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+)

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(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)

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(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)

Deadly Friend Preview

And this week we are excited to announce the next cycle, a very special cycle indeed. This October the bad movie twins will be turning thirty (it’s a pretty big deal), and we we thought it would be fun to do movies that are also turning thirty years old. That’s right, the cycle is the Sklog’s Birthday Bonanza, The Films of 1986. And since we are in a transition period between cycles we had to find a movie that is not only based on a book, but also specifically came out in 1986. And that means there is really only one choice (no, seriously, I think there was literally only one decently qualified movie to choose from in this case): Deadly Friend. A Wes Craven picture based on Friend by Diana Henstell, this is considered somewhat of a cult classic, but is also very well known for the meddling of producers during production. It looks … really strange. Getting me kind of excited. Let’s go!

Deadly Friend (1986) – BMeTric: 24.2

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(Ah, very similar to last week’s plots and I think this is a trend for films from the 80s / early 90s. It rises until it reaches a stable rating/votes proportion in the BMeTric, and this again is a very good example of a film regressing to the mean as time goes on. I think movies that existed prior to IMDb going “mainstream” tended to have a much broader range of ratings (perhaps) and so with older movies you see this regression to the mean much more starkly. Always interesting (to me))

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Inventive teenager, in love with the girl next door, revives her (a la Frankenstein) after she’s killed. More heart, and more actual entertainment, than you’d expect from a Wes Craven horror film … though it’s probably the only movie ever made in which someone is beheaded by a basketball!

(Yeah, this movie sounds bonkers insane. I also don’t believe Leonard actually reviewed this. Maltin is notoriously uneasy about horror films, he’s like me, he finds them spooky scary. Maybe at the time he might have watched it as a job requirement, but I have a feeling this was compiled for the book and represents a review by some staff writer. Two and a half stars for this bullshit horror film. I don’t believe it. All that being said, this movie sounds like a genuinely terrible idea.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQj2GKwKp5w

(Wow! I’m actually shocked at how cheap this looks. This was made after Nightmare on Elm Street, which I think is a surprisingly beautiful film, but this looks like an amateur film in comparison. Another weird thing? Nary a robot to be seen. And I know for a fact that there is a hilarious yellow robot in this.)

Directors – Wes Craven – (Known For: Scream; A Nightmare on Elm Street; Scream 4; Red Eye; Scream 2; The Hills Have Eyes; The Last House on the Left; Swamp Thing; New Nightmare; Paris, je t’aime; Music of the Heart; The Serpent and the Rainbow; BMT: Vampire in Brooklyn; Cursed; My Soul to Take; Scream 3; The Hills Have Eyes Part II; Shocker; Deadly Friend; Deadly Blessing; Notes: Died last year from brain cancer. Was set to direct Superman IV: The Quest for Peace but was dropped after feuding with Christopher Reeve.)

Writers – Diana Henstell (novel) – (BMT: Deadly Friend; Notes: Horror/Thriller writer in the 80s. Apparently worked in publishing for most of her career. That’s all I could find about her.)

Bruce Joel Rubin (screenplay) – (Known For: Ghost; Deep Impact; The Last Mimzy; Jacob’s Ladder; Stuart Little 2; Brainstorm; My Life; BMT: Deadly Friend; Deceived; The Time Traveller’s Wife; Notes: Won an Oscar for Ghost. The story is that he was going to turn down this film on principle as he had higher ambitions, but thought better of it because he really needed the money.)

Actors – Matthew Labyorteaux – (Known For: Mulan; Kaze tachinu; A Woman Under the Influence; Everyone’s Hero; King of the Gypsies; BMT: Bride Wars; Pinocchio; Deadly Friend; Notes: You hear that? That’s us improbably completing this random dude’s BMT filmography with what must be the most bizarre set of movies I’ve ever seen.)

Kristy Swanson – (Known For: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; Big Daddy; Pretty in Pink; The Phantom; Hot Shots!; The Program; Higher Learning; BMT: Dude, Where’s My Car?; Mannequin: On the Move; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag; The Chase; Flowers in the Attic; Deadly Friend; Notes: Started dating Alan Thicke when he was 40 and she was 17 (wot?). They were engaged but never married.)

Budget/Gross – $11,000,000 / Domestic: $8,988,731

(Wow, 10 times the budget of Nightmare on Elm, but made a fraction of the box office. Probably didn’t help that it was part of a publicly troubled production process and got terrible reviews once actually released.)

#39 for the Cyborg / Android / Robot genre

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(Look at those waves. This guy came right on the heels of Terminator and Short Circuit and a little before Robocop, so definitely a trend. Now Ex Machina and Chappie are coming at a semi-boom in the same category. The waves may be indicative of how bad robot movies often are (see the keyword below) you make a few with great care and dedication … and then you saturate the market with garbage, then start all over again. Blah.)

#54 for the Sci-Fi – Based on Book genre

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(The second example quickly on the heels of The 5th Wave, this is far less interesting. Maybe this was introduced at a time when book adaptations were waning a bit, but hard to tell. Still, the amount of sci-fi movies based on a book now dwarfs those from the eighties. It is pretty stunning.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/7): No consensus yet.

(A rare, but kind of cheap 0% movie since it only has six (often far after the fact) reviews on rotten tomatoes. I’ll make a consensus though: While filled with its fair share of Cravenisms, it is also filled with classic Craven miscues. An interesting premise is squandered as the film instead becomes merely another cliched teenaged revenge fantasy.)

Poster – Deadly Sklog (C-)

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(Personally I like it. I like the style, very classically 70s/80s horror I feel like. I like the idea of it in a way. But … I mean, what does it have to do with anything? What is this movie about? It doesn’t really scream “this is about a killer robot!”. It doesn’t say “this is a teenaged revenge fantasy!”. It is just … surreal. If anything it screams “like Nightmare on Elm Street this is a movie focused on the terror found within dreams”. If I was only given this poster I would say this movie is about a bullied teenage girl who discovers that through incredible psychic power she can control other people’s dreams and terrorizes those who terrorize her in the real world … hey, that sounds like a pretty good movie actually. Kind of a what-if-you-could-be-Freddy-Krueger in real life. Could actually be a fun movie)

Tagline(s) – She can’t live without you. [trailer] (A)

There’s no one alive who’ll play with the girl next door! [poster] (what in the fuck? F.)

(The second one being on the poster is a travesty. How? It is awful. The trailer tagline is a nice, concise play on words. Hints at the connection to Frankenstein. Hits all the right notes.)

Keyword(s) – robot; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.3 Meet the Spartans (2008); 78.4 The Avengers (1998); 76.9 RoboCop 3 (1993); 76.8 Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003); 75.6 Inspector Gadget (1999); 72.3 Jason X (2001); 71.2 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005); 69.8 Pluto Nash (2002); 66.5 Scooby-Doo (2002); 65.1 Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982);

(That is a simply fantastic list of terrible movies. Robots do seem to enter into a lot of ludicrous and hilarious plotlines. If only Lindsay Lohan’s robot leg and arm from I Know Who Killed Me counted! Also this is an amazing set of sequels too. I just can’t get over it!)

Notes – Director Wes Craven’s and screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin’s original vision for the film was a PG-rated supernatural science fiction thriller, with the primary focus being on the macabre love story between Paul and Samantha, as well as a secondary focus on the adults around them and how they are truly monsters inside themselves. Craven filmed this version of the film and Warner Bros. decided to screen it to a test audience mostly consisting of Wes Craven’s fans. The response from fans was negative, criticizing the lack of violence and gore seen in Craven’s previous films.

I would say that this is part of the Michael Eliot trilogy. Eliot was an editor brought in by Warner Bros. to reedit this film, along with Out for Justice and Showdown in Little Tokyo.

BB robot cost over $20,000 to build. Craven used a company called Robotics 21. His eyes were constructed from two 1950 camera lenses, a garage remote control unit, and a radio antenna taken from a Corvette. BB could actually lift 750 pounds in weight.

Pinocchio (2002) Preview

This week we move fully into the Now a Major Motion Picture cycle with the comedy entry. Since I’m required by BMT law to read each book that the film is based on, I requested that we do something real short for this entry just to make sure I don’t fall behind right off the bat. This worked out wonderfully as one of the worst reviewed films of all time just happens to be based on a 150 page children’s book. That’s right, we are watching Roberto Benigni’s much reviled adaptation of Pinocchio! Did I say that Basic Instinct 2 was a vanity project? We ain’t seen nothing yet. Let’s go!

Pinocchio (2002) – BMeTric: 47.1

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(This is another super weird rating plot! It goes down and then completely recovers over years. It doesn’t make sense. Typically for a kids movie I would say this might be the youth factor, the fanbase of a shitty movie coming of age and using nostalgia to rate things. But what kind of weirdo kid was watching Pinocchio starring Roberto Benigni? No one. It is impossible. There has to be a weird “it was a hit in Italy” thing going on. It has to be foreign audience power.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  A carved wooden puppet comes to life as a mischievous boy who can’t resist temptation of any kind. Benigni’s interpretation of the beloved 1885 story by Carlo Collodi emerges as a test of one’s tolerance for the bombastic comic actor. This was a big hit in Italy … but then, so was Mussolini. U.S. Version was cut to 100 m. and dubbed with Breckin Meyer (as Benigni) and a host of stars.

(Goddamn Leonard that film had a family! Let’s all revel in Leonard’s need to invoke Italy’s fascist past in order to deliver an adequate burn for this travesty of a movie. This was well known at the time as a disastrous American dubbing as well and somewhat inexplicable if not for Benigni’s Academy Award a few years prior.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnyD71SK-wk

(Well that’s unfortunate. Notice that they do not let anyone talk in the trailer other than to say the word “Pinocchio!” Didn’t want to reveal that it was foreign in hopes to attract more people. Didn’t work. From the trailer it also looks a bit like those Israeli live-action fairy tales we used to watch as a kid. The Frog Prince used to freak me out. Giant scary frog. But I loved them. So maybe I’ll love this.)

Directors – Roberto Benigni – (Known For: Life Is Beautiful; The Monster; Johnny Stecchino; The Tiger and the Snow; BMT: Pinocchio; Notes: Nominated for Best Director Oscar for Life is Beautiful. Although he only sporadically works in film now he is still beloved in Italy and very active in the political scene there.)

Benigni Razzie Notes: Won the Razzie Award in 2003 for Worst Actor for Pinocchio with Breckin Meyer; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2003 for Worst Screen Couple with Nicoletta Braschi, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Pinocchio with Vincenzo Cerami; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1994 for Worst New Star for Son of the Pink Panther

Writers – Roberto Benigni (screenplay) – (Known For: Life Is Beautiful; The Monster; Johnny Stecchino; The Tiger and the Snow; BMT: Pinocchio; Notes: Nominated for Best Screenplay Oscar for Life is Beautiful. Also a poet and songwriter.)

Vincenzo Cerami (screenplay) – (Known For: Life Is Beautiful; The Monster; Johnny Stecchino; The Tiger and the Snow; BMT: Pinocchio; Notes: Longtime writer and assistant director collaborator with Benigni. Died in 2013 after a long illness. Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2003 for Worst Screenplay for Pinocchio with Roberto Benigni)

Carlo Collodi (novel) – (Known For: Pinocchio (1940); BMT: Pinocchio (2002); The Adventures of Pinocchio Notes: Wrote the original story as a serial in the 1800s. Apparently, the original ending to the tale was that Pinocchio was such a bad puppet that he hangs himself in despair. Solid.)

Brendan Donnison (English adaptation) – (BMT: Pinocchio; Notes: Super weird. This guy is primarily a casting director for ADR and voice work. In fact has a company Lyps Inc. based in the UK that is a major player in the ADR voice casting game. Makes one wonder how he is the only english adaptation credit for the film… particularly since he has no other writing credits.)

Actors – Roberto Benigni – (Known For: Life Is Beautiful; To Rome with Love; Night on Earth; Coffee and Cigarettes; Down by Law; Luna; The Monster; Johnny Stecchino; BMT: Pinocchio; Son of the Pink Panther; Notes: Won the Best Actor Oscar for Life is Beautiful. Had a brief moment of fame in American film in the early 90s ending with Son of the Pink Panther.)

Also starring Nicoletta Braschi his costar in Life is Beautiful (and real life wife)

Budget/Gross – €40 million / Domestic: $3,684,305 (Worldwide: $41,323,171)

(An absolute travesty of a US release. Still 150th on the worst openings for a 600+ theater release (it opened at #19!), but obviously earned enough in Italy to break even (probably). The rumor is that it was well received in Italy and that a lot of the negative reaction here in the US was due to odd and off-putting voiceover choices. Sounds like it may have come down with a serious case of the Doogals.)

#13 for the Toys Come to Life genre

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(Normally I wouldn’t show this, but … what is this genre? Turns out it is Chucky movies, the Toy Story series, Pinocchio adaptations, and, of course, the classic smash hit Small Soldiers. We’ll just forget about Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. There is obviously no trends in the all-important toy’s coming to life genre.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/55): Roberto Benigni misfires wildly with this adaptation of Pinocchio, and the result is an unfunny, poorly-made, creepy vanity project.

(Yuuuuuup you are reading this right. This is an extremely rare 0% on RT. To name some of the BMT films with 0%: A Thousand Words, Bucky Larson Born to be a Star, The Ridiculous 6, Mac and Me, Highlander II The Quickening, and American Anthem. And guess what? Pinocchio has more actual reviews than any of them! It really is incredible.)

Poster – Sklognocchio (B+)

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(This seems to be the primary poster. I like the base color and creativity used in both the image and the title font. Kinda striking and beautiful in its simplicity. And he can get away with it due to the popularity of the source material. Needs a tagline and almost too simple to be interesting, but doesn’t assault the senses.)

Tagline(s) – None! (F)

(Unacceptable.)

Keywords – fairy; Top Ten by BMeTric: 80.7 Movie 43 (2013); 56.1 Tooth Fairy (I) (2010); 47.8 Troll (1986); 47.1 Pinocchio (2002); 32.6 Pan (2015); 29.0 Arthur and the Great Adventure (2009); 27.5 Snow White and the Huntsman (2012); 27.2 Spanish Movie (2009); 27.1 Get Over It (2001); 25.9 Return to Never Land (2002);

(Interesting list. I still need to see Pan (not BMT unfortunately). Besides that the only for sure BMT film I think would be Get Over It which looks like an absolute travesty. I need to watch that film.)

Notes – This was the most expensive production in Italian film history, with a budget of about $45 million.

This is the first film in a non-English language to be nominated for Worst Picture at the Razzie Awards.

Roberto Benigni originally conceived this project as a collaboration, with Federico Fellini directing it. When Fellini died, Benigni became its director. (wow)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Roberto Benigni, Breckin Meyer)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Roberto Benigni)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Vincenzo Cerami, Roberto Benigni)