Species II Preview

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

Species II (1998) – BMeTric: 67.3

speciesii_bmet

speciesii_rv

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#47 for the Creature Feature genre

creaturefeature_47

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

#29 for the Sci-Fi Horror genre

scifihorror_29

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

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

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

Poster – Mating Skloging Begins (C-)

species_ii

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EVE stands for Extraterrestrial Vulnerability Experiment. (Egad)

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

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

Species Preview

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

Species (1995) – BMeTric: 34.9

species_bmet

species_rv

(This plot basically shows the 2011 inflection and regression to the mean. The BMeTric is amazingly consistent through time (35 basically). Hey, since these plot are getting a little boring I’m going to start a new series with this. This is to put movies into groups based on what I see. The first group, for Species, is: Below Average and Perplexingly Popular. Basically this movie ultimate doesn’t seem too bad (rating of 5.8), but the sheer number of votes (nearly 60 thousand) gives an impressive BMeTric overall.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – DNA-tampering scientists at a Utah facility ultimately get theirs after creating a murderous creature, complete with tentacles, who’s packages like a blond centerfold. Fast and not without entertainment value, but don’t look at yourself in the mirror too closely if you end up defending it. Direction is somewhat sturdier than the script, which has its share of (we think) unintentional howlers.

(I mean, I’m all about unintentional howlers Leonard, you know me. Films with the horrible villain-scientists are the best though. Like Bats I hope these guys are real megalomaniacal assholes.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbaYnTLuX7U

(Alright, that looks pretty rad. Pretty old school though. Just a short rundown of the movie: Contact, communication, experiment, termination, escape, pursuit, mutation, confrontation, outcome unknown. Species! Yeah …. That sounds about right, and I’m on board!)

Directors – Roger Donaldson – (Known For: The Bank Job; The Recruit; The Bounty; Thirteen Days; No Way Out; The World’s Fastest Indian; Cadillac Man; White Sands; Smash Palace; BMT: Dante’s Peak; Cocktail (BMT); Species; The Getaway; Justice; The November Man; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1989 for Worst Director for Cocktail. His son Chris represented New Zealand in the 100 meter sprint in 1996 and 2000 Olympics. Now that’s a fun fact.)

Writers – Dennis Feldman (written by) – (Known For: Just One of the Guys; BMT: Species II; Virus; Species; The Golden Child (BMT); Notes: Brother of Randy Feldman who wrote Tango & Cash and son of producer Phil Feldman.)

Actors – Natasha Henstridge – (Known For: The Whole Nine Yards; Bounce; BMT: Species II; Ghosts of Mars (BMT); The Whole Ten Yards; Maximum Risk; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; Species; Steal; Deception; Dog Park; Notes: According to an interview she gave in Empire she turned down roles in both Independence Day and Men In Black after reading the scripts and thinking, “What is this shit?”)

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

Ben Kingsley – (Known For: The Jungle Book; Schindler’s List; Shutter Island; Hugo; Knight of Cups; Iron Man Three; Ender’s Game; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Lucky Number Slevin; The Walk; The Dictator; Gandhi; Eliza Graves; Tuck Everlasting; Sexy Beast; The Boxtrolls; Life; Sneakers; Oliver Twist; The Triumph of Love; Robot Overlords; Dave; House of Sand and Fog; Searching for Bobby Fischer; Learning to Drive; Bugsy; Transsiberian; BMT: The Love Guru (BMT); BloodRayne; A Sound of Thunder (BMT); Thunderbirds; The Last Legion; Species; War, Inc.; The Ten Commandments; Exodus: Gods and Kings; Suspect Zero; Slipstream; Rules of Engagement; Self/less; Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2009 for Worst Supporting Actor for The Love Guru, War, Inc., and The Wackness; and in 2007 for BloodRayne. Nominated for four Oscars, winning one for Gandhi.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $60,074,103 (Worldwide: $113,374,103)

(Of course, otherwise there is no chance this is franchised. Just thinking of the storyline I don’t think they would even think of this these days. It almost comes across as exploitation, and with erotic thrillers being basically a totally defunct genre I don’t really see it. Erotic Sci-Fi Horror … how’d this make $100 million?!)

#17 for the Creature Feature genre

creaturefeature_17

(Ooooo right on the cusp of a giant surge. Obviously this was fueled by Jurassic Park (not this one, but creature features). Critters 2 and King Kong Lives are recent BMT examples, and recently the genre is back with Jurassic World and Godzilla. The new King Kong should continue that trend if it gets good reviews.)

