Vampire in Brooklyn Recap

Jamie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Patrick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Advertisements

Vampire in Brooklyn Quiz

Hmmmmm, let’s see. Watching all of these bad movies is bad for my health, because the last thing I remember was seeing a vampire and him telling me I was going to become his ghoul … what the hell does that mean? Can you help me remember what happened in Vampire in Brooklyn?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why does Eddie Murphy’s character Max go to Brooklyn in the first place?

2) During the film everyone is on tenterhooks concerning Rita’s mental state. Why?

3) What does Rita think happened to her father?

4) During his attempts to woo Rita, Max saves her life twice. From what does he save her?

5) What can’t Rita do (according to the vampire hunter Justice talks to) before Max is killed in order to make sure Rita can return to her mortal human form?

BONUS: Julius loses four body parts as Max’s ghoul. Name them.

Answers

Vampire in Brooklyn Preview

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

Vampire in Brooklyn (1995) – BMeTric: 68.5

VampireinBrooklynIMDb_BMeT

VampireinBrooklynIMDb_RV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#30 for the Horror Comedy genre

vampireinbrooklyn_horrorcomedy

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

#35 for the Vampire genre

vampireinbrooklyn_vampire

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

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

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

Poster – I’m a Vampire This Time (B+)

vampire_in_brooklyn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final film of Ray Combs. He died soon after.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hellboy (2019) Recap

Jamie

Hellboy is going through some serious existential shit at the same time that an evil witch, Nimue, is resurrected with the goal of bringing about death and destruction. Can Hellboy come to grips with the idea that he is a monster who has been chosen to live while all other monsters are doomed to death (oh and also save the world) before it’s too late? Find out in… Hellboy.

How?! When Hellboy goes off to find a missing friend in Mexico he finds him turned into a vampire and is forced to kill him. Let’s just say this isn’t ideal and causes him to spiral into an existential crisis as he realizes that he, a monster from Hell, is somehow allowed to be part of the BPRD’s occult crime-fighting biz, while other monsters are killed with little remorse. This unfortunately also coincides with the resurrection of a powerful witch named Nimue in England. Hellboy is sent there under the guise of fighting some giants with the Osiris Club, but is ambushed and nearly killed. Fortunately a psychic girl, Alice, who he saved in his past, is able to find and rescue him. The BPRD swoop in and team Hellboy up with MI11 and they go back to the Osiris Club to see what up with that ambush shit. Turns out they’re all dead and the spirit of the Osiris Club’s seer tells Hellboy that he is the key to Nimue’s plans so he better watch out. Hellboy’s real moody now that he knows all about his origin and how gritty it is and tries to walk out but is instead transported to Baba Yaga’s house (and she’s extra gross). She expounds some serious exposition on us and tells Hellboy the whole plan. Using this info they are able to confront Nimue right when she’s resurrected, but she is able to poison Alice and escape and start destroying the world. Hellboy takes Alice to a extremely old Merlin (Jesus this is complicated) and is like “bro, save her.” He’s like sure (and does) but is then like “take Excalibur and become all powerful, baby.” But Hellboy refuses because he’s a monster and Merlin turns to dust. Going back to confront Nimue again he becomes enraged when Nimue kills his adoptive father. This time he takes Excalibur and seems to be on the verge of causing the apocalypse until Alice channels his dad and he uses the rage to instead kill Nimue and dispose of Excalibur. After that they are a great team and ready to fight in a bunch of sequels. THE END.

Why?! Lot to unpack in this one. Not for the bad guy, she’s just evil and wants to end humanity. Hellboy though is Mopey McMoperson the whole time because he can’t come to grips with who he is. He sees himself as a monster and yet he goes around killing all the other monsters in the world… so why is he any better? Why was he the one that was saved? Because he can’t figure this out and no one wants to talk about it he becomes more and more angry. Only at the end when the gh-gh-gh-ghost of his father tells him why he was saved is he able to put that conflict behind him so that they don’t have to deal with that shit in the sequel.

Who?! So much potential in this film in some of our favorite categories, but none to be seen really. I should probably point out that this film was one of the latest examples of a film getting in hot water over casting. They originally cast Ed Skrein as Daimio, which was met with outrage as the character in the comic books is of Asian decent. As a result Skrein dropped out and Daniel Dae Kim jumped in. Kim was good, so worked out fine I think.

