Blame it on Rio Recap

Jamie

Blame it on Riiioooooooo. When his wife leaves him on the cusp of a vacation to Rio with his business partner, Matthew Hollis is crestfallen. But not enough to stop him from having a brief love affair with his friend’s teenage daughter. Uh oh! Can he explain himself (answer: no), blame it on Rio, and get his wife back before it’s too late? Find out in… Blame it on Rio.

How?! Matthew Hollis is ready to go on a beautiful vacation to Rio with his wife, daughter, best friend Victor, and his seventeen year old daughter Jennifer. They just need to have a little fun seeing as Victor’s in the middle of a nasty divorce. On the verge of the trip Matthew is shocked to find that his wife has booked a separate vacation in order to think their marriage over. Devastated, he heads to Rio in a somber mood. While Victor is dead-set on sowing his wild oats in this paradise, Matthew finds every excuse to get out of it. This results in him spending time with Jennifer at a wedding during which they end up having sex. Disgusted with himself he tells Jennifer that is was a giant mistake, but she reveals that she’s in love with him and continues to make advances toward him which Matthew is somehow unable to resist (maybe he’s really dumb… that’s the kindest way I can interpret this). He tries every way to try to hide/end the love affair with Jennifer eventually culminating in Jennifer telling her father about an older lover who has broken her heart. Enraged, Victor recruits Matthew to help find this terrible pervert. Just when this sham is about to result in violence against an innocent man, Matthew reveals that he is in fact the terrible pervert. Shamed, Matthew and Victor plan to end their vacation when Matthew’s wife shows up. She is shocked by the revelation, but also inadvertently reveals her own affair with Victor! Jennifer attempts to kill herself (with birth control pills, guffaw) and everyone is really sad… until Jennifer shows up with a more age-appropriate lover and they all look at each other and laugh and laugh and laugh and decide to go back to the status quo. THE END.

Why?! When trying to describe the motivations of the characters of this film you can only conclude that the entire venture is morally bankrupt. While Matthew is certainly portrayed as dopey and weak-willed, Jennifer is alternately portrayed as manipulative and mentally unstable. This puts even more blame on Matthew for taking advantage of Jennifer, but the film does nothing to put this point across. Instead it slowly turns Matthew into a sympathetic figure, driven to the affair by his own wife’s affair combined with his inability to resist Jennifer’s advances. It is unpleasant.

Who?! Probably the most bizarre aspect of the film is the music. It is off the hook. Check out the title song. Now you’re probably all like, ‘what a weird song,’ and be done with it. But how about this little factoid: the female singer? Lisa Roberts Gillan… Julia Roberts’ older sister. This would have been just a few years before Julia broke out in Hollywood, which makes sense as Lisa’s only a couple years older than her.

What?! In what is probably the only fairly amusing aspect of the film, Matthew’s own teenage daughter is left to her own devices as he carries on an affair with Jennifer. She is shown escalating her risky behavior from staying out a bit too late to hang gliding off a cliff. So I deem this a Secret Sports Film and a great entry in the hang gliding film canon. Harold and Kumar is obviously high on the list along with Escape from LA… in fact I think this calls for a 10-episode podcast series.

Where?! Rio, baby! This is truly a maximum A+ setting given the fact that the location is the entire crux of the plot. I mean, if you couldn’t blame all the criminal things you do on Rio then how could they have even possibly conceived of such a film? Not possible. It hits rarified air along with films like, oh, I don’t know. Manhattan. Just pulling that one out of thin air.

When?! I don’t recall a specific time that this takes place. Let me google “best time to vacation in Rio.” Hmmm, it suggests that between December and March is prime time to hit the beach… well, they hit the beach so let’s pencil that in. It also says around that year-around the samba beats are irresistible. So that’s not super helpful. Hmmm, I’m tempted for an A, but I think an F is the best I can give this.

It’s hard to describe Blame it on Rio without feeling like you are taking part in something unseemly. Every aspect seems to be geared towards portraying Matthew as the unwitting prey of seventeen-year-old Jennifer’s web of sexual intrigue. He is presented as redeemable and is in fact redeemed from the viewpoint of the film by the end. It gives vibes of Lolita, which have been interpreted in similar ways over the years, and yet here they seem to have crystalized that sentiment and not left it up for interpretation. For that I can understand why even in the moment critics were appalled. Add on top that the film is cheesy (particularly the music, which can only be appreciated somewhat ironically), lacking any interesting plot and any positive aspects of the film can never, ever make up for the plot itself. It is bad and I would never recommend anyone watch it. Let it continue to fade into time until it disappears. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Blame it on Rio? Yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiikes. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – This was a weird one. I think the allure of the film overall is the A+ setting (which promised vistas of many kinds … get it? I’m talking about boobs). But also that the storyline of this film is obviously quite distasteful. A 50-year-old Michael Caine is hooking up with his friend’s teenaged daughter? Greeeeeeeeeeat. If not for Chain Reaction we might have just sidestepped this one for all of time … but here we are instead. What are my Expectations? Yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiikes pretty much sums that up. For real I just kind of assumed this was going to be gross. Much less chaste than The Blue Lagoons.

The Good – Weirdly, I kind of agree with Maltin in that Caine is quite good in the film. I thought this was a film where Caine just phoned it in, but no, we would be nominated for Educating Rita only weeks after this was released. The acting is pretty good overall. So are the vistas, the setting is pretty great in the end. Are there still bedroom farces these days? Seems like they morphed into erotic thrillers in the 90s. And then later there were things like This is 40, and The Break Up, which is more dramatic and about life in general. Teen sex romps are maybe the closest, and those kind of died and morphed into things like The Kissing Booth. Sexy comedies are a weird animal, I should probably watch a few of the classic French examples at some point. Best Bit – Caine.

The Bad – I think the moment the phrase “this aged poorly” was invented right after someone watched this film. It is basically an exercise in jumping through hoops trying to legitimatize a 50 year old having sex (multiple times … over and over) with his friend’s 17 year old daughter. It is gross. It doesn’t feel like the film is sex positive, it feels like it is painting something problematic with a veneer of “she wants it” and it makes me very unforgettable and I hated watching this film. There isn’t actually anything else that makes the movie bad, that’s it. It is completely torpedoed by the premise. It feels like both of the female leads are uncomfortable in the topless scenes, which makes the statements made by the director surrounding the release pretty gross as well. Fatal Flaw – Gross premise.

The BMT – Ooooof. I can’t wait to forget this film entirely. While I think eventually I’ll look into Bedroom Farces a bit more, and I’m definitely getting more interested in 60s and 70s French cinema (which I think this is really reflective of that, as the original film was from the 70s). But otherwise I don’t think I’ll really remember this as a BMT film at all. Did it meet my expectations? Unlike The Blue Lagoon this did live up to the promise of being super outdated and gross as was expected. So yes, in that way I suppose it did meet my expectations.

Roast-radamus – Who What Where When Why How – Definite Setting as a Character (Where?). Both an A+ setting and, quite literally, you are intended to blame all of the gross misadventures on the character of “Rio” so … yeah fits the bill. Perhaps a small Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal that Bologna and Caine’s wife are having an affair? Definitely a huge contender for Bad though in the end, perhaps leading at the turn.

StreetCreditReport.com – I can’t find any lists with this on it. I think it is an example of a studio burying it in the winter. Perhaps back in the day that used to work, because almost all of the lists I found (like the Siskel and Ebert episode) seem to focus almost exclusively on films that came out in that summer (which also appears to have been notorious for being a particularly bad summer for movies? Hard to tell). Anyways, the only real cred is a Razzie nomination for Michelle Johnson for Worst New Star … and its gross premise of course. Probably the worst film set in Rio? I think it is a pretty decent bet.

You Just Got Schooled – Speaking of Educating Rita. Released just a few months prior to Blame it on Rio, it was Caine’s third Best Actor nomination, and seemed well deserved. Both him and Julie Walters are great in the film. You can feel how it was intended to be blocked as a play set solely in Caine’s character’s Trinity office. I loved seeing the 80s Dublin, but it does seem like it could have been more effective using the original structure of the play. In a way the statement is ironic considering there is a whole discussion within the film about how one puts on a play using a story originally intended for radio. Anyways, I loved the film, and the idea of wanting to not necessarily sing a “better tune”, but a “different tune” in life is pleasantly thought provoking. A. I won’t give it a plus, because my brain is broken and I thought the film was maybe a bit too long.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Blame it on Rio Quiz

Oh boy, yikes. Well … so I was hooking up with my friend’s *gulp* daughter, and then I got bopped in the head (by a coconut I guess, we were in Rio) and I’ve blessedly forgot everything. Do you remember what happened in Blame it on Rio?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Caine and Bologna are good friends going on holiday to Rio (Rio babyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!). But how do they know each other? 

2) Who is going on the trip?

3) When they arrive in Rio it is time to hit the clubs and the beach. That first night, Caine dips out on Bologna and “accidentally” hooks up with Bologna’s daughter played by Michelle Johnson. Where did Bologna go? And what event did Caine and Johnson meet up at?

4) When Bologna learns his daughter is hooking up with a geriatric who obviously blows his stack. He, amusingly, enlists Caine to snoop about for him and figure out the culprit. Prior to admitting his guilt, two men are accused of being the mystery lover. Who are they?

5) In the end how do all of the tangle relationships ultimately end up?

