let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – By far the most fascinating thing going into the watch was the directing / acting combination. The notes provide a contradictory story of Wes Craven either being annoyed with Murphy for making it too comedic, or being the one that insisted that it not be so serious. So dissecting which seemed to be right was going to be priority number one. This is also is another Murphy film where he plays multiple characters, so the makeup was also of great interest. I always go to bat for the make up in Norbit which is incredible.

The Good – I think there is a solid story deep within this film. The story of a desperate vampire facing mortality for the first time in hundreds of years, and the danger that poses to not only civilians, but also “creatures” like a half-vampire who wouldn’t really know who she was unless this situation arose. Julius and Silas showed what the silliest version of the film could be, and honestly the biggest crime is that they didn’t choose a side. The silly Julius / Silas version wasn’t that bad if it was actually funny.

The Bad – The movie is kind of a blah nothing film. Very very straightforward, nothing really complicated, and shockingly nothing to add to the vampire films that came before it. It either should have been funnier or scarier, but much like most genre mash-em-ups it manages to merely be poor examples of both genres. Murphy really doesn’t do much, but I think that is intentional, I think he was intending on playing a serious role and only punched things up after Craven asked him to be more “vulnerable”. For whatever reason he seemed to take that to mean “add jokes” when in reality I think Craven had an idea of playing it as a different type of vampire. A vampire facing death and acting recklessly. Craven was right, but I don’t think Murphy’s acting was poor per se. Oh … the makeup is atrocious, I’m not sure how that happened when they would end up making Nutty Professor the next year. Jesus, how could I forget Guido! Just another in a long line of genuinely racist caricatures played by Eddie Murphy. Fantastic. Now that you string them all together you can see why this is considered a terrible film …

The BMT – It has to be a BMT film because it is a poorly received film starring Eddie Murphy. But I don’t think I would ever recommend it or watch it again. At least not without a reason (like … if I’m watching a vampire movie marathon pairing this with Blacula could be a fun then-and-now version of what was originally a blaxploitation idea: Black Dracula). But no, beyond checking off another box in Murphy’s filmography it won’t last in my mind.

Roast-radamus – Obviously we got an A+ Setting (Where?) with Brooklyn right in the title and very much acting as a character. Surprisingly Julius is a decent Planchet (Who?) as Max rips on him throughout the film. I think that is it though. No real twist, and I doubt it’ll get either Good, Bad, or BMT in the final awards either. Pretty weak.

StreetCreditReport.com – I’m not surprised it didn’t get any play for 1995 itself, but it does get the second worst vampire film according to Screencrush. I think that is a bit high (it didn’t even make the other worst-of list for vampire lists I found). You can read around how people consider this a cult classic now for all of the obvious reasons: Murphy’s acting, Craven’s directing, and the on-screen chemistry of the leads.

Good Movie Twins – New game for when I feel up for an extra movie … which won’t be often. As an extra vampire film I settled on From Dusk Till Dawn as that was a similar mash up, a kind of crime thriller thing with the vampire horror exploitation thing. And honestly … the first half is way better than the second. It is a far better crime thriller than exploitation horror. The vampire design was garbage, and it didn’t really have anything interesting to say from a vampire perspective. Having just read ‘salem’s Lot, it is pretty sad that a 40 year old book brings more interesting ideas to vampire lore than basically any movie I’ve seen concerning them. I mostly agree with the New York Times, the effort was mostly sophomoric and leaned too heavily into the exploitation part of things. I’ll be watching more vampire films I think, we have Dracula 2000 (and 3000) coming up, what better time to do Bram Stoker’s Dracula?

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Vampire in Brooklyn Preview

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

Vampire in Brooklyn (1995) – BMeTric: 68.5

VampireinBrooklynIMDb_BMeT

VampireinBrooklynIMDb_RV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#30 for the Horror Comedy genre

vampireinbrooklyn_horrorcomedy

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

#35 for the Vampire genre

vampireinbrooklyn_vampire

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

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

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

Poster – I’m a Vampire This Time (B+)

vampire_in_brooklyn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final film of Ray Combs. He died soon after.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation Recap

Jamie

Mortal Kombat is back, Jack! The Emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn, decides that Mortal Kombat is dumb and decides to merge Outworld and Earthrealm together anyway. Our heroes are like “but rulez=coolz, bro” and fight against this bullshit. Can they stop Shao and save Earth before it’s too late? Find out in… Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.

How?! After returning victorious from the last film our heroes Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage, Raiden, and Kitana are high fiving a whole bunch and having a pretty rad time. Suddenly the Emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn, is like “whatever, I’m not a loser, you guys are losers,” and starts to merge Outworld and Earthrealm together anyway. Everyone is like, “WTF, mate. What about the roolz?” and Shao Kahn flips all over the place and kills Johnny Cage and everyone has to flee. Raiden splits everyone up so that they can figure out how to stop the realms from merging. Sonya heads off to get her friend Jax, who turns out to have gotten metal arms because of confidence issues (?). Together they fight and defeat Cyrax and Mileena (obviously) and some truly dire CGI monsters. Meanwhile Liu and Kitana are sent to find Nightwolf and learn his secrets. On the way Kitana is captured by Scorpion and taken prisoner. Knowing that Nightwolf is a major character that will play a major role in the film Liu continues on and learns from him that he needs to tap into his inner Animality. While trying to pass a series of ill-defined tests in order to do so he meets Jade who seems like a bad guy but is apparently a good guy (wink). Finally, Raiden meets up with the Elder Gods and is like “rules?” and they are like “whatever. Deal with it.” All back together at the Elder God temple they get attacked by Kitana’s mom and jump over to Outworld. Believing that they have to bring Kitana and her mom back together Liu goes off and rescues her while the rest subdue Kitana. This turns out to be a trick as it’s revealed that Jade is a bad guy (what a twist!) and this plan was doomed to failure. They decide to just finish it and head off to battle Shao Kahn and his toadies. Once there they square off and show that they really believe in themselves and can tap into their Animality and don’t need metal arms and shit. Victorious they return to Earth and smooch each other. God this was dumb. THE END.

Why?! It’s funny because as Patrick mentions this very much fits the definition of a MacGuffin plot… just without the MacGuffin itself. Like they have to stop Outworld from merging with Earthrealm, it is the crux and motivation for the entire plot, and they proceed to start trying to do that by… something, something, something don’t worry about it. I should also mention that this is a nice classic Dumbo’s Feather as the key to Jax winning his fight in the film is to just believe in himself, bro. Just go get it.

Who?! Always like a very minor athlete-turned-actor as Lynn “Red” Williams, who played Jax in this film, was also a star running back for Kansas in the mid-80’s and drafted in the sixth round of the NFL draft. He never was able to make it though and retired after breaking his back in the offseason and nearly getting paralyzed. He then answered an open casting call for American Gladiators and was Sabre on that for a number of seasons.

What?! I’m really disappointed in this franchise for the lack of any and all Coke products. I want them slamming Mountain Dew and getting X-treme on some Outworld ass. Not just being a product placement in and of itself. Sigh. I guess I’ll just point out that you at one point could buy a Mortal Kombat: Annihilation crew denim jacket in an online auction. Final bid? 30 pounds. A steal and quite the missed opportunity. Sigh.

Where?! Technically this takes place in a whole bunch of places since Outworld and Earthrealm are merging so the final climactic fight takes place near the Eiffel Tower. Is this then set in France. No way. Just Outworld for a large portion and then China, Hawaii, Jordan, etc. for the rest. Gotta once again go with a N/A for the fictional location that dominated the setting.

When?! Thank Elder Gods I did the heavy lifting in the original Mortal Kombat. In that film I came to the conclusion that it was likely set in August, 1994 sometime (I think). Since this film immediately follows that film then this is obviously a period piece set in the far past of 1994. I would of course have to confirm this, but choose to believe it for the moment. D- as it’s not at all clear from the film itself.

My god… what hath thou wrought? This somehow looks even worse than the previous film minus the humor and 5000x times harder to follow. Straight up convoluted mess. I stopped really knowing why things were happening halfway through because they just were and I just was… watching a movie that was a giant pile of dog poo. As happens quite often in BMT a film that is generally regarded as one of the worst of all time (or near enough to get rejected from that list) turns out to be quite bad. What a twist! Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! This week I actually got terribly ill and couldn’t watch the film for BMT. During my fever I feel like I hallucinated some nonsense with James Remar and the guy who played Night Slasher in Cobra … wait, that was the actual movie?! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – As brought to you by a director who has exclusively directed terrible films (Annabelle and Butterfly Effect 2 are his two others), and about 17 writers, two of which were involved with the catastrophic venture of Foodfight! These are the guys who are supposed to take over your martial arts video game film? Cool cool cool cool cool. This was destined to be a catastrophe, like Super Mario Bros. before it.

The Good – Uh. I like the guy who played Night Slasher in Cobra in general? Some of the set pieces, while looking like garbage, were kind of fun, the collapsing ice bridge comes to mind.

The Bad – Literally everything. I know I sometimes say that about movies … but in this case there is no hyperbole. The film is incomprehensible. Completely impossible to understand. The martial arts action looks like crap, the CGI looks like crap, and top to bottom the acting is crap. The film is, quite literally, one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. It is genuinely stunning that it was released to theaters. This should have been shoved directly to video so hard that Blockbuster’s quarterly profits would be 95% people mistakenly renting Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. This film is crazy. It makes you go crazy.

The BMT – And obvious emphatic yes! This, I think, has one of the strongest cases for not only most BMT film of the year this year, but also possibly for a Hall of Fame spot in years. The fact that we’ve now watched Universal Soldier: The Return, Highlander: The Final Dimension, Escape Plan 2: Hades, and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (that’s a whole lotta colons!) four weeks in a row … it is a testament to any sequel/franchise cycle I think. We should have done this ages ago! Looking forward to our planned cycles of the year I’m not joking when I say this could be the best year in BMT history, just from a classic bad movie perspective.

Roast-radamus – Looking ahead to the Smaddies Baddies it is interesting that the film doesn’t really have any of the things we award in the 6Ws. Maybe you could argue it is a kind of MacGuffin (Why?) because there is this very vague idea of trying to combine Kitana with her mother (whatever that means) to close the portals. But it is a stretch. It certainly will have a very strong case for The BMT award, which I suppose it good enough for me.

StreetCreditReport.com – The lists are somewhat hard to come by, but The Rifftrax guys did a list a while back which put it at 13th worst of the 90s. This video games list has a bit too much recency bias, but still manages 8th worst there which is impressive. I think it should be higher up, but for whatever reason the credible lists all got lost to time in the mid-90s.

You Just Got Schooled – Back in 2010 a short film came out called Mortal Kombat: Rebirth. Produced by Kevin Tancharoen it was meant as a launchpad for a movie reboot. But Midway Games wasn’t having it. Instead it became a web series. As an adaption the short film is problematic. It completely dumps the Outworld angle, makes most mystical things practical, and kills Johnny Cage. In other words it is exactly the type of gritty reboot the world was looking for a year after The Dark Knight. Tancharoen is mostly a choreographer, and that was what seemed to be on offer: solid fight scenes so darkly lit that you could produce them for basically nothing. I remember being intrigued at the time, but not surprised producers didn’t go for it because it diverged from the story too much. F as an adaptation, but a solid B+ for execution and as a short film. Funny enough I watched the Scorpion / Sub-Zero episode of Mortal Kombat: Legacy and lo and behold, all of the Netherworld / Outworld mysticism is back and so is the tournament … maybe that should have been in Rebirth then. The web series does seem cool though.

Phew. There you have it. Straight up amazing garbage. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Mortal Kombat Recap

Jamie

MORTAL KOMBAT! Our heroes, Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, and Johnny Cage hold the key to Earthrealm’s victory over Outworld in the ultimate tournament of champions. Can they beat Outworld and prevent the conquering of Earth (and maybe get a girl), before it’s too late? Find out in… Mortal Kombat.

How?! Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, and Johnny Cage all have reasons to fight. These reasons are exploited to get them embroiled in a fighting tournament that will decide the fate of Earth. That’s because Shang Tsung and his Outworld warriors have assembled in an attempt to beat Earthrealm for the 10th time in a row. If they succeed then Earth will be taken over by Outworld and let me tell you… it won’t be pretty. At the tournament Raiden, the God of Thunder and protector of Earth, tries to teach our crew the necessary lessons that will help them succeed. Unfortunately Sonya is too hell bent on revenge, Johnny too obsessed with proving himself, and Liu Kang too focused on fighting Shang Tsung himself that it all seems lost. It’s only when they realize the true reason to fight (the fate of Earth and that’s some pretty serious stuff) that they can live up to their destiny. Johnny challenges Goro, a monster fighter with all kinds of muscles and arms and shit, and is able to beat him, but Shang Tsung seizes on the agreement on the fight to challenge Sonya and take her to Outworld as his captive. Hoping to have her forfeit the fight and thus lose the tournament he is sorely disappointed when our boy Liu shows up and is like “I challenge you, man” and they karate chop each other a whole bunch until Shang is thrown onto some spikes. Our best friends return to Earth victors and are like “nothing bad will happen now.” But then the sky opens up and a terrible voice is heard declaring the premise for a sequel, which is that the entire movie you watched didn’t matter at all. THE END.

Why?! Very clear motivations all around here. Shang Tsung wants to take over Earth because it’s got all this vibrant life and he wants to squeeze it dry. Raiden just wants to help Earth defend itself. Liu Kang wants revenge for his brother, Sonya Blade wants revenge for her dead partner, and Johnny Cage wants to prove to everyone that he ain’t no showbiz fake but a true martial arts master.

