Oh boy, me and my girlfriends were back in the 70s in small town America and we were, you know, resurrecting a long dead child in the local cemetery (kids will be kids and all that). Well wouldn’t you know it, the local crazy man Sneaky Pete came up and bopped me right on the head. I don’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Now and Then?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) When we open we meet the grown up women all convening in their small hometown in Indiana. Why are they convening?
2) What do the four women do for work?
3) Flash back to the summer of 1970, where we meet these same four women in their formative years as young ladies. And boy oh boy are they ready to have the summer of their lives. What are they saving up money in order to buy this fateful summer?
4) Also during this summer they decide to try and resurrect Dear Johnny, a child who died in their town years ago. How did Dear Johnny die?
5) And in the big reveal: who is Crazy Pete the local recluse the girls see biking through the cemetery at night?
Dear Diary, it’s me, Poe. Boy, oh boy have I done it this time. I met a girl… and then I met another girl! Egad! And they’re both demon robots. Classic Poe. One is a sultry minx, while the other is a nerd, but they’re both just a couple of robots just trying to learn about love. I’m doing my best to help them understand, but through all the beeps and boops and general shenanigans it’s hard to keep my head on straight! (Let alone their heads on straight… because they’re robots and their heads keep on popping off their robot bodies). Not only do they not understand the concept of love, but they are made of razor sharp metal that is tearing me apart like hooks in my flesh. Gee, it’s hard being in love, Diary, and I sure could use some advice. Everything used to be so simple back when Rich and I were just a couple of whippersnappers hanging around with those rapscallions Ernie and Jellyroll. Love was just what we whispered about under the stars on one of our classic fishing trips, you know?… wait! You do know! Because I wrote in my diary back then too! That’s where I’ll find all the answers to my problems! Thanks diary, you’re the best. XOXO, Poe. And with that Poe hastily pulls out his diary from 7th grade. He blows the dust off the cover and shushes Rich who’s just being an asshole who doesn’t want him to find love with his demon robot girlfriends. Probably jealous like a jealous lame-o (nice). He cracks the page to August 12th, the year 2000. It was a sweltering night in Rabideaux, Louisiana and the bullfrogs were a-croakin’, the fireflies were a-lightin’, and young Poe… was in love. That’s right! We’re watching Now and Then as part of the neverending chain using Demi Moore to jump from Blame it on Rio (ugh) to this coming-of-age story about four girls and the summer of 1970, where they cemented their eternal bond of friendship. This is legit a cult classic and is considered by fans to be the female answer to Stand by Me, so we’ll have to keep that perspective in mind. Let’s go!
Now and Then (1995) – BMeTric: 11.0; Notability: 36
(That is an incredibly high rating! Wait … is this a real deal cult classic? Do young women watch this film now and love it? Oh wait, yeah they do! On a recent Big Picture podcast on The Ringer Amanda Dobbins specifically mentions this as a film she loves! Huh, now I’m pretty excited to see what it’s got.)
RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – What distinguished “Stand by Me” was the psychological soundness of the story: We could believe it and care about it. “Now and Then” is made of artificial bits and pieces. The director, Lesli Linka Glatter, says in the press notes that she started crying when she first read the script “because it captured that delicate evolution from girlhood to womanhood, and you so rarely find that.” I guess she didn’t see “Man in the Moon,” which has so much more truth and tenderness that it exposes “Now and Then” for what it is, a gimmicky sitcom.
(Looks like I have a You Just Got Schooled film … yeah I wish it was Stand by Me, but I’ve seen that a bunch of times. Man in the Moon with a young Reese Witherspoon? Yes please. This is a classic Ebert review as well which boils down to “it should have been so much more. I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.”)
(Huh, the child actors don’t seem super great (even though they are, for the most part, a who’s who of female child actors at the time), but man does this seem emotional. I guess I have to prepare myself for the emotional wringer.)
Directors – Lesli Linka Glatter – (Future BMT: The Proposition; BMT: Now and Then; Notes: Mostly directed television, even back in the day where she directed four episodes of Twin Peaks. Got her start through the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women.)
Writers – I. Marlene King (written by) – (Future BMT: Just My Luck; Senior Trip; BMT: Now and Then; Notes: The creator of Pretty Little Liars. She even directed six episodes of the show.)
Actors – Christina Ricci – (Known For: Sleepy Hollow; Monster; Casper; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; The Addams Family; Black Snake Moan; Addams Family Values; Speed Racer; Small Soldiers; Buffalo ’66; Mermaids; Penelope; The Ice Storm; The Hard Way; The Opposite of Sex; Anything Else; Bastard Out of Carolina; Pecker; Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain; All Over the Guy; Future BMT: Cursed; The Smurfs 2; Bel Ami; Distorted; That Darn Cat; Home of the Brave; Mothers and Daughters; 200 Cigarettes; New York, I Love You; The Man Who Cried; Pumpkin; Prozac Nation; I Love Your Work; All’s Faire in Love; The Hero of Color City; Desert Blue; I Woke Up Early the Day I Died; BMT: Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; Bless the Child; Alpha and Omega; Now and Then; Notes: Her career was a lot longer than I thought, a full two decades. She was a child actress, acting in The Addams Family when she was 11 years old.)
Demi Moore – (Known For: St. Elmo’s Fire; A Few Good Men; Ghost; Mr. Brooks; Margin Call; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; Rough Night; G.I. Jane; Disclosure; Forsaken; One Crazy Summer; The Joneses; About Last Night…; Bobby; Deconstructing Harry; Beavis and Butt-Head Do America; Love Sonia; We’re No Angels; Flawless; Future BMT: LOL; The Juror; Parasite; The Butcher’s Wife; Indecent Proposal; Corporate Animals; The Seventh Sign; Very Good Girls; Half Light; Bunraku; Young Doctors in Love; Passion of Mind; Wild Oats; Blind; Happy Tears; BMT: Striptease; Nothing But Trouble; The Scarlet Letter; Blame It on Rio; Now and Then; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress in 1997 for Striptease, and The Juror; and in 1998 for G.I. Jane; Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle in 2004; Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Striptease in 1997; Nominee for Worst Actress in 1992 for Nothing But Trouble, and The Butcher’s Wife; in 1994 for Indecent Proposal; in 1996 for The Scarlet Letter; and in 2001 for Passion of Mind; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for The Scarlet Letter in 1996; Notes: Married the musician Freddy Moore when she was 17 (he was 29) after living with him for 5 months after meeting him at the Troubadour in L.A. and insisting that he divorce his wife … this story is insane!)
Rosie O’Donnell – (Known For: Sleepless in Seattle; A League of Their Own; Tarzan; Pitch Perfect 2; Beautiful Girls; Harriet the Spy; A Very Brady Sequel; Wide Awake; I’ll Do Anything; The Twilight of the Golds; Future BMT: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; The Flintstones; Exit to Eden; Another Stakeout; Fatal Instinct; BMT: Car 54, Where Are You?; Now and Then; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress in 1995 for Car 54, Where Are You?, Exit to Eden, and The Flintstones; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Exit to Eden in 1995; Notes: For about six years she had a huge afternoon talk show recording 1,200 episodes. She basically had Ellen before Ellen. Donald Trump hates her, although it is a bit unclear why at this point.)
Budget/Gross – $12 million / Domestic: $27,112,329 (Worldwide: $37,591,674)
(That ain’t so bad. Why didn’t we ever get Now and Then … and Now! That’s the title of the sequel in my mind, complete with exclamation point. But for real, that isn’t a bad take for a cheap film, but I guess in the age of Stand by Me there were larger expectations.)
(I get to make a consensus, which is actually really easy: The adult actors and storyline are completely pointless to the story being told.Reviewer Highlight: Now and Then is successful, but only now and then. – USA Today)
(That’s a lot of words. I think we all know where I stand with excessive wordage on my posters as well as a white background. I do appreciate the artistic effort for this one, but it’s basically the only thing its got going for it. C-.)
Tagline(s) – In every woman there is the girl she left behind. (C+)
(I do like the sentiment and how it’s really telling me a story. A little clunky and not really all that clever, but still serviceable for this film.)
Top 10: Pulp Fiction (1994), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Forrest Gump (1994), Almost Famous (2000), Watchmen (2009), Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), Rush (2013), BlacKkKlansman (2018), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Grown Ups (2010)
Future BMT: 69.3 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), 68.8 Black Christmas (2006), 59.1 The Cave (2005), 58.7 Apollo 18 (2011), 55.4 Bones (2001), 53.8 The Quiet Ones (2014), 50.6 My Girl 2 (1994), 41.2 Big Bully (1996), 40.2 End of Days (1999), 39.8 The Kitchen (2019);
BMT: X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Grown Ups (2010), The Curse of La Llorona (2019), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Now and Then (1995), A Dog’s Purpose (2017), Dreamcatcher (2003), Jobs (2013)
(… Sometimes I forget we still have Texas Chainsaw films to watch. Also insane that there is another cave-based horror film to watch in The Cave! Man, this is a great list. I don’t see a pattern in the graphic, just people like setting things in the 70s in generals.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Christina Ricci is No. 1 billed in Now and Then and No. 2 billed in Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star, which also stars Nick Swardson (No. 1 billed) who is in Jack and Jill (No. 6 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 1 + 6 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch Cursed, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Pearl Harbor we can get the HoE Number down to 16.
Notes – In the scene where Chrissy punches Roberta in the face for pretending to drown, Christina Ricci forgot to turn her head and ended up getting punched in the face full force. The production was shut down few days due to Christina being badly bruised.
The little girl who plays Samantha’s sister, Angela, is Demi Moore’s real life daughter, Rumer Willis. (Cool)
Rosie O’Donnell has stated that the character of Roberta was supposed to be a lesbian, but the film was later re-edited and she was made straight. The line, ‘Roberta lives in sin with her boyfriend” was looped in at the last minute. (Oooof, not a good look)
This is one of two movies released in 1995 in which Christina Ricci is the love interest of Devon Sawa. The other one is Casper (1995), in which he played Casper in human form. (Whaaaaaaaaa)
The movie (aka “The Gaslight Addition”) was actually written about a town in Indiana named Winchester, and its gaslight addition. The author of the story I. Marlene King grew up there, as did the director Robert Wise, in vastly different years. Winchester declined to have their name associated with the movie, so the name became Shelby, but later Winchester began to preserve areas mentioned in the movie. (I find this note hard to parse, but I guess there is a town mentioned in this film which was supposed to be a real town called Winchester. That real town didn’t want to be associated with the film, so they changed it.)
Kirsten Dunst was offered the role of ‘Chrissy’ but refused to gain weight for the role. She stated, “It wasn’t worth ruining my figure.” (Hmmmmmm)
The original name of the movie was going to be “The Gaslight Addition”.
The drive-in movie that Teeny is watching before she and Sam try out the treehouse is Love Story (1970). (Good to know)
In the movie they are singing the Tony Orlando hit song Knock 3 Times while on their way to do research at the library. The song was actually not released until November 1970 and therefore would not have been possible to listen to in the summer of 1970, when the story takes place. (Ha! That’s pretty funny.)
The film takes place in 1970 and 1991.
Every time the girls are playing truth or dare, they always choose truth.
Val and Aqua are a couple of robots designed for everyday life. He’s a business robot while she’s a social robot and there is an instant attraction. They escape from the robot factory for an excursion and build a son, all while getting pursued by a police robot. Can they escape the police robot (and perhaps find love) before it’s too late? Find out in… Heartbeeps.
How?! This is gonna be a tough one. This is basically just a story of a boy and girl robot, Val and Aqua. Boy robot meets girl robot and the rest is history. No, I’m serious. That’s the movie. They go out to look at some trees (along with crazy uncle robot Catskil) and this sets off all kinds of alarms at the robot factory and triggers a police robot to begin pursuit. Meanwhile, Val and Aqua build a son robot, Phil, and go on their merry way. They look for batteries here and there. They hide from the police robot here and there. They see a bear. They end up in a dump. Etc. etc. etc. Crazy kooky robot adventures. Once they realize that they may not have enough battery to make it back to the robot factory they begin to panic because they realize that no one knows about Phil. They worry that they may not be able to alert the factory to his existence, in which case they could have their memories wiped and Phil would be all alone! Oh no! Catskil gives up his battery to him, but it’s all for naught as Val and Aqua shut down and are taken back to the factory without Phil. Fortunately love prevails! Hooray! Because no matter how many times they wipe their memory and fix them Val and Aqua end up back in for repairs. Eventually they are dumped… which was the plan all along! They live out their days in the dump with their friends and a new little robot baby. It’s really a story of domestic bliss… with robots. THE END.
Why?! Other than serving as a very basic story of the purpose of life through the model of a couple of robots, I’m not really sure of the point of the movie. Perhaps we are supposed to look at Val and Aqua at the end of the film and realize “hey, wait a second. I just watched a whole movie about a couple of robots and forgot that they weren’t human… so what does that mean about being human?”… maybe. It’s really just a story of love.
Who?! Every once in a while there is a weird credit here that is hard to believe is true. I think maybe it’s a mistake on IMDb. That’s the case here as Jerry Garcia (yes, that Jerry Garcia) is credited as the voice of Phil. Seeing as Phil speaks in a series of beeps and boops, it’s hard to imagine Jerry Garcia doing that unless he was a close personal friend of someone… and that apparently was the case. Garcia and the director Allan Arkush were buddies back then and I guess Garcia played all those beeps and boops using a guitar or something. I guess that’s also why Garcia is credited on the score for Deathsport. Wild.
What?! I may as well use this part to point out that this film was actually nominated for an Academy Award for makeup. Much like Norbit, sometimes even really bad films are just amazing in some way. Stan Winston did a really good job with making Andy Kaufman look like a robot. Uncanny at times. Eventually Winston did win his only Oscar for makeup a decade later for Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
Where?! I’m not sure it’s made explicit where this is set. It seems like somewhere in Northern California probably, and that would be in line with where someone might write a robot factory to be set. The real problem is that the robots really don’t consider much about the world. They mostly just internalize their immediate situation. So they aren’t really talking about what state they may be in. F.
When?! Certainly in the near future, but a lot of stuff is pretty much the same as now (except now with robots). It’s far enough in the future that people are already lamenting the loss of the more primitive robots with simple purposes like driving forklifts and stuff for more intricate social and performative robots. Almost like someone reminiscing about when “a phone was just a phone” or something. D-.
This movie is hilariously bad. If I wanted to show someone a film to demonstrate the weird and wild (and really boring) films that we end up watching for BMT I could use this one. It is really slow, really boring, really bad, really not funny, really not anything. It’s strange that it even exists given that other than an actually good opening credits scene (scored by John Williams) it immediately starts in on a stretch of 70 minutes of… nothing. No scene that you would look at and understand what they were even trying to do. It’s almost like it was made begrudgingly. Like, “Fine, I’ll make this Andy Kaufman film,” and then after each take the director is just screaming at a producer, “Are you happy now? I’m making the film.” Truly a baffling venture. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! You ever get that need. That need for a poorly received art film from the early 80s? Me neither, but we ended up watching one. Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – This film is oddly legendary. But not in a good way. I think Jamie put is best using the word begrudging. The director seemed to begrudgingly make the film. And critics and bad move scholars alike begrudgingly put it onto worst-of lists. Everytime it came up while filling in cycles, I always had to remind myself that the film, indeed, qualifies for BMT. It looks like a film from the 70s, and certainly looks like the kind of film that was accidentally released to 300 theaters. But nope, it is a wide release film, it is real, and we had to eventually watch it. What were my expectations? To be bored out of my mind. All of the reviewers seemed bored. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be the first person in history to think Heartbeeps was an entertaining good-bad film.