Answers

Blame it on Rio Preview

Bessy the Alligator deposits Rich and Poe on the sandy shores of the island paradise before swimming merrily about the lagoon. “It’s so blue!” exclaims Poe in wonder. “So natural and beautiful and not creepy at all, just like Steve said!” shout Rich in glee. They frolic naked about the island, wild and free. Suddenly a beautiful girl peeks out from behind a tree. “Why hello young lady,” says Rich, extending a hand to the girl. Her name is Rio and she was shipwrecked here long ago and is ignorant about the world. Thus begins an entirely platonic mentorship between Rich, Poe, and Rio. They teach her the important things in life, like how to navigate the tricky politics of the male-dominated world of police work and a patented Twin Chop. Rio shows them the sources of water, an ancient abandoned sacrifice location, and how to fish. “Excellent, all very useful,” they say as they help Rio steady the glock she’s using for target practice. Time passes and they come to consider Rio like a daughter. She’s growing up so fast and while they worry about the danger of her pursuing her dream to become a detective, they can’t help but swell with pride. Just then a rustling in the bushes startles them and they realize that they had nearly forgotten about Steve, Bessy, and the civil war on the mainland! Has it finally arrived? Instead a couple of old farts stumble out of the woods and into camp. Their eyes twinkle at the sight of Rio, now a young beautiful lady. “Hoo hoo, who’s this?” they chortle. After Rio introduces herself they nudge Rich and Poe, “guess we can always blame it on Rio, right?” Rich and Poe scowl… a war is about to begin after all. That’s right! We’re watching Blame it on Rio as a connection from Glimmer Man in our never ending chain of BMT films. This is a 1984 Michael Caine picture about an old man who gets caught up in an affair with his best friend’s seventeen year old daughter. No, I’m not kidding. That’s actually what this movie is about. It sounds terrible and upsetting. Let’s go!

Blame It on Rio (1984) – BMeTric: 28.8; Notability: 22 

(Shockingly high IMDb rating given the subject matter. The notability is about what I would expect … like 20+ means it was a movie likely released to theaters it seems like. So it is kind of the minimum number of people to have a film released to theaters.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Caine has a fling with his best friend’s sexy teenage daughter while vacationing in Rio de Janeiro. Caine’s terrific, Johnson is voluptuous, Demi is obviously intimidated in topless beach scenes, and the script is kind of a sniggering TV sitcom, with a heavy-handed music score of too-familiar records. Written by Charlie Peters and Larry Gelbart. Remake of the French film One Wild Moment.

(Hmmm can I watch One Wild Moment … I hope so. I am skeptical Caine is “terrific”, but he gets to what I was thinking the film was going to be like. A television film that stumbled its way into theaters. It sounds gross by the way.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZOTSkgIP80/

(Wow. First, that trailer legit has bare breasts in it which seems crazy. Second, that is just a sequence of random scenes and jokes from the film, and then at the end it just says “I mean … come and look at beautiful shots of Rio I guess? There is probably naked ladies, and it is vaguely funny.” Really doesn’t get into the creepiness of the whole thing, you barely know that the two girls are their children!)

Directors – Stanley Donen – (Known For: Singin’ in the Rain; Charade; Funny Face; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; Bedazzled; Two for the Road; Arabesque; On the Town; What Lola Wants; Indiscreet; Wedding Bells; The Pajama Game; The Grass Is Greener; It’s Always Fair Weather; Kismet; Staircase; Future BMT: Saturn 3; BMT: Blame It on Rio; Notes: Saturn 3 and Blame it on Rio went back to back and it basically ended the slow wind down of his career.)

Writers – Charlie Peters (screenplay) – (Known For: Ruth & Alex; My One and Only; Future BMT: 3 Men and a Little Lady; Krippendorf’s Tribe; My Father the Hero; Her Alibi; Music from Another Room; BMT: Hot to Trot; Blame It on Rio; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: He was hired on to Columbia in a program developed to garner good PR For Columbia which was dealing with the David Begelman embezzlement scandal at the time.)

Larry Gelbart (screenplay) – (Known For: Tootsie; Bedazzled; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; The Thrill of It All; The Wrong Box; Neighbors; Oh, God!; BMT: Blame It on Rio; Notes: Created M*A*S*H. He was nominated for two Oscars, for Tootsie and Oh God!)

Claude Berri (based on an original screenplay by) (uncredited) – (Known For: Jean de Florette; Manon des Sources; Germinal; Ensemble, c’est tout; Une femme de ménage; Le vieil homme et l’enfant; Uranus; Lucie Aubrac; BMT: Blame It on Rio; Notes: Mostly a producer, and wrote a bunch of French films throughout the 70s and 80s. He also won an oscar for a short film.)

Actors – Michael Caine – (Known For: The Dark Knight; Inception; Interstellar; The Dark Knight Rises; The Prestige; Dunkirk; Kingsman: The Secret Service; Batman Begins; Secondhand Lions; Now You See Me; The Eagle Has Landed; Children of Men; Get Carter; Journey 2: The Mysterious Island; A Bridge Too Far; Youth; Austin Powers in Goldmember; Miss Congeniality; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Going in Style; Future BMT: Bewitched; The Swarm; Beyond the Poseidon Adventure; Sherlock Gnomes; King of Thieves; Dear Dictator; Cars 2; The Hand; Now You See Me 2; Sleuth; Mr. Destiny; The Statement; Around the Bend; Surrender; Water; BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; On Deadly Ground; Get Carter; The Last Witch Hunter; Blame It on Rio; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 1981 for Dressed to Kill, and The Island; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Jaws: The Revenge in 1988; Notes: Was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in London and took his name from The Caine Mutiny.)

Michelle Johnson – (Known For: Death Becomes Her; Far and Away; Waxwork; Future BMT: Dr. Giggles; Gung Ho; BMT: The Glimmer Man; Blame It on Rio; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star for Blame It on Rio in 1985; Notes: She was born in Alaska and starred in a series of non-theatrical films mostly in the late-80s and early-90s. She was Model of the Year in 1982.)

Demi Moore – (Known For: A Few Good Men; Ghost; St. Elmo’s Fire; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; One Crazy Summer; Rough Night; Margin Call; G.I. Jane; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Disclosure; Mr. Brooks; The Joneses; About Last Night…; Bobby; Deconstructing Harry; Flawless; Beavis and Butt-Head Do America; Forsaken; We’re No Angels; Love Sonia; Future BMT: LOL; The Juror; The Butcher’s Wife; Indecent Proposal; The Seventh Sign; Corporate Animals; Very Good Girls; Half Light; Bunraku; Young Doctors in Love; Passion of Mind; Wild Oats; Blind; Happy Tears; Now and Then; BMT: Striptease; Nothing But Trouble; The Scarlet Letter; Blame It on Rio; 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: Somewhat notably is quarantining with her children, husband … and ex-husband Bruce Willis? In a series of bizarre photos Bruce Willis is creeping in the background. Turns out that Bruce Willis’ wife and kid were supposed to be there as well, but got trapped in isolation due to unforeseen circumstances. Was also married to Ashton Kutcher for a time.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $18,644,570 (Worldwide: $18,644,570)

(Also amazingly high … what it up with like The Blue Lagoon and films like this pulling in $20+ million takes? It just seems so weird. Probably cost a mint to make, this is Michael Caine’s “I want to buy a house, what garbage film can I be in this year?” peak.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (2/24): It isn’t clear who is most culpable for this creepy comedy’s sheer wrongness, but its smarmy laughs and uncomfortable romance will leave audiences feeling guilty long afterward.

(Hahahahahah, yes this is what I expected when this film was chosen. It should be hidden from the world, never to be seen again … right after we watch it I guess. Reviewer Highlight: This movie is clearly intended to appeal to the prurient interests of dirty old men of all ages. – Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Aging Poorly

(What was happening with posters. Do you want me to sit and read it? Because I won’t. If you want to show me a girl in a bikini, just show me a girl in a bikini. Why the other 1000 things on the poster? Also why is the girl looking in a mirror. Someone needs to write an essay about this poster. D)

Tagline(s) – You can blame the night, blame the wine, blame the moon in her eyes, but when all else fails . . . you’d better . . . Blame it on Rio! (C)

(This is upsetting on a moral level. Slightly less upsetting on a tagline level. I mean, it’s got features of a tagline despite being like twelve words too long.)

Keyword – rio de janeiro brazil

Top 10: Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), Charlie’s Angels (2019), Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), The Incredible Hulk (2008), 2012 (2009), Geostorm (2017), Fast & Furious 5 (2011), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), The Money Pit (1986), Cars 2 (2011)

Future BMT: 72.2 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), 70.3 Mr. Magoo (1997), 58.2 Wild Orchid (1989), 44.4 Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990), 30.6 Cars 2 (2011);

BMT: 2012 (2009), Geostorm (2017), Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), Blame It on Rio (1984), Driven (2001)

(The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is so bad, and indeed has a decent part in Rio. I’m intrigued by Magoo. Magoo is probably so so bad. Rio really had a moment in the 2010’s … well I guess just Twilight came out then.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Demi Moore is No. 4 billed in Blame It on Rio and No. 1 billed in Striptease, which also stars Burt Reynolds (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 5 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 4 + 1 + 2 + 5 + 4 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch Surrender we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – According to contemporary news stories, special parental consent was required in order to allow the nude scenes featuring Michelle Johnson, as she was not yet eighteen at the time they were filmed. Publicity for this movie also stated that Johnson was around two months out of high school when she was cast. (Oh no no no no no no no no no no no no no)

The theatrical movie poster, featuring the rear view of a girl in a “Brazilian cut” bikini caused such a stir that an altered, airbrushed version of the same poster with a less revealing bikini was issued. (Oh God, no no no no no no no no)

Director Stanley Donen has referred to the production of this movie in Brazil as being “horrendous”. Donen has said that principal photography was marred by excessive bureaucratic requirements for personal information for the cast and crew; endless rainfall falling on days, in which the forecast said otherwise; and the late, and even non-arrival of goods, products, and services.

Yvette Mimieux and her then-husband, Stanley Donen, saw the original French movie In a Wild Moment (1977) — aka Un moment d’égarement — in Santa Monica, California, and decided that they wanted to remake it, and quickly optioned the property for an American version, which became this movie. In 2015 a French remake called Un moment d’égarement was released.

According to Allmovie, “(film) critics aptly noticed (Michael) Caine’s apparent discomfort throughout the film”. (Hahahahaha)

Final theatrical movie directed by Stanley Donen.

Michelle Johnson said during a 1984 interview that it wasn’t until after she was cast that she learned her role involved total nudity. “My parents were a bit concerned about it and I was too,” she said. “I always wanted to have a career (in film) and I wanted to make the right moves at the right time. So we read the script and we talked to Stanley to find out exactly what his intentions were for the film. My parents looked into Stanley’s reputation and seemed satisfied because he makes such quality films.” Johnson said she was incredibly nervous the first time she took her clothes off and stood around naked in front of the cast and mostly male crew. It was like hundreds of eyes were all staring at her exposed body. But once the camera started rolling, she was fine. “When I was being Jennifer, when I was really focused in on that character, I wasn’t aware that I was topless or completely naked in those scenes. That was the last thing on my mind because I was so focused. But the minute Stanley said “cut’ I was immediately aware that I was standing in front of 20 or 30 people with no clothes on and I picked up a robe and ran to my room.”

In her memoir Inside Out, Demi Moore reveals that she ended up in bed with a member of the crew one night. “Peter, a young guy who was running the second unit camera on the movie” is assumed to be Peter Lyons Collister. (This is the weirdest note I’ve read on IMDb I think)

This movie was released seven years after the original French movie, In a Wild Moment (1977). According to Randy Lofficier’s 1998 article “REMAKE… AMERICAN STYLE: American Writers Discuss the Writing and Crediting Process for Remakes of Foreign Films”, this remake “does not identify the French film and its writer, Claude Berri.”

Michelle Johnson said she didn’t even know who Michael Caine was when she was invited to audition. “This was so embarrassing,” she said in an interview when the film was released. “.So I called a friend who’s older than me. She goes to movies a lot. And she said, “Oh, that’s that Kung Fu guy.’ She was getting him mixed up with David Carradine. I immediately went out and saw “Alfie’ and “The Man Who would be King” and “Sleuth.’ I was very nervous at the audition, especially after seeing those movies.”

Sir Michael Caine performs a Greek Chorus role in this movie, which intermittently cuts to him talking to the audience from a studio shot with a gray wall background, explaining the twists and turns of the movie’s storyline. (Whaaaaaaaaaaa)

Director Stanley Donen said in a 1984 interview that he originally wanted an experienced actress for the role of Jennifer. He was looking for a young girl who was beautiful, lively, energetic and extroverted, but couldn’t find one that satisfied him who was willing to go nude. So he started auditioning new inexperienced actresses and he found Michelle Johnson. Even though she was a model, he thought it may be difficult convincing her and her parents that she would have to do nude scenes. But he said they were all fine with it. “Girls, you know, if they’re attractive, most of them are not at all unhappy about being topless,” he reasoned. “They are quite beautiful and they like to be admired.” (Oh no no no no no no no)

Demi Moore turned down the role of Lucy Lane in Supergirl (1984) to appear on this film. (I mean … uh, good choice?)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Michelle Johnson, 1985)

Return to the Blue Lagoon Recap

Jamie

Lilli and Richard are a couple of crazy kids marooned on a tropical island. Fending for themselves they grow up together and eventually (beautifully, magically, truly, madly, and deeply) fall in love and start boning. Will they get rescued and ruin their perfect tropical utopia… uh… before it’s too late? Find out in… The Return to the Blue Lagoon.

How?! Picking up right where we left off in the last movie, Richard, Em and little Paddy are found in their drifting boat by a passing ship. Em and Richard have finished their mortal journey, but the child is alive. Hooray. Brought on board everything is wonderful… psych! This ship is totes filled with cholera and the kid is left with a mother and her child Lilli adrift in a small boat with a nasty sailor. Kicking that jokester to the curb, the mom and kids sail their way to the beautiful, natural blue lagoon and start living it up in the fun tree house from the first film. Growing up together they are super into god and each other and surviving. The mom dies of pneumonia and through the years Lilli and Richard grow up together and Lilli is into Richard and Richard is into Lilli, but they don’t know how to express that. Being all macho he’s like, whatever I’ll even go to the other side of the island where we aren’t supposed to go. There he sees the religious rituals of the visiting natives (thank god, we’ll finally get that resolution from the first film) and Lilli is super worried. Returning to camp they make up and make out and their natural love blossoms and it’s beautiful. They get married (obvs) and bone for the next couple months, but then are surprised when a passing ship stops in for fresh water. The captain is intrigued by the half educated, half ignorant kids and the captain’s daughter is intrigued by Richard’s sweet muscles and one of the sailors is intrigued by pearls and shiny objects. This all culminates in jealousy by Lilli and an attempted assault by the sailor, which Richard fends off. They ultimately decline the rescue and have a baby and live happily ever after. THE END.

Why?! Why is the sky blue? Why does the sun shine? Why is life? All these things just are. Like this film. It just is and Lilli and Richard are just meant to bone naturally and beautifully for all eternity. Forever and ever. Amen.

Who?! Going back to the well. Young Richard is played by none other than Garette Henson… who? WHO?! That’s Guy Germaine from the Mighty Ducks. The very Guy who is dating Connie Moreau. He’s a legend. Interestingly the very same year he portrayed a young Richard in this film he also portrayed the young Tom Kimball (aka the President) in 1990’s Captain America. This dude had beautiful natural love on an island with Milla Jovovich, dated Connie Moreau for Team USA/The Mighty Ducks, and was president. My lord.

What?! It’s crazy in this one when that case of cold, refreshing Coca-Cola washes up on shore and Richard takes a sip and says “Our love isn’t the only natural, beautiful thing on this island any more.” It’s crazy. Besides that though, we still don’t get any damned resolution with those natives. They even get a bit kinder in this one, no longer practicing human sacrifice and pleasantly interacting with Richard. Time must have softened them.

Where?! South Pacific for days. They are even a little clearer in this one talking about how weird it is that the island is not on a map. All this despite the fact that it’s a source of fresh water in the Pacific. I think perhaps the implication is that those pesky natives are killing all the people who stop in there (although we’ve never seen that in all the people that have visited)… or perhaps this is all some big religious allegory and it’s purgatory and Lost ripped this movie off. Who knows.

When?! This one at least gives up an intertitle in the beginning to let us know that we are in the year 1897 and the previous film took place in 1882-1897. Phew. That also means that by the time it got to the end of this film it was what? 1912… maybe a little later. Bros, World War I is about to start. Just stay there and wait it out. But maybe when WWII is going full tilt and you’re like 50 it might be time to jet. C.

It’s no accident that the synopsis of this film is more or less the same shit sandwiched between slightly different slices of bread. I was shocked at just how dire a SECOND viewing of what is essentially the same story would feel to me. Milla Jovovich was beautiful, but she was super unpolished (even sporting a slight Russian accent at this point) and Brian Krause was somehow worse! They even managed to make an already super dumb love story dumber by tying it closer to the Christian concepts only hinted at in the first one. It was hard to imagine that I would come out of this film (which had a much more interesting beginning and end than the first film) thinking it was worse than The Blue Lagoon, but I did. This film was terrible. It served no purpose and we should not have watched it. Thank god next week we have *checks notes* Blame it on Rio… my god. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Do you know what I thought when I left the Blue Lagoon? When can I Return to the Blue Lagoon?! Because it was great, I mean, the vistas! Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Ah there we are. The sequel is much more well known I think for being a catastrophe. Also somewhat notably a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes with 30 reviews (that is 15th most reviews for a 0% film, that is pretty nuts). So at the very least I had high expectations for this film being terrible. What were my expectations? I wanted just absolutely terrible acting combined with basically the same ludicrous (and pretty grossly exploitative) storyline as the first. Please, just make it a garbage fire. Please.

The Good – I think the last act is slightly more effective than in the first film. Nothing happened in the first film. At least here one of the two interesting things happen: either the heroes meet the natives of the island, or meet people from civilization again. They went with the latter, and it was fine. It is mostly what you would hope it would be from that perspective. Then, once again, the vistas are solid, you can’t go wrong with Fiji as a filming location. Otherwise it is pretty incompetant top to bottom.

The Bad – The acting is crazy crazy bad. You can kind of forgive Jovovich, she very clearly still has a vaguely Eastern European accent. It isn’t thick or anything, but there is just a twang with how she says some words where you can tell she had a slight accent she was trying to cover. Brian Krause though was really really bad, and it sinks the middle bit of the film. The religious undertones to this film are off the chain. You can argue the first film is some vague allegory to the Garden of Eden. Here, they literally stop, and juuuuust before they have sex for the first time, they both agree they should get married. It makes sense in the context of the story maybe, but it is just so weird in the context of what you expect going into the film. Nothing says “natural love” like … Victorian religious undertones? The inevitability of them remaining on the island due to the threat of rape by the sailors is also quite distateful I think. Also the film is just plain boring. Like the first one.

The BMT – The biggest crime this film commits is being boring. I think maybe if I watched it again out of context maybe I’d get why the Razzies and other bad movie sources think the film is amusing. It is mostly boring, with the film just feeling like a television movie and incompetently made throughout. Its biggest claim I think will come from when we complete the 0% on Rotten Tomatoes list. Did it meet my expectations? No. It is catastrophically made, and pretty gross in my opinion. But it is too boring to be a true garbage fire. It is like a garbage fire where there isn’t any actual flames. You know the garbage is on fire, and soon enough it’ll be a smoking ruin. But the fire itself is boring and just … smells like garbage. Nailed that analogy, 10/10 perfect landing.

Roast-radamus – Once again a nice Setting as a Character (Where?) for the fictional (Fijian?) island of Palm Island. It is a character, with its own personality across both films. This is a definite Secret Holiday Film (When?) as a very vital section of the film takes place during Easter and features an Easter egg hunt. I think I’ll leave it there. There is an outside shot at Bad for this one maybe, but I bet we’ll get better ones in the back half of the year.

StreetCreditReport.com – This film was indeed featured on Ebert’s list of worst films of 1991, so immediately there is a ton of cred there. It also obviously has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, truly rarified air. It is a sequel to a terrible film, and was nominated for five Razzies. It has a ton of cred, and that isn’t even considering that it might be the worst shipwreck film ever made … wait. No. The Island of Dr. Moreau exists. Whatever, it is like top three.

You Just Got Schooled – You might be sitting there thinking to yourself “there is no way Patrick would actually watch the third totally unrelated Lifetime original Blue Lagoon film, right?” WRONG. That’s right, I watched Blue Lagoon: The Awakening. You might think this has very little connection to BMT, but it actually stars Brenton Thwaites who is the legit star of Gods of Egypt and the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, which is pretty crazy. The film has almost no connection to Blue Lagoon itself though, although they had to have filmed it with that in mind because the one and only Christopher Atkins, star of the original Blue Lagoon, plays a huuuuuuge role in the film as the lost students’ teacher. The storyline is basically just a teen rom com about two high school students who accidentally get stranded on a Caribbean island (for three months!!) … and that’s it. I mean, they have sex and stuff. And they talk about love and life, loss and hope. We grow together, and learn to never give up! Jeez guys, I’m not crying, you’re crying. F. This movie is awful and I hated every moment I wasted watching it.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Blue Lagoon Recap

Jamie

Em and Richard are a couple of crazy kids marooned on a tropical island. Fending for themselves they grow up together and eventually (beautifully, magically, truly, madly, and deeply) fall in love and start boning. Will they get rescued and ruin their perfect tropical utopia… uh… before it’s too late? Find out in… The Blue Lagoon.

How?! Em and Richard are on a trip to San Fran to start a new life with Richard’s father (Em’s uncle… just to be clear). Or are they? That’s because the ship catches fire and they are stranded on a deserted tropical island that is somehow not on any maps… which is never explained… like a lot of things in this film. With only the ship’s cook, Paddy, for company they learn to survive and live peacefully on the island until one night when Paddy swims off drunk and turns up dead. Sadly they take the boat and find a secluded blue lagoon to start anew. Growing up together they are pretty rambunctious, but also learning about themselves and life and love and the world and everything and it’s beautiful and natural. Richard is kinda crushing on Em and Em is kinda crushing on Richard, but their love is so natural that they aren’t sure what to do about it. That is until Em is almost killed when she steps on a poisonous fish and Richard nurses her back to health. From that point their natural and beautiful love blossoms all while they contemplate the existence of other people on the island and the concept of rescue from their beautiful love paradise. A short time later things start changing for Em and she ends up having a baby. They happily raise the youngster and everything is beautiful and natural and even when a ship arrives bearing their father/uncle looking for them they look at the ugly, unnatural thing and walk away. Happy to continue their life they go off to another part of the island, but end up drifting away and losing their oars. Cornered by a shark and facing certain death they sadly all eat poisonous berries and wait for sweet relief. A ship eventually arrives and finds them and when they check if they are alive they say yes, but sleeping… but they are probably dead (or are they?). They are. THE END.

Why?! Why do the birds sing? Why do bees make honey? Why are there so many creepy films like this? There just are and this film just is. Em and Richard simply live and through their natural, beautiful lives a natural, beautiful love blossoms and they naturally and beautifully bone. Ya dig?

Who?! It’s occasionally interesting to look at the child actors in a film. But only occasionally, as often they aren’t in much besides the film on hand. Here we have several youngsters portraying younger version of the main cast. Interestingly the young Brooke Shields/Em is portrayed by Elva Josephine who also appeared in a couple other possible BMT films. I say possible because early 80’s films can be tricky to figure out whether they were even poorly reviewed… like is Author! Author! a BMT film? Impossible to tell.

What?! Hard to do anything typical for this section so I’ll just highlight the fact that this film is rife with dropped plot lines. Like there is a whole setup for the tiny island they are on to be occasionally visited by natives of another island in order to pray to a god and perform human sacrifice. This, of course, never comes to any climax. No confrontation. No resolution as to how or why or where these natives are coming from. Nothing. That’s just solid storytelling.

Where?! We ended up determining that this was allowed for the Exotic Setting cycle primarily because Oceania would be quite bare if we didn’t start making up new places for the mapl.de.map. So welcome to the Creepy Sexy Blue Lagoon. It’s located somewhere off of South America in the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the creepy, sexy fun. B, but only because while the setting is obviously vital, it’s not very specific by design.

When?! Somehow the most interesting part of this film was trying to figure out when this all took place. Patrick did some research and it seemed to line up with sometime in the late 1800’s. Then the second film goes ahead and lets us know that the shipwreck at the beginning of this film takes place in 1882 and covers 15 years from then till 1897. Good to know for my year-by-year film timeline where I try to get film set in every year for all eternity. D-

I guess I expected worse. Is that possible? I thought this would be extremely uncomfortable viewing given the reputation of the film, but it just turned out to be merely boring. It really does serve the stated purpose: chaste, “natural” love of two people who know nothing but the island they grew up on (arguably less than that). Basically the Adam and Eve story down to them eating from forbidden/poisonous fruit at the end. And despite casting a 14-year-old Brooke Shields, you could see all the camera tricks they were using to switch out body doubles for particular scenes. It’s biggest crime is the overall portrayal of love itself, which is so wildly dumb and unrealistic that you wonder if people were insane in the 70’s and 80’s. It’s hard to imagine who this film was for. Certainly not me. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Ooooooooo, Natural Loooooooooooooorve. That’s sung to the same turn as Endless Love. Don’t worry about it. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I think these two films have always been on the radar for us. This is somewhat notable as one of the original Razzie films, and for the way they had to film due to Brooke Shields being 14 at the time. This is also technically one of the first non-qualifying BMT films we’ve done in years and years. It doesn’t technically qualify because there is no official record of how many theaters it was released to. Rest assured though, the film allegedly made over $50 million, so there is absolutely no way it wasn’t a wide release if that is true. So we’ve ruled that it counts at BMTHQ, two votes to zero, a unanimous decision. What were my expectations? I mean, I guess I hoped it was going to be merely boring. I feared that it was going to be a super creepy and exploitative film with a half naked 14-year-old model running around.

The Good – If you don’t mind the slow late-60s / early-70s style pacing to the film, then you could probably sustain yourself on the vistas alone. It is a beautiful film no matter how you cut it. I liked some of the characters, like Paddy. And overall the storyline was a fairly realistic version of what they could have done. There is a version of this movie that descends into madness, with cannibal natives and pirates and all kinds of stuff. They resist that and keep the film laser focused on *gulp* … Natural Love.

The Bad – The film is sooooooooo boring. Nothing happens in this film. It is a whole lotta montages, and fishing, and walking through jungles, and rowing. A bunch of animal reaction shots and vistas. That’s it. The two leads are awful, although Shields could be forgiven, and by all accounts became a serviceable actress in the 90s. The Natural Love story ages extremely poorly … there was a time when things like this and Endless Love and other films show you some weirdo version of “young love” and I just don’t get it. It could not come across as creepier. Ultimately the film is merely okay (if boring) and then just craps out right in the end when they just … float off into nothingness to die? Great. At least we get a wild eyed Mr. Feeny at times, floating about looking for his long lost son Richard.

The BMT – I think this has a poor legacy in the end. Mainly because the sequel has loads more cred. If this actually explicitly said it was set in like Fiji, it would have immediately had a ton of Setting longevity. Instead it has to be set on an uninhabited island only vaguely near Fiji (if you believe the book). I think I prefer ultimately to remember Return to the Blue Lagoon over this one. Did it meet my expectations? I think so. It was boring, and wasn’t so creepy I felt like I was committing some sort of crime. I’ll call that a win. It certainly could have gone the other way quite easily.

Roast-radamus – Definitely a solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for the uninhabited and unidentified Palm Island where both films take place. You really get to know these places by the end of things, you know? And why not, let’s give it a Worst Twist (How?) for the family drifting slowly off to sea, deciding to kill themselves, and then in an incredible coincidence getting saved (? Turns out not to be the case in the sequel, but whatever) right at the last minute by Mr. Feeny. And I think this has an okay shot at Bad if anything for being boring.

