Redline Preview

There is something both gross and enthralling about the action film we chose for the StreetCreditReport.com cycle. The confluence of time and place that created the opportunity for the film to exist is pretty incredible. That’s right! We’re watching the totally forgotten underground racing film Redline! What makes the film really interesting is that the producer of the film was a player in the subprime mortgage crisis. In fact the entire production was funded by his company Quick Loan Funding which went bankrupt the very year that Redline came out, 2007. Even weirder was that this producer used his own cars in the production (allowing a number of his very expensive cars to be destroyed in the process… for fun I guess) and also his own girlfriend. You heard that right. He cast his girlfriend (a soap opera actress) in the leading role of a film that ultimately (and misguidedly) got released to >1000 theaters. Predictably this film bombed, his company went bankrupt, his girlfriend dumped him, and he personally declared bankruptcy in 2009. See? Gross and enthralling. That’s called street cred. Let’s go!

Redline (2007) – BMeTric: 60.4

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(This movie gets its BMeTric basically entirely from its Low Rating. I think there are a handful of different “trends” in these movies. This had regression to the mean, but is very poorly regarded. So over time it will seem less disliked, and ultimately, perhaps, suggests that we are not looking at a movie that is going to sustain its terribleness. After over a year of producing these graphs I have the ability to just kind of read them. I’m almost there … I am just one step away from predicting things based on this.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Real estate developer Daniel Sadek financed, cowrote, produced, and provided his exotic car collection for this slow and curious Fast and the Furious wannabe. Gorgeous woman who happens to be an ace driver gets caught up in the world of illegal drag racing competitions in which filthy-rich men with nothing better to do wager big bucks on the outcome. When she’s not pushing the pedal to the metal, she fronts a band singing lyrics like, “I want to be your car so you can ride me tonight.” Steer clear of this one.

(I am mesmerized by the line “Gorgeous woman who happens to be an ace driver ..” … It is like they were desperately trying to drop one word from the book and finally asked “do we really need this ‘A’ in the Redline review?” This description though sounds like an earnest Torque which bodes extremely well.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-8qDoDrACw

(Holy shit. It is Torque but earnest. Who are all of these people, what was the graphics at the beginning and end (were they supposed to be like car brake lights, or stop lights?). The story sounds simple enough. I just hope it isn’t like Need For Speed which was … boring and kind of okay if you squinted a bit. This better be a goddamned travesty or I will never forgive it.)

Directors – Andy Cheng – (BMT: Redline; Notes: Wow, he is a member of Jackie Chan’s stunt team and now, as Chan has sustained serious injuries in the past, will stand in for him on occasion. Very interesting to see a one-and-done (although he does have a direct-to-DVD credit) stuntman director. Second-unit director for Red Riding Hood (BMT) and Twilight.)

Writers – Robert Foreman (screenplay) – (BMT: Redline; Notes: Uncredited as a Bartender in recent BMT Rumor Has It … Otherwise I can’t find anything about this guy.)

Daniel Sadek (story) – (BMT: Redline; Notes: So yeah, this guy is the producer who had a company called Quick Loan Funding. There is a whole discussion about why he doesn’t have a wikipedia page on Quora, there are insane stories about how that company totally went under in the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crash and the after effects. There is little information about him these days, and I’d rather not speculate. But let’s just say I use the word “gross” to describe the financing of this film multiple times in this preview …)

Actors – Nathan Phillips – (Known For: Snakes on a Plane; Wolf Creek; These Final Hours; Dying Breed; Balibo; BMT: Chernobyl Diaries; Redline; Surfer, Dude; Notes: I think I would only recognize him from Snakes on a Plane, although we are certainly going to watch Chernobyl Diaries at some point. Born in Australia, his most significant roles recently have been on television.)

Nadia Bjorlin – (BMT: Redline; Notes: Mostly known for her role as Chloe in Days of Our Lives. She was also a go-go dancer in Ricky Martin’s Shake Your Bon Bon music video (you can’t see her, I watched it))

Eddie Griffin – (Known For: How the Grinch Stole Christmas; The Last Boy Scout; Undercover Brother; Jason’s Lyric; The Wendell Baker Story; Brain Donors; BMT: Date Movie; Norbit (BMT Hall of Fame); Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; Redline; Coneheads; The Mod Squad; Pinocchio (BMT); Scary Movie 3 (BMT); Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; The Meteor Man; My Baby’s Daddy; House Party 3; The New Guy; American Hero; Double Take; Armageddon; Notes:  He got married for the first time when he was just sixteen years old and has nine (!) children. His recent defense of Bill Cosby probably won’t help his career …)

Budget/Gross – $26 million / Domestic: $6,881,022 (Worldwide: $8,267,379)

(Yeah, super bad. Pretty much horrible. The good news? I’m willing to bet most of that was for the cars and since the producer sold them to himself to use in the film I’m betting he got a nice write off there. That’s nice.)

#25 for the Car Racing genre

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(There is basically no analogy. It made about as much money as Grandview U.S.A. … the big peak in 1995 is also a bit weird, Red Rock West, which made around $2 million, but Box Office Mojo reports its widest release as 22 theaters, making its per theater average incredible. Probably false. The genre was big pre-1990 and has become huge in the last ten years with the Fast and the Furious franchise. Not surprisingly this came just as the genre was going into a slumber, maybe because of the recession? Wrecking ridiculous looking cars might not go over so well when people’s lives are falling apart.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/27): Redline has plenty of bad acting, laughable dialogue, and luxury cars.

(Good, I need some laughable dialogue. Bad acting is a boon. This is one of the worst reviewed films of all time, the 15th most reviews for a film with 0% on rotten tomatoes. This right here is basically the entire reason we are watching this film.)

Poster – Sklogline (B+)

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(This isn’t blowing any minds or anything, but it is astonishingly competent given the film. I like the bold red on black, it has one of the more interesting title fonts, and the spacing is good. The background cars seem a bit extraneous, but that’s pretty minor.)

Tagline(s) – Fear Nothing. Risk Everything. (B+)

(Again, astonishingly competent. Like the “nothing” and “everything” juxtaposition. The “fear” and “risk” highlights the racing and gambling aspects of the plot. Concise. Ratchet up the cleverness and uniqueness and we’d be looking at an A+.)

Keyword(s) – ferrari; Top Ten by BMeTric: 60.4 Redline (2007); 60.0 Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007); 58.0 The Counsellor (2013); 53.1 Death Tunnel (2005); 49.6 The Smurfs 2 (2013); 48.5 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (2015); 44.8 American Dreamz (2006); 41.6 Mr. Deeds (2002); 39.4 Playing for Keeps (2012); 32.4 Georgia Rule (2007);

(Number one, number one! Alvin and the Chipmunks get a lot of play there, that smells a bit like product placement. I totally forgot about The Counsellor as well, which is a film we are unlikely to ever see.)

Notes – For the film, Sadek donated his Porsche Carrera GT (which costs over $400,000) to be destroyed in a spectacular crash scene. The mangled remains were on display at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. (Kind of gross. Truly the pinnacle of pre-subprime mortgage crash waste)

The comedian/actor Eddie Griffin destroyed a rare million-dollar Enzo Ferrari (which belonged to the film’s producer, Daniel Sadek) on Monday 3/26/07, when he crashed it into a barricade while promoting this movie. He was unhurt in the low-speed incident, at Irwindale Speedway, about 20 miles east of Los Angeles. He was practicing for a celebrity charity racing event tied to this upcoming film, causing $300,000 damage to the car (including labor and parts). Sadek estimated that the car was worth $1.1 million, and said he was just happy that Griffin was unharmed. (Sounds like perhaps a guy who just loves cars soooo much … he’d bilk people out of money preying on trash investments. Blah)

The title “Redline” was one of the working titles of The Fast and the Furious (2001).