#10 for the Sci-Fi Horror genre

scifihorror_10

(Ahead of its time! And since about 1995 it has been a pretty consistently released genre. It just doesn’t make a ton of money. I mean, Species is the 10th highest grossing film ever! It is at quite the nadir at the moment, but things like Predator and Alien should sustain it for at least a while longer. It isn’t totally VOD yet!)

Rotten Tomatoes – 34% (12/35): No consensus yet.

(Ooooo I love giving consensuses: A smart take on schlocky sci-fi horror which ultimately devolves into soft-core pornography with a clunky premise. My favorite part of a review is from Ebert himself where he describes the alien as a: “[d]isgusting, slimy morph-creatures with rows of evil teeth, whose greatest cultural achievement is jumping out at people from behind things.” I don’t like jump scares either Ebert.)

Poster – Our Sklog is Up (B+)

species_ver4

(While it is cheesy in a lot of ways, it is also epic. Really raw image with great font, nice balance, and coloring. Looks like a knockoff of the Alien poster. Still good though.)

Tagline(s) – Two decades ago scientists sent a message to space. This… is the reply. (B)

(Too long and detailed (we need to know that it was two decades ago?), but I like the suspense. Got some cleverness in too with the ellipses.)

Keyword(s) – interspecies sex; Top Ten by BMeTric: 67.3 Howard The Duck (1986); 46.7 Caligula (1979); 35.9 Decoys (2004); 35.8 Splice (2009); 34.9 Species (1995); 22.9 Ta paidia tou Diavolou (1976); 20.1 The Dunwich Horror (1970); 18.5 Une vraie jeune fille (1976); 17.2 The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat (1974); 17.0 The Beast Within (1982);

(This is real everyone. This is the real top keyword for this movie on IMDb, yet again proving that IMDb keywords are useless … also false! Howard the Duck never has sex with a human. Liars! This list is a house of lies!)

Notes – During the production, MGM opted not to shoot the “nightmare train” sequence to keep costs down. H.R. Giger was not willing to accept that, however, so he spent $100,000 of his own money to finance the sequence.

For the scene in which Sil is ‘born’ from the cocoon, the train set was built upside down. Natasha Henstridge, totally naked and covered in KY Jelly lubricant, was pushed through the cocoon, and the shot was flipped upside down afterwards, to achieve the effect of her falling out.

Xavier (Ben Kingsley) Fitch says that the alien signal was received by the Arecibo radio telescope exactly nineteen years after an outbound message was transmitted. Since the transmissions traveled at the speed of light, that means that the alien solar system is approximately nine light-years from Earth. There are two stars which are likely candidates, Sirius and Luyten 726-8A. (now these are the fun facts I like to see)

Fitch’s comment that they made Sil female to be more docile is an in-joke that belies his ignorance. In every predatory species known, the female is always more aggressive. (I don’t believe this is true)

Michael Madsen and Marg Helgenberger were allowed to improvise their sex scene.

SIL is actually S1L, the medical cell in the lab where the DNA was grown.

An early draft of the script had the young Sil calmly killing a friendly cab driver. In an effort to keep the audience’s sympathy for her character (and to make the murder of the porter more shocking) the scene was changed to Sil killing a tramp in self defense after he attempts to attack her. (There was another BMT film like this, where there clearly was just no kills by the “bad” protagonist for almost the entire movie … but I can’t remember what it was, although I do remember it was a terrible idea.)

When Sil watches TV at the motel, she flips through different channels and they all show various things she will do later in the film. Like having sex, changing her hair, showing off her body, etc. (coooooool)

King Kong Lives Preview

This week we really get down in the muck for Horror/Thriller. That’s because we are doing the sequel to the 1976 King Kong remake, King Kong Lives. Never heard of it? You shouldn’t have. It is well known for having some of the most horrendous special effects of the age. It also sounds like a B-movie straight-to-video release and yet still got a wide theatrical release (1000+ theaters). We’re really only doing this because it is a major part of the Razzie book as one of the most enjoyable bad movies of all time. Hard to pass up on those credentials for a 1986 film when we’re doing a cycle restricted to just that year. Guess we’ll get to find out whether it’s truly enjoyable or if this is just another White Comanche (shudder). Let’s go!

King Kong Lives (1986) – BMeTric: 40.7

kingkonglives_bmet

kingkonglives_rv

(Finally something interesting in these plots! First, what happened in 2006? All of a sudden there is a weird uptick in the votes. And then twice the vote count goes down! My theory? These events are more common with “confused” movie titles. Here there are a multitude of King Kong titles available and they every so often try to make sure there aren’t mistaken votes. Tenuous, but it is weird that the event seems so rare (remember the Bratz effect) and with no real rhyme or reason. Still, seems odd for IMDb to do, and confusing for this movie in particular, there is no way bots are trolling a random movie from a defunct production company. It is absurd.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Dino De Laurentiis sequel gives the ape a mate with everything he loves: She’s tall, statuesque, with great mossy teeth. The Army tried to kill them (naturally), but not before the finale that actually rips off the final scene in Spartacus. Desperate.

