Jingle All the Way Preview

As night closes around then, Rich and Poe hearts pound in fear. That strange, portentous book has spooked them and they no longer know what horrors await. Suddenly they feel very tired and homesick and shiver sadly in the gloom. They tense up when they hear a rustling in the woods. “Hello,” they call, peering into the darkness hoping that it was just the wind. Suddenly a monstrous rat-bat comes flying out of the trees! Egad! The horror! Woe is Rich and Poe, champions of the universe, who will be done in by this ghastly beast. Nic Cage will die and the prophecy will go unfulfilled. But instead of slaying them with its talons, the rat-bat instead screams  “Kout!” in a goofy, friendly voice as it flies down and kills a bush viper ready to strike and kill them. “Pissah of a snake, this one, ayuh,” it says as it perches in a tree above, “You boys lost yah cah or something?” It goggles its big disgusting eyes at Rich and Poe and snacks on mouthfuls of snake before a look of recognition crosses its rat-bat face, “Well, I’ll be. So the squirrels were right. You them boys gonna save the nuts or whatevah. Wicked cool. But what’re you doing out here in bush viper country? You’re going the wrong way, ayuh.” At the rat-bats words Rich and Poe deflate. Nic’s life hangs in the balance. They ask politely if the rat-bat could carry them in his horrifying claws and fly them to Nic, but the rat-bat lifts up his talons, dripping with fresh blood, and laughs, “these fellahs’ll rip yah to shreds, ayuh. No… I think I have something a little bettah.” And with that he winks and lets out a shrill whistle. Suddenly they hear a jingle jangle. That’s right! As a celebration of the end of 2020 we are doing a special live BMT Christmas spectacular. We thought maybe a Rocky marathon at first, but we realized only one BMT Christmas film would do. It’s Ahnold time. Jingle Jangle All the Way here we come. Let’s go!   

Jingle All The Way (1996) – BMeTric: 47.0; Notability: 73 

(The IMDb rating is shockingly low early on. I would have thought it would be higher since it always feels like Jingle All the Way has some cult following among people who were 10 in 1996. The Notability is amazingly high! I love it.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.5 stars – “Jingle All the Way” was inspired, I suspect, by that panic a few years ago when stores ran out of Cabbage Patch dolls. As the movie opens, little Jamie Langston is watching the TurboMan show on TV, and of course he wants the TurboMan action figure for Christmas, complete with all its accessories. Jamie’s dad, Howard (Arnold Schwarzenegger), is a busy businessman, who says he has already purchased the toy–but lies. His adventures while trying to find a TurboMan provide the movie’s plot. …I liked a lot of the movie, which is genial and has a lot of energy, but I was sort of depressed by its relentlessly materialistic view of Christmas, and by the choice to go with action and (mild) violence over dialogue and plot. Audiences will like it, I am sure, but I have to raise my hand in reluctant dissent and ask, please, sir, may we have some more goodwill among men? Even TurboMen?

(Oh don’t worry Ebert, literally every single reviewer hated this film. So there is no need to bravely stand alone against Jingle All the Way and its materialistic message. It is possible that Ebert gave it the best review out of any major critic, 2.5 out of 4 stars is pretty solid.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuPc9QJcGJs/

(This actually looks really fun as a trailer. It is a very obvious idea that would have only really existed after Cabbage Patch Kids in the 80s, a truly modern Christmas message about how materialism has taken over the holiday. I’m sure they absolutely thought they had a shoe in Christmas classic on their hands.)

Directors – Brian Levant – (Future BMT: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; The Flintstones; Problem Child 2; Snow Dogs; The Spy Next Door; Beethoven; BMT: Are We There Yet?; Jingle All The Way; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for The Flintstones in 1995; and Nominee for Worst Director for Jingle All the Way in 1997; Notes: Has mostly been straight to video sequels for the last 10 years, but he has also been announced for the writer-director of the new Police Academy film.)

Writers – Randy Kornfield (written by) – (Known For: Eight Legged Freaks; BMT: Jingle All The Way; Notes: Apparently his grandfather worked in film back in the day. He seems like he probably is a staff writer of some kind for production studios, still writing, just not getting explicitly credited on screenplays.)

Actors – Arnold Schwarzenegger – (Known For: Terminator: Dark Fate; Total Recall; The Terminator; Terminator 2: Judgment Day; Predator; The Expendables; True Lies; Conan the Barbarian; The Expendables 2; Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; Commando; Kindergarten Cop; Twins; Escape Plan; The Running Man; Welcome to the Jungle; The Last Stand; The 6th Day; Dave; The Long Goodbye; Future BMT: Hercules in New York; Junior; Collateral Damage; End of Days; The Iron Mask; Cactus Jack; Eraser; Terminator Genisys; Last Action Hero; The Kid & I; BMT: Batman & Robin; Red Sonja; Jingle All The Way; Raw Deal; Sabotage; Around the World in 80 Days; Conan the Destroyer; The Expendables 3; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 1983 for Conan the Barbarian; in 1994 for Last Action Hero; in 2000 for End of Days; and in 2001 for The 6th Day; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 1998 for Batman & Robin; in 2001 for The 6th Day; in 2005 for Around the World in 80 Days; and in 2015 for The Expendables 3; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for The 6th Day in 2001; Notes: As with many old movies during quarantine, there was just a Kindergarten Cop reunion on Zoom, so that’s fun. He’s the father-in-law of Chris Pratt.)

Sinbad – (Known For: Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco; Crazy as Hell; Future BMT: Coneheads; First Kid; Planes; The Meteor Man; Good Burger; Hansel & Gretel; Houseguest; Necessary Roughness; BMT: Jingle All The Way; Notes: Apparently he suffered a stroke recently, sadly. Was in the Air Force prior to breaking into comedy, although he hasn’t really worked in film since the early 2000s.)

Phil Hartman – (Known For: Spaceballs; Pee-wee’s Big Adventure; Small Soldiers; So I Married an Axe Murderer; ¡Three Amigos!; Kiki’s Delivery Service; Amazon Women on the Moon; The Brave Little Toaster; Ruthless People; Quick Change; CB4; Future BMT: Coneheads; Sgt. Bilko; Jumpin’ Jack Flash; Blind Date; The Pagemaster; Loaded Weapon 1; Fletch Lives; Houseguest; Greedy; How I Got Into College; BMT: Jingle All The Way; Stuart Saves His Family; Notes: Sadly was murdered by his wife in 1998 who was troubled with drug abuse. Was famous for his impressions on SNL, his voices on The Simpsons, and his role on NewsRadio.)

Budget/Gross – $60,000,000 / Domestic: $60,592,389 (Worldwide: $129,832,389)

(Obviously not what they were expecting given the apparent budget. Kind of okay, would have come out as a wash at least over the years with the DVD sales and whatnot.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (7/46): Arnold Schwarzenegger tries his best, but Jingle All the Way suffers from an uneven tone, shifting wildly from a would-be satire on materialism to an antic, slapstick yuk-fest.