What?! As Patrick mentions, I’m sure there are some product placements here, but it’s hard to notice those in a Live film unless it’s a Mark Wahlberg film where he’s contractually obligated to drink Bud Light on screen for at least 30 seconds. I will give Excalibur a little MacGuffin shoutout, just because this magical sword popped up no less than three times in the film. Nimue gets killed by Excalibur twice! Twice! If you already got killed by Excalibur once before you probably shouldn’t use it in your latest plan to take over the world… because they will probably just use it to kill you again.

Where?! After starting off with a bang in Mexico and Colorado, Hellboy flies to England to take on the witch and basically stays there the rest of the time… kinda like The Mummy. Everything comes back to The Mummy. Now that I think about it Tom Cruise was kinda taking on a similar type of witch/mummy character in that one. Are we sure these weren’t the same scripts? I’m gonna put it up to an A- because they incorporated Excalibur and Merlin… are we sure this also wasn’t the same script as Transformers: The Last Knight?

When?! Middle of August actually. Usually when I watch something in the theaters it’s 50-50 whether I catch the temporal setting. This time, though, you see that the wrestling match he interrupts in Mexico takes place near the beginning of August. Later there is an August calendar visible, so I’m pretty confident in the setting. C+.

Much like The Mummy (which I found startlingly similar to this film in tone and execution), I felt like this film is getting such bad reviews because it fumbled expectations of a new franchise. In both cases I felt like the visuals and potential for future films were actually interesting, but the writing was awful and they got bogged down with starting up a franchise rather than just making something good and worrying about that later. We spend the entire film with Hellboy trying to understand his place in the world. He really gets into it and mopes around the entire time. A film series that’s supposed to be super fun is instead just dark and brooding and gory. Still though I feel like this should have at least been appreciated for some of the visuals, in particular the Baba Yaga scene, which is straight horror and really striking. Sometimes I feel like these franchise films are graded on a binary scale. Like “they delivered what people want” or “they did not deliver.” This is certainly the latter, but I still think it has worth and I do wish the franchise would continue. And not in a “I hope they keep making Fifty Shades films for BMT’s sake,” kind of way. Like I actually wish they would because I think it has the potential to be good. But they won’t. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! After four harrowing months waiting with bated breath we did it … we watched a film in theaters, the Hellboy remake! I’m going to add a little analysis at the end related to why basically BMT is dying and everything is terrible. But for now … the recap. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I think given the odd things I had heard about Neil Marshall’s behavior during the making of the film (basically f-ing off to Bulgaria for months with his girlfriend, slapping the film together, and butting heads with David Harbour) the main thing I wanted to pay attention to was how the film kind of came together and looked in general. David Harbour also had big shoes to fill from Ron Perlman, so his performance was of great interest.

The Good – I actually like Milla Jovovich’s performance. The creature designs were really really good with a lot of thought put into even minor featured characters like the giants, the monsters that take over London in the end, Baba Yaga, and the vampire in the beginning. A lot of cool visuals from that perspective. Before completely trashing the movie in the next section I should say I liked this film more than something like The Predator, where my hatred for it grew slowly for a week after seeing it. I feel comfortable with just saying Hellboy is not good as opposed to absolutely terrible.

The Bad – The film definitely leans into the gore-for-the-sake-of-gore, and vulgarity-for-the-sake-of-vulgarity. Not as much as reviews suggested maybe, but enough that it became aggravating by the end. This movie looks like complete crap at times. Mostly in the multiple completely unnecessary and terrible flashbacks that pepper the film. There are legitimately maybe six flashbacks. You can indeed tell they had and wanted to reshoot a good chunk of this, and I would guess it didn’t pan out quite like they hoped. The film as a whole feels like a Netflix series compressed into a few hours, all the way down to the low budget cast which … most are really not very good to be honest.

The BMT – Hmmmm. If they actually somehow make the third Del Toro film this will have that as a fun note, a reboot in the middle of another series. Maybe it’ll end up as a strange note as a bad comic book film in the age of the MCU? But no, despite the online reviews and the terrible critical reviews I don’t think this has the legs to last. Then again … as you’ll see there aren’t any bad films in 2019 so maybe this will actually be the worst one out there … that would be crazy.