The Good – There is a moment right in the beginning of the film where you think “wait … do I like this film?” and right before you scream “YES, I am a genius, this movie is secretly amazing,” the sheer boredom of the film makes your mind melt and it is ruined. I will say some of the “future” stuff is pretty fun, like the bags of Coke and Coors. And obviously the makeup is a pretty incredible achievement, it looks super crazy, but in a good way. The kind of makeup where you genuinely wonder how it was done. Read the IMDb notes if you want to know. Best bit: The makeup.
The Bad – Perhaps the most boring film ever made? As I said, it is an arthouse film masquerading as a real film that you would release to theaters. Andy Kaufman genuinely seems like he doesn’t know what he is doing. There isn’t really even a plot line. So it is an arthouse film in which you’d hear years later than everyone booed and walked out of the theater. There isn’t much to really say about it … it is a super weird and terrible film. Full stop, do not recommend. Fatal flaw: Ridiculously boring.
The BMT – Hellllllllllllls no. This film sucks. I’ll forget I watched it in a week, and then it’s only possible legacy in BMT lore is merely that it won the Smaddies Baddie for worst BMT film of the year. At least we’ll eventually be able to say that we watched every bad robot film ever made … presumably, in like 20 years. Did it meet my expectations? I guess so. I mean, I did say I expected to be bored out of my mind. And here I am explaining for the third time in this recap how bored I was watching this film … so yeah, I expected this to be a terrible BMT and it was. Why did we watch this film again?
Roast-radamas – Some great Product Placement (What?) with the technicians searching for our robot heroes drinking delicious and refreshing Coors throughout the film. Also they drink some futuristic Coke-in-a-bag. And you know what? I’m going to give it a pity MacGuffin (Why?) for the power of love! That’s right, our robots are striking out to discover and understand love and domestic bliss. How quaint. This might be a leader for Bad movie of the year, but only time will tell.
StreetCreditReport.com – Somehow it didn’t make Siskel and Ebert’s worst-of list for 1981. I figured that was the most likely place to find some actual cred. Luckily, just about any list of worst ever film robots will include Val, Andy Kaufman’s robot character. Just as an example, here it gets number two. That and this being an extremely rare Andy Kaufman led feature film is likely why I knew about this film at all prior to watching it.
You Just Got Schooled – There was luckily a natural schooling session with this film, namely the Allan Arkush classic Rock ‘n’ Roll High School which was constantly on Comedy Central when I was growing up. Turns out it is actually really well reviewed, and watching it the film is really fun. Having The Ramones in the film is a little odd, especially because the main character is a little … odd looking, he isn’t exactly a classic Hollywood leading man. But P.J. Soles is great in it, the music is great, and it is a decent spoof film to boot. Interestingly the principal (Mary Woronov) and music teacher (Paul Bartel) have been in a few Arkush films including Heartbeeps, they were who of the people at the party the robots crash. So it ended up being a decent glimpse both into how some comedy films were made in that era, and a cool precursor to Heartbeeps. B+, a fun if rough around the edges 70s spoof film. If you’re looking to recapture that feeling of watching random movies on cable you could do a lot worse.
Oh boy, so get this, I was a robot sitting on a shelf, and I fell in love with this other robot and we decided to run away. And … then some factory workers bopped out and bopped me on the head and I don’t remember anything else! Go figure. Do you remember what happened in Heartbeeps?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) When we open the film, we meet a robot Val played by Andy Kaufman. He’s a next-gen robot and rather impressive indeed, but he’s been damaged. How was he damaged?
2) On the shelf where Val is waiting to be repaired he meets Aqua. What is Aqua’s purpose?
3) The robots fall in love and (along with Catskill, a comedian robot) escape the factory to see the outside world. They are pursued by the Crimebuster, a malfunctioning crime fighting robot. What malfunction do we see it perform when we first meet the Crimebuster?
4) After a lot of very boring adventures the robots realize they have to get back to the factory before their batteries run out. On the way Catskill sacrificed himself to save the baby robot they’ve created together. Why does Catskill have so much more battery left?
5) In the end the robots are all trashed (and live happily ever after with their buddies at the dump). Why were they trashed?
After much cajoling, Rich and Poe and their gaggle of Planchets enter the spooooky ghost ship with the most ship. You better believe it’s real creepy. “Ok, you saw it. Let’s go. We’ll enjoy some brie and wine outside this, how do you say, ghost ship with the most ship,” says a Planchet, pulling at Rich’s arm. Just as he’s about to agree, Rich sees a glimmer in the corner of his eye. “Poe, did you see that glimmer, man?” Poe nods. The Planchets whisper urgently for them to come back, but Rich and Poe aren’t ones to let a glimmer slide. They hear the soft mumbling of super scary Latin phrases coming from the aft cabin. As they open the door they are confused. No one is there, just an intricate puzzle box. “This reminds me of something,” says Poe, but Rich just shrugs. “I remember this,” Poe insists and picks up the puzzle box. Suddenly it solves itself and a portal to hell is opened from which a couple sexy ladies walk out. One is a sultry minx (and also a robot) in a red dress, her smokey eyes turn Poe’s legs to jelly. The other has a book under her arm and is wearing glasses. She’s a total nerd (and also a robot), but suddenly she takes off her glasses and she’s also super sexy! But she was wearing those glasses! Who could have guessed? “Woah, I’m in love, bro,” says Poe. Rich is shocked. “Uh, those are obviously demons (and also robots). We should just close the portal.” But Poe shakes his head, “I can’t decide. There’s only one person who can help me with this… and that’s myself.” And with that he writes Dear Diary… Now this is starting to feel vaguely familiar to Rich. That’s right! We’re getting the classic robot love story Heartbeeps starring Andy Kaufman. Never heard of it? Neither did anyone else. This film was a test to see if Kaufman could carry a film before letting him make a Tony Clifton film and was a remarkable failure. It’s also one of the few BMT qualifying romantic comedies set in the future, so seemed appropriate for this cycle. Let’s go!
Heartbeeps (1981) – BMeTric: 23.9; Notability: 39
(Brutal rating. Which I think makes sense. By all accounts it is just extremely weird and boring. Just an unpleasant watch overall. So no one watches it, and when they do they trash it. The Notability is off the chain though, for a $10 million movie from 1981? That seems crazy, but they had Stan Winston and John Williams on this thing, they really really went for it trying to see if Kaufman could carry a movie. He can’t.)
Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – Two robots fall for each other in this misfired futuristic comedy. Students of makeup might want to take a peek at Stan Winston’s work.
(My god. It is just “this is a movie … but the makeup is really good.” That’s barely a review!! Incredible. This can’t be anything but brutally boring.)
(Huh. That is not at all what this movie is about. The crimebuster character is part of the film, but is by no means the primary storyline. The primary storyline is about two robots falling in love … really weird advertising idea.)
Directors – Allan Arkush – (Known For: Rock ‘n’ Roll High School; BMT: Caddyshack II; Heartbeeps; Notes: Mostly a producer these days, including Crossing Jordan and Heroes. Tends to cast Mary Woronov in films he directs.)
Writers – John Hill (written by) – (Known For: Close Encounters of the Third Kind; Quigley Down Under; Little Nikita; BMT: Heartbeeps; Notes: Won an Emmy for writing on L.A. Law in 1991. His work on Close Encounters was mostly additional notes.)
Actors – Andy Kaufman – (Known For: God Told Me To; My Breakfast with Blassie; BMT: Heartbeeps; Notes: Famous for his reality blurring performance art which included wrestling and fake late night feuds. Sadly he passed away young, and his life is outlined in the film Man on the Moon starring Jim Carrey.)
Bernadette Peters – (Known For: Annie; The Jerk; Anastasia; The Mean Machine; Silent Movie; Pennies from Heaven; Alice; Impromptu; Snow Days; Future BMT: Pink Cadillac; It Runs in the Family; Slaves of New York; BMT: Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return; Heartbeeps; Notes: won a Golden Globe for Pennies from Heaven. She somewhat retired from motion picture acting in the 80s to focus on Broadway. She has won two Tony awards.)
