Friday the 13th: A New Beginning Preview

Uh oh, what you talking about, of course we are hitting up two films this week. Otherwise we wouldn’t see Jason X for years. We are returning to Crystal Lake (uh … again) to hit up the fifth in the Friday the 13th series, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. See the preview for the fourth film … right before this. I bet there is even a link at the bottom of the page. These count as the coveted “:” entry in the cycle, which could have been any number of films. We had so much fun watching the first three entries in the sequel cycle that we couldn’t resist returning to the well for some more. At this rate we’ll be watching Jason X in no time. Let’s go!

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) – BMeTric: 60.8

FridayThe13thANewBeginning_BMeT

FridayThe13thANewBeginning_RV

(Genuinely terrible, especially when considering the previous installment. Kind of strange, but the reviews are also quite down. My guess: it is boring, stupid, and doesn’t have the same kill/Jason presence as the previous installments. I’m mostly interested to see how much of a reboot it is. This I would classify as a Popular and poorly rated film. The number of votes is impressive and despite the regression to the mean it is very much below average.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – A clever title (after … the final chapter) for more gore galore, a gruesome and disgusting as ever. Fifth in the series.

(As gruesome and disgusting as ever would be a good review for fans of the series I suppose. I bet he didn’t even watch this. He certainly gave zero details.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_q7Pz2HNJc

(Alright, that trailer wasn’t good. Just a bunch of voiceover, show a few kills, show most of the final fight (clearly). Looks cheap, and doesn’t look scary in the least. If we graded trailers this would get an F for just not getting me amped up for watching this movie.)

Directors – Danny Steinmann – (BMT: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Notes: Ha! His IMDb page crows about how his first film (High Rise) is a hardcore porn flick. He ended up getting into horror films, and this movie was supposed to be his break into the big time. After stories of the troubled set got out they all fell through and then a bicycle accident caused him to retire from directing.)

Writers – Victor Miller, Sean S. Cunningham (character creator) – (Not sure why Kurz lost his credit at this point, but these guys are the original creators and there isn’t much more to say. Read the preview for Part 2 and Part III if you want to know more.)

Martin Kitrosser (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Notes: Career script supervisor. His next movie? Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. He has a crazy impressive resume.)

David Cohen (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Notes: Wrote only three movies. One of them, Hollywood Zap which he also directed, is described thusly: Story of two friends, one searching for his father, the other searching for the ultimate sexual video game competition. … … I think Steinmann might have gotten this guy from one of his porn movies.)

Danny Steinmann (screenplay) – (BMT: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Notes: As far as I can tell this basically ended his career in Hollywood. Let this sink in for a second: Steinmann and Cohen are the director and both main writers for this film and both evidently quite involved in the porn industry either before or after the film (maybe I’m overblowing Hollywood Zap’s porn credentials, but it sounds like a porno). And the reviews describe this as the most nudity filled of the series. Let the idea behind these hires sink in for a second … at least Kinnaman seemed game.)

John Shepherd (contributing writer) (uncredited) – (BMT: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Notes: I’m a tad bit skeptical about this only because he didn’t get an official credit for seven more years. I do wonder sometimes where information about uncredited work comes from. A producer now, he hasn’t written a screenplay in over 15 years.)

Actors – Melanie Kinnaman – (BMT: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Notes: Was supposed to also star in the sixth film, but at the last second they changed their mind about the direction of the series (this is a trend, I’m not sure any if the movies go beyond cameo for the leading role rolling over). Claims she spent most of fifth movie trying not to laugh because it was so ridiculous.)

John Shepherd – (Known For: The Hunt for Red October; Deep Cover; BMT: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Bless the Child; Down Periscope; Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius; Notes: He is now one of the main producers at MPower Pictures. I am 95% sure this is a company that does Christian productions, although it is hard to be sure. He appears to have retired from acting over a decade ago.)

Anthony Barrile – (Known For: Hamburger Hill; Kiss Me, Guido; BMT: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Notes: Performed with Ben Stiller as 12-year-olds as part of New York City’s Mini-Meri Players. About a decade ago sold a screenplay that was ultimately never produced.)

Budget/Gross – $2.2 million / Domestic: $21,930,418

(Just free money. Even back then low-budget horror was just like printing money. I suppose the issue is that the fans are brutal (along with the critics) so it is probably not the most credible genre to break into the business with. Otherwise … makes sense that is where something like Blumhouse initially focused, free money.)

#38 for the Horror – Slasher genre

slasher_38

(Again, I’ll mostly ignore the plot since we’ve seen it before. But more interesting is that this is just a shade higher than Friday the 13th Part 2, and Urban Legends: The Final Cut! Now that is a movie we have to watch some time.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 16% (3/19): No consensus yet.

(Making a consensus: More nudity than any of the others, but also dumber. Out of the entire series this manages to bring the least to the table. People call it dull, dumb, and no fun … can’t wait to judge for myself. I have a feeling this one contributes to the lore more than they are letting on.)

Poster – Friday the 13th: A Sklog Beginning (F)

friday_the_thirteenth_a_new_beginning

(I almost have to go back and chance Part IV’s poster to a D- because this is somehow, someway worse. Why a gradient, guys? It’s embarrassing.)

Tagline(s) – If Jason still haunts you, you’re not alone! (D+)

(What if Jason doesn’t haunt me because I watched him get killed in the last film? Should I still be interested? Clunky and not clever. A slight hint at the plot, but that’s all its got.)

Keyword(s) – murder; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.8 Batman & Robin (1997); 90.7 Epic Movie (2007); 89.7 Catwoman (2004); 87.8 Battlefield Earth (2000); 86.5 Dragonball: Evolution (2009); 83.7 Fantastic Four (2015); 83.5 The Wicker Man (2006); 81.9 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011); 81.5 Alone in the Dark (2005); 81.1 Movie 43 (2013);

(We are …. Killing movies with murder in it. Batman & Robin though? Like Catwoman murder is primary to the story, but not really a lot of these. This is actually more like “the worst movies of the last 20 years”. But whatever.)

Notes – This is the first film in the series where Jason is actually referred to by his full name: Jason Voorhees. In Friday the 13th (1980) and Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), he is only referred to as Jason, while he is not referred to by name at all in Friday the 13th Part III (1982). (Another landmark for the series. I’ve been trying to keep track of the metamorphosis of the character. First, he was a boy in a lake. Then a full grown man. Then he gets his mask. I think he maybe gets the machete as a more standard weapon in the fourth? Good to see they nail down the name here)

The film was originally written to have Corey Feldman as the star, reprising the role of Tommy Jarvis. However, he was already working on The Goonies (1985), therefore the script was rewritten to have Feldman’s appearance limited to a cameo. (Classic Friday the 13th. Can’t nail down a lead to reprise a role)

One month prior to the film’s release in the United States, the MPAA demanded that sixteen scenes featuring sex or graphic violence be edited in order to merit an “R” rating instead of an “X”. The film ultimately required nine trips to the MPAA before finally being granted an “R” rating. (Ooof. I hope we have the unrated version)

Although “Part V” appears on all promotional material, it does not appear in the actual film. The opening credits simply read: “Friday the 13th: A New Beginning”. (Got to get that exact title yo)

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter Preview

While we had looked forward to watching Hansel & Gretel for years, the horror/thriller entry in the punctuation film cycle is one that we’ve been looking forward to for a whole 2 months. That’s right! We are returning to Crystal Lake to hit up the fourth and fifth in the Friday the 13th series, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. These count as the coveted “:” entry in the cycle, which could have been any number of films. We had so much fun watching the first three entries in the sequel cycle that we couldn’t resist returning to the well for some more. At this rate we’ll be watching Jason X in no time. Let’s go!

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) – BMeTric: 28.4

FridayThe13thTheFinalChapter_BMeT

FridayThe13thTheFinalChapter_RV

(I do think this movie is benefiting from some reflection by the horror community. Perhaps it is a sense that it was the third installment to start where the previous left off and thus could be viewed as putting an appropriate button on the series. Specifically that the last three were a trilogy of the murderous rampage of Jason one weekend in New Jersey. And that nice little trilogy kind of ruined by the later installments, which can now mostly be ignored after what? Fifteen plus years since the last of this run of the character? I don’t know, that rise to near 6.0 IMDb score isn’t what I would personally call natural, it is more than regression to the mean.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Why bother with a new script? Jason finally gets his — except that (title notwithstanding) the door is left open for yet another sequel!

(Ha! Leonard Maltin notoriously hates horror films, and for the initial three films the claim to fame was low budget, high body count, and inventive kills. Not exactly up his alley. But a BOMB is always fun.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBme5lOcZF4

(That is pretty spoilerific I must say. Gives away at least a bit of what? Like 6 of the kills? Suggests Jason dies, indicates who kills him, etc. But back then you’d see this like once and then see the movie a few weeks later so who’d remember. Kind of like the voiceover and the idea though.)

Directors – Joseph Zito – (Known For: The Prowler; BMT: Red Scorpion; Missing in Action; Invasion USA; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Notes: Known for working with Chuck Norris and being heavily influential in the slasher genre with The Prowler (1975, so quite early). But most interesting to me? He did a year of pre-production on a live action Spider-Man that never came to be. Here’s a teaser trailer:

)

Writers – Victor Miller, Ron Kurz, Sean S. Cunningham (character creator) – (I’m going to just put this at the top. We’ve already covered these guys and they’re going to show up in every subsequent preview as well. Just go look at Part II or III if you want fun facts. They wrote the first film and are credited for the character exclusively after that)

Martin Kitrosser (character creator) – (BMT: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Notes: Last time I mentioned he was a long time script supervisor who worked with Tarantino on his films. He wrote Part III and has character credits on The Final Chapter and A New Beginning. His directorial debut was the fifth Silent Night Deadly Night movie.)

Carol Watson (character creator) – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Notes: Hard to find info given her generic name, but I do know she is a credited screenwriter for the second Meatballs movie (which doesn’t qualify for BMT unfortunately))

Barney Cohen (screenplay) – (BMT: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Notes: Speaking of that 1986 Spider Man film! This guy was one of the screenwriters for that! He suggested that Doctor Octopus be called Doc Ock, have an assistant named Weiner, get bitten by a spider and claim to be the true Spider-Man, and that Weiner was Uncle Ben’s killer. Oh, and Doc Ock says “okey-dokey” throughout the script. Best IMDb note ever.)

Bruce Hidemi Sakow (story) – (BMT: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Notes: A veteran screenwriter whose IMDb claims he’s sold fifteen scripts with four ultimately being produced. Basically Zito must have had complete control of this project because Sakow wrote one of his other projects Quarantine (which appears to have never been made) and apparently personally hired him to write this movie.)

Actors – Erich Anderson – (Known For: Unfaithful; Officer Downe; Without Limits; Bat*21; The Glass Shield; Infinity; Special; Auggie Rose; BMT: Missing in Action; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Nightwatch; Notes: A character actor across television and film. He really has very little as far as things I know on his resume … besides Murder, She Wrote. In another life I would be a person who blogs every episode of Murder, She Wrote. That blog is live! The most recent post was about three weeks ago.)

Judie Aronson – (Known For: Weird Science; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Lisa Picard Is Famous; BMT: American Ninja; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Hannibal; Notes: She got hypothermia while filming a scene in a lake for this movie. The stuntman playing Jason threatened to quit over the incident. Both the fourth and fifth films appear to have issues with the directing it would seem.)