Roast-radamus – There was some weird product placements maybe, rewatching the trailer there are definitely some conspicuous Monster Energy cans. I won’t count it. There was probably a car, but I couldn’t see it live. There are a ton of settings, but I definitely think a Where? (Setting as a character) could go to England with the finale in St. Paul’s in London, King Arthur’s sword coming into play, and the crew traipsing across the countryside in the second half of the film. Despite King Arthur’s sword being in the film, it kind of comes in too late to be a MacGuffin, but I do think a What? (Chekov’s Blank) could go to Chekov’s Mysterious Green Liquid for the medicine which keeps the were-…leopard (?) from becoming a leopard. Spoiler, he becomes a were-leopard. And naturally this very much qualified for Live.

Live Analysis – In lieu of the street cred section (which can’t really be discussed this early) I’ll instead go a bit into why this year so far has been so concerning for bad films. In 2017 by the end of April there were 20 films released widely with less than 40% on Rotten Tomatoes. In 2018 there were 19. In 2019? … 7. It is a problem. Replicas, Serenity, Miss Bala, A Madea Family Funeral, and Wonder Park also didn’t have coinciding US and UK releases leaving us with only two options. Glass (which barely qualifies with 37.3%) and now Hellboy. It is insane, especially considering May, June, and July had 12 and 5 qualifying films in 2017 and 2018. I have a feeling we’ll have less than 15 films seven months into 2019. And I just don’t see how we get to 52 films by the end of the year without a bumper summer crop of bad films. Needless to say we are looking into options to deal with the situation.

Live Theater Rating – I’m actually a bit embarrassed. I really only could go to a single showing after going to Scotland for a week holiday last week and once I got to the theater … it was 4D. And I paid out of the nose for it. And I didn’t really want Hellboy to be my first 4D showing. That all being said, 4D is a theater with moving seats with little puffs of air and other exciting bits and I have to be honest … it was kind of fun? I definitely felt more engaged in the action scenes. And of all the films I guess you can do worse than Hellboy which has a kind of unrelenting set of action scenes one after the other. I guess the main complaint is that it is fun in small doses, but gets tiresome quickly … and then you are stuck there for like 2 hours with your chair shaking. I liked it more than I thought I would though. I’ll grade it a B with a demerit for being way too expensive and making me sad.

That’s it! Phew, long one. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Hellboy (2019) Quiz

Hmmm, the last thing I remember I was wandering around St. Paul’s cathedral in London, then all these monsters came out of a pit in the earth and … I can’t remember. Can you help me figure out what happened in Hellboy?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film Hellboy is off to Mexico to try and save a friend and fellow agent who has gone missing. What happened to him?

2) Maybe a tough one to remember, but given it was in giant block letters on the screen … where is B.P.R.D. headquarters? A state will suffice.

3) In the flashback sequence showing Hellboy’s birth at the hand of Nazis, who is conducting the ceremony to raise Hellboy from hell, and what is the name of the hero who foiled the whole plot?

4) Milla Jovovich plays the Blood Queen, an evil sorceress who was cut into pieces by Excalibur. In the modern day, after her resurrection she goes back to the tree where all of this went down. Why?

5) Why is Excalibur key to Hellboy’s destiny as the bringer of the apocalypse?

Answers

Hellboy (2019) Preview

Patrick and Jamie look through binoculars at their prey. Santa is happily carving a toy for a child amongst his elf friends in the BMTverse’s North Pole. Poor bastard. Jamie leans back, “I’m not even sure why you’re here,” he says and Patrick squints at him in confusion. Jamie shrugs and snaps into a slim jim, “I mean, I was the one that told the troll I would do him a favor. Not you.” Patrick smiles and sends Jamie to start on a Santa trap. Patrick needs time to think. Hours pass, sweat drips down his brow, but Patrick can’t think of a way to save Santa. In his calm he withdraws deep within himself and finds a light. Reaching for it he suddenly has access to a great power. “I need something to save Santa,” he thinks and a large amount of silk from the rare Siberian Silkworm winks into existence. Thinking quick he used his twin powers to construct a flawless (but highly illegal) Santa costume and dons the disguise. Looking up he is horrified to see Jamie having completed an elaborate tiger trap and Santa bumbling his way towards it. Using his preternatural speed, Patrick is able to tackle both he and the real Santa into the trap. The troll comes cackling forward, but is confused by the appearance of two Santas. Who should he shoot?! He points his gun back and forth and the hesitation is enough for Jamie to trip the troll right back into the tiger trap. Hooray! With the troll dispatched, Jamie, Patrick, and Santa sit around the fire with some delicious Coca-Colas. Patrick is distracted by the discovery of the great power within, but Jamie is ready for some magical tales of wonder. “Santa, where did you come from?” he asks and Santa smiles a jolly smile. “Oh ho ho ho, that’s an interesting story, my boy. Well, I guess it started when I was born… IN HELL.” Bum bum bum. That’s right! It’s the first BMT Live! of the year after a … frankly it was a shockingly light bad movie winter season. Here’s to watching an unnecessary reboot and to a hopefully bumper crop of bad movies in the spring season. Let’s go!

