Firestarter (1984) Recap

Jamie

This is the firestarter, the twisted firestarter. This is the trouble starter, pumpkin investigator… alright maybe I slightly changed that last part. I feel like I can just spend this whole spot on Firestarter by The Prodigy lyrics (both right and wrong) since the primary post is for the 2022 remake and I’ll talk about all the Stephen King, remake, Zac Efron boringness there. Here I can just mention how I’m the fear addicted, a danger illustrated and get on with it. Really dive in on how I’m the pain you tasted, fell intoxicated and all that. Just normal things normal people say… the self inflicted, mind detonator, yeah.

To recap, Andy and his daughter Charlie are on the run from some G-men. They both have powers (Andy psychic and Charlie pyrokinetic) and use these to escape and find their way to a kindly old man’s farm. We learn in flashback that Charlie and his wife were part of a college experiment that went awry (or went as planned, I guess) and they’ve been living under the watch of the government ever since. Unfortunately, Charlie is growing stronger and The Shop decides it’s time to bring her in and see what she can do. Maybe they can even relaunch the program. Back in the present, as they try to snatch them from the farm, Charlie lights the G-men ablaze and they escape once again. Realizing just how powerful she is, The Shop sends an assassin named Rainbird after them. He tracks them to a small lake house and is able to subdue them. At The Shop they keep Andy drugged while testing Charlie. Rainbird takes it upon himself to befriend Charlie under the guise of a kind janitor. His plan seems real gross, but don’t worry, he explains that really he just wants to eventually lull Charlie into a sense of security so he can karate chop her in the face to death. Phew. That’s better. Eventually Andy is able to overcome the drugs and sets up a plan to get Charlie and him out of there. Unfortunately Rainbird catches wind of it and kills Andy before they can escape. When he tries to kill Charlie she is able to stop the bullets and create Rainbird flambe out of him. She then leaves The Shop and numerous people charred ruins in her wake. She arrives back at the kindly farmer’s house who helps her get to the newspaper so that she can reveal The Shop’s sins. THE END.

Unexpectedly decent is how I would describe this film. I didn’t have much hope at the start. David Keith is there with a crazy bushy mullet and George C. Scott appears to be playing a Native American character. He looks like Steven Seagal… and like Steven Seagal now, not from the 90’s. Barrymore is still very young and it almost looks like a TV movie. All this probably has you thinking it’s horrible. But it’s really not. It has some nice scenery and cuts pretty close to what is a good King book. Then we get to the big finish and really I was pretty impressed. Lots of stunts. Lots of fire. I thought the ending was a bunch of fun. So it ultimately kind of delivered. Add in a few more Rainbird face chops and I would have been a happy camper. Not the worst at all. So really what’s the worst that can happen with a remake, right?… Right?

Hot Take Clam Bake! That big story that Charlie is shopping around about The Shop? Ain’t gonna work, bro. What are you gonna do walk in there and say “check out my powers?” Cause there ain’t other evidence you have. The Shop is burned down. Even if it wasn’t I’m sure it technically doesn’t exist anyway. The college drug test your dad did? Scrubbed clean. You have to show dem powers and it’s gonna be real scary. They will not know what to do with you which means you’ll be right back in a bigger and badder Shop. Now you don’t even have Rainbird to karate chop his way in there and save you… you killed him… which is what everyone else will assume you are aiming to do to them. Now you got two choices: become America’s weapon or get tranquilized till you can’t use your powers anymore. Weapon here you come. Firestarter 2: America’s Weapon here we come. Hot Take Temperature: Rocotillo.

Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Firestarter? I hardly knew’er! Amirite? Let’s go!

  • This movie ain’t that bad. Just a bit boring.
  • But man, young Drew Barrymore had it didn’t she! It is incredibly hard to imagine that kids like Macaulay Culkin and Drew Barrymore could exist. Genuine like 8 year old movie stars. But then again … I’m not sure either of them would necessarily say their child stardom was a good or healthy thing, so maybe we can chaulk it up to the late 80s being a wild time and just appreciate that these performances exist.
  • John Rainbird is a pretty amazing villain. Ebert mistakenly describes him as a pedophile. I don’t think he ever was in the book, and he clearly isn’t in the movie either. It is possible the scene in which Rainbird explains why he wants Charlie was added after the fact, so maybe Ebert could be forgiven, but his motivation is even more bonkers than that: he wants to karate chop Drew Barrymore in the face to gain her magic powers in the afterlife. Honestly … if that was in the movie I don’t know how Ebert could have missed it, it was a real WTF moment for me.
  • Does in media res rarely work? I can’t really recall. I think it works here, although flashbacks do a lot of heavy lifting for the first half of the film. I feel like it works here because it gives a reason for Charlie’s father to be breaking down, and brings the characters to The Shop much quicker.
  • Martin Sheen is great. Also a great villain.
  • And the idea of “bah, she’s a little girl, what could she do? We’ll just teach her and everything will be peachy keen” and the crazy Loomis-esque scientist saying “SHE COULD CRACK THE WORLD IN HALF!” works well for me. Even this movie doesn’t know how powerful the Firestarter is.
  • So yeah, I liked the movie. Even if it (1) isn’t a very good horror film if that was what it was going for, (2) it is a bit plodding, (3) the flashbacks were a bit much, and (4) it ultimately is a bit boring when taken as a whole. Still liked it.
  • I think Worst Twist (How?) for the non-twist of Charlie burning The Shop to the ground is the only (weak) superlative I would lob out there. Easily closest to Good, I liked this film.

Hear about Firestarter: The Television Series in the Quiz. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Halloween (2007) Recap

Jamie

“Get me a Hostel!” the executive screamed, chomping a cigar between his lips. The young associates scrambled through the piles of original scripts sent their way. No hostels in sight. Where were the achilles tendon slices? A quick ctrl+F for “ripe melon” finds zero time it was used to describe a head being crushed by a killer’s bare hands. Even a script titled “Extreme Gore” turns out to be a reimagining of the 2000 Presidential Election which, while horrifying, is not what they need. Suddenly the sea of scripts parts and like a glowing medallion there is a copy of Halloween: Resurrection. “Resurrect… Halloween… talk to me people,” screams one of the associates excitedly.

Or at least that’s how I imagine this all happened. Step two: hire Rob Zombie. Step three: profit. There is no inbetween steps because I assume no one on the studio side knew what the hell was going on. Horror had changed in a matter of just a few years from Scream knock-offs to Blair Witch knock-offs to Saw knock-offs. Halloween went right along with it: H20 to a pseudo reality horror in Resurrection and then finally Zombie’s Halloween reboot. And it worked. So kudos to everyone involved. Zombie remade the classic film with some extra gory bits mixed in, he did it on the cheap, and it made a massive amount of money. And that’s pretty far and away the most impressive part of this movie. Besides that it’s a gross, cheapo Halloween remake with much worse acting and an excessive amount of Myers backstory. No need to even do a recap as there isn’t anything interesting to talk about.

For Hot Take Clam Bake I’ve got one that’s been cooking in the oven for the last few entries of Halloween. I have not shied away from my opinion that for the original Halloween series (through entry six) Dr. Loomis is at best a merely annoying, possibly drunk character who pops up here and there for some laughs. At worst he’s the true villain of the franchise. HOWEVER, after his absence in H20 and Resurrection I started to suspect that, could it be?… Loomis might be a necessary evil? His absence made it clear to me that he had functioned for most of the series as Michael Myers hype man. A little kid murdered his sister and then escaped years later. Throw it on the pile next to the rest of the escaped prisoners. But no! Loomis is right there screaming in your face about his eyes being black as coals!!! He’s evil! And you’re criminally responsible if you don’t heed his warning because Michael Myers is one scary MFer… well, shit now I’m spooked. Who is this Myers character? He must be an unstoppable horror show. You see? I’m all hyped now. Ready for Michael to knock my socks off.