(And with one single word Leonard effectively eviscerates this film. Desperate. As we know from Raw Deal De Laurentiis was desperate at the time. This is the second Dino De Laurentiis film in a row, and the studio declared bankruptcy basically right after these colossal failures. This actually makes me a bit more enamored with the 1986 bad movie catalogue. There is an underlying theme of the pre-blockbuster studio system going through a tiny death as executives like De Laurentiis desperately try to sell films that feel more comfortable in the 70s to audiences whose minds are being blown by Return of the Jedi)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0HvmgZfbl8

(I mean … what is this? Seriously? Again, three years after Return of the Jedi! People went from lightsaber battles to a King Kong sequel which looks like it uses effects from the 60s. The entire trailer is complete and utter trash as well. This movie is going to be a distinct non-pleasure to watch I think.)

Directors – John Guillermin – (Known For: King Kong; The Towering Inferno; Death on the Nile; Shaft in Africa; BMT: King Kong Lives; Sheena; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1985 for Worst Director for Sheena. Accomplished Action-Adventure filmmaker who was also well known for being incredibly difficult to work with. I will say that out of everything in King Kong (1976) the direction was probably the best part of the film, the sets were rather incredible to behold. No wonder he basically fell out of favor with the rise of digital effects though.)

Writers – Steven Pressfield (screenplay & story) – (Known For: The Legend of Bagger Vance; Above the Law; BMT: King Kong Lives; Freejack; Notes: Notable author, specifically The Legend of Bagger Vance, and screenwriter. He is particularly notable for his non-fiction and fiction work in military history as his father was in the Navy and he was a Marine for a time. Was homeless as he struggled to get Bagger Vance published early in his career.)

Ronald Shusett (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Alien; Aliens; Prometheus; Total Recall; Alien: Resurrection; Alien³; Above the Law; Dead & Buried; BMT: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem; AVP: Alien vs. Predator; King Kong Lives; Freejack; Total Recall (2015); The Final Terror; Notes: Famous for his work with Dan O’Bannon in Science Fiction he helped write Alien and Total Recall. He moved into producer roles in the 90s and now basically produces B-level horror for a living.)

Edgar Wallace (Known For: King Kong (multiple); Notes: Made the character of King Kong in a script he penned for RKO Studios. Was incredibly prolific, but all of his films are from pre-1940 and King Kong is his only major lasting character.)

Merian C. Cooper (character) – (Known For: King Kong (multiple); Mighty Joe Young (multiple) BMT: King Kong Lives; Notes: Co-inventor of the Cinerama technique he is probably most famous for creating King Kong and Mighty Joe Young. Edgar Wallace penned the script, but Cooper allegedly had a dream imagining a giant gorilla attacking New York. I assume the final product is basically both Wallace and Cooper’s ideas smushed together.)

Actors – Brian Kerwin – (Known For: The Help; 27 Dresses; Murphy’s Romance; Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain; BMT: King Kong Lives; Jack; Getting Away with Murder; Notes: He has an amazingly varied career bouncing from extensive work in theater, to film, to daytime tv (where he won a daytime emmy).)

Linda Hamilton – (Known For: Terminator 2: Judgment Day; The Terminator; BMT: King Kong Lives; Children of the Corn; Dante’s Peak; Shadow Conspiracy; Black Moon Rising; Terminator Salvation; Notes: Obviously the original Sarah Conners from the Terminator franchise. It is kind of incredible how poorly her career went outside of that franchise. Was notably married to James Cameron for a time, and revealed that she suffers from Bipolar Disorder. She mainly does television now in guest spots.)

Budget/Gross – $18 million / Domestic: $4,711,220 (N/A)

(Obviously a complete unmitigated disaster. I assumed as much since this was probably a major contributing factor in De Laurentiis filing for bankruptcy. It also seems ludicrous to me, based on the trailer, that this films would cost $18 million, but whatever.)

#63 for the Creature Feature genre

creaturefeature_63

(Seen for Critters 2: The Main Course (#66) where we said: The creature feature is a staple of classic horror, but I think it kind of rose to prominence again after Jurassic Park (in case you were wondering what that gigantic peak around ’93 was). Since then it comes and goes in waves, but will probably rise again with Jurassic World killing it at the box office. King Kong may add to it soon as well. King Kong Lives certainly contributed to BMT sooner than I expected.)

#22 for the Remake – Sequel to a Remake genre

sequelremake_22

(This was also seen for Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (#8) where we said: My God, those waves! They just get bigger and bigger. Presumably the troughs are where they release the original remake. I think ‘05 to ‘10 might end up going down in history as an anomaly in bad movie history, just prior to the tentpole movies crowding the release schedule and VOD becoming a real option, a true heyday of traditional bad movie watching. Another dying genre it looks like, possibly because these sequels are now more regularly being released by alternative means. Funny that King Kong Lives appears to be one of the first sequel to a remake ever! Groundbreaking.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/9): No consensus yet.

(Time to make a consensus which unfortunately would go a little like this: This movie is boring. Period. Oof, this is looking more dire by the minute. This is literally all Ebert mentions in his review, that the actors look bored and the movie is boring.)

Poster – King Sklog Lives (A)

king_kong_lives

(I’m going to give this the benefit of the doubt and say that the old school look is intentional. In which case I really do like the poster. I might even love it. It is energetic, and kind of cool, and the artistic styling is just fun. A very cool idea and surprising to see from a film made in 1986. There are a few other posters (on rotten tomatoes for example) which are straight terrible, but I’m going to go with this one.)

Tagline(s) – The Legendary Kong is Back! (C-)

America’s Biggest Hero is back…and He is not happy. (F)

(Okay, the first guy is standard and just boring, but hard to complain about it. The second … honestly why is King Kong considered America’s Biggest Hero? How is he a hero? In the 1976 film what did he do that was heroic? Nothing. That tagline is ridiculous.)

Keyword(s) – ape; Top Ten by BMeTric: 86.1 Dragonball: Evolution (2009); 83.6 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 68.1 The Flintstones (1994); 57.6 Congo (1995); 40.7 King Kong Lives (1986); 38.8 Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973); 29.6 King Kong (1976); 24.7 Speed Racer (2008); 22.7 Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970); 21.3 Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972);

(Hey, after watching this film and all of the planet of the apes we’ll have watched all of the top “ape” keyword films. Not a terrible list, but also not amazing. I can’t remember why Dragonball would have ape listed. Or Scary Movie 5. Or Flintstones …. This list is weird.)

Notes – Peter Michael Goetz’s cheque for post release royalties came to 3 cents. He has it stapled to the film poster in his house, having never cashed it. (Ha, see these are the more lighthearted notes I like)

Peter Weller was offered a part in this film; but he opted to play the title role in RoboCop (1987) instead. (good choice)

Writer Steven Pressfield mentions “King Kong Lives” as a live-changing, validating failure in his book ‘The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles.’ This was his first professional writing job after 17 years of trying. After the movie bombed, he realized he had become a professional. He hadn’t yet had a success, but “had had a real failure.” (very cool, Pressfield seems like he has a cool story)

This film is listed among the 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John WIlson’s book THE OFFICIAL RAZZIE® MOVIE GUIDE. (This guide is garbage and I think that probably none of these films are enjoyable beyond thinking “oh wow King Kong looks like crap in this …. Cool”. Hard to sustain enjoyment of a bad movie based on something like that)

As of 2015, it remains as the last theatrical film directed by John Guillermin. (Wow, that is pretty amazing. It does look old school)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Visual Effects (Carlo Rambaldi)

Critters 2: The Main Course Preview

OK, well time to move onto this week’s film. This is another replacement film of sorts. While we never officially placed Unaccompanied Minors in Kansas, we certainly watched it with that state in mind (why else would we have stooped so low?). But it turned out that there wasn’t just an unacceptable level of Kansas-ness in the film, it didn’t take place in Kansas at all. It just didn’t. So we had to scramble to get a new one. After a painstaking search we landed on Critters 2: The Main Course. While the first one is generally liked by viewers for its humor, the second one wasn’t as accepted. Hard to tell how poorly it was received, but it did make Ebert’s list of his least favorite films of all time. Felt like that was enough to qualify it for BMT. Not gonna update the map this week. Next week maybe. Let’s go!


Critters 2: The Main Course (1988) – 36.3 BMeTric (July 2, 6016)

Critters2_BMeT

Critters2_RV

(This is honestly kind of a weird trajectory. While you’ll often see a movie’s rating rise substantially with votes this is usually just regression to the mean (it rises because we watch bad movies which are often rated very poorly when they rise come out). But 1.2 points from 4.0 is quite a bit more that you’d expect. Otherwise the only shocking thing is that such a small barely released movie could garner 10,000 votes on IMDb. NOTE: This analysis was written on July 2, 2016)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – The big-mouthed, quill-shooting nasties take on an entire town. Nothing special. Followed by two video sequels.

(Wow. Love the short and sweet. I’ll follow the lead. Nothing special with this comment either.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVyfEgnA678

(That’s not really as bad as it could have been I think. Considering that I kinda liked the original this kind of gets me excited to watch this one. Uh oh.)

Director(s) – Mick Garris – (BMT: Riding the Bullet; Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers; Critters 2: The Main Course. Notes: Also a writer (Hocus Pocus, Fly II, etc.) and obviously best known for directing the TV movie smash hit Fuzzbucket.)

Writer(s) – David Twohy (written by) – (Known For: The Fugitive; Pitch Black; Waterworld; Riddick; G.I. Jane; A Perfect Getaway; The Arrival; Below; Warlock. BMT: The Chronicles of Riddick; Impostor; Terminal Velocity; Critters 2: The Main Course. Notes: Best known as the writer and director of the Riddick series of films. Long been rumored for a third AvP film. Fingers crossed.)

Mick Garris (written by) – (Known For: *batteries not included.  BMT: Hocus Pocus; The Fly II; Riding the Bullet; Critters 2: The Main Course. Notes: Kind of a historical figure in Hollywood and in particular in the SciFi genre. Early on directed a series of making of documentaries of horror and SciFi films including a really good one about the film The Thing which I’ve seen. It’s awesome.)

Actors – Scott Grimes – (Known For: Robin Hood; Critters; Crimson Tide. BMT: Winter’s Tale; Mystery Alaska; Critters 2: The Main Course. Notes: Also a singer. Released several albums but his biggest hit came relatively recently with Sunset Blvd in 2005. Never heard of it.)

Also stars Don Keith Opper and Liane Curtis

Budget/Gross: N/A / $3,813,293

(The first film was a wild success ($13 million gross on a microbudget). This one not so much. Not surprisingly the rest of the sequels were not released to theaters. It actually had the second worst box office for a wide release creature feature of all time. The worst? BMT classic A Sound of Thunder (A Sound of Thundahhhhhhh))

#66 for Creature Feature

creaturefeature_66

(The creature feature is a staple of classic horror, but I think it kind of rose to prominence again after Jurassic Park (in case you were wondering what that gigantic peak around ’93 was). Since then it comes and goes in waves, but will probably rise again with Jurassic World killing it at the box office. King Kong may add to it soon as well. NOTE: Analysis written on July 2, 2016)

#57 for Horror Comedy

horrorcomedy_57

(Personally once of my least favorite sub-genres, because honestly they are rarely either good comedies or good horror films. They make relatively little money it seems, and one would think that they would thrive a bit more on VOD, so I really don’t understand why this genre keeps chugging along (in the past three years none of the theater releases were very impressive). Kind of interesting that Critters 2 kind of came during the 80’s heyday just as the genre was going back into a slumber once again. The 2010’s resurgence is probably 30-year-old directors who grew up on things like Critters 2 making passion projects. NOTE: This analysis was written on July 2, 2016)

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

(Yeah, so as mentioned at the top there was some question on whether this actually qualified. What put it over the top (besides taking place in Kansas) was Ebert’s hatred of it. He gave it 1 star and said it had “no reason for existence” and all but considered a sign of the end of movies as he knew it. It ended up later on his list of most hated films of all time. So I think that qualifies it.)

Poster – Critters 2: The Main Sklog (C-)

critters_two

(We get it. It’s a sequel. Could there be any more two’s on this poster? Sheesh. And what color am I going to use for this state? Hate you Critters 2. Though I kinda dig the critters illustration.)

Tagline(s) – Get ready for seconds… they’re back! (C-)

The most illegal aliens of all are back — and they’re hungrier than ever. (weird)

(I have lately been trying to only use the poster tagline for this section, but I could resist with that second one. Pretty crazy. Not sure it would fly today. Must have been in the zeitgeist at the time given the 1986 immigration reform act. I hate the first one. Not as bad as it could have been since it’s references the Critters insatiable hunger, but still lazy like most sequel taglines are.)

Keyword – egg; Top ten by BMeTric: 85.9 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 68.0 The Flintstones (1994); 62.6 Eragon (2006); 59.3 Meet Dave (2008); 57.7 Conan the Barbarian (2011); 56.8 Godzilla (I) (1998); 56.6 Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014); 51.0 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995); 50.3 The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter (1990); 46.5 Dreamcatcher (2003);

(huh … what a bizarre keyword, and what a amazingly excellent list for such a strange keyword. I saw Mighty Morphin Power Rangers The Movie in theaters. That is all)