Hellboy (2019) – BMeTric: 42.5

HellboyIMDb_BMeT

HellboyIMDb_RV

(That rating actually look right. I think it’ll perk up a bit in three months once non-Hellboy fans get a hold of it, they won’t care about some of the most nitty-gritty issues with the film as related to the comic or the Del Toro versions.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  Individually, Harbour might have a humorous moment or two with his co-stars, but decreasingly so as the movie staggers toward its messy, cacophonous end. And it just will … not … end. After an overlong two-hour running time, “Hellboy” suggests optimistically that it’s the start of its own franchise, but it will probably end up stuck in purgatory instead.

(Long and boring! Noooooooo. I don’t want to see a long and boring film in theaters! But I must. You guys owe me.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt5g5_1cKVk/

(The “Sorry, my bad” joke in the beginning is obvious and dumb. And the reset looks … loud and incoherent? I have a feeling the soundtrack is an abomination.)

Directors – Neil Marshall – (Known For: The Descent; Dog Soldiers; Doomsday; Centurion; Tales of Halloween; BMT: Hellboy; Notes: Most famous for directing some of the most notable Game of Thrones episodes (Blackwater, and The Watchers on the Wall).)

Writers – Andrew Cosby (screenplay by) – (BMT: Hellboy; Notes: Created the television series Eureka. Created BOOM! Studios which is a comic book publisher.)

Mike Mignola (based on the Dark Horse Comic Book “Hellboy” created by) – (Known For: Hellboy; Hellboy II: The Golden Army; Batman: Gotham by Gaslight; BMT: Hellboy; Notes: Created the comic. Apparently he handed off the spin off series (B.P.R.D.) which has recently ended. I don’t think there is a current active Hellboy series, although it is unclear.)

Actors – David Harbour – (Known For: Brokeback Mountain; The Equalizer; War of the Worlds; Quantum of Solace; Revolutionary Road; A Walk Among the Tombstones; The Green Hornet; End of Watch; Black Mass; State of Play; Snitch; Kinsey; X/Y; Parkland; The Convincer; Future BMT: Sleepless; Suicide Squad; Every Day; Awake; W.E.; Knife Fight; Between Us; BMT: Hellboy; Notes: Been around for a while obviously as a character actor, but has rose to a new level of fame as one of the stars of Stranger Things.)

Milla Jovovich – (Known For: The Fifth Element; Dazed and Confused; Zoolander; Chaplin; Paradise Hills; A Perfect Getaway; He Got Game; Stone; The Claim; Dummy; Future BMT: Resident Evil: Retribution; Future World; Return to the Blue Lagoon; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Anarchy: Ride or Die; Survivor; Two Moon Junction; Resident Evil: Afterlife; The Fourth Kind; No Good Deed; The Million Dollar Hotel; Resident Evil: Apocalypse; Kuffs; Resident Evil: Extinction; Joan of Arc; Bringing Up Bobby; Shock and Awe; A Warrior’s Tail; Resident Evil; Dirty Girl; BMT: Ultraviolet; Zoolander 2; Hellboy; The Three Musketeers; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 2000 for Joan of Arc; and in 2013 for Resident Evil: Retribution; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for The Fifth Element in 1998; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Return to the Blue Lagoon in 1992; Notes: A bad movie all-star! Her recent big budget fair has mostly been via collaboration with her husband Paul W. S. Anderson who directed four of the six Resident Evil films.)