What does this have to do with the reboot? This point is the remake’s biggest failure is its inability to understand this. You had McDowell at the ready! The man is a maniac! So what do you do with him? You tame him down. It becomes a story of Loomis’ recognition of Myers’ trauma and ultimately his attempt (and failure) to reason with Myers’ homicidal mission against his sister. And just when I was recognizing his value as a character. Loomis is good. This movie failed him and thus it failed us. That take is scored as a Heat Seeking Missile. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Halloween? More like I Wish I Hadn’t Seen (It). Did you ever think to yourself “Man, I wish the horror classic Halloween was gross like Hostel.” Rob Zombie did. Let’s go!

  • This movie is two hours long. This movie also has a half-hour section that explains in detail the origin story of Michael Myers as a whiny sociopath. Thus, this movie could have been a much better film if they just cut out the origin story. Et voila. You are welcome, Rob Zombie, call it the Sklog Cut.
  • This is a tale of two films. On the one hand, thanks, I hate it. On the other, very clearly some people liked it because it made a boatload of cash. It does potentially feel like the way a “reboot” should go for a horror classic. He changed up the genre. That makes sense. You have to change up something, right?
  • I still wish the film wasn’t made though.
  • Besides maybe Dourif, the rest of the cast is a kind of give or take. I didn’t think Rob Zombie’s wife or the woman playing Laurie were very good, and McDowell is always a trip. But acting isn’t in the top 3 things I disliked about the film.
  • The top three are all how gross this film is. Again, thanks, I hate it. Turns out I can abide torture porn-esque films now. I don’t feel queasy while watching them. But I still hate them and I hate that they did it to Halloween.
  • Similarly Michael Myers being a hulking wrestler also seems wrong.
  • To draw it back to the remake series a bit, Halloween: Resurrection could have been called MichaelMyers.com because that is hilarious, but also could have been called Murder.com and been a generic slasher. Similarly, this could be called like Torture House or Stabbed Seventy Times in the Face and it would have made more sense. This isn’t really Halloween, and when it is it is really just going through the motions.
  • I know this is a mishmash of thoughts, but I’ll end it by saying that this film is NOT dog poo in my face. So it does manage to not be the worst of the series … I might have watched the worst of the series right after though. Stay tuned.
  • Obviously, as usual, the film is a Setting as a Character (Where?) for Haddonfield, Illinois. And it is a A+ Holiday Film (When?) for Halloween as well. This film is closest to Good for me, as much as I personally hate it, I also recognize what it needed to do and that Zombie managed, against all odds, to do it to make is a marked improvement over the later Halloween sequels.

I didn’t have time to get this on DVD so no special features. Wish I could have listened to Rob Zombie’s director commentary. Read about the spinoff series called Halloween II: King Michael Myers in the Quiz.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Halloween (2007) Quiz

Oh man, so I was just minding my own business, trying to make some money as a babysitter on Halloween, when this real tall guy busted in and bopped me on the head with a knife (over and over, brutally smashing my face to smithereens). Now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Halloween (2007)?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) We are treated to a literal neverending origin story of Michael Myers. In his youth massacre how many people did he kill?

2) Well, whoops, now Michael is obsessed with masks and insane. Where does he get the “real” Michael mask and where, evidently, does he hide it for the 17-or-so years between his murderous sprees?

3) At last, we meet Laurie Strode. And just like in the original she has to babysit tonight. And just like in the original the person she has to babysit is obsessed with a specific Halloween-appropriate legend. What is it?

4) During Michael’s spree as a young boy and during his spree as an adult he dresses in two specific (non-Shatner) Halloween costumes. What were they?

5) How many people survive Michael’s terror that night?

Bonus Question: My god, she shot him in the face! In a mid-credits scene we see him come back to life though. How does it explain that he’s still alive? 

Answers

Halloween (2007) Preview

“Looks like New Years come early for you two,” Officer Mash says with a smirk as he clangs the jail door shut. Jamie and Patrick beg them to listen to their story. Sure it sounds totally crazy, but they have to trust them. They are there for a reason… to change someone’s life… to help. But Bongo and Mash scoff at the suggestion. “Nothing is wrong in this town. It’s perfect,” Bongo says matter of factly. “Yeah, perfect,” agrees Mash, “you know, except for…” But before he can finish Bongo shushes him and reiterates that the town is a perfect example of perfection. Jamie and Patrick see their opening, but no matter how much they try to explain, it’s like talking to two rule-abiding walls. Mash chuckles at their attempts and silently mocks them to his partner. “I don’t know what kind of yuletide cheer you’ve gotten into, but there isn’t anything wrong with the town. Rules are just rules. So you boys just stay right there. We gotta go patrol the Halloween Jamboree.” Jamie and Patrick look at each other in confusion. Halloween? Didn’t he use the phrase ‘yuletide cheer’ just a second before? Officer Mash rubs his hands together in anticipation. “I heard this year they got Mikey Myers (of the Mikey Mikes fame) to perform and they are doing some spooktacular novelty songs.” Jamie and Patrick leap up. “Wait!” shouts Jamie, “We’re the Mikey Mikes.” Patrick nods his head excitedly and just as Bongo and Mash are about to wave them off he blurts out, “We can prove it! Let us give you a sneak peak at a double dose of spooktacular novelty songs!” Bongo and Mash look at each other and finally relent, “Ehhhh, OK. But just don’t make them too scary.” That’s right! We are doing a double dose of spooktacular action with both of Rob Zombie’s Halloween films. We are well ahead of schedule in our Halloween franchise pursuit with only Halloween Kills (currently qualifying) left. Let’s go!

Halloween (2007) – BMeTric: 33.6; Notability: 53

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 21.6%; Notability: top 9.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 29.7%; Higher BMeT: Epic Movie, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Norbit, I Know Who Killed Me, Bratz, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, Daddy Day Camp, Who’s Your Caddy?, Are We Done Yet?, Postal, Delta Farce, Captivity, Underdog, The Comebacks, The Hills Have Eyes 2, Ghost Rider, Redline, The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Code Name: The Cleaner, and 34 more; Higher Notability: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Evan Almighty, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, Fred Claus, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Rush Hour 3, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, The Comebacks, Epic Movie, The Ten, Lucky You, TMNT, The Invasion, Ghost Rider, Balls of Fury, Lions for Lambs, Wild Hogs, The Heartbreak Kid, and 4 more; Lower RT: Remember the Daze, Redline, Daddy Day Camp, Epic Movie, Kickin’ It Old Skool, Code Name: The Cleaner, Because I Said So, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Delta Farce, 88 Minutes, Good Luck Chuck, Who’s Your Caddy?, Silk, License to Wed, Are We Done Yet?, The Number 23, Premonition, The Reaping, Postal, Norbit, and 53 more; Notes: Genuinely high notability for a horror film. I can’t believe this has a 6.0 IMDb rating … that is stunningly high for a bad horror film, and more so for a remake of a beloved horror film.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Umpteenth rehash of the 1978 movie retells the story of Michael Myers, who kills his family and spends 17 years in a mental institution before escaping. As he searches for his younger sister he sets off in a rampage, treating the town of Haddonfield to his latest murderous tricks. Although horror fanatic Zombie remains faithful to the premise (with more backstory on Myers than ever before), it’s clearly just an excuse to show off the latest advances in movie gore. Unrated version runs 121m.