StreetCreditReport.com – There is no way you can really find lists for films from 1980. But the cred comes from the film winning the first ever Worst Actress Razzie for Shields. If this came out a few years later I don’t think she wins, instead she would have gotten the not-yet-developed-and-now-defunct Worst New Star, but whatever. It is probably one of the worst shipwreck films as well … the issue with all of this is that no matter how much cred you want to get it, Return to the Blue Lagoon will always beat it out!

You Just Got Schooled – There have been several adaptations of The Blue Lagoon over the years, and luckily The Blue Lagoon from 1949 is available on YouTube. This film is a wild departure from the 1980 film and original 1904 novel it seems (it appears that the 1980 is a very very faithful adaptation of the book). It takes place maybe 20 years after the setting of the novel, and there is a big interlude in the middle in which two criminals come to the island and attempt to trick Michael into getting pearls for them. The sequence is somewhat similar to the sequence in Return to the Blue Lagoon, in which outsiders come to the island and the traumatic experience dissuades out heroes from attempting escape from the island for a time. Somewhat constructed from a series of vignettes, I do think this was a slightly more successful version of the story. The religious undertones seem to serve a story of the downfall of man through the thirst for knowledge a bit better when it is slightly more explicit (all the way down to Eve causing the downfall of Adam, yikes!). It probably helps that it seems more genuine in a film from 1949 as well, as there is no possibility the movie was made just to show half naked young women running about. C+. A bit boring in the end, but an interesting contrast to the overly faithful 1980 adaptation here.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Return to the Blue Lagoon Quiz

Oh boy, I’ve done it again. I got shipwrecked on the same crap island as Richard and Emmeline Lestrange! And even worse, I bopped my head (on a coconut perhaps) and I can’t remember anything. Can you remember what happened in Return to the Blue Lagoon?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) The film opens with the reveal that Richard and Emmeline died, but Richard Jr. survived. Luckily a friendly widow Sarah Hargrave takes in Richard Jr. and they live happily ever after, right? WRONG. The entire ship comes down with a sickness, what is that sickness?

2) Now shipwrecked, quite coincidentally on the same island as Richard Jr. grew up on, the widow Hargrave, Richard Jr. and Lilli Hargrave try to make a life for themselves. Sadly the widow Hargrave dies when they are still quite young. How did she die?

3) In the opening scene after the smash cut to adulthood, Richard and Lilli are planning an Easter contest. What is the contest, who wins, and what is the prize?

4) In this movie there is also a traumatic event that brings the two “natural” lovers closer together and eventually into matrimony (so civilized of them!). What is this event?

5) Finally, a group of sailors find the island and end up promising to take the two “natural” lovers back to civilization. What were the sailors looking for on the island, and why does the plan to take them with them fall apart?

Answers

The Blue Lagoon Quiz

Oh boy, you see, what happened was I was making fun of my best shipwreck friend Brooke Shields and she threw a coconut at me and bopped me on the head with it! I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in The Blue Lagoon?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Richard and Emmeline Lestrange are travelling with Richard’s father Arthur through the South Pacific, but boy howdy does their boat get in trouble and they have to abandon ship. How are Richard and Emmeline related and where were they headed?

2) Richard and Emmeline are shipwrecked with the ship’s cook Paddy, who gives them two “laws” to live by. What are these two laws?

3) How does Paddy die?

4) What traumatic event brings the, now grown up, Lestranges closer together to begin their “natural love” romantic relationship?

5) How do they end up drifting out to sea, possibly dying in the process (it is unclear whether they are dead at the end of this film, although it is clarified in the sequel)

Answers

Return to the Blue Lagoon Preview

“Oy, mates!” screams Alligator Steve as he hops down from Bessy and greets Rich and Poe. Apparently, in the scuffle with the gamemasters he also fell through the portal and ended up back in his homeland. “All for the best,” he says with a wink. He watches in amusement as Tiniman’s army moves quickly away through the fire desert. With a slap on the back he invites Rich and Poe back to his village where they partake in some traditional shrimp on the barbie and hear the legend of their giant alligator friends. It’s all very exciting and interesting. “Do you think, Steve,” Poe asks, “that maybe we are supposed to help you win this war? That that’s the purpose of this part of the game?” But Steve isn’t so sure. The gamemasters seemed mighty suspicious of their behavior back at the school. “War is war, mates. You don’t want any part of it. Take Bessie and head out to the islands,” he says pointing to some beautiful tropical islands off the coast. “No will find you there. You will live a beautiful natural life full of natural beauty and wonder. It’ll be a magical time that everyone will be interested in because of how beautiful it is. And perchance you will find love there with the beautiful natural denizens of the island and it will be beautiful and natural and not creepy because how could something so beautiful and natural be creepy, right?” …. right. They try to convince him that they don’t need Bessie, but Steve is insistent that he’ll be alright. There’s a reason they call him Lil’ Bessie, mighty warrior. Just before they leave Rich and Poe look back at Steve one more time and ask hesitantly, “so this definitely isn’t a weird, creepy place, right?” That’s right! We’re watching the double feature of The Blue Lagoon and The Return to the Blue Lagoon starring Brooke Shields and Milla Jovovich, respectively. Panned at the time by critics for a variety of reasons they’ve mostly been remembered as films about nude young people falling in love on an island… which isn’t a great look. They are both set on an undiscovered island in the Pacific, which was good enough for us. Let’s go!

Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991) – BMeTric: 50.6; Notability: 21 

(Wait, this one also has that same 2012-2014 inflection. Looking through other films it really doesn’t seem that common. Just wait for this theory: The Blue Lagoon: Awakening, the totally unrelated third film made by Lifetime … came out in 2012. So when that came out people went and watched the whole series, and rated the film. That is blowing my mind.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  The two-year-old son of Lagoon 1’s deceased parents is rescued by a ship carrying a widow and her year-old daughter; circumstances (read: cholera) force the trio onto another tropical island, so the kids can eventually partake in PG-13 prurience.

(There are so many amazing things in this review. Calling it “Lagoon 1” with the number 1 is amazing. The semi-colon quickly followed by “read: cholera” … there is just something so charmingly quirky and shrunk down about the entire review. The BOMB designation is shockingly rare, so that’s super fun.)

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

(Hahahahahahahahah it was the first film to explore natural love? More like it was the first film to show 20 minutes of uninterrupted underwater dick shots. Oh gosh, “I’ve become one” they put that in the trailer? Out of innocence comes the most sensual love of all? Yiiiiiiikes. Guys, this one might be a doozy.)

Directors – William A. Graham – (Future BMT: Change of Habit; BMT: Return to the Blue Lagoon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Return to the Blue Lagoon in 1992; Notes: Was a prolific television director in the 70s and 80s, getting nominated for an Emmy for a television movie about Jim Jones. Was in the Navy and an avid sailor, which is maybe why he was tapped for this.)

Writers – Henry De Vere Stacpoole (book) – (Future BMT: The Blue Lagoon; BMT: Return to the Blue Lagoon; Notes: Was able to retire after the success of The Blue Lagoon and write fiction full time. He occasionally wrote under the name Tyler De Saix.)

Leslie Stevens (screenplay) – (Known For: The War Lord; The Left Handed Gun; Incubus; Future BMT: Sheena; Gordy; BMT: Return to the Blue Lagoon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1985 for Sheena; and in 1992 for Return to the Blue Lagoon; Notes: A Navy brat, he ended up writing for Broadway. Created the late 90s revival of The Outer Limits before dying in 1998.)

Actors – Brian Krause – (Future BMT: Sleepwalkers; BMT: Return to the Blue Lagoon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star for Return to the Blue Lagoon in 1992; Notes: He starred in the Bandit series of television movies which act as a prequel to Smokey and the Bandit. Cristopher Atkins  (the star of the original Blue Lagoon) was in the first of those films. He played a main role in the series Charmed in the late 90s.)

Milla Jovovich – (Known For: The Fifth Element; Dazed and Confused; Zoolander; Paradise Hills; He Got Game; A Perfect Getaway; Chaplin; Stone; The Claim; Dummy; Future BMT: Future World; Resident Evil: Retribution; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Anarchy: Ride or Die; Survivor; Resident Evil: Afterlife; Two Moon Junction; The Fourth Kind; No Good Deed; The Million Dollar Hotel; Resident Evil: Apocalypse; Kuffs; Resident Evil: Extinction; Bringing Up Bobby; Joan of Arc; A Warrior’s Tail; Dirty Girl; Shock and Awe; Resident Evil; BMT: Ultraviolet; Zoolander 2; Hellboy; Return to the Blue Lagoon; The Three Musketeers; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 2000 for Joan of Arc; and in 2013 for Resident Evil: Retribution; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for The Fifth Element in 1998; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Return to the Blue Lagoon in 1992; Notes: Her daughter Ever Anderson was just cast as Wendy in the new Peter Pan film.)

Lisa Pelikan – (Known For: Circle; Julia; Swing Shift; It’s My Party; Future BMT: Ghoulies; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; BMT: Return to the Blue Lagoon; Notes: Was at one point married to Bruce Davison (the Senator from X-Men), and has going to be a dancer, but a surgery cut her career short and she went into acting.)

Budget/Gross – $11,000,000 / Domestic: $2,807,854 (Worldwide: $2,807,854)

(Somehow a huge bomb! I guess back in 1980 people were much more willing to watch a film of this style. And then this one came out and was roughly the same 12 years later … and people just had zero interest.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/30): Despite its lush tropical scenery and attractive leads, Return to the Blue Lagoon is as ridiculous as its predecessor, and lacks the prurience and unintentional laughs that might make it a guilty pleasure.

(A zero percent is really really rare. I think this summary might have missed a bit of the point of why it was universally derided: this is the same as the previous film, but as a big dose of cynicism as it is (at least perceived to be) a cash grab. Reviewer Highlight: The sincere idiocy of this film really has to be seen to be appreciated — not that I think there is any need for you to see, or appreciate, it. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.)

Poster – Return to the Creepy Sexy Lagoon

(Much better than the first film’s poster. I like the orange sunset tones and Brian Krause’s face nicely conveys the plot of the film: bad acting. Wish the font was better and maybe this would have jumped past mediocre. B-. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: There we go, I love when I really get to color my face a crazy color. I have to assume there is a way to do this while keeping the whites very whit (like Jovovich’s eyes and teeth) … probably a filter. I think my pale complexion would end up registering as “tooth colored”.)

Tagline(s) – The story of natural love continues… (D)

Alone… wild… untamed… (B+)

(Hahahaha, that second tagline is quite hilarious. There certainly would be some things wild and untamed on that island… I’m talking about their hair… I’m saying they’d be wildly ungroomed… Anyway, the first tagline is stupid. The second one is actually OK… you know, if it actually had anything to do with the chaste, totally not wild love story of this franchise.)

Keyword – tropical island

Top 10: Jurassic Park (1993), Moana (2016), Jurassic World (2015), Cast Away (2000), Serenity (2019), The Thin Red Line (1998), The Beach (2000), Ice Age (2002), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991)

Future BMT: 39.0 Club Dread (2004), 34.0 Robinson Crusoe (2016), 14.7 The Beach (2000);

BMT: Serenity (2019), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991)

(Small keyword obviously. The Beach is the big one. BTW you can notice it more here, but yeah, The Blue Lagoon technically doesn’t qualify for BMT because technically there is no confirmation that it was released to 600+ theaters in the US. But it also made like $60 million apparently, so it was definitely a wide release. But it means it won’t show up in any analysis.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Milla Jovovich is No. 1 billed in Return to the Blue Lagoon and No. 1 billed in Ultraviolet, which also stars Cameron Bright (No. 2 billed) who is in Godsend (No. 4 billed), which also stars Rebecca Romijn (No. 2 billed) who is in Rollerball (No. 3 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 4 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 2 = 16. If we were to watch Joan of Arc, Hook, Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Milla Jovovich said that this is the worst movie she has ever done.

First starring role of Milla Jovovich.

Milla Jovovich said of this movie, “I think that the idea of falling in love on a deep and spiritual level without the distractions of the material world will always be appealing.”

When she was 13, during her days as a teenage fashion model, Milla Jovovich had been hailed by critics as “The New Brooke Shields .” Shields played Emmeline Lestrange in The Blue Lagoon (1980), to which this film is a sequel.

On Taveuni Island in Fiji, production designer Jon Dowding began work on the movie’s main set pieces 60 days before the cameras began rolling. Having served as the art director on The Blue Lagoon (1980), Dowding welcomed the opportunity to expand and improve upon his work from the earlier film. Both Dowding and his wife, wardrobe designer Aphrodite Kondos, drew extensively upon the cultures of Oceania for the design elements of the film. Dowding said, “In addition to the rich cultural influences of Fiji, Australian aborigines, New Guinea, Micronesia, Melanesia, the Marquesas and Easter Islands, we made every attempt to use raw materials found on Taveuni in the construction of the props, sets and costumes”.

Although it was touted as a sequel to The Blue Lagoon (1980), many reviewers criticized it as more of a remake than a sequel.

Nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards at the 12th annual ceremony in 1991. It was nominated for Worst Picture and Worst Director –both for William A. Graham; Worst Screenplay–Leslie Stevens; and two for Worst New Star–one each for Milla Jovovich and Brian Krause. It didn’t win in any category.

Taveuni in Fiji, the only land mass in the world that the international date line runs through, proved in the end to be a challenging but rewarding filming location of singular beauty. Cast and crew alike traveled countless miles on the island’s only thoroughfare, bouncing along an unpaved dirt road with harrowing curves to reach filming sites. Equipment was hauled in on stretchers through thick jungles and brought in on barges through dangerous coral reefs for some of the less accessible locations.

The novel this film is based on, “The Garden of God” by Henry De Vere Stacpoole , was published in 1925. (Oh … so it is based on a sequel of some sort? I figured it was literally a vague sequel to the adaptation of Stacpoole’s novel)

Final film of director William A. Graham. (… final feature film)

Filmed on Taveuni, one of 300 islands in the Fiji archipelago. With an average of 400 inches of rain a year, Taveuni is usually overgrown with magnificent greenery and is rightly referred to as Fiji’s “Garden Island”.

The production team was concerned about preserving the island’s ecological balance during the making of the movie. When they expressed concerns that a mile-long path that had to be cut through thick jungle vegetation–to get equipment to one of the more difficult locations–might harm the local ecology, the chief of the local village assured them that it would grow back within a matter of months. (That’s pretty cool)

The movie’s opening prologue states: “The South Pacific Ocean 1897. Fifteen years before our story begins, two children were shipwrecked on an uncharted island. The little boy and girl grew up alone in this lost paradise. As man and woman, they discovered a pure and natural love. In time, a child was born. But in a tragic accident, they were driven out to sea away from their island. Drifting for days, they believed that their lives and the life of their baby were at an end. Then a passing vessel drew near . . . “. (Yup that is the original movie)

Despite scenes of nudity and near nudity involving Milla Jovovich, the film was advertised as a “family-friendly” movie. (Gross! I do not enjoy that at all!)

Takes place in 1897 and 1912. (Okay, I wonder if they explicitly indicate that date for when they were rescued in the first film)

With the commencement of filming in June 1990–which is the dead of winter in Fiji–nature began to become a major “player” in the production. Director William A. Graham said, “When we first visited the island in early 1990, the weather was perfect. As soon as we began filming, we quickly learned why Taveuni is called the ‘Garden Island’. It rained for two weeks straight, which would certainly account for the lush tropical foliage.” Despite the adversity of working under less-than-ideal conditions at first, Graham remained undaunted and came out of it with his sense of humor intact: “The reason you have a 70-day shooting schedule on a film like this, as opposed to 40 to 50 days, is that you attempt to anticipate the unpredictability of nature. While we didn’t get the puffy clouds and blue waters everyone expected initially, the island presented us with a whole other kind of beauty. Nature exerted an undeniable force in the making of this movie, which the film journalists will probably give me credit for. I can see it now: William A. Graham wisely avoided the clichéd postcard look of paradise’.”.

While based on the novel sequel, “The Garden of God” the only thing “Return to the Blue Lagoon” shares with that book is the very opening where Richard and Emmeline are dead and the baby is rescued by the crew. In fact, in the novel, Arthur Lestrange himself decides to stay on the island with Baby Paddy (called Dick M) and dies while taking a walk, his body never being found. (That’s morbid)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (William A. Graham, 1992)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (William A. Graham, 1992)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Leslie Stevens, 1992)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Milla Jovovich, 1992)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Brian Krause, 1992)

The Blue Lagoon Preview

“Oy, mates!” screams Alligator Steve as he hops down from Bessy and greets Rich and Poe. Apparently, in the scuffle with the gamemasters he also fell through the portal and ended up back in his homeland. “All for the best,” he says with a wink. He watches in amusement as Tiniman’s army moves quickly away through the fire desert. With a slap on the back he invites Rich and Poe back to his village where they partake in some traditional shrimp on the barbie and hear the legend of their giant alligator friends. It’s all very exciting and interesting. “Do you think, Steve,” Poe asks, “that maybe we are supposed to help you win this war? That that’s the purpose of this part of the game?” But Steve isn’t so sure. The gamemasters seemed mighty suspicious of their behavior back at the school. “War is war, mates. You don’t want any part of it. Take Bessie and head out to the islands,” he says pointing to some beautiful tropical islands off the coast. “No will find you there. You will live a beautiful natural life full of natural beauty and wonder. It’ll be a magical time that everyone will be interested in because of how beautiful it is. And perchance you will find love there with the beautiful natural denizens of the island and it will be beautiful and natural and not creepy because how could something so beautiful and natural be creepy, right?” …. right. They try to convince him that they don’t need Bessie, but Steve is insistent that he’ll be alright. There’s a reason they call him Lil’ Bessie, mighty warrior. Just before they leave Rich and Poe look back at Steve one more time and ask hesitantly, “so this definitely isn’t a weird, creepy place, right?” That’s right! We’re watching the double feature of The Blue Lagoon and The Return to the Blue Lagoon starring Brooke Shields and Milla Jovovich, respectively. Panned at the time by critics for a variety of reasons they’ve mostly been remembered as films about nude young people falling in love on an island… which isn’t a great look. They are both set on an undiscovered island in the Pacific, which was good enough for us. Let’s go!

The Blue Lagoon (1980) – BMeTric: 39.0; Notability: 17 

(Huh … I can’t really think of setting something like this with 2012-2014 shooting up and then levelling off after. I can’t really explain that. The rating is really a lot higher than I would have expected … I would have thought this would be in the low 5.0s at highest. So maybe a good sign for it being at least vaguely interesting?)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Remake of the 1949 film is little more than softcore cinema for the heavy-petting set, as two children become sexually aware of each other after being shipwrecked on an island for several years. Nestor Almendros’ photography can’t save it. Followed over a decade later by Return to the Blue Lagoon.

(Yes this seems like a fair review. The entire series just seems like an exercise in seeing how far some people could go to making a film where teenagers have sex on screen … turns out it isn’t very far, they (blessedly) show very little throughout the series in the end.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nC0EdXk_2g/

(Lol the VHS tracking. That legit seems like Rochelle, Rochelle, an erotic journey from Moscow to Minsk … but in real life. Wait … I think I have a totally different perspective on this film now. It could be my Rochelle, Rochelle.)

Directors – Randal Kleiser – (Known For: Grease; Flight of the Navigator; Honey, I Blew Up the Kid; White Fang; It’s My Party; Getting It Right; Future BMT: Lovewrecked; Big Top Pee-wee; Summer Lovers; BMT: The Blue Lagoon; Notes: A television director in the 70s his career took off after he landed Grease. He was nominated for an Emmy for The Gathering in 1978 starring Ed Asner.)

Writers – Henry De Vere Stacpoole (based on the novel by) – (Future BMT: Return to the Blue Lagoon; BMT: The Blue Lagoon; Notes: Born in 1863 he was a ship’s surgeon for forty years and was considered an expert in the South Pacific where his novels tended to take place.)

Douglas Day Stewart (screenplay by) – (Known For: An Officer and a Gentleman; Future BMT: Thief of Hearts; BMT: The Scarlet Letter; The Blue Lagoon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for The Scarlet Letter in 1996; Notes: An Officer and a Gentleman (for which he was nominated for an Oscar) was based on his life. I think The Scarlet Letter killed his career as he hasn’t really written anything since.)

Actors – Brooke Shields – (Known For: The Other Guys; Pretty Baby; Hannah Montana: The Movie; The Midnight Meat Train; Freeway; Alice, Sweet Alice; Chalet Girl; Freaked; The Muppets Take Manhattan; Daisy Winters; King of the Gypsies; Future BMT: The Bachelor; Black and White; Cannonball Fever; The Hot Flashes; BMT: Furry Vengeance; Endless Love; The Blue Lagoon; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress for The Blue Lagoon in 1981; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Sahara in 1985; Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Speed Zone in 1990; Nominee for Worst Actress in 1982 for Endless Love; and in 1985 for Sahara; Nominee for Worst Actress of the Century in 2000 for Endless Love, Sahara, and The Blue Lagoon; and Nominee for Worst Actress of the Decade in 1990 for Cannonball Fever, Endless Love, Sahara, and The Blue Lagoon; Notes: Notably was 14 during filming and they had to use a body double extensively during the film. Was mainly famous as a model, and was briefly married to Andre Agassi. Also starred in as the titular Susan in Suddenly Susan for which she was nominated for two Golden Globes.)

Christopher Atkins – (Known For: It’s My Party; 13th Child; Future BMT: The Pirate Movie; BMT: The Blue Lagoon; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for A Night in Heaven in 1984; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Listen to Me in 1990; Nominee for Worst Actor for The Pirate Movie in 1983; Nominee for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990 for A Night in Heaven, A Night in Heaven, Listen to Me, Listen to Me, The Blue Lagoon, The Blue Lagoon, The Pirate Movie, and The Pirate Movie; and Nominee for Worst New Star of the Decade in 1990 for A Night in Heaven, A Night in Heaven, Listen to Me, Listen to Me, The Blue Lagoon, The Blue Lagoon, The Pirate Movie, and The Pirate Movie; Notes: His first film role, he became a TV movie star in the 90s, and was in the third Blue Lagoon film.)

Leo McKern – (Known For: The Omen; Ladyhawke; A Man for All Seasons; Omen II: Damien; The French Lieutenant’s Woman; Ryan’s Daughter; Help!; The Mouse That Roared; The Day the Earth Caught Fire; X the Unknown; The Shoes of the Fisherman; Molokai; King & Country; Children of the Damned; BMT: The Blue Lagoon; Notes: Australian, he had an incredibly long career, although he stopped taking roles in the 90s and died in 2002. He was Rumpole in the British television program Rumpole of the Bailey from 1978 to 1992.)

Budget/Gross – $4.5 million / Domestic: $58,853,106 (Worldwide: $58,853,106)

(That is a giant success. Such a big success I’m actually skeptical of that number … it kind of makes no sense when I think about it. $60 million? To watch a boring film about people lost on an island? And then you don’t make a sequel for 12 years? I’m not really buying it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (2/22): A piece of lovely dreck, The Blue Lagoon is a naughty fantasy that’s also too chaste to be truly entertaining.

(All of the reviews are really along those lines. That we should be ashamed of ourselves for wanting to see the ultra-sexual version promised … but that ultimately you end up being equally disappointed that we got the opposite of that. Reviewer Highlight: The Blue Lagoon is the dumbest movie of the year. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – The Creepy Sexy Lagoon

(My god, what mad man would look at that poster and be like “yup, nailed it. I gotta see that film. It is both horrible aesthetically and practically. Were they aiming to put the entire novel on the poster hoping that huge Blue Lagoon fans would come a-running? This is nonsense. D-. Getting a bump from whatever that terrible font is. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: I feel like I shouldn’t bleach my hair and get a perm. The font was actually quite fun to recreate if a little arduous. This poster is bonkers, but easier to mock than you would think.)

Tagline(s) – A story of natural love. (C-)

(Having already watched the film, I find this tagline curious. It really does seem like they want to lure people in under the guise of titillation. And yet the film is so tame that I can’t really imagine that was actually the purpose. Not offensive though… not structurally as a tagline, at least.)

Keyword – shipwreck

Top 10: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), Titanic (1997), Dunkirk (2017), Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Midway (2019), Aquaman (2018), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Life of Pi (2012)

Future BMT: 68.1 The Darkest Hour (2011), 56.0 Ri¢hie Ri¢h (1994), 42.2 Pan (2015), 39.4 Into the Blue (2005), 34.0 Robinson Crusoe (2016), 33.9 Shark Tale (2004), 33.1 Leviathan (1989), 31.0 Rugrats Go Wild (2003), 27.7 Insurgent (2015), 22.8 After the Sunset (2004);

BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Point Break (2015), Ghost Ship (2002), Fool’s Gold (2008), Godzilla (1998), Pompeii (2014), Lost in Space (1998)

(Titanic is the big on there, but then Cast Away is in 2000, so really it had a moment from maybe 1997 to 2005 or whatever. We are actually watching The Darkest Hour coming up, so that’s exciting.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Brooke Shields is No. 1 billed in The Blue Lagoon and No. 3 billed in Furry Vengeance, which also stars Brendan Fraser (No. 1 billed) who is in Escape from Planet Earth (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jessica Alba (No. 4 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 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 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 19. If we were to watch Extraordinary Measures we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – After seeing the movie, John Gibbons, a herpetologist (reptile scientist) at the University of the South Pacific, realized that the iguanas that appeared in the film were a distinct species that had never been seen or documented by scientists before. Afterward, he visited Nanuya Levu, the Fiji island where the movie was made, and named the species the Fiji Crested Iguana.

Most of the nude scenes depicting Emmeline Lestrange include a body double. Brooke Shields always had to have her hair glued to her chest for the other scenes. (Makes sense considering the next note…)

Brooke Shields was only 14 when the movie was made.

Brooke Shields’ original body double broke her back. Her replacement was originally hired to catch or train dolphins; she was the right body type, so she was used as a nude double. (She broke her back? That … is crazy)

It was the director’s original concept to have the two grown characters play the entire film in the nude, which scared off many actors (including Jennifer Jason Leigh, who was the first choice for the female lead). After Leigh passed on the project, the producers offered Diane Lane and Willie Aames the film after screen-testing them together in Mexico, where Lane was shooting a Western, but the pair discussed the nudity together after the crew left and called a few days later to say they wouldn’t do the film, either. With shooting set to begin in a matter of days, the desperate director agreed to let Shields make the film predominantly clothed, with a body double employed for the nude scenes. With that settled, the casting director returned to the thousands of audition tapes they had made over the course of a year, and decided Christopher Atkins would be all right if he permed his hair to look more savage. (Ha … I mean the only amusing note is that he had to have his hair permed)

The double for Christopher Atkins was initially one of the seaplane pilots flying staff and crew from the Fiji mainland to the island where the movie was shot. He did most of the nude scenes with Brooke Shields’ double as well as a few of the minor stunts.

Although the movie had a lukewarm reception in the US and was disliked by a great many critics, it is a highly popular nostalgic movie in countries like Romania and Hungary, as well as in Brazil, and is frequently rerun on television. (Huh, was it just kind of cheap movie they could run on television?)

Carrie Fisher turned down the role of Emmeline Lestrange due to her commitment with Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). (Good)

Sean Penn lost out to Christopher Atkins on the final day of auditions for the role of Richard Lestrange. (Ugh … good)

This was the ninth most popular film of 1980 at the US and Canadian box offices. (Which is why it was definitely a wide release film, despite there not being any data on how many theaters it was released to)

The novel on which the film is based was inspired by the classic French novel “Paul et Virginie” (1788), by Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre. (Huh, so it is a movie based on a book that was also based on a different book?)

