Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever Preview

As world famous bad movie scientists, we obviously have a high powered lawyer on retainer to fix the many jams we find ourselves in. Unfortunately he’s far too busy cleaning up our latest scandal to help up set up the BMT Productions, LLC. “No probs, bro,” we say and hop right onto LawyerHelpPleaseAndThankYou.net to find a new lawyer the old fashioned way. We obvs crush it on the message boards and soon snare a lawyer who says she will do it for free (and she sounds pretty cute to boot). When she shows up though we are shocked to find that she’s no lady… she’s a dog! And our country club is no dogs allowed (gulp). But we’re in a jam and we need this LLC quick or else the Obsidian Dongle is doomed. We just got to get it done, dog lawyer or no. Surprisingly, our journey with Ruffles is marked by startling personal growth. Patrick’s rambunctious children realize their Dad can still be pretty cool sometimes and Jamie finally learns to live and love again. Ruffles has changed our lives and become this man’s… best friend. Just as we are about to sign the final papers for the company an assassin jumps through the window and knocks us out cold. When we awaken Ruffles is gone and all that’s left is a note that says “I’ve taken your dog lawyer to Vancouver. Follow if you dare. Signed, Aitch.” While this seemingly makes no sense and veers wildly away from our original plan of creating a film company, we only have one choice. The fate of Ruffles is in our hands. That’s right! We’re watching Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (Produced by Elie Samaha who also produced Battlefield Earth). This is the worst reviewed film of all time and is one that Patrick and I have both seen before (I’ve actually seen it a few times). However recently we decided that we’re going to revisit such gems and give them the full BMT treatment. This one deserves it. Let’s go!

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002) – BMeTric: 77.2

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(Stock still baby. No regression = super ultra everyone-agrees-this-is-garbage film. Which makes sense considering this is the worst reviewed film on Rotten Tomatoes in history.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Idiotic action film boasts what may be the worst movie title ever coined. Banderas plays an ex-FBI agent still mourning the death of his wife after seven years; his former boss recruits him for a kidnapping case by telling him his wife is still alive, and the kidnapper can lead him to her. But even that sliver of logic dissolves as the story unfolds. Only devotees of cars exploding into fireballs will find any value here.

(If this got anything other than a BOMB my head would have exploded. I remember this movie not making a lick of sense. There is a crazy bus scene, but I don’t remember an inordinate number of car explosions. I think the people who would find value in it are more likely to be wire-fu completionists. I’m loving that semi-colon in the middle of the review as well, you always give your audience what they want Leonard, I love it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tme_SdRv2gk

(A microdevice! Oh no! Two main things. First, them dropping what is the worst like in the film (“I told her you just got beat up by a girl”) and blowing their load with the kind of sweet overhead shot of the guy falling off of the building is just premo marketing. They also give away the plot of the film, like beginning to end. I’ll give them this: the trailer looked a lot better than the actual film is.)

Directors – Wych Kaosayananda – (BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Notes: The son of a Thai diplomat he broke out with Fah in 1998, which had the largest budget for any Thai film to that point. Ballistic basically destroyed his career in the US, although in interviews he chaulks many of the issues it has up to its disastrous production.)

Writers – Alan B. McElroy (written by) (as Alan McElroy) – (Known For: Wrong Turn; Future BMT: Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings; Tekken; Spawn; Thr3e; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; The Perfect Guy; Rapid Fire; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; The Marine; Left Behind; Notes: Interestingly in interviews the director claims the script was heavily rewritten by Peter Lenkov without credit. Amazing career focusing heavily on horror. He was probably in the last wave of people who literally just up and moved to Hollywood with a single script in hand and was hired onto the Columbia screenwriting program based off of that.)

Extra Note: Peter Lenkov wrote Son in Law and Demolition Man. He mainly does tv now, and is notably the writer of the original R.I.P.D. comic book!

Actors – Antonio Banderas – (Known For: Shrek 2; Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; Shrek the Third; Spy Kids; Shrek Forever After; Bullet Head; The Mask of Zorro; Frida; Acts of Vengeance; Desperado; Knight of Cups; La piel que habito; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Philadelphia; Black Butterfly; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water; The 33; Puss in Boots; Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams; Future BMT: Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D; Machete Kills; Play It to the Bone; Never Talk to Strangers; The Other Man; The Legend of Zorro; The Body; The Big Bang; Original Sin; Two Much; Gun Shy; Autómata; Assassins; Of Love and Shadows; Justin and the Knights of Valour; The 13th Warrior; Four Rooms; Imagining Argentina; Black Gold; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; The Expendables 3; Notes: Most notable as the bee in those Nasonex ads (j/k). Zorro, Puss in Boots, Spy Kids, Expendables. You know Antonio Banderas! Spanish actor who successfully crossed over into American films.)

Lucy Liu – (Known For: Kill Bill: Vol. 1; Kill Bill: Vol. 2; Chicago; Kung Fu Panda 3; Jerry Maguire; Charlie’s Angels; Kung Fu Panda; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Lucky Number Slevin; Kung Fu Panda 2; Payback; Detachment; The Man with the Iron Fists; Shanghai Noon; TinkerBell and the Secret of the Wings; Kaguyahime no monogatari; True Crime; Gridlock’d; Cypher; City of Industry; Future BMT: Code Name: The Cleaner; Rise; Play It to the Bone; Domino; Hotel; The Trouble with Bliss; Molly; Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You; The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Notes: American, she is fluent in Mandarin Chinese however. Has played Watson on the long running television series Elementary.)

Talisa Soto – (Known For: Licence to Kill; Don Juan DeMarco; The Pope of Greenwich Village; The Mambo Kings; La Mission; Piñero; Spike of Bensonhurst; Future BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Spy Hard; Mortal Kombat; The Sunchaser; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Notes: Basically retired from acting after this film. Not because of the film, she happened to marry Benjamin Bratt and have her first child around the same time … but I like to think her experiences on Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever helped her decide.)

Budget/Gross – $70 million / Domestic: $14,307,963 (Worldwide: $19,924,033)

(There is a note below claiming this is the biggest bomb ever, which is obviously false. Yes, $70 million is a lot, but I’m pretty sure at this point films that have cost of $100 million have ended up not being released. It is impossible for this to be the worst ever I think. But this is catastrophic stuff, the whole budget is a write off at that point.)

#20 for the Action – Wire-Fu genre

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(Amazing. It really was in that in between period when you could spend the money on this stuff, and when it probably was all replaced with CGI instead. Romeo Must Die, Cradle 2 the Grave, The Tuxedo, Bulletproof Monk, The Medallion … we’ve seen a lot of these films. A very funny genre with a delightful mix of amazing and trash films as well.)

#64 for the Action Heroine genre

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(A bit ahead of the curve there which is interesting, especially considering none of the other combinations in the notes had the character played by a woman. The genre is obviously booming now. Fun fact: We’ve seen the lowest grossing movie on this list, Barb Wire, which is indeed barely a movie.)

#89 for the Spy genre

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(Right in the thick of the peak. The huge dive is, I think, because Pierce Brosnan was James Bond for the last time then (in a terrible movie), so it kind of put a damper on the genre which was kind of subsequently taken over by Bourne for a bit.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/116): A startlingly inept film, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever offers overblown, wall-to-wall action without a hint of wit, coherence, style, or originality.

(From what I remember, this sounds about right. Noteworthy, still, for being the only movie with over 100 reviews all of which were rotten. I don’t think this will ever be broken in the age of ironic viewing and good-for-what-it-is-itis. Which I guess makes this all the more amazing. Reviewer Highlight: Ballistic is a generic blur of metallic blue and fireball orange set to the contrapuntal sounds of throbbing techno and eardrum-puncturing noise. – Manohla Dargis, Los Angeles Times)

Poster – Sklog-llistic: Rich vs. Poe (B+)

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(I like this poster, but I don’t love this poster and I’m not totally sure why. It’s got everything: blue tone, unique font, nice enough framing. I guess it just doesn’t tell a story to me. Like if I saw this poster would I want to go see it? Nope.)

Tagline(s) – Your most dangerous enemies are the friends you’ve double-crossed. (D)

(Lol, wot? They talk about this film being a convoluted mess. Same goes for the tagline. Also, I don’t think this has anything to do with the actual plot of this film.)

Keyword(s) – fbi; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.7 I Know Who Killed Me (2007); 78.8 Torque (2004); 77.2 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002); 76.0 Death Note (2017); 74.8 Taxi (I) (2004); 73.7 Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003); 71.9 The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000); 70.3 Big Momma’s House 2 (2006); 68.7 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998); 67.1 Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009);

(Death Note doesn’t count (Netflix original), but the rest of those I am down for. I’m surprised Speed 2 doesn’t have this keyword. It definitely has a higher BMeTric than 67.)

Notes – The film is #1 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of “The 100 Worst Reviewed Movies of All Time”. (Indeed, I believe it is the only film with over one hundred reviews that are all rotten)

The film grossed less than 30% of its budget at the box office, making it one of the biggest box-office failures in film history. (Weeeeellllllll, not sure I believe that one)

Agent Sever was originally written to be played by a man. The film’s original stars were Wesley Snipes and Jet Li, then Vin Diesel and Sylvester Stallone. (I would have watched any of these three versions)

While filming a large-scale action scene that involved explosives, a detonation occurred too close to Antonio Banderas, who escaped with minor burns. (Scary)

The 2001 Game Boy Advance game “Ecks vs. Sever” was actually based on an early script draft for this film, not the other way around. The game’s producers later made a sequel to that game that was based on the finished version of this movie. (Apparently the one based off of the script is quite good as well. The one based on the movie is less well regarded)

According to director Wych Kaosayananda, co-star Antonio Banderas suggested Lucy Liu come on for the role of Sever after having previously worked with her on Play It to the Bone (1999). When the director had earlier read the script, he felt that it was rather similar to the films The Killer (1989) and Leon the Professional (1994), while actually visualizing that Chou-Yun Fat and Jean Reno could be perfect square-off leads. Franchise Pictures didn’t find either Fat and Reno financially viable though. (… Wait, Chow-Yun Fat and Jean Reno were too expensive … that’s weird. I wonder if it has to do with where they were filming)

The film started in the 1980s as a spec script by Alan McElroy, titled ‘Legion’, then ‘Gunner’. Vestron Pictures tried to make the movie in 1988, with Dwight H. Little directing and Dolph Lundgren starring, but Charles W. Fries didn’t want to do it. (Jesus, there are like seventeen version of this film billed as X vs Y, and all of them sound pretty amusing to be honest)

Roger Ebert included the film on his “Most Hated” list. (No doubt)

Some critics, bloggers and other movie viewers have compared this film to War (2007) due to it containing a similar storyline (disgruntled federal agent figuring out a conspiracy), people varying on the action scenes being exciting or not, both films being advertised as a versus film only for both lead stars to square off briefly on-screen and due to overwhelming dislike with both films. (Another film we have to watch)

“After casting, the real challenges started. We were going to shoot everything in Bangkok while we retouched the script to fit the location. Then the notes came in, and I won’t get into the details but there are only two things anyone needs to know about the changes that were made by request from the studio. One: In the original draft, Sever kidnaps Ecks’ son, and the whole time, the boy is basically kept in a kid-sized glass box just big enough for him to sit in, placed on top of a kilo of C4. That was changed. Two: There was no other motivation for the characters. It was all about family. Gant “kills” Ecks and takes his wife, Vinn, and their son, with both believing each other to be dead. Meanwhile, Sever wants revenge for the death of her family at the hands of Gant and his men. So, believing it was Gant’s son, she kidnaps him and Ecks springs into action. It was all about love and family and nothing else. The nano technology included in the final draft had nothing to do with what I wanted for the story. Granted, we had a fantastic writer. Franchise Pictures brought Peter Lenkov to rewrite Alan McElroy’s script and he did a great job with the instructions he was given. Yes, there were changes made that watered it down to my chagrin, but it was as satisfactory as it needed to be at the time and everybody was on board. Then, tragedy struck in September 2001 and we had to relocate from Bangkok to Vancouver for safety reasons. Those moving expenses ended up in cutting more action scenes out, but thankfully our terrific crew made things feel much easier.” (Wych Kaosayananda on changes made to the film) (Yeah, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising the production was a mess. To be honest, it sounds like 9/11 had a bigger impact that any of the production notes. I understand he wasn’t something different, but it doesn’t really sound like making a note of “don’t put a kid in a glass box on some C4” is that big of a deal)

“Well, I’ll try to explain this as best as I can: I did my first cut which as I understood it was just that-my first cut which was the script as shot and fine tuned. There were scenes I wasn’t sure of, but liked. And we also tested the movie; One scene in particular lost the audience and the experience wasn’t very good. It was a little heavy on melodrama, and I own that. I loved the scene, but also was afraid it wouldn’t work and could easily be cheesy. But again, I honestly felt that was what the tests were for, and I was wrong. We didn’t score well and based on that test, two producers who I was already having issues with for various reasons basically just took over the movie. I found out as I was on my way to the editing room two days after the test screening and just a day after having a big meeting with Warner Bros. executives and marketing people, who were terrific by the way. By the time I got to the edit suites, my editor was Caroline Ross, a wonderful person and a great editor, was also fired and replaced, after all those hours and weeks I spent with her. And I wasn’t too pleased to say the least. So, after consulting with my agents at CAA, it was decided it was best to just walk away quietly and they’d focus on getting my next job. I still had a great relationship with the executives at Warner Bros. I had things in development with Fox 2000 and RKO and we’d just move on. The problem was, I couldn’t. I’d shot an old school actioner in 2002 with the Steve McQueen classic Bullitt as my template. My DP and I had specific needs to be met with the way we shot it, especially when it came to all the action scenes I choreographed while working with Joel Kramer – one the best stunt coordinators in his field. But despite our best efforts, the movie was butchered to the point where certain shots were flipped because the edit no longer made sense. And yes, this also affected the sequencing and pacing of the action – it was horrible to watch. Just so you know, I had only ever seen the theatrical cut once with no audio, during the colour grade with Julio, my DP. At the premier I waited until the movie had been playing for thirty minutes before taking my seat. I did this because I knew the movie was bad. I pretty much hyperventilated for the whole evening.” (Wych Kaosayananda on producer’s interference with the film and his reaction with how it turned out) (Jesus. So the note is a bit confusing, possibly because of a language barrier. But, it seems like he couldn’t walk away because some of the action scenes were specifically templated a certain way, and without him they would have been butchered and nothing would have made sense and it would have besmirched his good name. Whoooooowwwweeeeeee)

Talisa Soto’s last acting role for 7 years until she appeared in La Mission (2009).

Part of Rotten Tomatoe’s Bottom 10 films that were poorly rated. The other nine are One Missed Call (2008), Pinocchio (2002), King’s Ransom (2005), National Lampoon’s Gold Diggers (2004) Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004), Strange Wilderness (2008), 3 Strikes (2000), Redline (2007) and Witless Protection (2008). (This will be our sixth, although this list is quite out of date. I can’t find an updated list)

Despite making several “bad movies of all time” lists, this film has never been nominated nor won any Razzie awards. (It was too unknown to be poked fun at … that isn’t a compliment)

The possibly only good review recorded to dare by a professional critic (yet wasn’t recorded on Rotten Tomatoes’ site) was a review for the Daily Herald by film critic Jean Carey. It was recorded on Sept. 20, 2002 and the headline was ” ‘Ballistic’ a great time at the movies.” (Ha, there is a whole article on this. So it looks like it isn’t on Rotten Tomatoes because the editor wrote it, not the movie critic, and they basically “covered” it with a new terrible review when they realized what they had done. Amazing stuff)

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Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas Preview

See the Christmas with the Kranks preview for a description of all of the different movies we are doing for the Bring a Friend cycle! Some of the bonus films will be BMT (by our qualifications: <40% on Rotten Tomatoes, big box office release, released after 1980), some won’t. This week, our film is for sure qualified! Here’s what I wrote about this “friend” in particular:

Christian FilmsThese get major releases, but usually aren’t our bag. A liiiiiiittle holier than thou. Unless you’re Madea, then I love you. Saving Christmas here we come!

True to form, we’re mashing up Saving Christmas with the Kranks! Saving Christmas is by all accounts not a real film, but rather a 79 minute Youtube response video to the made up “War on Christmas.” We actually told ourselves we would NEVER watch it and yet here we are. Bring a Friend was an offer we couldn’t refuse. Ho ho ho, everyone. Let’s go!

Saving Christmas (2014) – BMeTric: 74.9

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(Consistent. A good sign. Even after the hubbub (instigated by Cameron himself like an idiot) it has maintained its ridiculously low rating. Otherwise only surprising because of how many votes it has to be honest, considering it barely was released to theaters.)

RogerEbert.com – 1 star –  Doing nothing but preaching to the converted—literally and badly to boot—”Saving Christmas” is a terrible movie regardless of one’s eschatological mindset. And while it may not be the worst Christmas-related movie ever (a title I believe is still held by the vile “Christmas with the Kranks”), it certainly does the genre no favors. However, if watching shoddily filmed presentations of shoddily constructed arguments justifying a self-absorbed perspective is the kind of thing that strikes your fancy, then it may indeed be up your alley after all.

(Shout out to Christmas with the Kranks!! What what. Amazing. Time for a little lesson: eschatological (adj.) – The part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind. Pushing it brother. Spoiler alert, it is not up my alley, and I’m prob not going to be a huge fan. But I’m ready and willing to expand my horizons.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqG1Hafyhhk

(Barf. The two people in the car are the director, Darren Doane, and Kirk Cameron. I’m genuinely curious how long the dance sequence lasts. By all accounts this movie, based on actual content, is like 40 minutes long, so I will be disappointed if that dance sequence isn’t a bloated five minutes minimum.)

Directors – Darren Doane – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; and Nominated for Worst Director for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Check out his wikipedia to see it incredible list of music video jobs. He’s directed a few small direct-to-video and bargain bin movies in the past, but otherwise is a hard right Christian documentary filmmaker.)

Writers – Darren Doane (written by) – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; and Nominated for Worst Director for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Hervey and Doane wrote the documentary Free Speech Apocalypse together. Is BMT objective? Should it be? From what I have seen about both these people they seem like disingenuous fanatic evangelicals to me, and that will color my viewing of this film. My research makes me question whether we should be watching this film … but I suppose that is the point of the bring a friend cycle in a way. I’ll leave both of these guys’ biographies there.)

Cheston Hervey (written by) – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Worked with Doane on Free Speech Apocalypse, helped write this, and was an extra in Saving Christmas as well.)

Actors – Kirk Cameron – (Known For: Fireproof; Future BMT: The Best of Times; BMT: Saving Christmas; Left Behind: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: I kind of wish he was just known as a funny kid actor from Growing Pains. Instead he’s known for making evangelical christian films. Married to fellow Growing Pains star Chelsea Noble)

Darren Doane – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; and Nominated for Worst Director for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Mentioned above. This movie sounds suspiciously like a Doane vehicle through and through. I wonder why it is called Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas.)

Bridgette Cameron – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Kirk Cameron’s sister.)

Budget/Gross – $500,000 / Domestic: $2,783,970

(Ugh. Legit success. This is how films like this (and I would put any film aimed at a niche audience in this camp) get made: you start will a small budget and smash it with your audience in intensely focused marketing. In this case you focus on church groups. Literal preaching to the choir.)

#50 for the Christian genre

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(This was the 59th biggest release for a film of this kind. I suppose it is interesting that while the average gross for the films isn’t great recently, that even with the massive explosion of films in the genre they didn’t drop too much. A good sign … maybe. It does seem like a genre which might be getting more niche as the years pass.)

#48 for the Christmas genre

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(Wow. Looks like it came right before a new boom. There were three during the last two Christmases, so one would assume there will be a few this year. The only obvious one on the schedule though is Bad Mom’s Christmas … gross. Anywho, this made no money.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/13): No consensus yet.

(I’ll just paste a review that seems the most appropriate: Virtually everything about this production feels thrown together. In other words: you aren’t good at your job Doane. You had one job and you made a big old piece of shit instead.)

Poster – Kirk Cameron’s Saving Sklogmas (D-)

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(Messy, and Kirk Cameron’s arrogant smirk can shove it. But it is higher quality than you’d expect from a $500K film. Plus they put love and care into the font, hard to sklogify that. That saves it from an F. Dutch angles on the title though Kirk? C’mon, you’re better than that.)

Tagline(s) – Put Christ Back in Christmas (F)

(B-b-b-b-b-but cadence, and whatnot! Doesn’t matter, this is literally just the catchphrase for the War on Christmas nonsense. They didn’t make it for this movie, and it deserves no credit. Do you know what I say about that? Put the Sklog back in Sklogmas, that’s what I have to say.)

Keyword(s) – christmas; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.1 Jack and Jill (I) (2011); 87.8 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 84.0 Home Alone 3 (1997); 83.1 RoboCop 3 (1993); 75.6 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993); 74.9 Saving Christmas (2014); 74.4 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009); 70.8 Getaway (2013); 69.6 Setup (I) (2011); 68.9 Are We There Yet? (2005);

(I would watch Getaway a million times instead of everything else on this list. Although Jack and Jill will be an interesting rewatch eventually I think.)

Notes – Kirk Cameron responded to the film’s negative reviews by pleading to his fans on his Facebook page: “Help me storm the gates of Rotten Tomatoes. All of you who love Saving Christmas – go rate it at Rotten Tomatoes right now and send the message to all the critics that WE decide what movies we want our families to see. If 2,000 of you (out of almost 2 million on this page) take a minute to rate Saving Christmas, it will give the film a huge boost and more will see it as a result! Thank you for all your help and support in putting the joy of Christ back in Christmas!” This actually resulted in a severe backlash against the film, in which Internet users traveled to the Rotten Tomatoes page and condemned the film. Cameron later blamed this action on “haters and atheists”. (Both are dumb, but I guess he started it. I won’t cry a river over Saving Christmas’ “cheap” rating is all I’m saying)

Made on a budget of $500,000.

“VeggieTales” creator Phil Vischer was asked to submit an opening segment to this film, but respectfully declined. (cooool)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Kirk Cameron)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Darren Doane, Cheston Hervey)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Kirk Cameron)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Bridgette Cameron)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Darren Doane)

It’s Pat Preview

Having fully transitioned to the Calendar cycle we are once again giving ourselves a little challenge for the set of nine film. We’re going to make sure that all the films are released in different months of the year. So One Missed Call knocks off the premier month of January. For the comedy entry in the cycle we are heading to the second most vaunted month in BMT: August. Where summer blockbusters go to die. This film, though, was hardly a blockbuster. That’s right! We’re watching the mostly forgotten SNL film It’s Pat! I remember watching this as a kid and being mostly disturbed by the depiction of a man driven to madness by the mystery that is Pat’s gender. Let’s find out if we’ll be disturbed by the “comedy” once again. Let’s go!

It’s Pat: The Movie (1994) – BMeTric: 66.6 (#95 on IMDb bottom 100)

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(There it is. Barely any regression from a truly dire 2.x rating for its entire IMDb existence. This indicates it has legendary potential. I’ll also say 10K votes for a film that was barely released is pretty impressive, as is the 60+ BMeTric for a film from 1994.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Sweeney’s cheerfully obnoxious, androgynous characters from Saturday Night Live skits was never a prime candidate for feature-film stardom. If you can get through the first five minutes, you may get through the whole movie, as Pat finds true love with the equally androgynous Chris. Barely released theatrically. Sweeney coscripted.

(Yup. Interestingly understated. Saying that one can manage the movie if you can get past the first five minutes means either the first five minutes are so bad it ruins the movie (this could be our golden goose! A very similar thing happened with the truly bizarre beginning to Car 54 Where Are You?) or it means you become numb and your brain shuts off after five minutes. I’m now getting a bit more fascinated by this movie and am interested to see exactly what tone it takes.)

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

(Mother of God. Everything terrible about television-to-film adaptations of this time rolled into a single film. I feel like the only thing that is going to be interesting about the film is the direction, which seems at times to be almost surreal. But it looks brutal. Just brutal.)

Directors – Adam Bernstein – (BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Notes: Huge television director, including being nominated for an Emmy for the television series Fargo. He directed Scrubs, 30 Rock, Breaking Bad, Californication, and Better Call Saul as well. He, like many directors, come from music videos. He directed the Baby Got Back music video for Sir Mix-a-Lot. Here’s an oral history of the project.)

Writers – Julia Sweeney (characters & written by) – (Known For: God Said, ‘Ha!’; BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, Worst Actress, Worst New Star, and Worst Screen Couple for It’s Pat: The Movie in 1996; and Nominated for Worst New Star for Stuart Saves His Family in 1996; Notes: Most well known for her time on SNL, which is where this character obviously came from. She is on several boards promoting secularism, science, and reason and is married to a scientist as well.)

Jim Emerson (written by) – (BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for It’s Pat: The Movie in 1996; Notes: Former editor of rogerebert.com and critic in Los Angeles. There isn’t much about him beyond that. Interesting that a critic got a credit on the movie, although perhaps this was before he moved into film criticism.)

Stephen Hibbert (written by) – (BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for It’s Pat: The Movie in 1996; Notes: He was married to Julia Sweeney at the time (or at least up until 1994). He was the Gimp in Pulp Fiction. We saw him act in Cat in the Hat, and his biggest credit is probably as a MadTv writer.)

Actors – Julia Sweeney – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Monsters University; Stuart Little; Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Honey I Blew Up the Kid; Don’t Come Knocking; Future BMT: Coneheads; Clockstoppers; Whatever It Takes; Vegas Vacation; Meet Wally Sparks; BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Stuart Saves His Family; Notes: Her brother got very ill and died right around when this opened. Her struggles around this time resulted in her one woman show God Said, Ha! I’m not too sure how this got nominated in 1996 either since it was definitely released in 1994. So, somehow, it missed the 15th annual Razzie Awards, but got picked up a year later, which was also before its home video release in 1997. It doesn’t make sense.)

Dave Foley – (Known For: Cars; A Bug’s Life; Sky High; Blast from the Past; 3 Men and a Baby; Toy Story 2; Monsters University; South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut; Dick; Run Ronnie Run; Suck; Childstar; Future BMT: Vampires Suck; My Boss’s Daughter; Postal; On the Line; Employee of the Month; Stark Raving Mad; BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Monkeybone; Grind; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screen Couple for It’s Pat: The Movie in 1996; Notes: Most well known for his role in The Kids in the Hall and Newsradio. Is also somewhat known for his more recent … low budget work, a result of his career being somewhat sidetracked while dealing with a nasty divorce in Canada.)

Charles Rocket – (Known For: Dumb and Dumber; Dances with Wolves; Titan A.E.; Earth Girls Are Easy; Short Cuts; Shade; Delirious; Future BMT: Fathers’ Day; Fly Me to the Moon; Tom and Huck; Murder at 1600; Hocus Pocus; Steal Big Steal Little; How I Got Into College; BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Wagons East; Notes: Also known as Charlie Hamburger, his story is pretty sad culminating in a strange suicide in 2005. He is also somewhat famous for being fired by SNL for saying “fuck” live on air.)

Budget/Gross – $8 million / Domestic: $60,822

(Absurd. Basically they did a limited release (probably because people watched it and said “yeah we can’t spend the money to release this”) and then pulled it. I’m actually not sure why they didn’t either shelve it or spit it straight to DVD. Straight to DVD would have maybe even gotten it a bit more cash since this was such a high profile bomb at the time even I, an eight-year-old, remember this coming out.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/11): No consensus yet.

(Oooh I get to make a consensus: Literally one of the worst pieces of garbage I’ve ever seen. I’m joking, but that is kind of what the critics said. One review appears to only be “Dear God…”, and another noted he wasn’t going to dignify the film with a review. Shockingly unfunny seems to be the closest you can get to a true consensus. Two 0% films in a row as well, line them up and knock them down!)

Poster – It’s Sklog (B-)

its_pat

(This looks more like the cover of a dime store paperback adaptation of the film that a poster of a film. Nice spacing, font, and a bold pink question mark that at least gives it a central color scheme. Somehow everything else is the worst thing ever.)

Tagline(s) – The Sex Symbol of the 90’s (A)

A Comedy that Proves that Love is a Many Gendered Thing (D-)

(Huge disparity between the two taglines from the poster. The first is short and clever. It uses the double meaning of sex symbol to make a joke about Pat, but also hint that the symbol in this case is more a question mark. That ties it all together with the plot. Needs the poster to fully succeed so not an A+, but very good. The second is basically the opposite of that, but doesn’t get an F because they seemed to try.)

Keyword(s) – neighbor; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.4 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 85.1 The Cat in the Hat (2003); 84.1 Movie 43 (2013); 84.0 Home Alone 3 (1997); 78.0 Superhero Movie (2008); 72.7 Are We Done Yet? (2007); 72.1 The Apparition (2012); 71.6 Bewitched (2005); 71.2 The Boy Next Door (2015); 67.1 Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (2006);

(In the Name of the King getting a neighbor keyword is hilarious. I guess Ron Perlman was Jason Statham’s neighbor. I find it highly unlikely that we will watch any of these other movies any time soon. Maybe Home Alone 3 if we get it to tag along with something.)

Notes – The film did so poorly that it was pulled from theaters one week after its opening weekend. (This is why it was only released to three cities and 33 theaters)

Pulp Fiction (1994), which came out in theaters seven weeks after ‘It’s Pat’ premiered, also features appearances by both Kathy Griffin and Julia Sweeney. Some critics have noted that Griffin and Sweeney both had the distinction of acting in one of the best movies of 1994, and also one of the worst movies of 1994.

Quentin Tarantino, a good friend of Julia Sweeney, worked on the script uncredited. (WHAT)

In the recurring ‘It’s Pat’ sketches on Saturday Night Live (1975), Dana Carvey portrayed Pat’s equally androgynous partner, Chris. Carvey was asked to reprise the role in this movie adaptation, but turned it down. Dave Foley was cast instead.

According to an interview with Michael De Luca, Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly worked on the script uncredited. (WHAT)

Two cameos that ended up on the cutting-room floor: Harvey Keitel as a priest and Jonathan Richman as Pat’s father.

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Charles B. Wessler)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Julia Sweeney)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Dave Foley, Julia Sweeney)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Jim Emerson, Stephen Hibbert, Julia Sweeney)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Julia Sweeney)

One Missed Call (2008) Preview

We’ve made it! We’ve hit the transition from <10% RT films to our new cycle! Hooray! Our journey isn’t done yet, but the clear waters of the Calendar cycle are cleansing our palates and bringing us BMT strength. But it wouldn’t be the StreetCreditReport.com cycle without a last punch to the nuts. We’re watching one of the worst reviewed films of all time, the January 4th entry on the Calendar (and you know that’s a good date for BMT), and one of the classics in bad horror. That’s right! We’re watching the critically reviled One Missed Call. Based on the Japanese film on the same name (which was in turn based on a book), it was one of the last big J-Horror remakes released during the mid-2000s boom. It garnered the super rare 0% on RT on a startling 80 reviews. Only Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever can compare. Let’s go!

One Missed Call (2008) – BMeTric: 80.7

OneMissedCall_BMeT

OneMissedCall_RV

(I know it is quite hard to stay sub-4.0 on IMDb, but my motto has become that the mark of a truly bad movie is that it won’t regress in the face of increased popularity. Basically everyone who watches the film ultimately kind of agrees that it is trash, there is no effect of a wider audience being more lenient. So this plot makes me wonder if One Missed Call deserves the legendary anticipation we have endowed it with. The film has the second most reviews for a movie with 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, so its reputation precedes itself. But this still makes me a bit skeptical.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  What if you received a message on your cell phone from your future self, with the date and time of your death? No need to stay awake at nights wondering, as this film lets you know how some college students deal with just such a predicament. Another Americanized remake of a Japanese horror film (Takashi Miike’s Chakushin Ari) with a good cast wasted. So bad that the title invites pithy putdowns; it’s just too easy.

(Put yo money where your mouth is Leonard, I want to hear those pithy putdowns! I can imagine the NY Post headline (something like They Missed!), but I’m kind of hardpressed to think of any super good ones. One Missed Movie? Terrible. He has to be talking about the “miss” part of it, but my mind keeps coming back to “hard miss” which is at the very least a somewhat niche phrasing. The beginning of this review is just a very long winded description of the movie … which always seems to me like Leonard doesn’t like horror films and just decided to skip this one. He does seem very adamant that the film is bad though, so maybe he did watch it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1F7hJNsi5M

(That trailer looks like a shot for shot remake of the original Japanese … with maybe a bit of Final Destination thrown in. Can’t wait for it to be aggressively not spooky-scary as well. The trailer doesn’t help itself by having the weird sound effects on the writing, just grating all around.)

Directors – Eric Valette – (Known For: La proie; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: French filmmaker, so most of his films were never released widely in the US. Does a lot of French television including the Transporter series. I might have to check that out, I bet that could be pretty cool and help me learn French.)

Writers – Andrew Klavan (screenplay) – (Known For: True Crime; A Shock to the System; Future BMT: Don’t Say a Word; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: A novelist and a screenwriter he could have the unique distinction of having a BMT credit for a screenplay he wrote adapting a book (One Missed Call based on Chakushin Ari) and a credit for a novel (Don’t Say a Word) which he didn’t adapt.)

Yasushi Akimoto (novel) – (Known For: Chakushin ari; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: He is a music producer who has created some of Japan’s biggest “idol” groups including AKB48. He is the best selling lyricist in Japan with his songs exceeding $100 million in sales.)

Minako Daira (screenplay) (as Miwako Daira) – (Known For: Chakushin ari; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: What a strange filmography, just all of the One Missed Call movies. I wonder if she was the a representative for Yasushi Akimoto when adapting his book into films? Nothing about her online.)

Actors – Edward Burns – (Known For: Saving Private Ryan; The Holiday; Friends with Kids; 27 Dresses; She’s the One; Confidence: After Dark; The Brothers McMullen; Sidewalks of New York; The Groomsmen; The Fitzgerald Family Christmas; Newlyweds; Future BMT: Life or Something Like It; Echelon Conspiracy; 15 Minutes; Man on a Ledge; Ash Wednesday; No Looking Back; BMT: One Missed Call; A Sound of Thunder; Alex Cross; Notes: Ooooo, it’s a sound of thundah. The star of that classic, and now often a micro-budget director, he sponsored a screenwriting contest through the company Scripped for a crowdsourced screenplay. As this was done in 2012 … I’m not sure it will ever actually happen.)

Shannyn Sossamon – (Known For: A Knight’s Tale; The Holiday; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; The Rules of Attraction; Wristcutters: A Love Story; The End of Love; Life Is Hot in Cracktown; Road to Nowhere; Future BMT: Sinister 2; The Sin Eater; 40 Days and 40 Nights; The Day; Our Family Wedding; Undiscovered; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: Sister of singer Jenny Lee Lindberg, and was a part of her band Warpaint before leaving to focus on acting. She studies dance in Los Angeles as well.)

Ana Claudia Talancón – (Known For: Fast Food Nation; El crimen del padre Amaro; Alone with Her; Sueño; The Dry Land; Future BMT: Love in the Time of Cholera; Enter the Dangerous Mind; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: A Mexican actress and model. Nearly all of her credits are in Mexican cinema.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $26,890,041 (Worldwide: $45,847,751)

(Pretty solid bomb domestic, but maybe a return worldwide. Hard to tell. The budget seems inflated though, $20 million is quite high for a horror film like this. They were probably trying for some of that sweet Ring money which made about five times as much.)

#76 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

onemissedcall_supernaturalhorror

(Awesome graph. After dying off in the late 90s (the horror bust perhaps?) it came back with a vengeance with The Sixth Sense and The Blair Witch Project in 1999. The return is still going strong, where the screens these films are getting go up and up and yet the average per screen take is just about level. Although … that might change with Rings and The Bye Bye Man being among this year’s crop. With Right around last year’s The Forest.)

#35 for the Horror Remake genre

onemissedcall_horrorremake

(Comes right at the peak. I think we also have a bit more insight into maybe why the 00s are the Golden Age: remakes? This peak kind of perfectly covers the biggest years from around 2005-2010. The Ring kicked off the J-Horror remakes in 2002, but there hasn’t been a remake since 2015 according to Box Office Mojo. They’ll go back to the well eventually, I’m sure of it. This comes in several spots below The Fog … not a good look.)

#15 for the Remake – Asian genre

onemissedcall_asianremake

(Same as above basically, big right after The Ring, but basically died off as original (micro budget) horror came back into style. With VOD likely being a big destination for horror in the future I would doubt budgets would allow for expensive IP buys, but who knows? This comes definitely below future BMT The Eye starring Jessica Alba.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/80): One of the weakest entries in the J-horror remake sweepstakes, One Missed Call is undone by bland performances and shopworn shocks.

(uh oh, I’ll do a little on-the-fly translation for you: “This movie is not-scary and boring”. Just great. It apparently is so boring everyone just totally agreed and gave it a bad review. Please be wrong Cynical Patrick, please.)

Poster – One Missed Sklog (C+)

one_missed_call

(I don’t love the poster (particularly the cheesy screaming mouths for eyes), but it doesn’t do a lot wrong either. Coloring is fine and spacing is good. Could have been more creative with the font. Slightly better than average.)

Tagline(s) – What will it sound like when you die? (B-)

(Well… hopefully it’ll sound like I’m dying peacefully surrounded by loved ones… … … Oh, was that a rhetorical question?)

Keyword(s) – death; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Epic Movie (2007); 95.6 Meet the Spartans (2008); 94.3 Batman & Robin (1997); 94.1 Battlefield Earth (2000); 93.2 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 89.9 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 89.6 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.0 The Wicker Man (2006); 88.0 House of the Dead (2003); 87.6 Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966);

(This is just the list of the worst films according to the BMeTric. Death as a keyword is legit on something like 10000 films.)

Notes – Guillermo del Toro was offered the chance to direct, but turned it down to work on Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008). (Good choice … well, maybe this movie would be better, but I liked Hellboy II)

Not screened for critics. (They just thought the critics would be too spooky scared I bet)

While in preparation for the film, director Eric Valette never watched the original Japanese version Chakushin ari (2003), and asked the actors not to watch it either. (… I don’t believe you. The trailer contains like a dozen identical situations as the original film. “But Patrick, maybe they adapted the book instead”. Bullshit, the book has never been translated to English. This stinks Mr. Valette, stinks of deception)

Out of 79 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, none of of them have been positive resulting in an abysmal 0% rating as of 2015. Rotten Tomatoes awarded the film the Mouldy Tomato award for the worst reviewed film of 2008 as a result. (Yes, this is why we are doing this)

On August 2006 Ed Harris and Gabriel Byrne were both cast in undisclosed roles for the film but both dropped out due to unknown circumstances. (Maybe they read the script. Zing)

Rotten Tomatoes declared the film to be the second worst film of the 2000’s, coming behind Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002). (Which has 0% and over 100 reviews. We’ll watch it (again) eventually. It is a very strange movie. Nothing has made less sense than Ballistic did to me when I watched it)

The project was filmed in 2006 and was scheduled to be released on August 24, 2007. The film, however, was later pushed back to January 4, 2008. (Probably when people watched it. Also, a horror film in August, terrible idea. Should have been slated for October).

Was the last Japanese horror remake to be theatrically released ever since the trend started with The Ring (2002) and ended with this film in 2008. (Wow, I genuinely didn’t realize that. That is awesome. I wonder how many J-Horror remakes were released in that time.)

The 508 area code is from South Eastern, Massachusetts. (Promising settings lead, thanks IMDb)

Every single character in this film is seen using a Boost Mobile flip phone. (gross).

Hot to Trot Preview

After the breath of formulaic and dull air that is License to Wed, it feels like time to paint ourselves into a corner for Chain Reaction. It’s an annual tradition whereby we see how far we can sink ourselves into the dregs of major Hollywood releases before expertly extricating ourselves like a pair of bad movie Houdini’s. There is no further we can sink than our next film (connecting through Wagons East! via John Candy), which truly puts the Street Cred in the StreetCreditReport.com cycle. That’s right! We’re watching Hot to Trot! This is the Bobcat Goldthwait vehicle in which John Candy voices a stock tip providing horse… do I need to say anything more? Let’s go!

Hot to Trot (1988) – BMeTric: 35.9

HottoTrot_BMeT

HottoTrot_RV

(The delay in the regression to the mean is tripping me out. But I think what this is saying is that this film is aggressively bad to a point where almost anyone who watches it agrees with this fact … but there is something ridiculous about it that allows you to, now, watch it with irony. For an 80s film to have such a high BMeTric is a rarity as IMDb votes couts drops off dramatically for films released pre-2000, so this is something we’ve have plenty of time to plan for.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Here’s a fresh concept from the 1980s: a comedy about a talking horse. Goldthwait plays a semi-imbecile who gets stock tips from a whinnying pal with the voice of John Candy. As comedies go this is the equivalent of Black Monday. Coleman, courtesy of the makeup department, wears a pair of horse teeth here; They are funny.

(Mixed signals from Leonard here. Are the horse teeth funny or not. The rest of the review is dripping so thoroughly with irony it is hard to tell. Is it a fresh concept?! We may never know! The Black Monday joke too, so much to unpack with the review. I have a feeling this is a good sign. Leonard was juggling many thoughts and feelings about this film, it is so dense.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mRE4Hoe5dQ 

(Hooves don’t fail me now! Ah there is something about 80s comedies that are so comfortably ridiculous. I think I’ll feel right at home … although 80s comedies also tend to be overly serious and often boring, so I guess we’ll see?)

Directors – Michael Dinner – (Known For: Heaven Help Us; Future BMT: The Crew; BMT: Hot to Trot; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: A television director (and executive producer) of shows like Justified and Sneaky Pete now. He was a singer in the 1970s:

I’m 95% sure this is him.)

Writers – Stephen Neigher (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Hot to Trot; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: His name is … Neigher. Besides that can’t see much besides that this is his only feature film, and he most did one off television episode scripts for most of his career.)

Hugo Gilbert (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Hot to Trot; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: Nothing. The search lead me to the book Frame by Frame II: A Filmography of the African American Image, 1978-1994, where it is noted that Harry Caesar plays Gideon Cole … nothing about Gilbert, I just had nothing else to say.)

Charlie Peters (screenplay) – (Known For: Ruth & Alex; My One and Only; Future BMT: 3 Men and a Little Lady; Krippendorf’s Tribe; My Father the Hero; Blame It on Rio; Her Alibi; Music from Another Room; BMT: Hot to Trot; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: Taught screenwriting at USC and was brought to LA initially to help Columbia with PR after the David Begelman embezzlement scandal. Juicy stuff.)

Andy Breckman (uncredited) – (Known For: Rat Race; I.Q.; True Identity; Future BMT: Arthur 2: On the Rocks; Sgt. Bilko; BMT: Hot to Trot; Notes: A script doctor, which explains the uncredited role here. Has an ongoing feud with Don MacLean (the singer of American Pie) from when he was a singer as well:

)

Actors – Bobcat Goldthwait – (Known For: Blow; Hercules; Scrooged; One Crazy Summer; World’s Greatest Dad; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Freaked; Tapeheads; Sleeping Dogs; Future BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Burglar; Destiny Turns on the Radio; Shakes the Clown; Hansel & Gretel; Mrs. Winterbourne; Radioland Murders; BMT: Hot to Trot; Grind; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: Primarily a director now, his most well known film is probably World’s Greatest Dad with Robin Williams. It claims he has directed nearly 300 episodes of Jimmy Kimmel Live as well, which is interesting. He was a staple of my mid-afternoon Comedy Central viewing as a child in One Crazy Summer specifically.)

Dabney Coleman – (Known For: WarGames; Rules Don’t Apply; You’ve Got Mail; Tootsie; Stuart Little; The Towering Inferno; 9 to 5; Dragnet; On Golden Pond; The Man with One Red Shoe; Bite the Bullet; Battle of Midway; Cloak & Dagger; Moonlight Mile; Rolling Thunder; This Property Is Condemned; Melvin and Howard; The Muppets Take Manhattan; Recess: School’s Out; North Dallas Forty; Future BMT: Inspector Gadget; The Beverly Hillbillies; Clifford; Amos & Andrew; Domino; Young Doctors in Love; Meet the Applegates; Viva Knievel!; BMT: Hot to Trot; Notes: He voiced the principal in the show Recess. Was somewhat well known for his short-lived television show Buffalo Bill as well.)

John Candy – (Known For: Home Alone; Spaceballs; Uncle Buck; The Blues Brothers; Stripes; Vacation; Heavy Metal; Cool Runnings; Little Shop of Horrors; JFK; Splash; Planes, Trains & Automobiles; The Great Outdoors; The Rescuers Down Under; Volunteers; Delirious; Only the Lonely; Follow That Bird; Future BMT: Armed and Dangerous; Cannonball Fever; 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; BMT: Nothing But Trouble; Wagons East; Hot to Trot; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress for Nothing But Trouble in 1992; Notes: I love John Candy. We went through this in the last Chain Reaction of course with Wagon’s East. Instead of a normal note let’s reminisce in BMT history: remember when John Candy played his own twin sister in Nothing But Trouble … yeah that was weird.)

Budget/Gross – $9,000,000 / Domestic: $6,436,211

(Wow. I’m not sure I trust the budget number for a movie this old, but at the same time it makes sense. That though is still a very low domestic total. The 109th highest grossing film of 1988 right above, gulp, Mac and Me. Not great.)

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

hottotrot_talkinganimal

(Amazing. It started the craze! Talking animals are amazing, so not surprisingly it just kind of general trends upwards … I’m not sure what is up with that gap, maybe the genre collectively moved to VOD (like Santa Paws?), but Jungle Book at least kind of put it back on the map, so maybe they’ll be a renaissance. Fun fact: The point when the trend takes off for real is with Babe in 1995, which probably also marker the point of no return where CGI was used for the talking bits instead of doing it Mr. Ed style (with peanut butter and stuff). This movie also only really beats Gordy as far as gross is concerned.)

#17 for the Horse genre

hottotrot_horse

(Not a real genre, but fun nonetheless. The peak in the mid-2000s might be due to Seabiscuit, but it is hard to tell.)

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

(My consensus: A one-note update to the Talking Horse genre merely brings profanity to the table. Justifiably considered terrible, it is somehow worse than even rock bottom expectations. There are a few reviews which suggest it isn’t sooooooo bad, but none offer anything beyond a glimmer of a hope in the comedy department. None of the reviews are from the time though. I do think it goes hand in hand with the IMDb vote analysis above: I think there are people who watch it now and think “oh that isn’t as bad as I thought it would be”, which might explain the modest regression to the mean in recent years.)

Poster – Sklog to Blog (Oh God. Oh man!)

hot_to_trot

(That… is… unfortunate.)

Tagline(s) – “When I talk, you’re going to laugh yourself hoarse.” (D-)

The funniest talking horse movie ever! (F)

(True blue double tagline film. And both seem like taglines that would be written ironically for a modern “purposefully bad film”. The first being a stereotypically bad pun and the second being almost self deprecating. I give the first a point for delivering on the pun.)

Keyword(s) – horse; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.1 Battlefield Earth (2000); 86.8 BloodRayne (2005); 85.3 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 85.0 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987); 83.3 Dungeons & Dragons (2000); 82.2 The Legend of Hercules (2014); 80.2 xXx²: State of the Union (2005); 79.2 Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009); 75.5 Hercules in New York (1970); 72.6 Jonah Hex (2010);

(Loving it. Obviously this list is dominated by sword and sorcery type pictures, but the occasional bad western like Jonah Hex is always welcome. I’m not even going to try and remember where the horse in Superman IV comes in, we have to watch that for BMT anyways.)

Notes – After Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Tim Burton was offered to direct, but declined. (Good idea Tim)

Elliott Gould was the original voice of the horse. After a poor test screening of the film, the horse’s half of the script was rewritten by Andy Breckman in an effort to make the film funnier. John Candy was hired to re-record the horse’s voice; he ignored the new script and improvised the dialogue instead. (That is the beauty of such films you see, you can rewrite half of the script and punch it up indefinitely)

Reportedly, when Bobcat Goldthwait was given a script of the movie, he wrote “Why would I do this?” on the cover. His agent responded by drawing a dollar sign over it. (This is a straight cash grab job brother, get in get out)

Joan Rivers was originally cast as the lead. (Interesting, I guess after Spaceballs she was hunting for acting jobs)

During the race at the end of the movie Don asks for Fred to inspire him like the old guy from Rocky. He is of course referring to Burgess Meredith who voiced Don’s father. (fun fact)

Virginia Madsen claimed to have made this movie for two reasons: one, so that her sister’s children could see the film; secondly, for the money. She admits the movie was an embarrassment, but she was not ashamed to take the role, since she needed the money at the time. (Everyone is doing it for the money!)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Bobcat Goldthwait)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Michael Dinner)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Stephen Neigher, Hugo Gilbert, Charlie Peters)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (The Horse I assume)

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

Redline_BMeT

Redline_RV

(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+)

redline

(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

WagonsEast_BMeT

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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

western_50.png

(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+)

wagons_east

(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).