(Really low. And interesting how the consensus seems to see some sort of statement on materialism in parts of the film, whereas other critiques seem to focus on just how materialistic the whole film actually seems to be. Reviewer Highlight: You’ll need an awful lot of Christmas cheer to forgive Arnold Schwarzenegger for his fourth, and hopefully last, venture into comedy, a turkey that needs stuffing on the most inaccessible shelf of your local video store. – Neil Smith, BBC)

Poster – Pringles All the Way

(Gah! My eyes! Get that out of here and burn it before too many people see it. Just… not good. But not like The Avengers or anything. D-.)

Tagline(s) – Two Dads, One Toy, No Prisoners. (A-)

(Yes, yes, yes. This is what you want from a tagline. Give me the classic hits with my sweet pringles all the way twist. It’s almost so classic you are tempted to downgrade it for lack of originality. But I won’t.)

Keyword – christmas

Top 10: Home Alone (1990), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), Love Actually (2003), Elf (2003), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), The Santa Clause (1994), The Grinch (2018), Die Hard (1988), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Peppermint (2018)

Future BMT: 82.9 Home Alone 3 (1997), 75.9 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009), 73.7 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993), 69.1 The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006), 68.8 Black Christmas (2006), 68.5 Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015), 61.0 Legion (2010), 60.4 Maid in Manhattan (2002), 60.0 Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007), 59.8 Staying Alive (1983);

BMT: Jingle All The Way (1996), Christmas with the Kranks (2004), Santa Claus: The Movie (1985), Movie 43 (2013), Replicas (2018), Unaccompanied Minors (2006), Shaft (2019), Gangster Squad (2013), Soldier (1998), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009), A Madea Christmas (2013), Cobra (1986), Daylight (1996), RoboCop 3 (1993), Behind Enemy Lines (2001), Jack and Jill (2011), The Number 23 (2007), Jaws: The Revenge (1987), Get Carter (2000)

(Looks like that War on Christmas is working … I’m joking, but yeah, we really liked Christmas in the 2000s huh? Perhaps the completion of the “genre leaking” that Die Hard started where the keyword can be applied to any and all films since they all dare to be (ironically) Christmas movies? … Probably not.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Arnold Schwarzenegger is No. 1 billed in Jingle All The Way and No. 4 billed in Expendables 3, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 4 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 13. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Producer Chris Columbus wanted Joe Pesci to play Myron, but he was deemed too short at 5’3 next to Arnold Schwarzenegger who is 6’2. This was despite the fact that Schwarznegger had previously appeared in two films alongside the even-shorter Danny DeVito.

Sinbad improvised the majority of his lines. Arnold Schwarzenegger also improvised many of his responses in his conversations with him.

In March 2001, a U.S. District Court jury in Birmingham, Michigan ruled that 20th Century Fox stole the script idea “Jingle All the Way” from Detroit high school biology teacher Brian Webster. The studio was ordered to pay $19 million, later reduced to $1.5 million. Webster submitted the script, then named “Could This Be Christmas?”, to the studio in 1994, and never received payment nor credit despite the film making $129 million worldwide. 20th Century Fox appealed, and the verdict was reversed, since Webster’s script was submitted after the studio had already purchased a treatment (summary or outline) of what would become this movie’s script. (It is a really wild story. The wiki blurb about it either must be deceiving or wrong, because it says that the names of characters are the same … I don’t see how that could be the case without it being cut-and-dry plagiarism)

The story is based on the 1980s shopping frenzy over the Cabbage Patch dolls. However, it ended up perfectly mimicking the Tickle Me Elmo craze of Christmas 1996.

Verne Troyer has an uncredited role as the shortest Santa that gets punched while on Arnold Schwarzenegger in the warehouse.

Filming took place in Minnesota for five weeks from April 15, 1996. At the time, it was the largest film production to ever take place in the state.

You can buy official Turbo Man action figures on Ebay.

The world premiere was held on November 16, 1996 at the Mall of America in Bloomington where parts of the film were shot. A day of events was held to celebrate the film’s release and Arnold Schwarzenegger donated memorabilia from the film to the Mall’s Planet Hollywood.

Despite the Turbo Man being a fictional product created for the movie, the toy that Myron references in the diner that he did not get as a child (and later said to be the most popular boys’ toy aside from Turbo Man) is, in fact, a real toy. It is in real life called the Johnny Seven OMA gun (OMA meaning “one man army”), as it performed seven different functions. The Johnny Seven OMA gun was produced by Deluxe Reading under their Topper Toys toyline, and released in 1964, where it became the best selling boys’ toy of that year. The toy was marketed heavily on television, and the commercial went exactly as how Myron described it. The toy is no longer made, and has become a collector’s item.

The giant Santa in this film is WWE’s The Big Show.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was paid a reported $20 million for the role.

Although Arnold Schwarzenegger stated that the Minnesota locals were “well-behaved” and “cooperative”, director Brian Levant often found filming “impossible” due to the scale and noise of the crowds who came to watch production, especially in the Mall of America, but overall found the locals to be “respectful” and “lovely people”.

Chris Parnell’s first movie appearance.

As Arnold Schwarzenegger only signed on for the film in February and the film was shot so quickly, only six and a half months were available for merchandising, instead of the ideal year. As such, merchandising was limited to a thirteen and a half inch replica twenty-five dollar talking Turbo Man action figure and the west coast exclusive Turbo Man Time Racer vehicle, while no tie-in promotions could be secured. Despite this, several critics wrote that the film was only being made in order to sell the toy. Chris Columbus dismissed this notion, stating that with only roughly two hundred thousand Turbo Man toys being made, the merchandising was far less than the year’s other releases, such as Space Jam (1996) and 101 Dalmatians (1996).

20th Century Fox offered Arnold Schwarzenegger the project after development on a remake of Planet of the Apes (1968), which had been a longtime pet project for the actor, fell apart.

Some home media covers have Howard dressed in a Santa suit. Howard never wears a Santa suit in the course of the film.

Howard and the reindeer enjoy Grain Belt Premium Beer, which is a Classic Minnesota made beer, still very popular today.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Brian Levant, 1997)

Santa Claus: The Movie Preview

Jamie and Patrick slowly circle the mailman twins looking for an opening. Despite whirling backflips and patented twin chops they find that their opponent’s twin power is strong and every move is deftly countered. Tiring, Jamie and Patrick know what must be done. With lightning quickness they transition from a simple high five into a capoeira-inspired gymnastics-dancing-kung fu move. Flying into the air, feet akimbo, Jamie it able to connect, leaving their opponents shocked. The mailman touches his bloodied face and knows that this is the end of the battle. Blood has been spilled, identicalness has been spoilt, the power of the medallion has failed them. “Take it,” the leader says tossing them the medallion. A look of recognition crosses his face and he squints at them, “who… who are you two?” Patrick shakes his head and turns away saying, “We’re not important. It’s who we’re looking for that is.” Inspecting the medallion, though, they realize that it is just a worthless trinket. “Hey! What gives!? This ain’t worth jack!” They yell, thinking the mailmen have deceived them, but at that moment a chilling sound pierces the air: the cackling laughter of the troll. Saboteur! He knew this whole time that the medallion was a simple bauble! From behind a rock he emerges, “I’ve come for my favor,” he grunts. Jamie and Patrick look at him in disgust, but know he has won. Everyone knows their word is their bond… it’s a rule, and they don’t break rules. “What do you want from us?” Jamie asks, fearing what dastardly plan he has in store. “A simple task,” the troll says with a sneer, “You know a jolly fat man named Santa?” Jamie and Patrick are frozen in horror, they know what’s coming, “I want him, and I want him dead.”

Meanwhile… hoods pulled up high, the two prisoners get a drink in a gritty bar. They think of the long road across the wasteland still left and the anger wells within. A couple of muscly St. Patty’s Day Leprechauns tap them on the should and tell ‘em to scram. The prisoners crack their knuckles.

That’s right! We’re watching the Dudley Moore classic, and definitely a film we had heard of prior to deciding to do it … Santa Claus: The Movie! Not only that, but we are pairing it up with another holiday classic Santa With Muscles starring Hulk Hogan! Boy, oh boy, it’s like Christmas in April! Let’s go!

Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) – BMeTric: 20.0

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(Oh we’ve seen this before. The giant jump in 2014 I mean. I can’t remember what my explanation was … probably a big New Years vote purge or something. It really is a-tumblin’ though, people just love Dudley Moore I guess.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Story of how Santa came to be starts out so wonderfully – with eye-filling looks at his North Pole toy factory, reindeer, and sleigh – that it’s too bad the rest of the film (with contemporary tale of humbug kid and greedy toy magnate) can’t measure up. Still entertaining, just a bit less magical than it should have been. Referred to as Santa Claus: The Movie everywhere but on-screen!

(Interestingly solid review. Kind of like Double Dragon then, starts off with a kind of quaint vague interest, but then the rest of the actual plot catches up and ruins it.)

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

(I love John Lithgow. “FOOOORRRR FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?!!!?!?!??!” I’m already kind of excited)

Directors – Jeannot Szwarc – (Known For: Jaws 2; Somewhere in Time; Future BMT: Supergirl; Bug; BMT: Santa Claus: The Movie; Notes: He started in television on shows like Night Gallery. He’s returned to television since, directing an episode of Grey’s Anatomy this year for example. French, but raised in Argentina.)

Writers – David Newman (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Bonnie and Clyde; Superman; Superman II; What’s Up, Doc?; Still of the Night; Bad Company; There Was a Crooked Man…; Future BMT: Sheena; BMT: Superman III; Santa Claus: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Sheena in 1985; Notes: Edited Esquire in the 60s, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Bonnie and Clyde.)

Leslie Newman (story) – (Known For: Superman; Superman II; BMT: Superman III; Santa Claus: The Movie; Notes: Married to David Newman until his death in 2003, is a cookbook author as well.)

Actors – Dudley Moore – (Known For: 10; Arthur; Foul Play; Bedazzled; The Wrong Box; Micki + Maude; Lovesick; The Bed Sitting Room; Future BMT: Arthur 2: On the Rocks; Wholly Moses!; Blame It on the Bellboy; Crazy People; The Hound of the Baskervilles; Unfaithfully Yours; The Pickle; BMT: Santa Claus: The Movie; Notes: Died of progressive supranuclearl palsy in 2002. Notable for his height of five foot two inches.)

John Lithgow – (Known For: Pet Sematary; Interstellar; This Is 40; The Accountant; Shrek; Late Night; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; Footloose; Miss Sloane; Twilight Zone: The Movie; The Tomorrow Man; Rise of the Planet of the Apes; Cliffhanger; Bigfoot and the Hendersons; Terms of Endearment; All That Jazz; Orange County; The Homesman; Dreamgirls; 2010: The Year We Make Contact; Future BMT: Pitch Perfect 3; Confessions of a Shopaholic; Daddy’s Home Two; A Good Man in Africa; Leap Year; Silent Fall; BMT: New Year’s Eve (uncredited); Santa Claus: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Cliffhanger in 1994; Notes: In 2017 he co-authored a New York Times crossword puzzle.)

David Huddleston – (Known For: The Big Lebowski; Blazing Saddles; Rio Lobo; Frantic; The Producers; Capricorn One; McQ; Breakheart Pass; Bad Company; Future BMT: Postal; Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; Joe’s Apartment; Something to Talk About; Life with Mikey; The World’s Greatest Lover; BMT: Santa Claus: The Movie; Notes: Served in the Air Force and most well known as Lebowski in The Big Lebowski.)

Budget/Gross – $30–50 million / Domestic: $23,717,291

(That seems like a complete disaster. What were they thinking, that Christmas films just printed money?)

#38 for the Christmas genre

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(This is our fifth Christmas film for BMT. I don’t know why they would be becoming more popular recently … maybe with a good economy people like to think about giving and receiving gifts more?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (4/20):

(My consensus: Thinnly plotted, cheap looking, and dated. This 80s Christmas film is a bore. Reviewer Highlight: Little kids will probably like most of this movie. The weakness is that larger kids and parents, deputized to escort the little ones, are likely to find a lot of it a little thin. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times)

Poster – Sklogtacular Christmas Extravaganza (B)

santa_claus_the_movie

(Really hard to find a decent picture of this poster. Not a good sign for the film itself. From what I can see I think there is something artistic in this that I kinda like, while also acknowledging that it looks old as shit and it’s time has passed it by. But like, check that font, look at the weird perspective, and guess what? I’m pretty sure I know this is about Santa Claus.)

Tagline(s) – Guess who’s coming to town! (D-)

(Uh… Santa? I’m still not sure what the plot of this film is… like is Santa’s workshop being bought by an eeeevil land developer and he has to work to stop him? Or like… does someone have to take over for Santa for some children appropriate reason… like he ate too much candy and hot chocolate and is now in a diabetic coma? That’s fine for kids, right? Anyway, I’m sure it something like that. Just wanted to speculate since I definitely didn’t want to talk about this snoozer of a tagline.)

Keyword(s) – toy; Top Ten by BMeTric: 76.1 Paranormal Activity 4 (2012); 75.4 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009); 73.8 Look Who’s Talking Too (1990); 70.2 Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964); 69.5 Postal (2007); 68.5 Gulliver’s Travels (2010); 64.2 Exposed (III) (2016); 63.4 Poltergeist III (1988); 60.8 Toys (1992); 59.9 Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007);

(We’ve seen none of these?! And now we still haven’t)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number N/A) – There is no current way to connect this movie to Here on Earth via BMT. If we were to watch Unfaithfully Yours, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

(Actually an anomaly. Lithgow was uncredited in New Years Eve, so he’s been in a BMT film, but that doesn’t count in this analysis)

Notes – All the toys made and bought for the Santa’s workshop scenes were donated to children’s charities for Christmas after shooting was complete.

The role of the Ancient Elf was written with James Cagney in mind. However, even though Cagney liked the film’s overall idea, his advanced age and weakened physical condition precluded him from taking the role.

In the U.S. trailers for the film, Dudley Moore gets top billing and David Huddleston gets third billing. In the international trailer, Huddleston gets top billing and Moore gets fourth billing.

Real deer were trained to pull the sleigh. The crew required months to complete the training which also allowed the deer to grow their antlers for the final filming. For shots where it was not possible to use the deer, sophisticated animatronic deer were used. (Hahahahhahaha)

The film’s budget was £50,000,000, which as of this writing (2015) would be equivalent to £140,000,000. (Hahahahahhahaa)

Burgess Meredith, who is fourth-billed, has one scene and eight lines. (This seems like a trend in this film)

When Patch is viewing the BZ Toys display in the New York window, a van painted exactly like the one on The A-Team (1983) is parked on the street behind him.