Prior to the demise of his company, Quick Loan Funding, Sadek was forced to sell off all his car collection, including those featured in the film. One of them, the crash damaged Enzo was acquired by Texan dealer, Matt Groner of Matthews Auto Sales. As the main tub was intact with no chassis straitening, the Enzo only needed new authentic parts bolted in, worth $91,000. The car has since found a new owner. (Well, a happy ending there …)

In the opening sequence of the film, a building with a sign that reads “Quick Loan Funding” can be seen. This was the name of writer/producer Daniel Sadek’s company at the time. (groooooosss)

Most of the rest of the notes are about cars

Wagons East! Preview

This week we continue our quest to not screw ourselves over in the Chain Reaction category. We always seem like we paint ourselves into a corner only to miraculously escape (and then repaint ourselves into a corner immediately after). This week is no different as we found ourselves with few options coming from Are We Done Yet? featuring a pretty thin cast. Throwing caution to the wind we went ahead and used John C. McGinley to jump to one of the worst reviewed films of all time, John Candy’s last film Wagons East! Candy died a few days before filming was wrapped and it’s not known for much else besides being terrible. We used it for the exclamation point entry in the punctuation cycle, although there is a bit of controversy over whether that’s the true stylization of the title. Whatever. That’s what it is on the poster and DVD box. Good enough for me. Let’s go!

Wagons East! (1994) – BMeTric: 34.7

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(I declare this a little known terrible film. The BMeTric almost entirely comes from the fact that the rating is aggressively low. I’m also suspecting now that this is not going to be a classic BMT gem … the rating just meanders up with the number of votes. I’m getting a mighty bad feeling about this movie.)

RogerEbert.com – 0.5 stars – The loss of John Candy is made all the more poignant because “Wagons East!” is the last film he completed. It is possible he never appeared in a worse one. The producers claim he finished all his key scenes before his unexpected death on the location, but that’s hard to believe, because his character is an undefined, vague figure, and isn’t even required to be funny most of the time. That’s easy in this film, which is one of the least amusing comedies I’ve ever seen, right down there with “Clifford.”

(I had to include the Clifford bit because Clifford really is a wild ride and movie we should watch at some point. That feeling that this movie is just going to be boring and is going to make me sad is getting stronger. I’ll have to rock a little showing of The Great Outdoors and reminisce.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2exnr6xTIzM

(Hooooooo, boy. That looks like some rough stuff. Hopefully they were keeping all the good stuff for the big screen, but somehow I doubt it.)

Directors – Peter Markle – (Known For: Bat*21; BMT: Wagons East; Youngblood; Notes: He wrote Youngblood a story inspired … wait for it … from his experiences playing professional ice hockey including three years for the US National Team. Say what?! His stats, he went to Yale, played for the Rochester Mustangs, and indeed played for the national team. He didn’t play in the 1972 Olympics it looks like, although he is listed on the roster for the 1970 world championships. I love this note … so much.)

Writers – Matthew Carlson (screenplay) – (BMT: Wagons East; Notes: A pretty impressive television resume including The Wonder Years and Malcolm in the Middle. There isn’t much else about him, this was his only feature it seems.)

Jerry Abrahamson (story) – (BMT: Wagons East; Notes: There is literally nothing about this guy on the internet. I wonder if it is a made up name … IMDb I think only knows “uncredited” or pen names because people eventually reveal it in interviews and stuff. I bet it was Markle … I’m only half joking.)

Actors – John Candy – (Known For: Home Alone; The Blues Brothers; Spaceballs; Vacation; JFK; Little Shop of Horrors; Splash; Planes, Trains & Automobiles; Stripes; Cool Runnings; Heavy Metal; Uncle Buck; The Great Outdoors; The Rescuers Down Under; BMT: Nothing But Trouble (BMT); Wagons East; Hot to Trot; Cannonball Fever; Armed and Dangerous; 1941; Who’s Harry Crumb?; Rookie of the Year; Canadian Bacon; She’s Having a Baby; Career Opportunities; Summer Rental; Once Upon a Crime…; Brewster’s Millions; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1992 for Worst Supporting Actress for Nothing But Trouble. Sigh. I loved Candy as a kid. Uncle Buck, The Great Outdoors, Cool Runnings, Stripes, Spaceballs, Home Alone …. Just a staple of my childhood. I remember being devastated when he died and always I thought I would watch his last film. But it was apparently terrible and I never got around to it. As I said .. sigh.)

Richard Lewis – (Known For: Robin Hood: Men in Tights; Leaving Las Vegas; She’s Funny That Way; Vamps; Drunks; BMT: Wagons East; Hugo Pool; Once Upon a Crime…; Notes: Lewis is great in Curb Your Enthusiasm. Otherwise I only really knew him from Robin Hood: Men in Tights.)

Also stars John C. McGinley – (Our eighth McGinley BMT! Highlander II: The Quickening; Are We Done Yet?; On Deadly Ground; Alex Cross; Get Carter; Wild Hogs; And most recently Car 54, Where Are You?)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $4,412,297

(This is somehow far more than I would have expected. Obviously way too little since the undisclosed budget has to be more than $2 million.)

#50 for the Western genre

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(They sure did follow the money huh? I guess that is the time to make a spoof film, but the western genre kind of went into the dark ages right after this and has only now just recovered. And … my God … how did this movie make more than The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford?! We don’t do many westerns, our last was Wild Bill.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/29): Wagons East! is a witless, toothless satire of Westerns that falls far below the standard set by Blazing Saddles, and is notable only for being John Candy’s final screen performance.

(Oh that is right. One of the worst films ever reviews on rotten tomatoes. It is quite rare to get more than 25 reviews and stay perfect at 0%. Witless and toothless sounds like unfunny and boring. Ugh.)

Poster – Sklogans East! (C+)

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(I’m not a huge fan of the coloring or framing, but it also doesn’t go against the philosophy… just not the best. A little too busy and the font isn’t super original. A little above “meh.”)

Tagline(s) – They came, they saw, they changed their minds. (A+)

(Classic. This is pretty much exactly what I would want in a tagline. It’s a clever take on a classic phrase, it’s not too long, original, and give a hint on the plot of the film: a group of people who came out west have decided it blows and want to go back East. Shockingly perfect.)

Keyword(s) – title spoken by character; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.7 Catwoman (2004); 85.4 The Last Airbender (2010); 83.5 The Wicker Man (2006); 81.9 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011); 81.3 Norbit (2007); 81.1 Movie 43 (2013); 80.5 The Love Guru (2008); 78.9 Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966); 77.6 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 76.7 The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009);

(Nice list. We are going to see Manos: Hands of Fate soon enough I think. Super Mario Bros. is a film we’ve seen … a few times, so it’ll be a special day when we revisit the film with our BMT hats on. And yeah … I plan on never watching The Human Centipede, screw that.)

Notes – John Candy died during filming. His few remaining scenes were either not filmed, or were filmed using a stand-in, then re-written not to involve him. His second bar sequence re-uses footage from his earlier bar sequence. (Jeez. There are similar stories for Gladiator and very recently the Fast & Furious series. Amazing that they can do it)

John Candy didn’t want to make the film, but was contractually obliged to do it. (sucks, very similar to Theodore Rex in that way. I wonder if 1995 marked a high point in actor unfriendly contracts, seems interesting that two high profile bombs like Theodore Rex and Wagons East were made under duress)

Ends with “Dedicated to the memory of John Candy”.