(That is a lot kinder of a review than I would expect as well. First, Maltin doesn’t usually like horror at all. But additionally, as alluded to, the film is particularly gorey. More backstory … great.)

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

(Want to know the big takeaway I have about this film? … Why was it released on August 31st? That is a crazy decision. Anyways, looks like a pretty faithful remake with a hulking Myers which is an interesting choice actually.)

DirectorsRob Zombie – ( Known For: 3 from Hell; The Devil’s Rejects; Grindhouse; 31; The Lords of Salem; Future BMT: House of 1000 Corpses; BMT: Halloween; Halloween II; Notes: His brother is named Spider One and is in the heavy metal band Powerman 5000.)

WritersRob Zombie – ( Known For: 3 from Hell; The Devil’s Rejects; Grindhouse; 31; The Lords of Salem; Future BMT: House of 1000 Corpses; BMT: Halloween; Halloween II; Notes: Wrote a script for The Crow: Salvation and was supposed to direct it, but was ultimately fired from the film and the script became Legend of the 13 Graves instead.)

John Carpenter – ( Known For: Halloween; They Live; Halloween; Escape from New York; Escape from L.A.; The Fog; Prince of Darkness; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Assault on Precinct 13; Assault on Precinct 13; Dark Star; Eyes of Laura Mars; Black Moon Rising; Future BMT: Halloween Kills; Lockout; BMT: Halloween; Ghosts of Mars; Halloween II; The Fog; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Amazingly Carpenter doesn’t get a credit at all on the sequel to this film. Either because the film doesn’t resemble the original or any of the sequels in any way, or because Carpenter intentionally took his name off of it.)

Debra Hill – ( Known For: Halloween; Halloween; Escape from L.A.; The Fog; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Future BMT: Halloween Kills; BMT: Halloween; Halloween II; The Fog; Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: I feel like you can just pair up Carpenter and Hill each time. They were long time collaborators so on remakes like this they’ll almost always both get credit.)

ActorsScout Taylor-Compton – ( Known For: 13 Going on 30; Chariot; The Runaways; An American Crime; The Long Night; Return to Sender; Flight 7500; 247°F; Love Ranch; Triple Dog; Ghost House; An Intrusion; Wicked Little Things; Love at First Hiccup; Andover; Get the Girl; Future BMT: Sleepover; Obsessed; BMT: Halloween; Halloween II; Notes: Became a big horror film actress with, I think, three small budget horror films coming out in the next year or so.)

Malcolm McDowell – ( Known For: Father Stu; A Clockwork Orange; Caligula; O Lucky Man!; Bombshell; Easy A; The Book of Eli; Blue Thunder; Doomsday; The Player; In Good Company; 31; Bolt; Cat People; The Artist; Star Trek: Generations; Hidalgo; Excision; Time After Time; American Satan; Future BMT: Tank Girl; Milk Money; Mr. Magoo; Just Visiting; Sunset; Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius; Delgo; BMT: Halloween; Silent Hill: Revelation; Halloween II; I Spy; Notes: From England. He’s an extremely prolific actor with nearly 300 credited acting roles.)

Tyler Mane – ( Known For: Troy; X-Men; The Scorpion King; The Devil’s Rejects; 247°F; Victor Crowley; Gunless; Black Mask 2: City of Masks; Compound Fracture; Devil May Call; Future BMT: Joe Dirt; Playing with Fire; BMT: Halloween; Halloween II; Notes: Definitely the most imposing Michael Myers they’ve ever cast. Ends up looking very muscle bound instead of the oddly slight version you typically see in the rest of the series.)

Budget/Gross – $15 million / Domestic: $58,272,029 (Worldwide: $80,460,948)

(Huge win for the studio and for Rob Zombie in the end. That is a giant take and the best Halloween must have done for years .. unfortunately that success directly led to Halloween II.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 28% (33/119): Rob Zombie doesn’t bring many new ideas to the table in Halloween, making it another bloody disappointment for fans of the franchise.

(Yup, that was always the perception I had, that it was mostly a rehash of the original so what is the point?)

Reviewer Highlight: The new Halloween has sympathy for the Devil, but not enough. – Matt Zoller Seitz, New York Times

Poster – Hostel-ween

(Weird poster with all the pictures in the mask. I’d have to look at it very closely to see which one they included is the funniest. Could be Danny Trejo’s face, since he actually plays a very nice person in the movie. Good good, nice striking orange, and intriguing. All around not bad, if busy. B+.)

Tagline(s) – Evil Has A Destiny (C-)

(Meh, fine. Not offensive. Just a little generic and not clever in the least. Not much more to say.)

Keyword(s) – dimension

Top 10: Sin City (2005), Spectre (2015), The Others (2001), Scream (1996), Equilibrium (2002), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), The Mist (2007), Death Proof (2007), 1408 (2007), Scary Movie (2000)

Future BMT: 86.5 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005), 82.8 Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World (2011), 77.4 Who’s Your Caddy? (2007), 76.9 Superhero Movie (2008), 70.1 Black Christmas (2006), 68.6 Pulse (2006), 66.9 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 64.9 Scary Movie 4 (2006), 61.8 Cursed (2005), 58.9 Apollo 18 (2011)

BMT: Scary Movie V (2013), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994), Halloween II (2009), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), My Boss’s Daughter (2003), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Dracula 2000 (2000), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998), Phantoms (1998), Texas Rangers (2001), Halloween (2007), Mindhunters (2004)

Best Options (Horror): 70.6 Halloween II (2009), 70.1 Black Christmas (2006), 68.6 Pulse (2006), 61.8 Cursed (2005), 58.9 Apollo 18 (2011), 58.6 Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992), 56.9 They (2002), 45.9 Darkness (2002), 36.9 The Amityville Horror (2005), 33.6 Halloween (2007)

(Boom. Best option gets got even while pursuing the complete watch of all Halloween films. There is actually one more left because at the moment Halloween Kills barely qualifies. And good to see us hitting some of the late-00s Dimension films.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: William Forsythe is No. 8 billed in Halloween and No. 5 billed in 88 Minutes, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (8 + 5) + (3 + 1) = 17. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – William Forsythe actually injured his leg prior to shooting, which is why his leg is in a cast in the film. In the script, the character only had an arm brace, but Forsythe’s leg injury was also worked into the film.

The inclusion of the plotline about Michael Myers’ early days at the mental asylum under the care of Sam Loomis is a nod to a plotline added in by John Carpenter for the television viewing of the original Halloween (1978). As told by Carpenter, when the original film was first sold to television, they demanded added scenes to replace the edited portions of the murder scenes. So Carpenter recalled Donald Pleasence, the original Sam Loomis to film scenes of him at the hospital taking care of Michael.

Before reinventing the legendary Halloween (1978), Rob Zombie made the wise choice to inform John Carpenter about it. In response, Carpenter encouraged Zombie to “make it [his] own”. 

Before deciding to go with Rob Zombie’s version, the studio was about to green light “Halloween: The Missing Years”, which would have been a prequel, set within Michael Myers’ early days at the asylum.

In an interview, Rob Zombie said he went into the meeting with the Weinsteins with two films in mind: one being strictly just Myers and his childhood, then the remake. They shot the idea down, which is why in the remake that the first half of the film focuses on Myers’s childhood.

The movie was not released in the United States on Halloween weekend, as was the original, for fear of going head to head with Saw IV (2007). It was instead released two months earlier on the last weekend in August 2007.

Rob Zombie revealed making Halloween with the Weinstein’s was “a miserable experience for me, and so I was very reticent to do the second one. I did do the second one, and I thought, ‘Okay, well the first one was a miserable experience, but it did well, so maybe it’ll be easier the second time?’ It was worse. Oh my God. I felt like they weren’t trusting me on the first one because they wanted to make sure it was a hit and now they weren’t trusting me not to f*** up their hit.” Detailing why the experience was not one the creator looks back on favorably, he said: “They would show me scenes from Halloween to try and make a point and I’d be like, ‘Yeah, I know. I made that movie. Why do you show me that like I’ve never seen it before?'”

At 121 minutes, this is the longest Halloween film to date.

Danielle Harris was 29 years old when she was cast as the teenage Annie Brackett. The movie was released nearly three months after her 30th birthday.

First movie where Michael Myers talks. In the eight movies of the original franchise (1978-2002) he doesn’t say a word.

At one point, Dimension Studios considered making a crossover film featuring Pinhead from the Hellraiser (1987) series (which was owned by Miramax at the time), following in the footsteps of Newline Cinema’s horror crossover Freddy vs. Jason (2003). A poll was held on the official site, but response from fans was negative and the studio dropped the concept.

Heather Bowen was a finalist for a walk-on role through a contest on the official “Halloween” Website. She won overall through a lottery-style drawing by Moustapha Akkad at the Haddonfield 25 Fan Convention.

Brad Dourif (Sheriff Lee Bracket), was previously in another horror franchise from the 80’s/ 90’s as the voice of Chucky in the Child’s Play movies.

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers Recap

Jamie

Oooooooo, baby. Now we’re starting to cook with fire. Remember when Michael was shot with a machine gun, fell down a well, and was blown up by dynamite? Forget all that. Instead you’ll be treated to a real funny scene where they show him crawling away just before the dynamite goes off so that he can float down river and find his way to a homeless man who, no joke, takes care of him for an entire year! An entire year where Michael is apparently comatose! Who the hell is this dude who lives down by the Haddonfield River (I assume) taking care of random people in comas?! Give me his origin story. This is the level of film we are dealing with here. Not only do they feel the need to show and tell the audience exactly how Michael could have survived the end of the last movie, but they do it like they are aliens that have never encountered human beings and/or normal film narrative. Following Michael’s return for revenge we obviously also get the return (and revenge?) of Loomis and he’s actually disturbingly insane at this point. The rest of the film is psychic connections, The Cult of Thorn, and The Man in Black and at this point I’m sure you’re totally confused. Actually watching the film doesn’t help much. The film is just 90% teeny-boppers getting murdered while dressed up sexy for Halloween and 10% unexplained supernatural nonsense. We end with a cliffhanger where Michael and Jamie are captured from jail by The Man in Black and it really feels like the people making the film were just saying “We dare you. We dare you to try to explain away this shit.” And they were right. The next entry is forced to lean into the real dumb stuff done in this one.

Really the film is building an incredible amount of lore in the most confusing and vague way possible. I appreciate it in the sense that I love dumb lore. I love franchises where a random person can come in and be like “I’m putting my stamp on this,” and no matter how stupid everything is, fans of the franchise have to try to explain all of it. And to think, for six years fans had to try to explain this movie with only the vague hints from this one as guidance. Would love to see what kind of theories came about in that time. The funniest part of all this is that I legit think this might be the second scariest of the films in the first six entries. There are a lot of creepy scenes with Michael skulking about a house without people knowing. He’ll creep silently out of a closet and disappear only to jump out for the kill later. Then they totally submarine it all with the lore. They can’t help it. Gotta make your mark on the series. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers? More like Even More Contrived: The Film’s Plot is Still Dire … yeah turns out there isn’t much to rhyme with these titles. Loomis is back, jack! And he’s ready to disappear for 30-40 minutes until he saves the day juuuuuuuuust at the end of the film. Let’s go!

  • Yeah, well this one is totally better than the other ones because in those Loomis disappeared for about 30 minutes showing up moments before Michael kills the hero. In this one he does that twice! Take that, all the other Halloween films!
  • Man a mysterious Man in Black? A mysterious Thorn symbol on Michael’s wrist? Can’t wait to learn what that is all about … Oh wait, you never do. Just whole elements left for a sequel which didn’t ultimately happen for six years. Imagine if they never made Halloween 6? Oh to live in such a beautiful world.
  • Full blown mystical psychic connections? Ahhhhh, finally, Halloween is catching up with what Friday the 13th was putting down for years in that bonkers series.
  • All that being said: the film at times is a decent cheesy slasher. I’m thinking of the barn scene. Which incidentally is also the scene which seemed most similar to Friday the 13th.
  • These two Halloween films are so weird. If the notes are to be believed there were half-decent scripts being developed, but then the directors just threw them in the trash in favor of gore and franchise horror tropes. And then all of the stuff from the other scripts ended up being peppered into the next five films.
  • Once again a solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for Haddonfield, IL. And an A+ Holiday Film (When?) for Halloween. This might actually be the Worst Twist (Why?) ever for the inexplicable non-twist of actually telling us anything about Thorn and the Man in Black!
  • This is a BMT film through and through, or at least required viewing for Halloween 6.

Once again, it feels like there isn’t a whole lot to say about Halloween 4 and 5. They are an odd turn in the franchise where Carpenter was half-pushed out of the production and people who seemingly didn’t care much for the established lore (or even really the fundamental idea of the franchise) took over. And it is why against all odds, it is the worst franchise of the big three … although I haven’t seen Resurrection. There is an outside shot that saves it to some degree since it looks truly b-b-b-b-b-b-bonkers.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers Quiz

Oh man. So last year my uncle tried to kill me. This year, I totes have a real bad psychic connection with him! Naturally this results in me “losing time” and I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) One year later Michael awakens, the psychic connection between him and Jamie in full force. Where was Michael for the year he was missing?

2) We also see a symbol on Michael’s wrist, and we see glimpses of a mysterious Man in Black. What symbol, what does it mean, and who is the Man in Black?

3) Throughout the film we see the psychic connection at work. What does she psychically witness via the connection?

4) The climax of the film occurs at the farm where all of the teenagers are having a party. Lucky for Tina, Jamie shows up to distract Miachel. Ultimately how does Jamie escape?

5) What is the ultimate plan to kill Michael?

Bonus Question: You thought we left it on a cliffhanger? Then you must not have seen the mid-credits scene where they showed just where the Man in Black took Michael. Where?

Answers

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers Preview

Mud splashes in Young Jamie’s face and Jamie and Patrick fist bump and laugh as they watch the dirt mingle with his tears. The youngsters hopped on their own motorbikes in an attempt to battle their older counterparts’ sick moves. Alas, without the years of professional dance under their belts they couldn’t keep up. “Who… who are you guys?” asks Young Patrick, sniffling sadly at his own lack of motorbike skillz. Patrick throws up his hands. The youngsters shouldn’t worry about who they are. “The short and sweet of it is that we are who you could become if you learn the three R’s: reading, writing, and total radness.” Boom. A look of wonder and self-reflection cross the faces of the younger versions of themselves. They predator high five and vow to read, write, and be super rad by being kind and inclusive to others. Boy, that was easy. Jamie and Patrick nod at each other and prepare to head back to the time machine. They were certain this would take at least eight or nine short adventures to achieve their goal. “Hey wait,” the youngsters say, “Aren’t you going to stick around for dinner?” Patrick is about to explain that they don’t make it a habit to dine with children because they are adults and kids are boring when Young Jamie chimes in, “Yeah, and then afterwards is trick-or-treating!” Jamie and Patrick look at each other in shock, a shared feeling about this moment flooding back to them. They may have turned their lives around with their rad tricks and sage advice, but something about Young Jamie’s words make them think they have one more thing left to do. Halloween, late 90’s, tricks and/or treats… something monstrous is on the horizon. That’s right! We’re heading on through another horror franchise and boooooyyyyy howdy do I love franchises. Halloween might be the most critically disappointing of the major franchises. Started at the highest of highs and then really tanked starting with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. And that’s where we start and pick up a bonus in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. Both under 90 minutes. Let’s go!

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) – BMeTric: 60.3; Notability: 26

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 1.2%; Notability: top 17.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 6.7%; Higher BMeT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child; Higher Notability: Tango & Cash, Troop Beverly Hills, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Fletch Lives, Harlem Nights, Leviathan, Pink Cadillac, Family Business, Lock Up, Millennium, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, Three Fugitives, Dead Bang, Renegades, Let It Ride, Slaves of New York, The Karate Kid Part III, Who’s Harry Crumb?, and 24 more; Lower RT: Dream a Little Dream, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects, The Horror Show, The Toxic Avenger Part II, Stepfather II: Make Room for Daddy, Night Game, Wired, Wild Orchid, DeepStar Six, No Holds Barred, Rooftops, She’s Out of Control, Winter People, Millennium, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Notes: Huh … now that I look at both of these plots together, both of the ratings tick down at the same time. Much have been a purge of fake / suspicious votes or something. Maybe some misguided marketing attempt for the new film? Maybe a backlash to the new film? Maybe robots running wild? Who knows. This rating is more like it though, we’ve seen all of the other higher BMeT films as well.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Slightly more plot than before but still just a sequential slaughter of teenagers as Michael Myers (Shanks) again sets out to kill his young niece (Harris). Routine and plodding, with too many endings and unnecessary setup for a sequel.

(Interesting. There is a sequel. But from what I remember the sequel is barely connected to this film. Doesn’t it jump forward a bunch of years to the child of the kid in this one? I honestly can’t remember the setup now that I think about it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j37xXYWN7rc/

(Hate the beginning with the “help me, help me.” Also they weren’t ready, and he’s not unmasked. What a bizarre ad campaign!)

DirectorsDominique Othenin-Girard – ( Known For: Beyond Desire; After Darkness; BMT: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: From Switzerland. Evidently attempted to make a transition to Hollywood in the late-80s, but is more well known on the European indie scene.)

WritersJohn Carpenter – ( Known For: Halloween Kills; They Live; Halloween; Escape from New York; Halloween; The Fog; Escape from L.A.; Prince of Darkness; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Assault on Precinct 13; Assault on Precinct 13; Eyes of Laura Mars; Dark Star; Black Moon Rising; Future BMT: Halloween; Lockout; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween: Resurrection; BMT: Halloween II; Ghosts of Mars; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; The Fog; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Still kicking around Hollywood, although he hasn’t actually written a film since 2001’s Ghosts of Mars. He likes to make his own synth-heavy soundtracks.)

Debra Hill – ( Known For: Halloween Kills; Halloween; Halloween; The Fog; Escape from L.A.; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Future BMT: Halloween; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween: Resurrection; BMT: Halloween II; The Fog; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Died in 2005, she was well known as the frequent collaborator and producer with John Carpenter on his most well known films.)

Michael Jacobs – ( Known For: Certain Fury; BMT: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Hasn’t written anything since the late-80s … that is until the upcoming documentary about the surveillance state in the United States? Yeah, that’s in post-production.)

Dominique Othenin-Girard – ( Known For: After Darkness; BMT: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Was educated in London and has directed across the globe, although most well known for his work in Switzerland.)

Shem Bitterman – ( Known For: The Job; Out of the Rain; BMT: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Trained as an actor, he also produces plays which appears to be what he is most famous for.)

ActorsDonald Pleasence – ( Known For: The Eagle Has Landed; The Great Escape; Halloween; Escape from New York; You Only Live Twice; The Greatest Story Ever Told; Phenomena; THX 1138; Fantastic Voyage; Prince of Darkness; Soldier Blue; Escape to Witch Mountain; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; Wake in Fright; The Last Tycoon; Dracula; Alone in the Dark; Malachi’s Cove; The Hallelujah Trail; Watch Out, We’re Mad; Future BMT: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; BMT: Halloween II; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Started acting in the 50s, oddly in television films. Obviously became most well known for his role as Dr. Loomis in the Halloween films.)

Danielle Harris – ( Known For: Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood; Free Willy; The Last Boy Scout; City Slickers; The Town That Dreaded Sundown; Stake Land; Hatchet II; See No Evil 2; Victor Crowley; Hatchet III; The Wild Thornberrys; The Victim; Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet; Camp Cold Brook; Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2; Shiver; Havenhurst; Poor White Trash; Super Capers: The Origins of Ed and the Missing Bullion; Left for Dead; Future BMT: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead; Halloween; Marked for Death; Halloween II; Rugrats Go Wild; BMT: Urban Legend; Daylight; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Still working, including in shows like Creepshow true to her horror past.)

Ellie Cornell – ( Known For: Married to the Mob; The Specials; Room 6; Free Enterprise; All Souls Day: Dia de los Muertos; The Thirst; Future BMT: House of the Dead; BMT: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Notes: Was supposed to be in A League of Their Own but had to drop out when she became pregnant.)

Budget/Gross – $5,000,000 / Domestic: $11,642,254 (Worldwide: $11,642,254)

(Just going down and down and down. It isn’t a surprise they scrapped whatever plans they originally had for the sequel and only finally made it six years later. What a disastrous franchise performance.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 12% (3/25): Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers finds the series embracing crude slasher conventions with pedestrian scares, disposable characters, and aimless plotting.

(Spoiler alert: it always did. That was the issue. The issue was they created the best original film of the bunch and then had nowhere to go but the unstoppable killer / horrible lore route. Even the second one was a pretty nonsensical rehash of the original’s ideas.)

Reviewer Highlight: A prime example of the principle of diminishing reruns. – Richard Harrington, Washington Post

Poster – Sklogoween 5: The Revenge of Slithers the Friendly Snake

(I like this one a little better than #4. It’s a little more artistic with the knife and the girl and thankfully they made the mask a little smaller instead of weirdly huge. Still not great. C)

Tagline(s) – Michael Lives, And This Time They’re Ready! (C+)

(Yeah, OK. I can get with this one at least. This time they’re ready… sure… I mean, it’s not true, but there’s no law against a tagline being wrong, right? RIGHT?! THAT’S NOT A LAW, RIGHT?!)