Who?! Surprisingly boring in this regard. Not a whole bunch of the typical tropes we look for in this category are found in this film. The best we got was a cameo by video game creator Ed Boon who got a credit as the voice of Scorpion in the film (as he is also credited in the video games). Technically speaking he is the longest running voice artist in video game history having voiced Scorpion in every iteration of the game.

What?! All kinds of gobbledegook in this film from Earthrealm to Outworld to the Shokan prince Goro. Unfortunately they are aren’t fighting for the Staff of Taijin or something, just the fate of the world. Boring. It is more or less a product in and of itself, since it’s an adaptation of a video game (and one of the most successful product placement films of all time).

Where?! We get a few scenes in Hong Kong and in China (presumably, given that Liu Kang is from a Shaolin Monastery). The film is primarily set in Shang Tsung’s island, though. Found between Earthrealm and Outworld, the island falls staunchly in the “other” category of settings. While specific, I have to give it a N/A as it is fake.

When?! This was a hard one, but very important for the sake of the series. The second film picks up right where the first left off so if we could nail this down here then we are gold for that one too. It’s hard, though, since the series exists outside of space and time for the most part. The best clue we have is a “Johnny Cage A Fake” issue of the Examiner which seems to have been released in the first week of August, 1994. The person reading it implies that this is probably somewhat recent so it’s not bad guess. Hard to read though and a little shaky. C+.

I actually was surprised at how much I didn’t mind large parts of this film. One of those silly tournament films that basically write themselves, but it also has some humor and a gigantic animatronic Goro monster that is impressive and interesting to look at. However, the computer graphics are a complete mess and why I can’t really say this is not that bad. It took some balls to do, but they are objectively terrible and the scenes where they are used (and there are a lot of them) are actually hard to watch.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Da-da da-da da-da da-da-da-da, da-da da-da da-da da-da-da-da, da-da da-da da-da da-da-da-da, da da da da da! MORTAL KOMBAT! Video game films are universally terrible … welp, there it is. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – So I don’t think I saw this in theaters, but I certainly saw it when I was a young boy. I did not remember that Christopher Lambert was in it, and it is pretty crazy this was a very early Paul W. S. Anderson film. Other than that this was really about watching what was (kind of sadly) the best reviewed video game film until Angry Birds in 2016 …

The Good – The matte paintings, Goro’s animatronics, some of the fighting action all are exactly what you want from the film. It somehow is, as the critics said, appropriately cheesy in that regard. Our three main actors’ banter and companionship were believable and fun. Lambert is somewhat amusing as well. The tournament structure lends itself to a pretty interesting mystery story that is extremely easy to follow.

The Bad – The CGI. Woof. This is actually pretty close to A Sound of Thunder (except, you know … a decade earlier). Reptile and Scorpion’s hook/chain things look just awful. So awful in fact that it probably makes Goro look better in comparison. The ending is pretty rough as well, they should have let the story breathe with the happy ending instead of immediately jumping into Mortal Kombat II.

The BMT – No, this isn’t BMT. This should have, in reality, gotten maybe like a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, maybe a bit higher. I don’t think it is quite into “it’s not that bad” territory because of the CGI, but if they had skipped that I would have thought maybe. You kind of have to be a no-fun-having misanthrope to not at least understand why people think this film is genuinely good.

Roast-radamus – A new game! Here I’ll try and place the film we just saw into one of the Smaddies Baddies categories for end of the year awards. A truly self-fulfilling prophecy for Roast-radamus. For Mortal Kombat I think there are two options. First you could consider it for the Worst Twist (How?) Razzie for daring to make the end of the film just be the Emperor of Outworld deciding to invade Earth. More realistically this sneaks into The Good category for being a movie that wasn’t that bad. Hopefully we have better options than Mortal Kombat though.

StreetCreditReport.com – There isn’t much here as far as street credit, you’d probably be able to more easily find lists where this film is considered one of the best video game films, or an underrated action film. I did find this crazy thing. I agree kind of with their assessment, but Goro was also easily better than the terrible CGI, so they are wrong there. Since I won’t be using it in the sequel recap I’ll also point out that they are far far too kind to Annihilation (spoiler alert).

You Just Got Schooled – This week I watched the pilot episode for the 1998 live action Mortal Kombat television series, Mortal Kombat: Conquest. It premiered on October 3, 1998. The opening sequence in particular follows the game format so closely that is was, dare I say, interesting? After that though is kind of meaders about and the actions of and towards the female characters are problematic on multiple levels. The pilot is extremely long, the series looks like genuine shit, and the acting is an abomination, so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, it is crap … but not a bad adaptation for brief moments. It was produced directly to syndication and eventually picked up by TNT to run after WCW Monday Nitro. It apparently was popular, but cost too much and only lasted a season. As an adaption I’ll give it a surprising B- mostly downgraded for lack of quality and Kombat, as a show maybe a D+, it was pretty brutal to get through but better than something like Highlander (narrowly).

One down, one terrible sequel to go. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation Preview

In the Z-universe’s most notorious prison, the Robotoronic Jail 3000, two prisoners blow a hole in the prison wall and walk to their freedom while sirens wail. They begin the long walk across the Wasted Land towards Ecumenopolis.

“Keep digging,” whispers Patrick as Jamie attacks the wall with a sharpened spoon. After three weeks they both know it’s time to blow this joint and they’re doing it the old fashioned way. No kung fu hacking or super powers. This is just lean muscle, a spoon, and a stone wall. Well guess what? You done lost, wall. Jamie breaks through into a large air vent and Patrick turns to their friend Kyle who was the muscle to their brains in this terrible place. “Kyle, you’ve been a true friend showing us the ropes and helping us navigate the prison world. I’ll always remember when you took a shiv for me. It’s a memory I’ll cherish.” Kyle nods. “Come with us. Help us figure out our destiny.” Just as Kyle is about to join them in the vent a large gust of winds blows the entrance closed and blows Jamie and Patrick deeper into an underground tunnel. Patrick looks up to where Kyle had been waiting, but Jamie puts a hand on his should. “He’s gone. I’m sure we’ll meet him again. We have to move forward.” Patrick grudgingly nods and looks around at where they’ve landed. It’s a fork in the road. A path to the left and a path to the right. Jamie hesitates, “We must go left, Patrick. Something seems off about the right.” But Patrick is already heading that way, drawn by some force within. Jamie follows, trying to pull him back but a steady wind starts pushing them forward until they are tumbling head over heels. They land in a world unlike Earth. The clouds overhead are gray and move unnaturally fast. A hooded figure stands in front of them. “The wind,” whispers Patrick. “It’s been trying to get us here this whole time,” responds Jamie. The hooded figure speaks. “Welcome to my world, Bad Movie Twins. Are you ready to defend Earth in the tournament of champions?” That’s right! We’re watching Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation to finish the Franchise-zzzzz cycle. These are films we saw in our childhood (obviously), but never got the full BMT treatment. They also serve as the transition to our second cycle of the year: The (Not Quite) Worst Films Ever. These are films that were at one time posted on the wikipedia page for the List of Films Considered the Worst. All such films are listed in the “Talk” section for the page. For people who don’t know the “Talk” section of wikipedia pages are where you can get a glimpse into the minds of crazy people. Let’s go!

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) – BMeTric: 86.9

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(Sub-4.0 is incredible obviously. And that BMeTric. It it the 28th highest BMeTric for any wide release ever! That is pretty impressive. Got to tick those boxes. There are only seven above it we haven’t watched: Disaster Movie, Date Movie, Son of Mask, Vampires Suck, House of the Dead, Street Fighter, and BloodRayne.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Mind-numbing sequel rehashes battle between good and evil for the fate of mankind (yawn). OK visual effects but endless fight scenes and dreadful acting stop film dead in its tracks. Of interest only to American Gladiator fanatics and vidkids with really low attention spans. Remar’ morph from David Carradine-style kung fu sensei to turbo warrior is unintentionally hilarious.

(Vidkids? “Low” attention spans? Some real shade here. Not that the film doesn’t deserve it, I’m like 99% sure it is complete hot garbage, and I can’t wait.)

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

(Redux edit eehhhhhhhh. Hey guys watch out for all of the ninjas. This film looks like complete and utter garbage. And wait, is that the Night Slasher from BMT Hall of Fame inductee Cobra! I think it is. As if I wasn’t amped already.)

Directors – John R. Leonetti – (Future BMT: Annabelle; Wish Upon; Wolves at the Door; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Prominent cinematographer who has intermittently delved into feature directing. He is probably best known for his collaboration with James Wan on the Conjuring universe of films.)

Writers – Ed Boon (video games) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: One of the creators and the game designer of the video game franchise. Also the voice of Scorpion.)

Lawrence Kasanoff (story) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: WTF. This is the Foodfight! guy. We have now completing his screenwriting filmography. But he thought making a new Pixar was easy, failed miserably, and made an extremely unpleasant animated film. Read the Alpha and Omega recap for more information.)

Joshua Wexler (story) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Was 26 years old when we produced and got a story credit on this film! Also got a writing credit on Foodfight! Currently serves as the Chief Executive of Fun (CEF?) for Pure Imagination Studios (not joking))

John Tobias (story) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: One of the two creators of the video game. Not sure why he got a “story” credit on this one and the other creator, Ed Boon, didn’t. He is credited with most of the character development for the first set of games.)

Brent V. Friedman (screenplay) – (Known For: Ticks; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Another writer on Foodfight! He and Bryce Zabel created a show Dark Skies following the success of X-Files and he’s been mostly in TV since then.)

Bryce Zabel (screenplay) – (Known For: Atlantis: The Lost Empire; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Was once a correspondent for CNN before moving to mostly television writing. He was the Chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.)

Actors – Robin Shou – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: DOA: Dead or Alive; Beverly Hills Ninja; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Has a degree in Civil Engineering and actually worked for a couple years in the field before quitting and finding his way first into stunt work and then into acting.)

Talisa Soto – (Known For: Licence to Kill; Don Juan DeMarco; The Pope of Greenwich Village; The Mambo Kings; La Mission; Spike of Bensonhurst; Piñero; Future BMT: Spy Hard; The Sunchaser; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Mortal Kombat;  Notes: Married to one of our BMT faves Benjamin Bratt of Catwoman fame.)

James Remar – (Known For: Django Unchained; The Warriors; The Girl Next Door; X: First Class; Ratatouille; What Lies Beneath; RED; Pineapple Express; February; 48 Hrs.; The Phantom; Cruising; The Long Riders; Drugstore Cowboy; The Cotton Club; White Fang; Boys on the Side; Miracle on 34th Street; The Dream Team; Fear X; Future BMT: Psycho; The Unborn; USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage; The Quest; Blade: Trinity; Duplex; Persecuted; Fatal Instinct; Rent-a-Cop; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Renaissance Man; Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; Horns; Band of the Hand; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Judge Dredd; 2 Fast 2 Furious; The Clan of the Cave Bear; Wild Bill; Notes: I know him from The Warriors and as Dexter’s dad on the television series Dexter and am shocked at how many BMT films we’ve seen him in. Interesting story is that he was originally cast as Hicks in Aliens but had to be replaced, but you can still see him in some scenes that were too expensive to reshoot.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $35,927,406 (Worldwide: $51,376,861)

(And yeah, that is super duper terrible considering the performance of the original. A complete and utter rejection of this franchise just as it began.)

#33 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(Just a little below Universal Soldier there. A wonder Showtime didn’t pick it up for series after this (heyyoooooo). On the downswing of martial arts … literally right before Rush Hour and The Matrix blow it up again.)

#21 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(Just a little below Hitman which is somewhat surprising honestly. I would have imagined that at least some of the other halfway decent video game films would have done better than this. Then again … I did see this film in theaters, so literal morons did spent money on it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (1/40): With its shallow characters, low budget special effects, and mindless fight scenes, Mortal Kombat – Annihilation offers minimal plot development and manages to underachieve the low bar set by its predecessor.

(So close to being one of the worst every 0% films. It would have been top ten for sure. Reviewer Highlight: Never — at least not since the first Mortal Kombat — has tedium been so loud, so full of backward flips and flying fists to the kissers of centaurs from another realm. – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Poster – Sklog Fight: Liquidation (C)

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(It is the exact same poster… weird. Still bad font, but short and sweet and with a little more pizzazz color-wise. It’s just slightly better than OK this time.)

Tagline(s) – Destroy all expectations. (Lol.)

(Holy shit. Is this a joke? This is a joke, right? I mean, yes. It certainly destroyed any and all expectations people had. Particularly any expectation of another sequel.)

