Smaddies Baddies VI

It has become an annual tradition. On the anniversary of the start of Bad Movie Thursday we take a look back at the year in review. With a name that’s just as bad as the films it honors it is ….

Smaddies Baddies! Smaddies Baddies! Ah what a year. We finished off the Fifty Shades series, delved into the minds of madmen, started the Map Streets Map Alright! Sklogpacking Across Europe, and explored friends we’d usually not watch for BMT. And as usual no year would be complete without watching the worst of the worst of 2018 marked mostly by the most Slender of Men slithering into our lives. Remember, any film we watched in 2018 qualifies for an award. Smaddies Baddies, what films do we want to bestow our highest (lowest?) honor in all of bad movie world to?

We’ll start with the BMT awards which are usually cut for time: the 6W awards. Let’s go!


The Three Musketeers Best Planchet Baddie (Who?) goes to Exit Wounds with Anthony Anderson as the best sidekick who just gets ripped on for the entire runtime of a film, but what’s this?! Did Exit Wounds also have the best fake (Vice) President as well?! A dual award is handed out for the extremely rare display of Steven Seagal clumsily saving a Vice President’s life. And the kicker? Seagal gets chastised for doing it and demoted to the worst precinct in Detroit. All in a day’s work Seagal.

The Adam Sandler Memorial Product Placement Baddie Brought to You By Coca Cola, Always Cool! (What?) goes to Behind Enemy Lines with one of our favorite product placements in BMT history. Owen Wilson has struggled his way across war-torn Bosnia, discovering war crimes and escaping enemy fire. Finally, exhausted, he hitches a ride with some Elvis-loving rebels and asks through parched lips for some water. But they don’t have water. All they have is a delicious and refreshing Coca-Cola. Will that work? Will it ever! Owen Wilson takes a swig of that Coke and the “Ahhhh” of his refreshment rebounds off the surrounding mountains, likely giving away their positions and spellings certain death. But he doesn’t care. Because he’s got that red and white can in his hand. You can’t see it but tears are streaming down our faces just remembering it.

The When in Rome Setting as a Character Baddie (Where?) goes to Show Dogs in a controversial upset. We had a whole cycle celebrating nations across Europe and none of those won. Even Deuce Bigalow couldn’t take the prize home. That’s because you have to remember what this award is all about. The setting must stand in as a character and when we learn about the love between two star-crossed talking dogs through their mutual glee at ziplining along the Vegas strip you know you got a winner. The name is even a play off of Show Girls for god’s sake. It’s not even something kids would understand, but they were required by law to make it the name of the film. Vegas was that much ingrained in its DNA.

The Jonah Hex Centennial Celebration Super Specific Temporal Setting Baddie (When?) In past years this award typically went to a secret Holiday film, but sometimes a very strange series of decisions made by a screenwriter results in a wild, wild, upset. That’s right, Wild Wild West takes home the settings prize by the film literally ending on the exact date (nay moment!) the golden spike completes the transcontinental railroad (May 10, 1869)! I had to wrack my brain to think of another BMT film that makes such an event the cornerstone of their film, it is exceedingly rare. And isn’t that really what temporal settings are all about?

The Street Fighter Legend of Chun Li Best MacGuffin Baddie (Why?) If you could only see the absurd list we had for the number of MacGuffin films this year. The Spike of Power, The Mask of Acheron, Softkill, The Apple of Eden, The Switchblade … all nonsense! Meaningless garbage! But only one was so mysterious, so magical, such a pointless driver of plots, that they felt like they had to put it in the title. Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, a truly insane A+ MacGuffin! What does the Blood Orchid do? Well it, uh, blooms only like once every thousand years or something, and it has some … chemical, which makes you live a really long time. Get off my back! I just need it okay, it is the key to my biochemical research company! And that … that’s how you MacGuffin right.

The 88 Minutes Starring Leelee Sobieski Worst Twist Baddie (How?) Pretty easily goes to Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. The twist in this film is so nonsensical that you almost can’t take it seriously. We see Ecks a total wreck years after the death of his wife. We are treated to flashbacks of her death in a car bombing, but the whole time you assume that she’s alive and they’ll use some clever way to reveal just how that could be. Nope. It literally is just that the bad guy set up a car explosion and they both assumed the other one had died and then went about their lives assuming this… for years… in the same city. You can almost imagine the bad guy going like “wait, did they actually fall for that shit?” after, because it is completely unbelievable that Antonio Banderas would do absolutely no follow up on whether his wife was killed in an explosion he only kinda saw. He’s a special agent! Apparently the dumbest special agent that ever lived. Were there no funerals? Did no mutual friend go like “yo… I definitely just had brunch with your wife last week and she also thinks your dead and she’s pregnant. You guys should probably figure this out cause it’s weird.” We’ve even seen the movie several times before and on this viewing we still were like “what?!”


Phew. Now onto the big awards, now officially based on The Good, The Bad and The BMT (plus Live!). And without further ado:

The Freddy Got Fingered Surprisingly Good Baddie (The Good) Nominees: Hunter Killer, Anaconda, Monte Carlo, The 13th Warrior, Behind Enemy Lines

And the Winner is: Hunter Killer. After the success of GEOOOOOOSTORM I could not tell you how excited I was to get my boy Gerard Butler back. Combine that with Jamie featuring it on a submarine movie podcast (Mac East 2nd Floor Studios Presents Submersion) and it was a match made in heaven. Narrowly avoiding the disastrous 40% flat on Rotten Tomatoes, we settled in for some sweet one on one time with Gerard. One problem … the movie is kind of good? It isn’t great, like Gerard is still Gerard Butler, but if you want some submarine action with some jolly Ruskies, then boy howdy, do I have a film for you! Congrats Hunter Killer, you weren’t that bad! You weren’t that bad!

The Strange Wilderness Unpleasantly Terrible Baddie (The Bad) Nominees: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Little Man, Meet the Spartans, CHIPS, Death Wish (2018)

And the Winner is: Little Man. Woof, after White Chicks I thought the long awaited sequel in Little Man could not fail to deliver. I was sadly mistaken. Instead of the delight of seeing two literal monster people wandering around on screen and people legit thinking they are real people, instead we get an unpleasant and unfunny fake CGI little person … It isn’t the same. And a grown adult getting treated like a baby? The weird uncomfortable sexual undertones of that whole thing? Not a fan. Ooof, I have to stop, I’m feeling a bit queasy. This is like Norbit, the more I think about the film, the more upset I get in a very visceral way.

The Here on Earth Most BMT Baddie (The BMT) Nominees: Underclassman, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Wild Wild West, Righteous Kill, Exit Wounds

And the Winner is: Wild Wild West. Wicky wild. Wicky wicky wicky wild wild west! Jim West, desperado babyyyyy! Giant robot spiders, magnets, the transcontinental railroad, a half-of-a-person from the confederacy, zombies, Will Smith cross dressing. This movie has it all. Don’t be surprised, there are reasons the classics are classics. We only have ourselves to blame for waiting so long to watch the film. Righteous Kill is the typical BMT choice here, the more … perplexing choice for people who aren’t familiar with our specific bad movie tastes. But sometimes, like Owen Wilson stuck behind enemy lines in Bosnia, you just need a (Coca Cola) classic.

The Jack and Jill Worst of 2017 Baddie (The BMT Live!) Nominees: Fifty Shades Freed, Slender Man, Truth or Dare, Midnight Sun, Death Wish (2018)

And the Winner is: Fifty Shades Freed. This is its Return of the King moment! A film so weird and terrible we couldn’t even bring ourselves to actually watch it in theaters. We found some stream online so as to not repeat our mistakes from Fifty Shades Darker! Darker and Freed are kind of what I imagined BMT Live would be when we came up with it. Instead most of the time it involves us desperately trying to find any film that is released in the US and UK reasonably close together with reasonably bad reviews. All except for February 14th every year. We knew exactly who our Valentine would be then. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan and some weirdo who wants to kill them. I will truly miss the series. I could count on it. And that counts for something.

Smaddies Baddies, Smaddies Baddies. Quite an impressive set of films. As usual, for those of you who slipped into a gentle slumber during the announcements: Watch Hunter Killer, Wild Wild West, and Behind Enemy Lines. Skip Fifty Shades Freed, Little Man, and Show Dogs. Ah, who am I kidding? Watch them all! Watch them all in a row and feel your brain melt!

Hall of Fame Speech #13: Gods and Generals

Brief note before we start: last July we got together and worked out a third class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. It has been nearly eight years since we started BMT and the films we had seen more than five years ago, in some cases, deserved a rewatch and reassessment. This is the third installment leading up to the sixth (eighth?) Smaddies Baddies bringing you previews and Hall of Fame Speeches for the five films chosen. Five years ago I foolishly decided to watch Gods and Generals. During the time I watched it I lived, raised a family, grew old, and then died. And now I am dead. Or at least it feels that way. And for real, that is the reason Gods and Generals is in the Hall of Fame. Enjoy!

Hall of Fame Induction Speech for Gods and Generals

Gods and Generals fits into a number of superlatives for BMT. What is the longest film we’ve watched for BMT? Gods and Generals. What is the most boring film we’ve ever watched for BMT? Gods and Generals. Has there ever been a film that made you question the idea of BMT? Gods and Generals. It’s not here because of the joy it brought to our BMT lives. It’s not even here because it exemplifies some bad movie trope or characteristic that we hold dear. It’s here because it may be the most terrible thing we ever watched. The perfect storm of terribleness for the historical epic gone wrong. Much like Strange Wilderness before it, Gods and Generals is being inducted as a warning to all mankind. Do not watch this film.

The top things I remembered from our first viewing:

  • I had an existential crisis. I wondered if this is life, just unendingly watching Stephen Lang be a crazy person while I wait for him to die. But it went on so long I begin to wonder whether he may outlive me.
  • It is easily the most boring thing we have watched… and it’s like 70% battles!
  • The beards and accents were embarrassing and made me sad.
  • It played like a Civil War reenactment… which is basically what it was.

By far the most important bit is the first one obviously. The film is nearly five hours long. But it is so action packed it feels like it is 10 hours long (heyyyooooo). While you watch it you start to have a panic attack because what if you never are able to not watch Gods and Generals? What happens if it just … never ends? It is the only thing anyone could possibly remember about this film.

So how did the rewatch go? Perhaps, I thought, on second viewing we would see the errors of our ways. Realize that we had unjustly slandered an informative and stirring Civil War epic… nope. The reality is far, far worse. I think we may have grossly underestimated just how terrible this film was. It almost has no redeeming cultural, historical, or artistic qualities. The film was split into five parts and I would say the first, fourth, and fifth are straight up terrible pro-Confederacy, pro-Stephen Lang acting like a crazy person, pro-wasting-my-time entries. They focus almost entirely on Stonewall Jackson and how he was a total weirdo that everyone loved and also the war wasn’t about slavery so don’t worry about it. I will say that Jeff Daniels’ portions concerning Joshua Chamberlain were actually pretty good and almost definitely should have been used to balance out the Union/Confederacy stories… you know if the point of the film wasn’t apparently to mythologize the South.

And I think that’s the craziest takeaway from the second viewing. Originally I felt like its greatest crime was being the longest, most boring thing I had ever seen in my life. What I didn’t remember noting the first time was just how pro-Confederacy the slant of the story was. There are a total of two African-American characters in the film and they are both minor parts. Both roles occasionally broach the subject of slavery and its inherent moral repugnancy, but otherwise seem to be used to give voice to the complexity of the relationship between the South and slavery… which is problematic. I feel like in the five years since I first watched this film society has become much more finely tuned to this type of Lost Cause revisionist bullshit narrative and it has certainly not aged very well even from 2003. It strongly paints the story of the war as one of fighting for the freedom of the South from unjust Northern aggression rather than one fighting for treason and slavery. It uses Stonewall Jackson and his religious fervor, family values, and adoration of his troops to prop this idea up. Jackson is painted as the ultimate hero and not a leader of a rebellion defending the institution of slavery. It is galling and terrible and I hated the film even more for it.

So where is this film’s place in BMT history? How can we understand how it stands amongst the Strange Wildernesses and Norbits of the world? It doesn’t have someone accidentally getting their dick stuck in a giant turkey (that scene must have been cut) like what we typically think of for the worst-of-the-worst BMT films. But despite that this may in fact be the worst film we have ever watched. Sure it has some silly accents and beards (those were still hilarious), but it also was inexcusably apologetic towards the Confederacy. I used to say that it played like a film meant to be shown to high school kids when their teacher calls in sick. Now I would say that you shouldn’t let it come within 10 feet of a classroom.

So there you have it. If you ever want to watch literally the longest and most boring ever, well … we got you covered. That movie is Gods and Generals. You’re welcome. I mean, I guess congrats Gods and Generals. You did it! You are the most boring movie I have ever seen (and god willing, will ever see). Welcome to the Hall of Fame.

The Nun Quiz

The Nun is a-comin’ to getcha guys, she’s in rural Romania but itching for that big-city London park life! She just needs a partner in crime to, you know … get all possessed and shit. Are you that vessel, do you deserve it? Well then get ready, let’s go!

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why is our friend Frenchie called Frenchie?

2) Father Burke is a mysterious figure with a dark past. One of the figures in his past is Daniel, who is Daniel?

3) Frenchie is entangled in the story because of a nun that hanged herself. What was she holding when she hanged herself, and what was it for?

4) For a while our main character Sister Irene is alone in the Abbey with spooooooooky ghosts with Father Burke trapped by a clockwork gate. How do Burke and Frenchie infiltrate the abbey?

5) Give me the whole backstory of Valak as best you can, this is an origin story after all!

Answers

Mile 22 Quiz

Do you love guns and Mark Wahlberg? Hell yeah I do, well strap on your sidearm, it is time to foil some international hi-jinx!

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) When the crew attacks the Russian safe house they need a little distraction from their best thespian crew members. What do these skilled actoooooors pretend to be doing near the house?

2) Now in Indocarr everyone is super duper chill and definitely not being total dicks to each other and their families. What does Wahlberg’s right hand woman Alice do to get herself locked out of MyFamilyWizard while talking to her ex-husband. Bonus if you can remember why they were fighting in the first place!

3) Now when the double (or triple …) agent comes to give himself up at the American embassy he is handcuffed for a little physical. This obvs gives us a cool martial arts scene, but before that how does Mr. Martial Arts figure out that the doctor is actually an assassin sent to kill him?

4) The double (or triple …) agent has brought a fancy schmancy drive with him which will tell Mark Wahlberg all about the very-bad-stuff the very-bad-people have stuck into the country! Buuuut there is a trick to it! What is it? And the trick isn’t that it was written by a woman like one character very confusingly insinuates.

5) Now they are on the move (fun!) and their Malkovichian super squad is assembled across the globe. What little figures does Malkovich keep in the room they set up right up until, uh oh, they are all killed because Mark Wahlberg is a dummy.

Answers

Truth or Dare Recap

Jamie

A bunch of dum-dums travel to Mexico to party it up one last time (literally). They end up playing a game of Truth or Dare in a spooky abandoned mission (naturally) and awaken a demon that uses the game to torment and eventually kill them one by one. Can they stop the demon before it’s too late? Find out in… Truth or Dare.

How?! I feel like I’ve written this one several times before. A bunch of (kinda douchey) friends are spending one last Spring Break in Mexico drinking and partying. Near the end of their time there they are invited out to a sketchy abandoned mission by a sketchy guy for sketchy reasons, but they follow him there (duh). He asks them to play truth or dare and they oblige because they are dumb. Turns out that he was using them to get more people involved in a demonic game of truth or dare run by a demon trickster. This demon trickster proceeds to torment them by having them reveal their deepest darkest secrets to each other or attempt death defying dares. When one refuses or is unsuccessful they are possessed and kill themselves. Weirdly, a lot of the truths and/or dares actually seem like they are helping the characters. Like they finally confront things in their lives that they’ve so far refused to confront. Like one guy has been scared to come out to his dad but the demon forces him to and he actually seems better for it. More true to himself. Kinda a good guy demon sometimes. Anyway, in the end they track down the source of the demon and find a way out of the game. But the demon is too tricky and smart and outwits them at the last moment. Our final girls are doomed but in a shocking twist (what a twist!) they post a video on YouTube inviting the whole world into the game thus dooming a significant number of people to death. Cooooool. THE END.

Why?! The motivations are where I think they could have played with the concept a little more. Like they have a bunch of people, most of who are objectively terrible, that get caught up in a game of terror with no other motivations other than to survive. Instead of having cartoonish misogynist Ronnie turn out to be a sensitive good guy… he is slaughtered in the first thirty minutes for laughs. Instead of having the fake prescription writing future med student learn the errors of his ways… he is also slaughtered. Instead of the two main characters knowing that while they’ll likely die as part of this game they actually were able to finally be fully truthful with each other after years of hiding their secrets away… they use the internet to turn the world to chaos (presumably). In the end it’s because the trickster demon of course doesn’t want to help them, he not some demon therapist trying to have them communicate better with each other or anything, but at the very least they could have acknowledged that that is kinda what the demon was doing. He helps a kid come out as gay to his homophobic dad for god’s sake!

Who?! I do want to discuss Ronnie a little bit. He’s not a true Planchet as his motivations are not pure (he is clearly a fratty horndog), but he does seem to just want to hang out with our terrible group of main characters and they’re like “gross, Ronnie.” There was opportunity to use him in a more creative way rather than as an obvious first kill… like why couldn’t the main character be dared to hook up with Ronnie but then find he’s actually a good dude and it’s all an act? Nope. Just killed off after his 1000th joke about wanting to bone some hot chick with big bazongas or whatever.

What?! The use of SnapChat, Facebook, YouTube, etc. throughout the film isn’t product placement perse. Seems more like a little signaling to let youngsters know that the writers “get it” and aren’t a couple fuddy-duddy old people. In particular when the main character says that she uses YouTube for videos about her volunteer work and SnapChat if just for fun. Classic. And yes, I used the term “fuddy-duddy” to signal to all the octogenarians that read BMT that I “get it.”

Where?! A nice balance of Mexico and California. They seem to go to the made-up Westlake University in the LA area as evidenced by the quick trips to Mexico, CA license plates, and bars and restaurants located in that area. While obvious it’s not super necessary to the plot. B+.

When?! Obviously around Spring Break, but we are no treated to an exact date. Weirdly our main characters are lured into playing the game by a previous group of players desperate to try to save themselves. It’s clear from some articles we see in the film though that this previous group was playing around June 4th. So we are either expected to believe that they have been continuing to play for almost a year or whatever school these dum-dums go to has Spring Break in the middle of June. I choose neither. They probably just screwed up the timing when making the props or whatever. C+.

I was actually really surprised at how bad this film was. Felt very Rings or Ouija to me and that’s not what you typically get from Blumhouse. They are supposed to deliver high concept horror/thriller, but this literally seems like the lowest, most cliched concept with a terrible script to boot. Patrick pointed out to me that rewrites aren’t generally in the cards for the budgets that Blumhouse are after but… I mean… at some point you have to, right? This was really bad. At moments you could get whiffs of Happy Death Day (which similarly had the main characters be damaged and somewhat unlikeable), but then it would disappear like a mirage. Is it better than Slender Man… eeesh. Probably. But barely and that’s not a good look. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! What do you get when you cross Rings with Final Destination? Apparently a really dumb film with a terrible ending … let’s get into it!

The Good – The film looks okay. The concept is also at least original to a degree, with a kind of trickster demon being the crux of the whole thing. It is just Rings, so originality is really only superficial ultimately. I liked the actors even if they were terrible. And I still think I like Blumhouse. I think the concepts they bring to horror and the way they make them is fantastic for the genre and, honestly, I hope that similar things can be done with other flagging genres. Like rom coms, or original sci fi, or fantasy, see what you can do with a small budget and small television actors and see if there is any interest. Although the issue will likely be that horror audiences are dependable, you almost always get at least $10 million from teenagers no matter how bad the film is.

P’s View on the Preview – Everything pointed towards this being a boring PG-13 horror film. The only thing that made me a bit curious was why they added new rules to the game. In the preview it was suggested that you have to do a dare after two truths in a row. That isn’t real. That isn’t a real rule! That is just some made up bullshit to make sure the people in the film didn’t find the most obvious loophole to the stupidest game of all time. I was hoping I was wrong, but I wasn’t. Sigh.

The Bad – This film is not scary, is mostly boring, and the hook is silly to the point of just making my laugh (like The Bye Bye Man). The entire film is predicated on the assumption that no one gives a shit that a handful of people who all know each other are killing themselves and dying and shit. Number one thing people would assume it that these people are all on some crazy drugs, they wouldn’t be running around solving mysteries. The action doesn’t start quick enough, the acting is bad, all of these people are horrible people I don’t care about who make poor decisions and are dumb. If not for the ending I would have just said the film was shiny nonsense like Flatliners, but the ending might be one of the worst shoulder shrugs of an ending I’ve ever seen. It pushes it right into Bye Bye Man level nonsense. Like … I hate this movie? Wait … is this dog poo in my face at the last second three pointer!?

You Just Got Schooled – Do you know what would be fun? Looking through the wiki page on the game Truth or Dare in general. First we have this bonkers 1986 straight-to-video feature. WTF, the writer-director was 18 when it was made! There are also films of the same name in 2011, 2013, and 2017 which is pretty incredible. The game itself seems to date to at least 1712 described thusly: “A Christmas game, in which the commander bids his subjects to answer a question which is asked. If the subject refuses or fails to satisfy the commander, he must pay a forfeit [follow a command] or have his face smutted [dirtied].” It also is similar to the ancient Greek game basilinda where a king would tell him subjects what acts to perform. Fun. Facts.

The BMT – This probably enters the worst endings hall of fame for me personally. Somehow the ending to Rings worked, whereas this just feels like a cop out. I’ll probably also note this as a bigger version of what we saw in The Call starring Halle Berry where the ending flies so totally in the face of how a character acts throughout the film that is it jarring and weird. Otherwise is just stands alongside Slender Man and Bye Bye Man and the like. Supernatural horror churns out a ton of films (five qualifying films this year alone) so it isn’t a surprise we collect them like pokemon.

Welcome to Earf – There was a zero percent chance I was getting any connections without looking up at least the first step. The number one best option would have been The Canyons starring Lindsay Lohan and (for reals, third billed) Nolan Funk … which I’ve seen, but it wasn’t released to enough theaters to count for BMT. So I’ll have to fall back to Sam Lerner who played our first hapless victim Ronnie, and was a child actor in the Jack Black classic Envy with Ben Stiller, who was in Zoolander 2 with Owen Wilson, who was in I, Spy with Eddie Murphy, who was in Norbit with Terry Crews, who was in Blended with Adam Sandler, who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth! Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – Interestingly the cred is a little thin here. It is obviously mentioned in review-based worst of lists (like this one), but elsewhere it seems to be ignored. There are individual reviews lamenting it as one of the worst of the year though. I certainly think it is. But some people seem to disagree about the ending in particular. I think that up until that ending they had a chance to be an Ouija with a decent prequel. Now? Trash.

This film is pretty bad, and now I’ve seen seven films from this year. From worst to best I think I would currently put them at: (1) Fifty Shades Freed (2) Show Dogs (3) Truth or Dare (4) Slender Man (5) Death Wish (6) The Predator (7) Hunter Killer. Stay tuned for an updated list.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

 

Show Dogs Preview

Awakened by the stench of Frang, Jamie and Patrick are stunned to find themselves on a submarine. Suddenly a man busts into the room flipping a coin in the air, “Captain Luckman’s my name and welcome to my understaffed boat. The stench from this corpse knocked out my crew, laddies, and now we’ll never navigate the Straits of Sklogvania to rescue the President of the goddamn United States. Unless…” he says as he flips the coin again, “I knew it! Heads again. I guess you boys are my new crew. Get moving.” As Jamie and Patrick are hurried to the bridge they look at each other in wonderment. Was the world in fact torn asunder through their adventures across dimensions? Over the next several months they run and maintain the submarine under the tutelage of Captain Luckman. They come to consider the submarine their home and forget the lives they left behind. When it finally comes time to navigate the Straits of Sklogvania they do it deftly without hesitation. Captain Luckman looks at them with the pride of a father for his sons and decides to gift them his lucky coin. With tears in his eyes, he prepares to pay them a fond farewell, for after 25 years on the job he’s ready to retire. As he shakes their hands for that final time he looks them hard in the eyes and says, “Wake up.”

Jamie and Patrick awaken once again. The world is whole. It feels the same as before, but they somehow feel different… they just can’t figure out how. The Ivory Socket and the Obsidian Dongle are nowhere to be found, but they know they are safe. “Was it real? Or was it a dream,” asks Patrick. “We may never know,” responds Jamie. Suddenly when he reaches into his pocket he feels the lucky coin. “The coin…” he says. “And Frang,” gasps Patrick pointing to the very large shark corpse sitting in their living room. They collapse on the couch. “So what do you want to do now?” Jamie asks. Patrick smiles and puts on a pair of sunglasses. “I think we’ve earned ourselves some R&R. You thinking what I’m thinking?” Jamie and Patrick nod at each other. “Dog show!” They shout simultaneously. That’s right! We’re watching the worst talking dog movie in years (and that’s saying something). It’s got everything! A talking dog, … and I’m not sure what else. This is this generation’s K-9 starring Jim Belushi! Let’s get into it!

Show Dogs (2018) – BMeTric: 41.4

ShowDogs_BMeT

ShowDogs_RV

(Firstly, to open below 6.0 is already nuts. The early votes are always skewed super high because … well, probably because of people getting paid to trump up word of mouth. But then to be below 4.0! I’m actually shocked the BMeTric is so low. It has less than 3000 votes on IMDb so far! That is crazy.)

RogerEbert.com – 0.5 stars –  “Show Dogs” is essentially “Miss Congeniality” in the dog show world, and if that doesn’t sound like your cup of kibble, well … you’d be right. Even by the low standards of this type of live-action, family friendly comedy, “Show Dogs” is especially lame. It’s actually kind of amazing that it’s getting a theatrical release at all.

(Holy shit that review. I’m a bit shocked it didn’t get the whole thumbs down once you read it. I’m actually not entirely sure where the 0.5 comes from. There isn’t anything in the review (at all) which suggests this is anything but a complete and utter travesty. How very very very odd.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7H0fCTBdFQ

(Loving this is set explicitly in Las Vegas. That is great. There are so many bad films in Las Vegas. And wow … the review was right! This is literally just Miss Congeniality with dogs. And Miss Congeniality 2 was set in Las Vegas as well. Amazing.)

Directors – Raja Gosnell – (Known For: Never Been Kissed; Beverly Hills Chihuahua; Future BMT: Home Alone 3; Scooby-Doo; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; The Smurfs; The Smurfs 2; Yours, Mine & Ours; BMT: Big Momma’s House; Show Dogs; Notes: Was an editor for over twenty years on major pictures, then transitioned to director in 1997 and has only done children’s films since. This film was a mini-comeback of sorts, having not directed a film for five years prior.)

Writers – Max Botkin (written by) – (Known For: What Happened to Monday; BMT: Show Dogs; Notes: Started writing in television for the animated X-men and Wolverine show in the late 2000s. He’s sold a few scripts, but has nothing officially upcoming.)

Marc Hyman (written by) – (Known For: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted; Osmosis Jones; Future BMT: The Perfect Score; Meet the Fockers; BMT: Show Dogs; Notes: Started his writing career with All That (!). He has a writing credit for the Da Brat episode which I vividly remember for some reason. Has been a script doctor for the most part.)

Actors – Will Arnett – (Known For: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies; Despicable Me; Ratatouille; Men in Black 3; The Lego Batman Movie; The Lego Movie; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; Blades of Glory; Grindhouse; Monsters vs. Aliens; Hot Rod; The Rocker; Ice Age 2: The Meltdown; Horton Hears a Who!; Wristcutters: A Love Story; Arrietty; Brief Interviews with Hideous Men; Spring Breakdown; The Great New Wonderful; Series 7: The Contenders; Future BMT: The Comebacks; G-Force; R.V.: Runaway Vacation; Monster-in-Law; The Brothers Solomon; Semi-Pro; The Nut Job; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows; The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature; Let’s Go to Prison; Southie; BMT: Jonah Hex; When in Rome; Show Dogs; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Notes: Most famous for the character of Gob on Arrested Development, he’s blown up since then. Was married to Amy Poehler for over ten years.)

Ludacris – (Known For: Fast & Furious 8; Fast & Furious 7; Crash; RocknRolla; No Strings Attached; Furious 6; Fast & Furious 5; Hustle & Flow; Future BMT: The Wash; Fred Claus; BMT: Max Payne; New Year’s Eve; Show Dogs; Gamer; 2 Fast 2 Furious; Notes: Rapper turned actor probably most notably in the Fast and the Furious franchise. Was dropped by Pepsi after a protest instigated by noted sexual harasser Bill O’Reilly. Pepsi sucks anyways.)

Natasha Lyonne – (Known For: American Pie; American Reunion; American Pie 2; Sleeping with Other People; A Futile and Stupid Gesture; Robots; Detroit Rock City; The Intervention; Hello, My Name Is Doris; Kate & Leopold; Slums of Beverly Hills; Heartburn; Everyone Says I Love You; G.B.F.; #Horror; Antibirth; The Grey Zone; 4:44 Last Day on Earth; He’s Way More Famous Than You; Zig Zag; Future BMT: Yoga Hosers; Scary Movie 2; Dennis the Menace; Krippendorf’s Tribe; Blade: Trinity; Girl Most Likely; Girlfriend’s Day; Jack Goes Home; Addicted to Fresno; Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby; Party Monster; But I’m a Cheerleader; Flirting with Love; BMT: Show Dogs; Notes: She’s been acting forever basically, dropping out of Tisch at 17 and working since then. She might now be starting to become more famous for her role on Orange is the New Black.)

Budget/Gross – $5.5 million / Domestic: $17,857,020 (Worldwide: $39,106,642)

(Wow that budget. The budget is extremely reasonable and made even the extremely modest box office take a roaring success. Incredible stuff.)

#37 for the Dog genre

showdogs_dog

(Marmaduke is the second highest Dog film by BMeTric (the 2006 Shaggy Dog is number one). I honestly think the giant gap is the period of time in which live animal wrangling became uncouth, and now we generally have the technology to avoid the more distasteful part of that business … and people love dogs.)

#34 for the Family – Talking Animal (Live action) genre

showdogs_talkinganimal

(We’ve watched Garfield: The Movie, Marmaduke, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, and Hot to Trot this year alone! The top are naturally the Alvin movies. I stand by my analysis above, the technology has made talking animal films more practical.)

#14 on the Worst Openings – Super Saturated chart

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (10/60): Show Dogs may entertain very young viewers, but for anyone else, it threatens the cinematic equivalent of a rolled-up newspaper on the snout.

(No, stay away from the dog puns please. It is enough to just say that people who are older than ten will find the film unfunny and boring. Reviewer Highlight: Make a stand to Hollywood and vote with your wallet: We all deserve a better live-action talking-dog movie than this. – Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle)

Poster – Sklog Dogs: Karate Dogz 4 Life (F)

show_dogs

(Woof (Thank you). This is already a travesty on every count (including some super cliche bubble font, come on) but then they tilt it… why is this tilted!?!?!? Is that dog laying on a towel in Vegas? Why is any of this happening?)

Tagline(s) – Unleashed and Undercover (B+)

(Uhhh, I guess this is good. It’s hard to tell because my brain melted while trying to process that poster. I mean it’s short and kinda clever with a double meaning of unleashed and tells me a little about the film. It’s fine.)

Keyword(s) – dog movie; Top Ten by BMeTric: 77.7 Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008); 68.0 The Shaggy Dog (2006); 67.1 Marmaduke (2010); 67.0 Scooby-Doo (2002); 64.7 Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010); 64.0 102 Dalmatians (2000); 63.6 Beethoven’s 2nd (1993); 63.3 Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004); 61.8 Cats & Dogs (2001); 60.9 Underdog (2007);

(Yeah see above, we haven’t seem many of them. We were going to do the Cats & Dogs sequel but it turned out Cheech Marin wasn’t in Cannonball Run. And we’ve always meant to do the Scooby Doo series, but we’ve never gotten around to it. Our previous ban of kids movies covers most of the rest.)

Notes – Filmed at Pinewood Studios in Cardiff, Wales. (In Wales! I’ve been watching an inordinate amount of Only Connect recently which is filmed in Cardiff as well).

One of the two credited screenwriters, Max Bodkin, claims that the film was heavily rewritten by the other credited writer Marc Hyman and 12 uncredited writers. (Just a little peek into just how many people seem to write Hollywood films)

American Humane monitored the animal action. No animals were harmed® .(AHD 07402) (Noice)

During the first scene at the dog show the chihuahua Chloe and her mate Papi from the movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua get a short cameo, with Chloe (noticible by the same voice from the movie and same diamond necklace) having a quick line about talking dog movies not being mainstream anymore. (They aren’t. I actually don’t think they ever will be. I think there will be more of them, but the truly dire kids ones will just go straight to VOD).

C’mon now, we can’t forget the most important note of all! Show Dogs was accused of making light of sexual abuse and was re-edited while in theaters to remove the scene. This is why we should really just watch every bad movie in theaters the instant it comes out. Once that BMT money rolls in I plan to do just that.

Jaws: The Revenge Recap

Jamie

Jaws is back, Jack! And ready for a little revenge. When another shark related tragedy hits her family, Ellen Brody goes a little crazy thinking that she is the target of a vast shark conspiracy. Escaping to The Bahamas she is shocked to find the giant shark there waiting for her. Can she stop this voodoo shark conspiracy before it’s too late? Find out in… Jaws: The Revenge.

How?! Ellen Brody is still living it up on Amity Island. Her husband Martin has passed from a heart attack and her son Michael is off getting a PhD. But Sean is still there living a peaceful life as a police officer. Just a quiet life on the island during Christmas… PSYCH!! He is fucking eaten by a shark!!!! Ellen is now convinced that these sharks are out to get her. First Martin (who I guess had a heart attack obsessing over the shark?) and now Sean. All the evidence we need. Realizing his mom is going a little nuts Michael has her come spend the holidays in the Bahamas with his family. When they get down there she meets an older gentleman Hoagie and they start a romance. They have a nice peaceful Christmas in the Caribbean and not much goes on… PSYCH!!! A fucking shark shows up!!!! The shark is following them!!!! It eats a bunch of people and the Brody’s are all freaked out because this shark is totally voodoo conspiracy after them!!!! In a last ditch effort to rid the world of these giant sharks, Michael and his mom go out on a sailboat, shoot the shark with a electrode thing, and shock the shit out of it until it explodes/gets impaled by the ship. Finally they are happy because they don’t have to worry about any more sharks… or do they? (they don’t because this killed the series). THE END.

Why?! Ha, well the shark is apparently motivated by revenge. It’s actually a little confusing whether you are supposed to come to agree with that assessment. Sure this one family keeps on getting attacked by sharks but there is no actual explanation for why this family of sharks would follow them all over the world. It’s nonsense. The actual explanation is fleshed out in the novelization where a voodoo woman with a vendetta against the Brody’s curses them to forever be hunted by these sharks… which is straight Halloween Parts 4-6 Curse of Thorn bullshit. Also it makes these sharks more or less the evil pawn of a much more evil voodoo lady who never gets a comeuppance. Which is actually kind of sad for both the Brody’s and the shark.

What?! They were probably two movies away from having Ellen Brody stab the shark with The Knife of Power while reciting verses from the Necronomicon. In this film they just used the power of Miller Lite to drain their worries about a voodoo-powered shark out for revenge.

Who?! We get a bunch of fantastic special thanks in this. There are a couple Bahamas related people and Dr. John McCosker, an ichthyologist who obviously advised the production. But most notable was this Special Thanks:

Jaws credits

Thank you very much Selectmen of Edgartown, indeed.

Where?! We open on Amity Island a.k.a. Edgartown, MA, but quickly transition to The Bahamas. I like the choice if only for how weird and random it is and the Caribbean is used to good effect. A-.

When?! Secret Holiday Film Alert! This takes place right at Christmas time. Why? No idea. I guess because they had to film in the winter and so they figured ‘Why not?’ Perhaps it’s a metaphor for the resurrection of the shark who died for our sins… three times. Anyway, very specific and factors into the plot, but not in a particularly important way. A-.

Let’s get one thing straight: this movie is incredibly stupid. Like extra dumb and not surprisingly I think people came to believe that the series could no longer continue without getting dumber. This is probably correct. Jaws 5: It’s Back! would not have been good. However, given our expectation for the film I think it’s surprisingly coherent. I kinda liked the Michael Caine scenes and some of the family stuff (even though it all seemed totally misplaced in the film) and you could kinda go along for the ride without much issue. But again: extra dumb dumb stupid. As for Birdemic: Shock and Terror I had actually already seen it. It was the film that made me officially decide that these were not the films we wanted to be doing for BMT. I remember watching it and finding it mostly excruciating and frustrating to watch. This viewing didn’t necessarily change that assessment. I will say that I’ve come to appreciate these incredibly low budget bad films because they often are the creation of quirky singular viewpoints. So you get a glimpse into someone’s mind. Like in Birdmic you clearly see that the creator’s background in software sales and passion for climate change is a big part of his life and thought process (and thus the crazy film he made). And that’s interesting… to a point. Patrick?  

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Jaws is back jack and with a voodoo twist (presumably, I’m just guessing) … that’s right, Jaws, a shark, is now consciously hunting the Brody clan. And in no way is that ridiculous. Let’s go!

The Good – Far more entertaining than you would think for a film that is purportedly one of the worst films ever made … or at least one of the worst sequels. Lorraine Gary is a delight. Caine is just hilarious in how much he doesn’t give a shit. Nice underwater … I’m going to call them vistas, sue me. The conch tagging scenes were beautiful.

P’s View on the Preview – This film is considered to be one of the worst sequels ever made. The reviews suggest it just looks like garbage and makes no sense. Going in I was certainly the most interested in the revenge story though. Is Jaws actually taking revenge? Do they try and explain it? If they don’t they why do they think Jaws is seeking revenge? Do they acknowledge the fact that in the three (fine, two canonical) films the shark always dies? So many questions and so little expectation!

The Bad – NONE OF MY QUESTIONS WERE ANSWERED. I really wished they had gone completely Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers on us, but alas, they do something even worse: they just kind of allude to shark vengeance and offer no explanation. Add to that the shark looking like crap, most of the actors being not great, and the writing being a mess and you can see why the film is reviled. And yet I kept coming back to the Leonard Maltin review … something about this film is very watchable.

You Just Got Schooled – I’m going to do a two-fer youtube video here. First, witness the original uncut ending of Jaws: The Revenge! Two major things changed between the original theatrical ending and the European (and subsequent home video) released. First, Jaws is merely killed by Ellen slamming a boat into it (wizzeak). Second, and you can’t notice it in the video, but Jake (Mario Van Peebles) dies in this version. The shark … looks atrocious. Which brings me to: A recent video in which the VFX is tastefully redone! I actually think it looks quite good. Good enough at least that you might not have cared that it was spitting in the eye of the original. I’m actually quite liking this entry to my recaps and I think I’ll continue to find “homework” to recap each week.

The BMT – I think I’ll remember this film for it giving me an epiphany: creature features are eminently watchable. Combine some sort of animal attacking people with a halfway decent directorial effort and there is almost nothing you can do to make me think the film isn’t at least watchable. Jaws: The Revenge? Why not? Anaconda? YUP. Bats? Fine, there is a limit, that movie is pretty rough. I guess the point is that Jaws remains the primary creature feature franchise, even years after it died, and that’s saying something.

Welcome to Earf – Michael Caine is in this and Get Carter (2000) with Sylvester Stallone, who was in Zookeeper with Adam Sandler, who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth! Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – As mentioned above, this is legitimated considered on the worst sequels ever made. People happily mention it in 1987 worst of lists, where it takes a nice place next to Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (another crazy number four in a series). It was also so bad it was at one point added to the worst films wiki (although it was removed). This was a must see eventually considering its Razzie cred alone, but it is very famous for being a terrible sequel. Only took us about 450 films to get to it.

Bring a Friend – This week we watched Birdemic: Shock and Terror for the Bring a Friend cycle as another creature feature. Fun fact: the movie was filmed in Half Moon Bay just south of San Francisco where I just so happened to have gone for a wedding two months ago! Like legit … I saw the double decker bus and passed by the cafe in the beginning of the film. As for the film: the birds look so ridiculous you can’t help but be delighted by them. Sure the movie is mostly boring, kind of gross, and weirdly obsessed about global warming (to no satisfying conclusion), but the birds themselves are kind of enough to sustain 60% of the film. If Teen Witch is a solid A, and A Talking Cat?! is a C-, this is somewhere in between. I’m going to give it a B- I think. It isn’t nearly entertaining enough to sustain the runtime, but I understand the allure of the film are far as entertainingly bad films. I could maybe be convinced to watch the film again with a bunch of people.

Cheerios, and back to you Jamie!