Carolco’s last film to be distributed by TriStar Pictures. (They made Cutthroat Island the next year and went bankrupt. Also seems like a common theme, companies desperately trying to make films while stumbling their way into bankruptcy).

Car 54, Where Are You? Preview

The big question as we head into the comedy entry of the What the ?!&%*# cycle is what punctuation mark we’ll go for next? It’s a question that we’re going to answer with a question. That’s right, we’re watching Car 54, Where Are You? (the crowd boos vociferously as they realize that we’re not watching Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot). Hold on! Sly Stallone flicks are like gold. You don’t throw gold around willy-nilly. Need to save it for when it’s truly needed. Anywho, the most interesting thing about this film is that it was nearly impossible to find. It is not free or rentable on any streaming service and is not available from Netflix DVD. I was lucky enough to find that there was a single copy in the MN Public Library system up in Mountain Iron, MN (real name, real place. Pop. 2886). Once it arrived in the mail I could see that the DVD was absolutely pristine. I might in fact be the only person to ever watch this film. It’s like they ordered it new just for me. Thank you, local public library system. I love you. Let’s go!

Car 54, Where Are You? (1994) – BMeTric: 42.1

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(A classic extreme rating example of these types of plots where despite only having a few thousand votes it still manages an impressive 40+ based solely on its sub-3.0 rating. Kind of cool that you can see the BMeTric go through the inflection. Also like any good street cred BMT film the rating stays solidly low despite increased votes suggesting only bad movie aficionados are watching and reviewing the film at this point.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  This retread of the hilarious 1960s TV show about N.Y.C. cops with a hefty Keystone quotient is a woefully embarrassing assemblage of gags that would bring up the read in Police Academy. O’Donnell (her screen debut), Drescher, and Piven acquit themselves well, under the circumstances. Despite presence of Al Lewis – reprising his Schnauzer role from the original Nat Hiken series – this turkey sat on the shelf after completion in 1991.

(Not a BOMB! Not a BOMB! Not a BOMB! And oh wow, I forgot this is a rare example of very delayed wide release films. Leonard tips his hand a bit that he is an old man by doting on the original. I’ve seen clips and it is funny I suppose, but I wouldn’t laugh out loud as you would imagine. This should be an experience though. Makes me truly wonder where the half star comes from … from the actors who acquit themselves well I suppose.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh2_IWz50jM

(From the people who didn’t bring you Lethal Weapon?… that film came out seven years before this one. Weird. Otherwise this just looks like a cheap comedy almost in the same vein as Weekend at Bernies. Looks boring.)

Directors – Bill Fishman – (Known For: Tapeheads; My Dinner with Jimi; BMT: Car 54, Where Are You?; Notes: Mainly a music video director this was a rare foray into features. His videography is impressive, and it isn’t too surprising he was chosen considering the movie was apparently initially supposed to be a musical (see notes below).)

Writers – Nat Hiken (television series) – (BMT: Car 54, Where Are You?; Sgt. Bilko; Notes: He died in 1968 so years before two of his shows (Car 54 and the Phil Silvers Show which became Sgt. Bilko) became movies. Well known as a songwriter as well.)

Erik Tarloff (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Cheetah; BMT: Car 54, Where Are You?; Notes:  Chiefly a television writer in the 70s and 80s this marked the end of his Hollywood writing career. He is married to Laura Tyson who was chief economic advisor to the Clinton Administration, and his brother-in-law is Alan D’Andrea a cancer researcher at Harvard Medical School.)

Ebbe Roe Smith (screenplay) – (Known For: Falling Down; BMT: Car 54, Where Are You?; Notes: He wrote Falling Down solo which is kind of nuts. Mostly an actor all the way up to today where he’ll appear on occasion on Portlandia as characters such as Swinger Husband.)

Peter McCarthy (screenplay) – (Known For: Tapeheads; Floundering; BMT: Car 54, Where Are You?; Notes: Not much on him. On variety his news is dominated by his directoral debut Floundering which was released to some acclaim at Sundance with a cast including John Cusack, Ethan Hawke, and Jeremy Piven)

Peter Crabbe (screenplay) – (BMT: McHale’s Navy; Car 54, Where Are You?; Notes: Almost nothing to say about this guy beyond that it appears he parlayed his involvement in this film into another 60s television adaptation McHale’s Navy, so congrats to him for that.)

Actors – David Johansen – (Known For: Married to the Mob; Scrooged; A Very Murray Christmas; Cats Don’t Dance; Glass Chin; Naked in New York; The Tic Code; Candy Mountain; BMT: Mr. Nanny; Car 54, Where Are You?; Freejack; 200 Cigarettes; Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; Notes: Started the bands New York Dolls and David Johansen Group in addition to touring under as the character Buster Poindexter producing a total of twelve albums across the three acts. He appeared on SNL six times as Buster Poindexter, and has a surprisingly extensive acting career considering he’s first and foremost a singer.)

John C. McGinley – (Known For: The Belko Experiment; Se7en; The Rock; Platoon; Point Break; Office Space; Identity; 42; Any Given Sunday; Wall Street; Born on the Fourth of July; World Trade Center; Set It Off; Nixon; Kid Cannabis; Shadow Makers; Talk Radio; Mother’s Boys; A Midnight Clear; The Discoverers; Mother; Shakedown; Article 99; Sweet Liberty; Crazy as Hell; Johns; BMT: Highlander II: The Quickening (BMT); The Animal; Are We Done Yet? (BMT); On Deadly Ground (BMT); Alex Cross (BMT); Get Carter (BMT); Summer Catch; Stealing Harvard; Car 54, Where Are You?; Get a Job; Wagons East; Wild Hogs (BMT); Three to Tango; Surviving the Game; Hear No Evil; Nothing to Lose; Truth or Consequences, N.M.; Notes: Our seventh McGinley film and we could easily get to ten if we wanted to by adding The Animal, Wagons East!, and Summer Catch. He was on the celebrity version of American Gladiators in 1994.)

Fran Drescher – (Known For: This Is Spinal Tap; Hotel Transylvania; Hotel Transylvania 2; Saturday Night Fever; Ragtime; UHF; Cadillac Man; Doctor Detroit; The Big Picture; BMT: Car 54, Where Are You?; Jack; The Beautician and the Beast; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1998 for Worst Actress for The Beautician and the Beast. Well known for her distinctive voice. I knew her best as Pamela Finklestein from UHF growing up. But her work on TV’s The Nanny is probably her claim to fame.)

Budget/Gross – $10.7 million / Domestic: $1,238,080 (N/A)

(Obviously brutal, but what else would you imagine considering this is a film based on a 60’s television show, it was shelved for three years, and by all accounts was cut to shit. For the number of theaters it was released to (over 600) this is also a ridiculously low number. $2K per theater is just insane.)

#85 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

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(I feel like I shouldn’t be, and yet I am surprised by how many films are based on television shows these days and how successful they are. Probably in no small part due to things like Star Trek. This was on the leading edge of a boom that then settled into a more consistent value overall, and is literally the lowest grossing wide release on the list.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/16): No consensus yet.

(Obviously of special note because it is one of maybe 70 films with 15+ reviews and 0% on rotten tomatoes. I shall make a consensus: Simply not funny and only of note as an example of a truly terrible film. As one reviewer said: If you paid money to see this you are stupid. Coooooold Bloooooooded.)

Poster – Sklog 54, Where Are You? (C+)

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(This also seems very 80’s… like the Meatballs poster or something. OK blue and yellow color. OK font. Interesting sketch style. Ultimately too busy to really get a great grade, but not bad.)