The role of B.Z. was offered to Harrison Ford, Burt Reynolds, Dustin Hoffman and Johnny Carson, all of whom turned it down.

John Lithgow, who is second billed and the main bad guy, doesn’t appear until more than an hour into the film. (Wowza)

Paul McCartney was originally going to write and perform a theme song, but his record label declined.

The movie had promotional Tie with McDonald’s, Coca- Cola and Pabst Blue Ribbon. McDonald’s gave a away one of four books with each happy meal, which chronicled the story of the film. (WHAT)

Jaws: The Revenge Preview

Jamie is spirited away by Vampiro to the nearest Viking settlement, all the while grumbling about the threat of the little old librarian. “You must forgive me,” he implores, “I never thought this day would come.” Upon arriving at the settlement Vampiro whispers in the ear of their leader Vikling. Vikling stares in astonishment and beating his spear against his shield summons the warriors of his clan to kneel. “He has come, the destined warrior. He shall defeat Vlurg, the Viking scourge of Vikling.” Jamie is led with knees a-quaking down to a seaside cave which serves as the home of Vlurg. Tiptoeing in he comes face-to-face with the most terrible creature he has ever witnessed. It’s got horrific teeth and a full six-pack. Its nicely muscled legs are well proportioned to its bulging biceps. It is like a giant, horrific looking Dwayne Johnson. Just a true specimen of a monster. It smiles sickly and takes a step forward but catches its toe on a rock and trips. In a crazy freak accident it falls and snaps it neck, instantaneously killing it. Dragging the corpse from the cave Jamie is cheered. “You have defeated Vlurg! Now we can use Vlurg as bait for the monstrous Frang. For it is your destiny to defeat Frang for Vikling. You don’t even want to know what Frang is… I’ll give you a hint: It’s a giant shark.” Jamie can only sigh sadly. That’s right! We’re finally finishing the Jaws franchise with Jaws: The Revenge. Apparently it’s now the case that the shark is stalking the Brody family and follows them down to the Caribbean to kill once again. This is the worst plot imaginable and yet the most ludicrous parts of the novelization (the shark was cursed by a Voodoo woman with a grudge against the Brody’s!) didn’t even make it into the film. Let’s go!

A stunned Patrick stares at Stick and Stones, his mouth agape. “What is the Z-Movie Multiverse?” Sticks and Stones visibly relax, their corruption seeming to be glossed over by a much more interesting question. “Gosh dern it. Well, you see, the world you come from is one universe among many. The one your buddies Rich and Poe come from is the Bad Movie Multiverse. That’s where the Obsidian Dongle came from originally, and it connects all of the bad movies that ever were and ever will be. This? This is a slightly … less polished universe, the Z-Movie Multiverse. Where all of the borderline unwatchable garbage comes from. Something happened to send you here, and we’re here to help send you back. You don’t belong here. Get it?” Patrick stares blankly at Sticks and Stones. “Wait … Rich and Poe are real?!” “Enough talking,” Sticks says gruffly and grabs Patrick and throws him through the next door onto a beautiful beach set. “Just watch for the birds.” Patrick looks around at the weird hovering CGI birds, unmoving and non-threatening. “This place is so weird.” He says, knocking one of the birds down easily and wandering down the beach after Sticks and Stones. That’s right! We are also watching Birdemic: Shock and Terror. One of the worst films ever made, this not-really-a-film has become a cult classic alongside Troll 2 and The Room among bad movie aficionados. Let’s go!

Jaws: The Revenge (1987) – BMeTric: 88.6

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(Below 3.0 is absolutely crazy. Not that surprising that the rating is going up with the votes … except usually with truly worst-films-ever type deals people are literally seeking out the film to try and see a terrible film, so sometimes it stays really low. So maybe it doesn’t really quite fit into that category.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Watchable but mediocre retread of Jaws, the fourth time around, with Gary as the widow of sheriff Scheider (from the original film) who’s convinced the great white shark is deliberately seeking out and killing off members of her family. Marginal movie sunk by stupid, abrupt finale; Caine wasted in frivolous supporting role.

(Watchable … is an interesting word to use here. Everywhere else I’ve heard it is literally so dumb it is unwatchable. I’m also surprised this isn’t a BOMB. This is one of the worst reviewed films of all time, so it does seem like Leonard is going a bit light here.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnYzwUkm-PY

(This is a real television spot. There is also a crazy “trailer” on youtube, but the music choice (Blondie’s One Way Or Another) suggests that it is probably fake. So I’ll stick with this one. It is … fine. The conceit of Jaws hunting this one family down is ludicrous though since “Jaws” is killed at the end of each and every one of these films. One more and they might have gone full Halloween and made some story about a cult creating a super-Jaws to attack the family which would have been amazing.)

Directors – Joseph Sargent – (Known For: White Lightning; The Taking of Pelham One Two Three; Colossus: The Forbin Project; MacArthur; Future BMT: Nightmares; BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Jaws: The Revenge in 1988; Notes: Directed of the more famous original Star Trek shows (The Corbomite Maneuver). Was directing from the 1950s, with this being his last non-TV movie of his career.)

Writers – Peter Benchley (characters & novel) (uncredited) – (Known For: Jaws; Jaws 2; The Island; Future BMT: The Deep; BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; Jaws 3-D; Notes: Was a speechwriter for Lyndon Johnson, he wrote the novel Jaws that the entire series is based on.)

Michael De Guzman (written by) (as Michael de Guzman) – (BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Jaws: The Revenge in 1988; Notes: Was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for the TV movie Caroline? (Also directed by Sargent). This was his only non-TV movie of his career.)

Actors – Lorraine Gary – (Known For: Jaws; Jaws 2; Car Wash; Future BMT: 1941; BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Jaws: The Revenge in 1988; Notes: Has been married for 62 years! Her and Sidney Sheinberg got married when they were 19 and 22 respectively. She declined a spot in acting school to study political science at Columbia. This was her last film, she had retired in 1979, but came out of retirement to reprise her classic role in Jaws.)

Lance Guest – (Known For: The Last Starfighter; Late Phases; Future BMT: Halloween II; BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; Notes: Has done a lot of theater, including a somewhat notable role as Johnny Cash most recently that he has seen some acclaim for.)

Mario Van Peebles – (Known For: New Jack City; Ali; Heartbreak Ridge; The Cotton Club; Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song; How to Get the Man’s Foot Outta Your Ass; The Hebrew Hammer; Stag; Future BMT: Highlander III: The Sorcerer; Solo; Exterminator 2; Gunmen; Posse; Submerged; We the Party; Multiple Sarcasms; BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; Notes: Son of Melvin Van Peebles, who is widely credited for helping to create the Blaxploitation genre. Has a B.A. in Economics.)

