Kazaam Preview

Jamie and Lindsey turn a corner heading for the stairs to the rooftop only to stop short at the sight of the cyborg bad movie twins. They are talking with a man hidden in the shadows who shouts for the cyborgs to stop them. Scrambling up to the roof, Jamie follows the steamy water pipe until finally he and Lindsey stand by two dials. “Here goes nothing,” they say, initiating the emergency electronic wash. With a loud boom they are blown backwards across the rooftop, landing at the feet of the cyborgs. But before they can destroy Jamie and Lindsey with their fearsome robot strength a voice rings out, “not so fast!” Freed from their computer simulation prison by the water and returned to their young, super athletic bodies, Patrick and Kyle stand ready for a fight. The shadowy figure approaches, slowly clapping. “Impressive,” he says softly, “I knew you were clever Patrick, but I didn’t think you had it in you to match wits with me. Certainly not your meathead brother there and his sad bunch of friends. But I guess there was some reason you always were our publisher’s favorite.” And with that he steps from the shadows and Jamie and Patrick gasp. That piece of shit Manfred Long. “You goddamn hack,” Patrick spits, “I should have known if there was anyone who would shamelessly rip-off the BMT brand it would be you.” But Manfred just chuckles at that and waves the Cyborgs over to Jamie, Kyle, and Lindsey. “Take them,” he says, “I want to have a little chat with Patrick here. See if we can’t make a deal. I now have the power to make any wish you want come true… as long as you play ball.” And with that he holds up the Obsidian Dongle. That’s right! It’s the original Wishmaster of the NBA (as everyone called him) Shaq and the 90’s rapping genie classic Kazaam. I think probably this was just a bit past prime time for Patrick and I so I don’t think I’ve ever seen it. Let’s go!

The cyborgs approach Jamie, Kyle and Lindsey with their evil dead eyes glowing red. Gulp! Looks like the end for our heroes, that is until they hear a whistle from above and they see Rachel the Pretzel Girl soaring in on one of their hang gliders. “You feeling lucky, punks?” she shouts and Kyle pumps his fist at her wholly original quote. Let’s go! We are taking a risk with a Troma film for the Kazaam pairing and watching Getting Lucky about a Leprechaun that gives a nerd a chance at… well, getting lucky. Let’s go!

Kazaam (1996) – BMeTric: 83.8; Notability: 30

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.4%; Notability: top 28.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 2.5%; Higher BMeT: Barb Wire; Higher Notability: Eraser, The Fan, Spy Hard, Jingle All The Way, Chain Reaction, Daylight, Eddie, The Associate, Up Close & Personal, Mulholland Falls, Dear God, Sgt. Bilko, Eye for an Eye, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Adventures of Pinocchio, The Crow: City of Angels, Space Truckers, In Love and War, Joe’s Apartment, High School High, and 50 more; Lower RT: The Dentist, Adrenalin: Fear the Rush, Ed, Big Bully, Ripe, Bio-Dome; Notes: Wow that BMeTric is gaudy. How have we avoided doing this film until now? A sub-3.0 on IMDb is absurd for such a wide release, it is incredible.

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – “Kazaam” is a textbook example of a filmed deal, in which adults assemble a package that reflects their own interests and try to sell it to kids. How else to explain a children’s movie where the villains are trying to steal a bootleg recording so they can sell pirated copies of it? What do kids know, or care, about that? The movie stars Shaquille O’Neal, the Orlando Magic’s superstar center, as Kazaam, a genie who is released from captivity in an old boom box and has to perform three wishes for a little kid (Francis Capra). Right there you have a wonderful illustration of the movie’s creative bankruptcy. Assigned to construct a starring vehicle for Shaq, the filmmakers looked at him, saw a tall bald black man, and said, “Hey, he can be a genie!” At which point, somebody should have said, “OK, that’s level one. Now let’s take it to level three.” Shaq has already proven he can act (in “Blue Chips,” the 1994 movie about college basketball). Here he shows he can be likable in a children’s movie. What he does not show is good judgment in his choice of material. This is a tired concept, written by the numbers. Kids old enough to know about Shaq as a basketball star will be too old to enjoy the movie. Younger kids won’t find much to engage them. And O’Neal shouldn’t have used the movie to promote his own career as a rap artist; the soundtrack sounds less like music to entertain kids than like a trial run for a Shaq album.

(Wow, he cuts right to the core. And yeah, that’s called a great B-plot. This movie sounds kind of amazing for that reason alone, I love B-plots that make no sense for a kids movie.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFVaxa1UKNg/

(Looks fun. Although now I remember why we haven’t done this one yet … it’s a kids movie. This is definitively a kids movie. Just give me all B-plot. Recut the entire film into just the B-plot.)

DirectorsPaul Michael Glaser – (Known For: The Running Man; The Cutting Edge; Future BMT: Band of the Hand; The Air Up There; BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for directing an episode of Miami Vice. He played Starsky in Starsky and Hutch. He also directed a great Criminal Minds episode starring Jason Alexander called Masterpiece.)

WritersPaul Michael Glaser – (BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Interestingly his only real attempt at writing apparently. I have to imagine he did uncredited stuff previously and probably just did too much tickering as the director and got a credit.)

Christian Ford – (BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Wrote an episode of Deep Space Nine which I can already tell I was probably fuming at since Kai Winn played a big role in it (she was a central long-running villain in the show).)

Roger Soffer – (Known For: Throne of Elves; BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Was Ford’s writing partner. Looks like they must have parted ways at some point since Soffer got his Throne of Elves credit in 2017 well after the bulk of their writing work.)

ActorsShaquille O’Neal – (Known For: Hubie Halloween; The Lego Movie; The House Bunny; What Men Want; Uncle Drew; Thunderstruck; Future BMT: Scary Movie 4; Good Burger; After the Sunset; The Smurfs 2; Blue Chips; The Wash; BMT: Grown Ups 2; Blended; Jack and Jill; Freddy Got Fingered; Kazaam; Steel; Show Dogs; Chairman of the Board; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Steel in 1998; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Blended in 2015; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Blue Chips in 1995; Notes: Y’all know Shaq. Probably the best NBA actor ever, even if he doesn’t always choose the best roles. A four time NBA champion with the Lakers and Heat, he might be the most dominant big man in history (and if not that, he’s at least the most unique given his body shape).)

Francis Capra – (Known For: A Bronx Tale; SLC Punk!; Veronica Mars; Blood and Bone; Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; Rampart; Black Irish; Dishdogz; Future BMT: A Simple Wish; BMT: Crank; Kazaam; Notes: Not related to Frank Capra. Amazingly I recognize him mostly from his adult role as Eli Navarro (Weevil) in Veronica Mars. He looks quite different now obviously.)

Ally Walker – (Known For: While You Were Sleeping; Singles; Happy, Texas; Welcome to Hollywood; When the Bough Breaks; Mischief Night; Wonderful World; Eye of the Storm; The Seventh Coin; Future BMT: Bed of Roses; Steal Big Steal Little; BMT: Universal Soldier; Kazaam; Notes: Has been pretty much continuously employed in major television roles since the mid-90s besides taking a 10 year break while she was raising a family in the early 2000s. Was the star of the show Profiler.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $18,937,262 (Worldwide: $18,937,262)

(Yep, a huge bomb, and likely Ebert is right in this case. There is no way this didn’t derail any cinematic career Shaq could have had (well … until he became a staple of Adam Sandler comedies I suppose, he was in at least four of those).)

Rotten Tomatoes – 5% (2/37): Crafted from a mix of genre clichés, Kazaam doesn’t know what kind of film it wants to be, and Shaq’s larger-than-life charisma is stifled by rote filmmaking and an unimaginative story.

(Yeah, sounds about right. Two good reviews, and they basically just say Shaq is charming and the film old-school but fine.)

Reviewer Highlight: Kazaam never brings off the trick we most want to see: It fails to make the jolly, 7-foot-1 Shaq larger than life. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Poster – Sha-blam

(Love the font, hate everything else. Like Ebert said it makes you wonder about the choices Shaq was making at the time. Like he can actually act and is charming as hell and yet he apparently was so keen on being a rapper that he did this shit. The poster looks like it’s for a straight-to-video talking cat movie or something. D)

Tagline(s) – The world’s most powerful genie has just met his match. (F)

(The world’s most powerful genie… as opposed to all those less powerful genies we are familiar with? It’s amazing that they were so set on using this generic tagline that they tried to force it. It no longer even makes sense. I think I hate it… yup, I hate it.)

Keyword(s) – genie

Top 10: Aladdin (2019), Bedazzled (2000), Aladdin (1992), Weird Science (1985), Aladdin (2020), Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road (2002), Kazaam (1996), Burying the Ex (2014), The Tale of Despereaux (2008), Five Children and It (2004)

Future BMT: 13.9 Three Wishes (1995)

BMT: Kazaam (1996)

Matches: Kazaam (1996), The Lamp (1987), Miracle Beach (1992), Wishman (1992), Pretty Cool Too (2007), Wish Me Luck (1995), Djinn (2008), Wildest Dreams (1990), The Incredible Genie (1999), Shivers Down Your Spine (2015), Jinn (2016), Wishful Thinking the Series (2015)

(So few films with a genie … that somehow feels wrong, but yet, yeah … an all powerful, immortal being doesn’t leave much original storytelling ideas. The actual matches are mostly pretty small, Kazaam is the only major release. That is, if you want to be specific about the difference between a Djinn and a genie (this movie certainly does …))

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Efren Ramirez is No. 4 billed in Kazaam and No. 4 billed in Crank, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (4 + 4) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 14. If we were to watch Blue Chips, and Three Fugitives we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – Despite the fact that this film was a critical and financial disaster, Shaquille O’Neal has not expressed regret for his involvement. He said in a 2012 interview, “I was a medium-level juvenile delinquent from Newark who always dreamed about doing a movie. Someone said, ‘Hey, here’s $7 million, come in and do this genie movie.’ What am I going to say, no? So I did it.”

John Costelloe plays a firefighter in this movie. In real life, he was a firefighter for 11 years before retiring in 1998. He also played a volunteer firefighter in The Sopranos (1999).

The main villain’s name is Malik, which is the Arabic word for king.

This movie is part of the false memory phenomenon (also called the “Mandela Effect”). According to many people, there was a movie named “Shazaam” starring Sinbad as the genie. This false memory was probably caused by a mix-up with this film and a costume Sinbad wore in 1994 when he hosted a TV broadcast of Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977). For April Fools’ Day 2017, the team of CollegeHumor Originals (2006) filmed a skit about alleged VHS footage of the Shazaam movie, with Sinbad starring as the genie.

Paul Michael Glaser’s last movie as a director, as of July 2021. He continues to direct television.

Fire Birds Preview

Patrick sips his mai tai and looks lazily around the bar in Party Town, USA. He and Kyle could no longer say how long they had been trapped in this never ending stream of party fun. For a while he kept reassuring Kyle that it was all a simulation, but his long bushy beard was now snow white and he had given up. They’d probably die here. Just like how the Vice President (who they rescued the day they arrived) had grown old and died peacefully a few years back. “Come on out here and party, dude,” Kyle yells to him, all the while dancing with one of the numerous bodacious bades that populated the city. Patrick waves him away with a sigh and gets back to his mai tai. Kyle plops down on the stool next to him. “Bro, I can always tell when you’re ready to poop on a party. You get that sad, party-pooper look in your eyes. You feeling blue?” Patrick nods. “Is it because we’ve been trapped in this party bar for 30-50 years?” Patrick nods again and sighs, “Yeah, sorry, man. I hate to rain on your parade.” Kyle shrugs and pats him on the shoulder, “You could never rain on my parade, bro. In fact, it never rains here at all. That’s what makes Party Town so great, right?” Suddenly Patrick looks around… that’s true. In 30-50 years it has never rained. Rain… water… mainframe. My god! He suddenly leaps up and looks around frantically before he sees it. The alarm. He looks up and sees the sprinklers Kyle had installed when he took over ownership of the bar. Just practical business sense he said… or a stroke of genius! “Fire,” Patrick whispers and Kyle just looks at him quizzically. “FIRE!” He screams. That’s right! We’re watching the Nic Cage/Tommy Lee Jones/Sean Young classic that we all remember, Fire Birds. It’s the helicopter knock-off of Top Gun that we were all clamouring for at the time and I can only assume it delivered on those points. Let’s go!

“Fire.” Jamie hears the whisper and pulls away from his steamy make out session with Lindsey. Was that Patrick he heard? Fire.. water… mainframe. “Where does that pipe lead?” He asks Lindsey, pointing at their steamy water pipe. “Uh,” she thinks, “up, I guess.” That’s right! We are starting in on our Bring a Friend cycle (the best cycle) with a little Guttenberg special, the 1998 film Airborne which is about a plane… or maybe a virus… I don’t know, but it def got the Gutes. Let’s go!

Fire Birds (1990) – BMeTric: 45.8; Notability: 25

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.4%; Notability: top 21.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 4.6%; Higher BMeT: Captain America, Look Who’s Talking Too, Rocky V, Ghost Dad, Graveyard Shift, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Repossessed, Soultaker, Problem Child, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection Higher Notability: RoboCop 2, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Predator 2, Days of Thunder, Jetsons: The Movie, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Air America, Captain America, Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory, Marked for Death, The Rookie, Rocky V, 3 Men and a Little Lady, Stella, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, Revenge, Bird on a Wire, Ghost Dad, Another 48 Hrs., Mr. Destiny, and 33 more; Lower RT: Problem Child, Death Warrant, Graveyard Shift, Repossessed, Coupe de Ville, Loose Cannons, Madhouse, Funny About Love, Soultaker, Ghost Dad, Spaced Invaders; Notes: The BMeTric is a lot higher than I would have expected since it only have around 6K ratings which is amazing low. We have obviously left a lot on the table as far as 1990 films are concerned. Very interesting that Soultaker gets a shoutout.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  High-tech Apache helicopters (with an assist from their pilots) take on South American drug cartels from the air. Standard military issue with a ruptured-duck script and no romantic chemistry between professional rivals Cage and Young. Jones doesn’t evoke memories of Gregory Peck in Twelve O’Clock High when he pep-talks Cage into a “full-tilt boogie for freedom and justice.”

(I’m having a hard time pinning down a definition for “ruptured-duck”. It has to do with a pin given to those honorably discharged in WWII, that much is for sure. So I guess he’s saying the film is ho-hum (standard issue) and the script is either old-school or maybe just bad (i.e. discharged)? Fascinating turn of phrase, Leonard.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uOcWJ9ae5A/

(Yeah that is Top Gun for helicopters. All it is missing is Nic Cage buzzing the tower. Also as insane as it sounds that shows the entire climax of the film which is pretty nuts.)

DirectorsDavid Green – (Known For: Buster; Car Trouble; BMT: Fire Birds; Notes: British, he directed a load of Emmerdale Farm episodes (a British Soap). IMDb claims he has two new directorial efforts in production, but somehow I doubt that.)

WritersStep Tyner – (BMT: Fire Birds; Notes: Yeah so if you look around and search his name with Belvoir (Swensson’s production company) you can find that they were West Point classmates and Tyner wrote the original script, and Swensson marketed it. So that is how they are associated.)

John K. Swensson – (BMT: Fire Birds; Notes: I found his profile. It even mentions Fire Birds as just like a three year period of his life, strange.)

Dale Dye – (Known For: Occupation: Rainfall; BMT: Fire Birds; Notes: Apparently a military advisor on a number of films which he often gets bit parts in. This is no different, he plays A.K. McNeil in the film.)

Nick Thiel – (Known For: White Fang; Shipwrecked; The Experts; Future BMT: V.I. Warshawski; The Associate; BMT: Fire Birds; Notes: A producer for a ton of television which he also writes for. From 1987 to 1996 he wrote feature films. Nominated for an Emmy for Magnum P.I.)

Paul F. Edwards – (Known For: Trackdown; High-Ballin’; BMT: Fire Birds; Notes: Wrote a bunch of television including the show Wizards and Warriors.)

ActorsNicolas Cage – (Known For: Pig; Prisoners of the Ghostland; Willy’s Wonderland; The Rock; The Croods: A New Age; Fast Times at Ridgemont High; World Trade Center; Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; Kick-Ass; Mandy; Color Out of Space; Leaving Las Vegas; National Treasure; Raising Arizona; Face/Off; Snowden; Con Air; Jiu Jitsu; Adaptation.; The Croods; Future BMT: Knowing; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Next; 8MM; Windtalkers; G-Force; Trapped in Paradise; Amos & Andrew; BMT: Gone in Sixty Seconds; Ghost Rider; Drive Angry; Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Left Behind; The Wicker Man; Season of the Witch; Trespass; Captain Corelli’s Mandolin; Justice; Bangkok Dangerous; Fire Birds; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2007 for The Wicker Man; in 2008 for Ghost Rider, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and Next; in 2012 for Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, and Trespass; in 2013 for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and Seeking Justice; and in 2015 for Left Behind; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Snowden in 2017; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2007 for The Wicker Man; and in 2012 for Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, and Trespass; Notes: Won an Oscar of Leaving Las Vegas and was nominated for Adaptation. You know Nic Cage, he is apparently going to play Joe Exotic in a tv show about Tiger King, but somehow I doubt that will ever actually be produced.)

Tommy Lee Jones – (Known For: Captain America: The First Avenger; The Client; No Country for Old Men; Space Cowboys; Ad Astra; Wander; Jason Bourne; Men in Black; The Fugitive; Natural Born Killers; The Comeback Trail; Lincoln; JFK; Men in Black 3; Under Siege; Small Soldiers; The Missing; Love Story; The Homesman; Shock and Awe; Future BMT: Criminal; Men in Black II; Double Jeopardy; The Family; U.S. Marshals; The Hunted; Blown Away; Man of the House; Rules of Engagement; Just Getting Started; Savage Islands; BMT: Batman Forever; Mechanic: Resurrection; Fire Birds; Notes: Won and Oscar for The Fugitive and was nominated for three more. One of his first roles was 21 episodes of One Life to Live in the 1975.)

Sean Young – (Known For: Dune; Blade Runner 2049; Blade Runner; Bone Tomahawk; Ace Ventura: Pet Detective; Wall Street; Stripes; No Way Out; Cousins; Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader; Escape Room; Mockingbird Don’t Sing; Even Cowgirls Get the Blues; The Pit; A Random Encounter; Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde; Poor White Trash; Darling; The Boost; Parasomnia; Future BMT: Sugar & Spice; Once Upon a Crime…; Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend; A Kiss Before Dying; Young Doctors in Love; Love Crimes; BMT: Fatal Instinct; Fire Birds; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress, and Worst Supporting Actress for A Kiss Before Dying in 1992; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde in 1996; Nominee for Worst Actress for Love Crimes in 1993; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress in 1993 for Once Upon a Crime…; and in 1995 for Even Cowgirls Get the Blues; Notes: I kind of wish they had tossed a cameo into the new Dune for her. Instead she is making a film called Planet Dune in which is basically just a horror version of Dune? You can’t make this stuff up.)

Budget/Gross – $22 million / Domestic: $14,760,451 (Worldwide: $14,760,451)

(Ooooooof that is brutal. They thought they were getting Top Gun 2?! They were getting like … a straight-to-video Seagal war film.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (2/21): Despite the talent on board, Fire Birds is little more than a subpar military adventure sporting video game-like action, outdated philosophy, and uneven acting.

(Yup, yup, and yup. Much like Tackleberry’s “I can’t believe they won’t let me murder innocent people anymore” speech from Police Academy: Mission to Moscow, the gung-ho jingoism of the military films of yesteryear was never going to play well in the 90s.)

Reviewer Highlight: The action here is more like something you’d expect to pop a quarter in a machine for. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Poster – Rage Cage and Tommy Lee Bones

(That poster cannot be denied. Man, that’s fire (birds). Nice orange color, dope helicopters, fading those face sooooo sweet. Hooo weeee. If only they really leaned into some font work. Then we’d really have something. B.)

Tagline(s) – The best just got better. (A+ x 10)

(Ha. Yeah, I mean. Yes. I like that because it sounds like words but in fact is meaningless. You heard about the best? Yeah… well, guess what? They just got better. It gets funnier the more I think about it.)

Keyword(s) – helicopter-pilot

Top 10: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Army of the Dead (2021), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Fast & Furious 7 (2015), Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), Jurassic World (2015), Kong: Skull Island (2017), Extraction (2020), Spectre (2015), American Sniper (2014)

Future BMT: 44.3 Home Fries (1998), 35.9 Air America (1990), 29.2 Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992), 27.6 Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), 27.3 The Thing (2011), 26.7 American Assassin (2017), 19.4 Terminator Salvation (2009), 18.4 Crazy People (1990), 14.8 Angels & Demons (2009)

BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), The Predator (2018), Fifty Shades Darker (2017), CHIPS (2017), Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), The Darkest Minds (2018), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), Fire Birds (1990)

Matches: Fire Birds (1990), Dance of the Dwarfs (1983), Avalanche (1999)

(Cooool plot. The little lines tell you how many films (and how big they were) basically. Not sure why helicopters were a huge thing in the 10s, I guess it is most likely that just big films got keywords around then. I am very excited to continue the helicopter 1990s train rolling with Air America some day.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 8) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Nicolas Cage is No. 1 billed in Fire Birds and No. 1 billed in The Wicker Man, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 1) + (5 + 1) = 8. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – K. Monty Jordan, one of the stunt team, was a real U.S. Army helicopter pilot in Vietnam, and retired as a Colonel after Operation: Desert Storm.

The enemy jet fighter is portrayed by a Swedish SAAB J 35F ‘Draken’ (Dragon).

Some of the exterior shots of “Fort Mitchell” were filmed at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, and the inn, where Billie and Preston go, is actually The Tack Room, also in Tucson which was, at the time, a 5-star restaurant.

The “Scorpion” attack helicopters are actually Hughes MD-500D Defenders.

The bar scene was filmed at VIP Showclub located at 5120 E Speedway in Tucson, which was a topless bar at the time. The club was made to look like a regular nightclub with a live band, as seen in the movie. Filming took place over three days. Location is currently Ten’s Showclub.

The music that plays during the first half of the film’s original theatrical trailer is 80s classic “Nowhere Fast” composed for and made famous by the movie Streets of Fire (1984).

Some of the scenes were built on a set inside the Tucson Convention Center.

The flight simulator motion base is actually a AH1 flight weapons simulator (cobra helicopter) located at the Western Army Aviation Training Site in Arizona.

The original title of the film was “Night of the Apache”

The Catamarca Desert is specifically located in Argentina.

Infamously known among critics as Top Gun (1986) with helicopters.

Wild Orchid Preview

“Lindsey Appleton, hardscrabble investigative reporter from the Brooklyn Gazette Tribune,” Lindsey says, flashing her RTHQ badge. The officers at the gate peer at the badge, which denotes her status as a “full-blown journalist” and nod their heads, but just as Jamie, Patrick and Kyle walk through the gate the K-9 units start to bark wildly. Suddenly suspicious, the officers ask Lindsay who the bozos are tagging along. “These are my cameramen and audio technicians, Jerry, Lee and Lewis… and their baby” The officers narrow their eyes at the three men and a baby but eventually relent. The plan has worked! “Oh and Ms. Appleton,” the head officer notes, “We’ve had reports of some highly dangerous hang gliding terrorists attempting to infiltrate The Rock (as we call it). We are advised to shoot on sight. Would hate for your pals to get caught in the crossfire.” Lindsey coolly nods her head and ushers them inside, but Jamie and Patrick look at each other in shock. Someone tipped them off! The cyborgs are closer than they imagined. “We should split up,” Patrick says, “it’ll give us the best shot of finding the, and excuse the technical term, hack jack port that Niall needs to hack into the system.” Seeing that the adrenaline of the heist seems to have put a wild spark into Jamie and Lindsey’s eyes, Patrick suggests maybe Kyle and Lindsey pair up. There is no time for thrills, erotic or otherwise. But Jamie and Lindsey are already off and running. Patrick sighs and communicates with Rachel via earpiece to find the quickest way to the hack jack port… it’s now up to him and Kyle. Jamie and Lindsey are lost to an adventure of the senses. That’s right! We are indeed watching the ultimate adventure of the senses: Wild Orchid. A real classic erotic thriller film and it should go without saying that it’s been on our radar for a very, very, very long time (if you know what I mean). Gross. Anyway, it should be fun in a probably unpleasant way. Let’s go!

Wild Orchid (1989) – BMeTric: 59.8; Notability: 18

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 1.6%; Notability: top 71.7%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.7% Higher BMeT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Higher Notability: Troop Beverly Hills, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child, Fletch Lives, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Harlem Nights, Leviathan, Pink Cadillac, Lock Up, Three Fugitives, Dead Bang, Renegades, Let It Ride, Millennium, Slaves of New York, The Karate Kid Part III, Who’s Harry Crumb?, Cookie, Gross Anatomy, Her Alibi, and 26 more; Lower RT: Wired; Notes: Back to back 1989 films huh? That’s interesting. Sub-5.0 is amazing as usual. Hmmm maybe we should watch Wired at some point … seems depressing though.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Prim lawyer Otis, employed by banker Bisset, gets assaulted by Rio de Janeiro carny-time temptation: semi-public fornicators, limousine raunch, and the right of earringed Rourke in deep bronze makeup. Notorious simulated sex scene caused a stir, but it’s all for naught; this picture is enough to make any two bananas roll over in Carmen Miranda’s grave. Followed by a sequel.

(Semicolon? You know what I like to see Leonard. I kind of get the Carmen Miranda reference I guess … I think I do at least. It is kind of super weird if I’m being honest. Basically every review mentions the rumors about the final sex scene which notoriously some thought (incorrectly) was unsimulated.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StwWLUzLbg8/

(“A man … struggling to unleash his emotions.” Ha! That’s an understatement. Having watched the film I have to say I wasn’t expecting them to so openingly state the plot as “A woman discovering her desires … a sociopath who can’t feel.”)

Directors – Zalman King – (Known For: Two Moon Junction; Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue; Delta of Venus; Pleasure or Pain; In God’s Hands; Wildfire; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Nine 1/2 Weeks in 1987; Notes: Notoriously was an erotic films producer / director in the 90s and 00s, including the television program Body Language which he produced.)

Writers – Patricia Louisianna Knop (written by) – (Known For: 9½ Weeks; Delta of Venus; Siesta; Lady Oscar; The Passover Plot; Silence of the North; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Nine 1/2 Weeks in 1987; Notes: She was the wife an collaborated for Zalman King. She was a producer on Red Shoe Diaries.)

Zalman King (written by) – (Known For: 9½ Weeks; Two Moon Junction; Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue; Pleasure or Pain; Return to Two Moon Junction; In God’s Hands; Roadie; Wildfire; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Nine 1/2 Weeks in 1987; Notes: He was an actor in the 60s and 70s including starring in the television show The Young Lawyers.)

Actors – Mickey Rourke – (Known For: Iron Man 2; Body Heat; Sin City; The Expendables; Immortals; The Rainmaker; The Wrestler; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; 9½ Weeks; Angel Heart; Buffalo ’66; Rumble Fish; Heaven’s Gate; 1941; Girl; The Pledge; Spun; Diner; Year of the Dragon; Future BMT: Domino; Desperate Hours; Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man; Man on Fire; BMT: Double Team; Wild Orchid; Get Carter; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 1991 for Desperate Hours, and Wild Orchid; Notes: Notable went back to professional boxing in 1991 well into his career as an A-list actor where he sustained severe facial injuries. He’s gotten extensive plastic surgery in an attempt to correct the issues.)

Jacqueline Bisset – (Known For: Bullitt; Murder on the Orient Express; Casino Royale; The Deep; L’amant double; Airport; Day for Night; 9/11; Blue Night; Dangerous Beauty; Miss You Already; Latter Days; The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean; Two for the Road; Death in Love; Backstabbing for Beginners; The Detective; The Man from Acapulco; Cul-de-sac; Under the Volcano; Future BMT: Domino; When Time Ran Out…; Class; Inchon; BMT: Wild Orchid; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Joan of Arc. Is Angelina Jolie’s godmother, as she was asked while working with Jon Voight on End of the Game.)

Carré Otis – (Known For: Exit in Red; Going Back; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star for Wild Orchid in 1991; Notes: Famously married Rourke in 1992, a romance that has fueled (unfounded) rumors that the final sex scene was unsimulated.)

Budget/Gross – $7 million / Domestic: $11,060,485 (Worldwide: $11,060,485)

(Not super great obviously, but not a complete bomb maybe. The budget is so low though, must basically be all salary for the actors at that point.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (2/29): Body Orchid is a tease-too-long, with overblown editing with an already slipping Mickey Rourke and unexperienced actress Carrie Otis.

(I had to look it up, and no, nowhere was the film called Body Orchid … is it just a weird play on words or something? Maybe they are mashing the title with Body Heat? Reviewer Highlight: What I couldn’t believe was the chemistry between Rourke and Otis, whose passion is supposed to shake the earth but seemed more like an obligation imposed on them by their genitals. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Wild Sorkin

(Wild Sorkin is the high school comedy about Aaron Sorkin’s wild youth. This poster is… not that. It makes me feel sweaty and dirty, so mission accomplished I assume. I do like the font and the color scheme fits what I would call “nude,” which is probably the point. Anyway, it could be better. C+)

Tagline(s) – An adventure of the senses. (C-)

(Grosssss. No thanks. Those words on that poster is just… just the worst. Leave my senses out of this garbo. It’s certainly telling you exactly what you can expect in just a few words, but it’s not something I want.)

Keyword – erotica

Top 10: American Beauty (1999), Call Me by Your Name (2017), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Sin City (2005), Brokeback Mountain (2005), Don Jon (2013), Coyote Ugly (2000), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), Body Double (1984), Showgirls (1995)

Future BMT: 71.2 Showgirls (1995), 60.5 Obsessed (2009), 54.1 Bolero (1984), 49.4 In the Cut (2003), 46.2 40 Days and 40 Nights (2002), 43.7 Coyote Ugly (2000), 41.3 Addicted (2014), 41.0 Jawbreaker (1999), 37.8 Never Talk to Strangers (1995), 33.0 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016);

BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), The Boy Next Door (2015), Basic Instinct 2 (2006), Striptease (1996), Cool World (1992), Good Luck Chuck (2007), Color of Night (1994), Wild Orchid (1989), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), The Specialist (1994), I Know Who Killed Me (2007), Miss March (2009)

(I had to try this one out. We have a few left, and a bunch of those are, in reality, not erotica. But Bolero and Showgirls definitely are. I’m pretty surprised that the notability plot is as stable as it is. I would have thought it would have dropped off a cliff after 2000, but that didn’t really happen until 2010.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Bruce Greenwood is No. 5 billed in Wild Orchid and No. 6 billed in Here on Earth => 5 + 6 = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Mickey Rourke and Carré Otis were a couple at the time this film was made, and there is a persistent rumor that the sex scenes were not faked.

In a 2004 interview, Carré Otis denied the rumors that suggested the infamous last sex scene was real.

Brooke Shields turned down the role of Emily because she knew that nudity would be required.

Willem Dafoe turned down the role of James Wheeler.

The hotel construction site was actually the skeleton of an abandoned hotel in Salvador, Bahia that was never completed. It was imploded a few years later, after decades of abandonment.

Anne Archer was signed to play the Jacqueline Bisset part, but she had a disagreement with the producers over the scripts R rated content.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Mickey Rourke, 1991)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Carré Otis, 1991)

Soul Survivors Preview

Jamie, Patrick, Kyle and little Baby Niles race through the streets of New Jersey trying to evade the powerful enemies that Kyle’s son Niall has made. They Tokyo drift everywhere and a bullet shatters the back windshield. Baby Niles wails in terror as Kyle does his best to calm him. Suddenly a car pulls up to the side of them and a guy in a real dopey plastic mask stares back at them. “What thuuuuuuu…” Jamie says, transfixed by the dopiness of the mask. But he’s soon snapped back to reality as Patrick screams out, “watch the road you dumbo!” Jamie’s eyes dart back in time to see an oil slick ahead, seeping out from an overturned sardine truck. Oh woe is them! Unless Jamie is some kind of El Diablo behind the wheel, ready to set fire to the road in pursuit of justice and fambly, then there’s no way they can get out of this jam. Psych! Jamie is exactly that kind of El Diablo and he drifts right through that sardine oil and splashes it all over that weirdo mask guy to boot. They all high five a bunch as they make their escape. But as they are high fiving they fail to realize the dopey mask guy has pulled out a sniper rifle. With a loud pop their back tire explodes and they start spinning out of control. Thinking fast, Jamie furiously turns the wheel in time to put the car into a semi-controlled spin. He aims for a nearby tree that could stop their momentum and save them from certain death. With a crash everything goes black.

4 weeks later

Jamie, having miraculously survived the crash, cries softly as he looks at the only picture of him, Patrick, Kyle and Baby Niles. That’s right! We are watching Soul Survivors… that movie that everyone remembers. You know, the one… where they are sole survivors… anyway, it got really terrible reviews and it’s probably about time we watched it. Let’s go!

Soul Survivors (2001) – BMeTric: 62.7; Notability: 24

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.0%; Notability: top 74.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.5% Higher BMeT: Glitter, Jason X, Freddy Got Fingered, Driven, The Animal, Ghosts of Mars, Black Knight, Valentine, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles; Higher Notability: Pearl Harbor, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Monkeybone, Hannibal, Ghosts of Mars, Impostor, Not Another Teen Movie, Bubble Boy, Swordfish, 15 Minutes, Town & Country, The One, Scary Movie 2, The Affair of the Necklace, America’s Sweethearts, I Am Sam, 3000 Miles to Graceland, Along Came a Spider, Chelsea Walls, Joe Dirt, and 58 more; Lower RT: Texas Rangers; Notes: My god, sub-4.0 is so low, no wonder this film I’ve never heard of has a 60+ BMeTric. And holy crap, this rounds out the top-10 as far as BMeTric for 2001 and I have definitely seen nine of them (although I don’t think we’ve officially watched The Animal for BMT, I think I’ve just watched it multiple times by myself …))

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  A young woman and her three friends have one last night of celebration before going their separate ways for college. Unfortunately, something goes terribly wrong. Supernatural, horror, teensploitation, reality/fantasy grab bag set to pulsing music, this movie shamelessly steals ideas from good movies – and bad ones too. So-called “Killer Cut” is rated R.

(Uh oh … this sounds suspiciously like it is going to be trite nonsense. Which can be fun, but usually isn’t very fun for horror. For horror you want absurdity like Lindsay Lohan with a robot arm and a robot leg for example.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gLy7dks4GI/

(Uh oh … I think this might be trite nonsense like Maltin suggested. Like … she’s dead or almost dead or the only one alive right? It is one of those three, it can’t be anything else. Also the acting looks dire. Only Dushku looks like she’s doing anything special in this. And the soundtrack!! There is a lot to digest with this terrible terrible trailer.)

Directors – Stephen Carpenter – (Known For: The Dorm That Dripped Blood; The Kindred; The Power; BMT: Soul Survivors; Notes: Ultimately probably most well known for creating the hit television show Grimm (and some of the spin off mini-series and such).)

Writers – Stephen Carpenter (written by) (as Steve Carpenter) – (Known For: The Dorm That Dripped Blood; The Kindred; The Power; Future BMT: The Man; Blue Streak; BMT: Soul Survivors; Notes: Allegedly created the first draft for the Ocean’s 11 remake, although he ended up not being credited obviously.)

Actors – Melissa Sagemiller – (Known For: Get Over It; The Clearing; Standing Still; Love Object; Future BMT: Sorority Boys; BMT: Soul Survivors; Mr. Woodcock; The Guardian; Notes: Her father played for the NFL, and he mother was Jimmy Carter’s campaign finance manager. She began as a model and now mostly does television, for example she was briefly the DA during a later season of Law & Order: SVU.)

Wes Bentley – (Known For: Interstellar; The Hunger Games; The Best of Enemies; American Beauty; Mission: Impossible – Fallout; Knight of Cups; Pete’s Dragon; Lovelace; The Four Feathers; Final Girl; Broken Vows; Beloved; Welcome to Me; The Claim; The Game of Their Lives; Rites of Passage; Unconscious; There Be Dragons; Dolan’s Cadillac; Pioneer; Future BMT: Gone; P2; We Are Your Friends; Underworld: Awakening; BMT: Jonah Hex; Soul Survivors; Ghost Rider; Notes: Was discovered during an open casting call for Rent, and was nominated for a BAFTA for his supporting role in American Beauty.)

Casey Affleck – (Known For: Interstellar; Gone Baby Gone; American Pie; Good Will Hunting; Ocean’s Eleven; Our Friend; The World to Come; Every Breath You Take; Manchester by the Sea; American Pie 2; Tower Heist; Ocean’s Twelve; Ocean’s Thirteen; Triple 9; The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; A Ghost Story; To Die For; Out of the Furnace; The Finest Hours; The Old Man & The Gun; Future BMT: Drowning Mona; 200 Cigarettes; Race the Sun; BMT: Soul Survivors; Notes: Won an Oscar for Manchester by the Sea (and was nominated for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford). You know Affleck, he’s Ben’s brother. Notably got called out during the Me Too movement for hostile set environments on some of his films.)

Budget/Gross – $17,000,000 / Domestic: $3,111,545 (Worldwide: $4,299,141)

(Oh wow, even on the usual shoestring budget for teen horror films this still didn’t even get close to breaking even. Even if the budget was inflated after it was clearly not a success (likely), there is no way this would have cost the $2 million it would have needed to even get close. A huge bomb.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (2/48): Soul Survivors’ stock characters and utter lack of suspense gives viewers little reason to attempt deciphering the confusing plot.

(Wow, the film continues to grow in cred. I basically had never heard of it, but sub-10% on RT is nothing to joke around about. And … I doubt the plot is all that confusing, if we are being honest. Reviewer Highlight: Blatantly cannibalising every horror movie it can think of in the attempt to produce some patchwork Frankenstein’s monster. – Jamie Russell, BBC)

Poster – Sklog Survivors

(I like the cool blue, but the font isn’t great and it fits perfectly into the “generic horror film poster” set up. Reminiscent of the Scream Franchise. The most interesting aspect is the ordering of the actors. Melissa Sagemiller is way in the back. She’s the main character! Look at this alternate poster… she’s not even on it! Luke Wilson’s name appears instead! My god. I think it’s a C.)

Tagline(s) – The World of the Dead and the World of the Living… are About to Collide. (D)

(Boooo. I get the idea but poor execution… which is probably what you can say about a lot of this film. I can’t in good conscience give this even an OK grade, even if the cadence is fine for the length.)

Keyword – hallucination

Top 10: Midsommar (2019), The Little Things (2021), The Father (2020), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), The Game (1997), Joker (2019), Suicide Squad (2016), Inception (2010), Chaos Walking (2021), The Big Lebowski (1998)

Future BMT: 89.4 Vampires Suck (2010), 82.8 Prom Night (2008), 70.0 The Unborn (2009), 67.8 Poltergeist (2015), 67.0 Halloween II (2009), 65.6 Pulse (2006), 63.0 Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983), 60.9 Darkness Falls (2003), 60.7 A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), 60.3 Brahms: The Boy II (2020);

BMT: Hellboy (2019), Fantasy Island (2020), Sucker Punch (2011), Batman & Robin (1997), Friday the 13th (2009), Event Horizon (1997), The Bodyguard (1992), The Mummy (2017), The Covenant (2006), After Earth (2013), The Last Witch Hunter (2015), Safe Haven (2013), Assassin’s Creed (2016), Seventh Son (2014), The Lone Ranger (2013), Truth or Dare (2018), The Golden Child (1986), Slender Man (2018), 10,000 BC (2008), Ghosts of Mars (2001), Max Payne (2008), Son of the Mask (2005), The Forest (2016), The Number 23 (2007), The Lawnmower Man (1992), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Flatliners (2017), Dreamcatcher (2003), Silent Hill: Revelation (2012), Dracula 2001 (2000), Ride Along 2 (2016), The Wicker Man (2006), The Rite (2011), Solarbabies (1986), Rings (2017), A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989), The Ring 2 (2005), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Toys (1992)

(The keywords falling off a cliff is so common I have to think it is because it takes a bunch of years for anything but the biggest films to gain enough edits to cover them all. Nonsense keyword in realist, but The Unborn I think is, at least, a real one. Mostly horror films as you would expect, with probably The Unborn being one of the biggest ones we haven’t watched yet.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Wes Bentley is No. 2 billed in Soul Survivors and No. 3 billed in Ghost Rider, which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 13. If we were to watch 200 Cigarettes, and Pearl Harbor we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – James Marsden turned down the role of Sean in favor of the part of Scott Summers/Cyclops in X-Men (2000). (Good choice)

Casey Affleck has gone on record to reveal that this movie and Drowning Mona (2000) were his two least favorite films on which he has worked.

Half Past Dead Preview

Kyle sits nervously outside the house of his estranged son Niall. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” he says despondently when Patrick asks what came between them. Jamie smirks, as if anything could shock them at this point. “Well…,” Kyle begins, “there was this cursed Egyptian amulet of immense power. Niall stole it using his hacking skillz. Everyone wanted it and so they went after him. In the end he put it on and… the power… it felt good. I guess it drove him a little crazy. So like I said, a bit of a wild card.” Jamie and Patrick nod in understanding. Gathering up courage they boldly stride to the door and knock in unison. As the door opens techno music blares and Niall dances his way to the doorstep looking pretty dope in his hacker clothez and a funky fresh ancient Egyptian amulet hanging from his neck. He slides his wildly fashionable sunglasses down his nose, “Daddio? That you?” Kyle nods sheepishly and looks closely at Niall. “How are you? Still a little wild?” he asks hesitantly. Niall waves him off and explains that he learned that “with great power comes great responsibility.” (Jamie and Patrick write that wholly original phrase down). Niall then ushers them into the house where he introduces his beautiful baby boy. It’s all very touching and they are on the verge of tears. Kyle and Niall go in for a hug when a shot rings out only to be blocked by the immense power of the amulet. “My god they’ve found me!” Niall yells, “Quick take the child. I’ll juke Miles’ stats, just keep little Niles safe.” The three of them look frantically at the child as Niall flees. What are we just three men and a baby or something? That’s wrong! We obviously aren’t watching the hit comedy classic Three Men and a Baby, but if Niall doesn’t get out of there quick he is gonna be… Half Past Dead. Starring Steven Seagal in pretty much his last starring role in a theatrical release this film looks bonkers and it’s no wonder it got a big ol’ BOMB by Leonard. Let’s go!

Half Past Dead (2002) – BMeTric: 63.0; Notability: 36

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.0%; Notability: top 48.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 1.4% Higher BMeT: Crossroads, Rollerball, Halloween: Resurrection, The Master of Disguise, Pluto Nash, Feardotcom, Scooby-Doo, Boat Trip; Higher Notability: Men in Black II, Scooby-Doo, The Time Machine, Star Trek: Nemesis, The Master of Disguise, Dragonfly, John Q, Unconditional Love, Collateral Damage, Showtime, Queen of the Damned, I Spy, Rollerball, The Country Bears, Bad Company, The Truth About Charlie, The Sweetest Thing, The Tuxedo, Pluto Nash, Analyze That, and 21 more; Lower RT: The Master of Disguise, Deuces Wild, Feardotcom; Notes: Pretty incredible the rating is rising at all if I’m being honest. It should absolutely stick below 5.0 I would think. The notability is about where I would expect, maybe even a bit high. It is a theatrical action film with a ton of rappers and stuff, but they almost definitely skimped on the crew.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Seagal is an undercover FBI agent who arrives as an inmate in prison on the same day a team of crooks – get this – break into the joint, to get a condemned man to tell them where there’s a hidden stash of gold bars. To call this bad is an understatement … even by Seagal standards. Followed by a direct-to-video sequel.

(There is a reason I’m pretty sure this is the last theatrical release by Seagal. I don’t know why all of the martial artists all went away at the same time, I wonder if someone wrote a book on it. Market corrected by Jackie Chan? The realization you could get actual actors like Nic Cage to star in weird action films? I don’t know, seems weird though that nearly all martial artists became straight-to-video at the same time.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNYoAd02Uo/

(My god the opening with Seagal spinning Ja Rule out of the car. Let’s see if they are going to give it away. Please give it away. Please. Oh shiiiiiiiit they didn’t do it! That’s impressive. Spoiler alert, but Seagal isn’t a convict, he’s an undercover agent. It isn’t hard to guess.)

Directors – Don Michael Paul – (Known For: Kindergarten Cop 2; The Scorpion King: Book of Souls; The Garden; Future BMT: Who’s Your Caddy?; BMT: Half Past Dead; Notes: He was an actor to some degree, even starring in a television series called The Hat Squad with Billy Warlock. He’s directed a ton of straight to video action sequels basically.)

Writers – Don Michael Paul (written by) – (Future BMT: Who’s Your Caddy?; Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man; BMT: Half Past Dead; Notes: He’s mostly been writing the straight to video stuff he’s directed over the last two decades. He sold his freshman script which became Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, although he was originally an actor.)

Actors – Morris Chestnut – (Known For: Boyz n the Hood; The Last Boy Scout; The Call; Girls Trip; Think Like a Man; G.I. Jane; Like Mike; Heist; Higher Learning; The Inkwell; The Best Man; Ladder 49; The Best Man Holiday; Confidence: After Dark; Scenes of the Crime; Two Can Play That Game; The Brothers; Future BMT: The Cave; Under Siege 2: Dark Territory; Identity Thief; When the Bough Breaks; The Perfect Holiday; The Perfect Guy; Breakin’ All the Rules; Kick-Ass 2; Not Easily Broken; BMT: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Half Past Dead; The Game Plan; Notes: Won the 1998 Madden Bowl which was a video game tournament between celebrities and professional athletes. Mostly does television now, like the title role in Rosewood.)

Steven Seagal – (Known For: Under Siege; Machete; Executive Decision; Above the Law; Beyond the Law; China Salesman; General Commander; Sniper: Special Ops; About Time; Code of Honor; The Onion Movie; Attrition; Killing Salazar; End of a Gun; Contract to Kill; The Foreigner; The Asian Connection; Maximum Conviction; The Perfect Weapon; Ticker; Future BMT: Under Siege 2: Dark Territory; Hard to Kill; Marked for Death; Out for Justice; BMT: On Deadly Ground; Half Past Dead; Fire Down Below; The Glimmer Man; Exit Wounds; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for On Deadly Ground in 1995; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1995 for On Deadly Ground; in 1998 for Fire Down Below; and in 2003 for Half Past Dead; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Executive Decision in 1997; and Nominee for Worst Original Song, and Worst Screen Couple for Fire Down Below in 1998; Notes: Famously a Bhuddist, he was even announced as a tulku (to some controversy) by his advisor. Has Serbian and Russian citizenship, both granted to him after visiting both countries.)

Ja Rule – (Known For: Assault on Precinct 13; Shall We Dance; Pauly Shore Is Dead; I’m in Love with a Church Girl; Goat; Back in the Day; Don’t Fade Away; Furnace; Future BMT: Scary Movie 3; The Cookout; Turn It Up; BMT: Half Past Dead; The Fast and the Furious; Notes: Born in Queens as Jeffrey Atkins. He apparently has a feud with 50 Cent and was born on Leap Day.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $15,567,860 (Worldwide: $19,233,280)

(Yeah that is some Hollywood accounting. There is no way they spent $25 million on a Seagal film in the mid-2000s. He was basically toast at this point career wise.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (3/88): Seagal is now too bulky to make a convincing action hero, and Half Past Dead is too silly and incoherent to deliver any visceral kicks.

(Oh snap, they actually call him fat in the Rotten Tomatoes consensus! That is coooooooold blooooooooded. Reviewer Highlight: It goes through the motions of an action thriller, but there is a deadness at its center, a feeling that no one connected with it loved what they were doing. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Half Past Sklog

(I’m glad they put all those colors on there or I wouldn’t know how rad this is. Seriously, though, if I saw this poster in a theater today I might just live there until it came out. Look at that tiny little Alcatraz in the corner! Nice font, interesting spacing, and pretty horrid colors. Comes out a little bit of a wash but I’ll give it a C+ just for funsies.)

Tagline(s) – The Good. The Bad. And the Deadly. (C+)

(It’s a little generic, but it does hit a lot of the right beats. It’s short and is trying to be clever. Basically, it sounds like a tagline and does its job adequately. I was gonna give it higher than it deserved, but then I looked and found another film with the same tagline… and it looks pretty amazing.)

Keyword – prison

Top 10: Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020), Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017), Boogie Nights (1997), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), The Goonies (1985), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), The Dark Knight (2008), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Future BMT: 88.2 Street Fighter (1994), 68.7 Supergirl (1984), 68.7 Gulliver’s Travels (2010), 66.2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 64.6 102 Dalmatians (2000), 57.5 The Counsellor (2013), 56.0 Ri¢hie Ri¢h (1994), 54.3 Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005), 54.3 Honey (2003), 51.9 Blackhat (2015);

BMT: Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), Over the Top (1987), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), The Last Witch Hunter (2015), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Assassin’s Creed (2016), A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), Tango & Cash (1989), Pixels (2015), Gamer (2009), Battlefield Earth (2000), Need for Speed (2014), Rambo III (1988), Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), Gangster Squad (2013), Judge Dredd (1995), Pompeii (2014), Zoolander 2 (2016), American Outlaws (2001), 10,000 BC (2008), Hudson Hawk (1991), Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003), Lock Up (1989), Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory (1990), A Haunted House 2 (2014), Problem Child (1990), xXx²: The Next Level (2005), Twisted (2004), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), Mortdecai (2015), 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001), Dungeons & Dragons (2000), Another 48 Hrs. (1990), Old Dogs (2009), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), Romeo Must Die (2000), Alex Cross (2012), Exit Wounds (2001)

(If I’m being honest, none of the future BMT films are very appealing. Street Fighter maybe, but I’ve seen the film a number of times. I guess Supergirl given it is apparently one of the worst films of all time, but I wish there were more terrible prison films you know? Just make one film set in future Alcatraz a year and I’d be pretty down to watch it.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Steven Seagal is No. 1 billed in Half Past Dead and No. 1 billed in Exit Wounds, which also stars Isaiah Washington (No. 3 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 5 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 1 + 1 + 3 + 5 + 2 + 3 = 15. If we were to watch Out for Justice we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – In an article for the German publication Berliner Kurier, Wolfgang Lindner recalls the eccentricities of Steven Seagal on the set. Reportedly, Seagal traveled everywhere in the company of a Buddhist adviser whose verdicts on the state of Seagal’s karma would be reason enough for Seagal to halt filming for a day. (Sounds about right)

Some aerial shots in this film were originally shot, but ultimately unused, for Michael Bay’s film The Rock (1996). Bay is very good friends with director Don Michael Paul and allowed him to use the footage in this film.

The shot of the skydivers jumping out of the airplane is footage from Navy Seals (1990).

Although writer/director Don Michael Paul praises Steven Seagal in the “making-of featurette” on the DVD, he has since gone on to give interviews saying that Seagal was a disruptive force on the set and that he would constantly turn up late and delay production for no apparent reason.

All indoor prison scenes were shot in an old STASI prison in Berlin, Germany.

The script to this film was written ten years prior to filming as The Rock (1996) but there was another script with the same title that was filmed so this one had to wait ten years later to be done (I don’t think that’s why it took 10 more years …)

Although many industry publications stated that the film’s budget was in the mid $20 million range, the actual figure is closer to $15 million. (I knew it!)

Near the beginning while the PST news report is running, the scroll at the bottom is either ridiculous or reflects the politics of the writers/producers and also in one case contradicts itself. As follows: Middle East Crisis Escalates, Stock Prices Surge – Pessimism Ebbing, Economy Sluggish-Gross National Product Flatlining, 27 Foot Great White Shark caught off Barrier Reef, Polar Ice Caps Melt-Global Warming to Blame.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Steven Seagal, 2003)

Son of the Mask Preview

After walking Kyle through the math it seems pretty straightforward: the sham R&P film is only one review away from not qualifying for BMT. “And so all we need is to somehow insert sexy mannequins into the film and it’ll be within your scope to review?” But Kyle shakes his head and explains that the film already has mannequins. “And they’re really quite striking,” he adds, sending a shiver up Jamie’s spine. The site has even already written a review. “So how was the movie?” asks Jamie. Kyle shakes his head and wrinkles his nose. Patrick throws up his hands. “So if you already wrote a bad review then how does that help us?” but Kyle shakes his head again and reiterates, “the mannequins… they were very striking.” Patrick feels bile in the back of his throat. They summarize: Kyle has a website (check), it reviewed the film (check), and they gave it a good review (check). “Cause of the extremely striking mannequins,” confirms Kyle. “The only problem,” he continues, “is that we don’t meet the eligibility requirements. Jamie and Patrick nod in understanding. It is pretty strict and obviously SMT isn’t getting 4 million hits a year, but Kyle is taken aback. “Of course we have 4 million hits a year… we have 4 million subscribers,” he says as Jamie’s mouth falls open in shock. “It’s mostly because one of our three reviewers isn’t qualified as an individual critic. Me and my brother Lyle are, but our other brother Miles isn’t because he’s only written for the site for a year.” So all they had to do was hack the planet and juke Miles’ stats? Kyle nods, “and I actually know an elite hacker. My son Niall, but… he’s a bit of a wild card.” That’s right! We are watching the sequel to the comedy classic The Mask that literally no one was asking for. A decade after the first film they jettisoned everything that people loved from the first one in order to make a film with a CGI dog/baby instead of Jim Carrey. Seems like a plan. Let’s go!

Son of the Mask (2005) – BMeTric: 92.8; Notability: 74

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.0%; Notability: top 8.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 3.1% Higher Notability: The Island, Fantastic Four, Kingdom of Heaven, Domino, Bewitched, Be Cool, Chicken Little, Memoirs of a Geisha, xXx²: The Next Level, The Longest Yard; Lower RT: Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne, The Fog, Chaos, Supercross, Hate Crime, Yours, Mine & Ours; Notes: It is famous for a reason! One of the highest BMeTrics ever due to having 50K votes with a sub-3.0 (!) IMDb rating. Truly an astonishing feat, the lowest BMeTric of 2005.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Kennedy isn’t ready to be a father but conceives a baby anyway, wearing a supernatural mask. It, in turn, is coveted by a Norse god’s son (Cumming, in another of his leftover Paul Reubens roles). The god himself is played by Hoskins, in layers of makeup, and by this time the creaks are louder than anything in The Son of the Sheik. So-called sequel to The Mask (1994) is raucous without mercy, and burdened by a charmless cast; it has to plunder Chuck Jones’ cartoon One Froggy Evening to glean even a few good moments.

(Overly long review IMO (saved only by a late snippet semicolon). The review manages to completely undersell just how ridiculous this movie is and how famous it is as a legendary bad movie. I think this is Baby Geniuses level bad, and yet Leonard talks about it like it is a little kooky and unoriginal. No respect.)

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

(Oh man, they’re really showcasing the dancing baby and cartoon dog huh? Kind of amazing what they’ve done to The Mask. An abomination of a sequel for no good reason.)

Directors – Lawrence Guterman – (Known For: Cats & Dogs; BMT: Son of the Mask; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Son of the Mask in 2006; Notes: Was a CGI wizard hired out of film school by Spielberg to help direct Dreamworks projects. Went to Harvard and MIT as well at times.)

Writers – Lance Khazei (written by) – (BMT: Son of the Mask; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Son of the Mask in 2006; Notes: Also went to Harvard which makes me think he might have known Guterman in some capacity prior to the film. Was a writer on the Chevy Chase show, and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for the Great Minds Think For Themselves shorts.)

Actors – Jamie Kennedy – (Known For: Romeo + Juliet; Scream, Dead Poets Society; Enemy of the State; As Good as It Gets; Harold & Kumar Get the Munchies; Scream 2; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Three Kings; Scream 3; Boiler Room; The Hungover Games; Bowfinger; Extreme Movie; Spinning Man; Roe v. Wade; Last Call; The Sand; Trick; Clockwatchers; Dr. Dolittle 2; Future BMT: Malibu’s Most Wanted; Kickin’ It Old Skool; Max Keeble’s Big Move; Good Deeds; Bait; Skin Deep; BMT: Son of the Mask; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Son of the Mask in 2006; Notes: Allegedly helped his acting career by pretending to be his own agent. Dated Jennifer Love Hewitt in the late 2000s.)

Traylor Howard – (Known For: Me, Myself & Irene; Confessions of a Sexist Pig; Future BMT: Dirty Work; BMT: Son of the Mask; Notes: Probably most well known for her role as the assistant to Monk on the Emmy winning show Monk. I think she was the second assistant after Bitty Schram left the show.)

Alan Cumming – (Known For: Eyes Wide Shut; GoldenEye; X-Men 2; Spy Kids; Josie and the Pussycats; It’s Complicated; Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion; Battle of the Sexes; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Emma; Titus; Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams; Nicholas Nickleby; Sweet Land; Black Beauty; Circle of Friends; The Anniversary Party; Dare; The Tempest; Hurricane Bianca; Future BMT: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; The Smurfs 2; The Smurfs; Strange Magic; Buddy; BMT: Son of the Mask; Spice World; Garfield; Get Carter; Show Dogs; Burlesque; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Son of the Mask in 2006; Notes: Was nominated for four Emmys, once for organizing the Tonys, and three other times as a guest star on The Good Wife. He won a Tony Awards as a lead in Cabaret in 1998.)

Budget/Gross – $84,000,000 / Domestic: $17,018,422 (Worldwide: $59,981,548)

(Brutal, although somehow I doubt they actually spent 84 million dollars on the film. That has to be some fudging. I still assume it was a pretty major loss considering the amount of CGI involved.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (6/105): Overly frantic, painfully unfunny, and sorely missing the presence of Jim Carrey.

(Well yeah. There should never have been a sequel without Carrey. Reviewer Highlight: No doubt extensive market research shows that there’s an audience out there for movies like Son Of The Mask, but it’s too depressing to speculate who that might be. – Scott Tobias, Variety)

Poster – Sklogtown USA 2: Maskalicious

(Sometimes I just don’t have a pun for the poster. Deal with it. The whole thing makes me a little sad though. Not like Ace Ventura Jr. sad, but still pretty sad. Lots of things going on, nothing that I want to see. Good font, too much going on to understand. Could be worse, but couldn’t be sadder. C-)

Tagline(s) – The next generation of mischief (C+)

(This is fine. It gets the point across in a not totally terrible way, but not in a way that is interesting. The more concerning tagline on the poster is “From the director of Cats & Dogs.” That’s an F.)

Keyword – transformation

Top 10: Mortal Kombat (2021), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), The Conjuring 2 (2016), Wonder Woman 1984 (1984), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), The New Mutants (2020), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Doctor Sleep (2019), The Matrix (1999)

Future BMT: 89.4 Vampires Suck (2010), 88.2 Street Fighter (1994), 69.5 Teen Wolf Too (1987), 69.1 The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006), 68.8 The Shaggy Dog (2006), 68.7 Supergirl (1984), 65.0 Max Steel (2016), 63.0 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997), 61.0 Cursed (2005), 60.7 Skinwalkers (2006);

BMT: Masters of the Universe (1987), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Fantastic Four (2015), Hellboy (2019), Vampire Academy (2014), Gods of Egypt (2016), Batman & Robin (1997), Event Horizon (1997), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), The Mummy (2017), Warcraft: The Beginning (2016), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Super Mario Bros. (1993), R.I.P.D. (2013), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Lost in Space (1998), I Am Number Four (2011), Queen of the Damned (2002), Conan the Destroyer (1984), Pixels (2015), Little Nicky (2000), Seventh Son (2014), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), Slender Man (2018), Dragonball Evolution (2009), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011), Jason X (2001), Silent Hill: Revelation (2012), Dreamcatcher (2003), Dracula 2001 (2000), Beastly (2011), Son of the Mask (2005), The Lawnmower Man (1992), A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989), I, Frankenstein (2014), The Golden Child (1986), Troll (1986), The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007), Species II (1998), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)

(Man, a lot of films do transformations. Only thing this really tells me is the Notability is below average for the film. I’m excited to watch Teen Wolf Too though.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 20) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Alan Cumming is No. 2 billed in Son of the Mask and No. 8 billed in Get Carter (2000), which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 8 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 20. If we were to watch Buddy, and Two for the Money we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Plans for a sequel, “The Mask II,’ were in the works years before this film. Nintendo Power magazine held a contest, and first prize was a walk-on role in that movie. The project was canceled, and Nintendo Power issued a public apology to the contest winner in their final issue. Years later, the winner was revealed as Nathan Ryan Runk, from Arbutus, Maryland. The film was technically on hold, so Runk could have chosen the role or money and merchandise. Runk, who was 12 at the time, chose the money, and received $5,000, a film crew jacket (which he later lost), and several Super Nintendo video games, including “Pilotwings 64” on Nintendo 64. He later claimed it was “absolutely the right call.” (Yeah it was, although it would have been a better call to keep the jacket in mint condition and sell it to me for another $5,000)

Film critic Richard Roeper admitted that in the five years he co-hosted with Roger Ebert, this film was the closest he’d come to walking out halfway. Looking back, he wishes he’d walked out.

Initially was supposed to be a follow-up to the original, with Jim Carrey returning as Stanley Ipkiss, but Carrey decided after making Ace Ventura 2 that playing the same character twice wasn’t interesting to him at the time, so the sequel was shelved, and this stand-alone film was developed instead due to Carrey’s indifference to the project. Subsequently, Carrey became more open to sequels, costarring in “Dumb and Dumber To” and stating in 2020 that he wanted to do sequels to both The Mask and Sonic the Hedgehog.

When asked why he agreed to do the film, Jamie Kennedy responded, “I’ll give you 2.5 million reasons.”

Jack Black turned down the role of Tim Avery. (Would have been an infinitely better movie, although still terrible)

Ben Stein is the only actor in this sequel who was also in The Mask (1994).

This is one of four times that a movie starring Jim Carrey had a sequel in which Carrey was not involved. The other sequels are: Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003), Evan Almighty (2007) and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jr. (2009). (I cut it down, but the note did say Batman Forever didn’t count)

Two dogs played Otis. They were each taught different tricks. Their fur was dyed in patches so they matched on screen.

The character name Tim Avery is a reference to the cartoonist Tex Avery.

Inconsistent with The Mask. In the first movie the mask only works at night but in this one it seems to work anytime even during the day. (There are a bunch of incongruities, in the first it also suggests Loki was trapped in the mask, so him being a character is weird)

Marlyn Waynes, Matthew Lillard, and Ryan Reynolds were all considered for the role of “Tim Avery.”

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Jamie Kennedy, 2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Alan Cumming, 2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Bob Hoskins, 2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Jamie Kennedy, 2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Lawrence Guterman, 2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Lance Khazei, 2006)

Problem Child 2 Preview

“That’s a wrap,” Patrick calls in exasperation. Another day, another unscripted fist fight between Chris Klein and Angel. With CK now playing both Rich and Poe in this entry of the film, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of who is even fighting Angel and whether they are dealing with a love triangle or love square. It all won’t matter anyway if this continues as CK is getting perilously close to leaving the film and their production deal was predicated on their star’s return to the series. “Dastardly cyborgs,” Jamie says, pounding the desk in their trailer. They’ve tried every which way to get rid of Angel, but his contract is iron clad. Besides, despite not being able to act a lick his test audience scores are through the roof. “So Angel has to appear in at least 90% of the film, right?” Jamie nods along as Patrick thumbs through Angel’s contract trying to find a loophole in the wording, “and we’re not allowed to recast,” Jamie nods again, wincing at their predicament, “but they don’t say anything about additional casting, right?” Jamie looks confused, but there is a twinkle in Patrick’s eye. The next day a chorus of boos rain down on Angel as he makes out with Leighton Vanderschmidt. He looks uncomfortable as he eyes the latest addition to the cast, Rich and Poe Jrs., the previously undisclosed twin children of Rich and Leighton Vanderschmidt’s character. Soon Angel has agreed to rewrite his part and remove the love triangle. CK is satisfied and so are Jamie and Patrick, but Adam Banks looks wary on his latest visit to set. A fart-gag laden scene is being shot and the production has taken on a distinct PG-rated vibe “Aren’t these children going to be a bit of a… problem?” That’s right, we’re taking on a couple of problem children in Problem Child 1 + 2. The first film was a staple and is probably one of the most quoted films of our childhood. The second film… was not. Let’s see if either of them hold up in any capacity. Let’s go!

Problem Child 2 (1991) – BMeTric: 60.5; Notability: 26

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.8%; Notability: top 54.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 1.4% Higher BMeT: Cool as Ice, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Higher Notability: Hook, Hudson Hawk, Mobsters, Switch, Flight of the Intruder, Rock-A-Doodle, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Life Stinks, Out for Justice, Necessary Roughness, The Marrying Man, The Five Heartbeats, Billy Bathgate, Driving Me Crazy, He Said, She Said, Oscar, Teen Agent, King Ralph, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Married to It, and 33 more; Lower RT: Cool as Ice, Mobsters; Notes: There we go, sub-5.0 is much more what I expected for these films. The 60+ BMeTric is beautiful, but somehow it got better critical reviews than the first film … who knows. Mobsters is an interesting film I don’t recall ever hearing about but it seems like we should watch.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  The sequel no one asked for has Ritter adopting a second demon-child, ths one female and hell-bent on giving her stepbrother a run for his money. Any parent who lets and impressionable child watch this stuff ought to have his or her head examined! Followed by a 1995 TVM sequel.

(Uh … that isn’t the plot of the film? Trixie is the daughter of Ritter’s love interest and Junior and her have a prank war for completely unrelated reasons. Is this a true blue instance of Maltin not watching the film? Or maybe he just wrote it long after. It feels like something you’d gleen from only watching the trailer or something.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmvf4Jr0AEg/

(Nope, the trailer seems fairly clear that Trixie is probably just Junior’s rival, not his step-sister (yet). How in the world did Maltin get it so wrong I wonder? Anyways, this trailer is terrible and I’m so very excited to watch this film again.)

Directors – Brian Levant – (Known For: Max 2: White House Hero; Future BMT: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; The Flintstones; Snow Dogs; The Spy Next Door; Beethoven; BMT: Are We There Yet?; Problem Child 2; Jingle All The Way; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for The Flintstones in 1995; and Nominee for Worst Director for Jingle All the Way in 1997; Notes: He is writing and directing and producing the new Police Academy film apparently. Directed a bunch of The New Leave it to Beaver series in the 80s.)

Writers – Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (characters & written by) – (Known For: Man on the Moon; 1408; Ed Wood; Big Eyes; Goosebumps; Dolemite Is My Name; The People vs. Larry Flynt; Future BMT: Agent Cody Banks; Problem Child; That Darn Cat; Screwed; BMT: Problem Child 2; Notes: Apparently they didn’t want to write the film, but were offered a ton of money to do it because the studio wanted a sequel completed a year after the release of the first film.)

Actors – John Ritter – (Known For: Sling Blade; Bride of Chucky; Bad Santa; Nowhere; Real Men; Stay Tuned; Noises Off…; They All Laughed; The Other; Tadpole; Nickelodeon; Hero at Large; Panic; Clifford’s Really Big Movie; Americathon; Montana; I Woke Up Early the Day I Died; The Prisoner of Second Avenue; Hacks; Shadow of Doubt; Future BMT: Problem Child; Wholly Moses!; Skin Deep; BMT: North; Problem Child 2; Notes: Ended up married Amy Yasbeck who played his character’s love interest in both films (as two different characters).)

Michael Oliver – (Future BMT: Problem Child; BMT: Problem Child 2; Notes: Seems to work in music now. This is likely due to his half-siblings or maybe his step-father who seem to be involved in music.)

Jack Warden – (Known For: 12 Angry Men; Heaven Can Wait; The Great Muppet Caper; Sunset Blvd.; All the President’s Men; Shampoo; While You Were Sleeping; The Replacements; Death on the Nile; From Here to Eternity; Being There; The Champ; The Bachelor Party; The Verdict; Donovan’s Reef; Mighty Aphrodite; …and justice for all.; Used Cars; Beyond the Poseidon Adventure; Bulworth; Future BMT: Problem Child; Guilty as Sin; Dirty Work; A Dog of Flanders; BMT: Ed; Problem Child 2; Chairman of the Board; Toys; Notes: Was married to Wanda Ottoni although they apparently separated in the 70s but never got divorced, and thus were legally married for nearly 50 years at the time of his death.)

Budget/Gross – $11–15 million / Domestic: $25,104,700 (Worldwide: $32,704,700)

(Not bad, but obviously once you cut your box office in half you probably aren’t completing the trilogy (in theaters at least).)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (2/26): Crude, rude, puerile, and pointless, Problem Child 2 represents a cynical nadir in family-marketed entertainment.

(It couldn’t possibly be a nadir since the previous film somehow got worse reviews. I’ve seen both of these films a ton in my life, and the second is loads worse so that is insane. Reviewer Highlight: I’m probably getting awfully moralistic, but couldn’t the geniuses who devise entertainment for tots have come up with something a bit more, uh, responsible? – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Sklogin’ Children Too: Mo’ Problemo

(Retread of the first one with Ben in the washer instead of the cat. I thought it was pretty good for the first one, but gotta do something different to keep the score up. C+.)

Tagline(s) – This summer, Junior has a brand new friend. (D)

He’s bad. She’s worse. (B-)

(The first one doesn’t really work without the poster and the second tagline beyond already being too long. So that’s off the table. The second is better. Short and knowing what the first movie is about you get the idea. Not terribly clever though.)

Keyword – slapstick comedy

Top 10: Thor: Ragnarok (2017), The Goonies (1985), Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Tom & Jerry: The Movie (2021), Iron Man (2008), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 92.3 Son of the Mask (2005), 89.4 Vampires Suck (2010), 88.2 Street Fighter (1994), 87.3 Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003), 83.1 Inspector Gadget (1999), 82.9 Home Alone 3 (1997), 79.3 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000), 78.8 Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000), 78.6 Superhero Movie (2008);

BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), Movie 43 (2013), Super Mario Bros. (1993), The Lone Ranger (2013), The Cannonball Run (1981), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Superman III (1983), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), The Cat in the Hat (2003), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), Epic Movie (2007), Wild Hogs (2007), Meet the Spartans (2008), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985), Hudson Hawk (1991), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Made of Honour (2008), Mortdecai (2015), Out Cold (2001), The Love Guru (2008), Old Dogs (2009), Jingle All The Way (1996), Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005), The Master of Disguise (2002), Harlem Nights (1989), Big Momma’s House 2 (2006), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), The Medallion (2003), Caddyshack II (1988), Problem Child 2 (1991), Miss March (2009), Furry Vengeance (2010), Are We Done Yet? (2007), Christmas with the Kranks (2004), Dudley Do-Right (1999), The Marrying Man (1991), Unaccompanied Minors (2006)

(It would peak around ‘97 and it has been a bit downhill since the mid 00s. Makes sense in a way, although who knows how scientific these numbers really are. Son of Mask is a huge one we’ve been semi-consciously avoiding.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 20) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Laraine Newman is No. 4 billed in Problem Child 2 and No. 4 billed in Perfect, which also stars John Travolta (No. 1 billed) who is in Wild Hogs (No. 2 billed), which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 4 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 20. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – During a 2014 interview on Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski revealed that the studio was reluctant to rehire them, only doing so because they wanted to shoot a sequel before Michael Oliver could noticeably grow and, as the writers of the first film, could produce a script quicker than writers new to the story and characters of the franchise. Frustrated with the criticisms of Problem Child (1990), they deliberately increased the poor taste in the sequel, intending to make a Pasolini or John Waters film for children, and went so far overboard that the first cut received an R rating from the MPAA, a secret kept until their 2014 appearance on the podcast. Dubbing over Junior’s use of the term “pussy whipped” got the film a PG-13 rating on appeal but the studio was still so nervous that, at the last minute, they added the Woody Woodpecker cartoon Smoked Hams (1947) to the film’s theatrical release to reassure parents that the film was suitable for children.

In 1999, John Ritter married Amy Yasbeck in real life.

When Mrs. Dumore sees Ben in the bank, she says she plans to make him “Hubbie #7” and a bunch of pictures are shown of her previous husbands. Her other husbands are John Ritter in several costumes. (ha!)

Ben is still driving the Jeep he “borrows” from Roy in the first film when he goes to rescue Junior from the Bow Tie Killer.

Based on the landmarks the Healys pass on their road trip, it can be assumed that they’re moving from California (the first landmark is the Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood, CA) to Florida (the final landmark they pass is the Booby Trap club in Orlando, FL). (I’m not sure this is true, elsewhere it indicated they were in Illinois in the first film and Oregon in the second. But we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled).

The only actor to appear in all three films and the short-lived cartoon series was Gilbert Gottfried. Jack Warden appeared in all three films, but not the cartoon.

In the original movie, while Junior is watching news clips of the Bow Tie Killer on TV, he goes into a toy box and retrieves a bowtie to wear so he can emulate his hero. The bowtie is being worn on a My Buddy doll. This is referenced in the sequel during the carnival scene, when Ben wins a My Buddy doll and gives it to Junior.

Mortville, the town that Ben and Junior move to, is a reference to a town with the same name in which the John Waters film Desperate Living is set. (Absolutely incredible ref, WTF this is a kids film?)

June Foray, who voiced the puppets in the puppet show before Trixie (Ivyann Schwan) took it over, did various cartoon voices for 60 years; in particular many Warner Brothers cartoons. She passed away in 2017 just shy of her 100th birthday.

The license plate on Ben’s car reads “JRS DAD”.

When LaWanda is reading various newspaper headlines that detail Junior’s actions in the first film, one of the headlines reads, “Union Carbide Plant Explodes.” This was not Junior’s fault, this is referencing the incident known as “The Bhopal Disaster” that occurred on December 2, 1984 at the Union Carbide Plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, where methyl isocyanate gas leaked, exposing 500,000 people. It is estimated that 16,000 died from pesticide exposure.

Dungeons & Dragons Preview

Brief note before we start: This year we got together our fifth (!) class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. At the time these films are inducted it will be officially 10 years since we started BMT! That’s absurd. But as is typical there will be films we watch five years ago which maybe deserve to be considered the merde de la merde of BMT delight. The previews and speeches will be released leading up to the eighth (tenth?) Smaddies Baddies for the five films ultimately chosen. Some might say the purpose of watching all genres and sizes of movie is to find another Here On Earth, the perfect BMT film. But first it has to defeat Stone Cold in a head to head battle for the final spot! The Boz versus Jeremy Irons, the battle you’ve all been waiting for. Enjoy!

Dungeons & Dragons (2000) – BMeTric: 85.0; Notability: 27 

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.4%; Notability: top 62.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 4.0% Higher BMeT: Battlefield Earth; Higher Notability: Gone in Sixty Seconds, Little Nicky, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, Coyote Ugly, Mission to Mars, Ready to Rumble, Lost Souls, 102 Dalmatians, Rules of Engagement, Bless the Child, Proof of Life, Thomas and the Magic Railroad, Reindeer Games, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Scream 3, Supernova, Hollow Man, Isn’t She Great, Dude, Where’s My Car?, Final Destination, and 42 more; Lower RT: The in Crowd, Battlefield Earth, Bless the Child, Down to You, Lost Souls, Turn It Up, Urban Legends: Final Cut, The Skulls; Notes: Hooooooooooooo doggy, that is some impressive stuff. I’m actually most surprised by the notability bit. You’d think a CGI-heavy high fantasy story would necessarily have a large number of notable people in it, but apparently that is not the case. Being mentioned in the same breath as Battlefield Earth is always a good thing.

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – “Dungeons & Dragons” looks like they threw away the game and photographed the box it came in. It’s an amusing movie to look at, in its own odd way, but close your eyes and the dialogue sounds like an overwrought junior high school play. The movie tells the story of a power struggle in the mythical kingdom of Izmer, where a populist empress wants power for the common man but an elitist member of the ruling caste plans a coup. High marks for anyone who can explain the role that dragons play in the Izmerian ecology.

(Boom. Roasted. I think it is probably impossible for someone to seriously watch this film and go “meh good enough”. You either have to ironically enjoy it, or not enjoy it. There is no other possibility.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efSq9FF1r2Q/

(The first 20 seconds of this trailer is just nonsense. And the blue lipstick on the bad guy!! I love this film. It is just so funny. Jeremy Irons is just screaming in the middle, the protagonist drops to his knees and screams “Nooooooooooooooo!”)

Directors – Courtney Solomon – (BMT: Dungeons & Dragons; Getaway; An American Haunting; Notes: Son of Fran Solomon, a maybe big producer from the 80s. It might explain how he bought the rights to D&D when he was 19, had a production company in his early 20s, and ended up directing the D&D movie when he was 29.)

Writers – Topper Lilien (written by) – (Known For: Low Down; Where the Money Is; BMT: Dungeons & Dragons; Notes: He was oddly in Coneheads in a bit part. If I were to guess he is a lifelong screenwriter who was asked to do substantial rewrites or an initial treatment by the studio they were working for.)

Carroll Cartwright (written by) – (Known For: What Maisie Knew; Where the Money Is; BMT: Dungeons & Dragons; Notes: Possibly was a writing partner with Lilien around 2000 as they both wrote Where the Money Is as well. Odd that neither have very many credits and very little information on IMDb.)

E. Gary Gygax (game) (uncredited) – (BMT: Dungeons & Dragons; Notes: D&D started as an extension of table top war simulators which have existed since the 1800s (used by European militaries primarily in order to practice tactics). It was one of the first, and amazingly is still likely the most popular game of its kind. And the popularity is only growing with the D&D play podcasts that now exist (like The Adventure Zone).)

Actors – Justin Whalin – (Known For: The Dead Pool; Serial Mom; Future BMT: Child’s Play 3; Super Capers: The Origins of Ed and the Missing Bullion; BMT: Dungeons & Dragons; Notes: Won a Daytime Emmy for a children’s special in 1994. Is a certified scuba diver and seemed to have retired from acting in 2009.)

Jeremy Irons – (Known For: Red Sparrow; The Lion King; Lolita; Die Hard: With a Vengeance; High-Rise; Margin Call; Stealing Beauty; Inland Empire; The Mission; Beautiful Creatures; Their Finest; Dead Ringers; Damage; The Man Who Knew Infinity; Race; Casanova; Appaloosa; Reversal of Fortune; The Merchant of Venice; The French Lieutenant’s Woman; Future BMT: The Pink Panther 2; The Time Machine; Justice League; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; The Man in the Iron Mask; La corrispondenza; Better Start Running; The House of the Spirits; An Actor Prepares; The Words; Kingdom of Heaven; Love, Weddings & Other Disasters; BMT: Dungeons & Dragons; Eragon; Assassin’s Creed; Notes: Won the lead actor Oscar in 1991 for Reversal of Fortune. His voice might be what he’s most famous for as he played Scar in The Lion King.)

Zoe McLellan – (Known For: Mr. Holland’s Opus; Imaginary Crimes; Future BMT: Inventing the Abbotts; One Fall; BMT: Dungeons & Dragons; Notes: Starred in NCIS: New Orleans in their early seasons, 20 episodes of Designated Survivor, and a very good two-part episode of Star Trek: Voyager back in the day.)

Budget/Gross – $45,000,000 / Domestic: $15,391,970 (Worldwide: $33,978,694)

(Yeah, that isn’t what you want. This budget makes a bit more sense, given some of the big name actors and the money they must have spent on CGI (in 2000 no less). They were obviously hoping for that big fantasy money.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (9/92): Critics say this movie has a cheap look and is badly directed. Despite the presence of talented actors, the performances are really bad, and additionally, some people are offended at Marlon Wayans’ character, calling it a racist throwback to black stereotypes.

(Ooooof, officially below 10%. I’m surprised it isn’t more like 4%, but it seems that there was more appreciation for the spectacle than I expected. Reviewer Highlight: The average episode of Xena or Hercules offers a more compelling and imaginative photoplay. – Scott Foundas, Variety)

Poster – Faces & Sepia Tones

(As busy as this might seem I think that is standard for high fantasy and sci-fi (think of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars as examples). The only real complaint is the color scheme is just really boring. I would imagine the idea is that in the eventual series, I would guess they would color each a distinct tone, they just never go to do it. B. Love the font.)

Tagline(s) – This is no game. (B+)

(There isn’t anything else to be done. This had to be the tagline. It is short and sweet, goes to the roots, lays out the stakes. Deduction only because of how inevitable it feels.)

Keyword – dragon

Top 10: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), The New Mutants (2020), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Dolittle (2020), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Inside Out (2015), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

Future BMT: 61.9 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), 54.0 Balls of Fury (2007), 53.9 The New Mutants (2020), 53.2 The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990), 50.6 Your Highness (2011), 47.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie (2004), 40.1 The King and I (1999), 33.3 Just Visiting (2001), 27.4 47 Ronin (2013), 26.9 Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016);

BMT: Dolittle (2020), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), The Last Airbender (2010), Jupiter Ascending (2015), Hellboy (2019), Sucker Punch (2011), Gods of Egypt (2016), Eragon (2006), Dragonball Evolution (2009), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), The Golden Child (1986), Seventh Son (2014), Dungeons & Dragons (2000), Dragon Wars (2007)

(Really ahead of its time on “hey we can actually make dragons with CGI now kind of” films. And oh boy am I excited to watch the entire Mummy series eventually.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 21) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jeremy Irons is No. 2 billed in Dungeons & Dragons and No. 3 billed in Assassin’s Creed, which also stars Brendan Gleeson (No. 4 billed) who is in Turbulence (No. 3 billed), which also stars Ray Liotta (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 3 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 3 + 4 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 4 + 1 = 21. If we were to watch Passenger 57, Murder at 1600, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – When asked why he did this film, Jeremy Irons replied, “Are you kidding? I’d just bought a castle, I had to pay for it somehow!” (I love it when actors go and get their money, it is great)

Director Courtney Solomon’s first film. He acquired the exclusive rights from TSR (Tactical Studies Rules) in 1990, when he was 19. It took 10 years to raise the funds to make the film. (Jeez, is he involved in the new one then? Yup, he’s a producer on the D&D television show that is coming up.)

Courtney Solomon only intended to produce the film originally. However, TSR head Lorraine Williams vetoed every one of his choices (one of which was Francis Ford Coppola) and forced Solomon to direct the film since he held the rights.

The bones visible in Profion’s lair are real. These scenes were filmed in Sedlec Ossuary, a small chapel in Kutná Hora, Czech Republic. It is decorated with the bones of people who were buried in the surrounding cemetery, but had to be moved to make room for the chapel and for new burials.

Richard O’Brien parodies his own role from The Crystal Maze (1990) (TV Series). (I might have to check this out)

The film is not based on the classic 1980s cartoon of the same name, but it is based on the same source material. (Obviously, but the cartoon is actually pretty fun)

Based on the 1974 tabletop RPG game by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc.

The Legend of Hercules Preview

Brief note before we start: This year we got together our fifth (!) class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. At the time these films are inducted it will be officially 10 years since we started BMT! That’s absurd. But as is typical there will be films we watch five years ago which maybe deserve to be considered the merde de la merde of BMT delight. The previews and speeches will be released leading up to the eighth (tenth?) Smaddies Baddies for the five films ultimately chosen. Some might say the purpose of watching all genres and sizes of movie is to find another Here On Earth, the perfect BMT film. Well, nothing says “I’m a producer and I have no idea what I’m doing” like making a film starring Kellen Lutz. Enjoy!

The Legend of Hercules (2014) – BMeTric: 83.1; Notability: 33 

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.4%; Notability: top 38.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.4% Higher BMeT: Left Behind; Higher Notability: Transformers: Age of Extinction, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Exodus: Gods and Kings, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Dracula Untold, Transcendence, Think Like a Man Too, Dumb and Dumber To, Annie, The Monuments Men, A New York Winter’s Tale, Horrible Bosses 2, Ride Along, The Expendables 3, Need for Speed, Men, Women & Children, Walk of Shame, Lessons in Love, Vampire Academy, Blended, and 6 more; Lower RT: Left Behind; Notes: Absurdly low IMDb rating for that number of votes. It is crazy that anything beat it at all, congrats to Let Behind I guess. This is definitely in that same small-but-terrible camp that seems to just churn out Hall of Fame films in the mid-2010s.

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – It may or may not be a good thing that summer will bring a second attempt at reviving Hercules on the big screen with Dwayne Johnson in the lead and directed by Brett Ratner. But with the bar set this low, surely the performer formerly known as The Rock doesn’t have to strain himself too hard to pump up the entertainment value.

(It is pretty funny that both of these movies came out, and both were bad. Shockingly the one with The Rock isn’t even close to good, and thus it has been completely forgotten. The complete catastrophe that is this film didn’t really help with that.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0GMzQwO2l0/

(Holy crap, this looks like such a load of crap. I … just don’t understand. They really don’t make films like this anymore. Hell, they barely made films like this in 2014! This feels like a movie some guy who got rich buying up real estate in 2007 would make before going bankrupt.)

Directors – Renny Harlin – (Known For: Die Hard 2; Deep Blue Sea; The Long Kiss Goodnight; Cliffhanger; The Dyatlov Pass Incident; A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; Prison; Bodies at Rest; Future BMT: Exorcist: The Beginning; 12 Rounds; Cutthroat Island; 5 Days of War; Skiptrace; Cleaner; Mindhunters; The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; BMT: The Legend of Hercules; Driven; The Covenant; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1991 for The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; in 1996 for Cutthroat Island; in 2002 for Driven; in 2005 for Exorcist: The Beginning; and in 2015 for The Legend of Hercules; Notes: Finnish, and is probably the most successful Finnish director in Hollywood history. Was married to Gena Davis for five years.)

Writers – Sean Hood (screenplay) – (Known For: Cube 2: Hypercube; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; The Crow: Wicked Prayer; BMT: The Legend of Hercules; Conan the Barbarian; Notes: Claims to have retired from screenwriting in 2018, but has an announced television series, so perhaps it is just that he is no longer pursuing feature films.)

Daniel Giat (screenplay) – (BMT: The Legend of Hercules; Notes: Nominated for two Emmys for Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and Path to War.)

Renny Harlin (screenplay) – (Known For: Prison; BMT: The Legend of Hercules; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1991 for The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; in 1996 for Cutthroat Island; in 2002 for Driven; in 2005 for Exorcist: The Beginning; and in 2015 for The Legend of Hercules; Notes: Only wrote a few films including Born American starring Chuck Norris’s son Mike Norris.)

Giulio Steve (screenplay) – (BMT: The Legend of Hercules; Notes: A very prolific Italian producer … I have to imagine this has something to do with cheap production in Europe in some capacity.)

Actors – Kellan Lutz – (Known For: Twilight; Immortals; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; What Men Want; Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child; Experimenter; Future BMT: Prom Night; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Extraction; A Nightmare on Elm Street; Tarzan; Love, Wedding, Marriage; Guardians of the Tomb; Speed Kills; Java Heat; Syrup; A Warrior’s Heart; Accepted; Stick It; As Blood Runs Deep; BMT: The Legend of Hercules; The Twilight Saga: New Moon; The Expendables 3; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for The Legend of Hercules in 2015; Notes: Naturally started his film career as a model. He was born in North Dakota and moved to Hollywood originally to attend Chapman University to study Chemical Engineering (what what). He dropped out to pursue acting.)

Gaia Weiss – (Known For: Judy; We Are Boats; Future BMT: Overdrive; BMT: The Legend of Hercules; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for The Legend of Hercules in 2015; Notes: French. Originally trained as a professional ballerina.)Scott Adkins – (Known For: Zero Dark Thirty; Doctor Strange; The Bourne Ultimatum; Yip Man 4; The Expendables 2; Triple Threat; Avengement; Unleashed; Accident Man; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; Ninja: Shadow of a Tear; Close Range; Savage Dog; Future BMT: The Pink Panther; The Accidental Spy; Grimsby; American Assassin; Criminal; Dead Reckoning; BMT: The Legend of Hercules; The Medallion; X-Men Origins: Wolverine; Notes: Trained in Taekwondo, Kickboxing, Ninjutsu, Krav Maga, Karate, Wushu, Jiujitsu, Muay Thai, Capoeira and Acrobatic Gymnastics. Dat’s a lotta martial arts.)

Budget/Gross – $70,000,000 / Domestic: $18,848,538 (Worldwide: $61,279,452)

(Woof. Who thought a Kellen Lutz film was going to gross like $140 million dollars? In what universe was this going to ever make enough money to be worth it. It just doesn’t make any sense. Is this one of the biggest bombs of 2014?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 5% (4/83): Cheap-looking, poorly acted, and dull, The Legend of Hercules is neither fun enough to qualify as an action movie nor absorbing enough to work on a dramatic level.

(I don’t think they were ever thinking of the drama angle to this stuff. What they were hoping for was maybe Kellen Lutz mugging for the camera while rock music played .. or something. Who knows. Reviewer Highlight: The dialogue isn’t dubbed, but is written and delivered so indifferently that it might as well have been. – Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club)

Poster – The Legend of Smirk-ules

(It is definitely of the time. I personally don’t like the blue-toned “grittiness” of posters which I think were popular at the time. I think the weirdest bit of the poster is that it is just a full picture of Kellen Lutz … and yet his name isn’t on the poster. They are advertising it as essentially: Just imagine whomever you want in this role, he barely needs to even have a face to be what we want, which is a generic Hercules person. I’m giving it a C+, I think it delivers what the filmmakers wanted, but I don’t like the bland color scheme. Bumping it up for the font.)

Tagline(s) – Every man has a destiny (D)

(I actually hate it and I’ll explain why. Is Hercules a man? In this movie he might be, I can’t remember. But in the stories he’s the son of a god … so yeah, the son of a god would obviously have a destiny! I can’t think of a good one, but I would have tried to go more with the “legend” part of it, how a mortal man destined to save his people became a legend.)

Keyword – sword and sandal

Top 10: Gladiator (2000), Braveheart (1995), Aladdin (2019), 300 (2006), Troy (2004), The Beastmaster (1982), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Immortals (2011), Legend (1985), Clash of the Titans (2010)

Future BMT: 49.7 The Last Legion (2007), 47.9 Alexander (2004), 46.9 Kull the Conqueror (1997), 45.3 A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995), 42.9 Hercules (1983), 42.5 Samson (2018), 41.2 Clash of the Titans (2010), 40.8 Ben-Hur (2016), 34.4 Il mondo di Yor (1983), 33.9 Immortals (2011);

BMT: Gods of Egypt (2016), Conan the Barbarian (2011), Eragon (2006), Conan the Destroyer (1984), Pompeii (2014), In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007), Red Sonja (1985), The 13th Warrior (1999), The Legend of Hercules (2014), Season of the Witch (2011), Meet the Spartans (2008)

(Every so often they try and bring these sword and sandal films back and it never quite works. I think it is because they try and make them action films. The ones that end up being good seem to hire big name actors and bring the drama to the story. The bad ones hire a Kellen Lutz who looks good without a shirt and go from there.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 24) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Kellan Lutz is No. 1 billed in The Legend of Hercules and No. 15 billed in Expendables 3, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 15 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 24. If we were to watch Immortals, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Pearl Harbor we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Scott Adkins’s character, King Amphitryon, is seen at two different ages in the film, younger and older, and Adkins created two different looks for the character. He said he wanted to look extremely “lean and ripped” for the younger scenes, showing highly defined eight-pack abs in a shirtless scene, as compared to very “muscular and bulky” for the older scenes, where he just had to show his biceps in sleeveless costumes. He said for the younger scenes, he ate very carefully and trained a lot to achieve the ultra-cut look but for the older scenes, he trained just as hard but ate what he wanted because the focus was on size and not muscle definition, and he did not have a shirtless scene anymore. (This is a very very detailed note)

This was the second Greek mythology movie to star Kellen Lutz. The first was Immortals (2011), where Lutz portrayed Hercules’ uncle, Poseidon. (Whaaaaaaa?)

Director Renny Harlin mandated that all the male actors shave their legs along with their torsos, because the film was being shot natively in 3-D and he said that hair stuck out when you shot with stereoscopic cameras. (Whaaaaaaa?)

Director Renny Harlin said that he chose Scott Adkins for the role of King Amphitryon because of “his acting skills, his incredible physical ability and his incredible physique.” He said that King Amphitryon “had to be the biggest badass the audience had ever seen, and only Scott Adkins fit that bill.”

Kellan Lutz said his co-star Scott Adkins had the body of a god and that his physique was so great, it looked green-screened. He also said it “did not make his Hercules character look too well.”

Kellan Lutz said that because he was shirtless through much of the movie, he could constantly do push-ups and ab-crunches on set before takes without fear of sweating into his costumes and staining them. He said it allowed him to look pumped on camera, greatly enhancing his looks, and he ended up doing more than a thousand push-ups and ab-crunches every day on set for the duration of the shoot. (Jesus, these notes are just like … descriptions of gym workouts)

Due to the heavy armor worn by his character throughout the film, Johnathon Schaech was bitterly disappointed that he was unable appear shirtless in the film. He had been following a punishing bodybuilding and dieting regime to prepare for the role. (Jesus, what the hell are these notes! Was this all from a Men’s Fitness interview or something?)

Hebe, in Greek mythology, is actually the Goddess of Eternal Youth and the daughter of Zeus and Hera. Considering that Hercules is the son of Zeus, that would actually make the two love birds half-siblings.

When Kellan Lutz first landed the role, he said that physique-wise he wanted to get really big to portray Hercules. However, director Renny Harlin told him not to get any bigger as he found it very stereotypical for Hercules to be “a pile of meat.” Instead, he instructed Lutz to “get his abs to pop out more” as he thought it would be a great effect in 3-D. So Kellan Lutz adopted a special Paleo (caveman) diet for the role, ensuring that no fat accumulated on his body and that his abs visibly popped throughout principal photography. (What. The. Hell. Are. These. Notes.)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2015)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Kellan Lutz, 2015)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Gaia Weiss, 2015)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Renny Harlin, 2015)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel (2015)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Kellan Lutz, 2015)

Solo (1996) Preview

Jamie and Patrick emerge from the portal to Earth and they breathe in the fresh Brooklyn air. Home at last. Patrick pulls out his emergency cable knit sweater and they begin the hike back to their apartment. He sure is ready to put the Obsidian Dongle away for safekeeping and see his wife and six children, while Jamie just needs a classic NY slice and his MTV. Rad. As they pass by their favorite book store a stray glance stops Patrick dead in his tracks. “J-j-jamie… what is that?” he says in a panic. A large “Bestseller” sign hangs over a large stack of the latest hit: R&P: Rest in Peace: The Death of Rich and Poe. They scramble into the bookstore and buy a copy for themselves. They stare at the glossy cover in disbelief. It’s exactly like the one they saw in the BMTverse. They flip to the back page to see a picture of them… there they are smiling from a picture neither remembered taking. A chill runs down their spines when they turn back to the front and see a small sticker that reads: “soon to be a major motion picture.” “They can’t,” mutters Patrick, “if that movie bombs then…” but Jamie is right there on the same page, “Rich and Poe will die in the BMTverse.” Hearts racing they run back to their apartment and pace the room. “We need to know who stole our identities and what the hell is going on”, says Jamie, “and there’s only one way to do that.” Patrick nods. They have to read that book. “Maybe it won’t be so bad,” says Patrick as he reads the first line: “‘Let’s pound some dweebs,’ says the robot terminator cyborg sent from 1996 to kill Rich and Poe…” Oh boy. That’s right! We continue the based-on-a-book cycle on a lesser known 90’s action film Solo starring Mario Van Peebles. It’s about an AI weapon that fights back against its creators and is based on the book Weapon by Robert Mason. Let’s go!

Solo (1996) – BMeTric: 46.5; Notability: 18 

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 7.2%; Notability: top 80.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 1.0% Higher BMeT: Barb Wire, Kazaam, Striptease, Bio-Dome, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, The Crow: City of Angels, The Stupids, Hellraiser: Bloodline, Mr. Wrong, Spy Hard, Poison Ivy 2, Jingle All The Way; Higher Notability: Eraser, The Fan, Spy Hard, Jingle All The Way, Chain Reaction, Daylight, The Associate, Dear God, Mulholland Falls, Up Close & Personal, Eddie, Eye for an Eye, Sgt. Bilko, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Larger Than Life, Dunston Checks In, The Chamber, Carpool, Girl 6, and 58 more; Lower RT: Bio-Dome, Kazaam; Notes: I’m starting to think bad films come in two flavors. There are the ones where the notability is relatively low but it absolutely crushes BMeTric / RT (which are usually the same as long as critics and audiences don’t disagree). And then there are the soulless films which have huge notability but seem to always hover in that 35-55% range on RT. I think the low-notability ones tend to be the more beloved in BMT, so that’s promising. Also, I can’t believe we haven’t seen either Bio-Dome or Kazaam for BMT yet.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Solo is an android who has a crisis of conscience when he directly disobeys an order that would result in the murder of innocent people. This sets him on a collision course with his creators, particularly a sadistic colonel. Standard action for nondiscerning fans of the genre. Van Peebles is actually quite appealing in the lead.

(Not much to discuss there as it boils down to: pretty much what you would expect, although Van Peebles is better that one would think. I’m shocked, having watched the movie, that he doesn’t mention that it yet again seems to rip off Seven Samurai.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV-4gWRtNxY/

(Oh wow the overlay with the blatant Apocalypse Now rip off. This trailer looks like a direct-to-video garbage fire. What the hell were they thinking?)

Directors – Norberto Barba – (BMT: Solo; Notes: Mostly does television now, including 11 episodes of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Served in the U.S. Army Special Forces.)

Writers – Robert Mason (novel) – (BMT: Solo; Notes: Wrote an autobiography called Chickenhawk about his experience flying helicopters in Vietnam. His only other credit is writing for a documentary on the same subject. His writing is mostly science-fiction, like Weapon, the book Solo is based on.)

David L. Corley (screenplay) (as David Corley) – (BMT: Solo; Notes: Almost exclusively wrote straight-to-video stuff after this, including Executive Power starring Jean Claude Van Damme.)

Actors – Mario Van Peebles – (Known For: Ali; New Jack City; Heartbreak Ridge; The Cotton Club; Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song; Run the Race; How to Get the Man’s Foot Outta Your Ass; Stag; The Hebrew Hammer; Future BMT: Exterminator 2; Gunmen; Posse; Submerged; We the Party; Multiple Sarcasms; Panther; BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; Highlander III: The Final Dimension; Solo; Notes: A director, actor, and producer, the son of Melvin Van Peebles. He directed the film Badasssss! which is about the making of his father’s film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.)

William Sadler – (Known For: The Shawshank Redemption; The Green Mile; Bill & Ted Face the Music; Iron Man Three; Die Hard 2; The Highwaymen; The Mist; Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey; VFW; The Hot Spot; Kinsey; Freeheld; Freaked; Rush; Project X; Trespass; Being Flynn; Greetings from Tim Buckley; Ava’s Possessions; The Hollow; Future BMT: Grudge; Machete Kills; Bordello of Blood; Disturbing Behavior; Hard to Kill; K-9; The Duel; RocketMan; Living Among Us; The Battle of Shaker Heights; Hanky Panky; Eagle Eye; Man on a Ledge; Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight; Awaken the Night; A New Wave; Freedom; August Rush; Reach the Rock; Frank the Bastard; BMT: Solo; Notes: I never realized he played the Grim Reaper in the Bill & Ted films. Played Sgt. Toomey in Neil Simon’s Tony Award winning play Biloxi Blues.)

Barry Corbin – (Known For: No Country for Old Men; WarGames; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; Stir Crazy; Urban Cowboy; The Hot Spot; The Homesman; Planes: Fire & Rescue; In the Valley of Elah; Dead and Buried; Honkytonk Man; Nothing in Common; Permanent Record; All Saints; The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez; That Evening Sun; Provinces of Night; The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez; The Valley; Race to Space; Future BMT: The Dukes of Hazzard; Ghost Dad; Who’s Harry Crumb?; Held Up; Career Opportunities; Burning Rubber; Beer for My Horses; Any Which Way You Can; The Man Who Loved Women; Curdled; The Grand; My Science Project; Lake City; Short Time; New Life; BMT: Solo; Critters 2; Notes: Nominated for three Emmys, two for Northern Exposure, and one for the TV Movie Moon Shot. He was in the marines and actually did train at Camp Pendleton in California where they were planning on reprogramming Solo.)

Budget/Gross – $19 million / Domestic: $5,107,669 (Worldwide: $5,107,669)

(Brutal return. But I’m not sure what they expected since the film looks like it was destined to be straight-to-video. I’m not sure why you would spend $20 million on a Mario Van Peebles vehicle in the first place. Where did the money go? Exclusively into pyrotechnics?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (3/36): Featuring hammy performances and bland characters, Solo is an all too straightforward actioner that’s both predictable and instantly forgettable.

(Sounds about right. I’m still pretty perplexed that of all people Mario Van Peebles was being tagged as a potential action star in 1996. Reviewer Highlight: These escapist showdown movies are only as good as their villains and heroes. The heavies here are more of those ubiquitous gung-ho military types who are due to be dishonorably discharged from further cinematic duty. – Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune)

Poster – Solo: A BMT Story

(I’d love to think what would happen if Patrick and I were able to travel back in time and see this poster in the wild. I feel like a graphic artist somewhere threw this together and assumed it would be rejected and then when he was told his poster was chosen he panicked. At least they got that sweet block lettering. D.)

Tagline(s) – Part man. Part machine. Total weapon. Prepare to go Solo! (C+)

(You were going so good there for a while, tagline. Honestly the end is tacked on. Prior to that it’s an OK tagline. It’s got the structure and the plot. Just lacks a little creativity. Really what they have is something that works for any cyborg film… although, I’m not always prepared to go solo for every cyborg film, so that’s helpful to know.)

Keyword – based on novel

Top 10: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Catch Me If You Can (2002), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Emma. (2020), Goodfellas (1990), Ready Player One (2018), Jojo Rabbit (2019), Forrest Gump (1994), Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Future BMT: 72.2 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), 47.5 The Dark Tower (2017), 45.7 London Fields (2018), 43.8 Priest (2011), 43.6 Allegiant (2016), 43.4 The Rhythm Section (2020), 42.2 Pan (2015), 41.3 Addicted (2014), 39.7 Eat Pray Love (2010), 39.4 The Princess Diaries 2 (2004);

BMT: After (2019), Dolittle (2020), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Warcraft: The Beginning (2016), The Three Musketeers (2011), The Circle (2017), The Snowman (2017), Striptease (1996), Conan the Barbarian (2011), The 5th Wave (2016), Hunter Killer (2018), Fifty Shades Darker (2017), Vampire Academy (2014), Jumper (2008), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), A Walk to Remember (2002), A Dog’s Purpose (2017), I Am Number Four (2011), Death Wish (2018), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Poseidon (2006), Eragon (2006), Kiss the Girls (1997), Dragonball Evolution (2009), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), Along Came a Spider (2001), The Choice (2016), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), Something Borrowed (2011), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), The Host (2013), Safe Haven (2013)

(My god, we’ve done so many of them. And we still, confusingly, still have Twilight films to watch? I forget because I actually randomly watched them all years ago for no apparent reason. None of the others in that Future BMT section seem particularly appealing if I’m being honest. Although some of them have to be in a different keyword since we aren’t even half way through this cycle.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Mario Van Peebles is No. 1 billed in Solo and No. 2 billed in Highlander: The Final Dimension, which also stars Deborah Kara Unger (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 6 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 3 + 6 + 3 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, and Kingdom Come we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – The program on the TV that the people in the village is The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951). (I noticed this in the wild. Really good film, would highly recommend even if you don’t typically go for 50s films and that particular brand of special effect artistry)

2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story included the subtitle so as not to be confused with this film. (Well … I would assume it included a subtitle because Solo sounds like it could literally be anything. I doubt many people would be like “I’m going to Solo tonight want to come?” and their friends would respond “Wait, you’re going to go see that 1996 Mario Van Peebles robot film in theaters? That’s weird”)