Peter Barton – (Known For: Hell Night; BMT: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Notes: Named one of the 10 sexiest guys in soaps by Playgirl. Might have to check out his turn in the revival of 60’s detective series Burke’s Law.)

Budget/Gross – $2.6 million / Domestic: $32,980,880 (N/A)

(Free money. Get yo free money. I wonder when the run will end. This is basically the fourth in a row where the return on investment was probably like 1000%, but at some point that has to end otherwise they would have just kept doing it right?)

#28 for the Horror – Slasher genre

slasher_28

(The plot is somewhat uninteresting because we’ve obviously seen this plot twice before for the other two Friday the 13ths we did for BMT. This is the beginning of the end for the series as this made less than its predecessor and no Jason movie (until they added the far more popular Freddy Kruger to the mix) made more than Friday the 13th Part III after. Kind of insane to think about actually)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (6/24): No consensus yet.

(I do love me some consensus making: Retroactively becoming a joke the fourth installment is shockingly coherent in context. It doesn’t mean it is good, and the subsequent flogging of the series reflects poorly on what could have been a clean ending to the series. Most reviews are from around now, so it really is colored by modern attitudes towards the franchise. But people seem fairly positive about the movie in its context, it just … wasn’t the final chapter.)

Poster – Friday the Sklogteenth: The Final Chapter (F)

friday_the_thirteenth_the_final_chapter

(Oh blah. They went from shockingly artistic for the first three films to “just throw some words on a page. People will come and watch anyway.” The font and the stark red on black would normally score points, but not with this.)

Tagline(s) – Three Times Before You Have Felt The Terror, Known The Madness, Lived The Horror. But This Is The One You’ve Been Screaming For. (F)

Friday April 13th is Jason’s Unlucky Day (A-)

(The first one is hardly a tagline except that they actually put that monstrosity on a poster! Gross. The second is actually pretty clever. Short, sweet, and clever. Hints that Jason will die. Only thing working against it is that it uses the release date in the title… slightly meta as it is clear that the story doesn’t take place on that date.)

Keyword(s) – morgue; Top Ten by BMeTric: 76.6 The Fog (2005); 73.9 Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007); 73.6 One Missed Call (2008); 72.9 Striptease (1996); 72.2 Halloween: Resurrection (2002); 69.2 Feardotcom (2002); 60.9 Black Christmas (2006); 56.6 Double Dragon (1994); 53.4 The Transporter Refueled (2015); 51.2 Rage (2014);

(Oooo digging this list. The Fog is amazing. One Missed Call is apparently legendary. Good mix of recent and different genres from the 90’s. Morgues man, I don’t remember it in Striptease, but whatevs.)

Notes – The strange dance which Jimbo performs at the party was contributed by actor, Crispin Glover, and was based on the eccentric way he actually danced in clubs. On the set, he was dancing to “Back in Black” by AC/DC, as the scene was filmed. In the film, an edited version of “Love Is a Lie”, by Lion, was dubbed into the scene. (Ooooo I love this fun fact. This reminds me of the Giovanni Ribisi dance from Tes and Million Ways to Die in the West)

Director Joseph Zito was opposed to using clips from previous installments at the beginning of the film. (Good on you Zito. Probably one of the weaker traits of the series is the way they kind of force-stitched everything together and wasted a whole chunk of time replaying a movie people probably already watched)

The video which Axel watches is called Aerobicise (1982), and stars Darcy DeMoss, who went on to play Nikki in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. (Also a great fun fact. I’m going to go ahead and muse about the shared Friday the 13th universe for a while)

During filming, Kimberly Beck, who plays Trish, experienced strange occurrences, including a man watching her while she ran in the park and strange phone calls at all hours. This stopped when production was over. (Actresses being stalked seemed to be a sinister running issue with this series. The actress from the first film was stalked and had to quit the series as well)

The nurse’s name tag reads “R. Morgan, RN,” an homage to actress Robbi Morgan, who played Annie in Friday the 13th (1980).

Corey Feldman was legitimately terrified during the window shot. As per series tradition, Jason was played by yet another stuntman in The Final Chapter, this time Ted White, a seasoned veteran of 40 years who had doubled for John Wayne and Clark Cable. He did not like Corey Feldman, calling him the “meanest goddamn little kid” he’d ever dealt with. When it came time to film the famous scene near the end when Jason reaches through a broken window to pull Tommy out of a house White got to act out his frustration. They had worked out the timing of when White would grab Feldman beforehand, but during filming White waited a couple of beats to the point that Feldman assumed the stunt had gone wrong. So, just as he let his guard down White grabbed him exactly as you see in the film, meaning Feldman’s screams of horror were completely authentic. (I didn’t like this note very much, but I left it in because of the “meanest little kid” thing which I find interesting. Maybe at some point we’ll do a famous child actors rotation and hit up Feldman’s other classic Meatballs 4)

This is the only film in the series to shoot new footage using sets and locations from a previous film. The beginning takes place on the set of Friday the 13th Part III (1982), before moving to a new location.

Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 Preview

With the first BMT Live! of the year behind us, we continue onto the Razzies entry of the Squeakuels cycle… or I should say what was the Razzies entry. That’s right. Minor shake-up for 2017 is that this entry in the cycle is now the Challenges entry. This still includes Razzies as we continue to try to cover as many nominees as possible, but it also includes any BMT challenges we may come up with. For the moment that is just the Calendar, but the Periodic Table of Smellements and a world mapl.de.map would also fall into the cycle once we officially put them on the website. So without further ado we start this new entry off with a couple of films that are both on the Calendar. Give it up for the worst reviewed film series in history and the only set of films to both appear on the IMDb Bottom 100. That’s right, we are subjecting ourselves to Baby Geniuses and Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2. Lord help up. Let’s go!

Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004) – BMeTric: 76.1 (#3 on IMDb bottom 100)

babygeniuses2_bmet

babygeniuses2_rv

(Interestingly has more IMDb votes than its predecessor (if you are going to bother voting why not for both? Or do you think *gasp* … they didn’t watch the original before the sequel?!). Below 2.0 is obviously incredible, it is the reason this film is an insane #3 on the bottom 100 list! The lowest we had gone before was #15 with From Justin to Kelly. The Baby Geniuses Franchise will represent our 10th and 11th movies on the list, and unfortunately we’d be hard pressed to find nine qualifying movies to make that a cycle. Maybe we’ll try … but probably not.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Sequel to Baby Geniuses casts Voight as a media mogul out to brainwash children via a tot-aimed TV network. He wants to use them to take over the world, but a band of tykes catches on and sets out to stop him. Gimmick has kids speaking to each other, thanks to creepy computer generated lip movement. Crude humor makes this not just bad but insulting.

(Whoop their ass Leonard! Seriously, I do think this is a strong contender for the worst franchise in history. Leonard is pretty conservative about BOMB ratings and both earned it, the movies have one good review out of 89! I even think both will have their own flavor of terrible. In the first I think it will be that it will just look shoddily made with the old school peanut-butter-esque mouth movements, where this, as I expected, uses the creepy CGI mouths now. This must have been pioneering in that respect, but in the last ten years it has become easy and cheap enough to do in even the worst direct-to-VOD sequels. Things like Santa Paws 2.)

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

(Oh …. Oh my God. Voight has a German accent and appears to be wearing a very Nazi-esque uniform at one point. I was very skeptical of the IMDb note claiming he based the character off Mengele, but … I mean, it certainly is a lot more possible than I initially thought! The CGI looks hilariously terrible, I might actually find this movie kind of interesting to watch. Like, how does this happen? How do you even go about directing a film like this?)

Directors – Bob Clark – (Known For: A Christmas Story; Black Christmas; Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things; Murder by Decree; Dead of Night; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Baby Geniuses; Rhinestone; Porky’s II: The Next Day; Loose Cannons; Porky’s; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Director for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; And in 1985 for Rhinestone; Directed Black Christmas which is widely considered one of the first films in the slasher genre.)

Writers – Steven Paul (story) – (BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Baby Geniuses; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Screenplay for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; … He’s the manager for Bob Clark and Jon Voight which explains the cast and crew I suppose. In 1979 he was reported as the world’s youngest ever film producer at 20 years old.)

Gregory Poppen (screenplay) – (BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Screenplay for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Wrote an incredible number of Awards shows including seven straight ESPYs from 2002 to 2009.)

Actors – Jon Voight – (Known For: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Heat; Transformers; Tropic Thunder; Varsity Blues; Deliverance; U Turn; Mission: Impossible; National Treasure; Zoolander; Holes; The Manchurian Candidate; Enemy of the State; Midnight Cowboy; The Rainmaker; Ali; Rosewood; Glory Road; Catch-22; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Anaconda; Bratz; Getaway; An American Carol; Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Four Christmases; Pearl Harbor; Most Wanted; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; September Dawn; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1998 for Worst Actor and Screen Couple for Anaconda; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Supporting Actor for Bratz, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, September Dawn, and Transformers; And in 2005 for for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; And in 1998 for Most Wanted, and U Turn; Father of Angelina Jolie, although they were estranged for years apparently. Is devoutly religious and a well known conservative (which explains An American Carol at least …))

Scott Baio – (Known For: Bugsy Malone; Foxes; The Bread, My Sweet; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Cursed; Zapped!; Notes: In 1997 he was rumored to have died in a car accident. Not only had he not died, he hadn’t been in an accident in the first place and it is unknown how the rumor got started. More well known for his television work in Charles in Charge, Happy Days (and the spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi), and Arrested Development.)

Vanessa Angel – (Known For: Kingpin; King of New York; Bread and Roses; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Hall Pass; The Perfect Score; Kissing a Fool; Spies Like Us; Sleep with Me; Notes: I will always remember her as the computer generated Lisa from the Weird Science television series, a staple of the Sklogs’ childhood.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $9,219,388 (Worldwide: $9,448,644)

(An absolute disaster. The budget is probably a bit inflated, because I don’t really see why it would get a $20 million dollar budget and cast Baio in a major role. I suppose they were hoping to slightly increase the $36 million take of the original?)

#105 for the Comedy – Sequel (Live Action) genre

comedysequel_105

(Oooof, on the second page with Caddyshack II and Teen Wolf Too! Of the films below it I could see us eventually doing Return of the Killer Tomatoes, Mannequin Two: On the Move, National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: Rise of Taj, Meatballs II, and Teen Wolf Too eventually. A veritable bounty awaits. Naturally this came during the BMT gold rush from 2000-2010, the Golden Decade as I just started calling it. It would all come a-tumbling down presumably due to Hollywood’s hubris, but we have been on the rise again. A boy can dream …)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/45): A startling lack of taste pervades Superbabies, a sequel offering further proof that bad jokes still aren’t funny when coming from the mouths of babes.

(Noice. Always solid to hit up a 0%-er on rotten tomatoes. There are only 16 films with 25+ reviews on rotten tomatoes and the perfect(ly terrible) score. See here. Sorting by the number of reviews this is fifth on the list and with One Missed Call and a rewatch of Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever we’d have the top five there done. A sadly sparse list as far as qualifiers are concerned, but there are some future gems like Redline. This is the 12th film we’ve seen from that list (I think … the list is pretty long so I just skimmed it).)