Budget/Gross – $23 million / Domestic: $20,763,013 (Worldwide: $51,881,013)

(Like … not bad. But at that point Jaws had become a punchline. It ended up (somewhat oddly) representing the 80s trope of running series into the ground. This is despite the fact that the horror series like Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Nightmare on Elm Street did that way better than Jaws ever could. And yet it was Jaws that was made fun of in Back to The Future Part II.)

#26 for the Christmas – Setting Only genre

jaws4_christmassetting

(From the (very incomplete) list, we’ve only seen Getaway. It is interesting that they seem to have been a major thing in the 80s and early 90s, but their ability to pull in the big bucks seems to have waned over the years.)

#51 for the Creature Feature genre

jaws4_creaturefeature

(Literally just watched two of these in the Anaconda Series. The Predator is coming out this week, so it seems somewhat likely we could go back-to-back as well. I couldn’t say why it waxes and wanes … maybe it takes a bit to reload and look around for the new tech needed to really kick start the genre every couple of years.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/34): Illogical, tension-free, and filled with cut-rate special effects, Jaws 4 – The Revenge is a sorry chapter in a once-proud franchise.

(Was it a once proud franchise? When? After the second and before the third when they explicitly sold out to become a giant advertisement for Seaworld? Reviewer Highlight: The shark models have so little movement that at times they seem to be supporting themselves on boats, instead of attacking them. Up until the ludicrous final sequence of the movie, the scariest creature in the film is an eel. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Watch Out! I’m a Big Ol’ Shark and Imma Gonna Get’cha! (A-)

jaws_the_revenge_ver2

(OK… I love this poster. I would put this up on my wall. Both because it’s fun and it’s also funny because you’re not sure whether the shark or the person is out for revenge… the idea that the person is out for revenge is already hilarious. But the idea that the shark is out for revenge is even funnier.)

Tagline(s) – This time… It’s personal. (FFFFFFFFFFuck)

(That is crazy. It’s straight up a joke. Like someone got tired, suggested it as a joke, and then had it taken seriously.)

Keyword(s) – 1980s; Top Ten by BMeTric: 88.6 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 86.5 Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003); 86.0 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987); 85.5 Jaws 3-D (1983); 82.3 Glitter (2001); 81.1 Sex and the City 2 (2010); 76.2 Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989); 74.7 Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988); 73.2 Howard: A New Breed of Hero (1986); 72.3 Caddyshack II (1988);

(Kind of a funny mix of films that are set in the 80s and films that were actually just … made in the 80s. We are actually definitely going to finish this list … and I don’t even think it’ll take that long. I have absolutely no idea why Sex and the City 2 would have this keyword attached.)

Notes – This is one of British screen legend Michael Caine’s notorious “paycheck pictures”, along with The Swarm (1978), Ashanti (1979), Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979), The Island (1980), The Hand (1981) and Blame It on Rio (1984). When Caine was asked about this movie in an interview, he answered, “I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.” (classic anecdote … how did he survive making five paycheck films in four years though?)

Lorraine Gary’s final film, and her first film role in eight years.

The movie’s main tagline “This time it’s personal” was parodied in Back to the Future Part II (1989) where the fictional “Jaws 19”, directed by Max Spielberg, has a movie poster that says, “This time it’s REALLY personal!”. The phrase “This time it’s personal” has since become a clichéd tagline for several sequels. (Deserved there … although Back to the Future Part II must have been on their game. These two films were released in the same year)

Michael Caine accepted his role after seeing only the first line of the script, which was, “Fade in: Hawaii”. Caine had wanted to shoot a movie in Hawaii for a while. (lol)

The original script features a cameo for Richard Dreyfuss’s character from the original Jaws (1975), marine biologist Matt Hooper. In Hooper’s scene, he calls the Brodys and is greeted on the phone by Thea, who knows him as “Uncle Matt”. Hooper is established as being close to Michael and Carla, who calls him “my second favorite marine biologist”, and he gives them his condolences about Sean’s death. Hooper and Michael discuss their careers, the late Martin Brody, and Hooper’s once spending Christmas with the family, with Martin dressed as Santa Claus. The scene ends when Michael heads off to summon Ellen to the phone to talk to Hooper.

Roy Scheider was offered a cameo, but declined, stating “Satan himself could not get me to do Jaws part 4”. Reportedly, if Scheider had accepted the bit part, the shark would’ve killed his character at the start of the movie. The end result has Scheider in the film through archive footage from the original film that is inserted during some scenes in the film.

This film is listed among the 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made in John Wilson’s book “The Official Razzie® Movie Guide.”

The only movie in the franchise which doesn’t take place in the summertime. The first Jaws takes place around July 4th, Jaws 2 takes place in June, Jaws 3 takes place at some point in the summertime, and this movie takes place around Christmas and New Year’s (Secret holiday film?)

According to this film, the events that occurred in Jaws 3-D (1983) never took place, which would explain why Mike did not marry Kathryn, and why he isn’t working as an engineer at SeaWorld, and this also would explain why Sean now works as a Deputy in Amity Island, as if he never moved to Colorado. (HA)

Would be one of Judith Barsi’s last films before her untimely death, at the age of ten, one year after this film’s release. Lance Guest, who plays her on-screen father Mike Brody, served as one of her pallbearers at her funeral. (Oh gosh, that is a terrible story)

Bruce the Rubber Shark was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor in this film, thus making him the first animal nominated for one. (Probably the first not-real thing as well)

Michael Caine said: “Won an Oscar, built a house, and had a great holiday. Not bad for a flop movie.” He was paid 1.5 million dollars for seven days work in the Bahamas, and the schedule was so tight, that the producers were unable to spare him, so that he could attend the Oscar ceremony, and he went on to win the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986).

Mario Van Peebles wrote his own part.

Michael Caine is the second actor to follow up an Academy Award-winning performance with a Razzie Award-nominated performance in a Jaws (1975) sequel. The first was Louis Gossett, Jr., who won an Oscar for An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), and then was nominated for a Razzie for Jaws 3-D (1983). (Amazing. Why did I not remember that Louis Gossett, Jr. won an Oscar?)

Set mostly in the Bahamas, the film’s storyline includes its Junkanoo Festival, previously known to movie-goers from also featuring in the earlier James Bond movie Thunderball (1965). The annual parade is also featured in the later movie After the Sunset (2004). (Bahamas baby. We are a-traveling the Caribbean)

Mostly set in the Bahamas, the bulk of the movie was filmed on Oahu, Hawaii’s North Shore, near Turtle Bay, and on the northeast side of the island.

Director Joseph Sargent briefly looked into the possibility of producing the movie in 3-D, and contacted the company who had supplied the cameras for Jaws 3-D (1983). However, they told Sargent that they could not guarantee the cameras would work reliably in the climate of the Bahamas, and so the idea was scrapped. (Good)

Comedian Richard Jeni considered this the worst movie of all time, and built a substantial portion of his stand-up comedy act around it. (Lol here’s the link)

On the TV Tropes site, the film, specifically the novelization, is the Trope Namer for Voodoo Shark, defined as an attempt in a story to explain away a plot hole, except that it falls flat, because the explanation itself is a plot hole, and which ends up raising more questions. The name of the trope refers to the novelization of the film, which explains the shark’s motivations as being the result of a curse by a voodoo witch seeking revenge on the Brodys after a scuffle with Michael. (HOLY SHIT THEY DID HALLOWEEN IT!)

According to ‘Rating the Movies,’ “After a miserable theatrical showing in the U.S., the film was given a new ending for its European release.” The ending is the version where when the shark is stabbed, the shark is blown to pieces (using three shots from the first movie). This ending also has Jake (Van Peeples) floating around after the shark’s destruction. When the film was released to video in North America, the European ending was used. When AMC aired Jaws: The Revenge in the early 2000s, they would show the American ending where the shark is stabbed, bleeds profusely, then sinks. As of 2014, however, AMC shows the European ending, rather than the American one. This often leads to confusion for viewers on the original ending, when watching a re-run on television. (Wowza, that is a bit nuts)

The shark’s head exploding is explained when Jake throws an explosive, that’s powered by electrical impulses into the shark, before he is grabbed by the shark and taken under the water, and later when the shark is impaled by the broken bowsprit in the exact spot where the bomb is, it ignites the bomb, which causes the shark’s explosive demise. (I’ll leave that there, that is ludicrous)

Awards: Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Visual Effects (Henry Millar, 1988)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Joseph Sargent, 1988)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (1988)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Lorraine Gary, 1988)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Michael Caine, 1988)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Joseph Sargent, 1988)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Michael De Guzman, 1988)

Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas Preview

See the Christmas with the Kranks preview for a description of all of the different movies we are doing for the Bring a Friend cycle! Some of the bonus films will be BMT (by our qualifications: <40% on Rotten Tomatoes, big box office release, released after 1980), some won’t. This week, our film is for sure qualified! Here’s what I wrote about this “friend” in particular:

Christian FilmsThese get major releases, but usually aren’t our bag. A liiiiiiittle holier than thou. Unless you’re Madea, then I love you. Saving Christmas here we come!

True to form, we’re mashing up Saving Christmas with the Kranks! Saving Christmas is by all accounts not a real film, but rather a 79 minute Youtube response video to the made up “War on Christmas.” We actually told ourselves we would NEVER watch it and yet here we are. Bring a Friend was an offer we couldn’t refuse. Ho ho ho, everyone. Let’s go!

Saving Christmas (2014) – BMeTric: 74.9

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(Consistent. A good sign. Even after the hubbub (instigated by Cameron himself like an idiot) it has maintained its ridiculously low rating. Otherwise only surprising because of how many votes it has to be honest, considering it barely was released to theaters.)

RogerEbert.com – 1 star –  Doing nothing but preaching to the converted—literally and badly to boot—”Saving Christmas” is a terrible movie regardless of one’s eschatological mindset. And while it may not be the worst Christmas-related movie ever (a title I believe is still held by the vile “Christmas with the Kranks”), it certainly does the genre no favors. However, if watching shoddily filmed presentations of shoddily constructed arguments justifying a self-absorbed perspective is the kind of thing that strikes your fancy, then it may indeed be up your alley after all.

(Shout out to Christmas with the Kranks!! What what. Amazing. Time for a little lesson: eschatological (adj.) – The part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind. Pushing it brother. Spoiler alert, it is not up my alley, and I’m prob not going to be a huge fan. But I’m ready and willing to expand my horizons.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqG1Hafyhhk

(Barf. The two people in the car are the director, Darren Doane, and Kirk Cameron. I’m genuinely curious how long the dance sequence lasts. By all accounts this movie, based on actual content, is like 40 minutes long, so I will be disappointed if that dance sequence isn’t a bloated five minutes minimum.)

Directors – Darren Doane – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; and Nominated for Worst Director for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Check out his wikipedia to see it incredible list of music video jobs. He’s directed a few small direct-to-video and bargain bin movies in the past, but otherwise is a hard right Christian documentary filmmaker.)

Writers – Darren Doane (written by) – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; and Nominated for Worst Director for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Hervey and Doane wrote the documentary Free Speech Apocalypse together. Is BMT objective? Should it be? From what I have seen about both these people they seem like disingenuous fanatic evangelicals to me, and that will color my viewing of this film. My research makes me question whether we should be watching this film … but I suppose that is the point of the bring a friend cycle in a way. I’ll leave both of these guys’ biographies there.)

Cheston Hervey (written by) – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Worked with Doane on Free Speech Apocalypse, helped write this, and was an extra in Saving Christmas as well.)

Actors – Kirk Cameron – (Known For: Fireproof; Future BMT: The Best of Times; BMT: Saving Christmas; Left Behind: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: I kind of wish he was just known as a funny kid actor from Growing Pains. Instead he’s known for making evangelical christian films. Married to fellow Growing Pains star Chelsea Noble)

Darren Doane – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; and Nominated for Worst Director for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Mentioned above. This movie sounds suspiciously like a Doane vehicle through and through. I wonder why it is called Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas.)

Bridgette Cameron – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Kirk Cameron’s sister.)

Budget/Gross – $500,000 / Domestic: $2,783,970

(Ugh. Legit success. This is how films like this (and I would put any film aimed at a niche audience in this camp) get made: you start will a small budget and smash it with your audience in intensely focused marketing. In this case you focus on church groups. Literal preaching to the choir.)

#50 for the Christian genre

savingchristmas_christian

(This was the 59th biggest release for a film of this kind. I suppose it is interesting that while the average gross for the films isn’t great recently, that even with the massive explosion of films in the genre they didn’t drop too much. A good sign … maybe. It does seem like a genre which might be getting more niche as the years pass.)

#48 for the Christmas genre

savingchristmas_christmas

(Wow. Looks like it came right before a new boom. There were three during the last two Christmases, so one would assume there will be a few this year. The only obvious one on the schedule though is Bad Mom’s Christmas … gross. Anywho, this made no money.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/13): No consensus yet.

(I’ll just paste a review that seems the most appropriate: Virtually everything about this production feels thrown together. In other words: you aren’t good at your job Doane. You had one job and you made a big old piece of shit instead.)

Poster – Kirk Cameron’s Saving Sklogmas (D-)

saving_christmas

(Messy, and Kirk Cameron’s arrogant smirk can shove it. But it is higher quality than you’d expect from a $500K film. Plus they put love and care into the font, hard to sklogify that. That saves it from an F. Dutch angles on the title though Kirk? C’mon, you’re better than that.)

Tagline(s) – Put Christ Back in Christmas (F)

(B-b-b-b-b-but cadence, and whatnot! Doesn’t matter, this is literally just the catchphrase for the War on Christmas nonsense. They didn’t make it for this movie, and it deserves no credit. Do you know what I say about that? Put the Sklog back in Sklogmas, that’s what I have to say.)

Keyword(s) – christmas; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.1 Jack and Jill (I) (2011); 87.8 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 84.0 Home Alone 3 (1997); 83.1 RoboCop 3 (1993); 75.6 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993); 74.9 Saving Christmas (2014); 74.4 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009); 70.8 Getaway (2013); 69.6 Setup (I) (2011); 68.9 Are We There Yet? (2005);

(I would watch Getaway a million times instead of everything else on this list. Although Jack and Jill will be an interesting rewatch eventually I think.)

Notes – Kirk Cameron responded to the film’s negative reviews by pleading to his fans on his Facebook page: “Help me storm the gates of Rotten Tomatoes. All of you who love Saving Christmas – go rate it at Rotten Tomatoes right now and send the message to all the critics that WE decide what movies we want our families to see. If 2,000 of you (out of almost 2 million on this page) take a minute to rate Saving Christmas, it will give the film a huge boost and more will see it as a result! Thank you for all your help and support in putting the joy of Christ back in Christmas!” This actually resulted in a severe backlash against the film, in which Internet users traveled to the Rotten Tomatoes page and condemned the film. Cameron later blamed this action on “haters and atheists”. (Both are dumb, but I guess he started it. I won’t cry a river over Saving Christmas’ “cheap” rating is all I’m saying)

Made on a budget of $500,000.

“VeggieTales” creator Phil Vischer was asked to submit an opening segment to this film, but respectfully declined. (cooool)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Kirk Cameron)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Darren Doane, Cheston Hervey)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Kirk Cameron)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Bridgette Cameron)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Darren Doane)

Christmas with the Kranks Preview

Time has truly flown with the calendar cycle as we are already at the end of the line. Time for transition time! This is where the last film in the cycle has to overlap with the next film in the cycle. In this case the film has to both appear on our Calendar and also… drumroll… bring an atypical BMT film along for the BMT ride. What does that mean? Well it is truly our most convoluted and confusing cycle we’ve ever done, which obviously means we love it. Basically there are several types of terrible films that we typically don’t watch for BMT. To help understanding these types of films Patrick has prepared a handy guide:

  • Missed Opportunity – Juuuust barely over 40%. So critics thought you were so bad you’re good, or good for what you are? Critics are also idiots and your movie is in actuality terrible.
  • Kids’ Films – You probably sold the movie as a romp that both 5 year olds and parents alike can laugh at. In reality you made a fake movie with fake money and overlaid ADR farts on top. Good job, is that what they teach in film school?
  • TV Movie – We obviously don’t watch shit SyFy originals, get that junk out of here (until now!)
  • Mockbuster – You want to trick me into watching your dumb ass intentionally bad shit? … fine, but only this once
  • Christian Films – These get major releases, but usually aren’t our bag. A liiiiiiittle holier than thou. Unless you’re Madea, then I love you. Saving Christmas here we come!
  • Straight-To-DVD – You couldn’t even get your shit together to get released to a theater? 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain got released to theaters! What are you doing with your life?
  • Foreign – You got some big names to run around on a Taiwanese production for a week, you’ve unlocked the key! Pay celebrities money to sell their souls.
  • pre-1980s – Everyone knows prior to the blockbuster era the bad movie landscape was dominated by hacks, if we wanted low-hanging fruit we’d go and make fun of community theater productions.
  • Bargain Bin – There was a time when terrible films were found like buried treasure in the bargain bins of local blockbusters. That time has passed… until now.

So how do we bring one of these terrible films along? Mash-up the titles of course. Using this first entry as an example we are starting with the Christian Films and mashing it up with a film from the Calendar. That’s right! We’re watching Saving Christmas with the Kranks. A mash-up of the Kirk Cameron barely-a-movie garbagefest, Saving Christmas, and what is likely the worst major Christmas release of all time, Christmas with the Kranks. It’s a Christmas miracle in August! Look at how nicely the titles flow into each other. Hooray. Saving Christmas is by all accounts not a real film, but rather a 79 minute Youtube response video to the made up “War on Christmas.” We actually told ourselves we would NEVER watch it and yet here we are. Bring a Friend was an offer we couldn’t refuse. Ho ho ho, everyone. Let’s go!

Christmas with the Kranks (2004) – BMeTric: 55.5

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(Impressively low rating. I always like holiday films because you get that extra bump. That bump on the ‘06 mark might seem like a DVD release bump, but it isn’t. It is a bump around Christmas 2005 when a number of people saw it over the holidays. Solid stuff. This is a lower number of votes than I expected, I assumed a family film like this would be hugely popular regardless of quality. Go figure.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Noxious holiday movie in which suburbanites Luther and Nora Krank, whose daughter has joined the Peace Corps, decide to forgo celebrating Christmas and take a Caribbean cruise – which, according to their outrages neighbors, is positively un-American. Alleged comedy pays homage to mediocrity, crass consumerism, and love-it-or-leave-it conformity. Screenplay by Chris Columbus, based on John Grisham’s novel Skipping Christmas.

(Noxious! People hate this film. “Pays homage to mediocrity” is a great line by the way, and probably could be used to describe 25% of BMT films ultimately. I would say this is likely to be boring … except people hate it so much that in reviews for Saving Christmas (made 10 years later) people still mention Christmas with the Kranks as the worst Christmas movie ever made! Get me amped, no joke.)

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

(It certainly is getting me in the spirit! I hope the soundtrack is exactly that in the film, just wall to wall Christmas music. Was this a last gasp of Tim Allen the movie star? He had Wild Hogs, but that was kind of explicitly “look at all these older actors!” wasn’t it? He did do a great Dad with a capital D back in the day.)

Directors – Joe Roth – (Future BMT: Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise; Freedomland; America’s Sweethearts; BMT: Christmas with the Kranks; Notes: Mainly a producer now, notably on the xXx franchise. Was married to the daughter of Samuel Arkoff titan of horror production pre-1980. Part owner of the Seattle Sounders F.C.)

Writers – John Grisham (novel) – (Known For: The Firm; A Time to Kill; The Rainmaker; The Client; The Pelican Brief; Runaway Jury; The Gingerbread Man; BMT: Christmas with the Kranks; The Chamber; Notes: His first novel was A Time to Kill written while he was serving in the Mississippi State House of Representatives. Was a practicing lawyer for 10 years, but has been writing full time for over 20 years now.)

Chris Columbus (screenplay) – (Known For: The Goonies; Gremlins; Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Young Sherlock Holmes; Only the Lonely; Future BMT: Nine Months; Heartbreak Hotel; BMT: Christmas with the Kranks; Notes: The director of both Home Alones and the first two Harry Potter movies, he was well established for working with kid actors. Gremlins was his first optioned script, which he rewrote in Steven Spielberg’s bungalow)

Actors – Tim Allen – (Known For: Cars; Toy Story; Toy Story 3; Galaxy Quest; Toy Story 2; Big Trouble; The Santa Clause; Redbelt; The Santa Clause 2; Future BMT: Zoom; The Shaggy Dog; The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; Jungle 2 Jungle; Joe Somebody; For Richer or Poorer; Crazy on the Outside; Meet Wally Sparks; Who Is Cletis Tout?; BMT: Christmas with the Kranks; Wild Hogs; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor in 2007 for The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, The Shaggy Dog, and Zoom; and Nominated for Worst Screen Couple for The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause in 2007; Notes: Most famous for Home Improvement, but have been a well-established television mega-star for over twenty-five years now. Went to jail for two years for drug dealing before turning to stand-up comedy.)

Jamie Lee Curtis – (Known For: Halloween; Trading Places; True Lies; My Girl; Escape from New York; Freaky Friday; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; A Fish Called Wanda; The Fog; Veronica Mars; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Prom Night; The Tailor of Panama; Forever Young; From Up on Poppy Hill; Blue Steel; Beverly Hills Chihuahua; Spare Parts; Fierce Creatures; Homegrown; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Virus; My Girl 2; Perfect; You Again; Drowning Mona; House Arrest; Terror Train; Halloween II; Queens Logic; BMT: Christmas with the Kranks; Notes: The original Scream Queen! She is the daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, and married to Christopher Guest. Launched her horror career with arguably the best slasher of them all: Halloween.)

Dan Aykroyd – (Known For: Ghostbusters; Ghostbusters; Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; The Blues Brothers; Ghostbusters II; Trading Places; Casper; My Girl; 50 First Dates; Grosse Pointe Blank; Twilight Zone: The Movie; Chaplin; Tommy Boy; Antz; Driving Miss Daisy; Evolution; The Great Outdoors; The Campaign; Blues Brothers 2000; Sneakers; Future BMT: Crossroads; Coneheads; Exit to Eden; My Stepmother Is an Alien; Loser; My Girl 2; Celtic Pride; Feeling Minnesota; Loose Cannons; War, Inc.; Sgt. Bilko; 1941; Pearl Harbor; Canadian Bacon; She’s Having a Baby; Spies Like Us; Getting Away with Murder; Diamonds; BMT: Caddyshack II; Tammy; North; Nothing But Trouble; Christmas with the Kranks; Pixels; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Supporting Actor in 1989 for Caddyshack II; and in 1992 for Nothing But Trouble; Nominated for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Nothing But Trouble in 1992; Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Exit to Eden in 1995; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for North in 1995; Notes: Not much to say about him. Recently was in the news for trashing Paul Feig for the recent Ghostbuster remake, which Aykroyd himself cameoed in.)

Budget/Gross – $60 million / Domestic: $73,780,539 (Worldwide: $96,572,480)

(Not fantastic, but also not terrible. Won’t get you a sequel though. I’m willing to bet holiday films tend to do okay, just because people want to see them around the holidays and you can usually take your family to them.)

#12 for the Christmas genre

christmaswiththekranks_christmas

(These movies certainly make money regardless of quality. Fred Claus made $75 million? Bizarre. The plot is a bit messy, but it is interesting that holiday films seem to go in waves. I wonder if they buy up scripts like this and just make them until there are none left and no one wants to watch them anymore, and then they just wait out the slow periods. Either that or the peaks correspond with the bad movie booms … Seems like we might be in a boom period if that was the case. I’m skeptical.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 5% (7/131): A mirthless movie as fresh as last year’s fruit cake, Christmas with the Kranks is a coarse, garish comedy that promotes conformity.

(ugh, some awful writing there. Garish is what I’ve been hearing about it. Basically it promotes consumerism and is in general just kind of sickening. Conformity is right, as Maltin said, it kind of has a love-it-or-leave-it vibe going on.)

Poster – Christmas with the Sklogs (F)

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(That so very easily can be modified to be Christmas with the Sklogs, but why would we? It looks like straight trash. No bueno.)

Tagline(s) – Their Christmas will turn the town upside down! (C-)

No! Ho! Ho! (Nope.)

(Weird. The first tagline seems more like a riff on the poster… not really on the film itself. Get it? Tim Allen is upside down in the poster. The second is from an alternate poster and I kept it because it is truly a wonder to behold.)

Keyword(s) – christmas eve; Top Ten by BMeTric: 75.6 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993); 67.3 Black Christmas (2006); 58.3 Deck the Halls (2006); 55.5 Christmas with the Kranks (2004); 51.2 Jack Frost (1998); 50.2 Santa Claus (1959); 46.5 The Traveler (I) (2010); 45.3 Unaccompanied Minors (2006); 44.4 Bad Teacher (2011); 44.2 While She Was Out (2008);

(Oh wow. Solid list of movies I’ve mostly never seen. We’ll be doing Deck the Halls eventually, I think it is on the calendar.)

Notes – The title of the John Grisham book on which the film is based is “Skipping Christmas”. It wasn’t used for the film to avoid confusion with another Christmas-themed film, Surviving Christmas (2004). (and eventually Saving Christmas, obviously)

The swimsuits the models are wearing in the advertisement for the cruise the Kranks are taking are the same ones Luther and Nora wear when they go tanning in the mall. (ha, love prop master 101 notes)

During filming, it was reported that the cast and crew had ingested over 10 pounds of fake snow. (gross)

Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Akroyd had previously starred in Trading Places, My Girl, and My Girl 2 together. They play neighbors in Christmas With the Kranks rather than love interests as they have in their previous movies.

When the Kranks are watching Vic Frohmeyer through the window, Luther says to Nora, “So you’re saying Frohmeyer has a problem with our skipping Christmas? Who’s he gonna call?” Dan Aykroyd, who plays Frohmeyer, also starred in the film “Ghostbusters” for which “Who Ya Gonna Call” was a line from the movies theme song. (Half the notes are about the dumb references in this film by the way. I deleted like four of the more unnecessary ones)

Tom Poston’s final film

Emmet Walsh and Tom Poston were both recurring actors on Tim Allen’s Home Improvement (1991).

When Nora drops the ham in the shopping center parking lot and the truck runs over it and she screams, you can hear the theme song from “Halloween”. (This reference on the other hand I approve of)

Lots of deleted and alternate footage appears in the movie’s trailer (included in the “Previews” section on the DVD). Some examples are: A book being opened to a photo of the Krank family.Nora Krank taking a photo of her husband and daughter outside their house.Luther Krank with a device in his mouth, obviously sitting in a dentist’s chair to get his teeth whitened and/or fixed.Luther Krank driving home with the skimpy tree on the roof of his car getting heckled by another motorist.A different cruise advertisement in the travel agency’s window.Luther Krank showing his botox-injected face in the hospital. (We only see it for the first time in the scene afterwards where he’s eating with his wife.)The shot of Blair Krank saying goodbye to her parents at the airport doesn’t have a screen credit over it as it does in the actual film. (cooool)

The $75 tree bought from the scouts is not tied to the car when Luther arrives at his house. (props)

Ally Sheedy was considered for the role of Nora Krank (Huh, that could have been interesting. I feel like I don’t see Sheedy in stuff that often)

When the power goes out, Luther asks Vic if he knows anybody at Con Ed. In Ghostbusters II (1989), Dan Aykroyd who plays Vic, and the other Ghostbusters pretend to be from Con Ed to dig a big hole in the middle of the street. (Also kind of a cool ref)

Julie Gonzalo, who plays Blair Krank, and Jamie Lee Curtis also star together in Freaky Friday (2003) in which Gonzalo plays the nemesis of Curtis’s daughter.

During the scene when Tim Allen is stuck hanging from his roof, you can see one of the fireman get hit in the face with the ladder. (goofs and bloops, loving it)

The Frosty prop used the film belonged to Tim Allen’s father and was brought overseas with him. He hung it at the Reichstag during the Fall of Berlin.It is a family heirloom and has made cameo appearances. Films in which Frosty makes an appearance include: Saving Private Ryan, Inglorious Bastards, Santa Clause 2, Dunston Checks In, Fury, Saw, Avengers II, The Pacifier, Frozen, every Fast and the Furious film, and all of the Exorcist films. (Got to end it there. That is super cool)