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

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(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

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(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-)

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(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)

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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

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(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

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(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-)

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(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)

christmas_with_the_kranks_ver2

(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)