Keyword(s) – killing-spree

Top 10: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), Antlers (2021), The Dark Knight (2008), Scream (1996), Malignant (2021), Deadpool 2 (2018), Goodfellas (1990), Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019), The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Future BMT: 64.7 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 62.7 The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007), 61.0 When a Stranger Calls (2006), 54.4 Eye of the Beholder (1999), 45.9 Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003), 41.5 Hell Fest (2018), 41.1 The Purge (2013), 40.5 Hollow Man (2000), 40.2 The Forsaken (2001), 39.9 Ghost in the Machine (1993)

BMT: London Has Fallen (2016), Conan the Barbarian (2011), House of Wax (2005), Queen of the Damned (2002), Red Riding Hood (2011), The Lawnmower Man (1992), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Species II (1998), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Dracula 2000 (2000), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)

Matches: Halloween (2018), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Idle Hands (1999), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), Christmas Evil (1980), Silent Rage (1982), Meeting Evil (2012), Who’s Watching Oliver (2017), Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Part 2 (1996), Dahmer vs. Gacy (2010), Heavy Mental: A Rock-n-Roll Blood Bath (2009)

(I should have just done Halloween again. Let’s see though, When a Stranger Calls is definitely one of those films we should have watched six years ago and still haven’t. Same goes for Hollow Man, which is a real weird film.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Donald Pleasence is No. 1 billed in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers and No. 2 billed in Halloween II, which also stars Jamie Lee Curtis (No. 1 billed) who is in Christmas with the Kranks (No. 2 billed) which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 2) + (1 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (6 + 1) = 15. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – After filming for two weeks, Donald Pleasence gave his much bigger trailer to Danielle Harris once he left set. Harris’s mother had been complaining about the small size of her daughter’s trailer and Pleasence decided that she should have his.

Despite the subtitle “The Revenge of Michael Myers” which appears on all movie covers and posters, it does not appear in the actual film. It only says “Halloween 5” in the opening credits.

Lowest grossing film in the entire series.

Don Shanks was originally set to wear the same mask that George P. Wilbur had worn in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) in order to retain consistency between the movies. The mask did not fit Shanks, so a new one was made.

KNB Effects had designed grotesque facial makeup for Michael Myers’ unmasking toward the end of the film. The producers told them to do so as an option, either showing Michael’s badly scarred face or keep it in the dark. They went for the latter.

The old hermit from the opening scene was originally scripted as a younger man named “Dr. Death” who had a fascination with the occult. His shack was supposed to be filled with ancient runes and tablets, and he attempted to bring Michael back to life after finding him. This scene was filmed, and can be seen in Inside ‘Halloween 5’ (2000).

The film’s first screenplay, which was written by Shem Bitterman, featured Jamie Lloyd and Michael Myers as dual antagonists, with a now-teenage Jamie going on a killing spree of her own, Myers attempting to kill her because she was unwittingly interfering with his own spree, and Rachel being caught in the middle. Executive producer Moustapha Akkad disliked the screenplay, feeling it felt more like a parody of the Halloween series than an actual entry in it, and also because he had already promised Danielle Harris that she would be allowed to return as Jamie, and did not think that the 12-year-old Harris would be credible as a serial killer. As a result, the screenplay was rewritten essentially from scratch by Michael Jacobs and director Dominique Othenin-Girard, though Bitterman remained credited for contractual reasons.

Donald Pleasence was very vocal about his dissatisfaction with the story and with the way director Dominique Othenin – Girard was trying to get him to play Dr Loomis as totally heavy and overbearing. Pleasence also felt that the success and the shock ending of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) was not being capitalized on.

In the script, Rachel had Tina’s role, and Tina had Rachel’s, with a vast change in character for Rachel. Also the script had a scene in the Myers’ house that had The Shape fall through the floor into a cage in the basement, and the end had Michael escaping with Sheriff Meeker finding an empty cell, and other drafts had Meeker dying.

Footage was added to the beginning of the movie (from that previously used near the ending of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers) to show that Michael had actually fallen down a nearby mineshaft rather than just being “swallowed by the ground.”

The film had been fighting an X rating with the violence, blood, and gore. Some scenes were trimmed down to keep it rated R, including a shot of Mike quivering on the ground after Michael stabs him in the head with a hand rake, a shot of glass embedded in Officer Eddy’s face after Michael punches through the windshield, and Billy’s leg being hit by the Camaro, the scythe that kills Samantha was originally supposed to go through her forehead.

Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach Recap

Jamie

Police Academy’s back, Jack! And boy are they ready for some fun in the sun. When Cmdt. Lassard is the honored guest at the big Miami police convention, the gang is invited along. But when they inadvertently get in the way of some diamond smugglers, things get hairy. Can they stop the burglars before it’s too late? Find out in… Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach.

How?! I think I just kinda summarized it. Cmdt. Lassard is wildly popular at this point, thanks to the success of his academy and his adoring pupils. But Capt. Harris (boooo) finds a law on the books that suggests Lassard is past the age for required retirement (double booo). But no before he gets honored with the Police Officer of the Decade (yay). He insists that his best officers come along (minus the Gutes) and so they are ready to live it up in Miami Beach. Hijinks ensue as Lassard inadvertently picks up a bag of stolen diamonds from a gang of burglars. Uh oh! Arriving in Miami they meet Nick, Lassard’s nephew and a definite Gutes type character, and partake in all kinds of beach/police convention fun. Oh and Harris totally embarrassing himself like a bozo, naturally. Anyway, the jewel thieves try all kinds of ways to get the diamonds back, but with their necks on the line they eventually resort to kidnapping Lassard, who mistakes it as the annual police procedure demonstration. Lassard totally charms the thieves, who start to regret their kidnapping ways, and even helps them acquire a helicopter to get them to the everglades where they are meant to hand off the diamonds. Fortunately our gang is there and they jump on some fan boats and totally take out all the baddies. Due to his heroics Lassard is allowed to stay on as Commandant and Hightower is promoted. THE END.

Why?! The films certainly fluctuate between entries that are more like regular films (having some gang the police must take out or something like that) and then those that are more just things happening around the academy. This is certainly the latter. This mostly involves the impending retirement of Lassard and everyone celebrating him in Miami. The diamond plot is really tangential to all this, but creates enough drama to give us the classic chase/fight climax we know and love from Police Academy.

Who?! The Producer of the film makes a few uncredited appearances in the film. Here he shows up as a homeless man. IMDb also lists Jerry O’Connell as having appeared as a kid on the beach… not sure I believe that. That feels very much like someone saw a kid that looked like Jerry O’Connell in the beach scene and added him to IMDb.

What?! I would dare to say that this is likely the best MacGuffin of the series in the stolen diamonds. I wonder if there is a reverse correlation between strength of plot and strength of MacGuffin. This really, really needed that MacGuffin to get the tissue paper thin plot from Point A to Point Miami Beach.

Where?! This whole series has been a disaster in terms of settings since they have always purposefully set it in an anonymous US city. Not so fast, says Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach. May as well call it Assignment A+ Setting Alert cause that’s what we got on our hands.

When?! Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. Who knows when any of these things are set. I guess I could see when the national police convention is… oh, now I guess. Like literally starting as I type this. That’s a weird coincidence. So there you have it. This is set in early September. Nailed it. F.

This is probably the closest the series came to dropping the pretense of plot in favor of people tripping over golf balls and Capt. Harris being lit on fire and stuff. If this was the first in the series I probably would have been like “WTF, mate? Put more shrimp on the barbie,” but this represents exactly why I like watching franchises so much. You get so deep into Police Academy that you just let it wash over you and wait for Winslow to pull out his problematic kung fu impression for the third straight movie. They clearly got to the point where they had so many characters and repeat gags that they could pretty much craft an entire film from just that. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it BMT? I’m not sure what it is really… it just exists. It’s kind of crazy that it does. Patrick?  

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The whole gang is back. We’ve got Tackleberry! We’ve got Hightower! We’ve got … wait … uh oh, where’s Mahoney? Uh, this ain’t good. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I don’t think I realized until we got to these last three films in the series just how much cred the series as a whole has. These last three films all have a BMeTric over 70. They all have a 0% Rotten Tomatoes score. And they all got BOMBs from Leonard Maltin. That is mind-bending. What it must have been like to actually experience the six straight years of Police Academy films coming out … it must have been like some sick joke. What were my expectations? I think for the fifth one I expected it to be Police Academy in Miami and thus have a ton of bad Miami jokes and not much else. These films really aren’t that complicated.

The Good – Huh, maybe some bits of the ending where Lassard thinks the whole thing is just a simulation and so he’s getting along with the mafia guys? That was faintly amusing. The few times where you could see Lassard physically press down on a fake golf club to deploy a dumb golf ball goof. Wait … do I just like Commandant Lassard? Best Bit: Commandant Lassard I guess, it is kind of the only amusing thing in the film.

The Bad – I mean … is this a movie? I swear to god there was a 30 minute stretch in the middle of the film where they just roll out the greatest hits of Police Academy’s past but in Miami. I affectionately refer to this as: Hightower smashes, Hicks yells, Tackleberry shoots, and Jones does a racist impression of a Japanese person. Usually there would also be a “Mahoney sexually assaults”, but he wasn’t in this film, that part was instead given to the new character Nick Lassard (and assaults he does!). Anyways, the film basically doesn’t have a plot. I can describe it in a sentence: Lassard is retiring and so is given an award in Miami where he accidentally steals a diamond from the mafia, nonsense ensues. Fatal Flaw: Written on a napkin during the Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol premiere afterparty.

The BMT – At a point while contemplating the Police Academy franchise I transcended the plane of existence and saw it all. It must be the quintessential bad comedy franchise. Even the progression is cliche: (1) Initial blockbuster, (2) on the streetz, (3) back to the academy, (4) new blood, (5) different city, (6)???, (7) foreign country. Only six is an anomaly, but we’ll get to that in that recap. There is something very pure about the fact that they released the first six films in six years. That will never ever be replicated again. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah. In a way it exceeded them, because watching a few in a short period of time really allows you to see just how odd the whole endeavor was.

Roast-radamus – Obviously a great A+ Setting (Where?) for Miami, which snuck into the title. And a really solid MacGuffin (Why?) for the stolen diamonds that Lassard accidentally gets ahold of and the bad guys chase throughout the film. Definitely closest to BMT, you can’t deny the franchise is so bizarre as to be amusing.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Uh oh … how do you do a sequel or prequel to a franchise with seven entries. I guess here I’ll think through the Remake since the eighth film only makes sense within the context of reviewing the sixth and seventh. I have to imagine you could remake Police Academy by making it like 21 Jump Street … actually, that’s the answer right? You make it the third 21 Jump Street film! Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, and Ice Cube are put in charge of the Police Academy in their city because they think there is a drug ring operating out of it. Unfortunately, since Hill and Tatum are now famous cops in the Jump Street crew, they can’t go undercover, but instead are installed as teachers. Inside, a rag tag set of recruits tagged as “unacceptable” (Jones, Hicks, Hightower, and Mahoney) are their eyes and ears on the ground. All the while they are fighting the nefarious Lieutenant Harris who is trying to oust an increasingly annoyed Ice Cube (who is undercover as Commandant Lassard, the head of the Police Academy). I dare say? Does it work? 23 Jump Street: Police Academy. I think “fans” of the franchise would be angry, but that is maybe the best option for an actual Police Academy “remake” possible.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach Quiz

Oh man, so I was supposed to go to Miami for an award ceremony for my best friend / commandant, and wouldn’t you know it? I bumped into a mafiosi and got bopped right on the head! Now I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film Commandant Lassard is going to be forced to retire. Why?

2) Smash cut to Miami! And some bad dude robbers and … well they’re robbing! A museum specifically. What do they steal, and how do they later lose their bounty?

3) Time for some real trivia. We see the police officers participate in three sports while chilling in Miami Beach. What are they?

4) Remember the bag switcheroo? Well the diamonds aren’t just sitting out in the open. They are hidden somehow within the bag as well. How are they hidden?

5) What is the bad guy’s plan to get away, and why do the recruits decide to rescue Lassard in the end?

Bonus Question: Where do they say Mahoney was during all of this?

Answers

Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach Preview

Having jacked in to hack jack port, Patrick swims through cyberspace like a beautiful otter. “Have you done this before?” asks Kyle, struggling to figure out the physics of this strange new world. “Yeah,” starts Patrick, remembering back to Rich and Po3: Dark Web 3D, “kinda… when Jamie and I were Rich and Poe,” he continues but stops and shrugs. It’s all pretty confusing at this point. Their task, on the other hand, should be pretty simple, just find the trash folder (probably) and hack the planet and get Kyle’s website approved as an official reviewer. But as they look around they suddenly hear a booming voice, “Bad Movie Twin, where is your stupider half? Or are you the stupid one, I always forget.” A bead of sweat forms on Patrick’s forehead. I can’t be. “What is it?” asks Kyle, eyes wide. “Gruber,” Patrick says in a whisper as Gruber’s laughter begins to echo through cyberspace. Patrick clenches his eyes closed. “It can’t be. He’s not real. He was never real.” He lets out a bellow and when he opens his eyes he finds himself in a police station. On his chest is a name tag, “Rich.” Kyle is pale with fear and jumps when a man angrily screams for Rich and Gruber to get the hell in his office. Kyle holds up his own name tag, “Gruber,” and Patrick’s mouth runs dry. “It’s just a simulation, playing on my fears” he reassures Kyle (but mostly himself), “we just have to break the mainframe and everything will be OK.” When they get to his office, the Captain throws a couple of pieces of paper at them. Airline tickets… to Party Town, USA? The captain scowls, “The city’s under siege… and the Vice President has been taken hostage.” That’s right! We are doing double duty this week by watching not one, but three Police Academy films! We are officially finishing the series with Police Academy’s 5, 6, and 7, all three of which got a BOMB rating from Leonard and the last of which (Mission to Moscow) failed to make it to a wide theatrical release. It is perfection for the Bring a Friend entry in the cycle. Let’s go!

Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988) – BMeTric: 72.5; Notability: 38

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.8%; Notability: top 6.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0%; Higher BMeT: Mac and Me, Caddyshack II; Higher Notability: Action Jackson, Sunset, High Spirits, Big Top Pee-wee, Caddyshack II, My Stepmother Is an Alien, Moving, Cocoon: The Return, The Couch Trip, Vibes, License to Drive, Arthur 2: On the Rocks, Hot to Trot, Cocktail, Mac and Me, The Seventh Sign; Notes: The cred on these films are off the hook and only get better and better as the series goes along. We’ve seen the top three BMeTric for 1988. BMeTrics of 70+ are incredibly rare. There are only 184 out of over 2000 qualified films, so less than 10%. Amazingly we’ve seen around 65% of those so far. We legitimately could finish those off in like five years, twelve a year (two a cycle) … easy.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Gaynes is in Miami to receive an award before his mandatory retirement; arch-rival Bailey comes along to gum up the works. Fourth attempt to improve on imperfection is no charm; what can you say about a sequel that Steve Guttenberg won’t even appear in.

(Hey hey hey … Guttenberg for some reason claims he regrets that. I don’t really see why. Also two semi-colons? You know me well Leonard.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKEspwO4vHA/

(Wow, this is quite the 80s comedy spot. Wow they put the fart joke directly into the trailer … I guess you have the lead with your funniest joke (ba-dum-ch). The trailer is just “these zany character you love are doing all the same things you love but in Miami.” I mean … fair.)

DirectorsAlan Myerson – (Known For: Private Lessons; Steelyard Blues; BMT: Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Notes: Scottish. Was a huuuuuge television director throughout the 90s. Ended up getting nominated for an Emmy for directing the Larry Sanders Show.)

WritersNeal Israel – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Moving Violations; Americathon; Tunnel Vision; Future BMT: Look Who’s Talking Too; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Just has a character credit here. Was a big director as well, directing such classics as Surf Ninjas.)

Pat Proft – (Known For: Real Genius; The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!; Hot Shots!; Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult; Bachelor Party; Hot Shots! Part Deux; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Moving Violations; Brain Donors; Lucky Stiff; Future BMT: Scary Movie 3; Scary Movie 4; Wrongfully Accused; Mr. Magoo; High School High; BMT: Police Academy; Scary Movie 5; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Was nominated for an Emmy for the variety special Van Dyke and Company. He worked a ton with the Scary Movie guys (including the last three movies in that series).)

Stephen Curwick – (BMT: Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Claims that he wrote a video game called Bad TV in the 2010s, but it is hard to search for due to the name.)

David Sheffield and Barry W. Blaustein – (Known For: Coming 2 America; Coming to America; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Nutty Professor; Boomerang; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; The Honeymooners; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Notes: Only wrote the second. I guess the series is interesting since they added characters throughout and so a ton of people get “character” credits.)

Gene Quintano – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Sudden Death; Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold; Making the Grade; Funky Monkey; Comin’ at Ya!; El tesoro de las cuatro coronas; Future BMT: Loaded Weapon 1; King Solomon’s Mines; Operation Dumbo Drop; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; The Musketeer; Notes: Here’s the main guy for the third and fourth films. He directed Loaded Weapon 1.)

ActorsBubba Smith – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Black Moon Rising; The Silence of the Hams; The Naked Truth; Full Clip; Down ‘n Dirty; The Wild Pair; Future BMT: Stroker Ace; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Played in the NFL prior to his acting career. He believed that Superbowl III was rigged.)

David Graf – (Known For: The Brady Bunch Movie; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Guarding Tess; Irreconcilable Differences; Fist of Legend; Citizen Ruth; Georgia’s Friends; Suture; Love at Stake; The Enforcer; American Kickboxer 2; Future BMT: Rules of Engagement; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: In interviews he talked about how he was struggling financially when he got the part in the first film, and so he never refused to appear in any of the subsequent films.)

Michael Winslow – (Known For: Spaceballs; Gremlins; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Nice Dreams; Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie; Grandview, U.S.A.; The Great Buck Howard; Killing Hasselhoff; Starchaser: The Legend of Orin; Tag: The Assassination Game; Alphabet City; Think Big; The Trumpet of the Swan; Lovelines; Gingerclown; Robodoc; Far Out Man; Going Under; Lenny the Wonder Dog; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Still performs standup and has a multitude of apps which emit Winslow-produced sound effects.)

Budget/Gross – $14 million / Domestic: $19,510,371 (Worldwide: $19,510,371)

(This isn’t so bad. I could definitely see why they thought they just needed to being it back to “nameless city” and allow the gang to hit the streetz again to get the money rolling in … they were wrong, but I could see why they may have thought that.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/8)

(Consensus time: The usual, except now it reeks of desperation, resorting to fart jokes with a neon-pink Miami background.)

Reviewer Highlight: Miami field trip only brings a pastel backdrop to the insipid infighting of the boobs in blue. – Variety Staff

Poster – Cop School: Destination: Tokyo

(Still got it, baby! This style of poster never really went out of style. Look at the details. It’s really a work of art. Makes me want to find out who drew it. In some respects it doesn’t totally work as a poster (color scheme, all the white space), but it’s hard for me not to like it. B.)

Tagline(s) – Hold everything! The cadets are dropping in on Miami Beach for an all new adventure. (F)

(No.)

Keyword(s) – police-academy

Top 10: The Departed (2006), 21 Jump Street (2012), Police Academy (1984), The Snowman (2017), CHIPS (2017), Judge Dredd (1995), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Ride Along (2014), Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), Empire State (2013)

Future BMT: 45.1 National Security (2003), 27.0 Kuffs (1992)

BMT: Police Academy (1984), The Snowman (2017), CHIPS (2017), Judge Dredd (1995), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Ride Along (2014), Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985), Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988), Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989)

Matches: Police Academy (1984), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988), Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994)

(I’ve changed this plot up, and I think it is a lot cooler. The y-axis is the total notability for each year. Blue is all films, green is wide release films, red is qualifying films (with the filled in portion being films we’ve seen), and gold is the amount being filled in by the film this week (in this case both BMT films this week). “Matches” at the bottom are films with the keyword in the IMDb plotline, so it isn’t a surprise that we’ve now seen all “police academy” films. Fun that we’ve seen another legit film in CHIPS.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Bubba Smith is No. 1 billed in Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach and No. 2 billed in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, which also stars Sharon Stone (No. 4 billed) who is in The Specialist (No. 2 billed) which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in The Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed) which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 2) + (4 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 18. If we were to watch Surrender we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Steve Guttenberg turned down the lead role and gave a firm “no” to any other Police Academy sequels that might turn up (and they did). He turned them all down. Two decades later, he expressed in an interview that he regretted turning down the chance to star in the later sequels, and was among the main people trying to make another Police Academy movie.

When Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) was released, acerbic critic Rex Reed swore, “If they make another Police Academy movie, I’ll leave the business.” At the time, Paul Maslansky said, “Reed’s one of the reasons I’m making Police Academy 5. I expect him to be a man of his word.” To Maslansky’s disappointment, Reed was not.

Regarding his experience working on this film, Rene Auberjonois (Tony) stated, “Why I choose to do things is a mystery to me sometimes. I’ve done things that, on the face of it, you think, ‘why would anybody do Police Academy 5?’ I had to look at the role, and see if there’s a reason to do it. I did it because it was an opportunity to play a character that nobody else was ever going to let me play. I had a great time doing it, don’t regret it for a moment, and I’d do it again in a minute.”

Had Steve Guttenberg agreed to appear in the movie, his character Mahoney was to be promoted to Lieutenant at the end of the film. (Instead it was Hightower)

Bobcat Goldthwait did not reprise his role of Zed due to not being able to come to a financial agreement with the producers. Because of this, the filmmakers believed that there was no point in bringing back Sweetchuck without Zed, and so Tim Kazurinsky ended up not being involved either. Bobcat later said that he skipped this sequel because the script lost focus and his character “would never talk like that.”

The movie’s script and some promotional materials list Tony’s full name as Tony Stark. The surname was edited out of the film after Warner Brothers discovered that “Tony Stark” was a registered trademark owned by Marvel, for use in their Iron Man comics.

The book that Captain Harris is seen holding whilst “congratulating” Commandant Lassard on his mandatory retirement is a hardback copy of “3 Cheers for Me”, the first novel in the Bandy Papers series written by Donald Jack.

Janet Jones (Officer Kate) wed hockey player Wayne Gretzky four months after this movie’s release.

Michael Winslow (Jones), David Graf (Tackleberry), and George Gaynes (Commandant Lassard) are the only actors who appeared in all seven Police Academy movies. Winslow also had a regular role on Police Academy: The Series (1997).

Matt McCoy’s character of Commandant Eric Lassard’s nephew, Nick, marks the fourth member of the Lassard family to be in a Police Academy movie. Previously, we’ve seen Lassard’s wife in Police Academy (1984) and Lassard’s brother, Captain Pete Lassard in Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985).

Early drafts featured a canine character called Clancy, a Miami police dog.

At one point, David Spade’s Kyle Rumford character from Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) was being considered as a possible replacement for the departing Steve Guttenberg.