Ian McShane – (Known For: John Wick; John Wick: Chapter 2; Snow White and the Huntsman; Hercules; Coraline; Jack the Giant Slayer; The Golden Compass; Kung Fu Panda; Shrek the Third; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Death Race; Sexy Beast; Battle of Britain; We Are Marshall; Scoop; Performance; Cuban Fury; Bilal: A New Breed of Hero; The Last of Sheila; Nine Lives; Future BMT: Agent Cody Banks; The Hollow Point; Grimsby; Case 39; Pottersville; Hot Rod; BMT: The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising; Hellboy; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Notes: He’s been all over the place, but his cameo in Game of Thrones and starring role in Deadwood before that suggests he’s really but more famous on the small screen in the later career,)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $19,676,271 (Worldwide: $19,676,271)

(This is going to be a huge disaster, especially with Avengers: Endgame coming out in a week. Completely screwed and might kill the film franchise. Interestingly the comic series apparently came to a disastrous end just this week … so Hellboy legit might be completely dead as a media item which is crazy.)

#136 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre

hellboy2019_comicbookadaptation

(This I think will end up near R.I.P.D. which is crazily mid-table for BMT in this sub-genre. Obviously Marvel/Disney has been dominating this recently with Black Panther having an insane $700 million domestically.)

#109 for the Superhero genre

hellboy2019_superhero

(I guess this is different than the previous one … it is obviously taking off recently with the recent Marvel/Disney succuesses.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (25/174): Bereft of the imaginative flair that made earlier Hellboys so enjoyable, this soulless reboot suggests Dante may have left a tenth circle out of his Inferno.

(The reviews are eviscerating basically calling the film a big void filled with action set pieces. This is an astonishingly low percentage, might just end up being the lowest score for a big budget film for the year. Reviewer Highlight: Watching the “Hellboy” reboot is like eating a rice cake – you don’t feel bad afterward, but at the same time you’re not entirely sure you really experienced anything at all. – Matthew Rozsa, Salon.com)

Poster – Hellsklog (C+)

hellboy_ver7

(Points for the font done in an interesting way (behind the horns, like a physical thing in the poster), deduction for kind of having a flat color, we get it he’s the devil. I think much like what the critics said about the film, it is mostly blah, but I’ll give it a little bump because I think it looks more cool that silly which I guess is what you want.)

Tagline(s) – Give Evil Hell (C-)

(I don’t think I like it. It doesn’t tell you anything, and it is definitely the “clever” product that came out of a writers’ room. But it does have that kernel of cleverness, so I won’t just give it an F.)

Keyword(s) – based on comic; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.6 Batman & Robin (1997); 85.9 Fantastic Four (2015); 71.0 The Spirit (2008); 69.7 Steel (1997); 65.9 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993); 62.0 Virus (1999); 61.7 Monkeybone (2001); 61.5 Transformers: The Last Knight (2017); 59.5 Red Sonja (1985); 59.3 Spawn (1997);

(Smashing it. I’ve seen The Spirit, which I’m sure I’ve mentioned in this section before. That film is completely incomprehensible garbage.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Milla Jovovich is No. 2 billed in Hellboy and No. 1 billed in Ultraviolet, which also stars Cameron Bright (No. 2 billed) who is in Godsend (No. 4 billed), which also stars Rebecca Romijn (No. 2 billed) who is in Rollerball (No. 3 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 2 + 1 + 2 + 4 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 2 = 17. If we were to watch Joan of Arc, Hook, Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – In mid 2012, Ron Perlman once again endured the 4-hour makeup routine required to transform him into Hellboy – not for a sequel or other acting job but to fulfill the Make-A-Wish request of a six-year-old boy named Zachary who has leukemia. Creature effects house Spectral Motion, who had worked on the two previous Hellboy films, applied Perlman’s Hellboy makeup (and later, also made up Zachary as Hellboy as well), so that Zachary could spend the day hanging out with his favorite superhero. Guillermo del Toro was so touched by this event that it inspired him to start production on Hellboy 3. However, the project was announced to be cancelled and this reboot’s development started soon after.

Following the success that Deadpool had in getting the movie made through social media, Ron Perlman tweeted a proposal that if #HellboyIII started trending that a third Hellboy film might finally get funds to be made.

