I think the sudden change in format deserves some explanation. For everyone who is reading each entry in the Bad Movie Twins saga with bated breath it should come as no surprise that the film recaps appears to have gone… back in time! Back in time to a shorter, sweeter time in BMT. So it just begs one question…
Are you ready for the summer? Are you ready for the sunshine… [record scratch] Not so fast it’s more like We’ve Been Waiting for the Summer. A film theme song so terrible that there is no evidence of it on the internet. I can’t even find the lyrics to make some joke about it. So a very worthy introduction to Meatballs II, a film that also should have all evidence of it scrubbed from the internet. They then launch you into a plot that is so startlingly similar to Meatballs that you can’t possibly believe it was actually conceived as something other than a sequel to Meatballs (as the director claims). That is until you remember that every camp film basically has the same plot as Meatballs: Loner not interested in participating in camp life? Check. Rival camp of TOTAL JERKS set to compete in some intercamp championship? Check. Loner participates in championship and wins? Check. A vaguely jewish extraterrestrial shows up and everyone turns out to be pretty cool about it? Uh…hold on a second. A series of incredibly homophobic remarks by the rival camp director? Well definitely not that part.
You get the drift. The movie is real bad and real cheap and basically didn’t have anything we like in terms of settings and junk. Honestly the best of the bunch is an unexpected appearance by Donald Gibb a.k.a. Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds who technically was an athlete-turned-actor. Always a treat when Ogre shows up. With that I’m going to play a little game this week called Vocab Quiz where I’ll highlight some of the new terms I learned from those bubblegum poppin’ rad teens/30-somethings of Meatballs II:
Pinky – a term for penis that we had to hear over and over and over (and over) again in the film. It’s a term I never want to hear again, thank you very much.
Dork – you might think you know what dork means, but you don’t. It’s also a term for a penis! That’s right! I try to learn something new every day and that is certainly something new. Look it up, it’s real.
S-E-X – A subject not discussed in polite company, but who’s lack of knowledge will lead a group of young ladies to make a pledge to see a pinky and/or dork by the end of camp.
I’ll spare you the many terms used to insult large swaths of the population. Patrick?
Hello everyone! Meatballs Part II? More like Bad Call, Fart Too! Amirite? You’re welcome for me not using something about my balls there by the way. Just like Meatballs this installment has boxing, bad boys with hearts of gold, a military themed summer camp, and a French chef serving dead horses to children … wait a tic, Meatballs didn’t have any of that!! Where’s Rudy the Rabbit you bastards?! Let’s get on with the ‘pinions:
To start I’ll just say that this film isn’t a sequel to Meatballs. For sure this was a comedy made on the cheap by writers from Friday the 13th who thought they could do the same thing: write and direct a film in a few days for a million dollars and make a good return.
Coach Giddy was a fun character. Understanding, and tricky, and smart. The strong “camp leader” character contrasts nicely with Morty from the original.
Bad boys with hearts of gold. I’m not even going to tell you if that is good or bad you decide for yourself.
Uh … aliens anyone? This film has aliens. Did no one tell you that? It is a huuuuuuge part of the film. His name is Meathead. He lives in an old outhouse for a while. He wanders around and no one really notices he’s there most of the time. This is real, this is the storyline for the Meatballs sequel.
The film ends with the bad boy using his heart of gold (and the alien’s psychic powers) to fly around and beat up Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds while wearing a dress. Hundreds of people witness human levitation, and their biggest takeaway is “Flash wore a dress?!” They seemingly just bounce the next day.
Kind of sucks for superlatives. Only really a small Product Placement (What?) for a few shots of old school Mountain Dew here and there. Ultimately mostly a Bad film in the end.
Just to note, Leonard Maltin somehow gave this film a better review than Meatballs. WHAT?! But Meatballs is a classic … right? Well, I just had to watch it again and I have to say, it isn’t a very funny movie. The Rudy storyline is interesting but not really comedic, more sad. The only thing going for it is Bill Murray. He’s a tour de force. But he legitimately just has no one to work off of. The film is fun, but I can see Maltin’s point. It is a very weird “comedy”. Like the last third of Stripes. It is amusing, and I love it, but it isn’t really funny.
I’ll just leave you with mentioning that it is kind of weird that Meatballs hasn’t been attempted as a Netflix series. I feel like Wet Hot American Summer shows there is some appetite for funny comedy camp movies. But … I kind of fear it’ll end up being like Meatballs: Camp TikTok or something and totally ruin it.
Oh man, so get this. Everyone else got injured by the eeeeeevil Camp Patton and so I had to fight in the big boxing match. Naturally I got punched in the head a bunch and sustained a massive concussion. Now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Meatballs Part II?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) Why is Flash the Bash going to Camp Sasquatch?
2) Why is Flash recruited to the boxing team for the big fight against Camp Patton?
3) Why does the alien (yup, not joking) visit Camp Sasquatch? Where does it hide while it is here?
4) Why is Camp Sasquatch going to lose access to the lake? And how do they try and stop it from happening?
5) After a covert mission to Camp Sasquatch, Flash is captured (oh no!!) and left naked in Camp Patton. What clothing does he end up wearing to the big fight?
Bonus Question: In the mid-credits sequence (which is a bizarre 35 year flash forward) what do we see happens to the camp?
“So we are in the past,” Jamie says with wonder, thinking back on all the adventures they had in the gardens of the water reclamation plant. Everything was so simple and uncomplicated. Just a couple of scamps running around causing chaos, pretending they were saving the world. Their eyes fill with tears at the memory. Who would have thought that all these years later they actually would be saving the world? And even crazier, that they would find it so boring that they’d risk their lives, risk all time and space, by going back in time on a new adventure they barely understand. They look at each other, the tears now spilling down their cheeks. “We’ve made a terrible mistake, we shouldn’t be here,” Patrick says quietly and Jamie agrees, but before they can head back to the time machine they hear a noise in the clearing down below. Crouching down, they see the younger versions of themselves running through the brush. They are carrying some comic books and arguing over the latest issue. “What was it we used to read?” Jamie asks in a whisper. Patrick smiles at the thought that Jamie could forget their favorite weekly comic series, Bad Movie Thursday. It’s not like they invented watching bad movies. They just turned it into a billion dollar franchise and legions of fans across the world (including Antarctica, duh). Just as Young Jamie and Young Patrick’s argument reaches a crescendo a few more kids come out of the brush and stop dead at the sight of Jamie and Patrick. Jamie and Patrick frown. “I don’t remember these kids, do you?” Jamie asks and Patrick nods slightly, mesmerized and horrified by what he knows comes next. “Yo, you meatballs, what are you doing on our turf,” Young Patrick yells. That’s right! We’re diving in on our short and sweet cycle with the second entry in a beloved series from our youth, Meatballs II. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen Meatballs. I can tell you how many times I’ve seen Meatballs II. That would be zero. Soon to be one. Let’s go!
Meatballs Part II (1984) – BMeTric: 38.5; Notability: 24
StreetCreditReport.com –BMeTric: top 3.6%; Notability: top 10.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0%; Higher BMeT: Supergirl, Ghoulies, Rhinestone, The Hills Have Eyes Part II, Bolero, Cannonball Run II, Children of the Corn, Missing in Action, Sheena; Higher Notability: Cannonball Run II, Supergirl, City Heat, Protocol, Mrs. Soffel, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, The River, Unfaithfully Yours, Conan the Destroyer, The Woman in Red, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Firstborn, Sheena, American Dreamer, The Ice Pirates, Rhinestone, Reckless, Exterminator 2, C.H.U.D., Maria’s Lovers, and 7 more; Notes: We’ve been doing a lot of research into how to determine if pre-1985 films qualify, and I think really it comes down to if the film had a New York Times film review. Amazingly Meatballs 2 did. And all of those with higher BMeTrics did as well. Phew, we can finally start really watching early 1980s garbage.
Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – In-name-only sequel throws everything from Jewish aliens from to From Here to Eternity take-off, as the fate of Camp Sasquatch rides on a boxing match against nearby Camp Patton (“Where Outdoor Living Molds Killers”). Slightly better than its predecessor (which isn’t saying much).
(Whaaaaaaaaaa? The original Meatballs is a classic! Wait … I’m starting to get a feeling Leonard Maltin didn’t watch Meatballs 500 times on Comedy Central when they were 10-years-old.)
(I don’t think there is a real trailer online. Just clips. This is as close as it is going to get. And it looks awful. Interesting to see John Larroquette, who was playing a similar character in the Bill Murray film, Stripes.)
Directors – Ken Wiederhorn – ( Known For: Eyes of a Stranger; Shock Waves; Dark Tower; A House in the Hills; Future BMT: Return of the Living Dead II; BMT: Meatballs Part II; Notes: He directed seven episodes of the, frankly terrible, Nightmare on Elm Street television series. Dropped out of college and started as the mail boy at CBS before working himself up to a film writer and director.)
Writers – Martin Kitrosser – ( Known For: Facing the Enemy; Model Behavior; BMT: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Meatballs Part II; Notes: I have to imagine that his connection to Friday the 13th was the inspiration for what seemed to have started as a Meatballs knockoff and then became a Meatballs sequel.)
Carol Watson – ( BMT: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part III; Meatballs Part II; Notes: Was a staff writer for South Park for at least a bit. Also part of the Friday the 13th writing team clearly, so I imagine her and Kitrosser made the original script.)
Bruce Franklin Singer – ( Known For: The Killing Time; BMT: Meatballs Part II; Notes: Mostly a television writer, including 16 episodes of Subset Beach. I would guess he is the person they hired to rework and punch up the script a bit.)
Actors – Richard Mulligan – ( Known For: The Group; The Undefeated; From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler; Oliver & Company; Little Big Man; S.O.B.; Love with the Proper Stranger; Teachers; Scavenger Hunt; The Big Bus; Micki + Maude; 40 Pounds of Trouble; One Potato, Two Potato; Doin’ Time; Visit to a Chief’s Son; Future BMT: The Heavenly Kid; Trail of the Pink Panther; A Fine Mess; BMT: Meatballs Part II; Notes: Brother of Robert Mulligan who directed To Kill a Mockingbird. He won an Emmy for Empty Nest, and died in 2000.)
Hamilton Camp – ( Known For: The Little Mermaid; Dick Tracy; Starcrash; Heaven Can Wait; Doctor Dolittle; S.O.B.; Titanic; Eating Raoul; My Cousin Rachel; Bird; Evilspeak; No Small Affair; Under Fire; The Black Shield of Falworth; Nickelodeon; Dark City; All Night Long; Arena; Executive Suite; Kim; Future BMT: Joe Dirt; City Heat; Almost Heroes; All Dogs Go to Heaven 2; The Pebble and the Penguin; Young Doctors in Love; Gordy; BMT: Meatballs Part II; Notes: British, he was evacuated to the US during World War II when he was a child. He died in 2005. He is notable for being relatively short, five foot two inches.)
John Mengatti – ( Known For: Tag: The Assassination Game; Knights of the City; Dead Men Don’t Die; Hadley’s Rebellion; BMT: Meatballs Part II; Notes: Has a pretty solid television career in the early 80s, including 34 episodes of The White Shadow. His career didn’t take off in the 90s, and he stopped acting in the early 2000s.)
(These are the reasons we have to look into some of these films. You can’t make $5 million without being widely released, but there also are often not good numbers for anything prior to 1985. This seems like a bad return though, even for a minor comedy.)
(Hard to make a consensus with two reviews. Does this qualify? We think so. The issue can be that some reviews are, for whatever reason, not available. Here it suggests there are at least 4 other publications reported on Meatballs II, but unfortunately none seem to be available online.)
Reviewer Highlight: Pallid writing, awkward acting, familiar situations and tired jokes make the morons, wimps and losers of ”Meatballs Part II” easy to pass up. – Lawrence Van Gelder, New York Times
(I love 80’s posters. The complicated drawings of comedies like the Police Academy films. This one is a little underwhelming. Even the poster artist seemed to realize there was only so much to this film to draw. All that said, still got that 80’s artistry. B.)
Tagline(s) – The insanity continues… (D)
(Ah well, this is not good. Such a lack of creativity when it comes to sequels. Probably because they know that a tagline isn’t hooking anyone who isn’t already hooked by the concept of another Meatballs. Sigh.)
Top 10: Lolita (1997), Wonder (2017), The Parent Trap (1998), A Simple Favor (2018), Before Sunrise (1995), Friday the 13th (1980), Addams Family Values (1993), Friday the 13th (2009), Fear Street: Part Two – 1978 (2021), Mask (1985)
Future BMT: 77.9 Daddy Day Camp (2007), 62.8 Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004), 59.3 Agent Cody Banks (2003), 31.7 It Takes Two (1995), 29.2 The Story of Us (1999), 28.5 Fired Up! (2009), 27.7 Wonder Park (2019), 21.6 Camp Nowhere (1994), 12.8 Heavyweights (1995)
BMT: Friday the 13th (2009), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Jason X (2001), Sleepaway Camp (1983), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Meatballs Part II (1984)
Matches: The Parent Trap (1998), Friday the 13th (1980), Addams Family Values (1993), Sleepaway Camp (1983), The Burning (1981), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Little Darlings (1980), Rim of the World (2019), The Baby-Sitters Club (1995), Camp Nowhere (1994), Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988), Ernest Goes to Camp (1987), The Story of Us (1999), Indian Summer (1993), Standing Up (2013), The First Turn-On!! (1983), Cheerleader Camp (1988), Daddy Day Camp (2007), Recess: School’s Out (2001), Gorp (1980), Meatballs Part II (1984), Madman (1981), Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation (1986), Happy Campers (2001), My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Legend of Everfree (2016), Party Camp (1987), The Rainbow Tribe (2008), Family Plan (1997), Twisted Nightmare (1987), Camp Dread (2014), Camp Takota (2014), Camp (2013), Summerhood (2008), Caesar and Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre (2009), Porkchop (2010), Camp Stories (1996), Camp Harlow (2014), Darkest Hour (2005), Geronimo (1990), Sasquatch (2017)
(My god, we haven’t watched Heavyweights for BMT yet? How dare we. Amazingly this is the last 80s summer camp film we needed to watch for BMT, and yet we have watched basically none of the 90s summer camp films.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 40) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: John Larroquette is No. 3 billed in Meatballs Part II and No. 18 billed in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, which also stars Jordana Brewster (No. 1 billed) who is in Fast & Furious (No. 4 billed) which also stars Vin Diesel (No. 1 billed) who is in Babylon A.D. (No. 1 billed) which also stars Michelle Yeoh (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 4 billed) which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (3 + 18) + (1 + 4) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 4) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 40. If we were to watch Blind Date, Nights in Rodanthe, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 17.
Notes – Misty Rowe wore a heavily padded bra in order to play the top heavy Fanny.
The film was never intended as a sequel to Meatballs. When the studio picked it up they changed the name to Meatballs Part II, much to the surprise of director Ken Wiederhorn.
The horror film that the kids watch is Shock Waves (1977), also directed by Ken Wiederhorn.
Cheryl (‘Richards, Kim’) is asked if she comes from another planet (due to her lack of experience with boys). Cheryl replies that she sort of is. Richards played a young alien girl, marooned on earth, in two Disney movies: Escape to Witch Mountain (1975), and Return from Witch Mountain (1978).