Randy Quaid – (Known For: Independence Day; Brokeback Mountain; National Lampoon’s Vacation; Kingpin; National Lampoon’s Winter Holiday; Midnight Express; The Last Picture Show; Paper Moon; What’s Up, Doc?; Quick Change; The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle; Home on the Range; The Long Riders; The Last Detail; Freaked; Foxes; The Missouri Breaks; Get on the Bus; The Paper; No Man’s Land; Future BMT: Not Another Teen Movie; Major League II; Days of Thunder; Vegas Vacation; The Wraith; Last Dance; The Slugger’s Wife; Moving; Goya’s Ghosts; Milwaukee, Minnesota; BMT: Pluto Nash; Caddyshack II; Hard Rain; Grind; Heartbeeps; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar in 1974, he is the older brother of Dennis Quaid, and hit it big in Hollywood first. Mostly known for controversy these days, he has been involved in criminal issues between Canada and the US, and according to Twitter he is a huge Trump supporter.)
Budget/Gross – $10 million / Domestic: $2,154,696 (Worldwide: $2,154,696)
(Oooooof disastrous. That budget makes a ton of sense, the makeup itself is pretty insane (nominated for an Oscar even). And if it wasn’t a weirdo art film then making $20 million is reasonable one would think.)
(Wow, we haven’t had a 0% in forever. I’ll have to make a consensus as well: A truly unpleasant viewing experience, I would rather physically harm myself than sit through this film again.This about sums that up. I cannot find a major critic who had a review of this film.)
(What in God’s name is that? That is horrific. I find almost no redeeming qualities to that other than the fact that it doesn’t seem like it was made by a monkey at a typewriter. F.)
Tagline(s) – WANTED – Be on the lookout for this gang of misfit robots (D)
(What is happening? Is this supposed to intrigue me? Everything about this movie seems so weird? No mention of the fact that this is about robots falling in love? It seems like they decided that KOOKY ESCAPED ROBOTS was their best chance at getting some butts in seats… didn’t work.)
Top 10: Interstellar (2014), Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019), Jurassic Park (1993), Ready Player One (2018), The Matrix (1999), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Alita: Battle Angel (2019), Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
Future BMT: 84.5 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005), 83.1 Inspector Gadget (1999), 70.5 Zoom (2006), 67.3 Scooby-Doo (2002), 65.0 Max Steel (2016), 63.0 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997), 59.6 Virus (1999), 58.1 Toys (1992), 57.9 Supernova (2000), 57.1 Flubber (1997);
BMT: Sucker Punch (2011), Replicas (2018), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Jupiter Ascending (2015), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Pixels (2015), Masters of the Universe (1987), RoboCop 2 (1990), Judge Dredd (1995), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), The Benchwarmers (2006), Superman III (1983), Lost in Space (1998), RoboCop 3 (1993), Jason X (2001), The Avengers (1998), Meet the Spartans (2008), Old Dogs (2009), Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (1996), Pluto Nash (2002), Deadly Friend (1986)
(That dip in the mid-2000s seems real, but I lack any coherent explanation as to why people would be souring on robot films at the time … Anyhoo, I cannot wait to watch Max Steel, it is going to be so bad. And Toys is a great film from a nostalgia perspective.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Randy Quaid is No. 3 billed in Heartbeeps and No. 2 billed in Bye Bye Love, which also stars Amy Brenneman (No. 5 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 4 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 3 + 2 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch Last Dance, Intersection, Nights in Rodanthe, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 17.
Notes – Because this movie was so poorly received at the box office, Andy Kaufman’s “The Tony Clifton Story,” a movie about the life and times of his alter-ego Tony Clifton, was scrapped by the movie studios. (Oh nooooo, that would have been terrible, but would have been kind of a fun time capsule of a film)
Universal executives were horrified by the cut Allan Arkush presented them with. Their final cut was 79 minutes with credits.
Sigourney Weaver was offered the role of Aqua, and was interested in being in the film. Her agent talked her out of taking the part. (Smart agents)
Because of the weather at the Colorado shooting location, Stan Winston’s elaborate robot makeup, which took several hours to apply, gradually wilted in the heat, limiting how much footage could be shot in a day.
Allan Arkush, who had never helmed a big-budget project, staged scenes at a glacial pace that frustrated everyone but him. (Haha)
Universal Pictures gave Andy Kaufman a blank check to make this film after focus group testing indicated that children liked robots, apparently in the wake of R2-D2 and C-3PO. (Ooooof)
In a 1982 newspaper interview, Andy Kaufman said his voice for Val-Com was based on a combination of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. (Huh)
The characters Susan and Calvin, who appear in the junkyard scenes, are named after Susan Calvin, a frequently recurring character from Isaac Asimov’s Positronic Robot short stories.
Andy Kaufman grew increasingly bored with the proceedings. His friend/co-conspirator Bob Zmuda was specifically prohibited from the shoot, so Kaufman began acting out onset. (Not a good look)
Composer John Williams was hired to provide the music for the film through his association with producer Michael Phillips. The two had worked together previously on “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977). (Ah that explains the writer who also gave notes on Close Encounters)
Universal executives were concerned that Andy Kaufman hadn’t acted in films, except for a small role. They arranged for him to star in this film to see if he could carry a movie. (And he couldn’t)
Crimebuster 00719 is a redress of the Death Probe from The Six Million Dollar Man. (Wow, that’s a cool note)
The picture was nominated for Worst Picture at the Hastings Bad Cinema Society’s 4th Stinkers Bad Movie Awards in 1981.
To achieve the desired artificiality and to produce a new look for the makeup, Winston’s innovation was to use gelatin instead of painting on foam. “There was a translucency to gelatin appliances that was very nice, and it would also give me the smooth finish I was looking for,” said Winston. “So I decided to take a chance and use gelatin to create these full-face, multi-layered prosthetic makeups for the robot characters, mixing metallic colors right into the gelatin itself. This had never been done before.” The final appliances, which included foreheads, chins, cheeks, necks, noses, and ears, had just the translucent, metallic look Winston had sought; but the fragility of the gelatin resulted in their requiring constant maintenance on the set, nearly driving him to a nervous breakdown.
It was while nervously attending to Bernadette Peters’ makeup application one morning that Winston received a piece of advice he would take with him into every subsequent job. “I was in a stressed-out state,” he recalled, “which was fairly typical of me at that time, and Bernadette Peters said to me, ‘Relax, Stan. It’s just a movie.’”
Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Makeup (Stan Winston, 1982)
Captain Miller and his space rescue team of the Lewis and Clark are sent to check out a distress signal from a long disappeared experimental ship, Event Horizon. All is not right with the ship or with Dr. Billy Weir, the scientist who helped design it. Can they stop the eeeeevil ghost ship and save themselves before it’s too late? Find out in… Event Horizon.
How?! Just before going on leave, Captain Miller and the crew of the Lewis and Clark are told to get ready to go to Neptune. They are joined by Dr. Billy Weir and informed that they are going to check out a distress signal from the long lost Event Horizon, an experimental ship meant to test out a new wormhole drive. How does he know? He designed it. Bum bum bum. Once there, it quickly becomes clear that the ship is real spookified and all kinds of terrible things have happened. They want to get out of there ASAP, but an energy pulse from the experimental gravity drive damages the ship. Dr. Weir insists that the drive is perfectly safe, but soon everyone on the ship is seeing and experiencing images of their darkest fears and terrible memories. They start to die one by one at the hands of these visions and Weir goes further and further off the deep end. Turns out the gravity drive didn’t create the artificial black hole to a location far off in space after all… it created a portal to HELL. Bum bum bum! And Weir is completely in its control! Just when they are on the verge of getting their ship repaired and Miller is set to blow up the Event Horizon, Weir is able to sabotage the plan and trap them. Miller is able to blast him out into space and in a last ditch effort blows apart the Event Horizon sending the gravity drive back through a black hole and leaving the remaining survivors floating in stasis through space. Days later they are rescued and are safe (or are they? (I think they are (are they?))) THE END.