Keyword(s) – warrior; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.0 Meet the Spartans (2008); 94.8 Catwoman (2004); 94.7 Battlefield Earth (2000); 94.0 Dragonball: Evolution (2009); 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.7 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 89.1 The Last Airbender (2010); 87.9 Street Fighter (1994); 87.6 BloodRayne (2005); 86.9 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997);

(Come out and play. To think. Ten of the top 30 or so worst films by BMeTric have the keyword “warrior”. Useless.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robin Shou is No. 1 billed in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and No. 6 billed in Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 1 + 6 + 2 + 2 = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – A third Mortal Kombat film was going to be developed, called “Mortal Kombat: Devastation”. Christopher Lambert, Linden Ashby, Adoni Maropis, Robin Shou, Chris Casamassa, Keith Cooke, and Lynn ‘Red’ Williams were hired to be in the cast as Lord Rayden, Johnny Cage, Quan Chi, Liu Kang, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Jax, respectively. Talisa Soto and Sandra Hess were in talks to reprise their respective roles of Princess Kitana and Lt. Sonya Blade. However, plans for a third film fell through and the film rights went to Warner Bros., which is planning a Mortal Kombat reboot. (Wait … Lambert was going to come back? I don’t believe it)

Ray Park’s first film role was as Rayden’s fight double in this movie. (Darth Maul baby)

Michael Jai White was scheduled to play as Jax, but eventually he got the lead part in Spawn (1997) instead. He would eventually portray Jax in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth (2010) and Mortal Kombat (2011). (Amazing to think that you could say “taking that role in Spawn was a very good move”)

For years, a third Mortal Kombat movie was being developed by New Line Cinema to atone for the poor reception to “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.” mink was hired to direct, and then Russell Mulcahy was hired to replace him. Sean Catherine Derek and Lawrence Kasanoff took turns writing the script, which would have had Johnny Cage resurrected to help the heroes against Quan Chi and a resurrected Shang Tsung. However, according to cast member Chris Casamassa, who would have reprised his role as Scorpion, production was halted when Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of the sets and the film ultimately never happened. (WHAT)

In the film, Jax fitted his arms with “muscle enhancers”; essentially a sort of exoskeleton that quadrupled his muscle capacity. However in the storyline for Mortal Kombat 3 (1995) (One of the shared premises for this film) Jax had his actual arms removed and fitted himself with the bionic arms.

Robin Shou (Liu Kang) and Talisa Soto (Kitana) are the only actors from the first film to reprise their roles. The other main characters are portrayed by different actors. The only other actor to return was Keith Cooke, but as a different character. In the first film, he was Reptile. Here, he portrays Sub-Zero.

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras was offered to reprise the role of Sonya Blade, but then turned it down for the role of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s sister in I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997). (Oh yeah … slashers are always a good choice a think, if only for the miniscule chance of becoming a scream queen.)

Both Deron McBee (Motaro) and Lynn ‘Red’ Williams (Jax) are former American Gladiators (1989), and they have a fight scene in this film together. (People must have been going bananas at the time)

Chris Casamassa was to reprise his role as Scorpion, but he was committed to do stunt work in Batman & Robin (1997). (Somehow a movie with a higher BMeTric, what are the odds?)

Featured in Rob Hill’s The Bad Movie Bible. (Hmmm might need to check out, read, and hate this book at some point in the future.)

Mortal Kombat Preview

If you are looking for the Adventures of The Bad Movie Twins they continue on the Mortal Kombat: Annihilation preview. That’s right! This week we’re watching Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation to finish the Franchise-zzzzz cycle. These are films we saw in our childhood (obviously), but never got the full BMT treatment. They also serve as the transition to our second cycle of the year: The (Not Quite) Worst Films Ever. These are films that were at one time posted on the wikipedia page for the List of Films Considered the Worst. All such films are listed in the “Talk” section for the page. For people who don’t know the “Talk” section of wikipedia pages are where you can get a glimpse into the minds of crazy people. Let’s go!

Mortal Kombat (1995) – BMeTric: 40.0

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(It’ll be above 6.0 on IMDb soon. The BMeTric is shocking high I think. I was honestly under the impression that Mortal Kombat was the first non-qualifying video game film ever. For some reason I thought it had managed near 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. Nope. Legitimately every single video game film ever qualified until Tomb Raider of last year! WTF. Watch out for May, because I have a feeling Detective Pikachu might be our first fresh video game film ever made.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Shou, Ashby, and Wilson are among those kompeting in a martial arts tournament with nothing less than the fate of Earth in the balance. Elaborate special effects and impressive set design are helpless against a weak story, uneven akting, and komikally thin karakters. Mostly one fight after another, as you might expect from a movie based on a video game. Followed by a sequel.

(Boo, Leonard got to it first, how am I supposed to add superfluous k’s to things once the joke has been done? For a 1.5 star review it is actually pretty mild. At least, you can kind of see how it ended up getting kind of reasonable reviews: set design.)

Trailer –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHIfHL5UgFs/

(That set design though. For real though, Christopher Lambert, what you allowing them to do to your hair? And the CGI for real looks absolutely awful. The series of action shots with their names being whispered beneath them. MORTAL KOMBAT!!!! I’m in!)

Directors – Paul W.S. Anderson – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: Resident Evil: Retribution; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Resident Evil: Afterlife; Resident Evil; Event Horizon; BMT: Pompeii; AVP: Alien vs. Predator; The Three Musketeers; Mortal Kombat; Soldier; Notes: A BMT fave married to a likely future BMT fave Milla Jovovich… we just haven’t seen enough of her films I don’t think, but she has a lot.)

Writers – Ed Boon (video games) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Is technically credited for having the record for the longest working video game voice role since he has voiced Scorpion in all the games and this film.)

John Tobias (video games) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: The character Noob Saibot is an anagram of his and Ed Boon’s names.)

Kevin Droney (written by) – (BMT: Wing Commander; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Wrote on The Highlander TV series. He also wrote a book called Le Missionnaire in the 80’s but it was only released in France… so I guess we have to learn French now.)

Actors – Christopher Lambert – (Known For: Highlander; Hail, Caesar!; Bel Canto; Kickboxer: Retaliation; Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes; Fortress; Subway; White Material; To Kill a Priest; Future BMT: Highlander: Endgame; Beowulf; Fortress 2; Southland Tales; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; The Sicilian; Loaded Weapon 1; Gunmen; Knight Moves; Resurrection; The Hunted; Electric Slide; BMT: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Highlander II: The Quickening; Highlander III: The Sorcerer; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Who would have thought we’d watch two Lambert films so close together. Married to Diane Lane for several years.)

Robin Shou – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: DOA: Dead or Alive; Beverly Hills Ninja; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Apparently trained Milla Jovovich for her role in the Resident Evil franchise.)

Linden Ashby – (Known For: Iron Man Three; Wyatt Earp; The Joneses; Mr. & Mrs. Bridge; Future BMT: Prom Night; Resident Evil: Extinction; 8 Seconds; BMT: Mortal Kombat; Notes: Replaced Brandon Lee in Mortal Kombat after his sudden death in 1993.)

Budget/Gross – $18 million / Domestic: $70,454,098 (Worldwide: $122,195,920)

(Obviously a huge success. Literally just turn around and green light the sequel, definitely can’t be a total joke catastrophe after this success right?)

#11 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(Rush Hour 1, 2, and 3 are three of the top 4 on the list. But this is surprisingly good for a BMT film, only being beaten by The Last Airbender. Came as the genre was waning a bit in the 90s, right before Jackie Chan and The Matrix breathed new life into it.)

#6 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(This is our 15th BMT film I think. This was a true early days of the genre, prior to it struggling to land any kind of hit in the 2000s. Really has kicked up a notch since 2015 in both large theatrical releases and gross. Possibly bodes well for the future.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (12/32): Despite an effective otherwordly atmosphere and appropriately cheesy visuals, Mortal Kombat suffers from its poorly constructed plot, laughable dialogue, and subpar acting.

(Appropriately cheesy? These is no such thing. The reviews are quite interesting. Most of the big print critics gave it tepidly good reviews. Reviewer Highlight: The most intriguing is a glassy-eyed follower whose right hand shoots out a hissing reptile that can extend itself for miles. Exotic creatures like these make watching Mortal Kombat feel like being in a high-tech fun house. – Stephen Holden, New York Times)

Poster – Sklog Fight (C)

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(This is basically as mediocre a poster as you can get. It’s short and sweet but clearly riding on the known property that is the symbol. A little weird they chose to move away from the video game font/color scheme and make both much more boring.)

Tagline(s) – Nothing In This World Has Prepared You For This (C-)

(So I guess this is a play on the fact that it take place literally out of this world? I’m not in love with it. Long. Repeats the word this, which make it hard to think about. And only vaguely informative. Everything about the poster and tagline says “don’t ruin this for the video game fans out there… just do as little as possible.”)

Keyword(s) – based on video game; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.8 House of the Dead (2003); 87.9 Street Fighter (1994); 87.6 BloodRayne (2005); 86.9 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 86.1 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.7 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 79.6 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 73.4 Far Cry (2008); 69.9 Wing Commander (1999);

(Getting there. Far Cry and BloodRayne don’t technically qualify, but I bet we could get one of them in via Bring a Friend fairly soon. Super Mario Bros. might very literally be one of the biggest bad movies we still haven’t watched for BMT. I’ve seen it in real life dozens of times, just not for BMT.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robin Shou is No. 2 billed in Mortal Kombat and No. 6 billed in Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is also in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 2 + 6 + 2 + 2 = 12. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Ed Boon, co-creator of the original video game Mortal Kombat (1992), starred as the voice of Scorpion.

Brandon Lee was said to have been originally cast as Johnny Cage, but died before production began. (Sad stuff)

Jean-Claude Van Damme turned down the role of Johnny Cage to do Street Fighter (1994). The character in the games was originally based on him. (I mean, fine choice. There probably should have been a terrible Street Fighter sequel as well)

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras performed all her own stunts (refusing to use a double), including the fight scenes. She dislocated her shoulder during one scene, but they were able to fix it on set, without any recurrence. (I love Wilson-Sampras fun facts)

The film’s soundtrack went platinum in less than two weeks.

At around 6 minutes, Steven Spielberg, an avid fan of the Mortal Kombat series, was set to make a cameo appearance as the director in Johnny Cage’s first scene. However scheduling conflicts forced him to back out. Nonetheless, the “director” character in this scene does resemble Spielberg, which is most likely a reference to this. (Ha!)

Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was the filmmakers’ first and only choice for the role of Shang Tsung. He came to the audition in a costume, and read his lines while standing on a chair. Shang Tsung was depicted as relatively younger in the film in order to avoid the excessive makeup that would have been required to duplicate his aged appearance in the game.

Chris Casamassa was hired to work as a stunt ninja. At the audition the producers were so impressed that he got the part of Scorpion. (I mean … you have a character whose face is covered 100% of the time. Don’t you usually hire stunt men for that? It feels like a Darth Maul or Snake-Eyes situation)

At around 1 hour 12 minutes, when Reptile in his chameleon creature form takes over the body of an Outworld statue and rises as a green ninja, you can hear, very quietly, a voice say “Reptile”. This is the voice of Shao Kahn, and was sampled directly from Mortal Kombat II (1993).

Christopher Lambert also voiced Rayden in the French dubbed version of the film.

Originally the character of Kano was Japanese-American. However, Ed Boon and John Tobias were so impressed with how Trevor Goddard portrayed him that they retconned Kano’s history in future games to make him Australian, which they thought was Goddard’s nationality. They later learned that, although Goddard gave Kano an Australian accent, Goddard himself was actually born in England but had claimed to be of Australian descent. (What the hell is this fact?)

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras had read and auditioned for the part of Sonya Blade several times, but due to the long casting process, she chose to do Billy Madison (1995) instead. Christina Applegate was also considered for the role but Cameron Diaz was cast after the producers saw dailies of her from The Mask (1994). However, Diaz broke her wrist during training, just before filming. Fortunately, filming on Billy Madison had just wrapped, making Wilson available again. She happily took the role, even if it meant that she had to be flown to the set the next day, and had to train for the big fight scenes in between shooting the rest of the movie.

The locations in Thailand were so remote they were only accessible by boat. Cast, crew and equipment had to be transported by long canoes. An outhouse was built in a secluded area near the set so that the crew didn’t have to make constant trips to and from the mainland. (That’s how you get those vistas baby!)

Robin Shou originally turned down the opportunity to audition for the movie, assuming that he’d be cast as a stereotypical Asian villain. He reconsidered at the advice of his agent. (And the rest is history I guess? Not that Shou became some mega star after I suppose)

The coined phrase “Flawless Victory” (a match where the victor sustains no attacks from their opponent) was used regarding four matches in the film. However only two of the matches meet the criteria: Sub-Zero’s first match against a henchmen and Johnny Cage’s match against Goro. (Nerd! You are such a nerd!)

Robin Shou said that in the original script he “was supposed to fall in love with Talisa Soto [Kitana]. I was looking forward to it, but they thought we have so much action, we don’t want to add romance to it. They cut it out.” (Smart move. Probably part of the reason it got reasonable reviews)

Steve James was to have played Jax but died a year before production on the film began. Gregory McKinney, who replaced James, died in 1998. Both actors died at the age of 41. (That’s nuts. Steve James died of pancreatic cancer, but I can’t find anything about McKinney surprisingly)

According to the film, the Outworld fighters have won nine straight victories of Mortal Kombat and only need one more in order to take over Earth. Given that the tenth tournament takes place in 1995, this means that the Earth-realm had been participating since 1725 (considering the battle taking place once a generation means every 30 years). (That’s a bad losing streak. I don’t necessarily hate Outworld, I just find it boring that they win all of the time you know?)

Gary Daniels, Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp were considered for the role of Johnny Cage. (Gary Daniels? Who told you that? Gary Daniels in a fake moustache?)

Michael Jai White was slated to play the role of Jax. Ultimately, he left in order to do Tyson (1995). He would eventually end up portraying Jax in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth (2010) and Mortal Kombat (2011). (Neither of those are real films though, you know?)

A music video was created for the KMFDM single “Juke Joint Jezebel” and featured clips of fight scenes from the movie, but it was pulled by MTV due to complaints about its violent content. (Oh you mean this thing?)