Poster – Superbabies: Baby Sklogses 2 (D-) 

superbabies_baby_geniuses_two

(Wow, lot to unpack with this one… this is horrendously bad. Even with good spacing, unique font, and a blue tone to the whole film I cannot help but puke all over myself when looking at this travesty. Are those drone helicopters in the corners? Is there a bouncy ball-human hybrid? What are the ghostly objects in the background? I hate this. [EDITOR NOTE: By the way, having watched the movie, these are all random babies, they aren’t the four main characters of the film … what the fuck baby geniuses?])

Tagline(s) – Meet the new generation of superheroes (A-)

Don’t drive, crawl! (Ugh.)

(It’s almost incredible to say, but that first tagline is nearly perfect. It’s a play on the dual meaning of “new” to give a hint at the premise of the film. It’s also just short enough. Some small tweaks and we might have had an A+ on our hands. The second one makes me sad.)

Keyword(s) – science experiment; Top Ten by BMeTric: 76.1 Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004); 38.6 Allegiant (2016); 35.8 Splice (2009); 35.8 Cutting Class (1989); 28.3 Gekijô-ban poketto monsutâ – Myûtsû no gyakushû (1998); 28.0 Morgan (2016); 20.1 The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant (1971); 15.8 The Experiment (2010); 15.7 The Last Mimzy (2007); 15.3 The Killer Eye (1999);

(We’ve seen none! Morgan looked like trash, I saw the trailer for that before Keeping Up With the Joneses in October. I actually don’t think we are going to get to any of the others. Just not very many good-bad science experiment bases films I guess.)

Notes – Jon Voight reportedly based the role of Kane on descriptions of Dr. Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi doctor that performed grotesque experiments on prisoners in concentration camps. (Alright well … initially I had a kind of condemning note here angry at IMDb for not purging what appeared to be a clearly false note made by some jokester. But having now watched the trailer this seems, uh, slightly more plausible. May God have mercy on our souls.)

Last film directed by Bob Clark. He died in a car accident in April 2007. (Pretty sad story if you bother to look it up, … glad we’re ending on that note, anyone ready for a kids film?)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Jon Voight)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Bob Clark)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Steven Paul, Gregory Poppen)

Baby Geniuses Preview

With the first BMT Live! of the year behind us, we continue onto the Razzies entry of the Squeakuels cycle… or I should say what was the Razzies entry. That’s right. Minor shake-up for 2017 is that this entry in the cycle is now the Challenges entry. This still includes Razzies as we continue to try to cover as many nominees as possible, but it also includes any BMT challenges we may come up with. For the moment that is just the Calendar, but the Periodic Table of Smellements and a world mapl.de.map would also fall into the cycle once we officially put them on the website. So without further ado we start this new entry off with a couple of films that are both on the Calendar. Give it up for the worst reviewed film series in history and the only set of films to both appear on the IMDb Bottom 100. That’s right, we are subjecting ourselves to Baby Geniuses and Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2. Lord help up. Let’s go!

Baby Geniuses (1999) – BMeTric: 72.1 (#66 on IMDb bottom 100)

babygeniuses_bmet

babygeniuses_rv

(Just shockingly low. It does seem like it wants to go up, but obviously also legendary because it really has stayed pretty consistent over the nearly 15 years this graph covers. This movie would also probably be a poster boy for why I need to figure out how to “backdate” the BMeTric. I would assume for the most part that Baby Geniuses increases in votes proportionally to the rest of IMDb. So you would assume the BMeTric should really stay the same over time. But it is based off of average votes for a movie today, so it’ll just rise over time. Such is life at the moment.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Unless you want to see walking, talking toddlers hypnotizing DeLuise into picking his nose, steer clear of this almost history-making comedy clinker about power-mad child psychologist Turner, who’s raising three bright babies in her lab. Technically shoddy and recipient of some of the decade’s worst reviews (though people did go see it). If these kids are such geniuses, why can’t they spark even a single laugh?

(Cooooooold bloooooded. That’s is just body-shot-body-shot-upper-cut Leonard, taking the industry down. History making boys, that’s why we do it. That’s why we play the game. If you are going to watch a kids’ movie, at least make sure it is historically bad, right? I’m getting all amped, nothing can push me off this mountain.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgjvh4_h_lQ

(Aaaaaand, I’m out. This does look shoddy enough though that it has an outside chance of being bemusing to the point of interest. Like, I do wonder which computer graphics company developed the tech for the moving babies and whatnot, some of that did look more impressive that I expected.)

Directors – Bob Clark – (Known For: A Christmas Story; Black Christmas; Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things; Murder by Decree; Dead of Night; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Baby Geniuses; Rhinestone; Porky’s II: The Next Day; Loose Cannons; Porky’s; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Director for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; And in 1985 for Rhinestone; Once hit a royal flush on a video poker machine on the Strip and won over $80 thousand on a two dollar bet.)

Writers – Steven Paul (story) – (BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Baby Geniuses; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Screenplay for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Was a playwright at the age of 12. Well known as a producer, he produced things like Ghost Rider and the upcoming Ghost in the Shell film. He loves ghosts.)

Francisca Matos and Robert Grasmere (story) – (BMT: Baby Geniuses; Notes: Matos basically became the writing partner of Grasmere, and while they have been attached to a number of projects this is the only significant one produced. Grasmere has had a far more impressive visual effects career including films like Demolition Man, The Core, and Toys (and yeah, I chose the worst of the bunch, it is a very impressive list).)

Bob Clark (screenplay) – (Known For: A Christmas Story; Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things; BMT: Baby Geniuses; Porky’s II: The Next Day; Porky’s Revenge; Loose Cannons; Porky’s; Notes: The last feature film he wrote, although he directed more than he wrote through his career.)

Greg Michael (screenplay) – (BMT: Baby Geniuses; Notes: Was the second unit director for a murderer’s row of 2000s action films: the entire Mummy series, The Time Machine, The Tuxedo, Van Helsing, G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra! Has never really made the jump to director, although he is attached to a film called Wild Heart that was just announced.)

Actors – Kathleen Turner – (Known For: Marley & Me; The Virgin Suicides; Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Romancing the Stone; Body Heat; Monster House; Nurse 3-D; Peggy Sue Got Married; The Jewel of the Nile; The War of the Roses; Serial Mom; Prizzi’s Honor; The Accidental Tourist; The Man with Two Brains; BMT: Baby Geniuses; Dumb and Dumber To; V.I. Warshawski; A Simple Wish; Beautiful; Undercover Blues; Notes: A devoted activist for Planned Parenthood for years including becoming a chairperson. Obtained a reputation for being difficult to work with later in her career.)

Christopher Lloyd – (Known For: Back to the Future; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Back to the Future Part II; Clue; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; I Am Not a Serial Killer; Back to the Future Part III; The Addams Family; Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Anastasia; Piranha 3D; Addams Family Values; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Man on the Moon; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; The Postman Always Rings Twice; The Tale of Despereaux; Mr. Mum; Goin’ South; Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road; The Dream Team; DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp; Eight Men Out; BMT: Piranha 3DD; Baby Geniuses; Suburban Commando; My Favorite Martian; Dennis; Love, Wedding, Marriage; Fly Me to the Moon; A Million Ways to Die in the West; The Pagemaster; Angels in the Outfield; Camp Nowhere; Hey Arnold! The Movie; Notes: Is the uncle of Sam Lloyd known for his role as the lawyer on scrubs. What more is there to say? Has been in some of my favorite movies from my childhood.)

Kim Cattrall – (Known For: The Ghost; Police Academy; Sex and the City; Big Trouble in Little China; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Ice Princess; Masquerade; The Return of the Musketeers; BMT: Crossroads; Sex and the City 2; Baby Geniuses; The Bonfire of the Vanities; Mannequin; 15 Minutes; Porky’s; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2011 for Worst Actress for Sex and the City 2; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1991 for Worst Supporting Actress for The Bonfire of the Vanities; I can’t find anything about their relationship, but she appeared in four Bob Clark films: Tribute, Turk 182!, Porky’s, and Baby Geniuses! She is British, but her accent is Canadian where she grew up. She is an avid supporter of Liverpool F.C.)

Budget/Gross – $12 million / Domestic: $27,250,736 (Worldwide: $36,450,736)

(Wow, not bad all things considered. I’m pretty shocked by the foreign number. It doesn’t really make sense to release to foreign markets, although (and I don’t really know how this movie is constructed, so take this with a grain of salt), if they are merely putting voices over without manipulating the mouths too much it might have been a fairly trivial dub which could have made it worth it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/44): Flat direction and actors who look embarrassed to be onscreen make Baby Geniuses worse than the premise suggests.

(The rogue good review states: “With the recent popularity of baby-themed shows, this film has perfect timing. Younger patrons will be drawn into the fantasy, while the humor is sufficient to keep adults interested.” I had to look it up, but indeed, the show Baby Bob came out mere months before this review (June, 2002), bizarrely three years after the movie came out! Which also means Baby Geniuses held a 0% on rotten tomatoes for three years before losing it.)

Poster – Baby Sklogses (C+)

baby_geniuses

(The positive is that the symmetry is pretty good. Everything else is not great. Font is uninteresting and the coloring is not great. It does get the message across, though, with that baby wearing glasses.)

Tagline(s) – Think innocent. Think helpless. Think again. (I am dumber because of this.)

Naps are history. (Seriously. What is going on?)

(What in the fuck are these? The first one is like someone from a different country that didn’t speak english was forced to study taglines for a year and come up with one for this film. The second one is like an actual baby came up with it. Dear God. Those are rough.)

Keyword(s) – baby; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.0 Date Movie (2006); 83.9 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 82.8 Son of the Mask (2005); 74.1 Junior (1994); 72.2 Baby Geniuses (1999); 71.4 In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011); 70.2 Look Who’s Talking Too (1990); 66.1 The Animal (2001); 64.7 Honey I Blew Up the Kid (1992); 63.4 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013);

(Wow, so there are a few movies there we’ve seen (Junior, Look Who’s Talking Too, The Animal … a few times, Honey I Blew Up the Kid) but only one we’ve done for BMT. That is a new rule by the way. We’ve stopped considering movies “watched” unless we’ve done them for BMT. So a while to go in the baby top 10 … which is a weird mix of the expected and just weird films.)

Notes – The amusement park is the one at Circus Circus in Las Vegas, NV. (Circus Smircus?! We were (kind of) just there!)

Kathleen Turner, who plays Dr. Elena Kinder, and Christopher Lloyd, who plays Dr. Heep, also co-starred in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), in which they played Jessica Rabbit and Judge Doom.

The last theatrically-released film of Dom DeLuise (although several later films he made were never publicly released). (Kind of a thing isn’t it? Terrible movies being the last release. I wonder if it is because things like voices and kids films are less demanding so actors who ultimately die of a terminal illness just end up in those roles as they approach their death. Sorry to muse about the subject, but I do find it interesting)

Dr. Elena Kinder’s surname is derived from the German word for children.

The combination for Sly’s alarm system at the beginning of the film is “1673.” (This is the kind of shit we’re supposed to do. Like me having my ATM pin be 1673 … it isn’t by the way, but that would be pretty weird right?)

