Fire Birds Recap

Jamie

Jake Preston is the greatest! Helicopter pilot, that is. After his friend is killed by a South American cartel’s helicopter ace, Jake is recruited to train with Brad Little on the new Apache attack helicopter. Can he get through the training and take down the cartel (and perhaps get the girl?) before it’s too late? Find out in… Fire Birds.

How?! Jake Preston wants only two things in life: to fly helicopters like a mofo and to win the War on Drugs. When his friend dies at the hands of a cartel’s hitman/attack helicopter pilot extraordinaire he jumps at the opportunity to be part of the group trained on the new Apache helicopter to go after him. The teacher is Brad Little. He’s long in the tooth but still the best helicopter pilot the army has ever seen. But he sees something in Jake. Something he never thought possible: a pilot even better than he is. That’s cause Jake Preston is the greatest! He breezes through most of the training and even crushes Little in boxing to boot. He even finds time for a little on-base romance with his former flame Billie who he still has the hots for (and you better believe she still has the hots for him). Things are going swimmingly until the hardest test in the program: a simulation of a night mission. Turns out Jake has a dominant eye problem and only one other pilot ever was able to get over the issue. That pilot? A man by the name of Brad Little. Boom. Little helps Jake get over his problem and soon they are both off to South America to take on the cartel. When they get there they are surprise attacked by the cartel who not only have a helicopter but a couple of fighter jets too. The Apaches take off and go head to head with the cartel’s air force taking them down one-by-one. Little is injured, but remember, Jake is the greatest and so even alone he is able to trick the cartel hitman and take him out. Hooray. With that the War on Drugs is won and everyone high fives. THE END.

Why?! Did you not notice the mention of the War on Drugs? The funniest aspect of all this is the entirely unironic framing of the War on Drugs as an actual war… like… as if direct military intervention in Central and South American countries was a clear and obvious strategy that would be employed across the globe. 

Who?! I have to dive deep on the fact that Dale Dye has a story credit on this film. I know Dale Dye as Captain Lang in Operation Delta Force 2: Mayday. ODF was a series of straight-to-video military action films that started with a Jeff Fahey vehicle set on train and then managed to move into two separate sequels involving submarine hijackings. The one that Dale Dye is in features one of the best (read: insane) characters ever put to film: Flint Lukash. This is all to say that Dale Dye… well… let’s say the man works. And yet this is the only film he ever got a writing credit on. Blows my mind.

What?! While it is obvious to say that this is one long advertisement for the US Army (true), it’s also important to note on occasion that Patrick and I are crazy people. So when I saw Nic Cage guzzling the same black and gold labelled beer throughout the film I know I would have to mention it here. Turns out that they can’t get enough Miller Genuine Draft in Fire Bird. Probably what made Nic Cage the greatest.

Where?! They tell you a little about where the final battle is through an intertitle pointing to the Catamarca Desert. When I watched I was pretty sure that meant Chile, but apparently I was confusing that with the Atacama Desert. Catamarca is in Argentina, but is the name of a province, not a desert as far as I can tell. Where they train is less clear. It seems like Arizona, and Patrick told me he found some evidence for that, so I’m gonna go ahead and given this a C+

When?! Too much of this is made up to really be convinced of any specific time. They do open with a quote from President George H.W. Bush from September 5th 1989 about the War on Drugs, so you can imagine it’s around then, but not much better. Feel like we’ve been on a cold streak in this category. D-.

Great movie to put on at your next Cage-a-thon. Not only will no one have seen it, but it’ll really put into perspective for those that only know late stage Cage that Nic Cage has never really changed. He’s always been late stage Cage. It’s also fun and funny to varying degrees throughout the film. One the one hand you have the ludicrous War on Drugs setting and Nic Cage screaming “I am the greatest!” over and over in your face. On the other you have Tommy Lee Jones doing a pretty solid and even keel performance, which kind of anchors the film a bit. And this was in Under Siege/Blown Away era TLJ, so he really was a wild card. But he channeled his The Fugitive performance here. Anyway, the film was actually not all that bad. The only aspect I thought was just blah was unfortunately Sean Young, who was given a pretty good female character to play and seemed disinterested in it. Weirdly, I almost wish I could see this film with Demi Moore in that role. As for Airborne, we tried something new in how we choose the Friends this year and boy has it paid off so far with Airborne. I really enjoyed it. It’s pretty ludicrous and, while perhaps a little confusing for those that aren’t giant Gutes-heads like Patrick and I, I think most people who are at least somewhat familiar with his work would find the whole concept hilarious. Oh and if there’s one thing I’m a sucker for it’s a film where someone has a lucky coin and Gutes got on. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We got Nic Cage. We got Tommy Lee Jones. We got Top Gun with Helicopters. We got Fire Birds! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Uh, Top Gun with Helicopters, nuff said, right? Wrong, the cast is also spectacular. So what could have gone wrong? From the reviews it appears it was too gung-ho America for even the most patriotic of critics. And that’s saying something considering critics liked Top Gun. What were my expectations? I think I’ll easily be able to divide my brain into the “well, this celebration of the War on Drugs seems a bit unsavory” side and the “wooooooo mf-ing helicopters! Bro, like … helicopters!!” side. And that means I might just have fun with this.

The Good – It is, indeed, Top Gun with helicopters. And if that is what you are looking for I have no idea why you would go away dissatisfied with this film. It gives you what you want, which is Nic Cage screaming in your face while helicopters do loop-de-loops and shoot things. Tommy Lee Jones is great and plays the veteran who doesn’t want to call it quits perfectly. The Arizona setting is beautiful, and the soundtrack is bumping. I think there is a lot to love here. Best Bit: It’s between Tommy Lee Jones and the sweet red convertible Nic Cage drives around.

The Bad – Now, if you were looking for actual Top Gun level filmmaking then that’s where we go a bit wrong. Mainly, it has to be Nic Cage’s fault in the end. It feels like Tom Cruise manages to ground what is otherwise an absurd jingoistic and homoerotic film into a blockbuster. Nic Cage manages to Nic Cage it up. Which is all well and good now, but then? I think people balked at it. Otherwise the only real complaint was that I knew they didn’t have the guts to kill off one of the main three characters. While this pleased me, you didn’t get the emotional gut check of Goose dying to tell you that you were, in fact, watching a real movie. Instead you are left thinking you watched a feel good family action film. Which isn’t the same. Fatal Flaw: As much as it wants to be, it isn’t Top Gun, not even close.

The BMT – I kind of liked this film and I think there is something to be said about the absurdity of the various forms both Nic Cage and Tommy Lee Jones take within their BMT repertoires. I can respect that. And as an almost-forgotten part of both of their filmographies it is better than it had any right to be, and also was ludicrous. I think there is a ton of room to watch military films from the 80s and 90s like this in the future, I think we’ve left a ton of those on the table over the years. Did it meet my expectations? Yup, I successfully partitioned by brain into two halves and managed to like this film quite a bit.

Roast-radamus – Two solid Product Placement (What?) for Miller (which Nic Cage guzzles throughout) and Tide (in the pivotal laundry room scene). Solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for Arizona which, shockingly, is not mentioned anywhere on IMDb or Wikipedia as the location of this film (but it is definitely set there, you can see it on a map). I think that is it amazingly, no MacGuffins or Twists this week. Closest to BMT I think, although it is getting close to Good as well, I did genuinely like this film a lot.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I mean, we definitely need a Sequel. This time it is Nic Cage’s turn to be the grizzled veteran. And who’s a nice young star around 25-30 years old to be the hot shot? Maybe someone like Joe Keery from Stranger Things could work, he has that irreverent charm, but also comes across as too cool for school most of the time. And what better way to kick this film into the 21st century than to make Joe Kerry an ex-professional video game player who, after his father died, decided to follow him into the military to become the pilot he could never be. Operating drones, the new frontier on the war on terror is drone-to-drone warfare, and my god, Joe if the mf-ing best! He shoots everything down left and right, but alas, he never did tell them why he actually quit video games. He sustained nerve damage in his video gaming hand after a drug fueled night on the town and car crash. Well, Nic Cage can help with that. With a little bit of practice on the road, he helps Joe switch his dominant hand from the right to left. And in the end Joe gets the girl, destroys the drones, foils a terrorist plot, and high fives with everyone! Fire Birds 2: Drone Warfare. Sounds terrible, but also like something I would see on Netflix next to The Ice Road starring Liam Neeson.

Bring a Friend Analysis – This week we watched the Steve Guttenberg classic Airborne (nope, not the one with Seth Green, the one from 1998). Why? Well, obviously this is also a movie about flying and aircraft, right? … Right? WRONG! In an amazing twist of fate there is an airplane for approximately 5 minutes total of the film near the beginning and right at the end, the rest definitely has its feet planted firmly on land. The tagline is even “Pray it doesn’t land”!!! How does that happen? Is it just a trick to try and pull in that sweet sweet Turbulence money? The movie is pretty run of the mill, a standard Steel Sharks affair (complete with lucky coin), and is almost exclusively notable for Guttenberg playing a hardcore special ops soldier. Sean Bean being in it (for maaaaaaaaaybe 5 minutes of total screen time?) is truly bizarre as well. It is one of those films where there are seven weird things just floating around in a mostly boring story. Reminds me of a Dudikoff film. If not for it being called Airborne with barely a plane in sight it would be a C, but with that I’ll promote it to a B. Goes along at a good clip with a weird hook to legitimize watching it, plus the twist at the end is hilarious.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Fire Birds Quiz

Oh boy. So get this, I’m training to be a sweet helicopter pilot and I was just about to definitely kill this drug lord when I got shot down, broke both of my legs, and got a massive concussion. Now I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Fire Birds?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) When the movie opens Nic Cage is testifying to an investigative committee about an incident he was involved in. What happened during the incident?

2) What kind of gum is Nic Cage’s absolute favorite? 

3) Nic Cage has an issue (and it isn’t that he’s the greatest). What is it and how do they find out about it?

4) How does he get over this issue?

5) During Operation Fire Bird our Fire Birds get off the ground and go after the bad guys. How many bad guys get got, and how many good guy casualties do we see from the three birds?

Bonus Question: How long does Nic Cage’s a Sean Young’s relationship last this time?

Answers

Fire Birds Preview

Patrick sips his mai tai and looks lazily around the bar in Party Town, USA. He and Kyle could no longer say how long they had been trapped in this never ending stream of party fun. For a while he kept reassuring Kyle that it was all a simulation, but his long bushy beard was now snow white and he had given up. They’d probably die here. Just like how the Vice President (who they rescued the day they arrived) had grown old and died peacefully a few years back. “Come on out here and party, dude,” Kyle yells to him, all the while dancing with one of the numerous bodacious bades that populated the city. Patrick waves him away with a sigh and gets back to his mai tai. Kyle plops down on the stool next to him. “Bro, I can always tell when you’re ready to poop on a party. You get that sad, party-pooper look in your eyes. You feeling blue?” Patrick nods. “Is it because we’ve been trapped in this party bar for 30-50 years?” Patrick nods again and sighs, “Yeah, sorry, man. I hate to rain on your parade.” Kyle shrugs and pats him on the shoulder, “You could never rain on my parade, bro. In fact, it never rains here at all. That’s what makes Party Town so great, right?” Suddenly Patrick looks around… that’s true. In 30-50 years it has never rained. Rain… water… mainframe. My god! He suddenly leaps up and looks around frantically before he sees it. The alarm. He looks up and sees the sprinklers Kyle had installed when he took over ownership of the bar. Just practical business sense he said… or a stroke of genius! “Fire,” Patrick whispers and Kyle just looks at him quizzically. “FIRE!” He screams. That’s right! We’re watching the Nic Cage/Tommy Lee Jones/Sean Young classic that we all remember, Fire Birds. It’s the helicopter knock-off of Top Gun that we were all clamouring for at the time and I can only assume it delivered on those points. Let’s go!

“Fire.” Jamie hears the whisper and pulls away from his steamy make out session with Lindsey. Was that Patrick he heard? Fire.. water… mainframe. “Where does that pipe lead?” He asks Lindsey, pointing at their steamy water pipe. “Uh,” she thinks, “up, I guess.” That’s right! We are starting in on our Bring a Friend cycle (the best cycle) with a little Guttenberg special, the 1998 film Airborne which is about a plane… or maybe a virus… I don’t know, but it def got the Gutes. Let’s go!

Fire Birds (1990) – BMeTric: 45.8; Notability: 25

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.4%; Notability: top 21.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 4.6%; Higher BMeT: Captain America, Look Who’s Talking Too, Rocky V, Ghost Dad, Graveyard Shift, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Repossessed, Soultaker, Problem Child, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection Higher Notability: RoboCop 2, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Predator 2, Days of Thunder, Jetsons: The Movie, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Air America, Captain America, Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory, Marked for Death, The Rookie, Rocky V, 3 Men and a Little Lady, Stella, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, Revenge, Bird on a Wire, Ghost Dad, Another 48 Hrs., Mr. Destiny, and 33 more; Lower RT: Problem Child, Death Warrant, Graveyard Shift, Repossessed, Coupe de Ville, Loose Cannons, Madhouse, Funny About Love, Soultaker, Ghost Dad, Spaced Invaders; Notes: The BMeTric is a lot higher than I would have expected since it only have around 6K ratings which is amazing low. We have obviously left a lot on the table as far as 1990 films are concerned. Very interesting that Soultaker gets a shoutout.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  High-tech Apache helicopters (with an assist from their pilots) take on South American drug cartels from the air. Standard military issue with a ruptured-duck script and no romantic chemistry between professional rivals Cage and Young. Jones doesn’t evoke memories of Gregory Peck in Twelve O’Clock High when he pep-talks Cage into a “full-tilt boogie for freedom and justice.”

(I’m having a hard time pinning down a definition for “ruptured-duck”. It has to do with a pin given to those honorably discharged in WWII, that much is for sure. So I guess he’s saying the film is ho-hum (standard issue) and the script is either old-school or maybe just bad (i.e. discharged)? Fascinating turn of phrase, Leonard.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uOcWJ9ae5A/

(Yeah that is Top Gun for helicopters. All it is missing is Nic Cage buzzing the tower. Also as insane as it sounds that shows the entire climax of the film which is pretty nuts.)

DirectorsDavid Green – (Known For: Buster; Car Trouble; BMT: Fire Birds; Notes: British, he directed a load of Emmerdale Farm episodes (a British Soap). IMDb claims he has two new directorial efforts in production, but somehow I doubt that.)

WritersStep Tyner – (BMT: Fire Birds; Notes: Yeah so if you look around and search his name with Belvoir (Swensson’s production company) you can find that they were West Point classmates and Tyner wrote the original script, and Swensson marketed it. So that is how they are associated.)

John K. Swensson – (BMT: Fire Birds; Notes: I found his profile. It even mentions Fire Birds as just like a three year period of his life, strange.)

Dale Dye – (Known For: Occupation: Rainfall; BMT: Fire Birds; Notes: Apparently a military advisor on a number of films which he often gets bit parts in. This is no different, he plays A.K. McNeil in the film.)

Nick Thiel – (Known For: White Fang; Shipwrecked; The Experts; Future BMT: V.I. Warshawski; The Associate; BMT: Fire Birds; Notes: A producer for a ton of television which he also writes for. From 1987 to 1996 he wrote feature films. Nominated for an Emmy for Magnum P.I.)

Paul F. Edwards – (Known For: Trackdown; High-Ballin’; BMT: Fire Birds; Notes: Wrote a bunch of television including the show Wizards and Warriors.)

ActorsNicolas Cage – (Known For: Pig; Prisoners of the Ghostland; Willy’s Wonderland; The Rock; The Croods: A New Age; Fast Times at Ridgemont High; World Trade Center; Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; Kick-Ass; Mandy; Color Out of Space; Leaving Las Vegas; National Treasure; Raising Arizona; Face/Off; Snowden; Con Air; Jiu Jitsu; Adaptation.; The Croods; Future BMT: Knowing; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Next; 8MM; Windtalkers; G-Force; Trapped in Paradise; Amos & Andrew; BMT: Gone in Sixty Seconds; Ghost Rider; Drive Angry; Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Left Behind; The Wicker Man; Season of the Witch; Trespass; Captain Corelli’s Mandolin; Justice; Bangkok Dangerous; Fire Birds; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2007 for The Wicker Man; in 2008 for Ghost Rider, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and Next; in 2012 for Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, and Trespass; in 2013 for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and Seeking Justice; and in 2015 for Left Behind; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Snowden in 2017; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2007 for The Wicker Man; and in 2012 for Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, and Trespass; Notes: Won an Oscar of Leaving Las Vegas and was nominated for Adaptation. You know Nic Cage, he is apparently going to play Joe Exotic in a tv show about Tiger King, but somehow I doubt that will ever actually be produced.)

Tommy Lee Jones – (Known For: Captain America: The First Avenger; The Client; No Country for Old Men; Space Cowboys; Ad Astra; Wander; Jason Bourne; Men in Black; The Fugitive; Natural Born Killers; The Comeback Trail; Lincoln; JFK; Men in Black 3; Under Siege; Small Soldiers; The Missing; Love Story; The Homesman; Shock and Awe; Future BMT: Criminal; Men in Black II; Double Jeopardy; The Family; U.S. Marshals; The Hunted; Blown Away; Man of the House; Rules of Engagement; Just Getting Started; Savage Islands; BMT: Batman Forever; Mechanic: Resurrection; Fire Birds; Notes: Won and Oscar for The Fugitive and was nominated for three more. One of his first roles was 21 episodes of One Life to Live in the 1975.)

Sean Young – (Known For: Dune; Blade Runner 2049; Blade Runner; Bone Tomahawk; Ace Ventura: Pet Detective; Wall Street; Stripes; No Way Out; Cousins; Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader; Escape Room; Mockingbird Don’t Sing; Even Cowgirls Get the Blues; The Pit; A Random Encounter; Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde; Poor White Trash; Darling; The Boost; Parasomnia; Future BMT: Sugar & Spice; Once Upon a Crime…; Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend; A Kiss Before Dying; Young Doctors in Love; Love Crimes; BMT: Fatal Instinct; Fire Birds; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress, and Worst Supporting Actress for A Kiss Before Dying in 1992; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde in 1996; Nominee for Worst Actress for Love Crimes in 1993; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress in 1993 for Once Upon a Crime…; and in 1995 for Even Cowgirls Get the Blues; Notes: I kind of wish they had tossed a cameo into the new Dune for her. Instead she is making a film called Planet Dune in which is basically just a horror version of Dune? You can’t make this stuff up.)

Budget/Gross – $22 million / Domestic: $14,760,451 (Worldwide: $14,760,451)

(Ooooooof that is brutal. They thought they were getting Top Gun 2?! They were getting like … a straight-to-video Seagal war film.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (2/21): Despite the talent on board, Fire Birds is little more than a subpar military adventure sporting video game-like action, outdated philosophy, and uneven acting.

(Yup, yup, and yup. Much like Tackleberry’s “I can’t believe they won’t let me murder innocent people anymore” speech from Police Academy: Mission to Moscow, the gung-ho jingoism of the military films of yesteryear was never going to play well in the 90s.)

Reviewer Highlight: The action here is more like something you’d expect to pop a quarter in a machine for. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Poster – Rage Cage and Tommy Lee Bones

(That poster cannot be denied. Man, that’s fire (birds). Nice orange color, dope helicopters, fading those face sooooo sweet. Hooo weeee. If only they really leaned into some font work. Then we’d really have something. B.)

Tagline(s) – The best just got better. (A+ x 10)

(Ha. Yeah, I mean. Yes. I like that because it sounds like words but in fact is meaningless. You heard about the best? Yeah… well, guess what? They just got better. It gets funnier the more I think about it.)

Keyword(s) – helicopter-pilot

Top 10: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Army of the Dead (2021), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Fast & Furious 7 (2015), Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), Jurassic World (2015), Kong: Skull Island (2017), Extraction (2020), Spectre (2015), American Sniper (2014)

Future BMT: 44.3 Home Fries (1998), 35.9 Air America (1990), 29.2 Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992), 27.6 Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), 27.3 The Thing (2011), 26.7 American Assassin (2017), 19.4 Terminator Salvation (2009), 18.4 Crazy People (1990), 14.8 Angels & Demons (2009)

BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), The Predator (2018), Fifty Shades Darker (2017), CHIPS (2017), Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), The Darkest Minds (2018), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), Fire Birds (1990)

Matches: Fire Birds (1990), Dance of the Dwarfs (1983), Avalanche (1999)

(Cooool plot. The little lines tell you how many films (and how big they were) basically. Not sure why helicopters were a huge thing in the 10s, I guess it is most likely that just big films got keywords around then. I am very excited to continue the helicopter 1990s train rolling with Air America some day.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 8) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Nicolas Cage is No. 1 billed in Fire Birds and No. 1 billed in The Wicker Man, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 1) + (5 + 1) = 8. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – K. Monty Jordan, one of the stunt team, was a real U.S. Army helicopter pilot in Vietnam, and retired as a Colonel after Operation: Desert Storm.

The enemy jet fighter is portrayed by a Swedish SAAB J 35F ‘Draken’ (Dragon).

Some of the exterior shots of “Fort Mitchell” were filmed at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, and the inn, where Billie and Preston go, is actually The Tack Room, also in Tucson which was, at the time, a 5-star restaurant.

The “Scorpion” attack helicopters are actually Hughes MD-500D Defenders.

The bar scene was filmed at VIP Showclub located at 5120 E Speedway in Tucson, which was a topless bar at the time. The club was made to look like a regular nightclub with a live band, as seen in the movie. Filming took place over three days. Location is currently Ten’s Showclub.

The music that plays during the first half of the film’s original theatrical trailer is 80s classic “Nowhere Fast” composed for and made famous by the movie Streets of Fire (1984).

Some of the scenes were built on a set inside the Tucson Convention Center.

The flight simulator motion base is actually a AH1 flight weapons simulator (cobra helicopter) located at the Western Army Aviation Training Site in Arizona.

The original title of the film was “Night of the Apache”

The Catamarca Desert is specifically located in Argentina.

Infamously known among critics as Top Gun (1986) with helicopters.

Mannequin: on the Move Recap

Jamie

Hollywood is back, Jack!… oh and the mannequin or whatever. When a supposedly cursed mannequin turns out to be an actually cursed princess (and she’s hot stuff to boot) Jason’s got to figure out what to do in the name of love. Can he defeat the wicked sorcerer who’s come looking for the girl before it’s too late? Find out in… Mannequin: On the Move.

How?! Back in Middle Earth or some shit a Prince is totally into a peasant woman, Jessie. But before they can run off together they are caught by the Queen, whose sorcerer curses the woman for a thousand years. As long as she wears the cursed necklace (that can only be removed by her true love) then she’ll be a statue. Anywho, flash forward 999 years later and under the guise of a worldwide tour, the evil sorcerer’s descendant plans to take the mannequin away (specifically to Philadelphia) just in time for her to become human again so he can steal away to Bermuda with her. Enter Jason (who looks startlingly like the Prince) a man about town just trying to do his best at his new job at the department store of the first film. He’s placed under the guidance of Hollywood (finally! Some connecting fibers to the first entry) in order to plan the big presentation about the cursed mannequin. When the mannequin is almost destroyed in transit, Jason saves her and is shocked to find that she appears to be momentarily alive. Intrigued, he hangs around the mannequin and finds he can remove the necklace no prob and proceeds to teach this totally hot former mannequin all about the modern world. They are totally in love and Jason is dancing and making breakfast and all that jazz when Jessie decides to try on her necklace and becomes a statue again. Uh oh! Jason is confused and real sad and so he brings the mannequin back to the store. But Hollywood also inadvertently takes off the necklace (guess the rules changed all of a sudden) and Jessie is on the move once again. The sorcerer is suspicious and have the police help get Jessie back and have Jason arrested. But that just won’t do. Hollywood stages a jailbreak and soon they are in the midst of the big presentation where Jason and Jessie confront the sorcerer. In a panic he attempts to escape with Jessie in a hot air balloon (obviously), but Jason plays hero, put the necklace on the sorcerer’s neck and pushes the statue out of the balloon. Hooray! THE END.

Why?! Love. It’s all about true love. The confounding part is the sorcerer. Really in the beginning of the film it’s not like the sorcerer is all “in 1000 years if you don’t find true love you will become human and have to love my descendant” so I’m not really sure what his plan is. Steal treasure and take Jessie to Bermuda where… what? She’ll look at how gross you are and be like no thanks? Just steal the jewels and leave… why do you even need the mannequin lady? You can probably find plenty of women who will love you for your jewels and treasure.

Who?! Lots of dual roles here. Jason, the sorcerer, and Jason’s mom are also part of the set up of the film. A lot of recaps and synopses get a little confused whether they are meant to be reincarnations of the same people (which is understandable since that’s more in line with the original film’s story). Even Hollywood gets to play a random bouncer at one point. They were just loving the multiple roles.

What?! Some nice MacGuffins in here. While Jessie herself is a MacGuffin of sort, I don’t love when people are MacGuffins. Doesn’t seem right. But the necklace she’s wearing definitely is one. No one really cares how it works and in fact it seems to bend its own established rules throughout the film. Jason is the only one that can take it off Jessie? Not so fast, we need Hollywood to take it off for a gag. So after a thousand years it just wears off? Well apparently the main bad guy thinks it’ll force her to fall in love with him. Why? I don’t know and I don’t care. MacGuffin. Should note that there is a bunch of product placement here since it’s set in a department store and all, but the MacGuffin is more important.

Where?! Philly of course. Probably the most pleasant surprises of these films is how hard they lean into the Philadelphia setting. You have to admire it (I know we do). I wish more films did this, just lean heavy on being all about the Dallas-Fort Worth scene. Really play up the Salt Lake City sights and sounds. You got a movie about a guy who finds out he can telepathically communicate with dogs? How about a guy who finds out he can telepathically communicate with dogs… in Nashville? B+

When?! I do not know. All I know is that probably the opening scene takes place in the year 992 A.D. Let’s see what we got going on then… hmmm, according to Wikipedia not too much. I’m sure there was, just not a lot is recorded in detail being several centuries before the printing press. So it seems like it’s not out of the question that a peasant girl was turned into a mannequin around then. Mannequin: On the Move. “Plausible” – Jamie from BadMovieTwins.com. C+ just fo funsies.