Quickly after the movie’s box office success, director Paul W.S. Anderson was asked by New Line Cinema to helm a sequel, but he had set his mind to doing something completely different, and accepted the offer to do Event Horizon (1997) instead.

Director Paul W.S. Anderson nicknamed Bridgette Wilson-Sampras “RoboBabe”. (That’s weird and offensive … I choose not to believe it for now)

Included in the movie novelization was a detailed opening scene of an unsuccessful joint mission of arresting Black Dragon members by the Special Forces and an international task force, which culminates in Kano killing the task force’s lieutenant who is designated therein as Sonya’s murdered partner. (I have a policy that the instant a novelization is mentioned I’m out)

Gods and Generals Preview

A small note prior to this post: Last July we decided to take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews before 2013ish we also decided to provide a preview for the movie. This is the third in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediately afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

Gods and Generals (2003) – BMeTric: 17.1

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(It concerns me that this film is actually rising over time. Not because the rating is rising, that is natural as the vote count increases. No. I’m concerned because anyone is deciding to watch a horrible 4 hour film … why? I guess Civil War enthusiasts, which I suppose might explain the rising score.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Writer-director Maxwell’s prequel to Gettysburg is not in the same league but does manage to capture some of the sights, sounds, and personalities of the Civil War’s early years, with an emphasis on the South. Lion’s share of the story is devoted to Lang’s pious “Stonewall” Jackson. Telling vignettes and vivid battle scenes make up for some ponderousness, speechiness, and overlength (it’s even longer – 231m. – on video). Film’s backer, media mogul Ted Turner, has a cameo as a Confederate soldier. Based on the Jeff Shaara novel.

(Amazingly if you watch the director’s cut the film is an astonishing 4 hours and 40 minutes. When I watched it for the first time I remarked “I’ve forgotten what it was like to not be watching Gods and Generals. I’ve been born, lived, and died while watching this film.” Leonard is being kind, or it was a review of the time, because the film is an achievement in ponderousness, there is no more ponderous film.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxPXrrZ8bJU

(Hmmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmmmmm. I wonder which side is fighting for God’s glory and which for his kingdom on earth …. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.)

Directors – Ron Maxwell – (Known For: Gettysburg; Little Darlings; Future BMT: Copperhead; BMT: Gods and Generals; Notes: Notable somewhat for his incredibly long production periods. The intention, as of 2013, was to write and direct a Joan of Arc movie. But it is somewhat unclear what happened with that plan.)

Writers – Jeff Shaara (book) (as Jeffrey M. Shaara) – (BMT: Gods and Generals; Notes: The son of Michael Shaara who wrote Gettysburg, which this film is a prequel to. He also wrote a sequel called The Last Full Measure.)

Ron Maxwell (screenplay) (as Ronald F. Maxwell) – (Known For: Gettysburg; BMT: Gods and Generals; Notes: Exclusively writes and directs historical epics financed by Ted Turner.)

Actors – Stephen Lang – (Known For: Avatar; Hostiles; Tombstone; Don’t Breathe; Braven; Public Enemies; Manhunter; Gettysburg; The Dinner; The Men Who Stare at Goats; The Hard Way; Tall Tale; Band of Robbers; Last Exit to Brooklyn; Gridlocked; White Irish Drinkers; Project X; Pionér; The I Inside; Twice in a Lifetime; Future BMT: Eye See You; A Good Marriage; The Nut Job; Shadow Conspiracy; In the Blood; Another You; Guilty as Sin; Mortal Engines; The Amazing Panda Adventure; Trixie; Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You; Band of the Hand; BMT: Conan the Barbarian; Fire Down Below; Gods and Generals; Notes: His father was a noted businessman and philanthropist who left the entirety of his $150 million fortune to charity upon his death.)

Robert Duvall – (Known For: The Godfather; Widows; Apocalypse Now; The Godfather: Part II; The Road; The Natural; Jack Reacher; To Kill a Mockingbird; The Judge; Deep Impact; Falling Down; MASH; Open Range; We Own the Night; Crazy Heart; Secondhand Lions; Network; True Grit; Sling Blade; Thank You for Smoking; Future BMT: Four Christmases; Something to Talk About; Days of Thunder; Wild Horses; Lucky You; The Handmaid’s Tale; Gone in Sixty Seconds; In Dubious Battle; Seven Days in Utopia; Breakout; Jayne Mansfield’s Car; BMT: The Scarlet Letter; Gods and Generals; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for The Scarlet Letter in 1996; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Newsies in 1993; Notes: Won an Oscar for Tender Mercies. Was good friends with Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman whom he went to acting school with.)

Jeff Daniels – (Known For: The Martian; Looper; Speed; Dumb and Dumber; State of Play; The Hours; Steve Jobs; Pleasantville; Terms of Endearment; 2 Days in the Valley; Gettysburg; Arachnophobia; The Squid and the Whale; Away We Go; Blood Work; Ragtime; Good Night, and Good Luck.; Because of Winn-Dixie; Traitor; Heartburn; Future BMT: Space Chimps; My Favorite Martian; RV; Dumb and Dumber To; Allegiant; 101 Dalmatians; Mama’s Boy; The Butcher’s Wife; All the Rage; Super Sucker; The Catcher Was a Spy; Paper Man; The Answer Man; BMT: Gods and Generals; Notes: Married his highschool sweetheart and lives in his home state of Michigan helping to support economic development there.)

Budget/Gross – $56 million / Domestic: $12,882,934 (Worldwide: $12,923,936)

(Catastrophic. But then again Gettysburg didn’t do much better. I’m fully convinced Ted Turner just loves the Civil War and doesn’t care. Also they probably have a racket whereby every school in America buys a copy of Gettysburg and Gods and Generals and thus the film is profitable before it even releases … I’m only half joking, that sounds plausible to be honest.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (10/121): Filled with two-dimensional characters and pompous self-righteousness, Gods and Generals is a long, tedious sit. Some may also take offense at the pro-Confederate slant.

(Some might take offense … at the pro-Confederate slant. Yeah I can imagine that might rub some people the wrong way. Reviewer Highlight: Four hours including the intermission, I felt like I was seeing the Civil War in real time for awhile there. – Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper)

Poster – Sklogs and Generals (B-)

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(Neither the worst nor the best. I think the imagery is stirring but wish they had done it a bit more artistically. Looks a little sloppy. Odd font, but unique.)

Tagline(s) – The nation’s heart was touched by…. (D+)

An unforgettable story of the Civil War, from the Director of “GETTYSBURG” (D-)

(Obviously the second one is a classic trash just trying to get those Gettysburg fanatics in the seats. At least it tells me the story is unforgettable. Which is true. I’ll never forget how terrible it was. The first is merely bad. So you’re telling me the nation’s heart was touched by a gigantic civil war that tore the country apart? Interesting.)

Keyword(s) – george washington character; Top Ten by BMeTric: 71.5 Wild Wild West (1999); 17.1 Gods and Generals (2003); 16.5 The Manchurian Candidate (2004); 12.0 Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014); 6.6 The Patriot (2000); 2.2 John Paul Jones (1959); 0.2 Janice Meredith (1924); 0.0 George Washington’s First War: The Battles for Fort Duquesne (2003);

(Noice, although I’m skeptical there was a George Washington character in Wild Wild West all things considered. As a matter of fact, why would George Washington be in Gods and Generals? Or The Manchurian Candidate. Weird stuff. Usually I would replace a dumb keyword like this, but I’m mostly just fascinated.)

Notes – Some scenes were filmed on Robert Duvall’s estate in Virginia, which was the site of some Civil War skirmishes.

Martin Sheen was in the Washington, D.C. area the week of September 11th filming scenes for The West Wing (1999). He was prepared to fly the Tuesday morning Dulles to LAX flight if Warner Brothers agreed to his demand for one million dollars to reprise his role of Robert E. Lee from Gettysburg (1993). It was only because Warner Brothers passed, that Sheen was not on Flight 77 the morning of September 11. (Wow)

The majority of the Civil War re-enactors in the movie volunteered to be in the movie without pay. In return, the production company agreed to donate at least five hundred thousand dollars to preservation of a Civil War battlefield. (Cool I guess)

The wide shots of the Union infantry advancing towards the stone wall during the Battle of Fredericksburg were not set up nor filmed as visual effects shots. However, due to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the subsequent travel concerns and military reserve call-ups, the film’s re-enacting unit had drastically shrunk in number. This was not fully evident until the wide shots were viewed in post-production. Visual Effects Supervisor Thomas G. Smith had to digitally create over seventeen thousand low-resolution CGI soldiers, and then map out individual speeds for them: running, walking, or crawling wounded. He then added three thousand dead soldiers to scatter around the shot. (Kind of sad actually, that they didn’t get to do what they originally envisioned due to a national tragedy)

Kevin Conway often cites reprising his Gettysburg (1993) character, Sergeant Buster Kilrain, in this film, as part of the reason he turned down a supporting role in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which would have prevented him from shooting this film. (Oof)

Originally given an R-rating by the MPAA for extended battlefield violence and gore. Director Ron Maxwell either shortened or cut out entirely the most objectionable scenes in order to get the film down to a PG-13 rating. (But I assume he added twice as much footage of Jeff Daniels ordering people into the proper battle formation? Can’t let the movie be too long)

The film mostly omits a few of General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson’s eccentricities, but makes sly reference to them. The real Stonewall Jackson rode with a hand raised at all times, as he felt it was necessary to balance his bodily humors. In the film, Jackson suffers a wound to one hand, and spends a scene riding in that manner, ostensibly to staunch the bleeding. In addition, the real Jackson, according to legend, sucked on lemons incessantly in the belief that it was essential to his health. In the film, he presents lemons as a gift to the fiancée of his junior officer, and enjoys the resultant lemonade for its tartness. (What a weirdo)

Russell Crowe was the first choice to play Stonewall Jackson. Crowe expressed initial interest but eventually declined, citing a need to return to Australia and take a break from movie making. The role was then offered to Stephen Lang, who was already signed and rehearsing to reprise his Gettysburg (1993) character of General George Pickett. Billy Campbell took over the Pickett role.

Ted Turner put up the entire sixty million dollar budget of the film personally.

Although Robert E. Lee was a highly regarded officer in the U.S. Army, his dislike of slavery, and lukewarm approach to secession, combined with some early reverses while in command of the Virginia militia, took him out of consideration for field command in the Confederate Army. Instead, he was made an advisor to Jefferson Davis. He was named to command the Confederate Army outside of Richmond in 1862, when General Joseph Johnston was wounded, because Davis did not want General Pierre Beauregard in command.

A subplot involving John Wilkes Booth and his actor friend Henry T. Harrison (from Gettysburg (1993)) had to be cut from the film in order to get a wide release. The entire battle of Antietam was also deleted. In all, nearly two and a half hours of the film never made it to final print. (Jesus Christ. Director’s Director’s Cut of 6 hours incoming)

The intermission was actually included in the print and was almost an entire reel of black film. Theaters added light cues at the beginning and end of it. (Weird)

Unlike Producer Ted Turner’s previous American Civil War movies Gettysburg (1993) and Andersonville (1996), this movie was a major failure at the box-office and among the critics. The movie returned only twelve million out of its sixty million dollar budget. History buffs were angered by some obvious historical inaccuracies in its depiction of some of the major characters, despite the movie’s promoting its historical authenticity (Stonewall was not shot in the hand at the start of the war, Lee’s ascension to the position of the leader of the Confederate army happened slightly differently, et cetera.). Some critics even accused the movie of historical revisionism in favor of the Confederacy, due to the film’s somewhat glorified depiction of the Confederate Generals, and downplaying the importance of the issue of slavery in the conflict, since it focuses more on the states rights issue instead. (Yeah … they do seem to like the Confederates in the film)

Jeff Daniels reprised the role of Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain from Gettysburg (1993). Tom Berenger had been asked to reprise the role of James Longstreet, but declined, and was replaced by Bruce Boxleitner.

Stephen Lang also appeared in Gettysburg (1993). However, he does not reprise his original role from “Gettysburg”, that of Major General George E. Pickett. Instead, he played Lieutenant General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, who died two months prior to the momentous clash in Gettysburg. Billy Campbell took over the role of Pickett. (Honestly someone bigger should have been Stonewall, but whatever)

Ron Maxwell spent all of 2002 editing, re-editing, test screening and touching up the film. It went from six hours to three hours and five minutes, to three hours and thirty-seven minutes time and again. (Jesus, it was six hours!)

According to a report on CNN.com, Senators Robert Byrd (D-WV) and George Allen (R-VA), Representatives Ed Markey (D-MA) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), and former Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) all make small appearances in this film. “Wet plate” photographs of these politicians in full Civil War attire are available online. (Weird and wild stuff)

Gettysburg (1993) was based on author Jeff Shaara’s father’s classic novel, “The Killer Angels”. After the critical and commercial success of the film, Jeff was approached about the possibility of continuing the story, finding someone to write a prequel and sequel to The Killer Angels. Because of this, Jeff Shaara has used his father’s historical fiction approach to the American Revolution, the Mexican-American War, another Civil War Trilogy in the West, and both World Wars. (Good for Shaara I guess, get yo money)

Ted Turner is a huge Civil War buff. He financed two more films on the subject, Gettysburg (1993) for theatrical release, to which this movie is the prequel, and Andersonville (1996), a successful and acclaimed television movie about the worst and most notorious Confederate P.O.W. camp for captured Union soldiers in the entire war. (I knew it!)