The film is included on the film critic Roger Ebert’s “Most Hated” list. (These two films are hitting a bunch of marks)

Species II Preview

There had been some thought that this week might be time for a BMT Live! Rings came out to absolutely horrifying reviews (see what I did there?) and we had to think quick on whether we should act. The answer: not until we see the reviews for Fifty Shades Darker. It would be irresponsible to let it go by without giving it a chance at BMT Live! glory. It deserves it. So instead we head into SciFi/Fantasy and get to do a set of films that I’ve been eyeing for awhile. That’s right, we’re watching Species and Species II. These films promise three things: nudity, a scene where someone kisses someone else and their tongue bursts through the back of their skull, and… uh… nudity again. So basically I’m super duper duper excited. Let’s go!

Species II (1998) – BMeTric: 67.3

speciesii_bmet

speciesii_rv

(Again we see the 2011 inflection and regression to the mean as the votes increase. Unlike its predecessor this one is considered definitively bad. As I said in the Species preview these plots are all starting to look the same to me, so I’m categorizing them. For Species II I’m going to call it: Poorly Rated, but Perplexingly Popular. In this case a sub-5 rating is definitively terrible, but we still see a high number of votes (I think … I think I’m going to automate this now that I think about it).)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – The first man on Mars gets infested with alien DNA, and begins raping women who immediately, and fatally, give birth. Elsewhere, scientists have recreated the half-alien woman from the first film, hoping she’ll be nice this time. Compared to this clunker, the first looks like a collaboration between Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury.

(Well, I’ll set aside the atrocious last line there. This plot sounds bonkers. Like … the first part! This will be at least the third film in which someone gets infected by a disease on Mars. And like Doom and Ghosts of Mars before it may it be a ridiculous nonsense movie.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE-Amil6oQc

(Also seems pretty rad … but also definitely a step down from the last one. That storyline is indeed just as bonkers as Leonard seemed to suggest. So he wasn’t exaggerating there. I having a feeling the erotic horror sci-fi genre might not attract the best and brightest you know? …)

Directors – Peter Medak – (Known For: The Changeling; The Krays; Zorro: The Gay Blade; The Ruling Class; Let Him Have It; BMT: Species II; Romeo Is Bleeding; Notes: Has had a very long career in Hollywood starting in the late 50’s. His best known film has got to be The Ruling Class for which Peter O’Toole received an Oscar nomination for Actor.)

Writers – Dennis Feldman (written by) – (Known For: Just One of the Guys; BMT: Species II; Virus; Species (BMT); The Golden Child (BMT); Notes: Just a character credit on this one. I find it amusing that he also wrote Virus, which Jamie Lee Curtis considers her worst film.)

Chris Brancato (written by) – (Known For: Hoodlum; BMT: Species II; Notes: He is the creator of the Netflix show Narcos… say what?)

Actors – Natasha Henstridge – (Known For: The Whole Nine Yards; Bounce; BMT: Species II; Ghosts of Mars (BMT); The Whole Ten Yards; Maximum Risk; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; Species (BMT); Steal; Deception; Dog Park; Notes: Uh… I already had to make a note for the first Species so… she’s Canadian and part Native American. Fun stuff, right?)

Michael Madsen – (Known For: The Hateful Eight; Kill Bill: Vol. 1; Reservoir Dogs; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Sin City; Kill Bill: Vol. 2; Die Another Day; WarGames; Wyatt Earp; Thelma & Louise; Donnie Brasco; The Doors; Free Willy; The Natural; Pauly Shore Is Dead; BMT: BloodRayne; Species II; My Boss’s Daughter; Scary Movie 4 (BMT); Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; Hell Ride; House; Species (BMT); Notes: Brother of BMT legend Virginia Madsen.)

Marg Helgenberger – (Known For: Erin Brockovich; Bad Boys; Mr. Brooks; Always; In Good Company; My Fellow Americans; BMT: Species II; Fire Down Below (BMT); Species (BMT); The Cowboy Way; Notes: Won an Emmy for her role in the Vietnam War drama China Beach.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $19,221,939 (N/A)

(Wowzer. I would genuinely believe it if this was the worst original-to-sequel ratio for a major release ever. The original made basically six times more that its sequel and they were released to roughly the same number of cinemas. Astonishing.)

#47 for the Creature Feature genre

creaturefeature_47

(Ooooof right near Shark Night 3D. I feel like 1998 is a significant year where the studio system completed its transition from the blockbuster 80’s era through slow experimentation with CGI and effects. From 2000-2010 we would enter a true golden age where bad movies flowed like wine. Here though an Erotic SciFi Horror sequel was made and released to 2500 theaters. Think about that.)

#29 for the Sci-Fi Horror genre

scifihorror_29

(That peak though. This sadly clocks in right around Apollo 18 which undoubtable cost maybe $40 to make. But it came right at a true peak of the genre. It has been an up and down experience since, but the Species franchise could have stood alongside the second tier of the genre (Underworld and Resident Evil) if not for flaming out and pushing out two direct-to-video sequels instead of waiting on a better opportunity.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (3/33): No consensus yet.

(Another consensus to make: A totally unnecessary sequel which amps up the silliness without adding any brains to the equation. Nearly exploitative in its gratuity. As EW puts it: “By now, if you’ve seen one set of slimy phallic tentacles shooting out of someone’s back during orgasm, you’ve seen ’em all.” Sounds like a plan EW.)

Poster – Mating Skloging Begins (C-)

species_ii

(I like the color tone and the font (again), but there is a bit much going on now. What are all the sparkles everywhere? Stars and… a bunch of lines like in a western blot… because DNA or something?)

Tagline(s) – Mating season begins… (C-)

(Meh. It’s short and certainly tells you what this one is all about: some aliens going to the bone zone. Rad. But nothing clever about it.)

Keyword(s) – sex scene; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.8 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 78.6 Sex and the City 2 (2010); 72.7 Jason X (2001); 71.4 Showgirls (1995); 67.3 Species II (1998); 65.3 The Boy Next Door (2015); 63.8 Knock Knock (I) (2015); 62.6 All About Steve (2009); 62.0 Jennifer’s Body (2009); 59.1 Captivity (2007);

(Pretty amazing list. Wish something like Color of Night could sneak in though, those classic 80’s/90’s erotic thrillers deserve a place on the list, some representative.)

Notes – Though showing Eve in a black leather outfit on some of the posters and DVD-Covers, she never actually wears it in the film.

Shortest of all four Species movies. (small blessings …)

EVE stands for Extraterrestrial Vulnerability Experiment. (Egad)

Most of the nude scenes, such as the debutantes having sex with Patrick or the strip-club sequence, were shortened in the final version of the movie. The full scenes can be seen in the DVD extra features. (No wonder someone stole the DVD from the Minnesota public library system)

Natasha Henstridge is on the miller lite cut out in the grocery store when they are hunting her. (nooooooooooo. Never a good idea. I hope the cut out says “Great taste, less filling, out of this world.” Get it? Cause she’s a famous alien.)

Battlefield Earth Preview

A small note prior to this post: Last July we decided to take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie. This is the last in the series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies (coming soon!). A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

Battlefield Earth (2000) – BMeTric: 87.7

battlefieldearth_bmet

battlefieldearth_rv

(The. Consistency. Maybe the number one reason this Hall of Fame has been a resounding success for BMT is seeing this trend come to life. A film gaining tens of thousands of votes and the rating not moving an inch? Incredible. Think about it, a three on IMDb would raise the rating. The people who watch this film and rate it on IMDb pretty much give it a one every time. Ridiculous. Naturally one of the highest BMeTrics ever, and for a reason. )

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Psychlos (business-minded aliens) conquered Earth a century ago; what remains of humanity are slaves or ignorant savages. Gold-greedy Psychlo security chief Travolta educates bright human Pepper, hoping “man animals” can mine the metal for him. Big mistake … So is the movie, based on the novel by L. Ron Hubbard. Clumsy plot, misplaced satire, unbelievable coincidences and a leaden pace trample Travolta’s weird but amusing performance.

(Is he wrong about the year? They conquered Earth a thousand years ago (it is the saga of the year 3000 after all). I love weird by amusing performances, and yeah, this is a bomb. Strange the direction isn’t mentioned in the long list of issues with the film.)

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

(Short and sweet is what that always say I guess. It just teases the insanity that is Travolta’s performance. Just a taste. And the CGI looks straight garbage in this as well, so it has that going for it)

Directors – Roger Christian – (Known For: Nostradamus; BMT: Battlefield Earth; Stranded; Masterminds; Notes:  Prominent art director having won an Oscar for his work on Star Wars and nominated for his work on Alien. Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Director for Battlefield Earth. I nearly had a heart attack seeing that he directed a film called “Masterminds” and mistaking it for the 2016 release of the same name. Thought he was back with a major release.)

Writers – Corey Mandell (screenplay) – (BMT: Battlefield Earth; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Screenplay for Battlefield Earth; He works at UCLA now, you can see the cred on his website http://coreymandell.net/. Given Shapiro’s story about production it is basically a guarantee that he is a scientologist and chosen for the project merely because we went to a meeting and mentioned he was a playwright to … someone. Anyone really as far as I can tell.)

J.D. Shapiro (screenplay) – (Known For: Robin Hood: Men in Tights; BMT: Battlefield Earth; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Screenplay for Battlefield Earth; This movie basically ended his career. He wrote an open letter to the NY Post explaining how he got involved … it was basically that he went to a Scientologist meeting to meet girls, and wrote a pitch when they found out he was a screenwriter. And that basically Travolta ruined the entire thing. Sounds like a nightmare experience for everyone.)

Ron Hubbard (novel) – (BMT: Battlefield Earth; Notes: At one point I checked his bibliography to see if there was any chance his filmography would grow … uh, naw. He has 235 pieces of fiction published, but only two would be what I would call “modern”. One is Battlefield Earth. The other is Mission Earth, a 10 novel epic which was …. Not well received and was almost entirely published after his death. Probably most well known for producing the first soundtrack for a novel (Space Jazz for Battlefield Earth) … wait, that can’t be right. Oh yeah, he also founded Scientology I guess.)

Actors – John Travolta – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Grease; Carrie; Savages; In a Valley of Violence; Bolt; Face/Off; Hairspray; The Thin Red Line; Saturday Night Fever; Get Shorty; Criminal Activities; The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3; Urban Cowboy; Look Who’s Talking; Broken Arrow; Primary Colors; Blow Out; Phenomenon; Ladder 49; Lonely Hearts; A Love Song for Bobby Long; A Civil Action; BMT: Battlefield Earth (BMT); Look Who’s Talking Too; Look Who’s Talking Now; Staying Alive; Old Dogs (BMT); Killing Season; Lucky Numbers; Domestic Disturbance; Be Cool (BMT); Perfect; Michael; Wild Hogs (BMT); Two of a Kind; I Am Wrath; White Man’s Burden; The Devil’s Rain; The Forger; The General’s Daughter; Mad City; Swordfish (BMT); The Punisher (BMT); From Paris with Love; Basic; Notes: See below for Razzie info; What more is there to say? We’ve seen him in six BMT movies, and he has a borderline case of Liottaitis more commonly known as you-look-like-you-are-wearing-a-mask-of-yourself disease. Tarantino resurrected his career with Pulp Fiction and this movie kind of took it all away. Although he has gotten steady work including in the O.J. Simpson show.)

Travolta Razzie Notes: Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Actor for Battlefield Earth, and Lucky Numbers; and for Worst Screen Couple for Battlefield Earth; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1990 and 2010 for Worst Actor of the Decade; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Actor for Old Dogs; in 2002 for Domestic Disturbance, and Swordfish; in 1986 for Perfect; and in 1984 for Staying Alive, and Two of a Kind Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1992 for Worst Supporting Actor for Shout;

Nominated for the Razzie Award Forest Whitaker – (Known For: Arrival; Southpaw; Out of the Furnace; Dope; Fast Times at Ridgemont High; Platoon; The Butler; Panic Room; The Last Stand; Phone Booth; The Last King of Scotland; Where the Wild Things Are; Good Morning, Vietnam; The Great Debaters; The Crying Game; The Color of Money; Vision Quest; Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai; Mr. Holland’s Opus; Phenomenon; Stakeout; Bird; Ernest & Celestine; Body Snatchers; BMT: Battlefield Earth; First Daughter; Ready to Wear; Our Family Wedding; Species; Taken 3; A Dark Truth; Repentance; Consenting Adults; Repo Men; Blown Away; Even Money; Powder Blue; A Little Trip to Heaven; Vantage Point; Light It Up; American Gun; Street Kings; Bloodsport; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Supporting Actor for Battlefield Earth; He has a black belt in kenpo studying under a student of the late Bruce Lee. His noticeable eye condition is hereditary, and he’s considered having it corrected because it affects his vision. I wonder if it would affect his career. I would hope not.)

Barry Pepper – (Known For: Saving Private Ryan; True Grit; The Green Mile; The Scorch Trials; We Were Soldiers; Kill the Messenger; 25th Hour; Snitch; Enemy of the State; Flags of Our Fathers; The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada; Like Dandelion Dust; The Snow Walker; BMT: Battlefield Earth (BMT); Firestorm (BMT); Broken City; Knockaround Guys; Casino Jack; The Lone Ranger (BMT); Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Supporting Actor for Battlefield Earth; No joke I would have guessed he was in something like six BMT films. The fact that he’s been in three is kind of shocking, his filmography is actually quite good. His early life is kind of crazy. He was born to a Canadian lumberjack and his entire family set sail in the South Pacific when he was a kid. Without entertainment the family would perform sketches and that’s how he became an actor … what?)

Budget/Gross – $73 million / Domestic: $21,471,685 (Worldwide: $29,725,663)

(Yep a complete disaster. In Going Clear I believe they mentioned the movie in some capacity, but $73 million for what was widely considered an unfilmable (and pretty terrible) Sci Fi novel starring Travolta. I mean on paper is seemed … we it seemed terrible. I don’t know what they were expecting really.)

#30 for the Controversy genre

controversy_30

(I like that controversial films haven’t really been isolated to a particular time period. The list is pretty fun because it tells you why it is controversial. This one is controversial because of “Scientology”. The most recent one was the Interview. Again, cool list, boring plot.)

#76 for the Sci-Fi – Adventure genre

scifiadventure_76

(Arrived at a peak of this genre. At down below Babylon A.D. and right above smash hit Cocoon the Return. Yeesh. Now that is a sequel we could have done. That giant peak? Star Trek, Star Wars, The Martian, Jurassic World. Crazy huge right now, and with Star Wars possibly forevermore.)

#37 for the Sci-Fi – Alien Invasion genre

scifialieninvasion_37

(We watched 5th Wave and Independence Day Resurgence recently in this genre. Right down near The Darkest Hour, which is pretty dire. That nadir of cash per theater is hilarious in this context. Transformers and a few others represent that big peak, so not too surprising the grenre collapsed a bit more recently.)

#43 for the Sci-Fi – Based on Book genre

scifibook_43

(5th Wave and Deadly Friend was watched in the last year. This is down near the Iron Giant (oof, also a famous box office bomb). Hunger Game and Divergent mainly are the big peak, but that is definitely waning. It was fueled by YA novels, and those have dried up since a few of the series just went down the toilet. 5th Wave in particular exemplifies this failure.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (4/148): Ugly, campy, and poorly acted, Battlefield Earth is a stunningly misguided, aggressively bad sci-fi folly.

(sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. IGN gave one of the good reviews. My highlight: “Let me start out by saying that I read the book long before the movie came out and I enjoyed it.” Oooof, I’m so sorry. Because I straight up could not get through that book. The only Top Critic reviews was from the San Francisco Chronicle with this nice insight: “Travolta, who is the producer as well as star, had wanted to make a movie of Hubbard’s book for at least 15 years. There was only one catch: His career was in the tank. But since “Pulp Fiction” jump-started his professional life in 1994 and he followed up with a string of hits, including “Get Shorty,” “Face/Off” and “The General’s Daughter,” he has the leverage to bring this movie off.” Yup, and it promptly put his career back in the tank. No joke, his only super profitable live-action role after this was Wild Hogs.)

Poster – Battlefield Sklog (C-)

battlefield_earth_ver1

(I kind of like the color (for all its washed out blues), but man does that look cheap. And it is like a love story to Travolta with it basically being his giant face. The book’s cover:

769658

is kind of hilariously throw back, and I kind of wish something like that with Barry Pepper could have been produced. Would have been a good nod.)

Tagline(s) – Prepare For Battle (B)

(Kind of like it. It gives a good indication of the movie once combined with the poster. Aliens have or will invade. Earth is the battlefield. Prepare for the battle [you will watch]. It isn’t super great, short and nothing special. But not terrible.)

Keyword(s) – bad acting; Top Ten by BMeTric: 87.8 Battlefield Earth (2000); 78.7 Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966); 78.1 The Room (2003); 75.7 Dungeons & Dragons (2000); 75.6 Troll 2 (1990); 74.3 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959); 74.1 Prom Night (I) (2008); 57.9 Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964); 57.0 Hobgoblins (1988); 55.1 Spawn (1997);

(SPAWN. That is just a ridiculous movie to end up on this particular list. All the others are basically legends in their own rights, but Spawn? How odd. Maybe people revile Johnny Legs as the Clown even more than I remember? I feel like that is a movie we need to watch.)

Notes – Forest Whitaker expressed his regret for participating in this movie. (Well I will express my regret for watching this film … twice)

The film’s cinematographer has gone on record as saying that the overuse of colour filters and Dutch Angles wasn’t his idea, and that he was given the smallest lighting budget he had ever worked with. (ha! Duuuuuuutch angles. Right there, can’t wait already)

Barry Pepper said that had he known he was going to win Worst Supporting Actor at the Razzies, he would have shown up to accept his award in person. (He should have known. Maybe he thought Whitaker had it in the bag though?)

The investor, Intertainment, sued producer Franchise Pictures for fraud. Franchise claimed the budget was $75 million instead of the actual budget of $44 million. Franchise Pictures were sentenced to pay Intertainment $121.7 million in damages and went bankrupt. Intertainment only financed the film because it came as a package deal with The Art of War (2000) and The Whole Nine Yards (2000). (Wowzers, makes a bit of sense. Incredible story. I thought maybe Franchise was a Scientology thing, but naw. Legit action film company and they didn’t go bankrupt until maybe five years after Battlefield Earth came out too. A Sound of Thunder was a film that ended up having to be release with half complete CGI because Franchise went bankrupt. I won’t bore you with all of the BMT films they made, but the list is looooooong.)

The original plans called for a sequel to be produced, which would be based on second half of the novel by L. Ron Hubbard. These plans were scrapped due to the poor critical and public reaction to this film. (Second half?! This film is based on no more than 30% of the book. So that is bullshit. Although, then again, from about 30-50% the book is a complete waste of time)

John Travolta referred to this film as “like Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) but better” and “the Schindler’s List (1993) of science fiction films” during publicity. (ugh, was he on drugs?)

Listed among the Top Ten Best Bad Films ever made in “The Official Razzie Movie Guide”, by Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson. (Fair probably)

John Travolta initially offered the director’s seat to Quentin Tarantino, who declined. (Who didn’t return his call perhaps)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture of the Decade

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor of the Decade (John Travolta)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst ‘Drama’ of Our First 25 Years

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (John Travolta)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (John Travolta)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Barry Pepper)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Kelly Preston)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Roger Christian)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Corey Mandell, J.D. Shapiro)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Forest Whitaker)

Friday the 13th Part 2 Preview

The horror genre should be the bread and butter of the Squeakuels cycle. There are a lot of directions we could go. The abhorrently titled I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Blair Witch: Book of Shadows, Jaws: The Revenge, or perhaps Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (if only for this hilarious scene). God knows I wish we could just rewatch Silent Hill: Revelation. But alas we cannot. Instead we went for a classic in order to try to take a bite out of what is largely considered the worst of the major horror franchises. That’s right, we’re watching Friday the 13th Parts II and III. Nearly all of the Friday the 13th qualify for BMT other than the first and the sixth. So here we’ll knock off 25% of the series in a go. Let’s go!

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) – BMeTric: 23.6

fridaythe13thpart2_bmet

fridaythe13thpart2_rv

(Perfectly average. For the BMeTric the average is basically exactly 25 for big movies (which I usually define as movies that get 10 or more reviews on rotten tomatoes … for now). This guy just kind of floats around there. And regression to the mean is the name of the game. Having been doing the Hall of Fame previews it is pretty clear that to be legendary you have to basically buck the regression to the mean (it is probably the same the other way, the best movies probably don’t lose their superior rating as votes come in). The Wicker Man comes to mind as a legendary bad horror. This one probably isn’t, but we’ll see.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  More nubile campers, more bloody executions. If you loved Part I…

(Wow, Leonard not giving this film the time of day. He notoriously hates horror films so I don’t totally trust his opinions on them. He was pretty open to the fact that in later editions of his book he had one of his employees review the horror films. He hates gore.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qqmj12n7yYc

(This has got to be one of the worst trailers I’ve ever seen. Why are you showing all kills?! And just counting randomly upwards. Yeesh.)

Directors – Steve Miner – (Known For: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Lake Placid; Forever Young; House; Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken; Warlock; BMT: Big Bully; Friday the 13th Part III; Soul Man; My Father the Hero; Texas Rangers; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: He directed Texas Rangers!? And episodes of Dawson’s Creek? He’s basically me (a.k.a. a Van der Beek super fan).)

Writers – Ron Kurz (written by) – (Known For: Friday the 13th; BMT: Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: Apparently he wrote most of the later drafts for this installment, although Victor Miller is often credited. Seems wrong since IMDb gives Miller characters which usually means he was just not involved anymore. He started out as a novelist. Here’s his debut which is not in print anymore.)

Victor Miller (characters) – (Known For: Friday the 13th; Freddy vs. Jason; Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI; BMT: Jason X; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Friday the 13th; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: Ended up being more well known for his soap opera work on Guiding Light, All My Children, One Life To Live, and Another World. He indeed was only involved in the original, although he apparently has been writing two horror films, Eden Falls and Rock Paper Dead, both set to release this year.)

Sean S. Cunningham (characters) (uncredited) – (Known For: Friday the 13th; Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI; BMT: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: His IMDb compared him to Ed Wood! (in that he works fast and cheap). Claims he isn’t a fan of the horror genre, although he was a producer for many iconic horror films of the 70s and 80s. He too is only associated with the first film in reality, although he has credits for all of the sequels.)

Actors – Betsy Palmer – (Known For: Friday the 13th; Mister Roberts; The Long Gray Line; The Tin Star; BMT: Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1981 for Worst Supporting Actress for Friday the 13th; Most famous for this role. Probably my favorite note is that she lived with James Dean for 8 months. She made it pretty clear later in her career that she didn’t exactly appreciate the iconic role, even turning down reprising her role in Freddy v. Jason saying it was beneath her. Also her being first billed is an odd quirk of IMDb I think, but she was interesting enough to include her because of the first film I decided not to replace her with the actual third billed, or more appropriately Jason himself.)

Amy Steel – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part 2; April Fool’s Day; Notes: Began her career in modelling and commercials. She has since begun a career in therapy, although she has worked in television all the way up to last year. She was offered a starring role in the third film, but her agent advised her to turn it down. What a strange series. The survivor from the first and second film turned down their potential starring sequels. You could have been Scream Queens! You got to Jamie Lee Curtis that up)

John Furey – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: Both he and his wife Denise Galik have basically been doing one episode stints on television since 1990. He actually used to do a ton of crappy Sci Fi films like Island Claws.)

Budget/Gross – $1.25 million / Domestic: $21,722,776 (N/A)

(Well…. That is a lot of money on not a large budget. I’m kind of surprised it didn’t get bumped up after the first. Although I guess this came out the same year as Halloween II, so maybe big budget horror just wasn’t a thing yet. Still kind of just made them in the woods on a dime.)

#39 for the Horror – Slasher genre; Note: Many slasher movies from the ’70s and ’80s have no box office records, and, hence, do not appear on this chart.

slasher_39

(This guy sits right in the middle of the pre-85 horror genre at around $20 million. Blockbuster horror is still somewhat unique, at least with slashers. Only 11 films have over $50 million domestic! The Scream series holds the top three and are the only films to gross over $100 million. I had to kind of hack my program for this because they didn’t record the number of theaters for this movie, that’s why the dashed line isn’t really on the graph. The big peak is Scream. The genre saw a resurgence in the late 2000s … and now it is VOD. All Horror will be VOD soon beyond, currently, the Babadooks of the world. I am convinced there will always be a place for people to come together to be scared as a group, but it just is very small potatoes. Kind of sad to see the genre get swamped in the late 80s and then collapse in the 90s. That’s the story of horror though.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 34% (11/32): No consensus yet.

(I get to make a consensus (I’m singing that I’m so happy): A carbon copy of what was already a middling affair as far as the classic slasher go, this second film is a new set of campers who seem a whole lot like the old set of campers, with a villain who doesn’t bring much to the table. Forgettable. That is kind of the story of the series actually. At best it was low budget schlock. At worst it was a slap in the face. I’m excited. Honestly.)

Poster – Sklogday the 13th: Part 2 (C)

fridaythe13thpart2

(If this was a wholly original poster I would be pretty taken with it. Bold black with contrast and unique font. However, this is basically the same poster as the first one (but less artistic).)

Tagline(s) – The body count continues… (B+)

(They are super into the whole counting thing. I don’t think this is a bad tagline. Tells you what it is, does it concisely, and it flows nicely with the alliteration.)

Keyword(s) – pitchfork; Top Ten by BMeTric: 48.2 Halloween 5 (1989); 47.1 Eight Legged Freaks (2002); 45.2 Seventh Son (I) (2014); 45.1 The Messengers (2007); 38.1 Husk (2011); 37.7 Wrath of the Titans (2012); 36.7 Critters 2 (1988); 35.1 Friday the 13th Part III (1982); 33.8 Gymkata (1985); 32.9 The Brothers Grimm (2005);

(Ohhhh Gymkata. The list is more eclectic than I thought it would be. I figured pitchfork would just be horror. Nope. We got a few horror, a fantasy, action, adventure. Weird group. I kind of dig it. Imagine watching all of those films in a setting. Bonkers.)

Notes – Originally, the sex scene between Sandra and Jeff was longer and it included full frontal nudity from actress Marta Kober, but when Paramount studio discovered that she was underage, the scene was deleted completely (What!?!??! In what universe do you shoot a scene like that without knowing that?!)

Following the release of Friday the 13th (1980), Adrienne King had numerous encounters with an obsessive fan. The situation escalated into a stalker case, and she decided to avoid any further acting opportunities. She has not done any on-screen film work since, but has done voice over work on several films more than 15 years later. (Jeez. I wonder if she could have become a true Scream Queen like Jamie Lee Curtis. Sounds like they wanted to get her for at least one more film. Could have been more)

The actors stayed in the cabins on-set. John Furey, Bill Randolph and Russell Todd came to Lauren-Marie Taylor’s cabin to play a prank on her. They scratched on her screen window and she hyperventilated until she fainted. (hahahaha, terrifying and really not okay!)

The first Jason scene in the movie is a shot of Jason’s legs walking across the street toward Alice’s house. This is the only time in the series Jason was played by a woman. Jason’s legs belonged to Ellen Lutter, the film’s costume designer.

A shot of the infamous double-impalement was cut to avoid an “X” rating, yet a gory still photo of this censored shot appears on the back of the videocassette box. (ha!)

Jason in this film is dressed to look exactly the same as the hooded, burlap sack killer from The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976). The only difference is that the burlap sack he wears has only one eye hole, and his shirt has a slightly different plaid design. (For some reason I know this despite not having ever seen that film. The design seemed oddly familiar. I think it is from the poster. Serious question: why intentionally steal a design?)

Adrienne King filmed all of her scenes in one night. According to King, there was no script for her scene which is why she didn’t know her character died. She showed up to set, found out Jason was going to kill her, and that they needed her to completely improvise a phone conversation. So, everything with Alice talking to her mom on the phone about struggling to move on with her soon-to-end life was unscripted.

Street Fighter Legend of Chun Li Preview

A small note prior to this post: Last July we decided to take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie as well. This is the third in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009) – BMeTric: 70.2

streetfighterlegendofchunli_bmet

streetfighterlegendofchunli_rv

(I think this plot is a good argument as to Street Fighter’s lasting bad movie cred. A 3.7 is a comically low IMDb score, a score that, if this was a mere below-average or middling bad movie would have steadily crept higher as the thousands of votes flowed in since 2010. But it has basically just stayed constant around 3.8 since then. As I argued in The Wicker Man preview, it is the staying power that I think could be the defining feature of a good-bad movie. It is a movie people seek out, watch, and universally agree is garbage. And we have another one here. And of course 70+ BMeTric is nothing to dismiss.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Pointless new film version of the popular video game series finds pretty martial arts-trained Asian-American Chin-Li (Kreuk) spurred into action in Bangkok after her father is kidnapped. Sher uses all her wiles to snuff out the main bad guy, local crime lord McDonough, and his henchmen, led by the imposing Duncan. The 1987 game inspired a 1994 version which is Citizen Kane compared to this inept action vehicle, where even the centerpiece fight sequences are lamely choreographed and hopelessly contrived. When Interpol agent Klein yells, “Bomb! Get out now!” it would be wise to heed his advice.

(Doesn’t he say that at the end of the movie Leonard? Too little too late I would assume. Yeah, oddly a somewhat rare BOMB from Leonard within our Hall of Fame so far. I might not go so far to say the 1994 movie is that much better, but this one does stick out as a complete mess when I think about it. So maybe a cheesy Van Damme barely-movie is better than that. Solid hyphen game early by Leonard as well.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EctFEyCMDL0

(Wow, that was actually really good. Basically as good a trailer as I could have possibly expected for this film. Makes it out like it’s going to be non-stop action street fights between characters you love. I was jazzed by the end. Am I sure this is a terrible film? Looks great.)

Directors – Andrzej Bartkowiak – (BMT: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Doom; Exit Wounds; Cradle 2 the Grave; Romeo Must Die; Notes: It just occurred to me that if you take Exit Wounds (DMX), Cradle 2 the Grave (DMX, Jet Li), and Romeo Must Die (Jet Li) you get a nice little chain reaction. I wish Jet Li and Seagal had been in a movie. We’ve seen Doom and Romeo Must Die, but finishing his filmography is a must. He is more well known as a cinematographer and his collaborations with Sidney Lumet.)

Writers – Justin Marks (screenplay) – (Known For: The Jungle Book; BMT: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Notes: Kind of fascinating career just because he wrote Street Fighter for release in 2009, and then didn’t write another feature until 2016 with The Jungle Book. He now is well on his way, with Jungle Book 2, Top Gun 2, Shadow of the Colossus (video game adaptation), and FBP Federal Bureau of Physics (comic book adaptation) in production. I’d be willing to bet three of those will be BMT or borderline, can you guess which ones? I am stunned this movie had a single credited writer.)

Actors – Kristin Kreuk – (Known For: EuroTrip; BMT: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Ecstasy; Notes: One of her first roles was as the ex-girlfriend Fiona in EuroTrip, otherwise she’s stuck to mostly television (like Smallville). She is Canadian and has a purple belt in karate.)

Neal McDonough – (Known For: Greater; Captain America: The First Avenger; Minority Report; RED 2; Star Trek: First Contact; Flags of Our Fathers; Darkman; Ravenous; Traitor; BMT: I Know Who Killed Me (BMT); Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (BMT); Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (BMT); Fire Down Below (BMT); Timeline (BMT); The Hitcher; 88 Minutes (BMT); Angels in the Outfield; Walking Tall; Telling You; The Last Time; Three Wishes; The Guardian (BMT); Notes: BMT legend having been in seven BMT films in our first six years, pretty good rate. He’s from Barnstable, Massachusetts of all places! Studied in London. I’m loving this guy, do your thing Neal.)

Michael Clarke Duncan – (Known For: The Green Mile; Planet of the Apes; Sin City; The Island; Kung Fu Panda; Friday; Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; Daredevil; The Scorpion King; The Whole Nine Yards; The Last Mimzy; Cats & Dogs; Bulworth; Redemption Road; BMT: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore; Green Lantern; Breakfast of Champions; Racing Stripes; D.E.B.S.; Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins; The Underground Comedy Movie; See Spot Run; Delgo; Slipstream; School for Scoundrels; A Night at the Roxbury; The Players Club; Armageddon; The Slammin’ Salmon; Brother Bear; Notes: Sadly died a few years ago from complications related to a heart attack. My favorite note from his IMDb page: On July 12, 1979, during the Disco Demolition Night fiasco at Comiskey park, Duncan ran onto the field and slid into third base. Ha!)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $8,742,261 (Worldwide: $12,764,201)

(A complete and utter disaster. If that budget is correct this would probably be one of the biggest bombs of that year, and only is saved a bit from being a legend by “only” having a $50 million dollar budget. To be frank I don’t really believe that, at least some of it has to be exaggeration for tax reasons.)

#95 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

martialarts_95

(This plot is actually kind of sad. Initial thoughts: The 90s boom is basically people like Seagal and Van Damme. Then there was a little dip before Jackie Chan ushered in another foreign / comedy boom for the genre. This came right in the final gasp there with Rush Hour 3 and Transporter 3 kind of having the genre die off. Now … is it possible that martial arts has been relegated to VOD? Are we entering an era of whole genres being shunned from theatrical release in favor of tentpoles? It makes me a bit sad, but then again I can’t think of a situation in which I would personally go and see a martial arts film in theaters. Crouching Tiger might literally have been the only one I’ve ever seen in theaters to be honest. This movie is below Dragonball: Evolution on that chart … I’ll let that be a closing statement of sorts.)

#63 for the Action Heroine genre

actionheroine_63

(THIS MOVIE IS BELOW CUTTHROAT ISLAND ON THAT CHART. That movie literally destroyed a production company! That giant peak around 2005: Lara Croft 2, Underworld, Catwoman, Elektra, Miss Congeniality 2, Charlie’s Angels 2, Resident Evil 2, Blade 3, Domino, Aeon Flux, Underworld 2, Ultraviolet, Resident Evil 3 … that’s a lot of terrible movies. And note how little money they made on average! And naturally since 2010 the action heroine has been a huge seller for Hollywood. I wish I could say this movie blazed a trail … but it didn’t. It merely allowed Hollywood to get the garbage juice out of its system before getting serious.)

#31 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

videogameadaptation_31

(We saw Warcraft this year, and Hitman Agent 47 the year before among several BMT video game adaptations. Street Fighter Legend of Chun Li sits right above Alone in the Dark the Uwe Bol classic … so not great. Video game adaptations still make less than the martial arts genre of the 90’s, which is unimpressive to say the least. Naturally they are looking to have that change over the next few years you would imagine, but this multi-bomb year probably didn’t help matters. Five video game adaptations came out this year, that is the most ever according to this chart. Someday there will be a successful video game adaptation. It will happen.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (3/54): The combination of a shallow plot and miscast performers renders Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li a perfectly forgettable video game adaptation.

(Less than 10% on Rotten Tomatoes is extremely impressive. Doing it with over 50 reviews is incredible. I wonder who they are talking about when they say miscast performers … I’m so sorry Chris Klein. So so sorry.)

Poster – Sklog Fighter: Legend of Jamie (D)

street_fighter_the_legend_of_chun_li

(That is unfortunate. A truly ridiculous color scheme and spacing. Glad we at least get a unique font that would make it hard to create Sklog Fighter: The Legend of Jamie.)

Tagline(s) – Some fight for power. Some fight for us. (B)

(Hmmm. My brain is telling me that I should like this, but my heart is telling me that this is terrible and sounds like garbage. Definitely has the cadence, brevity, and a bit of the plot. I think it’s OK. My heart is disappointed in me.)

Keyword(s) – gangster; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.6 Catwoman (2004); 85.8 Gunday (2014); 82.7 Gigli (2003); 81.8 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011); 78.6 The Avengers (1998); 77.5 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 77.3 RoboCop 3 (1993); 72.8 Striptease (1996); 70.5 Grease 2 (1982); 70.2 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009);

(Well since we aren’t ever doing Gunday we will complete this genre with Grease 2 which has to be done at some point. Solid list obviously, but I assume a few films might be a stretch. There was around 1200 films that claim a gangster keyword (around that). All of these vaguely make sense, but was there really a “gangster” in The Avengers for example? Questionable.)

Notes – Back in 2003, Jean-Claude Van Damme was working on a sequel to the original Street Fighter movie titled “Street Fighter II”, for Universal. Several cast members had been hired to join him in the sequel, including his Universal Soldier co-star Dolph Lundgren in an unrevealed role, Australian actress Holly Valance would have replaced Kylie Minogue as Cammy White, and Damian Chapa would have reprised his role as Ken Masters. Byron Mann was also reportedly in talks to return as Ryu Hoshi. However, after a few years of trying to get the sequel off the ground, the project never materialized and any plans for a sequel were scrapped in favor of this movie. (Would have also been terrible. People try to have nostalgia for the original, but in reality it is also terrible and a sequel without Raul Julia wouldn’t have been much better)

A potential sequel with Ryu and Ken was planned but was cancelled due of the poor box office performances of the film. (Jesus)

This movie only has 7 world warriors taken from Capcom’s “Fighting Game of 2008” titled Street Fighter IV (originally, the game has 25 characters) with the legendary world warrior from Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors’ Dreams [1995] (also know as Street Fighter Zero in Japan, Asia, South America and Australia) known as Charlie Nash being a special guest to this movie rather than reusing the hybrid-character “Carlos Blanka” from Universal Pictures’s Street Fighter [1994], The world warriors that made their appearances are: Chun Li, Gen, Crimson “Maya” Viper, Rose, Balrog, Vega, Master Bison and Charlie Nash. The world warriors that are absent are: Ryu (who is mentioned by Gen once), Ken Masters, Major Guile (who is replaced by Charlie Nash), Blanka, Edmund Honda, Zangief, Dhalsim, Sagat, Cammy White, Fei Long, Akuma, Dan Hibiki, Sakura Kasugano, Able, El Fuerte, Rufus, Gouken and Seth. (All solid information, thanks IMDb)

Blue City Preview

Hoo wee. I’m actually pretty excited for the end of the cycle this time around. Why? Because our transitions have typically turned into an attempt to find a film that matches both the current cycle and the upcoming cycle. However this time our current cycle is films of 1986 and the upcoming cycle are films of 2016 (potential Razzies). Uh oh! No film can both be of 1986 and 2016. What to do? Obviously the only solution is to punish ourselves by watching two films for transition. The transition will be done using two film (one from 1986 and the other from 2016) that have some other property in common. In a way the two film form a small cycle of their own (a bicycle if you will). For this transition we are going to use the final Worst Picture nominee Blue City (never heard of it? Nobody else has either) and the Wayans Bros. spoof Fifty Shades of Black. The bicycle is the “black & blue” cycle. Get it? It’s amazing. So for our preview will we post information for both these films and have to watch both for this week… we are so goddamn good at this whole obsessive bad movie watching! (Patrick’s Note: And at making watching bad movies feel like a chore!) Let’s go!

Blue City (1986) – BMeTric: 14.0

bluecity_bmet

bluecity_rv

(Oooof less than a thousand votes. Kind of a wonder it even manages 14.0 BMeTric, but 4.0 is pretty rough as far as rating is concerned. That low it makes sense it will look linear (which is roughly in line with the vote count). It will basically take off if it could ever even sniff the rough inflection vote point which is currently near-ish to 3000 votes.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Perfectly awful film about wiseguy kid who returns to Florida hometown after five years, discovers that his father was killed, and vows to avenge (and solve) his murder. Senseless and stupid; Nelon’s unappealing character seems to possess a one-word vocabulary, and the word isn’t fudge. Based on a good book by Ross Macdonald.

(Oooooof. The bomb probably comes from this movie being perfectly boring. Leonard is on tip top semicolon game as usual. I like the idea of an unappealing character, after the interestingly okay characters we saw in Keeping Up with the Joneses, it will be fun to see people just drop the ball completely in that regard. Get ready for some F-booooooooooooombs.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9GIsyUgwxE

(Certainly old school and left un-updated from presumably VHS pre-trailers. Does it get me excited though? No. The acting looks sub-sub-par, the soundtrack is poised to be a travesty, and it just looks old. The only hope for this not being boring is that Nelson looks fun in the action scenes they teased. Tenuous.)

Directors – Michelle Manning – (BMT: Blue City; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1987 for Worst Director for Blue City. Producer with John Hughes for Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, in 1997 she transitioned to president of production for Paramount where she still works. This is her one and only directing credit. Makes sense though, Nelson and Sheedy means a close connection to Hughes in general. I wonder if she just did not enjoy directing.)

Writers – Ross Macdonald (novel) – (Known For: The Moving Target; The Drowning Pool; BMT: Blue City; Notes: aka Kenneth Millar (Macdonald is a pen name). Most well known for his character Lew Archer. Blue City is his third novel written in 1947 and is one of only six novels which are not Lew Archer. Too bad, I would have liked to see Judd Nelson As ….. Lew Archer!)

Lukas Heller (screenplay) – (Known For: The Dirty Dozen; What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?; The Flight of the Phoenix; Monte Walsh; Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte; Damnation Alley; The Killing of Sister George; Too Late the Hero; BMT: Flight of the Phoenix; Blue City; Notes: German screenwriter died a few years after this film was released. The father of Zoe Heller who wrote the novel Notes on a Scandal which was made into a film with Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett.)

Walter Hill (screenplay) – (Known For: Aliens; The Warriors; Alien³; 48 Hrs.; Undisputed; Streets of Fire; Red Heat; The Getaway; The Driver; The Long Riders; Southern Comfort; The Streetfighter; Wild Bill (BMT); The Drowning Pool; The MacKintosh Man; Hickey & Boggs; BMT: Another 48 Hrs.; The Getaway; Last Man Standing; Blue City; Notes: Directed previous BMT films Bullet to the Head and Wild Bill (which now has a 41% on RT. [Editor’s note: that’s bullshit. I guarantee some of those are duplicates]). Extremely illustrious career and is credited with bringing back the western to an extent. He claims all of his movies are westerns at heart, stripping down to a world beyond normal avenues of social control.)

Actors – Judd Nelson – (Known For: The Breakfast Club; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; St. Elmo’s Fire; New Jack City; The Transformers: The Movie; BMT: Steel (BMT); Airheads; The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day; Blue City; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1988 for Worst Actor for From the Hip and in 1987 for Blue City. Part of the Brat Pack and partially known for several more recent television roles like Suddenly Susan.)

Ally Sheedy – (Known For: X-Men: Apocalypse; The Breakfast Club; Little Sister; WarGames; St. Elmo’s Fire; Short Circuit; Bad Boys; Welcome to the Rileys; High Art; Only the Lonely; Life During Wartime; Betsy’s Wedding; Twice in a Lifetime; Sugar Town; Happy Here and Now; BMT: Short Circuit 2; Man’s Best Friend; Maid to Order; Blue City; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1991 for Worst Supporting Actress for Betsy’s Wedding; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1990 for Worst Actress for Heart of Dixie and in 1987 for Blue City. Another member of the Brat Pack. Was for years married to the nephew of my hero Angela Lansbury, but they sadly filed for divorce in 2008.)

David Caruso – (Known For: First Blood; An Officer and a Gentleman; Session 9; King of New York; Proof of Life; Kiss of Death; Mad Dog and Glory; BMT: Jade; Hudson Hawk; Twins; Blue City; Thief of Hearts; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1996 for Worst New Star for Kiss of Death, and Jade. Actually famous for being the main character in CSI: Miami and NYPD Blue. I do not remember him from Hudson Hawk.)

Budget/Gross – $10 million / Domestic: $6,947,787

(Ooof, that would be a bomb. I had never heard of this film before, so this is no surprise at all.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/4):

(I had to add that in myself because you need at least 5 reviews to actually get a rating from rotten tomatoes. I’ll just copy this dire review’s brief recap: A dull disaster from start to finish. … Another review kind of derisively bashes the film for having Nelson pretend he is gay in the film. Because it kind of suggests Nelson is gay in real life? Always interesting to see a guy who just kind of never acknowledges rumors like that (see Kevin Spacey), and is seems like Nelson hasn’t because there is almost nothing online suggesting it is anything more than rumor.)

Poster – Sklog City (D+)

blue_city

(I really do not like this poster on almost every level… but that font. I can’t quit you poster font.)

Tagline(s) – It’s below Miami and above the law. (B-)

The coolest heat you’ll ever feel (D)

(Haha. This one is both kind of amazing and pretty much the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s got that 1980’s joie de vivre. The second one skips the amazing and lands directly in stupid.)

Keyword(s) – police; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.7 Batman & Robin (1997); 89.5 Catwoman (2004); 84.6 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 82.6 Street Fighter (1994); 80.5 Home Alone 3 (1997); 79.3 House of the Dead (2003); 77.3 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 77.1 RoboCop 3 (1993); 75.8 Inspector Gadget (1999); 75.0 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994)

(amazing list. There are also over 100 pages on IMDb of films with this keyword and 564 films with a BMeTric over 20! Reminds me that we have to watch all of the police academy films at some point.)

Notes – Actress Jenny Wright originally was cast in the lead female role of Annie Rayford which in the end was played by Ally Sheedy.

The movie’s two top billed lead stars, Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy, were at the time the movie was made and released, part of a then young group of American actors who were known as “The Brat Pack”, a term which referenced the earlier group of American actors who had been known as “The Rat Pack”.

The movie was nominated for 5 Golden Raspberry Awards at the 7th Golden Raspberry Awards Ceremony in 1987. These included Worst Picture, Worst Director (Michelle Manning), Worst Actor (Judd Nelson), Worst Actress (Ally Sheedy) and Worst Supporting Actor (Scott Wilson) but failed to win a Razzie in any category. (Amazing how reviled this movie I’ve never heard of seemed to be)

The make and model of the motorcycle that Billy Turner (Judd Nelson) rode was a 1978/79 750cc Triumph Bonneville T140E. This motor-bike is apparently the same one that was seen in the earlier movie An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) which was also produced by the same Paramount Pictures studio that made Blue City (1986). (Now that is a fun fact. I love this for some reason)

The film was made and released about thirty-nine years after its source Ross Macdonald novel of the same name had been first published in 1947. (Get ready for the book review woooooo)

This is the only film directed by Michelle Manning. (One and done director, oh how far we have come since that delightful cycle earlier this year)

The movie’s marketing connected with the then current hit TV series Miami Vice (1984). This was manifest in the film’s main tagline which read: “It’s below Miami and above the law”. The fictional “Blue City” of the film’s title was, like Miami, set in the state of Florida, where the city of Miami is situated. (huh, also a pretty fun fact)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (William Hayward, Walter Hill)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Judd Nelson)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Ally Sheedy)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Scott Wilson)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Michelle Manning)

Solarbabies Preview

This week we get to do SciFi/Fantasy. The film for this genre has been set from the jump for this cycle. That’s because one of the biggest bombs of the year (and all-time) was a post-apocalyptic rollerblading film called Solarbabies… that’s the actual title and plot of the film. It doesn’t even sound real. Oh but it is. And we’re watching it. Should be weird and wild stuff. For those interested How Did This Get Made? did this film a few weeks ago and a rather interesting oral history was developed for it by Slash Film. It includes an interview with the writer Metrov and also an interview with Mel Brooks the producer of the film. Let’s go!

Solarbabies (1986) – BMeTric: 29.6

solarbabies_bmet

solarbabies_rv

(And we’re back to the classic 1980s BMeTric plot (i.e. pretty linear). Boring stuff once you’ve seen basically the same plot over and over again (linear BMeTric, regression to the mean rating, steadily increasing vote count). If anything the only startling thing is how high the IMDb rating is. Remember Shanghai Surprise has a 3.0 on IMDb. This is more than a point better and far above the likes of other barely-movies like Theodore Rex and Barb Wire.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Futuristic teen junk has Gertz and her mostly male cohorts imprisoned by Nazi-like Jordan inside a fortress; the group plots an escape with the help of “Bohdi” — an ancient mystical force. Appallingly bad stinker from (Mel) Brooksfilm that barely got released.

(Nice. Semi-colon. Work. Leonard. With that out of the way this is going to probably be the first true blue barely-a-film we’ve seen in a long while. We tend to avoid them, but The Room, Troll 2, and Plan 9 From Outer Space were all at one point seen for BMT. Theodore Rex was probably the most recent … Barb Wire? This certainly has Barb Wire vibes coming all out of it. … Steel might have been the last one. Hmmm, nevermind, we’ve seen quite a few.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFcDCJyP9fo

(Oooooo that is bumping yo. I’m amped for Solarbabies now. Definitely not going to be one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. Definitely not going to be Nukie-esque (look it up, Nukie). Trailers were certainly … different back then.)

Directors – Alan Johnson – (Known For: To Be or Not to Be; BMT: Solarbabies; Notes: He was a choreographer mostly and on many of Mel Brooks’ films. To Be or Not to Be is Brooks as well. He is a three-time Emmy award winner and probably most well known for choreographing Springtime For Hitler in The Producers.)

Writers – Walon Green (screenplay) – (Known For: WarGames; The Wild Bunch; Dinosaur; Sorcerer; The Border; The Hi-Lo Country; Crusoe; BMT: RoboCop 2; Solarbabies; Eraser; Notes: One of the most expensive screenwriters of the time he merely wrote the revised script for Brooksfilms if Metrov is to be believed (see: Oral history). So apparently a hearty chunk of the budget for the film was for basically nothing. An Emmy and Oscar winning writer, he has been more involved with television in recent year, specifically the Law & Order series)

D.A. Metrov (screenplay) (as Douglas Anthony Metrov) – (BMT: Solarbabies; Notes: Trained as a fine arts painter he ultimately wrote a short treatment for Solarbabies which was picked up and promoted by the producer Mark Johnson. I would highly recommend the Slashfilm oral history for more information, but he has continued to write and direct mostly short films since.)

Actors – Richard Jordan – (Known For: Dune; The Hunt for Red October; Logan’s Run; Gettysburg; Klute; Rooster Cogburn; The Secret of My Succe$s; Interiors; Raise the Titanic; The Friends of Eddie Coyle; The Yakuza; Lawman; The Mean Season; Romero; BMT: Solarbabies; Posse; Notes: A stage, film, and television actor who died in 1993 from cancer. His career spanned 30 years and he’s probably most well known for Logan’s Run.)

Jami Gertz – (Known For: The Lost Boys; Sixteen Candles; Twister; Less Than Zero; Mischief; Crossroads; Seven Girlfriends; BMT: Endless Love (BMT); Solarbabies; Quicksilver; Renegades; Keeping Up with the Steins; Sibling Rivalry; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1997 for Worst Supporting Actress for Twister. Made her acting debut in Endless Love, just like Tom Cruise! Classic BMT. She’s more known for television work now. Part owner of the Milwaukee Brewers apparently, fun fact)

Jason Patric – (Known For: The Lost Boys; Sleepers; My Sister’s Keeper; The Losers; In the Valley of Elah; The Abandoned; Narc; Rush; Geronimo: An American Legend; After Dark, My Sweet; The Journey of August King; Your Friends & Neighbors; Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound; Expired; Keyhole; Three Days of Rain; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; The Prince; Solarbabies; The Outsider; Cavemen; The Alamo; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1998 for Worst Screen Couple for Speed 2: Cruise Control, and Sandra Bullock. I feel like Speed 2 might have derailed his career a bit. Grandson of Jackie Gleason, according to IMDb he is very good friends with Laura Dern.)

It should be noted that Lukas Haas of Material Girls fame is also in this, it was his third feature film a year after Witness.

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $1,579,260

(Huge bomb. In the oral history there should be a link to the interview with Mel Brooks. Interesting stuff. Mel Brooks thought the script was a disaster, but kind of produced the film to help a friend out. He indicates it got him very close to financial ruin because he immediately broke the number one rule: don’t give more money to a failing movie. The original budget was something like $10 million and the director basically spent that immediately. They used way too much film if I recall and Brooks ended up taking out loans just to get it made and released. Leonard is not joking, the film was barely released. Metrov indicates as much as well referring to the film as a miracle in and of itself because by all accounts it shouldn’t exist. It is an interesting story if only from a production standpoint.)

#42 for the Post-Apocalypse genre

postapoalypse_42

(Right on the downswing of the early 80s boom of post-apocalyptics with the Mad Max series and Escape from New York. There isn’t really a good corollary with older BMT films either, this is in the class of low-budget sci-fi which we’ve never really ventured into before. Post-apocalyptic films naturally go in waves. Reminds me of the Patton Oswalt book Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, that there are three types of nerds in the world. The zombie enjoys the idea of a civilization broken down, one where you infrastructure exists but you effectively operate on your own. The spaceship looks outwards to aliens, the unknown coming to a world much like our own (or us going to a totally alien world). The wasteland is about society in complete obliteration with no infrastructure at all remaining. I’m guessing these types of films going in waves like that. I think we came down from zombie a while back and wasteland took over bit by bit. Wasteland (Maze Runner, and Hunger Games to an extent) is now coming down and we are seeing a resurgence of alien. And thus the cycle will continue. Maybe. I’m sure there are counterexamples).

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/6): No consensus yet.

(Zero percent. Like Theodore Rex these kind of movies even having a score is kind of a flukey bad-movie-people-review-DVDs type deal. I’ll make a consensus based on Ebert’s original 1986 review: Dull and derivative of the Road Warrior films that preceded it, Solarbabies boasts impressive locales and costuming, so it is a wonder that such care and attention was never devoted to the script as well.)

Poster – Sklog it, baby! (D+)

solarbabies

(Hahahahaha, that is just the worst. The coloring, the spacing. Only positive would be the unique font for the font. Would be tough to make Sklogbabies out of it.)

Tagline(s) – Who will rule the future? (C+)

Spectacular science-fiction/adventure on blazing skates! (Wha?)

(Don’t know where either of these come from (the poster doesn’t have a tagline, although it certainly had a lot of empty space to include one) so I kept them both. The first is simple and short and gives a little hint at the plot. Pretty much meh. The second explodes my brain. Can’t wait to see those blazing skates!)

Keyword(s) – post apocalypse; Top Ten by BMeTric: 87.7 Battlefield Earth (2000); 78.2 Ultraviolet (2006); 72.2 Barb Wire (1996); 70.9 After Earth (2013); 63.6 The Darkest Hour (2011); 58.8 The Crow: City of Angels (1996); 56.3 Cell (I) (2016); 56.2 Beowulf (1999); 55.9 The 5th Wave (2016); 55.3 Vanishing on 7th Street (2010);

(Great great list right there. The Darkest Hour has been on the BMT shortlist a ton of times. The others there are also interesting because they are rarely if ever mentioned for BMT. The Cell is an interesting one though, direct to VOD, so again, we are seeing the VOD creep into BMT.)

Notes – All of the main characters’ names are from enlightenment legends and myths from various cultures.

The movie was filmed on location in Spain, a country selected for its abundant desert landscape. Ironically, production was held up for several weeks due to–of all things–rain. (Classic, same thing happened to the Death of Don Quixote, or whatever, the Gilliam production which has failed to come through two or three times now)

A year later Jami Gertz and Jason Patric would appear in The Lost Boys together.

The key speechless character, named “Bodhi”, is also referred to in the film as the “Sphere of Longinus”.

The end theme song, “Love Will Set You Free” performed and written by Smokey Robinson, is about Jesus offering an invitation for Christian discipleship, with direct quotes from Jesus’ sermons in the Bible. (Fun fact right there)

The name Solarbabies refers to the characters’ seeing themselves as the children of the Sun in the dry water-less future in which they live. (So it’s like the opposite of Waterworld?)

The movie has several religious references. The orb can perform what could be described as miracles, one of the red tents in the Bartertown has a crescent moon on it that looks like the one from the Turkish flag, the neon sign in town says Xanadu, which refers to a paradise-like place, and the villain calls the orb “the sphere of Longinus” at one point, which is a clear reference to the biblical spear called The Holy Lance (as well as the spear of Longinus) that killed Jesus Christ. Also, the characters have what could be described as religious experience when they interact with the orb outside together. (That is all incredibly strange… I wonder if this film has ever been a part of a film thesis… probably not)