I’d like to think there is a perfect trilogy out there of films where the first entry is already off the rails and then it gets a sequel that is even more off the rails and makes you wistfully remember the first entry as if it’s some lost masterpiece. Certainly the Weekend at Bernie’s series fits the bill with its voodoo magic twist in the second film. This similarly enters the twilight zone with its cursed necklace and hot air balloon finale. It’s not even like the films are all that unpleasant really, they are just really really really dumb and have two of the worst set ups I can recall for major motion pictures. Anyway, I’ll leave it at that: harmless for the most part (well maybe the stereotypical nature of Hollywood’s character is a little harmful) and not really so much worse than the original I think… but they are both stupid so not sure that says a lot. The real conclusion is that we are now in pursuit of the third film of this ilk. We better get thinking. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Now this is a Mannequin on the Move! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – The explicit setting in a fictional country? Hollywood Montrose in a triumphant return? Cursed necklaces? Bad German-esque accents? Did I mention that Hollywood Montrose makes a triumphant return?!?! Having watched the first film, and then the trailer for the second I was pretty excited for this guy. What were my expectations? A bananas film about mannequins on the move, and a healthy dose of Hollywood Montrose!! Sock it to me.

The Good – I know that the characterization of Hollywood Montrose is a problem, but I can’t help but like him in his own insane 80s way. He is a living breathing “Jordan Peele from the Gremlins 2 sketch” … like, Jordan Peele explicitly based on the character off of Hollywood Montrose right? Also in its own weird way the acting between the two leads works for me. It isn’t good acting, it just feels genuine. Probably because the film was shot without an actual script or something. Really good Philadelphia film as well. Best Bit: Hollywood Montrose.

The Bad – The Germans and the Count are just exasperating. I can’t handle any of the junk they are doing throughout the film. The plot is also hard to deal with since, for whatever reason, the main character Jason never seems to realize that all he has to do is pull off the magic necklace and then everyone would be able to see that Jessie is a human being. The set up (and all the stuff with the fictional Germanic country) is also just the worst, I don’t really get why they couldn’t just run back the Pygmalion idea in the end. Fatal Flaw: Horrid caricatures all over the place (and somehow I’m not talking about Hollywood Montrose).

The BMT – Jamie nails it on the head, this is Weekend at Bernie’s 2. I don’t even remember the plot of that film, the only thing I remember is being horrified and that there was a voodoo magic dancing scene with a corpse. Rest assured the entire Mannequin saga is going to boil down to the first one seeming kind of okay, and the second one having a ridiculous hot air balloon ending involving german people. I’ll forget everything else. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, I mean, Hollywood Montrose was Hollywood Montrose and the whole thing was absurd. What more could I ask for really?

Roast-radamus – Yet again a very solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for Philadelphia. They even roll down the main road in Midtown in order to get some genuine Philly Cheesesteak. There is definite potential for MacGuffin (Why?) for the Mannequin aka Jessie herself. Everyone wants her, only Jason can have her because of love (awwwwww). Very much closest to BMT in the end.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Obviously since Emmy is a former mannequin she couldn’t possibly have half-mannequin children, right? WRONG. They have a son Paul who has been given the task by his architecture firm to build the Connecticut suburban town New Paphos. Going to the half-built New Paphos, everything is falling apart! The eeeeeevil Richards is back as the planning commissioner for Southern Connecticut, and he wants nothing more than to see Paul fail. But with the help of the new school teacher who has arrived early, Paul and her whip the town in shape just before Richard’s contrived deadline. And guess what else? They fall in love! The film is Son of the Mannequin, and it does feature a cameo by Andrew McCarthy, but they couldn’t get Kim Cattral.

You Just Got Schooled – As should be obvious Mannequin is, of course, an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion which itself was based on the mythological figure of Pygmalion who fashioned a beauty from stone and fell in love with her. I read both, although the myth was just a short section of Ovid’s Metamorphoses I think. The play is pretty short and readily available for free from Project Gutenberg and the like. It is very good, although obviously it has nothing to do with Mannequin. It is actually very much like the myth in that a man “creates” a woman, falls in love with her, the end. Mannequin is about a man who creates a woman which is then inhabited by an Egyptian soul and then he saves his department store from a hostile takeover … slightly different. I would recommend the play though for anyone with a few hours to spare, it is, at the very least, interesting for its Victorian setting. A.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Mannequin Recap

Jamie

Jonathan Switcher is a true artist who just can’t seem to hold down a job. That is until his most prized creation (a beautiful mannequin) shows up in a store window. This begins his wild ride as a top display window creator. (Oh and also the mannequin comes alive only for him and he’s in love with it.) Can they stop the dastardly rival store before it’s too late? Find out in… Mannequin.

How?! Jonathan Switcher just crafted his masterpiece. A paragon of artistic achievement. A mannequin? Wha-wha-whaaaa. While he can’t get his bodacious mannequin out of his head, he also can’t hold down a job due to his artistic vision. Wandering the streets, no job, no girlfriend, no hope he suddenly happens upon his mannequin queen in the window of a store. Oh, glorious day! He shows up the next day and through some quick thinking he gets on the good side of the owner of the store. She insists he get a job and soon he’s working alongside the mannequin herself. What a dream! And what’s even more fantastic is that the mannequin also turns out to be a cursed Egyptian princess, Emmy, who comes alive when Jonathan and her are alone (not making this up). Now they are rocking out together and totally in love, not to mention that Jonathan has found his true calling as a display window creative. Soon he’s the talk of the town and the crosstown rivals, who are also hoping to buy their store, are ready to swipe Jonathan away. With the help of his ex-girlfriend and the smarmy manager of the store, they are able to figure out that the mannequin is the key to it all. They swipe Emmy and Jonathan and his pals are soon in hot pursuit. It’s a classic 80’s action sequence that ends with Jonathan rescuing Emmy from an industrial shredder. As a result Emmy no longer is cursed to only be alive for Jonathan and everyone is like “Woah, that lady was a mannequin but now she’s just a hot alive person,” and Emmy and Jonathan smooch a bunch. THE END.

Why?! Love, and that’s not even a joke. While I like to compare the film to the ludicrousness of Weekend at Bernie’s, that film was much closer to the greed-is-goodness of the 80’s ideal. This is all about Emmy not being forced to marry and instead find true love. Now the bad guys… those guys are just about greed being good.

Who?! There is an interesting Producer aspect to this film. Joseph Farrell was an executive producer. At the time he was the founder and chief executive of NRG, the original market testing firm in Hollywood. He basically created the focus group. Apparently he stepped in on this film to prove that the method really worked and made significant changes (hiring McCarthy was one). Despite it being BMT it was a big success and got us Mannequin 2: On the Move. So thank you, Joseph Farrell.

What?! Unfortunately Emmy herself is the MacGuffin here. Everyone wants and needs her, but the audiences could care less about that. They just want them sweet smooches between Emmy and Jonathan. I also do believe this was the one where Patrick and I spied a Dunkin Donuts coffee in the background of a scene and exclaimed “Mannequin runs on Dunkin” and it was pretty great.

Where?! You can read articles online where people suggest this is one of the substantial Philly settings of all time. The gist of the argument is that Mannequin really does take you around Philly and reiterate the setting of Philly and celebrate Philly to an extent that you just don’t see very often. Obviously it’s not going to compete with Rocky, but it is a surprisingly strong setting film/franchise. B+.

When?! I really would have thought this could have been a secret holiday film cause everyone knows that the holidays are prime display window season. The rival company could have been all like “We need him, Christmas is just around the corner,” and that would have done. But the real issue is that I just don’t really remember if there was a specific time mentioned… and I blame the movie itself by not setting it during Christmas. F.

Mannequin is pleasant enough once you get past the set up. It opens with a totally unnecessary and poorly acted scene set in “ancient Egypt” in order to set up the (also totally unnecessary) plot point that Emmy is an Egyptian princess trapped in the mannequin’s body until she is able to find true love. They should have learned a thing or two from Xanadu and just rolled with Emmy being alive because of the power of art/love or whatever. But beyond that it’s just a silly farce a la Weekend at Bernie’s. Similar to that film it really mostly suffers by reputation. When your concept is that a man falls in love with a mannequin who comes to life only when they are alone (a concept that would likely be frowned upon by today’s standards), you are playing a bit behind the eight ball… much like if, you know, you came up with a film where a couple of dopes have to pretend their boss is alive for a weekend and parade around with his corpse… kinda like that. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Mannequin? What, does this Mannequin not even know how to move? Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I think the most startling thing was realizing that despite no one mentioning this fact, the mannequin is actually from ancient Egypt. I had just figured she was, you know … a magic mannequin or something. But then only Leonard Maltin talks about the whole beginning in Egypt. Still totally different than the set up to the sequel, but a lot closer than most of the preview would suggest. What were my expectations? I only really expected Kim Cattrall to be amazing as usual. Otherwise I was excited for (1) a dance sequence, and (2) just how 80s everything was going to be. So I knew I would at least be entertained by that.

The Good – Kim Cattrall is, as expected, very charming in the film, and mostly saves it from just being forgettable 80s nonsense. The way they play into the silliness of the concept is also very winning, and Hollywood Montrose as a character might be offensive by some standards these days, but I think it ends up being the right tone of ridiculousness. That isn’t to say the film works because the plot is nonsensical, but there are good performances, and it is less self-serious than one might think going into it. Best Bit: Kim Cattrall.

The Bad – It feels like Spader and Carole Davis were in a totally different movie, the aforementioned self-serious Mannequin … which now that I think about, I’ll definitely be writing a pitch for in the later Remake section. I think the major strike against the film is that it is virtually plotless. A guy can’t hold down a job, ends up finding a magic mannequin … uh, I guess he foils the B-plot of a takeover of a Philadelphia department store? Wait, is that actually the plot of the film? See, it slides off your brain like water off of a mannequin’s slick exterior. Fatal Flaw: Nothing story.

The BMT – I think this film is better than it has any right to be. And I think given the second film, it ends up being far more enjoyable that you would think given that as context. As far as BMT is concerned, this is exactly the type of film you forget actually qualified until one day you check Rotten Tomatoes and it is sitting at 40% and no longer qualifies. Then you thank god for giving you the instinct to watch the film while it was still considered bad. Did it meet my expectations? The dance sequence is b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-bonkers, and makes the movie worth watching just for that. Well … I guess in reality it makes it worth finding that specific clip on Youtube. Still, so very very 80s.

Roast-radamus – Some solid Product Placement (What?) with Mannequin running on Dunkin’ (Donuts), and Carnival Cruises doing one of the window displays at the department stores (uh, big pull for a down-on-its-luck department store to get their window display sponsored by Carnival, but whatever). Really nice Setting as a Character (Where?) for Philadelphia. Which is bigger for Philadelphia, the Mannequin Cinematic Universe, or Rocky? Let the debate rage. In the end I think this is closest to Good.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I already mentioned it, I’m doing the gritty Remake of the Mannequin franchise. Jonathan Switcher is a happy-go-lucky artist creating ou-of-this-world mannequin creations for local department store Prince & Company in 80s Philadelphia. He has a wonderful life and a wonderful wife and couldn’t be happier. That is, up until the eeeevil Richards, a corporate raider hell bent on owning Prince & Company once and for all, sends thugs to work Switcher over and accidentally kills his beloved wife Emmy! Descending into madness and grief Switcher goes to the department store and fashions an exact replica of Emmy from the mannequin displays, and as he prays to god to take him and return Emmy, she … comes alive? He’s horrified, but maybe, just maybe this is a sign. He asks Emmy who killed her and she reveals it was Richards! His old nemesis did this! Hell bent on vengeance, Switcher and Mannequin Emmy take out Richards’ thugs, and work their way up to a showdown at Richards’ corporate headquarters. As Switcher shoots down Richards in cold blood he turns to his lady love to find her to be a mannequin once more. Was it all in his head? Or did the vengeance release her restless soul from its terrestrial prison? You’ll have to wait for the sequel to find out. Now called The Mannequin.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Mannequin: on the Move Quiz

So there I was dressing up a Mannequin (again), when it comes to life (again) and bops me on the head (again). Now I can’t remember a thing (again)! Do you remember what happened in Mannequin: on the Move?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film Jessie is a normal girl living in a fictional country just wanting to marry her beau. But then she gets cursed by an eeeevil wizard and becomes a statue. Under what two conditions would she unfreeze?

2) Jason on the other hand is about to start his new job at the department store. What are his initial responsibilities?

3) And as part of those responsibilities Jason needs to go pick up the enchanted statue from the airport. Why is the enchanted statue coming to Philadelphia?

4) The bulk of the film is Jason trying to save the very much alive Jessie from being kidnapped by the eeeeeevil Count Spretzle. Why does Jason get arrested and how is he freed?

5) How many people become Mannequins during the course of the film?

Bonus Question: Obvs Jessie and Jason fall in love (awwwwww) and get married, by what does it say they do afterwards?

Answers

Mannequin Quiz

So there I was dressing up a Mannequin for the big morning reveal (obviously) when all of a sudden it came to life, bopped me on the head, and now I don’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Mannequin?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film our hero loses his job … well many jobs. And all for the same reason in the end. What reason does he lose all of these jobs?

2) And how does our hero get his job at the department store?

3) What window displays does he and the mannequin make throughout the film?

3) Why does Richards (James Spader) get fired?

4) In the end our arch-villain (Roxie … wait is that right?) is chased through the store by Switcher. What is Roxie trying to do to foil Switcher’s career and gain power at Illustra?

Bonus Question: At the end of the film Emmy and Swisher get married and live happily ever after, where do they go afterwards?

Answers

Mannequin: on the Move Preview

Jamie and Patrick sit nervously in their limousine. Fortunately the hours worth of makeup covering Michael Myers’ chest shielded him from the brunt of the sniper’s bullet. The rest of production went off without a hitch, but even so Banks insisted they have a bodyguard for the premier. “It’s the next logical place they’ll try to take you out,” the suave bodyguard says. They watch the final cut of Rich & Poe: Legends Never Die: The Director’s Cut with mixed emotions and pat each other on the back when the crowd rises in thunderous applause. While a disaster would have stopped the cyborgs they can’t help but cherish the return of Rich and Poe. They smile as it’s announced that the Academy has met early and awarded them Best Picture. On stage, they lean into the microphone but stop, puzzled. Something is off…. Suddenly they see their bodyguard amidst the crowd. “He’s got a gun!” they scream but as a shot rings out they find themselves pushed to the side. On the ground is Kyle, their old friend from prison, having taken a bullet for them. 

A week later they sit in their apartment waiting with bated breath as the reviews for the R&P rip-off pour in. 37%… 38%… 39% and it stops. “One review and it would have topped 40% and never qualified,” Jamie says banging the giant box still taking up half the apartment. “If only we knew someone else who had a review website… that would be perfect,” Patrick says with a chuckle. Kyle, staying with them while recovering, softly says, “I do, but you probably aren’t interested in it.” He shrugs, red-faced. They look at him quizzically. “Uh,” he continues, “it’s called SMT… SexyMannequinTimes.com… we primarily review films that have sexy mannequins in them.” That’s right! We are indeed watching the premier film series for SexyMannequinTimes.com (warning: not a real website… hopefully) Mannequin and Mannequin 2: On the Move. The mere existence is dumbfounding, but no more dumbfounding than the existence of Weekend at Bernie’s and Weekend at Bernie’s 2. This also marked the transition from sequels/franchises into big ol’ bomb town where we are only watching films that are rated BOMB in Leonard Maltin’s review book. Let’s go!

Mannequin: On the Move (1991) – BMeTric: 50.6; Notability: 21

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 3.6%; Notability: top 68.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 7.4% Higher BMeT: Cool as Ice, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Problem Child 2, Child’s Play 3, Suburban Commando, Nothing But Trouble; Higher Notability: Hook, Hudson Hawk, Mobsters, Switch, Flight of the Intruder, Rock-A-Doodle, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Life Stinks, Out for Justice, Necessary Roughness, The Marrying Man, The Five Heartbeats, Driving Me Crazy, Billy Bathgate, He Said, She Said, Oscar, Teen Agent, King Ralph, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Married to It, and 39 more; Lower RT: Cool as Ice, Mobsters, Problem Child 2, Pure Luck, The Marrying Man, Strictly Business, Drop Dead Fred, Another You, Oscar, Nothing But Trouble, The Hitman; Notes: See that’s more like it, a solid sub-5.0 disaster. Juuuuust managed to creep over the wonderful 50+ BMeTric mark, impressive for the early 90s.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – This inept sequel to Mannequin makes you think the original was not so bad by comparison. Ahain, a window dresser (Ragsdale) in a department store frees the spirit of a medieval peasant (Swanson) who has been imprisoned inside a mannequin’s form for – quite logically – 1000 years. Torpor ensues.

(“Torpor ensues” is one of the better zingers I’ve seen in a short-form film review. Just the right level of disdain. They are much more explicit about this one having some sort of mystical curse involved … I’m still not entirely convinced that is the case with the first one.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1oy_TQ9tyE/

(You can immediately tell this is barely a sequel. What did they do!? Why wouldn’t you just play back the same story with two different actors? It seems so strange to all of a sudden start talking about curses and middle ages stuff for a sequel. Bizarre. I love it.)

Directors – Stewart Raffill – (Known For: Tammy and the T-Rex; Three – III; The Philadelphia Experiment; The Adventures of the Wilderness Family; Bad Girl Island; Across the Great Divide; The New Swiss Family Robinson; High Risk; Shipwreck!; Lost in Africa; Grizzly Falls; When the North Wind Blows; A Month of Sundays; The Tender Warrior; Future BMT: The Ice Pirates; Standing Ovation; BMT: Mac and Me; Mannequin: On the Move; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director in 1989 for Mac and Me, and Sunset; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Mac and Me in 1989; Notes: Directed multiple episodes of a television series called 18 Wheels of Justice which aired on the channel TNN in the early 00s. It had two seasons worth of episodes!)

Writers – Edward Rugoff (characters & written by) – (Known For: Double Take; Future BMT: Mr. Nanny; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Mannequin; Notes: Produced a documentary about his father’s career in independent film.)

Michael Gottlieb (characters) – (Future BMT: Mr. Nanny; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Mannequin; Notes: Produced the 1999 N64 remake of The Paperboy video game. It was not received well.)

David Isaacs and Ken Levine (written by) – (Known For: Volunteers; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Notes: Also rewrote the first film, but didn’t get credited for that one. They both wrote on M*A*S*H, Cheers, and Frasier.)

Betsy Israel (written by) – (BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Notes: Wrote an article in Playboy in August 1994 called “Going all the Way” and no, I couldn’t find it online.)

Actors – Kristy Swanson – (Known For: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; Hot Shots!; Pretty in Pink; The Phantom; Higher Learning; The Chase; The Program; Highway to Hell; What If…; Ground Control; Storm Rider; Getting In; Diving In; Soul Assassin; Future BMT: Dude, Where’s My Car?; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag; Flowers in the Attic; Big Daddy; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Deadly Friend; Notes: Was the original Buffy. Apparently dated Alan Thicke when she was 17 and he was 40.)

William Ragsdale – (Known For: Fright Night; Alex Strangelove; Fright Night Part 2; Thunderstruck; Smooth Talk; What Just Happened; The Last Time; Just a Little Harmless Sex; Wonderful World; Screams of a Winter Night; Future BMT: The Reaping; Broken City; BMT: Left Behind; Big Momma’s House 2; Mannequin: On the Move; Notes: Mostly does smaller television roles now, although he had a recurring role on Justified. Apparently notably for missing out on a number of big leading man roles in the 80s, including Biloxi Blues.)

Meshach Taylor – (Known For: Explorers; The Howling; Omen II: Damien; The Beast Within; House of Games; Warning Sign; Hyenas; Stony Island; Ultra Warrior; Inside Out; Friends and Family; One More Saturday Night; Jacks or Better; Future BMT: Mannequin; The Allnighter; Class Act; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Designing Women. He starred in that for 152 episodes, and Dave’s World for over 90.)

Budget/Gross – $13,000,000 / Domestic: $3,752,428 (Worldwide: $3,752,428)

(Holy good god. They doubled the budget and managed to get 10x less money out of the other side! That is one of the worst bombs I’ve seen in a long time just based on that fact alone.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (3/23)

(Time to make a consensus: Dumb and cliche, the second Mannequin manages to somehow do even less that the first with its already weak concept. Reviewer Highlight: It took four writers to struggle with another idea of why a mannequin would come to life in a department store and what would happen if she did. – Variety)

Poster – Manalive: There’s a Man Alive in There

(My god they made it worse! Font is still good and still has things that are really funny. Like Hollywood, the real star of the first film, stating “yoo hoo, I’m back.” Phew, thank god. Cause I would not have watched without you. D+.)

Tagline(s) – She’s been frozen for a thousand years… now it’s time to break the ice. (C-)

(I mean, a little more clever, much longer, and pretty much exactly the same amount of info about the film. Which is to say a lot because they basically wrote a novel with this tagline. Boo.)

Keyword – time travel

Top 10: Tenet (2020), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Interstellar (2014), Back to the Future (1985), Arrival (2016), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), Masters of the Universe (1987), Deadpool 2 (2018), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Future BMT: 69.1 The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006), 66.2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 62.9 Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014), 60.9 The Final Destination (2009), 59.5 Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015), 56.2 Land of the Lost (2009), 50.0 The Sin Eater (2003), 47.4 Clockstoppers (2002), 45.3 A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995), 43.0 Freejack (1992);

BMT: Masters of the Universe (1987), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Event Horizon (1997), Assassin’s Creed (2016), Timeline (2003), Jumper (2008), Lost in Space (1998), The Lake House (2006), Paycheck (2003), Mannequin: On the Move (1991), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (1996), The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007), A Sound of Thunder (2005), Black Knight (2001)

(People love time travel, although as maybe the graph suggests it has became a bit played out on the larger stage. All of the good time travel films seem to be going to streaming (much like all of the good groundhog day films).)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: William Ragsdale is No. 2 billed in Mannequin: On the Move and No. 9 billed in Left Behind (2014), which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 9 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 19. If we were to watch Big Daddy we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – “Mannequin: On the Move” is the actual title of this sequel. “Mannequin Two: On the Move” was the poster’s title.

The pink convertible used in this sequel is the same convertible driven by the aliens in Mac and Me (1988), also directed by Stewart Raffill. (Is it his car?)

Andrew Hill Newman also appeared in Mannequin (1987) playing a different character. (I do love when that happens)

This sequel is the last movie to be released by Gladden Entertainment.

The name of the mythical kingdom, “Hauptmann-Koenig”, is German for “Captain-King”.

During the nightclub scene, Jason does the infamous “Ronald Miller” dance, (Patrick Dempsey) made famous during the prom scene in Can’t Buy Me Love (1987). In Can’t Buy Me Love (1987), Ronald gets the entire school to do this ridiculous dance along with him. In this movie, Jesse tells Jason “that’s not dancing, this is dancing” and proceeds to do a medieval dance routine. The other people on the nightclub dance floor start doing this dance along with her. (Wait … this film also has a dance scene? What is up with teen comedies and dance scenes?)

The three soldiers/bodyguards all wear genuine Corcoran jump boots as worn by American paratroopers.

Mannequin Preview

Jamie and Patrick sit nervously in their limousine. Fortunately the hours worth of makeup covering Michael Myers’ chest shielded him from the brunt of the sniper’s bullet. The rest of production went off without a hitch, but even so Banks insisted they have a bodyguard for the premier. “It’s the next logical place they’ll try to take you out,” the suave bodyguard says. They watch the final cut of Rich & Poe: Legends Never Die: The Director’s Cut with mixed emotions and pat each other on the back when the crowd rises in thunderous applause. While a disaster would have stopped the cyborgs they can’t help but cherish the return of Rich and Poe. They smile as it’s announced that the Academy has met early and awarded them Best Picture. On stage, they lean into the microphone but stop, puzzled. Something is off…. Suddenly they see their bodyguard amidst the crowd. “He’s got a gun!” they scream but as a shot rings out they find themselves pushed to the side. On the ground is Kyle, their old friend from prison, having taken a bullet for them. 

A week later they sit in their apartment waiting with bated breath as the reviews for the R&P rip-off pour in. 37%… 38%… 39% and it stops. “One review and it would have topped 40% and never qualified,” Jamie says banging the giant box still taking up half the apartment. “If only we knew someone else who had a review website… that would be perfect,” Patrick says with a chuckle. Kyle, staying with them while recovering, softly says, “I do, but you probably aren’t interested in it.” He shrugs, red-faced. They look at him quizzically. “Uh,” he continues, “it’s called SMT… SexyMannequinTimes.com… we primarily review films that have sexy mannequins in them.” That’s right! We are indeed watching the premier film series for SexyMannequinTimes.com (warning: not a real website… hopefully) Mannequin and Mannequin 2: On the Move. The mere existence is dumbfounding, but no more dumbfounding than the existence of Weekend at Bernie’s and Weekend at Bernie’s 2. This also marked the transition from sequels/franchises into big ol’ bomb town where we are only watching films that are rated BOMB in Leonard Maltin’s review book. Let’s go!

Mannequin (1987) – BMeTric: 33.2; Notability: 27

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 11.6%; Notability: top 50.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 12.6% Higher BMeT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Teen Wolf Too, Ishtar, Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, Surf Nazis Must Die, Who’s That Girl, Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, Masters of the Universe, House II: The Second Story, Over the Top, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Burglar, Cherry 2000; Higher Notability: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Masters of the Universe, Who’s That Girl, Ishtar, Walker, Cherry 2000, Blind Date, Burglar, Fatal Beauty, Over the Top, House II: The Second Story, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, The Sicilian, Slam Dance, The Believers, Nuts, Creepshow 2, Malone, Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, Rent-a-Cop, and 8 more; Lower RT: Teen Wolf Too, Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, House II: The Second Story, The Sicilian, Hello Again, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Date with an Angel, Flowers in the Attic, Masters of the Universe, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Russkies, The Squeeze, Rent-a-Cop, Siesta, Beyond Therapy, Slam Dance, Surf Nazis Must Die; Notes: Borderline cult classic right there. You get that up to around 6.2 and you’re cooking with fire. The Notability is relatively low which is interesting … I assume there are like five characters total and the film is basically just Weird Science but with a mannequin.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Cattrall is an ancient Egyptian spirit who embodies a department store mannequin; McCarthy is the only one who sees her come to life, and falls in love with her. Attempt [sic] to recreate the feeling of old screwball comedies is absolute rock-bottom fare. Dispiriting to anyone who remembers what movie comedy ought to be. Followed by a sequel.

(Huh … uh, none of the advertisements or anything actually suggest the Egyptian spirit thing. I sure hope they expand on that explicitly in a bizarre opening segment. If not that I hope they instead basically never mention it at all.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTfhUj4LZVE/

(Oh shit, Cannon. Wait a minute, is that the cop from Police Academy … they really were on a studio contract back in the day. The concept of the film is so very, very strange … I kind of dig it. The 80s were a hell of a drug.)

Directors – Michael Gottlieb – (Known For: The Shrimp on the Barbie; Future BMT: Mr. Nanny; A Kid in King Arthur’s Court; BMT: Mannequin; Notes: The Shrip on the Barbie was a film he disowned, an Alan Smithee film. He became a video game producer after he stopped directing. He died in 2014.)

Writers – Edward Rugoff (written by) – (Known For: Double Take; Future BMT: Mr. Nanny; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Mannequin; Notes: Clearly the writing partner of Gottlieb. His father was also in the movie business and ran something called Cinema 5 which was some independent film thing back in the day.)

Michael Gottlieb (written by) – (Future BMT: Mr. Nanny; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Mannequin; Notes: Filmed, edited, and directed the Playboy Mid Summer Night’s Dream Party in 1985.)

Actors – Andrew McCarthy – (Known For: Weekend at Bernie’s; Pretty in Pink; St. Elmo’s Fire; The Spiderwick Chronicles; Less Than Zero; The Joy Luck Club; Main Street; Only You; The Good Guy; Jours tranquilles à Clichy; Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle; Night of the Running Man; The Beniker Gang; Camp Hell; I Woke Up Early the Day I Died; Getting In; Stag; New Waterford Girl; Dr. M; Cosas que nunca te dije; Future BMT: Class; Fresh Horses; Mulholland Falls; Year of the Gun; Kansas; Catholic Boys; BMT: Weekend at Bernie’s II; Mannequin; Notes: Is a pretty big television director, directing things like The Black List and Orange is the New Black. He still acts in stuff, although I couldn’t tell you the last thing I saw him in.)

Kim Cattrall – (Known For: Sex and the City; Big Trouble in Little China; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; The Ghost; Live Nude Girls; Ice Princess; The Devil and Daniel Webster; Horrible Histories: The Movie; Masquerade; The Return of the Musketeers; Rosebud; Hold-Up; Above Suspicion; City Limits; Meet Monica Velour; The Tiger’s Tail; Tribute; Midnight Crossing; Ticket to Heaven; Future BMT: 15 Minutes; Porky’s; Unforgettable; Turk 182; BMT: Crossroads; Baby Geniuses; Sex and the City 2; The Bonfire of the Vanities; Mannequin; Police Academy; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress for Sex and the City 2 in 2011; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for The Bonfire of the Vanities in 1991; Notes: She had a wild career, being on the last actors on the studio contract system (I think in the late 70s, hard to tell). She has had a very public feud with Sarah Jessica Parker about Sex and the City and is not going to appear in the third film.)

Estelle Getty – (Known For: Mask; Tootsie; Stuart Little; Deadly Force; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Mannequin; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot in 1993; Notes: Won an emmy for Golden Girls. Was married for over 50 years.)

Budget/Gross – $7.9 million / Domestic: $42,721,196 (Worldwide: $42,721,196)

(That is a huge success! No wonder they decided to make a sequel. It is still confusing that they decided to make a sequel with a whole new cast and a totally different plotline … but we’ll deal with that in that preview.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (8/39): Mannequin is a real dummy, outfitted with a ludicrous concept and a painfully earnest script that never springs to life, despite the best efforts of an impossibly charming Kim Cattrall.

(They had to go with “dummy” huh? I would have as well. And yes, Kim Cattrall was impossibly charming in the 80s, just go watch Police Academy! Reviewer Highlight: There`s some solid talent here, but Gottlieb’s overemphatic direction reduces them all to broad caricature — the kind of crazed mugging that isn’t often seen outside the boundaries of Saturday morning kiddie shows. – Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune)

Poster – Manalive

(This poster really tickles me for a variety of reasons. Like why is he leaning against a rad motorcycle?… why is he wearing a tuxedo?… the dude is a down on his luck artist. And those are kind of the most normal parts of the poster. It is bad, but kinda ironically good… but still other than the font it is basically everything I hate in a poster. C-.)

Tagline(s) – When she comes to life, anything can happen! (C-)

(Good thing they didn’t use the first tagline here, cause that one doesn’t make sense. This at least is telling you the plot of the film, albeit in the blandest, least creative way possible. Also a tad too long.)

Keyword – mannequin

Top 10: Eyes Wide Shut (1999), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Prisoners (2013), Blade Runner (1982), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), Escape Room (2019), Stardust (2007), Now You See Me (2013), Zombieland: Double Tap (2019), V for Vendetta (2005)

Future BMT: 95.8 Disaster Movie (2008), 56.2 Land of the Lost (2009), 55.1 The Bachelor (1999), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 49.8 Curse of the Pink Panther (1983), 47.0 Beverly Hills Ninja (1997), 46.1 Sleepover (2004), 42.7 Maximum Risk (1996), 42.2 Transylvania 6-5000 (1985);

BMT: Mannequin: On the Move (1991), Mannequin (1987), Friday the 13th (2009), House of Wax (2005), Battlefield Earth (2000), Perfect Stranger (2007), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Silent Hill: Revelation (2012), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009), Grind (2003)

(Hell yeah there is a mannequin in Silent Hill: Revelation. There is a whole mannequin monster! The Bachelor, now that is a film I haven’t thought of in years! I can’t wait to watch bonafide movie star Chris O’Donnell in action.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Estelle Getty is No. 3 billed in Mannequin and No. 2 billed in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 3 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 15. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Director Michael Gottlieb got the idea for this film when he was walking by a store window and was startled to “see” a mannequin move by itself. He realized it was just an optical illusion caused by a combination of lights and shadows, but began to wonder what would happen if a mannequin actually DID come to life.

The scenes for the rival store Illustra were filmed at an actual department store, Boscov’s in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. It’s easy to distinguish by the square chandeliers and neon department signs on the walls. (Probably not actually that easy …)

Originally, the lead role was written to be an older, lonely storekeeper, with Dudley Moore in mind for the role, but when Andrew McCarthy came on board, the role was rewritten to be the role of a young artist. (fun)

Before filming this movie, Kim Cattrall spent six weeks posing for a Santa Monica sculptor, who captured her likeness. Six mannequins, each with a different expression, were made. Cattrall later recalled, “There’s no way to play a mannequin except if you want to sit there as a dummy. I did a lot of body-building because I wanted to be as streamlined as possible. I wanted to match the mannequins as closely as I could.” (Kim Cattrall you are a gem)

The organ Jonathan Switcher sits at in the dance sequence is an actual organ in the John Wanamaker building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is the largest operational pipe organ in the world. (wait wait wait wait wait … dance sequence?)

Kim Cattrall stated doing this movie made her feel grown up: “I’ve become more of a leading lady instead of, like, the girl. All the other movies that I’ve done I played the girl, and the plot was around the guy. I’ve never had anybody to do special lighting for me, or find out what clothes look good on me, or what camera angles are best for me. In this movie, I learned a lot from it. It’s almost like learning old Hollywood techniques. I’ve always been sort of a tomboy. I feel great being a girl, wearing a dress.”

One of the original Emmy mannequins used in the filming of the movie was restored by the store South Fellini and is currently on display in their store, which is located in the Fashion District in center city Philadelphia (the head/torso are the original pieces).

David Isaacs and Ken Levine did an uncredited rewrite of the screenplay. They later did a rewrite for Mannequin: On the Move (1991) for which they were credited. (Cool)

This movie is the rare Hollywood romance where the lead actress is older than the lead actor. Kim Cattrall was 30 years old when she played Ema Hesire aka Emmy; Andrew McCarthy was only 24 years old when he played Jonathan Switcher.

Meshach Taylor made a cameo as flamboyant window dresser Hollywood Montrose in the music video of the movie’s theme song “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by the rock band Jefferson Starship. He also reprised the role in the sequel Mannequin: On the Move (1991). (A cameo? He’s basically the entire trailer!)

The series episode Journey to the Unknown: Eve (1968) featured the story of Albert Baker (Dennis Waterman), a young man who sees in the display window of a department store an attractive mannequin. It comes to life and smiles at him, he falls in love and so gets a job at the store as a window dresser. (Isn’t this all based on Pygmalion?)

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song (Albert Hammond, Diane Warren, 1988)

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare Recap

Jamie

Freddy’s back, Jack! And for the final time (not really). This time Freddy had turned Springwood into a wasteland, having killed all the children across generations. Now, in order to escape to kill again, he must lure his child (!) back to the town. Can a new gang of dream warriors subdue Freddy for the final time? Find out in… Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.

How?! When a kid with amnesia stumbles into town, the police quickly collect him and send him to a home for troubled children. The kids there are all battling demons from their past and using all kinds of therapy techniques to try to help. For example one of therapists is an expert in dreams, which I’m sure won’t come in handy. Anyway, one of the therapists, Maggie, notices that the new John Doe has a newspaper clipping from Springwood and decides to take him back there. Incidentally a few other kids stow away in the van and are discovered after arriving in town. Weirdly, Springwood is a ghost town and the teens are met with fear and curiosity. The stowaways are sent home, while Maggie and John investigate. In a nearby school they discover that Freddy had a child! This must be the key to what’s going on and John is convinced that he is that child. Meanwhile the teens can’t seem to escape Springwood, so settling into a recognizable house on Elm Street they try to get through the night. Not likely as one-by-one they are pulled into the dream world by Freddy. One of the teens, Tracy, escapes and gets Maggie and John to come help. John and Tracy enter into the dream world to help the other kids but it’s too late and they are almost killed. As they try to leave Springwood, Freddy corners John and tells him that he’s not the child, rather it’s a girl. As he is killed by Freddy, John awakens and tells this to Maggie. Back home, Maggie finds that she’s adopted and that she is actually Katherine Kreuger and has inadvertently brought Freddy with her to a new town. With the help of the dream therapist, Maggie enters the dream world and is able to get into his head and pull him into the real world. There they have a climactic battle which ends with him stabbed by his own glove and blown up with a pipe bomb, thus finally killing Freddy Kreuger. THE END (or is it? (no, not really)). 

Why?! I guess this is probably the most interesting motivation for Kreuger as he has turned Springwood into an isolated, crazy mess with no more kids to kill. So looking for a way to get to a new town he sends John Doe out for the express purpose of bringing Maggie back to him. With their connection, Freddy knows that he can use Maggie as a vessel to get out of Springwood.

Who?! There’s some weird shit in this one. Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold are credited as Mr. and Mrs. Tom Arnold, which is odd. Then Johnny Depp has a cameo and got credited as Oprah Noodlemantra. Finally, in a flashback we see Freddy kill his abusive adoptive father. Who’s his daddio? The musician Alice Cooper. The hits keep coming in these films.

What?! Oh man. One of the best product placements in a while as one of Freddy’s lamest kills of all time comes when he traps one of the kids in a video game. He’s playing it (poorly I might add) trying to kill the kid when John Doe and Tracy come and snatch the controls away. Not so fast says Freddy… cause he’s got dat sweet Nintendo Power Glove like a real video game Wizard. Unfortunately I don’t think there is an unironic entry in a Power Glove Trilogy, so it’ll have to remain a Power Glove Duology. As for the MacGuffin-ish way of killing Freddy? They go for a classic with bringing him out of the dream world and into the real world to make him mortal.

Where?! This opened with a map and on it appears Springwood, Ohio as the location where the action is taking place. I audibly gasped when it showed up on the screen. As I mentioned in the 5th film’s recap I had firmly settled into Nightmare being the Westcoast entry in the horror franchise canon. All of a sudden it joined Halloween in the midwest set. They claim they had it as Ohio from the jump, having changed parts of the first film’s original script to remove mention of California, but I don’t totally buy it. Still this is a solid B.

When?! This is a funny one where they also put on the screen that the action of the film takes place “ten years in the future” when Freddy has destroyed Springwood. Apparently ten years from the end of the fifth film. This would place it in 1999 and makes parts of the film totally incomprehensible. John Doe thinks he’s Freddy’s kid who was taken from him 33 years before… So you’re almost 40, kid? Really? B.

Boy oh boy, this movie is terrible. Really an ignominious final entry in the main series. You’re much better off just jumping straight to the reboot New Nightmare rather than suffer through the straight-to-video level trash that they ended up making here. God, it’s a real shame given how surprisingly solid and mostly fresh and interesting the first and then third through fifth films are. You can’t blame them for a little stumble on the second, but you can definitely blame them for this one. Not only is the entire film a big step backwards in production, with only a couple visually pleasing scenes, but Freddy Kreuger enters full self-parody as he comes off like a lame old man constantly spouting terrible one-liners and calling everyone a bitch. At one point he’s getting ready to fight and is all like “check this out,” and proceeds to do a super lame-o cartwheel and immediately gets kicked in the face like a dumbo. What a dumb, terrible idiot Freddy has become. And what dumb terrible idiots we are for watching this dumb terrible entry in an otherwise fun horror franchise. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The big 600 babyyyyy! That’s right, 600 films watched for BMT. And what better way than with the only truly dire Nightmare film? Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – The director of this film has a wild story. She was a mathematician who worked at Johns Hopkins when she met John Waters. She then, through that connection, ended up doing various jobs on all but the fifth Nightmare film. And then she was asked to direct the last one (and ended up using a bunch of people from John Waters’ regular film crew to do it). Apparently, in the writers’ room she was known for coming up with truly outlanding dream kills for Freddy to do. What were my expectations? I knew in my heart that the film must be bad, but I also hoped that at the very least you would get some really cool kills out of it.

The Good – Not much. I would say I can kind of see the allure of some of the kills for some people. Someone involved in production said their favorite kill in the entire franchise is the Q-tip kill with Carlos which is in this film. I can appreciate how long and elaborate the nightmarish torture scene is … but it still seems a bit too silly to me. The idea of Springwood being a ghost town is interesting. The idea of Freddy being able to branch out to the wider world is a little interesting. There are tiny bits of interesting stuff, that’s probably the best thing you can say about it. Best Bit: Some practical kills.

The Bad – This movie is the one genuine trash film of the bunch. It is dog poo in my face. It completes the transition of Freddy into a complete joke, adds an unnecessary (or at least sub-par) lore element of the Dream Worms into the mythos, and adds in a confounding aspect to Freddy himself which shows up in none of the other movies. Even the idea of Springwood being a ghost town, which I guess is kind of cool if you ignore some of the elements of earlier films, is completely wasted by making that a joke too. It goes too far, the movie slips too far into irony, and its only saing grace is that it was intended as a finale so it didn’t leave any handing threads that needed to be resolved by further sequels and retconning. Fatal Flaw: Freddy, and the series, fully becomes a joke.

The BMT – And there it is, the first six films of the Nightmare franchise are kind of their own thing so that is now cemented into the BMT record. There will be a few more to do (New Nightmare doesn’t qualify, but will be done alongside the 2010 remake), but like with Friday the 13th that is another mega-franchise for the books! Did it meet my expectations? Yes, this film is the only in the entire series where it is completely confounding as to how it was made. It just smashes the lore apart with no regard for human life. So yeah, definitely an amusingly bad film in context.

Roast-radamus – Really good Product Placement (What?) for Nintendo in what is bar none the worst kill of the entire franchise. Decent Setting as a Character (Where?)  for Springwood, Ohio, where the entire franchise takes place, although I think they only really make it explicit in this one for the first time. Borderline MacGuffin (Why?) for Freddy’s daughter, a mystery that everyone is desperately trying to solve throughout the film. And speaking of which, Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal that Freddy’s kid isn’t, in fact, the young man whom Freddy would have had to father after his death, but instead it is the older woman who is juuuuust the right age. This is a quintessential bad slasher sequel, and thus has to be a BMT contender.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I can’t help myself, I have to go with Remake here because I think there is a decently obvious path from the fifth film to what should have been the conclusion to the series. Borrow the Krueger as Dream Master idea from the comic book (see below) and like in this film smash cut to the future, about 17 years, to focus on Alice’s son Jacob. With no Elm Street children left to kill, and no Dream Masters to use, Freddy has been locked away in the dream world. Alice has trained her son in the art of the Dream Master, but due to Hypnocil abuse is now confined to an asylum. While trying to communicate with his mother in the dream world, a slip up by Jacob gives Freddy a chance. He uses his Dream Master ability to commit a string of dream murders with the ultimate plan to use Jacob to get pulled out of the dream world and back into the real world. He will be mortal again, but will instigate a new group of vigilantes to kill him once more, generating a fresh set of Springwood children to haunt and give him power for another generation. Ultimately, Jacob goes into the dream world and pulls Freddy in, Alice kills Freddy during a nightmare severing Freddy’s connection to the dream world, killing him in real life, and condemning him to hell. The end … or is it? It is, much like what happened with the actual sixth film Freddy v Jason and other sequels would occur in the time between the fifth (1990) and sixth (2007 in this case) films.

You Just Got Schooled – There is a ton of extra stuff with Nightmare on Elm Street. There was a NES game, A Nightmare on Elm Street. I didn’t play it, it seems like a straightforward platformer, instead I watched the Games Done Quick co-op speedrun which is quick and pretty entertaining, B+ for the GDQ run, but I would guess a C- for the platformer itself. There was also a series of comics. I read the two Marvel comics released as Freddy Krueger’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. There was supposed to be four, but Marvel got skittish about protests about violence in the media and they cut it off. B+, the second one is quite good especially for a black and white comic book. I wish they had gone with the idea of Freddy Krueger being a Dream Master instead of the dream worms or whatever, but c’est la vie. Finally there was a television show called Freddy’s Nightmares which was direct to syndication. This ended up causing a lot of problems (specifically, due to syndication a show involving a child murderer haunting people’s dreams and killing them would be on at like 3PM in some places), but despite that it got two seasons. Only eight episodes feature Freddy himself out of the 44 that were produced. I watched the pilot and it was awful. So bad, in fact, that I didn’t even end up finishing the second episode I tried to watch (episode 4 featuring a very young Mariska Hargitay). Reminded me very much of The Highlander television show (which was also direct to syndication, and also awful). D. If this was done today it would have definitely been four two-part episodes per season focusing on Freddy versus a single person, but that isn’t how they rolled in 1988.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs