Oh man. So I was undercover (because I’m a cop, did I never mention that?) and my best friend / prime suspect got a tad bit angry with me and accidentally shot me in the head! Obviously, I don’t remember a thing now. Do you remember what happened in Bulletproof (1996)?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) In the beginning of the film we see Moses and Keats getting themselves in a bit of trouble? What kind of trouble and how do they get out of it?
2) A year later and on the run Moses is caught in Arizona. How was he caught?
3) The bad guys catch up to our heroes three times during the film. Where and how did they know they were there?
4) Why does Keats leave the precinct with Moses and why does he punch his boss in the face?
5) What are they looking for at James Caan’s house?
Bonus Question: Does Moses ever make it back to LA?
“Welcome to Raccoon City!” exclaims, Lou, the head of the Raccoon City Apartment Complex Welcoming Committee (RCACWC). He smiles at both Jamie and Patrick and then frowns a little at Kyle. “Uh, is he OK? You look a little green around the gills.” Kyle shrugs and Jamie and Patrick explain that he’s just a little love sick. “No need to worry. It’s not some big time zombie virus.” At that they all laugh and laugh and laugh. “But seriously, Mr. Cash, we need a little help. We need a little adventure. We just sit around this apartment all day and our heads are spinning. Can the RCACWC help?” Lou Cash smirks, reminiscing about the last great adventure he had. “The year was 1998,” he begins and proceeds to launch into a very long story about his days on the police force and a time that he had to investigate an old rich person’s house. “Were there ghosts?” Jamie asks out of nowhere. “Uh, no,” Lou responds confused and Kyle yawns in disappointment. Reading the room, Lou speeds through the latter half of his story, “and so you see, adventure is what you make of it and perhaps… it’s been staring you in the face this whole time.” He smiles and waits expectedly. But Jamie, Patrick and Kyle are now in the mood for ghosts and are already plucking their copy of Ghost off the shelf. Perhaps the rare combination of Patrick Swayze’s guide to love and a high stakes thrill-a-minute money laundering plot line will solve all of their problems. Lou is left forgotten at the door. He throws his hands up in exasperation and pulls a gun out of his pocket. “He’s got a gun!” screams Jamie. They wanted adventure and now Lou Cash is delivering. That’s right! We are going back 25 years to pick up an early Adam Sandler. It’s an old school buddy cop(ish) storyline with a Sandler/Wayans flair. Let’s hope its just as offensive as I think it might be. Let’s go!
StreetCreditReport.com –BMeTric: top 15.2%; Notability: top 17.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 3.3%; Higher BMeT: Barb Wire, Kazaam, Striptease, Bio-Dome, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, Ed, The Crow: City of Angels, Hellraiser: Bloodline, The Stupids, Mr. Wrong, Spy Hard, Poison Ivy II, Solo, The Glimmer Man, Eddie, D3: The Mighty Ducks, Maximum Risk, Jingle All the Way, Bordello of Blood, and 18 more; Higher Notability: Eraser, The Fan, Jingle All the Way, Spy Hard, Chain Reaction, Daylight, Mulholland Falls, Eddie, The Associate, Up Close & Personal, Dear God, Sgt. Bilko, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Eye for an Eye, The Crow: City of Angels, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Space Truckers, In Love and War, Larger Than Life, Joe’s Apartment, and 23 more; Lower RT: Big Bully, The Dentist, Ed, Ripe, Bio-Dome, Kazaam, Mr. Wrong, Spy Hard; Notes: I do like it when films remind me that IMDb did something in 2014 on the new year to make some films’ ratings jump a ridiculous degree. Anyways, you can tell we still have a ton of work to do on 1996 when we have Bio-Dome and Big Bully sitting on the table.
Leonard Maltin – BOMB – A racial inversion of 48HRS. without the redeeming craft. Undercover cop Wayans teams up with Sandler, the crook he’s trying to bust. Their fortunes and ambitions are unified – often acrimoniously – by a vindictive drug kingpin/car dealer played by a pitifully hammy Caan. Once great cinematographer Dickerson squanders his talent here directing a sociopathic mix of graphic violence and slapstick. A catastrophe of continuity to boot.
(First, I’ve never seen a review go so hard on continuity in a film. But “sociopathic mix of graphic violence and slapstick” is one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard. Honestly, I think a lot of action films these days are getting pretty close to that as well. Shoot someone in the face and sprinkle in some quips, boys.)
(The guitar licks at the end!! It looks really terrible. Quips by Sandler, way too much punching, and just seems like a worse version of Midnight Run.)
Directors – Ernest R. Dickerson – ( Known For: Juice; Ambushed; Double Play; Blind Faith; Future BMT: Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight; Surviving the Game; Bones; BMT: Bulletproof; Never Die Alone; Notes: Worked as the cinematographer for Spike Lee for his early films, whom he bet at Howard University.)
Writers – Joe Gayton – ( Known For: Faster; Uncommon Valor; Sweet Jane; Shout; Warm Summer Rain; BMT: Bulletproof; Notes: His brother is also a screenwriter, they both wrote on Hell on Wheels and have written a few movies together.)
Lewis Colick – ( Known For: October Sky; Unlawful Entry; Ladder 49; Ghosts of Mississippi; Beyond the Sea; The Dirt Bike Kid; Future BMT: Charlie St. Cloud; Judgment Night; Domestic Disturbance; BMT: Bulletproof; Notes: He wrote a ton of films in the 80s and 90s. His last film was in 2010, but he is attached to both the Flaming Hot Cheetos movie and the Chicken Soup for the Soul film.)
Actors – Damon Wayans – ( Known For: Last Action Hero; Beverly Hills Cop; The Last Boy Scout; Roxanne; Earth Girls Are Easy; Colors; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Bamboozled; Hollywood Shuffle; Punchline; The Great White Hype; Farce of the Penguins; Future BMT: Major Payne; Look Who’s Talking Too; Celtic Pride; Blankman; Mo’ Money; Marci X; BMT: Bulletproof; Notes: As part of In Living Color he was nominated for three Emmys. His family is filled with comedians including his three brothers and his son.)
Adam Sandler – ( Known For: Uncut Gems; Punch-Drunk Love; The Wedding Singer; Murder Mystery; Happy Gilmore; Billy Madison; Hotel Transylvania; 50 First Dates; Hubie Halloween; Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation; Anger Management; The Do-Over; Reign Over Me; Funny People; The Meyerowitz Stories; Hotel Transylvania 2; Spanglish; The Cobbler; The Week Of; Sandy Wexler; Future BMT: The Longest Yard; Eight Crazy Nights; Mixed Nuts; The Waterboy; Big Daddy; Click; Coneheads; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; The Hot Chick; Mr. Deeds; Airheads; Men, Women & Children; The Animal; Bedtime Stories; Dirty Work; BMT: That’s My Boy; Grown Ups; Just Go with It; Grown Ups 2; Blended; Pixels; Little Nicky; The Ridiculous 6; Jack and Jill; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Zookeeper; Going Overboard; Bulletproof; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay, Worst Actor, Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Jack and Jill in 2012; Winner for Worst Actor in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2013 for That’s My Boy; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2012 for Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; and in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1997 for Bulletproof, and Happy Gilmore; in 1999 for The Waterboy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2003 for Eight Crazy Nights, and Mr. Deeds; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; in 2015 for Blended; in 2016 for Pixels, and The Cobbler; and in 2021 for Hubie Halloween; Nominee for Worst Screen Combo in 2016 for The Cobbler; and in 2021 for Hubie Halloween; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2013 for That’s My Boy; Notes: Our 15th Sandler film for BMT and we have 15 to go … my god, he’s made so many. Someday Sandler, someday we will complete your filmography!)
James Caan – ( Known For: Elf; The Godfather; The Godfather: Part II; Misery; Santa’s Slay; A Bridge Too Far; Dick Tracy; Dogville; Queen Bees; Get Smart; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; 1941; Bottle Rocket; Detachment; Thief; El Dorado; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2; The Yards; Middle Men; The Tale of The Princess Kaguya; BMT: That’s My Boy; Eraser; Bulletproof; Notes: Played football for Michigan State and is the father of Scott Caan. Was apparently on the professional rodeo circuit for nine years.)
(Classic poster. I can even imagine walking by it in the hallway of a theater. That’s mostly what it has going for it cause the color scheme is nonexistent and the font boring. I think the framing is the most interesting aspect. Looking down that long desert highway. C.)
Tagline(s) – Tough cop. Hostile witness. (C-)
(Yeah and? I’m not sure if this is a play on something and I’m missing it? Just seems like they are pointing out that one is a tough cop and the other is a hostile witness, which is indeed the plot of the film. Doesn’t offend my senses though.)
Top 10: Baby Driver (2017), Spiral (2021), 21 Jump Street (2012), The Whole Nine Yards (2000), Sin City (2005), Memento (2000), Batman Begins (2005), Reservoir Dogs (1992), The Fast and the Furious (2001), Bad Boys for Life (2020)
Future BMT: 59.8 The Mod Squad (1999), 54.2 Spiral (2021), 49.3 Showtime (2002), 46.9 Cop Out (2010), 45.3 Tomcats (2001), 41.5 Boiling Point (1993), 41.0 Brick Mansions (2014), 38.1 Fled (1996), 37.7 Action Jackson (1988), 36.5 Death Warrant (1990)
BMT: The Fast and the Furious (2001), Fast & Furious (2009), Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), Gangster Squad (2013), Ride Along (2014), Hard to Kill (1990), Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), Exit to Eden (1994), Exit Wounds (2001), Ride Along 2 (2016), Stone Cold (1991), Bulletproof (1996), No Mercy (1986)
Matches: Reservoir Dogs (1992), The Fast and the Furious (2001), Fast & Furious (2009), City of Lies (2018), Street Kings (2008), A Scanner Darkly (2006), Undercover Brother (2002), Exit to Eden (1994), Nighthawks (1981), Rush (1991), Superfast! (2015), Bulletproof (1996), The Mod Squad (1999), Renegades (1989), Ten Violent Women (1982), Bloodsport: The Dark Kumite (1999), The Proposal (2001), Jill Rips (2000), Lowball (1996), Strapped for Danger II: Undercover Vice (2020), Narx (2011), Black Lightning (2008)
(Done a bunch of these now. Given we are about to watch another JCVD film I’m pretty excited to eventually watch Death Warrant.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Adam Sandler is No. 2 billed in Bulletproof and No. 1 billed in Jack and Jill, 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) => (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.
Notes – James Caan said of working with the leads, “playing the heavy between these two clowns took a lot of serious concentration.”
Colton’s mansion is the same one used in Beverly Hills Cop (1984). Damon Wayans had a minor role in that film as the server who gave Eddie Murphy the bananas.
Director Ernest R. Dickerson was very critical about the movie, saying the movie was “castrated” because of the producers.
When Damon Wayans hosted Saturday Night Live (1975) in 1994, Adam Sandler had an idea to do an action movie together. A year later, he sent Wayans the script for this film.
James Woods was originally chosen to play Frank Colton. He had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Ghosts of Mississippi (1996).
Producer Robert Simonds knew Damon Wayans could be a leading man after seeing The Last Boy Scout (1991). “That’s what we needed, a leading man who could get the laughs when he had to.”
Ernest R. Dickerson said that film was trying to be 48 Hrs. (1982) for the 1990s.
Body Count: 26.
Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Adam Sandler, 1997)
Resident Evil is back, Jack! And this time it’s serious. Claire is heading back to Raccoon City to see her bro and look into some disturbing rumors about the Umbrella Corporation and her hometown. From there things go to shit and zombies are everywhere. Can they fend off the zombies before it’s too late? Find out in… Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City.
How?! Claire and Chris Redfield grew up in an orphanage in Raccoon City where they saw first hand some of the disturbing things going on in the town. While Chris went on to join the police force in town thanks to a mentor within the Umbrella Corporation, Claire escaped. But when she gets wind of how Umbrella poisoned everyone and then fled the town, leaving it all in ruins, she returns to uncover the truth. In a wild coincidence she arrives at the very moment that everything falls apart. People start to become zombies and her brother is sent out with a police force to check out some of the creepy goings-on at a secluded mansion. Claire makes her way to the police station where she find a rookie Leon and the cowardly police chief holed up trying to figure out what to do. The police chief had tried to escape town, but Umbrella has closed off the borders and is ready to destroy the town in order to contain the virus they have accidentally poisoned the town with (oops). They realize their only hope is to get to the police chopper and so the chief leads them to the orphanage, which is secretly connected to the mansion via a tunnel system. At the orphanage, Claire is reunited with Lisa Trevor, a girl horribly disfigured by Umbrella’s experimentation. Lisa saves Leon and Claire from a Licker (sorry cowardly police chief, you obvs had to die) and points them to the mansion. Meanwhile over at the mansion, everything has completely fallen apart. Numerous members of the police force die immediately and the chopper is destroyed. Turns out one of their team members, Wesker, is also a total traitor and he heads off to get his hands on the necessary evidence/virus materials to hand over to a mysterious organization. When he tries to kill the scientist responsible for the experiments and take the virus he is stopped by Chris. Unfortunately the scientist injects himself with a super duper virus and becomes a giant monster. Claire and Leon arrive and they team up with the good guys to escape on an underground train. They seem to be home free until the monster shows up (boo). But don’t worry, Leon has a rocket launcher. They escape just as the town is destroyed. THE END.
Why?! Survival. It’s a survival game after all. Umbrella’s motivation is corporate greed, baby. They want that sweet green while not paying to dispose of their industrial waste. Oh and also they want to make super soldiers, but can’t seem to figure it out without turning people into horrific mindless monsters. It’s funny that these super soldier mutant zombies are such a huge part of their business model that they are able to poison the whole town with its runoff. Not sure even the government needs a zombie virus at that scale.
Who?! Neal McDonough Alert! Don’t use that often enough. He’s one of the more fun parts of the second half of the film in that he turns into a giant monster which requires the CGI artists to render a giant monster that vaguely looks like Neal McDonough. Always funny looking. Like how the Hulk has to always look a little like Mark Ruffalo. Just one other oddity is that Marina Mazepa shows up here as Lisa Trevor… we just saw her as Mary in The Unholy. She’s really taking the contortionist horror corner right now.
What?! Mild product placement here and there. Pepsi seems to be the beverage of choice in Raccoon City. No wonder it’s a dying town. A-yo. I also liked the 1998 specific product placement dropped in as a wink to the audience. Like the PalmPilot that one character uses. There also was some hay made amongst fans about how Claire drove a Harley in the film… not sure why.
Where?! There has always been a bunch of theories of where Raccoon City is. In the novelization of the video game they apparently came out and said it was in Pennsylvania. Other theories placed it in Missouri. The first film series seem to place it in Michigan, or at least used Detroit as a backdrop. All this doesn’t matter as it’s a fake setting and I like precise, fake settings OK. A+ fake setting. Particularly since putting “Raccoon City” in the title of a film is ludicrous.
When?! Always a little hard to keep track of these things when you see them live in theaters, but I do believe the intertitle set this on September 30th, 1998… although can’t remember if that date was given pre-midnight and so most of the movie would have taken place on October 1st or something. All good though. Solid B+.
I was excited for this film. I thought the trailer was cool and I’m always secretly a little bit excited when there is the possibility of a new(ish) franchise on the horizon. Even that Tom Cruise Mummy film.. Give me Mummy 2! I’ll eat it up… give me more Tom Cruise as a mummy (spoiler alert Tom Cruise turns into a mummy in the film). Anyway, the beginning of Raccoon City doesn’t disappoint. I thought it was creepy and fun and brought the franchise back to its horror roots. It was also helped by the fact that it was evoking all kinds of memories about the original video game that I didn’t even know I remembered. Nostalgia fan service was working on me. But then it just kinda kept on going and going and never getting anywhere. More specifically never getting to the mansion. By the time we get there everything is going so fast with (at that point mostly unnecessary) fan service flying past that I almost wished they would have made a three hour movie rather than tried to cram everything together in 100 minutes… almost. By the time they get to the ending nothing makes sense, not least of which is their use of a Deus Ex Rocket Launcher to blow away the bad guy at point blank range while miraculously not harming any of our heroes. Nice first half, brutal second half, overall a little disappointing. Patrick?
Hello everybody! One last Omicron filled theatrical experience for old times sake? Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – Ah, the last BMT Live of the year. I was really really hoping this would qualify because it really seems like a fun throwback bad blockbuster. And conveniently, considering I’ve never seen any of the Anderson Resident Evils, it is a totla reboot. People seemed down on the trailer, but it seemed decent enough. At least very fanservice-y which can be good. What was I expecting? Well I was hoping for it to be chockablock of Resident Evil refs. Because I actually have played the first two games.
The Good – I genuinely liked the first half of the film. It was, indeed, filled with decent Resident Evil references, and the zombie stuff was cool. It just felt like they did a very good job getting the core story of Resident Evil onto the screen. The Mansion in particular looked great … although you don’t get to spend much time in it. And I can never say now to a little Neal McDonough in my life. Best Bit: The set design, basically, very much fanservice oriented.
The Bad – The back half of the film is a mess including what I think might be the worst action scene I’ve ever seen (fighting zombies viewed solely with muzzle flashes and the light from a lighter … nonsense for minutes at a time). Also the motivation eventually gets really muddled since they have to get everyone to the same place (the train) by the end, but there isn’t a very good reason for the people in the police station to know about that or to get there. And as a horror film it just falls flat. Fatal Flaw: I think combining the first two games did a lot of harm to how they were trying to tell the story.
The BMT – I didn’t totally hate this film, but it certainly suffered from the same issues as most video game adaptations: poor motivation and muddled storytelling. I really wish it was just the first game because the mansion really did look cool. But alas, we can’t always get what we want. But sometimes, we just might get what we need (a bad movie to watch in theaters at the end of the year). Did it meet my expectations? It was actually quite a bit better than I expected. Still bad because it was two movies in one, but still, better than the rating would suggest.
Roast-radamus – One of the first Planchet (Who?) in a long while, with the rookie cop who just can’t do nothing right and everyone dunks on throughout the film (he even redeems himself right at the end like all good Planchets should). Definitely some funny Product Placement (What?) for Pepsi, all from 1998 very very specifically. A great A+ Fictional Setting (Where?) for Raccoon City. Obviously no good video game can do without a sweet MacGuffin (Why?) in the form of the super secret T-Virus that everyone wants to get their hands on. I think this is closest to BMT even though I’m really tempted to call it good.
Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I think the best bet for the franchise at this point is thinking through it as a television Reboot. The mansion really is too large to deal with in a single film and was always going to cause problems (even if you didn’t combine it with the second film). It just feels like to get the snake and the shark and the garden (with the creepy plant people) with all of the back ground would work well for an 8 episode show. Two episodes to set up why they are going to the mansion. Two episodes of initial exploration. Two episodes of generally fleshing out the lore and building up to the penultimate episode. And then a final reveal and initial confrontation, with the final episode being the boss battle and realization that it isn’t over. Just called Resident Evil. The second season is then subtitled RCPD and it includes flashbacks to establish background on Umbrella. It always should have been a television series. They even hired television actors for the movie! NOTE: I just learned there is a television show in the works at Netflix … I wonder if it was intended to supplement this film or is going to re-adapt the mansion.BMT Live Review – Since I’m back (baby), I went to the very nice Framingham Dine-In AMC at about 12:45PM. Got 30% off for the matinee and only four other people in the theater, although two of them were ultra annoying during the previews. Just talking full volume throughout. They’re just previews, but it was still very distracting as I was getting settled into the movie. Otherwise flawless experience. The theater is really nice. I don’t love “dine in” (as I find it distracting), but for the matinee since no one was eating it was fine. Probably the last theatrical experience for the next three months at least I would venture, but we’ll see. A.
Oh man. So there I was being a goober in a police station when all of a sudden a boatload of zombies attacked and bopped me right on the head. I don’t think I’m a zombie, but I did suffer a major concussion and now can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Resident Evil: Welcome to Racoon City?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) Why does Claire Redfield return to Raccoon City in the beginning of the film?
2) The goober rookie police officer Leon Kennedy is being needled by his coworkers in the diner at the beginning of the film. What did he allegedly do to deserve such treatment?
3) Albert Wesker is another cop and he has a fancy (for 1998) Palm Pilot (like device) showing him stuff. Where did he get the device and for what purpose?
4) Claire, Leon, and the chief (Chief Irons) all head off to the orphanage. Why?
5) In the lab what is Neal McDonough trying to get and why?
Bonus Question: Albert Wesker has some new cool shades and is hanging with Ada Wong. Why is Albert Wesker wearing those rad shades?
“So that’s the big L-O-V-E,” Kyle says in wonder, wiping tears from his eyes as he thinks fondly (and yet with sadness) of the fleeting love that Kelley and Sam shared. Jamie and Patrick nod. Patrick thinks of his wife and six children, Jamie of the demonic puzzle box that presumably still holds the many demons that he’s fallen in love with over the years. They all sigh at the wonder of life, love, and learning. “So how do I know if it’s for real or if I’m just getting weak at the knees for something that won’t last?” Kyle asks. Jamie and Patrick ponder the question that is at the crux of it all. Kyle suggests perhaps he wait until Rachel gets really sick and then he can prove to her that he’s in it for the long haul by leaving college to be by her side. Jamie and Patrick agree that it’s a good place to start. While Patrick’s own love story mirrored Here on Earth almost exactly (minus one very important aspect), not all of them had to be exactly like Here on Earth. “Think of any great romantic comedy. Head over Heels for example. It’s more about getting into some major jam and then showing that you are there for each other through thick and thin.” Kyle is sold, but now is in the same spot as Patrick. With such a boring existence protecting the Dongle there aren’t any jams in their near future. Suddenly the doorbell rings. Jamie checks the peephole. “Huh, it’s Lou. Another resident in the building. Part of the welcoming committee.” It won’t solve their immediate problem, but at least Lou won’t create some giant catastrophe for them. That’s right! We’re watching Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City as the last great chance to grab a BMT Live this year (probably). I thought the trailer looked good, but trailers aren’t everything (even when they should be). Let’s go!
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021) – BMeTric: 31.7; Notability: 21
StreetCreditReport.com –BMeTric: top 14.0%; Notability: top 8.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 16.2%; Higher BMeT: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Thunder Force, He’s All That, Cosmic Sin, Home Sweet Home Alone, Deadly Illusions, Music, Awake, The Misfits, Great White, Spiral, The Unholy, Tom and Jerry, Things Heard & Seen, After We Fell, Outside the Wire, Snake Eyes, Vanquish, Infinite, Out of Death, and 15 more; Higher Notability: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Tom and Jerry, Music, Chaos Walking, Infinite, The Addams Family 2, Home Sweet Home Alone, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Red Notice, Dear Evan Hansen, Snake Eyes, Sweet Girl, Cherry, The Starling, Thunder Force, Reminiscence, The Birthday Cake, The Woman in the Window, Voyagers, Breaking News in Yuba County, and 1 more; Lower RT: After We Fell, Out of Death, Cosmic Sin, Vanquish, Music, Midnight in the Switchgrass, Breaking News in Yuba County, Demonic, Deadly Illusions, Infinite, Home Sweet Home Alone, Die in a Gunfight, Zone 414, The Virtuoso, The Misfits, Sweet Girl, The Starling, Every Breath You Take, Thunder Force, Chaos Walking, and 11 more; Notes: I’m not even going to put the plots in as they are pointless. Surprisingly modest here. I do think maybe I should do something to delineate qualifying and non-qualifying in the lists. More recent years have so many bad direct to VOD options available.
RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – There’s also a sense that all of this will mean even less to those who haven’t played those early games. My greatest rush came from recognizing locations that I’ve seen previously with a controller in my hand. That’s not quite filmmaking—it’s fan service. I want a “Resident Evil” movie that takes these legendary locations and characters and does something fresh and exciting with them. Start with the mythology instead of just ending with it too. And the truth is there’s almost no story to “Welcome to Raccoon City.” After setting up a bunch of familiar faces, Roberts is content to bounce them off some zombies to a predictable final act that brings out some of the iconic big bads from the games. It’s depressingly easy to chart where this film is going to go and who’s going to make it to the inevitable sequel. There’s one thing a great horror game can never be (and something one couldn’t really accuse the Anderson movies of being either): predictable.
(Yeah, the trailers I’ve seen certainly feel like they went heavy for the fan service this time. Worth a shot I would think. It isn’t crazy to suggest that is exactly what the original Mortal Kombat did right. They took a bunch of disparate pieces and made sure to hit the notes that fans would be delighted by. So maybe that’s what we got, something fans will be like “that’s pretty okay” and non-fans will be like “this is gobbledygook. )
(As a person who played the first two games, it seems quite good from a fan service perspective. Sure, some of the CGI maybe seems a bit bad / obscured by darkness, but I still thought that they at least seemed to stay true to form.)
Directors – Johannes Roberts – ( Known For: 47 Meters Down: Uncaged; 47 Meters Down; The Other Side of the Door; Storage 24; F; Forest of the Damned; Hellbreeder; Future BMT: The Strangers: Prey at Night; BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; Notes: British. Definitely a horror guy, including a short series for telephones called When Evil Calls.)
Writers – Johannes Roberts – ( Known For: 47 Meters Down: Uncaged; 47 Meters Down; The Other Side of the Door; Storage 24; F; Forest of the Damned; Hellbreeder; BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; Notes: Has directed almost all of the films he’s written. He has an upcoming film called The Pool about a rabid dog in pre-production. Sounds like Cujo basically.)
Actors – Kaya Scodelario – ( Known For: The Maze Runner; Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile; Moon; Crawl; Maze Runner: The Death Cure; Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials; Wuthering Heights; Now Is Good; Tiger House; The Truth About Emanuel; Spike Island; Shank; Twenty8k; Future BMT: Clash of the Titans; BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Notes: I knew that she was from Skins. She was in 26 episodes. She’s in a period piece about mermaids called The King’s Daughter which is coming out next year.)
Robbie Amell – ( Known For: The Babysitter; The DUFF; Code 8; The Babysitter: Killer Queen; When We First Met; ARQ; Desperados; Eat Wheaties!; Struck by Lightning; Left for Dead; Future BMT: Max; BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Nine Lives; Notes: He has starred in a ton of television including Alcatraz, 1600 Penn, Revenge, The Flash, and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Is starring in a film called Float next year which is a production based on a Wattpad story (i.e. fanfic?))
Hannah John-Kamen – ( Known For: Ready Player One; Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens; Ant-Man and the Wasp; SAS: Red Notice; Tomb Raider; BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; Notes: She’s playing Red Sonja in the new Red Sonja film. Also mostly a television actor including as Ornela in Game of Thrones.)
Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $15,863,138 (Worldwide: $30,763,138)
(Not going to do well enough to guarantee a sequel, but also because of the pandemic they might think it is at least worth a shot to adapt a more original story next time. Only time will tell.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (19/66): Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is an affectionately faithful adaptation that further proves its source material is ill-suited to the big screen.
(Affectionately faithful is nice. I do feel like that is the way to do it if you insist on making a movie, even though it feels like a television series is obviously the way to actually adapt something like Resident Evil.)
Reviewer Highlight: Writer-director Johannes Roberts supplies plenty of fan service but scarce coherent plotting and even fewer scares. – Nick Schager, Variety
(I feel like modern posters are losing a bit of the joie de vivre of the past. This looks extremely CGI, like a video game cover rather than a real, live-action film poster. Font is classic and the red and white pop, but everything else is pretty dreary and bland. B-.)
Tagline(s) – Witness the Beginning of Evil. (D)
(Not actively bad, but that’s the only positive. What is this, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning? Would be impossible to count the number of films that this could be a tagline for.)
Top 10: Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021), Black Widow (2021), Spider-Man (2002), The Suicide Squad (2021), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Ghostbusters (1984), The Last Son (2021), Joker (2019), Midsommar (2019)
Future BMT: 84.1 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 72.9 The Last Exorcism Part II (2013), 71.3 Supergirl (1984), 70.5 Halloween II (2009), 69.3 Seed of Chucky (2004), 65.5 The Darkness (2016), 65.2 The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008), 63.9 Blair Witch (2016), 62.5 My Soul to Take (2010), 60.4 Pet Sematary II (1992)
BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021), The Mummy (2017), Rambo: Last Blood (2019), Hellboy (2019), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Conan the Barbarian (2011), Friday the 13th (2009), Masters of the Universe (1987), Anaconda (1997), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Scary Movie V (2013), The Haunting (1999), Queen of the Damned (2002), Truth or Dare (2018), Leprechaun (1993), Ghosts of Mars (2001), Sleepaway Camp (1983), Slender Man (2018), The Golden Child (1986), Cobra (1986), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Dracula 2000 (2000), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Ouija (2014), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), Virus (1999), I Know Who Killed Me (2007), The Devil Inside (2012), The Gallows (2015)
Matches: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021), Spider-Man (2002), The Last Son (2021), The Fifth Element (1997), 6 Underground (2019), Hereditary (2018), The Devil All the Time (2020), Legend (1985), It Chapter Two (2019), RoboCop (1987), Fear Street: Part One – 1994 (2021), Poltergeist (1982), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Conan the Barbarian (2011), Evil Dead (2013), The Dark Tower (2017), Seed of Chucky (2004), Saturday the 14th (1981), Masters of the Universe (1987), The Haunting (1999), Drag Me to Hell (2009), Halloween (2007), The Fog (1980), The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014), Leprechaun (1993), Mirrors (2008), Gretel & Hansel (2020), 1408 (2007), Blair Witch (2016), Halloween II (2009), The Omen (2006), Sinister 2 (2015), The Lords of Salem (2012), Ouija (2014), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), The Prophecy (1995), Pumpkinhead (1988), Needful Things (1993), Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992), … (and many more)
(I wonder why 2019 was all about “evil” movies? Anyways, weak keyword, but I couldn’t resist the A+ keyword. The other Resident Evil’s not being on the future BMT list suggests the keyword is even weaker than you would think in that people basically just don’t use it, even in obvious cases.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Neal McDonough is No. 7 billed in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City and No. 3 billed in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => (7 + 3) + (2 + 2) = 14. There is no shorter path at the moment.
Notes – A reboot of the series was announced while Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) was still in theaters.
Johannes Roberts told Screen Rant that the reboot would be “super, super scary” and more faithful to the games.
Greg Russo’s unused story and script, which he was developing with James Wan was inspired by Resident Evil VII: Biohazard (2017). Russo wanted to go back to scarier tone of original games and focus more on horror, just like Resident Evil 7 did.
Capcom gave the filmmakers their blueprints to recreate the main halls of the Spencer Mansion and the RPD (police station).
The film is based on and inspired by the first two video games.
The twelfth Resident Evil film count the animated CGI films Biohazard 4D: Executer (2000), Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008), Resident Evil: Damnation (2012), Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017) and Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness (2021) and the seventh live action Resident Evil film in the series.
The movie’s title appears in red bold letters. Color and font are identical to how the title appears in the first game.
Claire’s wearing a necklace. Its pendant is a dragonfly wing. In the video game Resident Evil: Code Veronica you have to collect multiple dragonfly wings to advance in the game.
Towards the end Claire is giving a set of keys that unlock a secret passage. There are four keys on the ring and they are modeled after the four keys required to access most of the locked doors in the police station in Resident Evil 2 game.
Leon kills mutated Birkin with a rocket launcher. It’s tradition in most Resident Evil video games to kill the final boss with a rocket launcher.
Wesker plays the piano to open a secret passage way. A similar event occurs in the original video game from 1996.
The movie set in 1998. Resident Evil (1996), first game of the franchise, set in the night of July 24-25, 1998.
Amanda falls too hard and too fast. When her latest relationship fizzles she finds an apartment with a group of supermodels and meets a local fashion exec, Jim. At first she thinks he might be a murderer, then just a liar, and it’s revealed he’s an undercover FBI agent and she’s in mortal danger! Can she help him stop the baddies before it’s too late? Find out in… Head Over Heels.
How?! Amanda gets weak at the knees at the merest hint of love at first sight. Generally this has steered her wrong as her latest beau is caught cheating. Out on love, and out of an apartment, she finds a new place with a group of kooky supermodels. She meets a neighbor across the street, Jim, who is pretty hunky (in a Freddie Prinze Jr. kind of way) and spies on him from her adjacent apartment window. After a big party she is shocked to see what appears to be Jim murdering a lady. That’s no good. She calls the police and tries to confront him, but ultimately ends up going out with him and deciding he’s an OK dude (despite the possibility that he murdered a lady). Things are going great until the body of the lady that she thinks Jim murdered is reported discovered in the newspaper. She goes to confront Jim at his place of work only to find that he’s actually an undercover FBI agent investigating a fashion company as a front for the Russian mob. And worse, the head honcho had already become suspicious of Amanda and scoped out her apartment and roommates. They are all in danger! They are captured by the mob and it seems to spell certain doom for them, but luckily the roommate supermodels use their feminine wiles and fashion sense to not only seduce and subdue their guard, but reveal that the mob is smuggling diamonds through fancy fashion wear. They race to a local fashion show to confront the head of the mob and take him down. Amanda is pretty down on the fact that Jim (real name Bob) is such a liar, but after a little while they get back together and totally smooch. THE END.
Why?! Good question. Love, like usual. Amanda just wants to make sure the latest guy she’s into isn’t a murderer. Jim wants to solve the big case around the Russian mob using a fashion company to launder money through illegally imported diamonds. So pretty rad motivations for him… just a bit misplaced in this romantic comedy where it literally comes out of nowhere.
Who?! The models in the film are actually models, so that’s mildly interesting. Also fun to see Timothy Olyphant show up in a very small part as Amanda’s cheating boyfriend. But really the star of the show is our animal actor Tanner, playing Hamlet the Great Dane. At least according to wikipedia. Even imdb doesn’t have that, so not sure where they are getting that information.
What?! I don’t think product placements in this film were super great. A camera here, general NYC advertisements there. There is an interesting prop in the film, which is the painting that Amanda is restoring. Apparently it is a severely damaged Titian’s The Bacchanal of the Andrians (which her boss calls a piece of crap). Funny because she then paints Freddie Prinze Jr’s face into it. Hope you asked the Prado if that was OK.
Where?! Good example to add to the NYC as a character film list. Amanda works at the Met restoring art and so that plays a role…. And now that I think of it, that’s really it. Wow. Obviously the presence of three supermodels would somewhat limit which city they are in as well, but still. As I watched the film I was always thinking “Ah, NYC.” Yet overall, not much city in there, except as background. B+.
When?! This was a fun one. Amanda is wondering what happened to the girl she thought Jim killed. It was never reported in the newspaper and no body was found. But then, uh oh! A body is found, screaming from the September 4th issue of the New York Post. It’s been a while since we’ve had a nice, clear, not obvious setting. B.
This is a really weird movie. I actually feel like the main actors are fine and the love story is cute enough in the small moments. Everything else, though, is extreme. The supermodels are extreme and play like a slapstick comedy (which I guess this ultimately kinda was). The film shifts from Amanda interested in Jim, thinking Jim is a murderer, dating Jim after thinking he’s not a murderer, and finally launches into the third act where Jim is an undercover cop and they are in peril while solving a major crime. Amanda works as an art restorer at the Met surrounded by her lesbian bestie and three old ladies that rattle off jokes like a comedy trio. It really feels like a film primarily from the female perspective written by a bunch of dudes. And surprise, it is. I have fun watching this kind of stuff, but not sure other people will. Patrick?
Hello everybody! Oh, what’s that, my new fake American accent! How does it sound? Good, or did I bottle it? Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – Now this is a film I had never heard of until we watched it. A Freddie Prinze Jr. film I had never heard of?! Indeed, as shocking as it seems it is true. The trailer for this seems wild. Some of them seriously suggest FPJ is a serial killer! Others make it clear he is, in fact, an FBI agent or spy or something. Boring. I wanted him to be a serial killer. What were my expectations? Oddly the reviews were halfway decent. So my expectations are a film with a nugget of a good idea which falls apart in the second half.
The Good – I really liked Monica Potter in the film. And I liked the idea that people genuinely start to think she’s a supermodel because she is, in fact, very beautiful, but also hanging around with other supermodels. It just works somehow. FPJ is not a good actor, but he is, as usual, very charming. And it is stunning how late into the film they reveal the (very obvious) twist, which I also appreciate. Best Bit: Monica Potter I think.
The Bad – The second half does really fall apart, especially with back-to-back supermodels getting farted on / shit poured on them. Not the best jokes. The twist is very obvious, and also there are moments where it veers into the nonsensical (FPJ is going to a completely dark baseball field in Central Park to coach Little League? How isn’t there already practice happening, and how late is this practice?). Fatal Flaw: The second half of the film starts running out of clever things to do.
The BMT – Besides getting us ever closer to the FPJ complete filmography this is not one for the BMT Hall of Fame. It is actually a little too good I think, especially in the first half. But otherwise, like most comedies, it just ends up being forgettable and a little too crude in the second half. Did it meet my expectations? I’m not sure I would have agreed with the critics of my own accord, but I do understand why the first half is considered okay by a bunch of critics. It is certainly better than the second half.
Roast-radamus – Fantastic Setting as a Character (Where?) for NYC all the way down to Monica Potter having the same job as Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters II (Right? Wasn’t she also a restorer at the what amounts to The Met?). And a solid Worst Twist (How?) for the very very obvious reveal that FPJ is an FBI agent. I think this is closest to Good.
Sequel, Prequel, Remake – You have to do a Sequel right? It is five years later, Amanda and Jim have a kid, and they live in France where Amanda restores art at the Louvre. Jim works in the U.S. Embassy … or so Amanda thinks. One night, some men enter their apartment, and Amanda and Jim narrowly escape, and Jim has to reveal that actually he’s a CIA agent and it looks like his cover has been blown. They have to get to Rome ASAP to get extracted. What luck though, the supermodels are in France for a show and off to Milan next. Disguising Amanda as a supermodel, again, and Jim as their manager they first get into some hijinx in the Alps and then cross over to Milan, where the bad guys catch up to them and seriously ruin the show! A high speed chase through the streets of Rome, Amanda shows off some of her spy skillz she picked up. “Where did you learn that?!” Jim says, “I thought it might come in handy someday if you ever got back into the spy game,” she retorts (wink). In the end they are extracted, and Jim apologizes and asks where to next. “How about Moscow, I hear their museum is looking for a restoration expert.” FPJ with the knowing look in the camera, a smooch, boom. Head Over Heels 2: Super Spies.
I’m back baby! … I’m just going to keep on saying Cheerios, sorry not sorry,
Oh man, so get this. I was pretending to be a supermodel (natch, I’m hot AF), but I tripped on my super high heels and fell … head over heels, and bopped my head on the catwalk. Now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Head Over Heels?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) In the beginning our hero Amanda is looking for a place to live. Why?
2) Our hero also works at The Met restoring art. And her boss has a huuuuuge job for her. What does he want her to do?
3) We’re getting a meet cute up in here. How do Jim and Amanda meet? What does Jim do?
4) Amanda thinks she sees her new almost-boyfriend, Jim, kill a woman. What was he actually doing?
5) What plot does Jim and Amanda discover the bad guys were up to in the end?
Bonus Question: So, what happens to all of the supermodels after Jim and Amanda go off to live their wonderful lives together?
Jamie and Patrick quake in fear as they prepare to face the devil himself on the other side of the door to their apartment. They should have anticipated this problem. With the power that the Dongle possesses, no wonder even the devil wants to get his claws on it. Jamie swings the door wide and Patrick leaps forth with a silver cross in one hand and spraying holy water with the other. Hardscrabble reporter Lindsey Appleton sputters, drenched in holy water. “What the hell, guys? My pants suit is ruined. And here I was bringing you a six pack of delicious Coca-Cola to jazz up another night of protecting the Dongle!” Kyle quickly enters with an apology and shakes his head sadly as he escorts Lindsey and the delicious Coca-Cola to the other room. Jamie is aghast. “Delicious Coca-Cola, Patrick? Soft pretzels? Kyle is having the time of his life at our expense because you simply can’t accept that the Dongle is safe even for a moment.” Patrick stares at the cityscape spread out in front of him. Perhaps they were right. Perhaps he just needed to relax about the whole Dongle business and get back to living his life. “I’m sorry, Jamie. We may not have delicious Coca-Cola or soft pretzels at our fingertips, but we always have this,” and with that he holds up their well worn Here on Earth DVD. Jamie smiles and breaks out the popping corn. But before those kernels can get a-poppin’, Kyle reappears. Blushing, he asks them to apologize to Lindsey and invite her back. “It’s just that… tonight was gonna be a big night for me and Rachel. I’m talking L-O-V-E and I need some advice.” Jamie and Patrick nod and sit him down in front of HoE just in time. That’s right! It’s not HoE (unfortunately) but it’s a Freddie Prinze Jr. joint, so nothing to sniff at. It’s the 20 year anniversary of the release of Head Over Heels… you know, the one where Freddie Prinze Jr. smirks and is a really good guy even though he looks like he should be a really terrible guy? Yeah, that one. Let’s go!
Head Over Heels (2001) – BMeTric: 40.1; Notability: 38
StreetCreditReport.com –BMeTric: top 14.8%; Notability: top 19.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 5.0%; Higher BMeT: Glitter, Jason X, Freddy Got Fingered, Driven, The Animal, Ghosts of Mars, Black Knight, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Soul Survivors, Valentine, Monkeybone, Corky Romano, Scary Movie 2, The Musketeer, The Wedding Planner, Bones, Say It Isn’t So, The Order, Summer Catch, The Wash, and 17 more; Higher Notability: Pearl Harbor, Monkeybone, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Hannibal, Impostor, Ghosts of Mars, Not Another Teen Movie, Bubble Boy, Swordfish, 15 Minutes, Town & Country, The One, Scary Movie 2, The Affair of the Necklace, I Am Sam, America’s Sweethearts, Along Came a Spider, Perfume, Joe Dirt, The Animal, and 29 more; Lower RT: The Order, Texas Rangers, Soul Survivors, Glitter, All the Queen’s Men, Corky Romano, The Forsaken, Summer Catch, The Wash, Out Cold, Say It Isn’t So, Megiddo: The Omega Code 2; Notes: Man, we have a ton of really bad 2001 films left don’t we. Mid-5.0 on IMDb is pretty high, much higher than I would have expected for this.
RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – “Head Over Heels” opens with 15 funny minutes and then goes dead in the water. It’s like they sent home the first team of screenwriters and brought in Beavis and Butt-Head. The movie starts out with sharp wit and edgy zingers, switches them off and turns to bathroom humor. And not funny bathroom humor, but painfully phony gas-passing noises, followed by a plumbing emergency that buries three supermodels in a putrid delivery from where the sun don’t shine. It’s as if the production was a fight to the death between bright people with a sense of humor, and cretins who think the audience is as stupid as they are. …It isn’t funny when innocent bystanders are humiliated. It’s funny when they humiliate themselves. For example, “Head Over Heels” would be funny if it were about the people making this movie.
(Huh, that is a lot different than I expected. A solid first 15 minutes? Bathroom humor? None of the trailer really suggests this at all. Very interesting.)
(Wow, a very brief Olyphant cameo. The story seems insane. So I assume the story is one of two things. First, he’s a secret agent or cop or something and that is why he is “murdering” people. Second, it is a mafia story basically, and he’s trying to extract himself from that world and having difficulties. I’m on tenterhooks as to which it is.)
Directors – Mark Waters – ( Known For: Mean Girls; He’s All That; The Spiderwick Chronicles; Freaky Friday; Just Like Heaven; Mr. Popper’s Penguins; Magic Camp; The House of Yes; Future BMT: Bad Santa 2; BMT: Vampire Academy; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Head Over Heels; Notes: Married to actress Dina Spybey-Waters and the brother of writer Daniel Waters. I’ll say it again: give these three a chance to write/direct/star in a film. I want to see it!)
Writers – John J. Strauss – ( Known For: The Santa Clause 2; There’s Something About Mary; The Lizzie McGuire Movie; Future BMT: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; Free Birds; The Wild; Rebound; BMT: Head Over Heels; Notes: Produced a lot of television these days, including Mozart in the Jungle. Writing a Chinese film called Noodles at the moment.)
Ed Decter – ( Known For: The Santa Clause 2; There’s Something About Mary; The Lizzie McGuire Movie; Future BMT: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; The Wild; Rebound; BMT: Head Over Heels; Notes: Most recently created the show Shadowhunters. Also was the director for The New Guy.)
David Kidd and Ron Burch – ( Known For: Ferdinand; Future BMT: Yours, Mine & Ours; BMT: Head Over Heels; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Best Original Song for The Closer starring Tom Selleck. The song was called You Don’t Know Jack. They also wrote the Dinotrux television show.)
Actors – Monica Potter – ( Known For: Con Air; Saw; The Last House on the Left; Without Limits; I’m with Lucy; Lower Learning; A Cool, Dry Place; The Very Thought of You; Heaven or Vegas; Future BMT: Patch Adams; Bulletproof; BMT: Along Came a Spider; Head Over Heels; Notes: It is claimed that her father invented the first flame-resistant car wax. She’s from Cleveland, and now mostly does television like Wisdom of the Crowd.)
Freddie Prinze Jr. – ( Known For: Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker; She’s All That; The House of Yes; Brooklyn Rules; Jack and Jill vs. the World; The Reef; New York City Serenade; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; Boys and Girls; Happily N’Ever After; Delgo; To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Summer Catch; Down to You; Head Over Heels; Wing Commander; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Scooby-Doo in 2003; Notes: Does a ton of voice work these days (including as Kanan Jarrus in Star Wars which is why he’s credited in the ninth film). You of course know him as the best friend of Matthew Lillard.)
Shalom Harlow – ( Known For: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; Kate & Leopold; In & Out; The Salton Sea; Game 6; Melinda and Melinda; I Love Your Work; Happy Here and Now; BMT: Vanilla Sky; Head Over Heels; Notes: Apparently a huge model, she was worth about $10 million in 1998.)
(Woof. And not just because they give Freddie’s doggie a outsized place on the poster. This is ahead of its time in that it mimics what would become the classic Diane Keaton style of poster. The poster separated into strips of space, no consistent color scheme, and bad font. The Full Keaton. D)
Tagline(s) – Four supermodel roommates. One regular girl. The guy next door doesn’t stand a chance. (D)
Unleash your inner model. (C)
(That second one is really digging deep for a movie that theoretically no one would have seen when they first read the tagline. It’s wordplay on the relatively minor detail about Freddie Prinze Jr. having a large dog that he can’t control. I kinda love it for how nonsensical it is. The first one is somehow worse just for length and the fact that it is not clever in the least.)
Top 10: After (2019), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Anna (2019), Pitch Perfect (2012), La La Land (2016), School of Rock (2003), I, Tonya (2017), Pretty Woman (1990), The Terminator (1984)
Future BMT: 71.2 Supergirl (1984), 54.3 The Green Inferno (2013), 51.9 Loser (2000), 50.7 Abandon (2002), 47.8 The Wash (2001), 46.4 On the Line (2001), 45.7 Monster-in-Law (2005), 44.4 Boys and Girls (2000), 43.6 Life of the Party (2018), 37.4 If Lucy Fell (1996)
BMT: After (2019), Police Academy (1984), Burlesque (2010), Vampire Academy (2014), The Sweetest Thing (2002), Urban Legend (1998), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Failure to Launch (2006), Little Nicky (2000), Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009), Made of Honor (2008), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), The Prince and Me (2004), Table 19 (2017), Chairman of the Board (1997), Head Over Heels (2001)
Matches: La La Land (2016), Rent (2005), Shaun of the Dead (2004), Girl, Interrupted (1999), Spenser Confidential (2020), Big Daddy (1999), Three Men and a Baby (1987), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008), Tootsie (1982), Grandma’s Boy (2006), Single White Female (1992), The Sweetest Thing (2002), Class (1983), Everybody Wants Some!! (2016), Failure to Launch (2006), Reign Over Me (2007), Life of the Party (2018), Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), Starry Eyes (2014), A Million Little Pieces (2018), Prozac Nation (2001), Loser (2000), Going the Distance (2010), Loverboy (1989), Poison Ivy II (1996), Someone Like You (2001), The Wash (2001), Annapolis (2006), Premium Rush (2012), Dead Man on Campus (1998), Jenny’s Wedding (2015), Smiley Face (2007), Chairman of the Board (1997), The Guilty (2000), Kaboom (2010), Head Over Heels (2001), For a Good Time, Call… (2012), … and more
(There weren’t any good keywords from the plot it seemed. I went with this. I’m excited for Monster-in-Law mostly I think. The exact match with Rent is fun.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Freddie Prinze Jr. is No. 2 billed in Head Over Heels and No. 1 billed in Wing Commander, which also stars Matthew Lillard (No. 3 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 6 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 1) + (3 + 6) + (3 + 1) = 16. If we were to watch Patch Adams, Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.
Notes – Amanda’s character has symptoms of Stendhal Syndrome, a condition where seeing a beautiful piece of art or something particularly pleasing to the eye can cause symptoms including dizziness and fainting.
Shalom Harlow has said that she used to live in an environment much like the one Jade, Roxanna, Candi, Holly, and Amanda live in.
Claire Danes was originally set to play the lead role of Amanda Pierce, but dropped out at the last moment. Monica Potter, who’d already been signed on for a smaller role, was moved into Amanda’s part as a result.
Freddie Prinze Jr. was the 1st choice for the role of Jim Winston, with it written for him.
Shalom Harlow, Sarah O’Hare and Tomiko Fraser were real-life models, before getting cast in this film.
Mark Waters used classic films such as “The Philadelphia Story” and “His Girl Friday” as templates for the story.
The film was shot in Vancouver and New York, with the former serving as the substitute for famous New York landmarks such as Stanley Park for Central Park, and their aquarium which had rare Beluga whales.
Gerry Fenn is a formally famous journalist reduced to reporting on fake supernatural new stories. But one story starts to seem a bit… to real. A young deaf girl has been cured by visions of “Mary” and quickly gains followers through other miraculous healings. The church is all in, but Fenn is suspicious. Can he stop “Mary” before it’s too late? Find out in… The Unholy.
How?! Gerry Fenn was a crazy famous reporter. So crazy famous that he got caught up in writing fake stories to chase that fame. Flash forward a few years and he’s a down-and-out drunk working for a hoax news site on commission. When his latest story falls through he’s pretty angry, but coincidentally finds a strange kern doll in the field he’s in. It’s real creepy so naturally he smashes it so that he can make up a supernatural story to sell. Later that night he finds a girl out in the field where the doll had been. She’s Alice, the niece of the local priest and is deaf and mute… or at least was. Suddenly with visions of the Virgin Mary she can speak! She starts preaching the word of Mary and Fenn is right in the middle of the action. He’s the only one she trusts cause he truly believes. He saw the miracles with his own eyes. Meanwhile Alice’s uncle is suspicious and after doing some research is attacked and killed by a demonic presence. His death is ruled a suicide, but Fenn knows otherwise. Suddenly the one that Alice trusts most is having his own doubts. When Alice suggests a giant, widely televised sermon to preach the word of Mary, Fenn knows time is running out. He sneaks into the church and discovers the truth. Mary isn’t the Virgin Mary at all. She’s just some rando Mary who happened to be in leagues with the Devil. El Diablo! He rushes to the sermon just in time to convince everyone to have doubts about Mary. You see he made it all up cause he’s a liar and he’s done it before. Everyone is like yeah that makes sense. Suddenly Mary explodes onto the scene and is ready to roast Fenn but Alice sacrifices herself for him, killing Mary in the process. Fenn begs God to save Alice and indeed he does. It’s a miracle. God exists. THE END.
Why?! Well Mary is evil. Fen is a big ol’ liar trying to make it back to the top of the journalism game. This story is a bit opportunistic for him, but ultimately he sees the error of his ways. I think that’s really about it. Horror films are usually pretty straightforward this way.
Who?! Always fun to discuss a horror film’s monster in this section, particularly when we can anticipate the UCU (Unholy Cinematic Universe) rolling out over the next few decades. Mary Elnor is our devil witch and she is nicely spooky with real creepy claws and a mask nailed to her face. She was portrayed by Marina Mazepa, who was apparently a contortionist on America’s Got Talent. Makes sense cause you gotta contort if you are in leagues with the devil. It’s the rule.
What?! Jeffery Dean Morgan’s Sony camera that he totes around and records everything with actually gets some play in reviews from this film. I think people are just shocked to see a reporter using a camera to film their interviews and are like “no way.” But I feel like that’s pretty realistic. What is he gonna have? A camera man following his around? He’s freelance.
Where?! It’s made pretty clear that this is set in the boonies of Western MA. Always fun when they make up a fake place too. Here they are living it up in Banfield, Massachusetts. Nice. That is a legitimately real sounding place. And somehow also not a real town anywhere in America. Cool. I would have called the place Codchester just for laughs.
When?! They don’t make a clear statement on when everything is set, even though they show a full Wikipedia page written up for the event! The only hint we really get is that a magazine cover detailing one of the miracle healings appears to be the Spring 2019 issue. And since everyone is all bundled up in MA you can imagine it is pretty early Spring. Maybe March. C.
Sigh. No one will remember this film. I wonder if it even would have been a major release without a studio needing something to fill an early slot as theaters opened back up. It’s really a cheap looking film that holds very few scares. Not entirely their fault, as I understand it, since they were struggling with some intense covid limitations for the entirety of filming. The concept is OK… the idea of a demonic presence taking on the guise of the Virgin Mary and luring unsuspecting souls into devil worship. But it can’t really pull it off. One fun thing is that Cary Elwes shows up as a Boston priest who has the deepest Boston accent possible… and by Boston accent I mean whatever it is that is coming out of Elwes’ mouth. It’s some funny shit. Patrick?
Hallo iedereen! I’m in Amsterdam on my way to America (so no more ‘ellos unfortunately, as I’ll be slipping back into my (now fake) American accent). We’ve got (uh)holy visions all up in here. Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – There was some debate about which horror film to do from this year. It was basically between this and Separation. On the one hand Separation has a 7% on Rotten Tomatoes (my god!). On the other, The Unholy was a far bigger film with actual actors in it. Tough to choose, but we went with The Unholy. I was stunned to realize it was based on a book. More on that later. What were my expectations? Rote religious “horror” with maybe jump scares? That is what the reviews all say. That if you’ve seen a few religious horror films you will have already watched this film.
The Good – From a storyline perspective it is really interesting. I’m actually not that bothered by the lack of scares (even the jump scares are lame), and the rote storytelling. I actually found it all pretty interesting as a simple dramatic story. There really isn’t that much more to say. The story is really thin. I guess maybe the set design was also impressive. The final set piece with the Mass in the tent seemed well done. For a horror film with an incredibly low body count (3) and no scares, it didn’t seem all that bad. Best Bit: The underlying story is at least somewhat interesting.
The Bad – Here’s the thing, the book was written in 1983. A time where, presumably, there was a lot more simple acceptance of religious ideals, or at least almost everyone would have grown up with some religious education. A cynical ambitious journalist accidentally stumbling onto genuine miracles and demons in 2021 though? I feel like they could have hit the point home a bit more that Gerry Fenn never believed it to be true, and just how stunned and scared he is to realize that not only was he not merely propagating a hoax, but instead genuinely party to a demonic presence. I think Gerry is far too quick to be like “sweet I saw a miracle, this is going to be awesome for my career!” That is my biggest critique from a story perspective. The other glaring thing is that Cary Elwes’s Boston accent is absurd. At times a bad Boston accent, at times straight up Irish, and at times New York. Horrible. Fatal Flaw: I think it failed to update the core story for the nearly 40 year gap between the book’s publication and movie’s production which makes it ring false.
The BMT – Throw it on the pile of other religious horror I guess. I think this is one of the better ones, but I also have no doubt that I will never think of or watch this film again. Maybe one claim to fame could be that it is an adaptation of a book by a pretty famous horror writer from England I had never heard of. So if I end up reading a few of his books that could be a fun origin story for that. Did it meet my expectations? It actually didn’t even really have that many jump scares. I will say that to suggest having seen other religious horror is to have seen this film is a bit unfair. This seems a bit OG in that regard since it is an adaptation, and the fundamental “twist” is far more interesting than I think they give it credit for.
Roast-radamus – A very nice Setting as a Character (Where?) for Western Massachusetts (presumably, I guess it could be anywhere in Massachusetts, but I think it must be Western Mass). And I’ll lob out a Worst Twist (How?) for just how they muddle things with “Mary” and the Virgin Mary and all that. Is it a twist? Debatable, but I’ll toss it out there. I think this is closest to Good maybe.
Sequel, Prequel, Remake – The Prequel is always the way to go with bad horror films. Made a bad Ouija movie? Well, let’s go back to the 70s and it’ll be weirdly good. Made a bad Annabelle film? Well, what about if we did the origin story we should have done in the first place? Works every time, by which I mean it worked the two times I remember. The origin story here is about Mary obviously. You twist it on its head a bit right? She’s a devout Christian in Puritan Massachusetts, but then is assaulted by the townspeople of Banfield and left for dead. Rescued by a witch she is consumed with the desire for revenge, and uses her knowledge of the divine to corrupt them, kill them, and ultimately condemn their souls to torture within her Dark Realm. Her revenge complete, an innocent attempts to bring her back to the light, for God is capable of all forgiveness, but Mary refuses, vowing to consume the blighted Earth and destroy God himself with her resulting power. Venturing into Mary’s Dark Realm, our hero saves the town priest who is able to kill Mary and trap her soul in a Kern Baby. See, you got a little anti-hero for Mary, but then ultimately she becomes too far gone. The Unholy: Original Sin would be the name there. The third film takes place after the first and would be about Alice learning that Father Hagan’s soul is trapped in the Dark Realm and she too has to venture forth to battle Mary once more to save him in The Unholy: Dark Realm.
You Just Got Schooled – We’re back babyyyyyyyy! I could have read the book the film was based on (Shrine), but instead I read James Herbert’s first (and very short) novel The Rats. Immediately very fun in that you get a lot of descriptions of run down 1970s East London. The story is also pretty fun just because it is pretty similar to Night Shift by Stephen King in some ways, which was written in 1970 it seems. Herbert also made a book called The Fog which is also just about poisonous fog creeping into a town. The point I’m making is that these original books seem to be very archetypal, stories which are more campfire tales projected onto a particular setting / characters. And there is something fun about seeing a period of horror literature that was still publishing shorts and installments into magazines like Cavelier and Penthouse. The book itself is a bit odd. Very disjointed because it doesn’t tend to really follow the main character much for a good chunk of the book. Instead, it is more just showing bits of East London and rats attacking. It is also a bit odd because it is speaking on the degraded nature of East London from a time long enough ago that it is hardly recognizable. East London is still “grimy” maybe, but it is also pretty hipster and multicultural now. Anyways, fun short book anyways, if a bit rote. B.
So I was hanging around this dumb field in western Massachusetts when I found this creepy doll. I, of course, obliterated it for fun, and now I’m seeing this creepy lady around. That’s the last thing I remember, I’m losing time, I think I have brain damage. Do you remember what happened in The Unholy?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) We meet unscrupulous reporter Gerry Feen (Jeffery Dean Morgan) as he heads out to Western Mass (presumably) … for what reason?
2) Obviously that’s a bust, but he discovers something there. What does he discover, what does he think it is, and what terrible mistake does he make?
3) What did Gerry Fenn do in his past that made his persona non grata at the Boston Examiner, and now with his big scoop what position does he want from them?
4) Oh yeah, there is a religious story going on here. Miracles are a happenin’ and people think they are from the Virgin Mary. Name the three miracles witnessed by the townspeople.
5) How does Father Hagan figure out who Mary really is, and who is Mary really?
Bonus Question: At the end of the film Gerry Fenn is out of journalism for good, but what does he end up doing afterwards?