In February 2017 Guillermo Del Toro stated “Spoke with all parties. Must report that 100% the sequel will not happen.” (I think these first three completely exemplify the weird relationship between the Hellboy franchise and its audience. It never really made money, but the hardcore fans believe in their hearts it would if given the chance. Spoiler alert … it wouldn’t, that film will never be made)

The VFXperts cite the Mike Mignola comics as a visual influence on the film’s creatures, and sought to avoid reference to the Guillermo del Toro films. Joel Harlow explained that as monsters, “their look is entirely nonhuman and very frightening, it’s a glimpse into a world of beings that do not follow the anatomical laws of anything on Earth.”

Mike Mignola takes a more direct involvement in the production of this film than he did on the Guillermo del Toro Hellboy films. According to him, the idea with this one was to downplay the superhero elements in the film and stay closer to the darker tone of the graphic novels, making a much more horror-oriented entry into the franchise. (Interesting. Recipe for a disaster, puts too much power into a single person to go ahead an F it up)

On August 21, 2017, Ed Skrein was cast as Major Ben Daimio in the film. However, upon discovering that Daimio was portrayed in the comic books as a Japanese-American character, Skrein announced a week later that he was pulling out to allow an actor of Asian heritage to be cast instead.Skrein’s decision marked the first time a white actor had left a high-profile role after such criticism according to The Hollywood Reporter. (First, bullet dodged for him. Second, I completely forgot about this, what a terrible look)

The movie originally began production as the second sequel to 2004’s Hellboy after The Golden Army, but Creative Differences led to Del Toro and Perlman both leaving, thus causing a long hiatus until it was decided to reboot following the rise of R-rated superhero movies. (There is no way they would have made a third film quickly, The Golden Army didn’t make that much money and Del Toro probably didn’t want to rein in the budget)

The movie’s title was Hellboy: The Blood Queen initially, before reverting to simply Hellboy. (I like the original better)

Hellboy claims he is a Capricorn. According to the comic, he was born in October 5, which makes him a Libra. (BOOOOOOOOOOO)

Doug Jones, who played Abe Sapien in the Guillermo del Toro Hellboy films, was offered a cameo but was unable to participate due to commitments to Star Trek: Discovery (2017). (He’s great in Discovery)

Levin interrupted Marshall frequently in front of the crew as Marshall tried to rehearse actors, sometimes giving them different directions than the director. Singer’s attorney disputed that: “In fact, Mr. Levin would speak to Neil Marshall after rehearsals and discuss issues with him at that time.” (Sounds pleasant)

Harbour repeatedly walked off set, refusing Marshall’s requests for more takes. Singer responded for Levin: “My client has no recollection of that ever happening. To the contrary, David Harbour gave everything he was asked of and more during filming.” (Sounds pleasant)

The script was re-written throughout the production. One said those doing the rewriting included actors Harbour and co-star Ian McShane. Singer responded: “Only a few scenes were rewritten during production, and neither David Harbour nor Ian McShane did any rewriting of the screenplay at all. Rewriting certain scenes of a movie during production is customary in the entertainment industry, including by actors, producers, writers and directors.” (Sounds fucking pleasant)

Santa Claus: The Movie Recap

Jamie

When Santa’s forward-thinking assistant Patch attempts to streamline the North Pole’s production line he fails to maintain QA/QC and leaves in disgrace. Going to work for a ruthless toy maker in order to prove himself, he inadvertently turns the world against Santa. Can Patch and Santa patch things up before it’s too late? Find out in… Santa Claus: The Movie!

How?! The film starts with a gritty reboot of the Santa origin story. Who was he? Why a dumbo who took his family out on a sleigh during a horrific blizzard (against the advice of everyone) and ended up freezing to death. Or at least that’s an interpretation of what you see, as just as Mr. and Mrs. Claus are about to die they magically awaken to find themselves transported to the North Pole as part of a prophecy fulfilled. Santa will spend all of eternity doing what he loves, making toys and bringing joy to children across the world. Centuries later Santa is still chilling making toys and all the kids around the world kinda know he exists. One Christmas he seems particularly tired and he decides to get an assistant. Enter Patch, the overly-enthusiastic and forward-thinking elf dead-set on taking the North Pole production line into the 20th century. Unfortunately, despite being a mechanical genius, Patch doesn’t totally appreciate impact of his new technology on quality assurance (a message that every boy and girl can relate to). After Santa delivers the presents he is horrified to see that most of them are returned as defective. With no other choice he makes another elf his assistant. The only bright spot that Christmas is that he made friends with a homeless boy in NYC named Joe. In the intervening year Patch heads to NYC to convince a super evil toy maker to hire him so he can show his stuff to Santa, while Joe becomes friend with the evil toy maker’s niece, Cornelia. The next Christmas Santa is old news when Patch’s new flight-powering lollipop is a holiday hit. Super sad, Santa is pretty much Mopey McMoperson and ready to give up, but Joe and Cornelia overhear that the evil toymaker’s new super lollipops are dangerous and get Santa to come and help save the day. In the end Santa saves Joe and Patch using the classic Super Duper Looper (duh) and everyone loves Christmas and Santa. Also the evil toymaker dies when he flies into space using his own flying candy. Hoisted by his own petard. Nice. THE END.

Why?! Santa only wants to bring joy to children, but also gets real sad when a competing toy maker brings joy to them and Santa isn’t A-1 in their hearts anymore… so it’s kinda that he wants to be the only one to bring joy to kids. Oh and he likes to steal kids. At the end he just kind of keeps Joe and Cornelia in the North Pole. The bad guys are cartoons.

Who?! I swear if this was made five years later Donald Trump is in it. Alas, not much for this section other than a special thanks to Frans J. Afman, a banker that was involved in film financing for a while, particularly in the age of smaller studios like Cannon and the like. Apparently he was knighted by the Queen of The Netherlands for his contributions to film, so he’s no slouch. I look forward to my own knighting ceremony.

What?! The product placement in this film is art. Our poor homeless kid Joe spends his day looking longingly into the window of a McDonald’s. Not just for the delicious food but the sense of family and community (you know?). When he finally does get fed by Cornelia he doesn’t get his McD’s (bullshit), but she does leave a delicious Coca-Cola to quench his thirst and seal their friendship in iron.

Where?! Split almost evenly between the North Pole and NYC. Both play a pivotal role in the film and should rightfully get double billing in terms of the setting. I’m not sure where the beginning of the film took place before Santa almost froze to death… I guess probably Sweden or something. A.

When?! Not so secret Holiday Film alert. The story takes places over several centuries, but the most important things happen on Christmas… also Lithgow tries to start a new holiday on March 25th called Christmas II that is now a BMT Holiday. We celebrate that now. A.  

This truly had the makings of a BMT classic. It oozes earnestness. Even when they are throwing around delicious McDonald’s and Coca-Colas in our faces, it still smacks more of gee whiz than corporate exploitation. It’s that kind of earnestness that blinds people to just how ridiculous the film that’s being made truly is. Unfortunately the first thirty minutes of the film was actually a bit too good. The set design was actually impressive. To truly experience this film you have to just watch the latter half where things go way way way way off the rails. First and foremost is John Lithgow who puts on a masterclass in what is one of my favorite performances of all time. He ate entire set pieces with his giant fake chompers. Add on top a really odd QA/QC storyline and a Chekov’s Super Duper Looper sleigh trick (that no one could possibly figure out would be the key to saving the day) and you’ve got a BMT holiday classic on your hands. Can’t wait to force feed this to my kids every Christmas. As for Santa with Muscles it made me sad and not since Transmorphers have I felt such sadness as I watched something. I couldn’t tell if Hulk Hogan was just being himself or was actually acting or if anyone was actually trying to make a film.  Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! It’s the origin story everyone was clamoring for. They got it in stop motion, and now they brought it to the masses live action. It’s the movie that put the Saint in Saint Nick, and da da da da da I loved it! Not really, let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I literally had no idea what this film was prior to watching it. I was very shocked to realize it was our first John Lithgow film, and watching the trailer he was obviously the key to why this movie could be amazing. FOOOOOOR FREEEEEEEE?!?! Is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen and it makes me so so happy that the trailer editor didn’t hide that from the viewers. He or she knew what I wanted and gave it to me in spades, which made me a little more excited for a film I would usually default to probably-boring.

The Good – The beginning is actually a fine television movie level origin story for Santa. I actually genuinely think the first third is better than Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town, the Rankin/Bass production it’s storyline is closest to. I also quite like how unabashedly it leans into the magical part of Santa. They don’t try and explain things too much, it is basically just like “you’ll live forever, this stuff makes reindeers (and children) fly, you just magic into and out of houses, don’t worry about it!”. I kinda dug that.

The Bad – The second half of this film is pretty bad. The instant Joe sits outside of a McDonald’s drooling at not only the delicious (and nutritious!) hamburgers, but the familial love that McDonald’s naturally attracts everything turns into a joke. Like, yo, Santa, you can do whatever you want, why not give Joe a house? What, is Joe the only homeless kid in New York City? The first half you have to buy into just magic existing. The second half takes it a step too far and tries to paint a world that is just far enough from how everything actually works that it is really hard to pick up what they are putting down. The movie is insane and could actually be one of the most misguided film we’ve watched, and as Jamie says, it is very very earnest in what it is trying to sell.

The BMT – You notice anything missing from the two above sections? No Lithgow! That’s because I’m putting him here. His performance is easily the most “thanks, I hate it” performance we’ve seen in BMT. It is off the wall, bananas, bonkers, I’m running out of adjectives to describe it! I both love it, and realize it is the craziest thing ever, and that is kind of the punctuation mark on why Santa Claus: The Movie is amazing. Pop that into a two hour long commercial for McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, and mix in a very (very) earnest Christmas film where Santa (probably) dies in the beginning and you get a perfect monster of a movie.

Roast-radamus – Easily a When? (Not so secret holiday film) as mentioned, an unabashedly pro-Christmas film. And also a What? (Product Placement) because Da-da-da-da-da I’m lovin’ McDonald’s now. And wash that down with an ice-cold Coca-Cola. I couldn’t tell but I think they cut the part of the film where Mrs. Claus was like “naw, green is not his color … can we dress him up as a giant Coca-Cola can?”. I actually do think we have a Who? (Planchet) for Lithgow’s assistant whom Lithgow shits on all film and insinuates is gay (I think? It’s hard to tell). The Where? (Setting as a character) for a New York City filled with McDonald’s loving families (and homeless children, and evil toy makers). And How? (Chekov’s Blank) for Chekov’s Super Duper Looper which is inevitably used to save Joe and Patch from their exploding flying car. And naturally this slides head first into a BMT award … my god, it’s running the gamut! It legit qualifies for all of the categories!!!

StreetCreditReport.com – As far as worst Christmas films? It gets seven here. And thirteen here. It is well known in bad movie circles for being a quintessential bad Christmas film. And I think as we quickly approach the end of this cycle I can safely say that the movie’s rejection from the worst movie of all time wiki page is cred enough. But this got the cred.

You Just Got Schooled – There wasn’t much in terms of direct Santa Claus: The Movie accoutrements to consume alongside the film itself, so I took the opportunity to listen to a movie podcast where they reviewed the film. We Hate Movies is one of the most famous bad movie podcasts around. And I have to say, this episode was very funny, and very informed. They basically rehashed the storyline while adding in funny asides (like the John Carpenter version of this film complete with synth soundtrack, and a Jessie Ventura impression that was spot on). I still think I like The Flophouse more. We Hate Movies felt very rehearsed and I found myself not laughing as much as I do with The Flophouse’s more off the cuff tangents. Be warned though, some of their podcasts appear to be behind a Patreon funded paywall which is fine, but just something to know up front, the whole catalog is not free.

Bring a Friend Analysis – This week was Bring a Friend week and we watched another Christman classic: Santa with Muscles starring Hulk Hogan. So … I’m not sure why a movie like this exists. Why would Hulk Hogan do this? Was he trying to act? Or was this just his character at the time? It was supremely confusing, a strange mash up of two films. In one film the eeeeeevil businessman Hulk Hogan bumped his head, thinks he’s Santa, learns to love again, and saves the orphanage. In the second a mall Santa (Hogan) saves the orphanage from the eeeeevil businessman (Ed Begley Jr.) and his crew of eeeeevil scientists. And they just … put those two scripts together and went on their way? I hated watching this film. But I think it is valuable to see what the mid-90s direct-to-video kids’ market was like … and it was trash. Good to know.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs