Jason X Recap

Jamie

Jason’s back, Jack! It’s the year 2455 and Jason has been cryogenically frozen for centuries. Awakened from his slumber by some unwitting researchers from Earth II, will they be able to stop his murderous rampage before it’s too late? Find out in… Jason X.

How?! We open on Jason being held in the Crystal Lake Research Facility circa 2010. After numerous attempts to kill him with little success the scientists decide to cryogenically freeze him. Competing scientists attempt to prevent this so they can study his incredible power, but in the process set him loose. In a last ditch effort to incapacitate him, the good scientist tricks Jason into the freezing chamber, only to inadvertently freeze herself as well. Centuries later researchers from Earth II discover the scientist and Jason and bring them aboard their ship in hopes of reanimating them. When the scientist wakes up she is shocked to hear that they have brought Jason aboard but at this point he has already woken up and started his rampage (obviously). First the marines are sent to take care of him. Dead. Then the scientists try to dock with their main space station and escape, but Jason kills the pilot. Then they attempt to take an escape pod, but Jason scares a jumpy student to the point where she destroys the pod in terror. A literal robot assassin comes along, thinks she’s defeated Jason, but inadvertently creates an even more powerful super, future version of Jason (that actually happened). They are able to blow up the area of the shuttle that Jason’s on but he survives the vacuum of space and climbs back into the ship. Finally, after distracting him with a hologram simulation of Crystal Lake they are able to board a rescue ship, blow up the rest of the original ship, and Jason lands like a meteorite in a lake on Earth II. The End (or is it?… it is). This is pretty much the logical conclusion to the Jason invincible zombie storyline that they built the series on. He cannot die. Survives everything including the scourge of space. And if it sounded cool or interesting I assure you it’s not. It’s lame as shit.

Why?! Back to good old Jason Voorhees, killing machine. No thoughts or motivations except to destroy. Interestingly, like in The New Blood, there is a teacher character who has monetary motivation at stake. He wants to sell Jason to be studied for his regenerative abilities. This, of course, goes horribly awry. The rest of the characters want to get laid and survive.

What?! Obviously there aren’t a whole lot of products to be hocked in the year 2455, but there are seemingly innumerous terrible one-liners to be thrown away. One of these clunkers included a quick mention of the Microsoft Conflict, a particularly brutal civil war. I guess it’s funny because Microsoft is mentioned?

Who?! Interesting cameo by film director David Cronenberg who plays a creepy scientist intent on discovering the source of Jason’s super powers. Too bad he didn’t pop in his VHS copy of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. Would have pretty quickly figured out it’s all due to a worm like creature contained in his body.

Where?! Boom. Gotta love the space setting. It really screams SciFi for this film that straddles both the SciFi and Horror genres. Important to the plot and as exact as we’re gonna get. A

When?! Takes place in the far future… future… future. It’s explicitly stated for expository purposes that Jason was frozen in 2010 and reanimated in 2455. It’s likely the farthest in the future we’ve traveled for BMT (although hard to say since we haven’t been noting settings for all that long). Not exact, but important to the plot. B

This film is rough stuff. Looks like shit, has a terrible script, and plays like a SyFy original. Shocking that it actually ended up in the Friday series and wasn’t abandoned. But I guess that’s the sweet allure of the intellectual property they were hoping to retain. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Jason X? More like Jason X: Leprechaun in Space! Combine a beloved horror franchise with expiring rights and ten years worth of lack of interest and what do you get? Almost no oversight apparently. This movie can be summed up in a single sentence: “fuck it, let’s just send him to space or some shit”. Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – I think the one thing you can point to an potentially good is the fact that the film is hyper-self-aware. Jason is transporting around, everything looks super cheesy, and he basically smells premarital sex and drug use (quite literally, and one point being irresistibly lured by the actions as if by magic). If you find any rankings that place this installment anywhere but last or second-to-last it will be because of its tongue-in-cheek nature. Let’s go Sequel though! We left Jason in a new lake on Earth II 500 years in the future. I think you see him resurrected there, and, huge twist, he’s sent back in time to the middle ages! Finding himself caught up in a war between two ancient houses Jason emerges a hero leading a ragtag group of misfits in a battle for their (and his!) future! Jason X-2: King Jason and the Knights of Crystal Lake.

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – Everything. This movie is terrible. Terrible acting, terrible sets, terrible ideas, terrible dialogue, terribles kills, terrible effects, terrible ending. This movie is an abomination and doesn’t belong in any horror franchise. The turn to self-awareness and going all in as a parody doesn’t work because Jason is a real beloved character, one that cannot be so flippantly denigrated. If they wanted to make this movie (and they didn’t) I would have gone with a mock-Jason original film. But then again, that isn’t how you retain rights or make money. The analogy is, and this is going to come out of nowhere, but that garbage Wheel of Time television pilot from a few years back! A pure distilled last gasp effort for Red Eagle Entertainment to retain the rights to the Wheel of Time television show. Fuck you Red Eagle! (Good news, looks like Sony has the rights now)

The BMT (Legacy) – This film’s legacy is simple: it brings to an end the full 2017 watch of the original Friday the 13th franchise for BMT. “But what about Freddy v Jason!” you scream. Most places don’t count it as a pure Friday the 13th which is understandable. These last two taught me a lot about how slasher films lost their way in the 90s and, in many ways, the filmmakers who grew up with the franchises in the 80s managed to learn the wrong lessons when fashioning films in the 2000s. And I don’t know if we’ll ever see a true slasher franchise after Scream bit the dust a few years ago as well. Sigh.

And in a special installment of StreetCreditReport.com my definitive rankings of the ten Friday the 13th films!

  1. Friday the 13th – A lot more fun that you’d think and only hamstrung by attempting to preserve the twist of who the killer is. Solid slasher.
  2. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter – The most iconic good guy in Tommy Jarvis, good kills, best story with Jason
  3. Friday the 13th: Jason Lives – Brings back Tommy, and feels less cheap than most. Supernatural elements are introduced, but the best post-Final-Chapter.
  4. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood – Most formidable opponent for Jason, and contains the only scary bits of any post-Final-Chapter installment as well.
  5. Friday the 13th: Part 2 – Cheap, with poor character design for early Jason, but still fun kills with decent tension.
  6. Friday the 13th: Part III – The first I would call genuinely bad, only saved to a degree by being the most tongue-in-cheek of the early films.
  7. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan – Terrible film, but kind of fun idea that put Jason on a boat with nowhere to run.
  8. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning – Horrible slap in the face which tries to continue the franchise without Jason as the slasher. Not a good idea.
  9. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday – Slap in the face which again replaces Jason for the most part. New Line’s attempt to ruin a franchise succeeds.
  10. Jason X – Not a real movie.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday Recap

Jason Goes to Hell Recap

Jason’s back, Jack! When the FBI explodes our masked killer, they think he’s finally dead. They are wrong. Uh oh! His spirit possesses a new body and returns to Crystal Lake to be reborn. Can they stop him before it’s too late? Find out in… Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.

How?! We open on an intricate fake-out. The viewer is led to believe that we are watching Jason, fresh off getting dissolved in the acid sewers of Manhattan, stalking a nubile teen at Crystal Lake. Psych! It’s an FBI sting and they straight up explode our favorite serial killer. However, once they bring the pieces back to a top secret FBI research facility an unlucky coroner is hypnotized into consuming Jason’s heart and becomes Jason! Bum bum bum! With this new body in tow Jason heads back to Crystal Lake in order to be reborn. In the meantime we jump straight into some family drama at Crystal Lake as Diana is attempting to reconcile her daughter Jessica with her baby daddy Steve. Just as Jessica returns to town to officially break it off with Steve (and reveal to him that he is a father), Jason returns and starts to wreak havoc, killing people and switching bodies at will. Turns out that Jason’s evil is rooted in a creature that lives within him and that, when killed, he must regenerate using the body of a Voorhees (what?). He can temporarily take over a body, but must switch bodies periodically to avoid decay (oh… ok). Also Jason can only ever be killed by a Voorhees. Unluckily and luckily Jessica is Jason’s niece (wait… since when?) so she is both Jason’s target and worst enemy. They of course learn all this from an eccentric bounty hunter who provides Jessica with a magical dagger to kill Jason with (for real?!). In the end Jason corners Jessica and Steve in the Voorhees old house where he is able to regenerate using Diana’s corpse. In a final epic battle Jessica stabs Jason with the magical dagger and sends him to hell where it’s hinted he finally meets Freddy Kreuger his… uh… arch enemy… I guess. New Line really did a number on this series.

Why?! By creating a totally insane explanation for Jason’s supernatural abilities they also provide a totally new motivation for him. Yes, he’s still a crazed murderer, but now he’s murdering in order to possess a new body so that he can survive to find a Voorhees to be reborn with. It’s quite the pivot. Everyone else is mostly just looking to survive. Very few do.

What?! No notable product placements in the film, but there are a couple easter eggs connecting this film to other horror films (other than being a rip off of The Hidden). The Necronomicon from The Evil Dead films is seen in the Voorhees house and the Kandarian Dagger from the same films plays a major role in killing Jason. Also there is a crate in the Voorhees’ basement that says “Arctic Expedition Julia Carpenter Horlicks University,” which is from the film Creepshow. They seemed to just reuse props for no discernable reason.

Who?! Nice little “scenes deleted” credit here to Survivor superstar Jonathan Penner. He was meant to play Vicki’s boyfriend David who gets killed by Jason (in possession of Josh) by getting his face smashed into a sink. Penner is also known to us as the writer of future BMT film The Bye Bye Man. He’s a big part of my life.

Where?! No matter your feeling on the merits of this film I think we can all agree that they totally fucked up the setting. It is just a fact that Crystal Lake and the Friday the 13th series are set in New Jersey. Well established FACT (shown on a sign in Part I). So when I see Connecticut license plates everywhere and signs for Westport, CT (where the director was born) I just find it disrespectful to the franchise. Is nothing sacred?! Why you gotta mess with what I love just to give a meaningless shout out to your hometown? C.

When?! It’s also well established fact that the temporal setting of this films is a disaster area and it’s better if we pay no mind to it. Given small indications of where this fits in relative to other films in the franchise it’s agreed that it’s probably set in the early 2000’s. But it’s all bullshit anyway. F.

This truly is a perverse corruption of the franchise perpetrated by New Line in their very first attempt at an entry. While I can’t blame a Friday fan or horror fan from enjoying what is probably the goriest and most nudity filled entry in the series, it basically throws everything that came before it in the trash. Not even for something good. They replace it with a bunch of reheated horror tropes and cliches. But I’m not the only opinion. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday? Well, New Line can go to hell! Boom, getting heated in here. So you are the new owner of a long running, eight entry, horror franchise looking to put a bit of pep in the old boy’s step, what do you do? Right, create a movie almost entirely bereft of the franchise’s beloved antagonist, over-explain his monstrous origins, and flip a huge bird to the fanbase … wait, no, that can’t be right. Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – This movie in another world would be a niche cult classic among horror fans. Coming out of nowhere in 1993, the supernatural story with decent (at times) practical effects could have really gained a following (despite being a knockoff of The Hidden). But … that isn’t how it worked. Until now! Give me a Remake! Same story, except cut the bookends of Jason wandering around. As a matter of fact, add a horror element of the body-snatched murderers multiplying (so a zombie army is eventually developed) as well. It has a kind of alien-chest-burster meets zombie film, with the ultimate pay off being that they aren’t aliens at all, but rather demons summoned by a cult (or whatever). Bonus, it also served as a remake of The Hidden! Two-for-one! Two-for-one! I would call it Hell on Earth.

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – Woof. This is a slap in the face to Friday the 13th fans. This represents the second entry where Jason himself is almost entirely missing from the film (number 5, A New Beginning, is the other). It doesn’t feel at all like a Friday the 13th film, and it over-explains and ruins several aspects of the franchise. It is now explicitly set in Connecticut (what?), they somehow retcon a sister for Jason to want to kill (what is this Halloween?), and they introduce a much more explicit supernatural bent to the entire thing. If this wasn’t a Friday the 13th film I wouldn’t mind it. But it is and I hate hate hate this movie. And I can no longer avoid it: the Sklognalogy is Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (the sixth installment). I have seen this film, although we are likely to revisit at some point in the future to give it the proper BMT treatment. And basically it is the same: they ruin the franchise by making explicit a no-fun “solution” to why Michael Myers is the way he is. Don’t do this. It is unnecessary and cheesy.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – I think this will have strong legs for BMT. Friday the 13th is the first mini-challenge we’ve done, and I kind of knew the day would come where it well and truly crossed the rubicon from low-budget fun slasher to garbage. This is the one. I hate this film. I will never not hate this film. It could forever represent 90s horror catastrophes for me. I do want to note this guy, because the second entry there might as well be word-for-word my opinion on the movie. But for the most part Jason Goes to Hell is widely considered the worst or one of the worst of the franchise. It doesn’t get much play in a jam packed 1993, but its cred is from sinking a franchise. Thanks New Line!

I’ll leave the full blown Friday the 13th rankings for Jason X.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Jason X Preview

It’s back, Jack! Right on cue we are continuing our Mini-Challenge journey through the world of Friday the 13th. It’s been an interesting time and I’ll miss the series once it’s gone, particularly since I went from actively disliking the series to fascination with the series and finally anticipation for each successive watch. There may be none more anticipated than the SciFi entry of the Calendar cycle. That’s right! We’re (finally) watching Jason X. Because everyone knows that it’s a super good idea to take a struggling franchise to outer space (see: Leprechaun 4: In Space). Works like a charm. Of course this also means we’ll be doing the 9th in the series, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday as a BMT bonus in preparation for the film. Hooray! I really do love watching these totally unscary horror films. Let’s go!

Jason X (2001) – BMeTric: 77.9

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(INCREDIBLE! It has gone down as more people watch it! This can only mean one thing: this film is going to be great. I can feel it. A Very Popular Bad Film through and through.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  In this, the tenth Friday the 13th installment (and first since 1993’s Jason goes to Hell: The Final Friday), cryogenically frozen Jason (Hodder) and a sexy scientist (Doig) are thawed while on board a spacecraft in the year 2455. You can guess what happens next. For dedicated slasher fans only. David Cronenberg appears briefly as Dr. Wimmer. Not to be confused with Malcolm X.

(Not to be confused with Malcolm X? I get you Leonard. This is such a nicely rote review. He definitely either didn’t write this or basically barely watched this film. Leonard gave so many of these films BOMB designations it is kind of weird that the 8th, 9th, and 10th didn’t manage even one. Seems he’s a softy for the more ridiculous horror films maybe.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sv8eWDEFsM

(I remember the Let the Bodies Hit the Rope soundtrack from when I was younger. This trailer looks atrocious on several different levels: the humor, the acting, the special effects, and Jason’s design. I can’t believe Kane Hodder came back for this garbage to be honest, after 9 years I would have read the script and just said “good luck”. I have a feeling this is going to be the first Friday the 13th that doesn’t even feel like a Friday the 13th as well.)

Directors – James Isaac – (Future BMT: Skinwalkers; House III: The Horror Show; BMT: Jason X; Notes: Was involved with creature effects for both Gremlins and Enemy Mine. Every so often he would give directing a try it would seem. Also involved with special effects on Virtuosity, which I’m only noting because I interviewed for a job with this guy who now works as an MD-PhD at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.)

Writers – Victor Miller (characters) – (Known For: Friday the 13th; Freddy vs. Jason; Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI; Future BMT: Friday the 13th; BMT: Jason X; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: I feel like he hasn’t shown up in the credits for a few of these, so weird he would all of a sudden get credit again. He wrote the original movie. The end.)

Todd Farmer (written by) – (Known For: My Bloody Valentine; Future BMT: The Messengers; BMT: Drive Angry; Jason X; Notes: The guy has a crazy life. He dropped out of college and because an independent AmWay distributor, and then moved to LA and started working for Sean S. Cunningham (the other original writer of Friday the 13th). That is how he got this gig and probably his other writing gigs, he was working under Cunningham on different projects he was involved in.)

Actors – Kane Hodder – (Known For: Monster; Daredevil; The Devil’s Rejects; Frozen; Hatchet; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon; Alligator; Lone Wolf McQuade; Hatchet III; Prison; Digging Up the Marrow; The Rapture; California Split; Future BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Room 6; House II: The Second Story; Hatchet II; Muck; Wishmaster; Father Hood; Best of the Best II; Out for Justice; BMT: Jason X; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Grind; Notes: There is nothing else to say about this guy! He is Jason, and I doubt anyone has a chance of beating him or Englund for dominating a slasher killer like they did.)

Lexa Doig – (BMT: Jason X; Notes: She had the title role in the show Andromeda, and has been in many other television series. The cast for this movie is pretty funny, no wonder Hodder got first billing.)

Jeff Geddis – (Known For: Crime Spree; BMT: Jason X; Notes: Canadian, and a voice actor almost exclusively.)

Budget/Gross – $11 million / Domestic: $13,121,555 (Worldwide: $16,951,798)

(Complete disaster. It is a wonder that they didn’t scrap Freddy v Jason after this. Although maybe they thought that would have more pull. And smartly, it did actually. The franchise went from this pitiful return to over $80 million in Freddy v. Jason only a few years later.)

#64 for the Horror – Slasher genre

jasonx_slasher

(Around Halloween 5. I mentioned in the other preview that this genre is effectively dead (the last major release was January 2013 according to Box Office Mojo) in theaters. Kind of understandable, the return since 2005 was the same as during the lull in the early 90s.)

#39 for the Sci-Fi Horror genre

jasonx_scifihorror

(Near Ghosts of Mars. With Alien Covenant and the final Resident Evil film this genre has had a bit of a resurgence in recent years, and has been going strong since 2000 regardless. It has been flopping a bit recently though, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the release numbers wane a bit as well though.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (20/104): Jason goes to the future, but the story is still stuck in the past.

(Nope, terrible Rotten Tomatoes. A few franchises did this (inexplicably send their slashers to the future in space, most notably Leprechaun in Space), but it can’t go well. It also crosses the rubicon from horror to at least close to horror-comedy. Not super great.)

Poster – Jason Sklog (B-)

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(We jump from an early 90’s bonkers poster for Jason Goes to Hell straight to an even crazier early 2000’s bonkers poster for this one. Better font, worse coloring, but I like the artistry.)

Tagline(s) – Evil Gets An Upgrade (B-)

(I’m good with this. Short, sweet, little hint on the futuristic aspect of the plot, but perhaps not quite clever enough. Could be better, but could be a whole lot worse.)

Keyword(s) – scientist; Top Ten by BMeTric: 93.5 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 90.0 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.4 House of the Dead (2003); 88.4 Street Fighter (1994); 85.7 The Avengers (1998); 85.6 Fantastic Four (2015); 84.1 Piranha 3DD (2012); 82.4 Baby Geniuses (1999); 82.1 Inspector Gadget (1999); 82.0 Highlander II: The Quickening (1991);

(Incredible list. This is a marathon I would actually hold, although I would be a bit more discerning. Here … The Avengers would make the cut for sure. Highlander II I think. But a marathon without Bats? Travesty. So there would be some work to do.)

Notes – The first film in the Friday the 13th series to rely on digital effects for death and gore shots. (Interesting. Sad but interesting)

Jason Voorhees’ eyes never blink when they are shown. (Cool idea actually)

During a Q&A;, screenwriter Todd Farmer joked that there were probably about 20,000 people aboard the Solaris space station when Grendel inadvertently crashed into and destroyed it. (Acknowledgment of flippantly killing people, I can respect that.)

Screenwriter Todd Farmer based much of the film on Alien (1979), even naming one of the characters (whom he also played) Dallas, after Tom Skerritt’s character in the Ridley Scott film. (Yeah I feel like you can tell from the trailer)

The name of the primary ship in the film is the “Grendel” which is the name of a monster in the Old English poem “Beowulf”. Grendel was a direct descendant of Cain from the Book of Genesis, a monster described as half-troll, half-ogre. Like Jason, Grendel rose from a lake in search of victims and seemingly could not be killed. Also, in their fight, Beowulf rips Grendel’s arm off, and in the movie, when Kay-Em shoots up Jason, the first thing he loses is his arm. (I … kind of love the comparison)

Because Jim Isaac wanted the acting in his film to “blow every other Friday movie out of the water.” The associate producer videotaped the rehearsals on a camcorder for Isaac, who would view them afterward to get ideas from seeing his characters in action. The problem was with all the script re-writes a lot of the time Isaac didn’t even know if what the actors were rehearsing was still going to be in the movie (most of it wasn’t). (That’s kind of sad all things considered. Kind of sweet how much he cared though, sucks it didn’t work out).

One of the things which won over everyone to the concept of Jason in space was the idea of the kids seemingly killing the hockey mask monster halfway through only for him to be recreated into something even scarier via futuristic technology. The mechanism of this change ended up being nanotechnology, an idea screenwriter Todd Farmer lifted from Virtuosity. However, the actual concept of an UberJason predates Jason X. (Gross and I hate it)

(at around 15 mins) The space debris floating in space has “Cunningham Realty” written on the side. This is a reference to the name of producer Noel Cunningham, the son of executive producer and maker of the original Friday the 13th (1980), Sean S. Cunningham.

During Jason X’s development process, director Jim Isaac, producer Noel Cunningham (Sean’s son), and screenwriter Todd Farmer kicked around any scenario they could think of it, typically “Jason in [insert blank] (the hood, snow, underwater, the arctic, in L.A. fighting gangs, on safari).” They even considered something involving the NASCAR circuit. Farmer suggested “in space” because he knew Freddy Vs. Jason was on the way, and it’d be best if Jason X was set after the events of that epic battle. So, they needed to jump into the future, and going into space certainly did that. They were a little scared of doing a horror sequel in space [see: Hellraiser, Leprechaun, and Critters.], but they thought it could be fun to do a mash-up of Ridley Scott’s Alien and James Cameron’s Aliens with not one but two strong Ripley-type females on a ship of bad-ass space marines hunted by Jason instead of xenomorphs. (When your idea can be boiled down to: it would be best if we could flash forward a bit because a movie that was planned in 1987 and never made it totes going to come out soon … let’s put it in space I guess. That is not great).

Jason murders 28 people, more than any of the other Friday the 13th movies. (Jesus Christ, that is a ton)

In 2010, Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters actually tested out Jason X’s liquid nitrogen head smash kill. It turns out it doesn’t quite pass the smell test. (I think I saw that one. Yeah, doesn’t really work in my mind, wouldn’t freeze all of the way through).

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday Preview

It’s back, Jack! Right on cue we are continuing our Mini-Challenge journey through the world of Friday the 13th. It’s been an interesting time and I’ll miss the series once it’s gone, particularly since I went from actively disliking the series to fascination with the series and finally anticipation for each successive watch. There may be none more anticipated than the SciFi entry of the Calendar cycle. That’s right! We’re (finally) watching Jason X. Because everyone knows that it’s a super good idea to take a struggling franchise to outer space (see: Leprechaun 4: In Space). Works like a charm. Of course this also means we’ll be doing the 9th in the series, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday as a BMT bonus in preparation for the film. Hooray! I really do love watching these totally unscary horror films. Let’s go!

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) – BMeTric: 72.7

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(That might look like regression, but that is pretty slow. I think it probably will settle solidly below 5.0. Incredible regardless. A popular bad movie. Horror films are always very popular, and tend to be below average, but the BMeTric here just goes up and up. It feels like this is stable, consistent, possibly legendarily bad.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Ninth entry in the Friday the 13th series, ignores the plots of the last six or so, and opens with Jason being blown to pieces in an ambush. However, his evil spirit takes over a convenient bystander, and reborn, he heads for home to confront his (hitherto unmentioned) sister. Erratic, illogical, and pointlessly cruel; some fans liked it because of its delight in including elements from other contemporary horror movie series.

(Oooof the sister thing is an awful idea. And they don’t ignore the other movies. In fact, the task force which blows up Jason in the beginning I believe is set upon him because of the rampage he goes on while heading from NYC back to his home in New Jersey (or Connecticut or whatever). All of this is tight Leonard, don’t be slandering this series like that.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8gRu3t3OF4

(Rough trailer there. I’ll give them credits though, they didn’t give much away, just tantalizing glimpses of what the franchise had in store (specifically you could kind of see an alien looking thing which suggests a bit more supernatural / sci-fi elements than we had seen before). Cannot begrudge them.)

Directors – Adam Marcus – (Known For: Snow Days; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: At the time he was the youngest director ever hired by New Line at the age of 23. Him and his brother often appear in bit roles in the movies he directs.)

Writers – Jay Huguely (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: Sadly died in 2008. Was heavily involved with Magnum P.I. back in the day.)

Adam Marcus (story) – (Future BMT: Texas Chainsaw 3D; Momentum; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: He wrote and directed most of the movies he’s been a part of. He doesn’t have many credits recently though.)

Dean Lorey (screenplay) – (Future BMT: My Boyfriend’s Back; Major Payne; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: Big television guy, including writing nine episodes of Arrested Development. Was a script doctor during development in order to restructure the script.)

Actors – John D. LeMay – (Known For: The Couch Trip; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: Funny enough was in the Friday the 13th television series prior to this film. Has been sticking to theater work in Hollywood more recently.)

Kari Keegan – (Known For: Jerry Maguire; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: I can find nothing about her, her role in Jerry Maguire was uncredited, and I think she quickly dropped out of the acting scene after this film.)

Kane Hodder – (Known For: Monster; Daredevil; The Devil’s Rejects; Frozen; Hatchet; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon; Alligator; Lone Wolf McQuade; Hatchet III; Prison; Digging Up the Marrow; The Rapture; California Split; Future BMT: Room 6; House II: The Second Story; Hatchet II; Muck; Wishmaster; Father Hood; Best of the Best II; Out for Justice; BMT: Jason X; Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Grind; Notes: Along with Robert Englund I think Hodder is probably the second most famous horror film slasher around, and for good reason. I’ve loved his personal interpretation of the character. I’m surprised by how much he was able to add, but he does his part to make the later franchise installments a little bit tolerable.)

Budget/Gross – $3 million / Domestic: $15,935,068

(Solid return probably, but always a dwindling with this series. As the slasher genre slipped oh so silently into a slumber the money just stopped coming in.)

#52 for the Horror – Slasher genre

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(Only a little above Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, and Psycho III. Brutal. Slashers are interesting. This came out right in the trough between the 80s franchises  But the genre is effectively dead. I don’t think they will return. They’ve gone to the VOD world I think.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 24% (4/17): No consensus yet.

(My consensus: Might work on its own as a supernatural thriller, but within context it is a true incoherent mess. From the first nine in the franchise it might just be the worst of the bunch. Certainly interesting considering number five is just horrid. The good reviews are pretty okay with the movie, but almost anything that is said is framed around how not-Jason-X the film is.)

Poster – Jason Sklogs to Hell: The Final Friday (C+)

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(Is it better than the posters from earlier in the franchise? No. Is the font good? Hell no. But do I kinda dig how bonkers insane this poster is? Yeah. Early 90’s crazy town.)

Tagline(s) – Evil has finally found a home. (F)

(This tagline intrigues me because it’s a generic piece of shit that I have no idea how it could connect to the horror franchise I’ve grown to love. How could this be?)

Keyword(s) – undead; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.2 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959); 80.5 The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009); 77.9 Jason X (2001); 77.7 Universal Soldier: The Return (1999); 72.7 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 72.1 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010); 72.0 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011); 71.8 Zombie Strippers (2008); 69.9 Cell (I) (2016); 69.3 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989);

(Twilight and Friday the 13th. I would be down for this movie marathon, would be bonkers. Universal Soldier 2 is intriguing. Both theatrical releases got simply terrible reviews, and the second one is notable for basically relegating JCVD to direct-to-video status until Expendables 2. Interesting indeed.)

Notes – There was a comic book that bridged the gap between Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) and this film. It followed Jason after he was dipped in toxic waste in a New York City sewer, and his killing spree all the way back to Camp Crystal Lake. It also explains why the FBI has a task force specifically for Jason. (I want to read this. What is happening to me? Why am I obsessed with this franchise?)

Jason’s heart was used in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) as Monkey Man’s heart. (I don’t understand this sentence, the prop I suppose?)

(at around 54 mins) The Necronomicon found in the Voorhees house is a prop created by Tom Sullivan for The Evil Dead (1981) and Evil Dead II (1987). Sam Raimi sent a letter asking Sullivan to forgive him for not asking permission to borrow Sullivan’s Evil Dead II (1987) props for this film. Tom Sullivan said he was not paid and would never again loan out props without granting permission. (That is deep prop master stuff)

The original title of the movie was “Friday the 13th Part IX: The Dark Heart of Jason Voorhees”. (WHAT)

There were plans for a high tech video game based on this movie. The game was created but never released. (Uh … so you are telling me this exists).

One early concept for this movie was “Jason Goes To L.A” in which two rival gangs would be fighting; when Jason would show up and start murdering them. This would force the rival gangs to band together to defeat Jason. (Cool idea, but kind of a rip off of Manhattan. That could have been part of the eight one if they were willing to pay for it)

This entry features the strongest clues as to the location of Crystal Lake. Namely, twice (once at the start, once when Steve Freeman sees the hitchhikers), a sign indicating that Crystal Lake is approximately 29 miles from Fairfield and 39 miles from Westport appears. Fairfield and Westport are both located in Connecticut. Previous films had indicated New Jersey or its environs; in part 3, a sign for Pick-It, the New Jersey state lottery, appears on the sign of a window at around 14 minutes into the film, while in part 1, Enos’ truck has New Jersey on the side, and at about 11 minutes into part 1, the gates for a cemetery also has New Jersey on it. (oh goddamit)

The film takes place in 2003. (Ha, loving it. We’ll have to see how that comes up)

There is a substantial amount of male nudity in this film as with female nudity, probably most notably in the “homoerotic shaving scene” as many fans have come to call it. The reason for this that director Adam Marcus viewed the previous “Friday the 13th” film as somewhat sexist, showing only or primarily female nudity, and thought it more acceptable to show male and female nudity in equal amounts. (Good for him Adam. It is sexist, got to give male nudity a chance to shine)

The only film in the series to be released in the 90s. (Which is probably the only interesting thing about it for me to be honest)

Sean Cunningham long since believed actors never took their cues fast enough, meaning it would take them just a couple of seconds too long to (for example) go out of a room through a door because they’d be too busy emoting. His passive aggressive solution was not to communicate more clearly to the actors but instead shoot at 22 frames per second instead of 24, thinking the increased speed would eliminate any sign of slight hesitation from the actor. This put the audio all out of whack, but he could fix that with a harmonizer. Cunningham puts this technique to the test on Deepstar Six, and liked the results enough to force Marcus to employ the method while filming Jason Goes to Hell. An unexpected though obvious consequence of filming everything at a slightly faster frame rate was that (for example) where they thought they had a 90 minute film they only actually had 80 minutes. (WTF That is incredible and bizarre and just one of the most incredibly terrible bullshit).

Conceptually, the notion of Jason’s essence being transferable came from Adam Marcus’ original story treatment. Ignoring Jason Takes Manhattan, he picked up where Part VII: The New Blood left off, i.e., Jason neutralized and trapped at the bottom of Crystal Lake. The film would open with a mystery man dredging up Jason’s body, so that an autopsy could be performed in a nearby cabin converted into a science lab. We were supposed to expect Jason to wake up and go berserk. However, as a surprise, Jason would awake only to watch his own black heart torn out by the the mystery man. This would instantly render him powerless, and the mystery man would consume the heart, thereby absorbing Jason’s “powers.” The big reveal would be the identity of the man: Elias Voorhees, Jason’s never seen, never mentioned father. It’s not clear where the story would have gone from there, but they dropped all of it except the idea of someone eating Jason’s heart, thereby taking his powers. Jason’s body-hopping via mouth-ingested parasite from that point forward, was likely ripped off from The Hidden (1987), a science fiction flick from New Line’s archive. (These notes are long, but they are incredible. Sounds like they decided to go the Halloween 6 route and completely ruin a horror franchise by over-explaining things)

Magnum P.I. writer Jay Huguely’s final draft for Jason Goes to Hell was awful and impossible to understand. Cunningham was coming up against a deadline, as in New Line needed to see the script within a couple of days or else they’d cancel the project. So, he recruited My Boyfriend’s Back writer Dean Lorey, sat with him in a room for 4 days, and wouldn’t let him leave until they had a script they could film. In the process, they basically threw out all of Huguely’s work. (My God, that is just a crazy story! The 90s were a crazy time)

After the film was released, the Wall Street Journal called it “a return to morality in cinema” because of the scene where Luke and Deborah are murdered while having sex after deciding not to use a condom. (That sentence makes me sick to my stomach. Fuck you Wall Street Journal)

Godsend Recap

Jamie

Godsend! Part of the technothriller triumvirate with Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace and Ghost in the Machine. Get it? God, Man, and the (Holy) Ghost. Thank you, thank you. Let’s get this going.

What?! Paul and Jessie have the perfect life until their son Adam is tragically killed in an accident. Approached with the possibility of cloning him, they take the chance, only to have the clone turn evil around the age that Adam was killed. Can they stop this evil Adam clone monster that they’ve unleashed on the world before it’s too late? Find out in… Godsend!

How?! The storyline starts as more of a family drama than a science fiction horror. We spend a good half hour watching a loving family get torn apart by the tragedy of a life cut short too soon. Even worse, when Robert De Niro’s creepy baby clone doctor, Dr. Wells, enters the picture (all too eager to “help” a family in mourning), you only feel sorrow. In almost any situation you would presume Dr. Wells was there to scam them with expensive false promises of cloning their lost child. But of course in this case his promises aren’t false and a new Adam is born. They live a wonderful eight years together until he begins to act super weird and have crazy violent nightmares. It would seem that he has some psychic connection to an evil, murderous child named Zachary. But who is Zachary? Twist Alert! Paul investigates and figures out that Zachary is in fact the long dead son of Dr. Wells himself! He’s a mad scientist who used Adam as a vessel to bring parts of Zachary back to life! Uh oh! When Paul confronts Dr. Wells about this things turn violent and Dr. Wells escapes. Paul recovers just in time to stop Adam/Zachary from killing Jessie. Realizing that they have a child possessed by pure evil they do what any parent would do: move away and pretend like everything’s fine… nothing to see here.

Why?! The motivations of Paul and Jessie are perfectly consistent: they mourn the loss of their child and will do anything to get him back. After they do get him back they will do anything to keep him. As for Dr. Wells, he uses a tenuous connection to Jessie to pretend that he just wants to help her with his scientific gift. Of course, after the twist is revealed it becomes clear that he shares the same motivations as Paul and Jessie for his own dead son, but chooses the evil, twisted route of incorporating his genes into Adam’s DNA without their knowledge. Finally, Adam’s motivation always was and always will be to get those sweet Reebok Pump Verticals. Pump up and air out, Adam/Zachary.

Who?! There is a nary a speck of humor in this film, so no possibility of a Planchet. No animals, no cameos, and no Presidents. The only Who?! I can think of is the fact that this was the first feature film that Mark Cuban’s production company produced. What a stain on our future President’s legacy.

Where?! Great settings film. When Adam is killed in the beginning of the film you see several cars with Massachusetts license plates in a big city. You can presume they lived in Boston. After they move to pursue the cloning, the family’s car changes from MA plates to Vermont plates. This is confirmed once Dr. Wells escapes as local newspapers list the location of the cloning center as Riverton, VT. Of course back when we were filling up the Mapl.d.map we had no way of knowing this and watched god damn A Change of Seasons for that state. What a waste. C+.

When?! No clues are given other than suggestions that the first part of the film takes place in the mid-90’s. There is a tagline from a poster for the film that says “Adam Duncan. Born: December 11, 1987. Died: December 12, 1995. Born September 23, 1996.” So if we take that at its word we have a perfect exact date as the films takes place after his second 8th birthday: September 23, 2004. All fits within the film’s context, but not clear from the film itself. D-.

I would describe the film as a slightly better version of Bless the Child until you hit the twist. From there it makes no sense with the rest of the film and leads to an stunningly bad ending (that might still have been the best of the several endings shot for the film). Woof. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Godsend? More like God, Send it Back! Amirite!? A couple’s child dies and Robert De Niro crashes their mourning period to reveal a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: play God, abandon the life as you know it, and lie to your child for the rest of your life and you can get him back! I mean, what is the downside?! Let’s get into it:

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – For the most part the first two thirds of this film are at least okay. Not really “thrilling” maybe, but the acting is solid, a few jump scares here and there, and the premise is interesting enough to sustain the film for a good hour at least. Sounds like it is time for a sequel. Fifteen years later and Dr. Richard Wells is still missing, and his “son” Zachary has been quelled and is controlled within Adam, now a New York City detective. When episodes involving Zachary become more frequent, and disturbing stories of a mad doctor start to float around the precinct, Adam has a sinking feeling Wells is back to his genetic research games. Following leads through back alley clinics and mafia doctors Adam discovers with horror that Wells has perfected a procedure to transfer consciousnesses from one man to another. How does one catch a man who can change faces at will? Godsend: Face / Off. The New York Times calls it “a piss-poor sequel built entirely upon the premise that Robert De Niro refused to return to the series”.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Mainly the issue with the film is that the ending is garbage. Not only that, all four alternative endings they wrote are also garbage. The writing gets seriously shaky in the third act, although it includes the gloriously evil-scientist line “Tell me something, if I’m not supposed to do this Paul, how is it that I can?” from Dr. Wells. If I had a nickel for every time I screamed that while doing my PhD work I would be a rich man. I’m not sure the sin (Lust, gluttony, greed? Probably greed), but I think all of the issues stem from the producers accidentally landing Robert De Niro and then rushing to expand his part (allegedly all shot within a very short time span). I would guess by expanding Wells into the main antagonist role they painted themselves into a corner with the ending. That’s my take anyways.

The BMT: Legacy – I do think Wells gets up there in the pantheon of evil bad movie scientists, along with Dr. Alexander McCabe from Bats. Along with that it also joins movies like The Call in which the first two thirds are pretty good and then the last act (often just the ending) ruins the entire film. Interesting, but this movie won’t be in any bad movie marathons, I don’t think. For the most part the film is too good in its first two acts to be anything that sticks around.

And wrap with StreetCreditReport.com as is usual these days. Godsend, not surprisingly, got no love at the time despite being the third lowest rated films on Rotten Tomatoes of the year. Ebert neglects it in his recap, and I found nary a list that mentioned it. But 2004 was an amazing year (Catwoman, Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, New York Minute, White Chicks, The Whole Ten Yards!!) and Godsend is amazingly forgettable. Street cred? More like No Cred. For shame.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Godsend Preview

There were a number of pure science fiction films available for StreetCreditReport.com, but we were feeling a little genre mash’em-up. Let’s get something that’s a little dash of horror, a little pinch of intense family drama, a smidgen of science fiction, and literally no comedy whatsoever. That’s right! We’re watching Godsend. Not sure how many people remember this Robert De Niro/Greg Kinnear film that scored a startling 4% on RT. It’s about a family who loses their only son in a tragic accident. Offered the chance to clone their child they take the chance (against their own better judgement). All is well until strange things start happening once the child passes the age at which he died. Uh oh! Sounds extremely sad, incredibly close, and marginally creepy. Just how I like it! Let’s go!

Godsend (2004) – BMeTric: 63.9

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(Those are some dense plots for reals. Extremely promising. Basically no regression to the mean and a significantly low rating for IMDb being sub-5.0. Kind of amazing that a film released in 2004 can “only” have around 20 thousand votes over 13 years later, but even so, it seems like people have been slowly watching the film over the years and thinking “wow, this apparently terrible film is in actuality terrible” which is a good sign.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – A couple grieving over the loss of their 8-year-old son is approached by a medical researcher who promises that he can enable the woman to give birth to the identical child all over again – using a revolutionary (is illegal) cloning method he’s perfected. Good performances and an interesting premise reel us in, but then the filmmakers string us along, teasing us about where the story is headed. It doesn’t pay off. Filmed in Canada, which never looked more unlike the U.S.

(Sweet settings burn by Leonard, decent hyphen game, and an overuse of the word “us” (speak for yourself Leonard). I kind of love this review, even if it does put a damper on my hopes for the film. Leonard doesn’t like the spooky-scary though, so 50-50 whether he actually watched this film. I could easily guess that the highlight of the film is the acting and premise based solely on the trailer.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWI2qZC_KUY

(I remember this trailer. And I remember thinking it looked spookily interesting. And I remember being shocked when it was apparently terrible. Loving the kick ass black Wilson b-ball in the beginning, and hating the little title cards “His Mother’s Eyes” etc. Cheesy, but getting me amped.)

Directors – Nick Hamm – (Known For: The Journey; The Hole; Killing Bono; Future BMT: Martha – Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence; BMT: Godsend; Notes: A BAFTA Award winning director, he worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and extensively in British television.)

Writers – Mark Bomback (written by) – (Known For: The Wolverine; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Die Hard 4.0; Unstoppable; Race to Witch Mountain; Future BMT: Deception; Total Recall; Insurgent; BMT: Godsend; Notes: There is an entire interview just about this movie and the thought process that went into it. Fascinating stuff. Seems like a writing-for-fun-and-profit kind of guy, and strangely seems to have ended up doing a ton of action films.)

Actors – Robert De Niro – (Known For: Goodfellas; Heat; The Godfather: Part II; Taxi Driver; Sleepers; A Bronx Tale; The Deer Hunter; Silver Linings Playbook; Stardust; American Hustle; Limitless; Casino; Once Upon a Time in America; Joy; Jackie Brown; The Intern; Cape Fear; The Untouchables; Raging Bull; Hands of Stone; Future BMT: Little Fockers; Killing Season; Showtime; The Carrier; The Fan; Hide and Seek; Analyze That; Shark Tale; Righteous Kill; Arthur et les Minimoys; 15 Minutes; The Bridge of San Luis Rey; Red Lights; Heist; Meet the Fockers; The Family; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; Killer Elite; The Comedian; Bloody Mama; Stanley & Iris; Great Expectations; BMT: Godsend; The Big Wedding; New Year’s Eve; Dirty Grandpa; Grudge Match; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor for Dirty Grandpa in 2017; and Nominated for Worst Screen Couple in 2003 for Showtime; Notes: Not much to say about him, he’s been in an incredible number of films (and an incredible number of bad films). He’s been in something like 100 films with over five reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, it is crazy. Anyways, someday maybe we’ll do a De Niro exclusive cycle, try and knock a few more of these guys off.)

Greg Kinnear – (Known For: Little Miss Sunshine; Brigsby Bear; As Good as It Gets; We Were Soldiers; Invincible; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; Sabrina; Stuck in Love; You’ve Got Mail; Robots; Mystery Men; The Gift; Baby Mama; Green Zone; Animal Attraction; Stuck on You; Little Men; Heaven Is for Real; Ghost Town; Bad News Bears; Future BMT: I Don’t Know How She Does It; Loser; Blankman; The Last Song; Salvation Boulevard; Dear God; A Smile Like Yours; Unknown; Murder of a Cat; Feast of Love; BMT: Movie 43; Godsend; Notes: If I was older I probably would have realized that he used to be a talk show host before making his film debut in Blankman (!). Nominated for an Oscar for As Good as It Gets.)

Rebecca Romijn – (Known For: X-Men; X: First Class; X-Men: The Last Stand; X-Men 2; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; Femme Fatale; S1m0ne; Run Ronnie Run; The Alibi; Future BMT: Good Deeds; Man About Town; The Punisher; Dirty Work; BMT: Rollerball; Godsend; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress for Rollerball in 2003; Notes: Formerly Romijn-Stamos, and now married to Jerry O’Connell with whom she has twin daughters. Love me some twin notes. She was a model, and has an impressive filmography after breaking out in X-Men.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $14,379,751 (Worldwide: $30,114,487)

(That’s a bomb. But at least the budget was modest. It could have easily been worse considering the actors involved, which is definitely why it costs $25 million instead of $10 million.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (6/138): A murky thriller with few chills, Godsend is features ludicrous dialogue, by-the-numbers plotting, and an excess of cheap shocks.

(I don’t like cheap shocks, they are the worst way to make a horror film. I loooooove ludicrous dialogue though, so I’m down. Make me jump in exchange for De Niro saying something like “he’s got his brother’s memories!”. I take that deal 10 out of 10 times.)

Poster – Sklogsend (C-)

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(Why is there smoke all over this poster? I can barely tell what’s actually on it. But still a nice example of how to make a poster with people in it without ruining the color. Solid orange color, terrible font, and really bad spacing. Meeeehhhhhhh.)

Tagline(s) – Adam Duncan. Born: December 11, 1987. Died: December 12, 1995. Born September 23, 1996. (Thank you.)

When a miracle becomes a nightmare, evil is born. (B-)

(The first tagline is not on the poster, but I like that at some point they made very specific decision on exactly when the entire movie took place. If worse comes to worse I can use it for the temporal setting. So thanks, anonymous tagline writer. The second one is elusive. I certainly sounds like a tagline. But does it really mean anything? I don’t think so and graded it accordingly.)

Keyword(s) – birthday; Top Ten by BMeTric: 93.1 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 87.6 Vampires Suck (2010); 85.6 The Room (2003); 84.8 Left Behind (I) (2014); 84.1 Movie 43 (2013); 81.9 Skyline (2010); 76.0 Junior (1994); 71.5 The Next Karate Kid (1994); 67.6 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998); 63.9 Godsend (2004);

(Ha! Junior is by far the best one there. Someday we are going to watch and regret watching 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain starring the Hulkster.)

Notes – Robert De Niro had originally planned on merely providing a brief cameo for the film – however after director Nick Hamm heard De Niro would be interested in his project, he asked De Niro to participate in a few more scenes that were all filmed within a week. De Niro later regretted this because his name was “splashed over all the advertisements”. (De Niro regretted that his money grab became a high profile money grab)

Before the release of this movie, Lions Gate Films set up two official websites: one conventional site with movie information, and one site that appeared to be a promotional tool for the (fictional) cloning institute depicted in the movie. The website gave an email address and phone number (1-888-699-2672) for the “Godsend Institute;” calling the number resulted in a recorded message giving the institute’s office hours. Several news outlets reported that when a few bereaved parents called or emailed the fake institute to inquire about having their children genetically reconstituted, the studio started responding to them and explaining that it was just a movie tie-in and not a real laboratory. Similar advertisements for fictional medical procedures and clinics were also produced as parts of the advertising campaigns for Gattaca (1997) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). (That isn’t great to be honest. That sounds terrible)

Five different endings were shot for this movie and the released one is the tamest one. (This is worthless unless I can see the other endings, I don’t even know what tamest means in this context)

The operating room sequences were filmed inside the empty swimming pool of the institute complex. (fun facts)

The snow scene in the graveyard was unplanned. It was hoped the snow would remain until the scene was completed, and it did. (fun facts)

D-War: Dragon Wars Recap

Jamie

Hoooo boy! Fitting that the week that me and Patrick are traveling the beautiful countryside of Wales (official national animal: the dragon) is also the week that we are recapping a South Korean garbagefest focused on dragons. While we didn’t see any dragons on our hike (just millions of sheep and several very friendly (unfriendly?) cows), we got our fill from D-War. Let’s get into it.

What?! Five hundred years ago an Imugi (proto-dragon) was chosen to receive a Yeouiju (in the form of a young woman) and ascend to heaven to become a dragon, but was prevented from doing so through the devious acts of an evil Imugi. Five hundred years later these Imugi reemerge to fight over a new Yeouiju, Sarah, and only a local newscaster, Ethan, can protect her. Will he be able to deliver Sarah to the good Imugi before it’s too late? Find out in… D-War: Dragon Wars!

Why?! That all sounded like nonsense, right? Good. That’s because it is entirely entrenched in Korean folklore (if it were told through the lens of a SyFy Original Movie). As a result the characters’ motivations are pretty straightforward. Ethan is destined from childhood to protect the Yeouiju, Sarah. They aren’t totally aware of their destiny until the Imugi emerge from the Earth and suddenly they feel like there is something bigger that they are a part of. Eventually they understand that they are meant to keep Sarah out of the clutches of the evil Imugi long enough for the chosen Imugi to defeat him and take the Yeouiju for himself. It is implied that if the evil Imugi were to get Sarah he would ascend to heaven and destroy the Earth. Long story short: this film is basically a story told from the perspective of a MacGuffin.

How?! While reporting a news story about a major disaster in LA, Ethan recognizes a scale-like object in the earth. He remembers something strange that happened to him as a child where an old man claimed he was destined to protect a girl at a time when a good and evil Imugi would battle for ascendence to heaven. Using what he recalls from this meeting he tracks down the girl and they begin to run from the evil Imugi that seems set on finding and killing them. The rest of the movie is them running to a spot, sitting and talking for a little bit, and then running away again when the Imugi appears. Finally they are caught and the Yeouiju within Sarah is revealed, only to have the good dragon swoop in and kill the evil dragon. Knowing that the only way the battle will truly end is through her sacrifice, Sarah allows herself to be taken by the good dragon and Ethan walks away… like literally everyone disappears except Ethan and he walks slowly away into a weird wasteland desert while the credits roll. Bizarre.

Who?! I guess I’ll give a little shout out to Craig Robinson, who had a sizeable role in the film as Bruce. My favorite part was when they get in a fight and he appears to die only for ADR to chime in with “Come on, Bruce, get in the car.” “Go on without me, but I’ll be OK.” Then for the character to reappear several scenes later as if nothing happened. I’m fairly certain the director had no idea what he was doing. The editor probably hated every minute he had to work on this.

Where?! Los Angeles is very clearly the setting. It’s said a million, trillion times and a big fight occurs on the tallest building in the city. Still not central to the plot so a nice B+.

When?! This is the harder one. It is certainly set in 2007 as they go out of their way to have a flashback set in 1507 and say that the events of the film take place five hundred years later. After that, though, they pretty obviously obscured the exact date. They had a perfect opportunity to present it and cut away at the last moment. I’d give it a D+.

Not sure those details actually help understand a mostly incomprehensible film.

Patrick

Helo Pawb! That’s right, the Bad Movie Twins are reunited in Wales this week. Are we appreciating the pristine beauty of the rolling sheep-speckled countryside? Nay, we are watching Dragon Wars: D-War of course! More like F-War amirite? What do you get when you cross the first major South Korean release in the United States in decades with a literal crazy person as director? Some cray CGI dragons in your face that’s what! Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Remake it for sure. Why? Because the only thing that really worked in this film is that the CGI was indeed pretty solid for the time it came out, and you could kind of just get away with updating that and you’d have a similarly styled movie. Kaiju are having a moment, so let’s build the dragon master into the King Kong / Godzilla universe and get the party started! Godzilla and the Celestial Dragon versus Buraki?! Who wouldn’t want to see that? Me for one. This is a terrible idea. Unless Craig Robinson returns … he was actually great in the movie.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – So when you have a movie where the storyline makes no sense, the acting (outside of Craig Robinson) was terrible, and it is directed by a person who really would have rather just filmed a 40-minute fight scene between CGI monsters what can you really point to as the culprit. Greed? American producers thinking the South Korean formula for success could so easily be translated to the US market? Sloth? The unwillingness to check or control any aspect of the film to ensure something comprehensible was made? Nay! Pride. The director defines this movie. He is the beginning, middle, and end as to why this movie was terrible, since he was the writer as well. He could only be delusional, that is the only way this movie is made the way it was for $70 million and nothing be done about it.

The BMT: Legacy – Almost nothing. This movie is incredibly boring and I don’t really think there is many redeeming qualities ultimately. I would almost definitely never watch it again. A ten BMeTric, low for sure. Its legacy is that it is a giant foreign produced movie that tanked. Unlike something like Pinnochio it doesn’t even have the benefit of being horrifying, it is merely like Birdemic: a delusional person made a movie and it wasn’t so incredibly bad it became wonderful like The Room, it just remained incredibly bad. That’s about it, nothing special. Sorry D-War.

I do think I’ll leave it there for the week. No homework or analysis to be done (sadly) for the film. Cheerios,

The Sklogs