Why?! Interesting… I guess the motivation for the good guys is first professionalism. It’s their job so they are going to check out the Event Horizon. Then it’s just survival. As for the eeeevil in the ship… well, it’s evil and pure chaos. It does distill down just how classic horror this really is. That’s been the trend, survival for the good guys and evil for the bad guys. Not particularly interesting.
Who?! Just a small factoid for this section. For whatever reason they note in the credits that Andrew Kevin Walker was a “script doctor (uncredited)” on the film. It’s an interesting note given that there must be thousands of script doctors who have worked on films and don’t get that uncredited credit… so is it just because it was known from an interview or something? How do we even know it’s true? Little known fact, I was a script doctor on Cloud Atlas. Yup. Your move IMDb.
What?! Event Horizon is the perfect film for selling props. Distinct visual effects and large set pieces with a lot of moving parts. Can I dress up as one of the characters? For as little as 10,000 pounds I can. Can I get a piece of the gravity drive? Yup. And that’s really the big one here. It’s almost a MacGuffin. Dr. Weir wants to possess it, Miller wants to destroy it, we don’t know how it works really but we know it’s pretty damn powerful.
Where?! We don’t get a single scene on Earth. Even before setting off for Neptune we only see Dr. Weir waking up on a space station somewhere. This is a true blue (literally) Neptune film. Can we get the whole solar system. We obviously have Earth, Mars, and Jupiter (ascending). And now Neptune. Really we might have hit the limit right there. A-. Very important to the plot, but really couldn’t it have been a different planet.When?! 2047. All told specifically in a series of intertitles. There are even a few more facts given for context. Like 2015 is when the moon is colonized. Breaking news, I guess. You would have thought that President Obama would have made a bigger deal about that on the way out. It is the only major release set in that year… although the sequel to Iron Sky is as well (but that was hardly a major release). A. For all the context given.
When?! 2047. All told specifically in a series of intertitles. There are even a few more facts given for context. Like 2015 is when the moon is colonized. Breaking news, I guess. You would have thought that President Obama would have made a bigger deal about that on the way out. It is the only major release set in that year… although the sequel to Iron Sky is as well (but that was hardly a major release). A. For all the context given.
I kinda dug this movie. It’s got fun atmosphere and was using CGI to some effect given that it was 1997. I can certainly understand the criticisms. It was much more of a Hellraiser ripoff than I thought it would be. Particularly near the end. And while creepy at times it wasn’t really all that scary. Definitely stronger first half than second half, but didn’t peter out as much as I thought it would and I enjoyed the spectacle more than I typically do. Guess I’m a sucker for some sci-fi thrills and chills. The only thing that rankles a little bit is that this had a definite whiff of anti-science, where in the pursuit of space travel scientists have pushed too far and have arrogantly flown too close to the realm of God and thus released hell. This is a little pointed too as the scientist is the one insisting that the Gravity Drive is perfectly safe all while clawing his own eyes out. Not looking so hot in this day and age. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Somehow, this is the fourth sci-fi film we’ve watched for BMT which involved demons in space. Ghosts of Mars, Doom, and Hellraiser: Bloodline. Against all odds, this hard sci-fi cult classic is closest to Hellraiser. Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – Growing up being spooky scared of horror films, there had been a few films on my watch list periphery which never got touched because, it turned out, they were horror films. Event Horizon seeeeems like it is just a regular sci-fi film about black holes, but in reality it was a horror film, so I never watched it. Then I realized it qualifies for BMT, and, even better, was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson who makes a whole lotta bad movies. So here we are, finally watching his follow up to Mortal Kombat. What were my expectations? I … don’t know. I guess I imagined it would be cheesy like Mortal Kombat, but all of the reviews online suggest it was just too gory for the era. I don’t like gory horror films, but if that was its biggest issue then … maybe it isn’t bad anymore? I guess we’d see.
The Good – Ultra cool designs. The Event Horizon in particular is an amazingly designed sci-fi ship, and perfectly explains why the film is a cult classic in the first place. The haunted-house-in-space concept works really well here. This is maybe the best possible example of that niche genre as I could imagine. And a bunch of the actors are great as well, Laurence Fishburne in particular. Finally, while I disagree with some of the lore choices here, I appreciate the direction they went with the question of what is beyond the black hole in the Event Horizon’s engine. Best Bit: Ship design.
The Bad – Mainly I’ll just say the lore falls a bit short. The main reason for this is that it unfortunately comes across as a Hellraiser rip-off. Sam Neill’s descent into Hell and as an extension of the Event Horizon is effectively the same as Dr. Phillip Channard in Hellraiser II. Both desire their destiny, and run towards their demise with open arms. And it is no coincidence that the Event Horizon engine and the Lament Configuration share some design choices. I think it is a testament to this film that this was really the only complaint I had about it. If Event Horizon comes out a decade earlier and Hellraiser didn’t exist, would we have seen multiple Event Horizon sequels? I think it is possible. Fatal flaw: Derivative.
The BMT – It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad! I couldn’t even bring myself to mention the gore in the good or bad parts of the recap. I just don’t think it was ultra-gory, or at least not enough to note. The film itself though is quite entertaining, and it works really really well as a haunted house in space (I haven’t seen another more successful version of that in fact, the terrible Hellraiser: Bloodlines is closest maybe). I liked it, even if it feels like it borrows a tad too much from the superior Hellraiser lore. Did it meet my expectations? I didn’t really have expectations, but that didn’t matter because I think this is not a bad movie in the first place. So no matter my bad movie expectations, this didn’t meet it, since it is a good movie.
Roast-radamus – Who What Where When Why How – Once again, as will be usual with this cycle the Setting as a Character (Where?) and Period Piece (When?) is off the chain. The setting is literally a character (the Event Horizon), but space is always an excellent setting. And the film is set in the kind-of-near-future of 2047 must have seemed super realistic at the time, 50 years to making trips to Neptune. I like this for MacGuffin (Why?) in that the entire film is focused on finding and recovering the mysterious Event Horizon. And I think this has a decent shot for Good in the end.
StreetCreditReport.com – I don’t think it is that surprising this film doesn’t show up on many lists, specifically because gore seems to be the main critic complaint and that doesn’t really translate to “worst film of the year” material. I did find a list for worst horror films set in space where it is number 11. Which I think it fair, worse than something like Alien: Covenant, but better than Alien: Resurrection. I don’t even think this is the worst black hole centric films! The Black Hole I think is genuinely worse, and I liked The Black Hole.
You Just got Schooled – Here I think I had a few choices, just because Event Horizon apparently draws a lot from classic sci-fi like The Forbidden Planet (which I believe I’ve seen before). I went with Disney’s 1979 box office flop The Black Hole though. And I have to say, it was really good. It looks pretty old school, with clearly just-people-in-costumes versions of robots. But overall it fits in nicely with Event Horizon. Both films deal with the egomaniac who has created the ability to go through black holes, and the exploration of his ship which holds dark secrets within. Whereas Event Horizon draws on The Haunting to become a haunted house film, The Black Hole ends up drawing on something like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, with our heroes trapped aboard an incredible craft with Dr. Hans Reinhardt and his army of automatons. It is a pretty impressive space adventure, even if it would appear dated side-by-side with Star Wars (which had come out two years prior). And the cast is pretty sweet with Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster, and Ernest Borgnine to name a few. B+. Not the nicest film to look at from that time period, but a cool space film and an apt non-horror film to watch alongside Event Horizon.
Man, the last thing I remember I was on a search and rescue mission in space, and then a portal to hell opened up, and a demon popped out and bopped me on the head! Now I can’t remember anything that happened to me. Do you remember what happened in Event Horizon?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) We start the film with Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill) being assigned to a search and rescue mission led by Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne). Towards what planet are they headed?
2) Once arriving they discover the long-missing deep space explorer vessel Event Horizon. What was the Event Horizon’s mission that it got lost on?
3) To the best of your ability explain how the Event Horizon operates.
4) Ultimately where was the Event Horizon all of these years?
5) Let’s get a quick body count. There were eight people on the mission to start. How many survive, and how do the others perish.
“All for one, my ass,” says Rich as he and Poe attempt to push a large trunk over a log. They’ve been put on Planchet duty ever since their “rescue” and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight as the blue-clad backflipping buffoons don’t seem to be interested in anything but flipping around on ropes and trees and whatever other objects get in their line of sight. “We must save the King of France!” they scream for the thousandth time but Rich and Poe aren’t even sure if there is a King of France in this warped time sink they’ve fallen into. “Oh, Planchet! Dinner!” one screams, sitting on a log. Rich and Poe are pretty tired of the Planchet stuff so it’s time to climb the Musketeer corporate ladder. “Watch this,” Rich says with a wink and soon they are putting their years of culinary experience to good use showing off their knife skills in front of the Musketeers. At first they laugh, but soon are frowning at Rich and Poe. “No no no!” one screams, “You are Planchet! You don’t, how do you say… show off like some show off bird.” Puffing up and strutting around he challenges them to a duel. One after another the Musketeers come forward, and one after another they fall. With chests heaving and jorts brimming with sweat, Rich and Poe handily defeat the gang, who nod in appreciation. “You win, show off birds, we are now Planchets,” and they bow, asking where it is they want to go. Rich and Poe never even thought about that. As they look around they see a large wooden ship sunken into a bog in the distance. “There,” they point and the Musketeers begin to quake in fear, unwilling to go forwards. “G-g-g-g-ghosts,” they stammer out. That’s right! We’re catching up on the Paul W. S. Anderson classic Event Horizon that, while poorly reviewed in its time, has actually gained some cult following over the years. So this could really go either way in terms of being a BMT film. Set in the far future of 2047, this fits the bill for horror. Let’s go!
(Oh snap, that is a pretty high notability, almost 50 on a film made in 1997. This is a true cult classic, so it isn’t that surprising that the IMDb rating is too high to give it a good BMeTric.)
RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – It is observed darkly at one point that the gravity drive is a case of Man pushing too far, into realms where he should not go. There is an accusation that someone has “broken the laws of physics,” and from the way it’s said you’d assume that offenders will be subject to fines or imprisonment. Of course there are no “laws” of physics–only observations about the way things seem to be. What you “break,” if you break anything, is not a law but simply an obsolete belief, now replaced by one that works better. Deeply buried in “Event Horizon” is a suspicion of knowledge. Maybe that’s why its characters have so little of it.
(The production notes suggest otherwise (suggesting the film is actually just a Haunted House film in space, or a prequel to Warhammer 40,000), but that sounds suspiciously like they borrowed a major page from Jurassic Park and other “Science is Bad” films/books to suggest the hubris of scientists is humanity’s ultimate downfall … which makes me excited. As Dr. McCabe in Bats says: “I’m a scientist. That’s what we do. Make everything a little bit better.”)
(F-it, that looks dope. I’m definitely not getting “science is bad” from that trailer. What I’m getting from that trailer is just a straight up haunted house film. And this is one dope looking haunted house film.)
Directors – Paul W.S. Anderson – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: Resident Evil: Retribution; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Resident Evil: Afterlife; Resident Evil; BMT: Pompeii; AVP: Alien vs. Predator; The Three Musketeers; Mortal Kombat; Soldier; Event Horizon; Notes: Married to Milla Jovovich. Changed how he billed his name by adding the W.S. due to confusion with Paul Thomas Anderson, but now he gets confused with Wes Anderson.)
Writers – Philip Eisner (written by) – (Future BMT: Mutant Chronicles; BMT: Event Horizon; Notes: Wrote the television sequel to Firestarter and has a new movie coming out staring Jason Momoa as a vengeful grieving father.)
Actors – Laurence Fishburne – (Known For: The Matrix; Apocalypse Now; John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum; Contagion; John Wick: Chapter 2; Man of Steel; The Matrix Reloaded; Where’d You Go, Bernadette; Boyz n the Hood; Ant-Man and the Wasp; Mystic River; The Mule; Mission: Impossible III; The Color Purple; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; The Signal; Predators; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; King of New York; School Daze; Future BMT: Biker Boyz; The Colony; Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fled; Running with the Devil; TMNT; Death Wish II; Quicksilver; Bad Company; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Just Cause; The Matrix Revolutions; 21; Band of the Hand; Once in the Life; Passengers; BMT: Ride Along; Event Horizon; Notes: Prior to 1993 was credited as Larry Fishburne and he mostly did supporting roles and television work (including as Cowboy Curtis on Pee-wee’s Playhouse). Nominated for an Oscar for What’s Love Got to Do with It.)
Sam Neill – (Known For: Thor: Ragnarok; Jurassic Park; The Hunt for Red October; Jurassic Park III; Hunt for the Wilderpeople; The Commuter; The Piano; Peter Rabbit; Possession; Wimbledon; Escape Plan; In the Mouth of Madness; Ride Like a Girl; Daybreakers; The Jungle Book; The Horse Whisperer; Dead Calm; Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole; The Hunter; Plenty; Future BMT: United Passions; The Final Conflict; The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box; Memoirs of an Invisible Man; Backtrack; Irresistible; A Long Way Down; Perfect Strangers; The Vow; Bicentennial Man; BMT: Event Horizon; Notes: Australian, he worked mostly in Australian cinema in the early 80s (like Attack Force Z with Mel Gibson), and then transitioned into American cinema around when he co-starred in The Hunt for Red October.)
Kathleen Quinlan – (Known For: Apollo 13; American Graffiti; The Hills Have Eyes; Breakdown; Horns; The Doors; Twilight Zone: The Movie; Breach; A Civil Action; Lifeguard; Lawn Dogs; Zeus and Roxanne; The Runner Stumbles; Wild Thing; Chimera Strain; Future BMT: My Giant; Elektra Luxx; Airport ’77; Sunset; The Battle of Shaker Heights; Trial by Jury; Hanky Panky; Warning Sign; Clara’s Heart; BMT: Made of Honour; Event Horizon; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Apollo 13. Was in a ton of non-theatrical stuff in the 80s, like She’s in the Army Now from 1981, which appears to be a blatant Private Benjamin clone.)
Budget/Gross – $60 million / Domestic: $26,673,242 (Worldwide: $26,673,242)
(Well that’s catastrophic. I guess that is how cult films work though. You can’t really become a cult film if you were a huge hit at the time of release.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (20/74): Despite a strong opening that promises sci-fi thrills, Event Horizon quickly devolves into an exercise of style over substance whose flashy effects and gratuitous gore fail to mask its overreliance on horror clichés.
(Ugh, I don’t like gore. But I think standing in contrast to the more protracted Alien maybe will make this an interesting exercise in Sci-fi horror. Reviewer Highlight: Director Anderson gets points for skillfully choreographing all of this, but he loses them for a consistent desire to brutalize the audience. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)
(That’s a cool poster. That’s like a ‘hang on my wall’ cool. It feels real old school. Kinda low budget sci fi kinda stuff. I really really like that. Nice subtle font even. A+.)
Tagline(s) – Infinite Space – Infinite Terror (B)
(Unlike the poster this is merely fine. It’s snappy and short. But it doesn’t knock my socks off in the cleverness or originality department. I feel like it’s even a little limiting. Like this is more than just a space movie. You dig? Although, I will say… it still looks pretty cool on that super cool poster.)
Top 10: Ad Astra (2019), Interstellar (2014), Watchmen (2009), Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017), Toy Story 4 (2019), The Martian (2015), Rampage (2018), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Hidden Figures (2016)
Future BMT: 66.8 Thunderbirds (2004), 59.6 Virus (1999), 59.2 Space Chimps (2008), 58.7 Apollo 18 (2011), 56.2 Land of the Lost (2009), 52.0 Green Lantern (2011), 52.0 The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), 44.9 Fantastic Four (2005), 42.7 Mission to Mars (2000), 42.0 Red Planet (2000);
BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Armageddon (1998), Event Horizon (1997), Geostorm (2017), The Space Between Us (2017), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), Species II (1998)
(I wonder if the big peak in 2010 has to do with things like SpaceX launching their first rockets around 2008. Seems more steady than I would have expected though. The gap from 1990-1995 though is quite confusing. Besides Challenger there wasn’t any disaster around then, and that was 4 years prior. The only thing I can think of is that space films are expensive and that was around when a bunch of studios went bankrupt … that seems tenuous though. Maybe people just didn’t like space films for a while.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Joely Richardson is No. 4 billed in Event Horizon and No. 4 billed in Endless Love (2014), which also stars Bruce Greenwood (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 6 billed) => 4 + 4 + 3 + 6 = 17. If we were to watch Biker Boyz we can get the HoE Number down to 11.
Notes – Paul W.S. Anderson’s initial cut of the film ran 130 minutes and was quite graphically violent, so much so that both test audiences and the studio balked at the finished product. Paramount ordered him to cut the film by 30 minutes and tone down some of the violence, a decision he now regrets. Although it was announced in 2012 that a full version of the film had been found on a VHS tape, Anderson revealed in 2017 that due to bad archiving, a longer version no longer exists. The tape was in such poor condition when found that the footage was practically unwatchable, forcing Anderson to throw it away.
The space suits worn by the actors weighed 65 pounds (30 kilograms) each. Laurence Fishburne nicknamed his “Doris.” Due to the weight, standing upright in them for longer periods could lead to back injury, but sitting down was not possible either due to the backpack. Special “hanging poles” were constructed on the set, so the actors could rest on them between takes.
Everyone’s space suit has a flag showing hypothetical future political changes on Earth. Characters portrayed by American actors wear a flag of the United States with 55 stars. Characters portrayed by British actors wear a European Union flag with 22 stars, replacing the former Union Flag (the movie pre-dating the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in 2016). Sam Neill’s character wears a modified Australian flag, with the Union Jack removed from the top left-hand corner, and the Aboriginal flag in its place. (I should point out that the stars on the EU flag don’t represent countries and thus isn’t going to change after the UK fully extracts itself from the union. I would very much doubt they’ll ever change the number in that context)
The script originally described the Gateway machine as a smooth and featureless black orb, 10 meters (nearly 33 feet) in diameter, suspended in midair between large, rotating mechanical arms. It also was said to contain a stable black hole within it at all times (which the ship used as a power source), as opposed to briefly creating a temporary one. Paul Anderson decided to redesign it to involve interlocking circles as a homage to the puzzle box in Hellraiser (1987), which served as an inspiration. (That absolutely comes through in the finished product, it ends up being much closer to Hellraiser than any sci-fi film I’m seen)
Having just done a PG-13 movie, Mortal Kombat (1995), Paul W.S. Anderson was very keen to do something more mature and gruesome. This was why he turned down the chance to direct X-Men (2000).
Paul W.S. Anderson’s initial rough cut submitted to the MPAA received the kiss-of-death NC-17 rating.
The scene in which Weir explains how to bend space and time in order to travel huge interstellar distances is paraphrased in Interstellar (2014). Romily uses the exact same demonstration to illustrate the theory – folding a piece of paper and pushing a pen through it while explaining it to Cooper.
Although the film met with mostly negative reviews and a disappointing box office result at the time of its release, it amassed a considerable cult following over the years. Director Paul W.S. Anderson said that the movie’s cult status was predicted to him years before by Kurt Russell. Anderson screened Event Horizon before they started work on Soldier (1998), and Russell said “Forget about what this movie’s doing now. In fifteen years time, this is going to be the movie you’re glad you made”.
Philip Eisner wrote the movie after a family tragedy. He had recently entered a multi-picture writing agreement, and in an effort to force himself to get back to work he pitched the idea of “The Shining in space” to the studio, which was very receptive. Unfortunately he had no detailed treatment yet, and the subject matter blended with his emotional state to inspire a prolonged bout of writer’s block. The studio executive who had originally brought him on board, now a personal friend, helped keep Eisner on track, and the eventual first draft which was enthusiastically received.
The ‘Visions from Hell’ were inspired by works from 16th-century Renaissance painters Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel, which director Paul W.S. Anderson saw while he was touring art galleries with his production designer. Anderson was fascinated by these paintings, as the makers clearly believed in the reality of Hell as the complete antithesis of Heaven, and the images they created were terrifying and beautiful at the same time.
Some of the lost footage includes a great deal more of the Bosch-influenced Hell sequences and of the orgiastic video log that was found in the Event Horizon. This was shot by both director Paul W.S. Anderson and Vadim Jean, mainly on weekends.
Philip Eisner’s first draft of the script involved an alien infestation on the ship. When director Paul W.S. Anderson was approached, he liked the ‘Haunted House in space’ concept of the movie, but he had the source of evil changed from aliens to something more supernatural and diabolical.
Clive Barker, whose movie Hellraiser (1987) was a huge influence on the film, consulted on the project during pre-production.
The Event Horizon was modeled on Notre Dame cathedral. Its long corridor resembles a church nave, and its interior is filled with cruciform shapes, columns and vaults. Also, its engines resemble rotated church towers.
The working title was “The Stars My Destination”.
For his final scenes, Sam Neill would come to the studio at 3am so that he could spend 7-8 hours in make-up.
The original script had a sequence near the end where Starck (Joely Richardson) prepares the gravity tanks on the Event Horizon for the survivors’ escape, but one of them fills with blood, and a partially regenerated Dr. Weir (Sam Neill) without a skin appears inside. He breaks out and chases Stark, who flees and falls down a ladder to the room below; Weir follows, climbing down the same ladder upside-down. This scene was actually filmed but omitted from the movie. Weir’s upside-down walk was inspired by the infamous ‘Spiderwalk’ sequence from the extended version of The Exorcist (1973).
D’Artagnan is back, Jack! And boy is he ready to karate chop you in the neck. Coming to Paris to become a Musketeer, our boy Lil D is shocked to find them in disarray. But that doesn’t stop him from doing one for all and all for one. Can he stop the eeeeevil Cardinal Richelieu and his henchman before it’s too late? Find out in… The Musketeer.
How?! D’Artagnan is just a young boy when he witnesses his parents’ deaths at the hands of Cardinal Richelieu’s henchman Febre. Trained by his father’s loyal friend Planchet (yeeeaaaaah boy) Lil D grows up to be a backflipin’, rope swingin’, ladder climbin’, barrel rolling swordsman extraordinaire. Arriving in Paris ready to become a Musketeer he finds the group disbanded and Aramis, Porthos and Athos bitter men ready to give it all up. But Lil D says nay! Not in the face of a nefarious scheme by Cardinal Richelieu to kickstart a war between France and England. And not in the face of a beautiful young woman, Francesca, who he wants to woo with his daring deeds. He convinces them to help free the imprisoned head of the Musketeers and take him to safety. Then, catching wind of a scheme to attack the King of France and the English dignitary Buckingham to show the weakness of the throne, he recruits them to help kung fu the King and Queen to safety. Hoping to keep peace, d’Artagnan is recruited to organize a meeting between the Queen and Buckingham only to be betrayed and the Queen, Francesca and Buckingham are kidnapped. In a stirring climax, LilD4Life jumps all over some ropes and ladders and owns Febre like he’s never been owned and saves the day. Cardinal Richelieu is actually relieves, as the scheme had gotten quite out of hand, but our man Lil D ain’t having it and basically implies he better watch his back. Then he and Francesca smooch a whoooooole bunch. THE END
Why?! Uh, for all and for one? Duh. Specifically, all for one and one for all. Truly for the honor of the throne and for the honor of d’Artagnan’s legacy and his daddio and even the King of France who kinda sucks. The bad guys just want power… but they can’t handle it… they can’t handle the power because it’s a corrupting force and only someone pure of heart and mind and with abs for days like d’Artagnan can resist it.
Who?! I always do like noting when nonfictional or fictional Kings and other important historical figures are shown in film. This obviously has a huge number. It’s also funny to think how a figure like Louis XIII, who would likely have rarely been seen in films, would end up being portrayed over and over again due to The Three Musketeers. And probably in many of them, this included, the role is fairly minor. Here he was portrayed by Daniel Mesguich… you know. That guy.
What?! I mean, obviously this adaptation takes the bold step of changing the main Musketeer slogan to One for All and All for a Refreshing Coca-Cola to which they all cheers some classic Coke’s and play beach volleyball. But I mean, that’s hardly a product placement. That’s just life. And honestly we’re about 15 years too late to pick up props online for this guy. So just take solace in the fact that the full Cardinal getup from the 2011 classic is going for $10,000.
Where?! France for days. In fact I’d be hard pressed to find another film that was more French than this film. From Paris with Love starring John Travolta, sure, but that barely qualifies. Oh wait, I got it. The Three Musketeers starring Planchet… God, what a great adaptation. No wonder we’re going back to Paul W. S. Anderson next week. A.When?! The beginning is similar to the classic Three Musketeers storyline in that d’Artagnan is going to Paris to join the Musketeers at the time that Caridinal Richelieu is trying to stoke war between France and England. This would place this film in 1625. Although they don’t make this clear in the film I don’t think. They just say the events take place 14 years after d’Artagnan’s parents were killed which is unhelpful. D.
When?! The beginning is similar to the classic Three Musketeers storyline in that d’Artagnan is going to Paris to join the Musketeers at the time that Caridinal Richelieu is trying to stoke war between France and England. This would place this film in 1625. Although they don’t make this clear in the film I don’t think. They just say the events take place 14 years after d’Artagnan’s parents were killed which is unhelpful. D.
This movie is shockingly boring for a film that is based entirely on the premise “Three Musketeers but with some martial arts.” It’s actually pretty well made and all that, but everything is real dark and they seemed to have trouble editing it together in the end so it feels pretty choppy. Also Justin Chambers was just not ready to carry a film and he is unfortunately quite bad. Not great for someone who is in approximately 100% of the film, especially when I think Roth and Rae are both pretty good. Overall, I just wish it was a little more over the top. As it is, it’s merely a subpar adaptation of The Three Musketeers with some fun fight scenes and some bad filmmaking and acting. Also, they needed more Planchet. Disappointing really. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! The legendary literary badass d’Artagnan has had maybe like … 400 films made about him. But this ain’t your dad’s d’Artagnan. This time he’s attached to wires and doing kung fu. Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – I was very excited for this film. The trailer is one of the craziest things you’ll ever watch. It seems like a normal Three Musketeers film … but then the wire-fu parkour magic starts. It is almost immediately obvious that it was a bad idea, but we could never really figure out a way to fit it into BMT … until now! What were my expectations? Just the craziest thing you’ll ever see. Anything less would be a disappointment. I want The Three Musketeers starring Jackie Chan basically, I want them to throw out everything that makes the Three Musketeers the Three Musketeers and just make them martial arts masters!
The Good – The film is shot beautifully … if you ignore the fact that it was clearly too dark. If you cut out the Hong Kong fight choreography this would actually be a pretty okay (if poorly acted) Three Musketeers film. Somehow the direction ends up being both the strength and weakness of the film. A strength in that the set design and general look are really interesting. A weakness because I think it ends up being structurally a mess, which by all accounts was the director’s fault. Best bit: Set design.
The Bad – Let’s start with the acting. I have nothing against Justin Chambers and the rest of the main actors in the film, but overall it does come across as a tv movie because of the people involved. The action scenes are too much and too little at the same time. They are too stylized and jarring if you only have a few of them, which I think is what happened here. If you are going to go that big and shocking, you should just go balls to the wall and have every scene be an action scene. Finally, the story is just boring and confusing. It may have worked better using a very simple story and focusing a lot more on the action element. Fatal flaw: Action scenes are too much, and occur too infrequently.
The BMT – Sadly I think this will go down as a near miss for BMT. A “oh, what could have been!”. In an alternative universe this film is wall to wall parkour with people dressed as musketeers! But alas, within the film there is hiding a dimly lit earnest telling of the story of d’Artagnan. Somehow, against all odds, the 2013 Three Musketeers film (complete with Planchet) is actually a much better BMT in my estimation. Did it meet my expectations? Oh you couldn’t tell from that? No. It certainly is a pretty bad movie, mostly due to the acting and falling short in the action set pieces. But it should have been oh, so much more.
Roast-radamus – Who What Where When Why How – Naturally this is a great Setting as a Character (Where?) and Period Piece (When?) for the clear 17th century Paris setting. Otherwise there isn’t much there, and it is closest to being a Bad film in the end.
StreetCreditReport.com – It is a bit surprising maybe, but the bad movie lists weren’t really happening in 2001. I don’t know why really, but whatever. This is probably the second worst Musketeer film though. I would call it the worst, but if you look anywhere all critics consider the 2011 film to be the worst (and I generally agree). Still, that combined with the bizarre genre mash-up is street cred enough.
You Just got Schooled – I was very much looking forward to this because I ended up figuring out that there have been multiple Three Musketeers cartoons throughout history. First, I watched the Hanna Barbera version which debuted as part of The Banana Splits Adventure Hour. Released in 1968, this seems like an odd time for Hanna Barbera, after their big hits in The Flintstones and The Jetsons ended in the mid-60s, but before Scooby-Doo which would premiere a year later in 1969. I ended up watching the first episode of Banana Splits (which had an Arabian Knights cartoon and weird live-action cliffhanger-based shorts called Danger Island) and the Three Musketeers part of the second episode. The Banana Splits are brutally unfunny characters meant to entertain 5-year-olds (maybe). Meanwhile both Arabian Knights and Danger Island are genuinely racist garbage. So against all odds the cheaply made and boring Three Musketeers ended up being the best bit from that. D-, very little to recommend from this Hanna Barbera catastrophe. Additionally, I watched the first episode of The Three Musketeers anime (Anime Sanjūshi) from 1987. Directed by the guy who would end up directing all of the pokemon anime, it shows. It very much reminds me of the pokemon show in that it is probably too boring to sustain a binge watch, but was entertaining enough that maybe I’ll end up watching another one eventually. B-. I kind of fell into a rabbit whole with animation recently. The history of animation I think is endlessly fascinating. So being able to watch two not-very-good old-school Musketeers animated shows was a delight, even if neither ended up being particularly good.
Oh man, the last thing I remember was being legendary literary badass D’Artagnan. I was really just dunking on the Cardinal’s men (it was frankly an embarrassment), but then I think Porthos bopped me on the head because I don’t remember anything else … do you remember what happened in The Musketeer?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) We open the film with a young D’Artagnan and his family enjoying a meal. But then here comes mean, old Febre. Long story short, D’Artagnan’s family is killed, D’Artagnan slices up Fabre’s eyeball, and Planchet comes to take care of the boy. But why did Febre and D’Artagnan’s father get into a fight?
2) Oh my, how you have grown D’Artagnan! Now a dashing young medical doctor at Seattle Grace Hospital swordsman, he’s ready to get his revenge on the eeeeevil Febre. But first he must join the Musketeers, who have been disbanded and their leader, Treville imprisoned. How does D’Artagnan break into the prison to free Treville?
3) They know something is up because a Spanish ambassador is murdered on the way to gran Paris (by Febre, natch), so the Musketeers figure something is about to go down like Charlie Brown at the big bash at the palace. What was going down, and how do the king, queen, and British Lord Buckingham escape?
4) And now for one more grand plan to rule them all, D’Artagnan and his sweet parkour skillz are employed by the Queen to help her get where and to do what? This is much to the Musketeers’ chagrin as they could use D’Artagnan’s parkour skillz in their own plan.
5) Finally, all of The Musketeers go and rescue the Queen and Buckingham from Febre, hooray! But how do they know where to find them?