Tagline(s) – An Arresting Comedy (D)

(Cliche pun alert. This is more suitable for a review of the film by a time-strapped and not very creative film critic. Nothing more to say. It’s not worth the effort as they clearly didn’t expend any.)

Keyword(s) – number in title; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.9 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 87.8 Battlefield Earth (2000); 84.8 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 83.7 Fantastic Four (2015); 81.1 Movie 43 (2013); 78.6 Sex and the City 2 (2010); 77.4 RoboCop 3 (1993); 76.9 Piranha 3DD (2012); 76.0 Highlander II: The Quickening (1991); 74.4 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959);

(We’ve done a few of these, although that isn’t surprising considering something on the order of 5000 films on IMDb have this tag (so basically it has to be real bad to get on the list in the first place). You might be saying “hey wait a minute, Battlefield Earth doesn’t have a number in the title. Bullshit”. But it is also known as Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 which is the title of the book. I wouldn’t necessarily call that official though.)

Notes – John C. McGinley worked on this film and Article 99 (1992) at the same time. He would work on this film Monday to Wednesday and the other film Thursday to Friday. (That seems like it suggested that one or both films were going to be terrible …)

Al Lewis and Nipsey Russell were in the original Car 54, Where Are You? (1961) TV series, playing Officer Leo Schnauser and Officer Dave Anderson, respectively. Here they play the same characters years older, as if this film were a sequel to the original series, rather than the updated and (otherwise) recast remake that it is. (As if the film was a sequel. What a weird choice).

According to a recent interview with John C. McGinley (AV Club’s Random Roles- April 2013), the film was original shot as a musical with full musical numbers. After editing, only two musical numbers remained. McGinley was unsure of why specifically the numbers were cut or by whom, but McGinley mused that he found the film in its’ present form an incoherent mess. (wait …. What? Wait wait wait. This movie is a musical. Wait … what?)

During Gunther Toody’s dream sequence he is wearing the same uniform that was worn by his character in the original show. (fun. fact.)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Rosie O’Donnell)

Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 Preview

With the first BMT Live! of the year behind us, we continue onto the Razzies entry of the Squeakuels cycle… or I should say what was the Razzies entry. That’s right. Minor shake-up for 2017 is that this entry in the cycle is now the Challenges entry. This still includes Razzies as we continue to try to cover as many nominees as possible, but it also includes any BMT challenges we may come up with. For the moment that is just the Calendar, but the Periodic Table of Smellements and a world mapl.de.map would also fall into the cycle once we officially put them on the website. So without further ado we start this new entry off with a couple of films that are both on the Calendar. Give it up for the worst reviewed film series in history and the only set of films to both appear on the IMDb Bottom 100. That’s right, we are subjecting ourselves to Baby Geniuses and Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2. Lord help up. Let’s go!

Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004) – BMeTric: 76.1 (#3 on IMDb bottom 100)

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(Interestingly has more IMDb votes than its predecessor (if you are going to bother voting why not for both? Or do you think *gasp* … they didn’t watch the original before the sequel?!). Below 2.0 is obviously incredible, it is the reason this film is an insane #3 on the bottom 100 list! The lowest we had gone before was #15 with From Justin to Kelly. The Baby Geniuses Franchise will represent our 10th and 11th movies on the list, and unfortunately we’d be hard pressed to find nine qualifying movies to make that a cycle. Maybe we’ll try … but probably not.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Sequel to Baby Geniuses casts Voight as a media mogul out to brainwash children via a tot-aimed TV network. He wants to use them to take over the world, but a band of tykes catches on and sets out to stop him. Gimmick has kids speaking to each other, thanks to creepy computer generated lip movement. Crude humor makes this not just bad but insulting.

(Whoop their ass Leonard! Seriously, I do think this is a strong contender for the worst franchise in history. Leonard is pretty conservative about BOMB ratings and both earned it, the movies have one good review out of 89! I even think both will have their own flavor of terrible. In the first I think it will be that it will just look shoddily made with the old school peanut-butter-esque mouth movements, where this, as I expected, uses the creepy CGI mouths now. This must have been pioneering in that respect, but in the last ten years it has become easy and cheap enough to do in even the worst direct-to-VOD sequels. Things like Santa Paws 2.)

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

(Oh …. Oh my God. Voight has a German accent and appears to be wearing a very Nazi-esque uniform at one point. I was very skeptical of the IMDb note claiming he based the character off Mengele, but … I mean, it certainly is a lot more possible than I initially thought! The CGI looks hilariously terrible, I might actually find this movie kind of interesting to watch. Like, how does this happen? How do you even go about directing a film like this?)

Directors – Bob Clark – (Known For: A Christmas Story; Black Christmas; Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things; Murder by Decree; Dead of Night; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Baby Geniuses; Rhinestone; Porky’s II: The Next Day; Loose Cannons; Porky’s; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Director for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; And in 1985 for Rhinestone; Directed Black Christmas which is widely considered one of the first films in the slasher genre.)

Writers – Steven Paul (story) – (BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Baby Geniuses; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Screenplay for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; … He’s the manager for Bob Clark and Jon Voight which explains the cast and crew I suppose. In 1979 he was reported as the world’s youngest ever film producer at 20 years old.)

Gregory Poppen (screenplay) – (BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Screenplay for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Wrote an incredible number of Awards shows including seven straight ESPYs from 2002 to 2009.)

Actors – Jon Voight – (Known For: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Heat; Transformers; Tropic Thunder; Varsity Blues; Deliverance; U Turn; Mission: Impossible; National Treasure; Zoolander; Holes; The Manchurian Candidate; Enemy of the State; Midnight Cowboy; The Rainmaker; Ali; Rosewood; Glory Road; Catch-22; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Anaconda; Bratz; Getaway; An American Carol; Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Four Christmases; Pearl Harbor; Most Wanted; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; September Dawn; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1998 for Worst Actor and Screen Couple for Anaconda; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Supporting Actor for Bratz, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, September Dawn, and Transformers; And in 2005 for for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; And in 1998 for Most Wanted, and U Turn; Father of Angelina Jolie, although they were estranged for years apparently. Is devoutly religious and a well known conservative (which explains An American Carol at least …))

Scott Baio – (Known For: Bugsy Malone; Foxes; The Bread, My Sweet; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Cursed; Zapped!; Notes: In 1997 he was rumored to have died in a car accident. Not only had he not died, he hadn’t been in an accident in the first place and it is unknown how the rumor got started. More well known for his television work in Charles in Charge, Happy Days (and the spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi), and Arrested Development.)

Vanessa Angel – (Known For: Kingpin; King of New York; Bread and Roses; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Hall Pass; The Perfect Score; Kissing a Fool; Spies Like Us; Sleep with Me; Notes: I will always remember her as the computer generated Lisa from the Weird Science television series, a staple of the Sklogs’ childhood.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $9,219,388 (Worldwide: $9,448,644)

(An absolute disaster. The budget is probably a bit inflated, because I don’t really see why it would get a $20 million dollar budget and cast Baio in a major role. I suppose they were hoping to slightly increase the $36 million take of the original?)

#105 for the Comedy – Sequel (Live Action) genre

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(Oooof, on the second page with Caddyshack II and Teen Wolf Too! Of the films below it I could see us eventually doing Return of the Killer Tomatoes, Mannequin Two: On the Move, National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: Rise of Taj, Meatballs II, and Teen Wolf Too eventually. A veritable bounty awaits. Naturally this came during the BMT gold rush from 2000-2010, the Golden Decade as I just started calling it. It would all come a-tumbling down presumably due to Hollywood’s hubris, but we have been on the rise again. A boy can dream …)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/45): A startling lack of taste pervades Superbabies, a sequel offering further proof that bad jokes still aren’t funny when coming from the mouths of babes.

(Noice. Always solid to hit up a 0%-er on rotten tomatoes. There are only 16 films with 25+ reviews on rotten tomatoes and the perfect(ly terrible) score. See here. Sorting by the number of reviews this is fifth on the list and with One Missed Call and a rewatch of Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever we’d have the top five there done. A sadly sparse list as far as qualifiers are concerned, but there are some future gems like Redline. This is the 12th film we’ve seen from that list (I think … the list is pretty long so I just skimmed it).)

Poster – Superbabies: Baby Sklogses 2 (D-) 

superbabies_baby_geniuses_two

(Wow, lot to unpack with this one… this is horrendously bad. Even with good spacing, unique font, and a blue tone to the whole film I cannot help but puke all over myself when looking at this travesty. Are those drone helicopters in the corners? Is there a bouncy ball-human hybrid? What are the ghostly objects in the background? I hate this. [EDITOR NOTE: By the way, having watched the movie, these are all random babies, they aren’t the four main characters of the film … what the fuck baby geniuses?])

Tagline(s) – Meet the new generation of superheroes (A-)

Don’t drive, crawl! (Ugh.)

(It’s almost incredible to say, but that first tagline is nearly perfect. It’s a play on the dual meaning of “new” to give a hint at the premise of the film. It’s also just short enough. Some small tweaks and we might have had an A+ on our hands. The second one makes me sad.)

Keyword(s) – science experiment; Top Ten by BMeTric: 76.1 Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004); 38.6 Allegiant (2016); 35.8 Splice (2009); 35.8 Cutting Class (1989); 28.3 Gekijô-ban poketto monsutâ – Myûtsû no gyakushû (1998); 28.0 Morgan (2016); 20.1 The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant (1971); 15.8 The Experiment (2010); 15.7 The Last Mimzy (2007); 15.3 The Killer Eye (1999);

(We’ve seen none! Morgan looked like trash, I saw the trailer for that before Keeping Up With the Joneses in October. I actually don’t think we are going to get to any of the others. Just not very many good-bad science experiment bases films I guess.)

Notes – Jon Voight reportedly based the role of Kane on descriptions of Dr. Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi doctor that performed grotesque experiments on prisoners in concentration camps. (Alright well … initially I had a kind of condemning note here angry at IMDb for not purging what appeared to be a clearly false note made by some jokester. But having now watched the trailer this seems, uh, slightly more plausible. May God have mercy on our souls.)

Last film directed by Bob Clark. He died in a car accident in April 2007. (Pretty sad story if you bother to look it up, … glad we’re ending on that note, anyone ready for a kids film?)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Jon Voight)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Bob Clark)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Steven Paul, Gregory Poppen)

Blue City Preview

Hoo wee. I’m actually pretty excited for the end of the cycle this time around. Why? Because our transitions have typically turned into an attempt to find a film that matches both the current cycle and the upcoming cycle. However this time our current cycle is films of 1986 and the upcoming cycle are films of 2016 (potential Razzies). Uh oh! No film can both be of 1986 and 2016. What to do? Obviously the only solution is to punish ourselves by watching two films for transition. The transition will be done using two film (one from 1986 and the other from 2016) that have some other property in common. In a way the two film form a small cycle of their own (a bicycle if you will). For this transition we are going to use the final Worst Picture nominee Blue City (never heard of it? Nobody else has either) and the Wayans Bros. spoof Fifty Shades of Black. The bicycle is the “black & blue” cycle. Get it? It’s amazing. So for our preview will we post information for both these films and have to watch both for this week… we are so goddamn good at this whole obsessive bad movie watching! (Patrick’s Note: And at making watching bad movies feel like a chore!) Let’s go!

Blue City (1986) – BMeTric: 14.0

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(Oooof less than a thousand votes. Kind of a wonder it even manages 14.0 BMeTric, but 4.0 is pretty rough as far as rating is concerned. That low it makes sense it will look linear (which is roughly in line with the vote count). It will basically take off if it could ever even sniff the rough inflection vote point which is currently near-ish to 3000 votes.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Perfectly awful film about wiseguy kid who returns to Florida hometown after five years, discovers that his father was killed, and vows to avenge (and solve) his murder. Senseless and stupid; Nelon’s unappealing character seems to possess a one-word vocabulary, and the word isn’t fudge. Based on a good book by Ross Macdonald.

(Oooooof. The bomb probably comes from this movie being perfectly boring. Leonard is on tip top semicolon game as usual. I like the idea of an unappealing character, after the interestingly okay characters we saw in Keeping Up with the Joneses, it will be fun to see people just drop the ball completely in that regard. Get ready for some F-booooooooooooombs.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9GIsyUgwxE

(Certainly old school and left un-updated from presumably VHS pre-trailers. Does it get me excited though? No. The acting looks sub-sub-par, the soundtrack is poised to be a travesty, and it just looks old. The only hope for this not being boring is that Nelson looks fun in the action scenes they teased. Tenuous.)

Directors – Michelle Manning – (BMT: Blue City; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1987 for Worst Director for Blue City. Producer with John Hughes for Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, in 1997 she transitioned to president of production for Paramount where she still works. This is her one and only directing credit. Makes sense though, Nelson and Sheedy means a close connection to Hughes in general. I wonder if she just did not enjoy directing.)

Writers – Ross Macdonald (novel) – (Known For: The Moving Target; The Drowning Pool; BMT: Blue City; Notes: aka Kenneth Millar (Macdonald is a pen name). Most well known for his character Lew Archer. Blue City is his third novel written in 1947 and is one of only six novels which are not Lew Archer. Too bad, I would have liked to see Judd Nelson As ….. Lew Archer!)

Lukas Heller (screenplay) – (Known For: The Dirty Dozen; What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?; The Flight of the Phoenix; Monte Walsh; Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte; Damnation Alley; The Killing of Sister George; Too Late the Hero; BMT: Flight of the Phoenix; Blue City; Notes: German screenwriter died a few years after this film was released. The father of Zoe Heller who wrote the novel Notes on a Scandal which was made into a film with Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett.)

Walter Hill (screenplay) – (Known For: Aliens; The Warriors; Alien³; 48 Hrs.; Undisputed; Streets of Fire; Red Heat; The Getaway; The Driver; The Long Riders; Southern Comfort; The Streetfighter; Wild Bill (BMT); The Drowning Pool; The MacKintosh Man; Hickey & Boggs; BMT: Another 48 Hrs.; The Getaway; Last Man Standing; Blue City; Notes: Directed previous BMT films Bullet to the Head and Wild Bill (which now has a 41% on RT. [Editor’s note: that’s bullshit. I guarantee some of those are duplicates]). Extremely illustrious career and is credited with bringing back the western to an extent. He claims all of his movies are westerns at heart, stripping down to a world beyond normal avenues of social control.)

Actors – Judd Nelson – (Known For: The Breakfast Club; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; St. Elmo’s Fire; New Jack City; The Transformers: The Movie; BMT: Steel (BMT); Airheads; The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day; Blue City; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1988 for Worst Actor for From the Hip and in 1987 for Blue City. Part of the Brat Pack and partially known for several more recent television roles like Suddenly Susan.)

Ally Sheedy – (Known For: X-Men: Apocalypse; The Breakfast Club; Little Sister; WarGames; St. Elmo’s Fire; Short Circuit; Bad Boys; Welcome to the Rileys; High Art; Only the Lonely; Life During Wartime; Betsy’s Wedding; Twice in a Lifetime; Sugar Town; Happy Here and Now; BMT: Short Circuit 2; Man’s Best Friend; Maid to Order; Blue City; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1991 for Worst Supporting Actress for Betsy’s Wedding; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1990 for Worst Actress for Heart of Dixie and in 1987 for Blue City. Another member of the Brat Pack. Was for years married to the nephew of my hero Angela Lansbury, but they sadly filed for divorce in 2008.)

David Caruso – (Known For: First Blood; An Officer and a Gentleman; Session 9; King of New York; Proof of Life; Kiss of Death; Mad Dog and Glory; BMT: Jade; Hudson Hawk; Twins; Blue City; Thief of Hearts; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1996 for Worst New Star for Kiss of Death, and Jade. Actually famous for being the main character in CSI: Miami and NYPD Blue. I do not remember him from Hudson Hawk.)

Budget/Gross – $10 million / Domestic: $6,947,787

(Ooof, that would be a bomb. I had never heard of this film before, so this is no surprise at all.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/4):

(I had to add that in myself because you need at least 5 reviews to actually get a rating from rotten tomatoes. I’ll just copy this dire review’s brief recap: A dull disaster from start to finish. … Another review kind of derisively bashes the film for having Nelson pretend he is gay in the film. Because it kind of suggests Nelson is gay in real life? Always interesting to see a guy who just kind of never acknowledges rumors like that (see Kevin Spacey), and is seems like Nelson hasn’t because there is almost nothing online suggesting it is anything more than rumor.)

Poster – Sklog City (D+)

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(I really do not like this poster on almost every level… but that font. I can’t quit you poster font.)

Tagline(s) – It’s below Miami and above the law. (B-)

The coolest heat you’ll ever feel (D)

(Haha. This one is both kind of amazing and pretty much the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s got that 1980’s joie de vivre. The second one skips the amazing and lands directly in stupid.)

Keyword(s) – police; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.7 Batman & Robin (1997); 89.5 Catwoman (2004); 84.6 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 82.6 Street Fighter (1994); 80.5 Home Alone 3 (1997); 79.3 House of the Dead (2003); 77.3 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 77.1 RoboCop 3 (1993); 75.8 Inspector Gadget (1999); 75.0 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994)

(amazing list. There are also over 100 pages on IMDb of films with this keyword and 564 films with a BMeTric over 20! Reminds me that we have to watch all of the police academy films at some point.)

Notes – Actress Jenny Wright originally was cast in the lead female role of Annie Rayford which in the end was played by Ally Sheedy.

The movie’s two top billed lead stars, Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy, were at the time the movie was made and released, part of a then young group of American actors who were known as “The Brat Pack”, a term which referenced the earlier group of American actors who had been known as “The Rat Pack”.

The movie was nominated for 5 Golden Raspberry Awards at the 7th Golden Raspberry Awards Ceremony in 1987. These included Worst Picture, Worst Director (Michelle Manning), Worst Actor (Judd Nelson), Worst Actress (Ally Sheedy) and Worst Supporting Actor (Scott Wilson) but failed to win a Razzie in any category. (Amazing how reviled this movie I’ve never heard of seemed to be)

The make and model of the motorcycle that Billy Turner (Judd Nelson) rode was a 1978/79 750cc Triumph Bonneville T140E. This motor-bike is apparently the same one that was seen in the earlier movie An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) which was also produced by the same Paramount Pictures studio that made Blue City (1986). (Now that is a fun fact. I love this for some reason)

The film was made and released about thirty-nine years after its source Ross Macdonald novel of the same name had been first published in 1947. (Get ready for the book review woooooo)

This is the only film directed by Michelle Manning. (One and done director, oh how far we have come since that delightful cycle earlier this year)

The movie’s marketing connected with the then current hit TV series Miami Vice (1984). This was manifest in the film’s main tagline which read: “It’s below Miami and above the law”. The fictional “Blue City” of the film’s title was, like Miami, set in the state of Florida, where the city of Miami is situated. (huh, also a pretty fun fact)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (William Hayward, Walter Hill)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Judd Nelson)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Ally Sheedy)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Scott Wilson)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Michelle Manning)

Solarbabies Preview

This week we get to do SciFi/Fantasy. The film for this genre has been set from the jump for this cycle. That’s because one of the biggest bombs of the year (and all-time) was a post-apocalyptic rollerblading film called Solarbabies… that’s the actual title and plot of the film. It doesn’t even sound real. Oh but it is. And we’re watching it. Should be weird and wild stuff. For those interested How Did This Get Made? did this film a few weeks ago and a rather interesting oral history was developed for it by Slash Film. It includes an interview with the writer Metrov and also an interview with Mel Brooks the producer of the film. Let’s go!

Solarbabies (1986) – BMeTric: 29.6

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(And we’re back to the classic 1980s BMeTric plot (i.e. pretty linear). Boring stuff once you’ve seen basically the same plot over and over again (linear BMeTric, regression to the mean rating, steadily increasing vote count). If anything the only startling thing is how high the IMDb rating is. Remember Shanghai Surprise has a 3.0 on IMDb. This is more than a point better and far above the likes of other barely-movies like Theodore Rex and Barb Wire.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Futuristic teen junk has Gertz and her mostly male cohorts imprisoned by Nazi-like Jordan inside a fortress; the group plots an escape with the help of “Bohdi” — an ancient mystical force. Appallingly bad stinker from (Mel) Brooksfilm that barely got released.

(Nice. Semi-colon. Work. Leonard. With that out of the way this is going to probably be the first true blue barely-a-film we’ve seen in a long while. We tend to avoid them, but The Room, Troll 2, and Plan 9 From Outer Space were all at one point seen for BMT. Theodore Rex was probably the most recent … Barb Wire? This certainly has Barb Wire vibes coming all out of it. … Steel might have been the last one. Hmmm, nevermind, we’ve seen quite a few.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFcDCJyP9fo

(Oooooo that is bumping yo. I’m amped for Solarbabies now. Definitely not going to be one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. Definitely not going to be Nukie-esque (look it up, Nukie). Trailers were certainly … different back then.)

Directors – Alan Johnson – (Known For: To Be or Not to Be; BMT: Solarbabies; Notes: He was a choreographer mostly and on many of Mel Brooks’ films. To Be or Not to Be is Brooks as well. He is a three-time Emmy award winner and probably most well known for choreographing Springtime For Hitler in The Producers.)

Writers – Walon Green (screenplay) – (Known For: WarGames; The Wild Bunch; Dinosaur; Sorcerer; The Border; The Hi-Lo Country; Crusoe; BMT: RoboCop 2; Solarbabies; Eraser; Notes: One of the most expensive screenwriters of the time he merely wrote the revised script for Brooksfilms if Metrov is to be believed (see: Oral history). So apparently a hearty chunk of the budget for the film was for basically nothing. An Emmy and Oscar winning writer, he has been more involved with television in recent year, specifically the Law & Order series)

D.A. Metrov (screenplay) (as Douglas Anthony Metrov) – (BMT: Solarbabies; Notes: Trained as a fine arts painter he ultimately wrote a short treatment for Solarbabies which was picked up and promoted by the producer Mark Johnson. I would highly recommend the Slashfilm oral history for more information, but he has continued to write and direct mostly short films since.)

Actors – Richard Jordan – (Known For: Dune; The Hunt for Red October; Logan’s Run; Gettysburg; Klute; Rooster Cogburn; The Secret of My Succe$s; Interiors; Raise the Titanic; The Friends of Eddie Coyle; The Yakuza; Lawman; The Mean Season; Romero; BMT: Solarbabies; Posse; Notes: A stage, film, and television actor who died in 1993 from cancer. His career spanned 30 years and he’s probably most well known for Logan’s Run.)

Jami Gertz – (Known For: The Lost Boys; Sixteen Candles; Twister; Less Than Zero; Mischief; Crossroads; Seven Girlfriends; BMT: Endless Love (BMT); Solarbabies; Quicksilver; Renegades; Keeping Up with the Steins; Sibling Rivalry; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1997 for Worst Supporting Actress for Twister. Made her acting debut in Endless Love, just like Tom Cruise! Classic BMT. She’s more known for television work now. Part owner of the Milwaukee Brewers apparently, fun fact)

Jason Patric – (Known For: The Lost Boys; Sleepers; My Sister’s Keeper; The Losers; In the Valley of Elah; The Abandoned; Narc; Rush; Geronimo: An American Legend; After Dark, My Sweet; The Journey of August King; Your Friends & Neighbors; Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound; Expired; Keyhole; Three Days of Rain; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; The Prince; Solarbabies; The Outsider; Cavemen; The Alamo; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1998 for Worst Screen Couple for Speed 2: Cruise Control, and Sandra Bullock. I feel like Speed 2 might have derailed his career a bit. Grandson of Jackie Gleason, according to IMDb he is very good friends with Laura Dern.)

It should be noted that Lukas Haas of Material Girls fame is also in this, it was his third feature film a year after Witness.

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $1,579,260

(Huge bomb. In the oral history there should be a link to the interview with Mel Brooks. Interesting stuff. Mel Brooks thought the script was a disaster, but kind of produced the film to help a friend out. He indicates it got him very close to financial ruin because he immediately broke the number one rule: don’t give more money to a failing movie. The original budget was something like $10 million and the director basically spent that immediately. They used way too much film if I recall and Brooks ended up taking out loans just to get it made and released. Leonard is not joking, the film was barely released. Metrov indicates as much as well referring to the film as a miracle in and of itself because by all accounts it shouldn’t exist. It is an interesting story if only from a production standpoint.)

#42 for the Post-Apocalypse genre

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(Right on the downswing of the early 80s boom of post-apocalyptics with the Mad Max series and Escape from New York. There isn’t really a good corollary with older BMT films either, this is in the class of low-budget sci-fi which we’ve never really ventured into before. Post-apocalyptic films naturally go in waves. Reminds me of the Patton Oswalt book Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, that there are three types of nerds in the world. The zombie enjoys the idea of a civilization broken down, one where you infrastructure exists but you effectively operate on your own. The spaceship looks outwards to aliens, the unknown coming to a world much like our own (or us going to a totally alien world). The wasteland is about society in complete obliteration with no infrastructure at all remaining. I’m guessing these types of films going in waves like that. I think we came down from zombie a while back and wasteland took over bit by bit. Wasteland (Maze Runner, and Hunger Games to an extent) is now coming down and we are seeing a resurgence of alien. And thus the cycle will continue. Maybe. I’m sure there are counterexamples).

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/6): No consensus yet.

(Zero percent. Like Theodore Rex these kind of movies even having a score is kind of a flukey bad-movie-people-review-DVDs type deal. I’ll make a consensus based on Ebert’s original 1986 review: Dull and derivative of the Road Warrior films that preceded it, Solarbabies boasts impressive locales and costuming, so it is a wonder that such care and attention was never devoted to the script as well.)

Poster – Sklog it, baby! (D+)

solarbabies

(Hahahahaha, that is just the worst. The coloring, the spacing. Only positive would be the unique font for the font. Would be tough to make Sklogbabies out of it.)

Tagline(s) – Who will rule the future? (C+)

Spectacular science-fiction/adventure on blazing skates! (Wha?)

(Don’t know where either of these come from (the poster doesn’t have a tagline, although it certainly had a lot of empty space to include one) so I kept them both. The first is simple and short and gives a little hint at the plot. Pretty much meh. The second explodes my brain. Can’t wait to see those blazing skates!)

Keyword(s) – post apocalypse; Top Ten by BMeTric: 87.7 Battlefield Earth (2000); 78.2 Ultraviolet (2006); 72.2 Barb Wire (1996); 70.9 After Earth (2013); 63.6 The Darkest Hour (2011); 58.8 The Crow: City of Angels (1996); 56.3 Cell (I) (2016); 56.2 Beowulf (1999); 55.9 The 5th Wave (2016); 55.3 Vanishing on 7th Street (2010);

(Great great list right there. The Darkest Hour has been on the BMT shortlist a ton of times. The others there are also interesting because they are rarely if ever mentioned for BMT. The Cell is an interesting one though, direct to VOD, so again, we are seeing the VOD creep into BMT.)

Notes – All of the main characters’ names are from enlightenment legends and myths from various cultures.

The movie was filmed on location in Spain, a country selected for its abundant desert landscape. Ironically, production was held up for several weeks due to–of all things–rain. (Classic, same thing happened to the Death of Don Quixote, or whatever, the Gilliam production which has failed to come through two or three times now)

A year later Jami Gertz and Jason Patric would appear in The Lost Boys together.

The key speechless character, named “Bodhi”, is also referred to in the film as the “Sphere of Longinus”.

The end theme song, “Love Will Set You Free” performed and written by Smokey Robinson, is about Jesus offering an invitation for Christian discipleship, with direct quotes from Jesus’ sermons in the Bible. (Fun fact right there)

The name Solarbabies refers to the characters’ seeing themselves as the children of the Sun in the dry water-less future in which they live. (So it’s like the opposite of Waterworld?)

The movie has several religious references. The orb can perform what could be described as miracles, one of the red tents in the Bartertown has a crescent moon on it that looks like the one from the Turkish flag, the neon sign in town says Xanadu, which refers to a paradise-like place, and the villain calls the orb “the sphere of Longinus” at one point, which is a clear reference to the biblical spear called The Holy Lance (as well as the spear of Longinus) that killed Jesus Christ. Also, the characters have what could be described as religious experience when they interact with the orb outside together. (That is all incredibly strange… I wonder if this film has ever been a part of a film thesis… probably not)

King Kong Lives Preview

This week we really get down in the muck for Horror/Thriller. That’s because we are doing the sequel to the 1976 King Kong remake, King Kong Lives. Never heard of it? You shouldn’t have. It is well known for having some of the most horrendous special effects of the age. It also sounds like a B-movie straight-to-video release and yet still got a wide theatrical release (1000+ theaters). We’re really only doing this because it is a major part of the Razzie book as one of the most enjoyable bad movies of all time. Hard to pass up on those credentials for a 1986 film when we’re doing a cycle restricted to just that year. Guess we’ll get to find out whether it’s truly enjoyable or if this is just another White Comanche (shudder). Let’s go!

King Kong Lives (1986) – BMeTric: 40.7

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(Finally something interesting in these plots! First, what happened in 2006? All of a sudden there is a weird uptick in the votes. And then twice the vote count goes down! My theory? These events are more common with “confused” movie titles. Here there are a multitude of King Kong titles available and they every so often try to make sure there aren’t mistaken votes. Tenuous, but it is weird that the event seems so rare (remember the Bratz effect) and with no real rhyme or reason. Still, seems odd for IMDb to do, and confusing for this movie in particular, there is no way bots are trolling a random movie from a defunct production company. It is absurd.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Dino De Laurentiis sequel gives the ape a mate with everything he loves: She’s tall, statuesque, with great mossy teeth. The Army tried to kill them (naturally), but not before the finale that actually rips off the final scene in Spartacus. Desperate.

(And with one single word Leonard effectively eviscerates this film. Desperate. As we know from Raw Deal De Laurentiis was desperate at the time. This is the second Dino De Laurentiis film in a row, and the studio declared bankruptcy basically right after these colossal failures. This actually makes me a bit more enamored with the 1986 bad movie catalogue. There is an underlying theme of the pre-blockbuster studio system going through a tiny death as executives like De Laurentiis desperately try to sell films that feel more comfortable in the 70s to audiences whose minds are being blown by Return of the Jedi)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0HvmgZfbl8

(I mean … what is this? Seriously? Again, three years after Return of the Jedi! People went from lightsaber battles to a King Kong sequel which looks like it uses effects from the 60s. The entire trailer is complete and utter trash as well. This movie is going to be a distinct non-pleasure to watch I think.)

Directors – John Guillermin – (Known For: King Kong; The Towering Inferno; Death on the Nile; Shaft in Africa; BMT: King Kong Lives; Sheena; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1985 for Worst Director for Sheena. Accomplished Action-Adventure filmmaker who was also well known for being incredibly difficult to work with. I will say that out of everything in King Kong (1976) the direction was probably the best part of the film, the sets were rather incredible to behold. No wonder he basically fell out of favor with the rise of digital effects though.)

Writers – Steven Pressfield (screenplay & story) – (Known For: The Legend of Bagger Vance; Above the Law; BMT: King Kong Lives; Freejack; Notes: Notable author, specifically The Legend of Bagger Vance, and screenwriter. He is particularly notable for his non-fiction and fiction work in military history as his father was in the Navy and he was a Marine for a time. Was homeless as he struggled to get Bagger Vance published early in his career.)

Ronald Shusett (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Alien; Aliens; Prometheus; Total Recall; Alien: Resurrection; Alien³; Above the Law; Dead & Buried; BMT: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem; AVP: Alien vs. Predator; King Kong Lives; Freejack; Total Recall (2015); The Final Terror; Notes: Famous for his work with Dan O’Bannon in Science Fiction he helped write Alien and Total Recall. He moved into producer roles in the 90s and now basically produces B-level horror for a living.)

Edgar Wallace (Known For: King Kong (multiple); Notes: Made the character of King Kong in a script he penned for RKO Studios. Was incredibly prolific, but all of his films are from pre-1940 and King Kong is his only major lasting character.)

Merian C. Cooper (character) – (Known For: King Kong (multiple); Mighty Joe Young (multiple) BMT: King Kong Lives; Notes: Co-inventor of the Cinerama technique he is probably most famous for creating King Kong and Mighty Joe Young. Edgar Wallace penned the script, but Cooper allegedly had a dream imagining a giant gorilla attacking New York. I assume the final product is basically both Wallace and Cooper’s ideas smushed together.)

Actors – Brian Kerwin – (Known For: The Help; 27 Dresses; Murphy’s Romance; Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain; BMT: King Kong Lives; Jack; Getting Away with Murder; Notes: He has an amazingly varied career bouncing from extensive work in theater, to film, to daytime tv (where he won a daytime emmy).)

Linda Hamilton – (Known For: Terminator 2: Judgment Day; The Terminator; BMT: King Kong Lives; Children of the Corn; Dante’s Peak; Shadow Conspiracy; Black Moon Rising; Terminator Salvation; Notes: Obviously the original Sarah Conners from the Terminator franchise. It is kind of incredible how poorly her career went outside of that franchise. Was notably married to James Cameron for a time, and revealed that she suffers from Bipolar Disorder. She mainly does television now in guest spots.)

Budget/Gross – $18 million / Domestic: $4,711,220 (N/A)

(Obviously a complete unmitigated disaster. I assumed as much since this was probably a major contributing factor in De Laurentiis filing for bankruptcy. It also seems ludicrous to me, based on the trailer, that this films would cost $18 million, but whatever.)

#63 for the Creature Feature genre

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(Seen for Critters 2: The Main Course (#66) where we said: The creature feature is a staple of classic horror, but I think it kind of rose to prominence again after Jurassic Park (in case you were wondering what that gigantic peak around ’93 was). Since then it comes and goes in waves, but will probably rise again with Jurassic World killing it at the box office. King Kong may add to it soon as well. King Kong Lives certainly contributed to BMT sooner than I expected.)

#22 for the Remake – Sequel to a Remake genre

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(This was also seen for Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (#8) where we said: My God, those waves! They just get bigger and bigger. Presumably the troughs are where they release the original remake. I think ‘05 to ‘10 might end up going down in history as an anomaly in bad movie history, just prior to the tentpole movies crowding the release schedule and VOD becoming a real option, a true heyday of traditional bad movie watching. Another dying genre it looks like, possibly because these sequels are now more regularly being released by alternative means. Funny that King Kong Lives appears to be one of the first sequel to a remake ever! Groundbreaking.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/9): No consensus yet.

(Time to make a consensus which unfortunately would go a little like this: This movie is boring. Period. Oof, this is looking more dire by the minute. This is literally all Ebert mentions in his review, that the actors look bored and the movie is boring.)

Poster – King Sklog Lives (A)

king_kong_lives

(I’m going to give this the benefit of the doubt and say that the old school look is intentional. In which case I really do like the poster. I might even love it. It is energetic, and kind of cool, and the artistic styling is just fun. A very cool idea and surprising to see from a film made in 1986. There are a few other posters (on rotten tomatoes for example) which are straight terrible, but I’m going to go with this one.)

Tagline(s) – The Legendary Kong is Back! (C-)

America’s Biggest Hero is back…and He is not happy. (F)

(Okay, the first guy is standard and just boring, but hard to complain about it. The second … honestly why is King Kong considered America’s Biggest Hero? How is he a hero? In the 1976 film what did he do that was heroic? Nothing. That tagline is ridiculous.)

Keyword(s) – ape; Top Ten by BMeTric: 86.1 Dragonball: Evolution (2009); 83.6 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 68.1 The Flintstones (1994); 57.6 Congo (1995); 40.7 King Kong Lives (1986); 38.8 Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973); 29.6 King Kong (1976); 24.7 Speed Racer (2008); 22.7 Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970); 21.3 Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972);

(Hey, after watching this film and all of the planet of the apes we’ll have watched all of the top “ape” keyword films. Not a terrible list, but also not amazing. I can’t remember why Dragonball would have ape listed. Or Scary Movie 5. Or Flintstones …. This list is weird.)

Notes – Peter Michael Goetz’s cheque for post release royalties came to 3 cents. He has it stapled to the film poster in his house, having never cashed it. (Ha, see these are the more lighthearted notes I like)

Peter Weller was offered a part in this film; but he opted to play the title role in RoboCop (1987) instead. (good choice)

Writer Steven Pressfield mentions “King Kong Lives” as a live-changing, validating failure in his book ‘The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles.’ This was his first professional writing job after 17 years of trying. After the movie bombed, he realized he had become a professional. He hadn’t yet had a success, but “had had a real failure.” (very cool, Pressfield seems like he has a cool story)

This film is listed among the 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John WIlson’s book THE OFFICIAL RAZZIE® MOVIE GUIDE. (This guide is garbage and I think that probably none of these films are enjoyable beyond thinking “oh wow King Kong looks like crap in this …. Cool”. Hard to sustain enjoyment of a bad movie based on something like that)

As of 2015, it remains as the last theatrical film directed by John Guillermin. (Wow, that is pretty amazing. It does look old school)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Visual Effects (Carlo Rambaldi)