This film is listed among the 100 Most Amusingly Bad Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson’s book “The Official Razzie Movie Guide”. (That book is a rough read let me tell you, just really poorly put together)

Christopher Atkins claimed that after this movie came out, every role he was offered contained a nude scene that “wanted to show off” his buttocks. (HA)

Included on Roger Ebert’s “Most Hated” list. (Makes sense)

In the US the film was given an “R” rating, and in the UK it was given the AA rating before getting a 15 certificate upon its VHS release for its graphic nudity and sexual content. However, when it was released in New Zealand, it was given the R13 rating, which was changed to PG when it was released on VHS. It was also given the PG rating in Australia.

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Cinematography (Néstor Almendros, 1981)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Brooke Shields, 1981)

Primeval Recap

Jamie

Looking for the next big story for their news network, Tim, Steven, and Aviva are sent to Burundi to track down a giant, man-eating crocodile named Gustave. But Gustave isn’t the only thing they need to worry about as the area is terrorized by a local warlord nicknamed Little Gustave. Will they be able to catch the croc before it’s too late? Find out in… Primeval.

How?! Ace reporter Tim is in some hot water. Not (yet) because of a large killer croc, but because he screwed up a news story using an unreliable source. Uh oh! In order to make it up to his boss he is sent on a sensationalist story about a killer crocodile named Gustave in Burundi with hack (or is she?) reporter Aviva and his cameraman Steven. The place is a literal war zone, so they are immediately in danger from a local warlord nicknamed Little Gustave. Add a cranky local guide and an egotistical crocodile expert determined to catch, not kill, Gustave and you got a recipe for a horror film… you know… if a big crocodile who just wants to eat and be an animal is your type of monster. After their first attempt at capture goes awry and Steven catches Little Gustave’s minions killing a local priest on camera things quickly fall apart and they are trapped in the wilds with only Gustave for company. They start to be picked off one-by-one by Gustave only for things to get even worse when Little Gustave’s men show up to finish the job. In the chaos Steven is killed by Gustave and Tim and Aviva are able to just barely get away only to fall into the hands of Little Gustave himself. Meaning to destroy the evidence of his criminal activity, he forces Tim to take him into the swamp. Tim uses this to his advantage in order to bring Little Gustave and Gustave together, much to the detriment of Little Gustave. Tim and Aviva run off and are just able to escape with their lives from the clutches of Gustave. Flying back to America they are all happy and probably smooch or something. THE END.

Why?! Fame and fortune, kinda. Aviva wants to legitimize herself in the world of journalism and uses her connection to Tim’s boss to get this crocodile story off the ground. Tim on the other hand just had a story go awry and needs to get back in his boss’ good graces. Thus is born the super team of Tim and Aviva, animal hunting journalists extraordinaire. How didn’t this spawn a franchise? The crocodile on the other hand is just a giant animal and is hungry.

Who?! Every once in a while I realize that there is a new category we should probably be looking out for in this part. That’s because none other than Kent Shocknek appears in this film as a news anchor. He is best known as… well a newscaster who parlayed his popularity into a long career in film and TV. We’ve actually already seen him in such films as First Daughter, Envy, and xXx: State of the Union. Most often he appears as a newscaster, but other times as a “contentious reporter.” Oooo, feisty.

What?! The things that go on sale from film is sometimes bizarrely wonderful. In this case you can find a closed auction for the prop corpse of Orlando Jones. I mean, I guess I can understand why the studio decided they could let that prize go, but I can’t really understand why anyone would buy it. Maybe for a bachelor party or something where you get to go around town toting Orlando Jones for funsies. But afterwards that’s going in a trash can.

Where?! The true prize of this film is the Burundi setting. It’s so in your face that you could argue that this is more of a Burundi film than a crocodile film. I thought for sure we’d be uneasily sitting here asking ourselves whether mentioning Burundi once is enough to be sure the film takes place there. Nope. This is very very very very very very much set in Burundi. A. When?! I couldn’t catch a specific time for this film, but it is interesting that it seems to be a period piece. At the end of the film they talk about a 2005 Burundi Civil War cease fire in 2005 as if it took place after the events of the film, which was released in 2007. This seems confirmed by Variety which also concluded that “Since action is set in pre-2005 Burundi, violence is still rife between warlords and anyone who gets in their way.” Weird. D+.

Meh… like, really. Meh. Not scary to a degree that makes you wonder whether they were even aware they were making a horror film. On the edge of dropping over into “Drama about a civil war in Burundi that also happens to feature a crocodile” territory, they seem even less interested in the crocodile that I was. It got to the point where in the end of the film, presumably where I was supposed to be rooting for our heroes to escape with their lives, I was mostly thinking that it was kinda lame that these randos walked into Burundi and started messing with this crocodile. The only other thing to say is that this is a good reminder why Dominic Purcell mostly spends his time promoting possible spin-offs and new seasons for the greatest thing that ever happened to him: Prison Break. He was… not good. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Like what if we made Jaws, but instead of a shark it is a crocodile whose CGI is so bad we can only really show it sporadically at night … that’s like the same thing as Jaws right? Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Obviously I was delighted at how Burundi this film was in the preview. Always fun seeing a strong setting. Otherwise there were two defining features of the preview. First, that the film is basically just television actor galore, which is a good sign for it being ultra cheesy. And second, the ad campaign surrounding this seems nuts. It is hard to tell how much they pushed the “serial killer” angle, but it apparently was confusing enough that The Numbers genuinely defines this film as a serial killer film … it is not. What were my expectations? I figured it was going to be just a bad creature feature. Trying to play the Jaws angle for a not very impressive ultimate reveal, as bad creature features are wont to do. And I figured the main actors were going to be terrible because … I mean they are the stars of The Net 2.0 and Prison Break so …

The Good – I guess one could say the political nature of the film is a bit admirable? Like it is trying to do something at least, and I want to give it credit for that. I enjoy how directly they address the creature in the film. They don’t beat around the bush. They go to the creatures stomping grounds, set up a trap, and then the creature kind of hunts them down as they pretty effectively try to escape. No cheesy ultra-intelligent magic creature nonsense, it ends up being just mostly unfortunate that our heroes keep getting corralled back into the crocodile’s area, which is a nice change of pace.

The Bad – This actually might be the worst creature feature I’ve ever seen. A lot of it I can forgive, like the acting and some of the writing seems like an unfortunate side effect of the budget. But the political A-story (because it is just that, the main story of the film) is just gross enough to beg the question: why am I hearing about the Burundi genocide during what is basically just Lake Placid in Africa? It boggles the mind. Combine that with a bad CGI crocodile who actually doesn’t kill a good number of people in the film (I think he kills seven total, whereas I think five people are killed by other humans), and it makes me wonder whether the producers were looking for a political film or a creature feature. I can’t think of another creature feature I enjoyed watching less, so that at the very least is a thing.

The BMT – I don’t think this has much legs beyond being mentioned in connection to other creature features, but as usual … it is a bomb Burundi film obviously. It is almost guaranteed that this will remain our one and only bad Burundi film for all of time, so there we go. Did it meet my expectations? No, a bad creature feature can still be fun, especially if the creature is a practical effects nightmare that looks like a puppet and the director insists on showing too much of it. This though, is just a movie about African politics dressed up as a creature feature, and it makes the whole affair unpleasant.

Roast-radamus – Who What Where When Why How – I wish I could give an award for Best Buds in the World for Dominic Purcell and Orlando Jones, but that isn’t a category. I looooooved the Range Rover Product Placement (What?) where a character just shouts “It can’t be stuck! It’s a Range Rover!”. Obviously a fantastic Setting as a Character (Where?) for Burundi which offered both a wildlife and political backdrop to the affairs. Can you call the crocodile a MacGuffin (Why?) … I’m going to allow it, fight me in real life if you disagree. Just an okay Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal that their guide from the beginning of the movie is, in fact, Little Gustave. Pretty dumb. I don’t think it is entertaining enough to get any superlatives.

StreetCreditReport.com – Let’s see. It doesn’t get mentioned in any 2007 lists, not even for worst horror or among numerous honorable mentions (admittedly, 2007 was a murderer’s row for bad movies with such things as The Number 23 featuring shockingly low on many lists). And it doesn’t get mentioned on many worst creature feature lists which are, naturally, dominated by the B-horror of the 50s. But it does feature 8th on this Worst Giant Animal horror list! Honestly, that is about it, and the small review there is the issue: it is barely a creature feature! It is mostly like Blood Diamond than anything else.

You Just Got Schooled – Naturally when watching one of the worst creature features I’ve ever seen, it made me think of all of the great creature features I hadn’t seen. So what better time to check out Piranha from 1978. One of the copy cat features that come out after 1975  in the wake of Jaws, it uses some of the same type of technology (lots of practical puppets with not-very-good underwater camera work), and comes across as a whole lot cheesier (to the point of feeling intentionally comedic). Overall I liked the film, even though it wasn’t very scary. And that is mostly due to the two leads in the film Bradford Dillman and Heather Menzies who worked well together as a drunk and a skiptracer who kind of accidentally release the piranhas into a river. Some nice vistas, and definitely a good pair with Jaws to give you an idea of the origins of modern creature features. While Jaws is the attack of Nature against man, Piranha is the man-made abominations punishing human arrogance (like Godzilla originally), and so it kind of shows the two paths creature features tend to take. Primeval and Anaconda go the Jaws route, for example, whereas Bats is the Piranha vein. B, a little old-fashioned, feels aged, but good nonetheless.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs