One Missed Call (2008) Recap

Jamie

Welcome to the Calendar where only the best of the worst of the worst reside. And there are very few films more poorly reviewed than One Missed Call. Let’s get into it.

What?! A cursed cell phone message is killing nubile college students. Each time someone is killed a call from the future previews the next victim’s imminent death. When Beth becomes the latest player in this deadly game of phone tag she teams up with a local cop to stop the madness. Can she uncover the mystery before it’s too late? Find out in… One Missed Call.

How?! There is a very basic premise that one needs to know to get 90% of this film: People die, when they die their phone calls someone in their contacts list (from the future… bum bum bum!), that person receives a message (from the future…bum bum bum!) that contains a recording of the last moments of their life (from the future… bum bum bum!), and a few days later that person is killed (as predicted) and the cycle begins anew. The entirety of the first part of this film takes place watching as random characters in the film are killed in increasingly silly and decidedly PG-13 ways as a result of these phone calls. When our main character, Beth, finally receives the phone call she’s got enough grit and last-girl-itude to try to solve the mystery (especially after the good people at Boost Mobile are no help at all… gah! Why must their mobile plans provide so many affordable minutes?!). She teams up with Ed Burns, a cop whose sister was also killed by the phone call, to figure it out. They trace it back to a woman who died in a hospital fire after her child died of an asthma attack. They go to the hospital and find the mother’s body, finally bringing her peace and thinking they’ve stopped the madness (phew!). But alas [SPOILER ALERT] it turns out that it was actually the evil daughter who was responsible for all the death and mayhem! In a “climactic” scene Beth is saved from the evil girl ghost by the mom ghost, but Ed Burns is killed. His phone dials a spooky posthumous call and the cycle starts anew. In case you’re confused: none of this actually makes sense.

Why?! Alright, let’s try to explain why this is all happening. The ghost mom had two children. The younger girl kept on getting sick and so everyone thought the mom had Munchausen By Proxy and was doing it on purpose. When the mom discovers that her elder daughter was actually responsible she locks her in her room where she dies of an asthma attack (daannnggg, coooold Bloooddeedd). With her dying breath the daughter dials her mother’s cellphone. This begins the curse as shortly thereafter her mother is killed in the hospital fire. So you see, the motivation for the whole film is a psychotic ghost child who uses her powers of evil to kill at random as a form of revenge for her unsettled spirit. Everyone else just doesn’t want to die.

Who?! Definitely have to give a shout out to one of the kid actors in the film. The evil daughter, Ellie, is played in the flashbacks by none other than Ariel Winter of Modern Family fame. Not the first Ariel Winter film in BMT. She also appeared in Killers. I barely remember the film let alone her role in it.

Where?! Not since The Tuxedo have we seen such a concerted effort to conceal the location of a film. There are fake license plates, fake drivers licenses, and concealed addresses. That is until the very end where Beth receives a letter that claims she lives in Minniwauka, NJ 60209. While that is a mindbogglingly bad fake location and the zip points to Evanston, IL you have to give default to the state listed. This is an NJ film. Makes sense too because I’ve heard that Ed Burns can’t exist outside the tri-state area. Exact but hardly mentioned. B-.

When?! This is clear from the get go. The film opens with a call from the spooky ghost on June 9th. So we got exact details without even trying. An easy slam dunk B+. Not an A because the time of year has little relevance, but it is mentioned over and over.

If you anyone wants to watch a horror film but wants something rididididididiculously not scary then this is the ticket for you. It is laughable for much of the film and I felt like it was right on the cusp of being a really good, funny BMT film. But my opinion doesn’t matter, I’m just the details man. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! One Missed Call? More like No Script At All! Amirite. What once was old is new again was the motto of mid-2000s horror, and for a brief period they were looking for anything that sounded vaguely like The Ring. Well this one sounds exactly like The Ring except with sweet Boost flip phones. Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Woof. Not much was good in this film. Dare I say nothing at all? Even Ray Wise couldn’t save it from itself. This movie was crazy bad … so let’s do a remake! A remake of a remake? That’s right. This time the evil spirit is inhabiting a smart phone, and with access to all that technology it can reach beyond the confines of its sweet but limited flip phone capabilities! Spooky. Throw out your phone? It calls you on skype! Get rid of skype, it is in your email with hangouts! No escape, as it leaps from technology to technology. And this time you actually do make a statement about the pervasive and toxic nature of our connected world, because it turns out just reshooting a mediocre J-Horror film didn’t really cut it. Slash the budget, get inventive, One Missed Call: Unlimited Data Plan (ooooof, what a terrible title).

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sins) – As I said, this movie was crazy super-bad. At a svelte 90 minutes flat the film still felt like it was 20 minutes too long. The acting was top-to-bottom an atrocity. The movie, as I said, is a shot-for-shot remake of an already-not-scary J-Horror. Its existence is questionable, its production is sloppy, and, the biggest sin, it is not even a little bit scary. They couldn’t even do jump-scares properly (I was straight laughing at times). Good-bad horror is funny, and this gets mighty close to that area. Indeed, it would have been legendary if it didn’t feel a little too long. The sin is sloth: copying The Ring, copying the original Japanese film, barely even managing to muster a single scare in the entire film. Weak.

The BMT: Legacy – I think this will go down as one of the worst actual horror films we’ve ever seen. It is worse than The Gallows … The Gallows! The only thing that comes close is something like The Devil Inside, but found horror is a whole different garbage-y animal. As far as actual horror goes, this is a decent example of a film I would trot out if someone asked to watch the worst horror film I’ve seen (competing closely with The Fog). I disliked something like Friday the 13th Part 5 more, but there is something pure and kind of fun about how much this stands alone and proclaims: I am terrible. I’ll mention a small StreetCreditReport.com here because I love it. Sadly, despite being one of the worst films ever reviewed, I can’t find much play in the worst of lists. Possibly because 2008 was incredible (The Happening, Max Payne, Mamma Mia, What Happens In Vegas, etc.), but also because people hate horror films (at least critics seem to). I certainly gets high up on my personal list. Its cred comes from the reviews though, 0% on Rotten Tomatoes is always special.

And finally word about a little BMT Homework where I watched the original One Missed Call. This was the first J-Horror I’ve ever seen. I watched The Ring, but never Ringu. This … was not a good introduction. Too long, not very spooky or scary, a silly concept, and feels like a rip-off of The Ring. Better than the remake, but still, below-average. It did get me interested in watching more though. A very different feel from the slasher genre I’ve grown to love over the past few months. I’m thinking Ringu will be on the docket when we inevitably watch Rings this Fall, and from there, who knows? Maybe I’ll fall in love with that sub-genre as well. 

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

One Missed Call (2008) Preview

We’ve made it! We’ve hit the transition from <10% RT films to our new cycle! Hooray! Our journey isn’t done yet, but the clear waters of the Calendar cycle are cleansing our palates and bringing us BMT strength. But it wouldn’t be the StreetCreditReport.com cycle without a last punch to the nuts. We’re watching one of the worst reviewed films of all time, the January 4th entry on the Calendar (and you know that’s a good date for BMT), and one of the classics in bad horror. That’s right! We’re watching the critically reviled One Missed Call. Based on the Japanese film on the same name (which was in turn based on a book), it was one of the last big J-Horror remakes released during the mid-2000s boom. It garnered the super rare 0% on RT on a startling 80 reviews. Only Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever can compare. Let’s go!

One Missed Call (2008) – BMeTric: 80.7

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(I know it is quite hard to stay sub-4.0 on IMDb, but my motto has become that the mark of a truly bad movie is that it won’t regress in the face of increased popularity. Basically everyone who watches the film ultimately kind of agrees that it is trash, there is no effect of a wider audience being more lenient. So this plot makes me wonder if One Missed Call deserves the legendary anticipation we have endowed it with. The film has the second most reviews for a movie with 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, so its reputation precedes itself. But this still makes me a bit skeptical.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  What if you received a message on your cell phone from your future self, with the date and time of your death? No need to stay awake at nights wondering, as this film lets you know how some college students deal with just such a predicament. Another Americanized remake of a Japanese horror film (Takashi Miike’s Chakushin Ari) with a good cast wasted. So bad that the title invites pithy putdowns; it’s just too easy.

(Put yo money where your mouth is Leonard, I want to hear those pithy putdowns! I can imagine the NY Post headline (something like They Missed!), but I’m kind of hardpressed to think of any super good ones. One Missed Movie? Terrible. He has to be talking about the “miss” part of it, but my mind keeps coming back to “hard miss” which is at the very least a somewhat niche phrasing. The beginning of this review is just a very long winded description of the movie … which always seems to me like Leonard doesn’t like horror films and just decided to skip this one. He does seem very adamant that the film is bad though, so maybe he did watch it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1F7hJNsi5M

(That trailer looks like a shot for shot remake of the original Japanese … with maybe a bit of Final Destination thrown in. Can’t wait for it to be aggressively not spooky-scary as well. The trailer doesn’t help itself by having the weird sound effects on the writing, just grating all around.)

Directors – Eric Valette – (Known For: La proie; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: French filmmaker, so most of his films were never released widely in the US. Does a lot of French television including the Transporter series. I might have to check that out, I bet that could be pretty cool and help me learn French.)

Writers – Andrew Klavan (screenplay) – (Known For: True Crime; A Shock to the System; Future BMT: Don’t Say a Word; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: A novelist and a screenwriter he could have the unique distinction of having a BMT credit for a screenplay he wrote adapting a book (One Missed Call based on Chakushin Ari) and a credit for a novel (Don’t Say a Word) which he didn’t adapt.)

Yasushi Akimoto (novel) – (Known For: Chakushin ari; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: He is a music producer who has created some of Japan’s biggest “idol” groups including AKB48. He is the best selling lyricist in Japan with his songs exceeding $100 million in sales.)

Minako Daira (screenplay) (as Miwako Daira) – (Known For: Chakushin ari; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: What a strange filmography, just all of the One Missed Call movies. I wonder if she was the a representative for Yasushi Akimoto when adapting his book into films? Nothing about her online.)

Actors – Edward Burns – (Known For: Saving Private Ryan; The Holiday; Friends with Kids; 27 Dresses; She’s the One; Confidence: After Dark; The Brothers McMullen; Sidewalks of New York; The Groomsmen; The Fitzgerald Family Christmas; Newlyweds; Future BMT: Life or Something Like It; Echelon Conspiracy; 15 Minutes; Man on a Ledge; Ash Wednesday; No Looking Back; BMT: One Missed Call; A Sound of Thunder; Alex Cross; Notes: Ooooo, it’s a sound of thundah. The star of that classic, and now often a micro-budget director, he sponsored a screenwriting contest through the company Scripped for a crowdsourced screenplay. As this was done in 2012 … I’m not sure it will ever actually happen.)

Shannyn Sossamon – (Known For: A Knight’s Tale; The Holiday; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; The Rules of Attraction; Wristcutters: A Love Story; The End of Love; Life Is Hot in Cracktown; Road to Nowhere; Future BMT: Sinister 2; The Sin Eater; 40 Days and 40 Nights; The Day; Our Family Wedding; Undiscovered; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: Sister of singer Jenny Lee Lindberg, and was a part of her band Warpaint before leaving to focus on acting. She studies dance in Los Angeles as well.)

Ana Claudia Talancón – (Known For: Fast Food Nation; El crimen del padre Amaro; Alone with Her; Sueño; The Dry Land; Future BMT: Love in the Time of Cholera; Enter the Dangerous Mind; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: A Mexican actress and model. Nearly all of her credits are in Mexican cinema.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $26,890,041 (Worldwide: $45,847,751)

(Pretty solid bomb domestic, but maybe a return worldwide. Hard to tell. The budget seems inflated though, $20 million is quite high for a horror film like this. They were probably trying for some of that sweet Ring money which made about five times as much.)

#76 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

onemissedcall_supernaturalhorror

(Awesome graph. After dying off in the late 90s (the horror bust perhaps?) it came back with a vengeance with The Sixth Sense and The Blair Witch Project in 1999. The return is still going strong, where the screens these films are getting go up and up and yet the average per screen take is just about level. Although … that might change with Rings and The Bye Bye Man being among this year’s crop. With Right around last year’s The Forest.)

#35 for the Horror Remake genre

onemissedcall_horrorremake

(Comes right at the peak. I think we also have a bit more insight into maybe why the 00s are the Golden Age: remakes? This peak kind of perfectly covers the biggest years from around 2005-2010. The Ring kicked off the J-Horror remakes in 2002, but there hasn’t been a remake since 2015 according to Box Office Mojo. They’ll go back to the well eventually, I’m sure of it. This comes in several spots below The Fog … not a good look.)

#15 for the Remake – Asian genre

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(Same as above basically, big right after The Ring, but basically died off as original (micro budget) horror came back into style. With VOD likely being a big destination for horror in the future I would doubt budgets would allow for expensive IP buys, but who knows? This comes definitely below future BMT The Eye starring Jessica Alba.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/80): One of the weakest entries in the J-horror remake sweepstakes, One Missed Call is undone by bland performances and shopworn shocks.

(uh oh, I’ll do a little on-the-fly translation for you: “This movie is not-scary and boring”. Just great. It apparently is so boring everyone just totally agreed and gave it a bad review. Please be wrong Cynical Patrick, please.)

Poster – One Missed Sklog (C+)

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(I don’t love the poster (particularly the cheesy screaming mouths for eyes), but it doesn’t do a lot wrong either. Coloring is fine and spacing is good. Could have been more creative with the font. Slightly better than average.)

Tagline(s) – What will it sound like when you die? (B-)

(Well… hopefully it’ll sound like I’m dying peacefully surrounded by loved ones… … … Oh, was that a rhetorical question?)

Keyword(s) – death; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Epic Movie (2007); 95.6 Meet the Spartans (2008); 94.3 Batman & Robin (1997); 94.1 Battlefield Earth (2000); 93.2 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 89.9 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 89.6 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.0 The Wicker Man (2006); 88.0 House of the Dead (2003); 87.6 Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966);

(This is just the list of the worst films according to the BMeTric. Death as a keyword is legit on something like 10000 films.)

Notes – Guillermo del Toro was offered the chance to direct, but turned it down to work on Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008). (Good choice … well, maybe this movie would be better, but I liked Hellboy II)

Not screened for critics. (They just thought the critics would be too spooky scared I bet)

While in preparation for the film, director Eric Valette never watched the original Japanese version Chakushin ari (2003), and asked the actors not to watch it either. (… I don’t believe you. The trailer contains like a dozen identical situations as the original film. “But Patrick, maybe they adapted the book instead”. Bullshit, the book has never been translated to English. This stinks Mr. Valette, stinks of deception)

Out of 79 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, none of of them have been positive resulting in an abysmal 0% rating as of 2015. Rotten Tomatoes awarded the film the Mouldy Tomato award for the worst reviewed film of 2008 as a result. (Yes, this is why we are doing this)

On August 2006 Ed Harris and Gabriel Byrne were both cast in undisclosed roles for the film but both dropped out due to unknown circumstances. (Maybe they read the script. Zing)

Rotten Tomatoes declared the film to be the second worst film of the 2000’s, coming behind Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002). (Which has 0% and over 100 reviews. We’ll watch it (again) eventually. It is a very strange movie. Nothing has made less sense than Ballistic did to me when I watched it)

The project was filmed in 2006 and was scheduled to be released on August 24, 2007. The film, however, was later pushed back to January 4, 2008. (Probably when people watched it. Also, a horror film in August, terrible idea. Should have been slated for October).

Was the last Japanese horror remake to be theatrically released ever since the trend started with The Ring (2002) and ended with this film in 2008. (Wow, I genuinely didn’t realize that. That is awesome. I wonder how many J-Horror remakes were released in that time.)

The 508 area code is from South Eastern, Massachusetts. (Promising settings lead, thanks IMDb)

Every single character in this film is seen using a Boost Mobile flip phone. (gross).

The Whole Ten Yards Recap

Jamie

As we crawl desperately through the wasteland that is <10% RT films, the scorching sun of The Whole Ten Yards beats down on us. I think fondly of Here on Earth for a moment and wonder what films may be beyond the horizon. The oasis of our next cycle is so close, and yet one long (oh, so long) recap of The Whole Ten Yards still stands in our way. Can we make it? Or will BMT die in this desert of dog poo? Let’s find out.

What?! Jimmy ‘The Tulip’ is back, Jack! After years in hiding, Jimmy seems to have lost his edge. But when his ex-wife, Cynthia, is kidnapped by vengeful mobsters he joins up with his erstwhile friend Oz to get her back. Can he stop the bad guys, save the girl, and perhaps pull one last big job before it’s too late? Find out in… The Whole Ten Yards.

How?! When we last saw our friends from The Whole Nine Yards, Jimmy had fallen for Jill, Oz had fallen for Cynthia, and they both had come into a bucketful of cash. Flash forward four years and Oz is a successful dentist in LA and he and Cynthia are living it up. Meanwhile, Jimmy and Jill are driving each other crazy hiding out in Mexico. Draaaaammmmaaaa (may as well be an alternate title for this film). Just when Oz learns that Cynthia is pregnant, the head of the Chicago mob, Lazlo, comes to LA to get revenge for Oz’s part in the events of the first film. Oz manages to escape to Mexico but Cynthia is kidnapped and there is only one person he can turn to for help, Jimmy. Oz and Jimmy team up once again and travel back to LA. There they kidnap Lazlo’s son, drink a whole mess of delicious Carlsberg beers, and deal with enough family drama to fill a soap opera (Jimmy and Jill want a baby, Jimmy is experiencing decreased libido, Jill is concerned that Jimmy’s still in love with Cynthia, Jill is concerned she’s not a good enough hitman etc. etc. etc). Using Lazlo’s son as leverage they coerce their way into the mobster’s hideout and [SUPER TWIST ALERT!] reveal that Jimmy and Cynthia has orchestrated the whole thing! Jimmy is actually Lazlo’s son and knows the secret to his fortune! They manage to subdue Lazlo, send him back to jail, and get the money. Hooray! Oh and Jill is suddenly pregnant. Double hooray!

Why?! Jimmy and Cynthia are in it for the sweet, sweet cash monies. Knowing that Lazlo will come after them once he’s out of jail they manufacture an unnecessarily complex scheme to trick everyone they love into risking their lives for the cash. Oz, of course, falls for it because he’s a sweet man who loves Cynthia. The mobsters just want blood and never really suspect that they’re getting played. The motivations are actually simple… it’s just the plot that ends up super convoluted.

Who?! Got to give a little shout out to Bruce Willis’ daughter Tallulah who shows up as a girl scout selling cookies in one of the opening scenes. Not to disparage a child but she’s not good. Like Marten Weiner in Mad Men not good (deep cut nepotism reference). The line reading just doesn’t make sense. She stresses random syllables like she’s reading the lines phonetically. I guess this is our one and only lesson: nepotism doesn’t always work. Who would have thought.

Where?! The Whole Nine Yards had the amazing and super rare setting of Montreal. Even shot on location. The second one also really wanted you to know where you were at all time. We split time between Mexico and LA with a slight edge to LA in the end. Solid without being necessary. B.

When?! Two different newspapers were shown up close. The first gave us a date of November 2003 for the film. The second seemed like it could yield an exact day, but I would need to see a higher quality version of the film to confirm anything. Almost a B. C+ instead.

Our lips are parched and yet there is no respite. Just dog poo everywhere. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone? The Whole Ten Yards? More like … Time to Discard? I can’t even think of a good NY Post headline … Zero out of Ten? Nine Yards Short? I tried looking up some etymology but … turns out it is a riddle! Seems to maybe come from a similar origin as “dressed to the nines” which itself is not really known. Anywho, is this movie dog poo in my face? Close at least. It is quite the mess. Let’s get into it, work through this riddle together!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Hmmmm. The cloud that represents the plot of this film is somehow quite simple to follow, which is nice. It also got me to watch The Whole Nine Yards, which held up far better than I expected it to. Linear, but still entertaining with two charming leads. Has anyone ever remade a sequel before!? Remake: Totally ignore that the other sequel exists, go back to Montreal, and, and this would be controversial, dump Matthew Perry. Instead, you see Tudeski trying to save Jill who, still moonlighting as an assassin, has landed herself in hot water. Jimmy teams up with a taxi driver who, ultimately, becomes a kind of getaway driver (similar to how Oz’s dental skills were the perfect skill Jimmy needed to resolve his troubles in the previous film). And yes … Kevin Hart is the taxi driver. The Whole Nine Yards 2: License to Drive. Amazingly terrible title.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Uh, those charming characters from the first film are now lost to Flanderization, including Jimmy who they managed to invent a trait to Flanderize him towards (cooking / cleaning / being a house husband). The storyline makes no sense. Kevin Pollack is just weird playing the father of the character he played in the first film (interesting if misguided idea). The twist is telegraphed, the motivations are ludicrous, and it comes across as a carbon copy of the original. I still don’t quite know if this is dog poo in my face … this is a bit closer to where something like Old Dogs is, which is thoroughly perplexing to a degree where you are just sitting there thinking “why is any of this happening?”. It has a fantastic gay panic scene too. Like The Medallion level gay panic. Dog poo in my face is a punch in the gut, like Strange Wilderness. It is like someone shoving dog poo in my face. It feels different. Oh … the sin is greed obviously. They wanted to cash in on that sweet franchise money yo.

The BMT: Legacy – I do think this gets pretty close to a rare spot for a comedy, which is a good-bad comedy. A tad bit boring and slow, but enough of the movie is ridiculously melodramatic,and the plot line is so perplexing, and Pollack’s performance is so over-the-top, that, for me, it gets to a place where I could watch it again and think it is just as funny-bad. It helps that the original Whole Nine Yards is a solid early-2000s comedy. Gives a little extra help there since this is probably a quintessential example of taking characters to extremes and reusing old jokes. I think it has decent legs ultimately when we reflect on 2017.

And finally the StreetCreditReport.com. Not surprisingly this actually does quite well in the amazingly crowded 2004 bad movie lists. The Movie Blog ranked it an impressive number 4! And Ebert had it as his 9th worst film of the year. Previously we watched Godsend as another 2004 film and it got no play, but this film is a genuinely perplexing catastrophe, so I think the praise is well deserved.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Whole Ten Yards Preview

Gotta just jump right back into it with the StreetCreditReport.com cycle of films that received <10% on RT. For the Games portion of the cycle we had our scientists work around the clock in the laboratory to discover a fundamental entry in the Periodic Table of Smellements. After months of arduous work they were able to unearth a sparkling gem known as Willisium. That’s right! We’re watching The Whole Ten Yards starring Matthew Perry and Bruce Willis. Garnering a 4% on RT it was declared a “strained, laugh-free sequel.” If there’s something that we love at BMTHQ it’s laugh-free comedies. Should be excruciating. Let’s go!

The Whole Ten Yards (2004) – BMeTric: 49.2

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(I’m digging that BMeTric plot. I think it might be the first that I’ve seen where it actually is now slowly decreasing due to regression to the mean. It will probably keep regressing as well (the mean is something like 6.0 IMDb rating). This movie has a ton of votes. Abnormally so. Intriguing. Also fun that this movie used to be a 50+ BMeTric film and now isn’t, first time in a long time we’ve had something like that I feel like.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  The sequel for which no one was clamoring reunited the cast of The Whole Nine Yards, a pleasant-enough film, and puts them in a frantically unfunny story about Willis (who’s supposedly deceased) being forced back into the crime game to help dentist Perry rescue his kidnapped wife. Or something like that. Perry falls down and bumps into everything imaginable, a valiant effort to find laughs in a script that has none to offer. That’s Willis’ daughter Tallulah as the foulmouthed Buttercup Scout.

(So I think this review could have basically been written for Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. Except in that case it was Sandra Bullock falling down and bumping into everything imaginable in an attempt to find laughs in a frantically unfunny script for a sequel for which no one was clamoring. Excellent hyphen game, but while “frantically unfunny” seems promisingly, it likely translates to “boring” which is sadly how bad comedies usually go.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAAv2NKkXVY

(Holy shit the sound effects in the beginning! If you can’t tell the weird mob boss guy is Kevin Pollack with a funny voice. The movie does appear to be frantically unfunny. There was a point in time in which Matthew Perry could have pulled off a Jennifer Aniston like turn into a movie star I feel like, but the demands for his physical comedy just could never really last. Him frenetically falling about just looks so outdated, 90s-esque, in retrospect.)

Directors – Howard Deutch – (Known For: Pretty in Pink; The Great Outdoors; Some Kind of Wonderful; The Replacements; Article 99; Future BMT: Getting Even with Dad; My Best Friend’s Girl; The Odd Couple II; Grumpier Old Men; BMT: The Whole Ten Yards; Notes: The Great Outdoors not being BMT (40% exactly on Rotten Tomatoes) is the upset of the century in my book. We will definitely be watching Grumpier Old Men at some point. He’s been married to Lea Thompson for nearly 30 years, and we’ve seen his daughter, Zoey Deutch, starring in Dirty Grandpa.)

Writers – Mitchell Kapner (characters & story) – (Known For: Oz the Great and Powerful; The Whole Nine Yards; BMT: The Whole Ten Yards; Romeo Must Die; Notes: Credited based on The Whole Nine Yards, he is an interesting character as he is solely a writer, but has relatively few credits, no wikipedia page, and only has news stories concerning a sequel to Oz the Great and Powerful. I would assume he is a ghostwriter and script doctor most of the time, but difficult to determine)

George Gallo (screenplay) – (Known For: Bad Boys; Midnight Run; Middle Men; 29th Street; Future BMT: Code Name: The Cleaner; See Spot Run; Double Take; Trapped in Paradise; Wise Guys; Bad Boys II; BMT: The Whole Ten Yards; Notes: Dropped out of college and wrote Wise Guys as his first project. An accomplished painter in the style of Pennsylvania Impressionists for which he’s has three one-man shows in New York City.)

Actors – Bruce Willis – (Known For: Split; Pulp Fiction; Unbreakable; The Sixth Sense; Sin City; The Fifth Element; Looper; Die Hard; Twelve Monkeys; Moonrise Kingdom; RED; The Expendables 2; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; The Expendables; Lucky Number Slevin; Die Hard 4.0; Grindhouse; Ocean’s Twelve; Alpha Dog; Planet Terror; Future BMT: Look Who’s Talking Too; Vice; The Cold Light of Day; The Prince; Extraction; Lay the Favorite; Breakfast of Champions; Cop Out; Precious Cargo; Perfect Stranger; Fire with Fire; Striking Distance; Marauders; Rock the Kasbah; The Story of Us; Blind Date; Mercury Rising; Loaded Weapon 1; Surrogates; The Jackal; Last Man Standing; Sunset; Armageddon; Tears of the Sun; Hostage; Four Rooms; Grand Champion; BMT: North; A Good Day to Die Hard; Color of Night; The Whole Ten Yards; The Bonfire of the Vanities; Hudson Hawk; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Hudson Hawk in 1992; Won for Worst Actor in 1999 for Armageddon, Mercury Rising, and The Siege; and Nominated for Worst Actor in 1992 for Hudson Hawk; and in 1995 for Color of Night, and North; Notes: What can you say about megastar Bruce Willis? I loved him in Color of Night, one of my favorite recent BMT films. We have an absolute ton of bad Bruce Willis films to go for BMT, including what could ultimately be one of our first direct-to-VOD films: Vice)

Matthew Perry – (Known For: 17 Again; The Whole Nine Yards; The Kid; Future BMT: Serving Sara; Almost Heroes; Fools Rush In; She’s Out of Control; Three to Tango; A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon; BMT: The Whole Ten Yards; Notes: Obviously most famous as Chandler on Friends. His film roles have been pretty minor, but he’s had a decent amount of television success after Friends ended. He was born in Massachusetts, but raised in Canada, and was at one point the 3rd ranked junior doubles tennis player in I think the United States (!). Hard to tell, but he is basically an incredible tennis player.)

Natasha Henstridge – (Known For: The Whole Nine Yards; Bounce; Future BMT: Maximum Risk; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; Steal; Deception; Dog Park; BMT: Species II; Ghosts of Mars; The Whole Ten Yards; Species; Notes: The Species is back! A model turned actress, we are basically done with her major BMT filmography. I’ve never heard of her other BMT qualified films, Maximum Risk is a Jean Claude Van Damme film for example, so I doubt we’ll be falling over ourselves to complete the Natasha Henstridge filmography any time soon.)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $16,328,471 (Worldwide: $26,155,781)

(Wow … gigantic bomb. I have to assume a good chunk of that is the money given to Bruce Willis to vaguely pretend to care about the project during production. But obviously The Whole Eleven Yards is not going to happen at this point no matter how much our Smellements scientists want it to.)

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

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(I’m starting to get convinced the Golden Age of Bad Movies of the noughties is directly due to the boom-bust cycle of live action sequels. Would nicely explain why the late-80s / early 90s, and 00s are both amazing ten-year spans for bad movies. Has there been an uptick in amazing bad movies recently though? Not really, but maybe that’s because the sequels we get now (Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Jason Bourne, Transformers 5, etc.) are cynical cash grabs? We’ll have to see. We certainly should be entering a new Golden Age according to the theory. The Whole Ten Yards is below Son of Mask as far as domestic box office is concerned, wooooof.)

#42 for the Hitman / Assassin genre

wholetenyards_hitman

(Below Mechanic: Resurrection, double woof. This came at a probable peak as far as total yearly box office for hitman films, coming between the Kill Bill films, between the first two Bourne films, and right before Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Pulp Fiction in 1994 probably kicked off the genre. Having watched things like the original Mechanic films, the romanticization of hitmen wasn’t unique to the time though, although the lifestyle of Arthur Bishop was hardly something to be envied I suppose.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (5/118): A strained, laugh-free sequel, The Whole Ten Yards recycles its predecessor’s cast and plot but not its wit or reason for being.

(Laugh-free. I don’t fear this phrase any longer, if only because it at least will likely make my review easy. I can probably already right the opening line: “I chuckled once in this film” or something like that. The promising bit is the “reason for being” part. I like the confusion of not really knowing why a film exists, dissecting how a massive bomb like this was greenlit. So that could be fun.)

Poster – The Whole Ten Sklogs (F)

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(I’m not even going to make up a funny grade for this one. This is unimaginably bad. This is The Avengers (1998) level incompetence. Nothing is cohesive. So many colors. Bullshit font. Everything is wrong.)

Tagline(s) – They missed each other. This time, their aim is better. (C+)

(… … … Oh! Sorry, I fell asleep while reading this tagline. Too long and clunky. Makes it hard to even get the joke. But I did give it some points for playing with a plot relevant pun. A for Effort. Which is meaningless as its actual grade in still a C+.)

Keyword(s) – hare krishna; Top Ten by BMeTric: 59.1 Nothing But Trouble (1991); 49.8 My Girl 2 (1994); 49.2 The Whole Ten Yards (2004); 45.1 Young Einstein (1988); 31.8 Bee Season (2005); 30.6 Earthquake (1974); 28.9 Dying Young (1991); 25.6 Death Wish II (1982); 23.0 Roller Boogie (1979); 20.8 American Pastoral (2016);

(Not that surprising we’ve only seen one of these. Let’s just say My Girl 2 isn’t exactly on my must see list. But I like the variety, and I like how strange of a keyword this is. The Whole Ten Yards has this as the first keyword listed? That right there is why IMDb keywords are the worst.)

Notes – When Oz (Matthew Perry) wakes up in bed with Jimmy (Bruce Willis), Willis was naked under the blanket. Perry had no idea why he was naked… and reportedly was too afraid to ask. (Sounds like a fake anecdote Perry would tell Letterman)

The Buttercup girl is played by Bruce Willis’s daughter, Tallulah Willis.

When Jill and Jimmy are having their make-up sex, we hear Bruce Willis saying “Yipee-ki-yay.” This alludes to his famous catch-phrase in the ‘Die Hard’ movies. (Ugh)

The tattoo on Jimmy the Tulip’s back is the logo of the production company. (WTF, that is super weird. I don’t like that at all)

Matthew Perry previously made a cameo in Howard Deutch’s first film, Pretty in Pink (1986), as the kid in the record store. (fun fact)

Bruce Willis and Kevin Pollak also co-starred in The Whole Nine Yards (2000), Hostage (2005), and Cop Out (2010). (Cop Out, now that is a film we’ll have to watch at some point).

Godsend Recap

Jamie

Godsend! Part of the technothriller triumvirate with Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace and Ghost in the Machine. Get it? God, Man, and the (Holy) Ghost. Thank you, thank you. Let’s get this going.

What?! Paul and Jessie have the perfect life until their son Adam is tragically killed in an accident. Approached with the possibility of cloning him, they take the chance, only to have the clone turn evil around the age that Adam was killed. Can they stop this evil Adam clone monster that they’ve unleashed on the world before it’s too late? Find out in… Godsend!

How?! The storyline starts as more of a family drama than a science fiction horror. We spend a good half hour watching a loving family get torn apart by the tragedy of a life cut short too soon. Even worse, when Robert De Niro’s creepy baby clone doctor, Dr. Wells, enters the picture (all too eager to “help” a family in mourning), you only feel sorrow. In almost any situation you would presume Dr. Wells was there to scam them with expensive false promises of cloning their lost child. But of course in this case his promises aren’t false and a new Adam is born. They live a wonderful eight years together until he begins to act super weird and have crazy violent nightmares. It would seem that he has some psychic connection to an evil, murderous child named Zachary. But who is Zachary? Twist Alert! Paul investigates and figures out that Zachary is in fact the long dead son of Dr. Wells himself! He’s a mad scientist who used Adam as a vessel to bring parts of Zachary back to life! Uh oh! When Paul confronts Dr. Wells about this things turn violent and Dr. Wells escapes. Paul recovers just in time to stop Adam/Zachary from killing Jessie. Realizing that they have a child possessed by pure evil they do what any parent would do: move away and pretend like everything’s fine… nothing to see here.

Why?! The motivations of Paul and Jessie are perfectly consistent: they mourn the loss of their child and will do anything to get him back. After they do get him back they will do anything to keep him. As for Dr. Wells, he uses a tenuous connection to Jessie to pretend that he just wants to help her with his scientific gift. Of course, after the twist is revealed it becomes clear that he shares the same motivations as Paul and Jessie for his own dead son, but chooses the evil, twisted route of incorporating his genes into Adam’s DNA without their knowledge. Finally, Adam’s motivation always was and always will be to get those sweet Reebok Pump Verticals. Pump up and air out, Adam/Zachary.

Who?! There is a nary a speck of humor in this film, so no possibility of a Planchet. No animals, no cameos, and no Presidents. The only Who?! I can think of is the fact that this was the first feature film that Mark Cuban’s production company produced. What a stain on our future President’s legacy.

Where?! Great settings film. When Adam is killed in the beginning of the film you see several cars with Massachusetts license plates in a big city. You can presume they lived in Boston. After they move to pursue the cloning, the family’s car changes from MA plates to Vermont plates. This is confirmed once Dr. Wells escapes as local newspapers list the location of the cloning center as Riverton, VT. Of course back when we were filling up the Mapl.d.map we had no way of knowing this and watched god damn A Change of Seasons for that state. What a waste. C+.

When?! No clues are given other than suggestions that the first part of the film takes place in the mid-90’s. There is a tagline from a poster for the film that says “Adam Duncan. Born: December 11, 1987. Died: December 12, 1995. Born September 23, 1996.” So if we take that at its word we have a perfect exact date as the films takes place after his second 8th birthday: September 23, 2004. All fits within the film’s context, but not clear from the film itself. D-.

I would describe the film as a slightly better version of Bless the Child until you hit the twist. From there it makes no sense with the rest of the film and leads to an stunningly bad ending (that might still have been the best of the several endings shot for the film). Woof. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Godsend? More like God, Send it Back! Amirite!? A couple’s child dies and Robert De Niro crashes their mourning period to reveal a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: play God, abandon the life as you know it, and lie to your child for the rest of your life and you can get him back! I mean, what is the downside?! Let’s get into it:

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – For the most part the first two thirds of this film are at least okay. Not really “thrilling” maybe, but the acting is solid, a few jump scares here and there, and the premise is interesting enough to sustain the film for a good hour at least. Sounds like it is time for a sequel. Fifteen years later and Dr. Richard Wells is still missing, and his “son” Zachary has been quelled and is controlled within Adam, now a New York City detective. When episodes involving Zachary become more frequent, and disturbing stories of a mad doctor start to float around the precinct, Adam has a sinking feeling Wells is back to his genetic research games. Following leads through back alley clinics and mafia doctors Adam discovers with horror that Wells has perfected a procedure to transfer consciousnesses from one man to another. How does one catch a man who can change faces at will? Godsend: Face / Off. The New York Times calls it “a piss-poor sequel built entirely upon the premise that Robert De Niro refused to return to the series”.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Mainly the issue with the film is that the ending is garbage. Not only that, all four alternative endings they wrote are also garbage. The writing gets seriously shaky in the third act, although it includes the gloriously evil-scientist line “Tell me something, if I’m not supposed to do this Paul, how is it that I can?” from Dr. Wells. If I had a nickel for every time I screamed that while doing my PhD work I would be a rich man. I’m not sure the sin (Lust, gluttony, greed? Probably greed), but I think all of the issues stem from the producers accidentally landing Robert De Niro and then rushing to expand his part (allegedly all shot within a very short time span). I would guess by expanding Wells into the main antagonist role they painted themselves into a corner with the ending. That’s my take anyways.

The BMT: Legacy – I do think Wells gets up there in the pantheon of evil bad movie scientists, along with Dr. Alexander McCabe from Bats. Along with that it also joins movies like The Call in which the first two thirds are pretty good and then the last act (often just the ending) ruins the entire film. Interesting, but this movie won’t be in any bad movie marathons, I don’t think. For the most part the film is too good in its first two acts to be anything that sticks around.

And wrap with StreetCreditReport.com as is usual these days. Godsend, not surprisingly, got no love at the time despite being the third lowest rated films on Rotten Tomatoes of the year. Ebert neglects it in his recap, and I found nary a list that mentioned it. But 2004 was an amazing year (Catwoman, Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, New York Minute, White Chicks, The Whole Ten Yards!!) and Godsend is amazingly forgettable. Street cred? More like No Cred. For shame.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Godsend Preview

There were a number of pure science fiction films available for StreetCreditReport.com, but we were feeling a little genre mash’em-up. Let’s get something that’s a little dash of horror, a little pinch of intense family drama, a smidgen of science fiction, and literally no comedy whatsoever. That’s right! We’re watching Godsend. Not sure how many people remember this Robert De Niro/Greg Kinnear film that scored a startling 4% on RT. It’s about a family who loses their only son in a tragic accident. Offered the chance to clone their child they take the chance (against their own better judgement). All is well until strange things start happening once the child passes the age at which he died. Uh oh! Sounds extremely sad, incredibly close, and marginally creepy. Just how I like it! Let’s go!

Godsend (2004) – BMeTric: 63.9

Godsend_BMeT

Godsend_RV

(Those are some dense plots for reals. Extremely promising. Basically no regression to the mean and a significantly low rating for IMDb being sub-5.0. Kind of amazing that a film released in 2004 can “only” have around 20 thousand votes over 13 years later, but even so, it seems like people have been slowly watching the film over the years and thinking “wow, this apparently terrible film is in actuality terrible” which is a good sign.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – A couple grieving over the loss of their 8-year-old son is approached by a medical researcher who promises that he can enable the woman to give birth to the identical child all over again – using a revolutionary (is illegal) cloning method he’s perfected. Good performances and an interesting premise reel us in, but then the filmmakers string us along, teasing us about where the story is headed. It doesn’t pay off. Filmed in Canada, which never looked more unlike the U.S.

(Sweet settings burn by Leonard, decent hyphen game, and an overuse of the word “us” (speak for yourself Leonard). I kind of love this review, even if it does put a damper on my hopes for the film. Leonard doesn’t like the spooky-scary though, so 50-50 whether he actually watched this film. I could easily guess that the highlight of the film is the acting and premise based solely on the trailer.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWI2qZC_KUY

(I remember this trailer. And I remember thinking it looked spookily interesting. And I remember being shocked when it was apparently terrible. Loving the kick ass black Wilson b-ball in the beginning, and hating the little title cards “His Mother’s Eyes” etc. Cheesy, but getting me amped.)

Directors – Nick Hamm – (Known For: The Journey; The Hole; Killing Bono; Future BMT: Martha – Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence; BMT: Godsend; Notes: A BAFTA Award winning director, he worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and extensively in British television.)

Writers – Mark Bomback (written by) – (Known For: The Wolverine; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Die Hard 4.0; Unstoppable; Race to Witch Mountain; Future BMT: Deception; Total Recall; Insurgent; BMT: Godsend; Notes: There is an entire interview just about this movie and the thought process that went into it. Fascinating stuff. Seems like a writing-for-fun-and-profit kind of guy, and strangely seems to have ended up doing a ton of action films.)

Actors – Robert De Niro – (Known For: Goodfellas; Heat; The Godfather: Part II; Taxi Driver; Sleepers; A Bronx Tale; The Deer Hunter; Silver Linings Playbook; Stardust; American Hustle; Limitless; Casino; Once Upon a Time in America; Joy; Jackie Brown; The Intern; Cape Fear; The Untouchables; Raging Bull; Hands of Stone; Future BMT: Little Fockers; Killing Season; Showtime; The Carrier; The Fan; Hide and Seek; Analyze That; Shark Tale; Righteous Kill; Arthur et les Minimoys; 15 Minutes; The Bridge of San Luis Rey; Red Lights; Heist; Meet the Fockers; The Family; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; Killer Elite; The Comedian; Bloody Mama; Stanley & Iris; Great Expectations; BMT: Godsend; The Big Wedding; New Year’s Eve; Dirty Grandpa; Grudge Match; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor for Dirty Grandpa in 2017; and Nominated for Worst Screen Couple in 2003 for Showtime; Notes: Not much to say about him, he’s been in an incredible number of films (and an incredible number of bad films). He’s been in something like 100 films with over five reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, it is crazy. Anyways, someday maybe we’ll do a De Niro exclusive cycle, try and knock a few more of these guys off.)

Greg Kinnear – (Known For: Little Miss Sunshine; Brigsby Bear; As Good as It Gets; We Were Soldiers; Invincible; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; Sabrina; Stuck in Love; You’ve Got Mail; Robots; Mystery Men; The Gift; Baby Mama; Green Zone; Animal Attraction; Stuck on You; Little Men; Heaven Is for Real; Ghost Town; Bad News Bears; Future BMT: I Don’t Know How She Does It; Loser; Blankman; The Last Song; Salvation Boulevard; Dear God; A Smile Like Yours; Unknown; Murder of a Cat; Feast of Love; BMT: Movie 43; Godsend; Notes: If I was older I probably would have realized that he used to be a talk show host before making his film debut in Blankman (!). Nominated for an Oscar for As Good as It Gets.)

Rebecca Romijn – (Known For: X-Men; X: First Class; X-Men: The Last Stand; X-Men 2; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; Femme Fatale; S1m0ne; Run Ronnie Run; The Alibi; Future BMT: Good Deeds; Man About Town; The Punisher; Dirty Work; BMT: Rollerball; Godsend; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress for Rollerball in 2003; Notes: Formerly Romijn-Stamos, and now married to Jerry O’Connell with whom she has twin daughters. Love me some twin notes. She was a model, and has an impressive filmography after breaking out in X-Men.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $14,379,751 (Worldwide: $30,114,487)

(That’s a bomb. But at least the budget was modest. It could have easily been worse considering the actors involved, which is definitely why it costs $25 million instead of $10 million.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (6/138): A murky thriller with few chills, Godsend is features ludicrous dialogue, by-the-numbers plotting, and an excess of cheap shocks.

(I don’t like cheap shocks, they are the worst way to make a horror film. I loooooove ludicrous dialogue though, so I’m down. Make me jump in exchange for De Niro saying something like “he’s got his brother’s memories!”. I take that deal 10 out of 10 times.)

Poster – Sklogsend (C-)

godsend_ver2

(Why is there smoke all over this poster? I can barely tell what’s actually on it. But still a nice example of how to make a poster with people in it without ruining the color. Solid orange color, terrible font, and really bad spacing. Meeeehhhhhhh.)

Tagline(s) – Adam Duncan. Born: December 11, 1987. Died: December 12, 1995. Born September 23, 1996. (Thank you.)

When a miracle becomes a nightmare, evil is born. (B-)

(The first tagline is not on the poster, but I like that at some point they made very specific decision on exactly when the entire movie took place. If worse comes to worse I can use it for the temporal setting. So thanks, anonymous tagline writer. The second one is elusive. I certainly sounds like a tagline. But does it really mean anything? I don’t think so and graded it accordingly.)

Keyword(s) – birthday; Top Ten by BMeTric: 93.1 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 87.6 Vampires Suck (2010); 85.6 The Room (2003); 84.8 Left Behind (I) (2014); 84.1 Movie 43 (2013); 81.9 Skyline (2010); 76.0 Junior (1994); 71.5 The Next Karate Kid (1994); 67.6 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998); 63.9 Godsend (2004);

(Ha! Junior is by far the best one there. Someday we are going to watch and regret watching 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain starring the Hulkster.)

Notes – Robert De Niro had originally planned on merely providing a brief cameo for the film – however after director Nick Hamm heard De Niro would be interested in his project, he asked De Niro to participate in a few more scenes that were all filmed within a week. De Niro later regretted this because his name was “splashed over all the advertisements”. (De Niro regretted that his money grab became a high profile money grab)

Before the release of this movie, Lions Gate Films set up two official websites: one conventional site with movie information, and one site that appeared to be a promotional tool for the (fictional) cloning institute depicted in the movie. The website gave an email address and phone number (1-888-699-2672) for the “Godsend Institute;” calling the number resulted in a recorded message giving the institute’s office hours. Several news outlets reported that when a few bereaved parents called or emailed the fake institute to inquire about having their children genetically reconstituted, the studio started responding to them and explaining that it was just a movie tie-in and not a real laboratory. Similar advertisements for fictional medical procedures and clinics were also produced as parts of the advertising campaigns for Gattaca (1997) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). (That isn’t great to be honest. That sounds terrible)

Five different endings were shot for this movie and the released one is the tamest one. (This is worthless unless I can see the other endings, I don’t even know what tamest means in this context)

The operating room sequences were filmed inside the empty swimming pool of the institute complex. (fun facts)

The snow scene in the graveyard was unplanned. It was hoped the snow would remain until the scene was completed, and it did. (fun facts)

Hot to Trot Recap

Jamie

Who would have thought that watching an entire cycle of films that received the rare <10% RT score would result in us getting dog poo shoved ever so slowly into our faces over and over again? That’s our BMT life. Let’s go!

What?! After the death of his mother, Fred Chaney needs to prove to his asshole stepdad that he can handle the family biz. Fortunately his mother has bequeathed him a talking horse with a nose for stock trading. Can he amass a fortune, get the lady, and shove it in his stepdad’s face before it’s too late? Find out in… Hot to Trot.

How?! Comedy business storyline alert! As is the case with most 80’s comedies, this film concerns our main characters lust for success and money in the world of finance. Fred’s mother dies, leaving him with half an investment company and one talking horse named Don. He’s a deadbeat loser, so naturally his asshole of a stepdad wants to buy him out of his stake in the company, but Fred hates his stupid face so decides to stay on out of spite. By sheer luck, Don overhears some important business tips around the stables and Fred is soon raking in the dough and living it up (with Don) in a penthouse apartment. His luck soon runs out, though, when one of Don’s tips comes up a dud and he loses everything. With only Don to his name (weird that he still “owns” Don even though he’s basically his friend and talks with him all day), he stakes it all on a big horse race. Riding Don to victory as the unlikeliest of jockey’s, Fred finally gives his stepdad the comeuppance he deserves. As for Don, his storyline is a sad affair concerned mostly with loneliness and wanderlust. As for our storyline while watching this film, it was also a sad affair concerned only with sadness and dog poo in our faces.

Why?! Technically Fred’s goals are two-fold. He primarily wants to prove that he’s not the black sheep bozo that his stepdad assumes he is (and he certainly is in actuality). There is a secondary romantic goal of getting with Allison, a coworker at the office, but that is a pretty weak romantic storyline. As for Don, he’s just looking for three simple things: a friend, a nice filly to make baby talking horses with, and all the TaB he can guzzle. The final race provides an answer to all these goals. If they win they get rich (to buy TaB, probably), Fred gets the girl, and Fred wins all of his stepdad’s horses, including the filly of Don’s dreams. How convenient! I guess that’s why they made a documentary about it since it was such a crazy convenient storyline.

Who?! We’ve been on a roll with uncredited appearances (and in a major slump on Planchets) and this film is no different. Appearing unbilled as the voice of Don’s dad is Mickey himself, Burgess Meredith. Pretty big role to go unbilled (three major scenes), but just a voice so maybe didn’t think a terrible talking horse film was worth the billing in the end. I like to imagine he was really good friends with Bobcat Goldthwait and did him a solid.

Where?! California setting. Lots of license plates and California living. Most notably though is the climactic horse race, the El Segundo Stakes, set outside LA. Pushes it from a C+ to a B-.

When?! There is no clear temporal setting for this film. There were a couple glimpses of newspapers and computer screen, but all were prop constructions. No dates to be seen. The only conjecture we can make is on the date of the El Segundo Stakes. There is a race by that name that seems to run in the third week of May, but it is so small that I can’t tell if it even existed in the 80’s or is always run in May. So that’s pretty weak. D+.

Let’s see what Patrick thought of this dog poo. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Hot to Trot? More like Dog Poo In My Face! Or Should I say Horse Poo In My Face!? Amirite? John Candy voices a stock-tip giving, best-bud of a party animal in this hilarious comedy showcasing the one of a kind talents of Bobcat Goldthwait! What could possibly go wrong! Oh yeah, I already told you, it was like dog poo being pushed slow motion into my face, let’s get into it:

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Some of the performances, like Virginia Madsen, were okay which is only more confusing as to how they got them in this movie in the first place. Besides that literally nothing. But we obviously are going to go Sequel! Here we see mega-billionaire Fred Chaney who, with the help of Don the talking horse, has skyrocketed to the top of the financial world. But Don is concerned after finding some discrepancies in the company’s books … could Fred be stealing from his clients and friends? Paranoid, and afraid, Don seeks out Allison Rowe to help unravel the mystery of Fred Chaney. Is he the man they thought he was, or could he be a crook … even a killer? Hot to Trot 2: Money Never Sleeps. “A tense thriller … although the talking horse deflates it a bit” says the New York Times.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Where to start? Everything about the talking horse and the lore surrounding it is cheesy and awful and not funny. The direction is bonkers, there are parts which legit look like they filled out the film with stock footage. The writing is awful, bouncing between a kind of weird talking horse financial comedy and a surreal odd couple situation (with a talking horse). It is aimless, and at times boring, aggravating, annoying, and predictable all wrapped up in one. It is legitimately one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. The sin is Greed. And that is only because stupidity isn’t a sin. Why they thought they could just make easy money with this bit of schlock is beyond me.

The BMT: Legacy – Boy oh boy, this film is awe inspiring in how bad it is, a rarity even. This could go down as one of the worst earnest 80s films we’ll ever watch. We’ve probably seen worse actual films (Can’t Stop the Music comes to mind), and I’ve certainly seen other terrible films quality-wise, but this is somehow indicative of the legacy of the 80s. Like Maximum Overdrive it is cocaine distilled, a heady hubris-driven idea of doing whatever you want and expecting it to come up heads every time. It is special, and deserves to be in any conversation about terrible 80s films, especially in a BMT context. It is nearly beyond words … so naturally I wasted a ton of them trying to explain it. This movie is like smoke, ungraspable and ephemeral. Enjoy it while you can.

Boom, and shine that off with a little StreetCreditReport.com! Interestingly Hot to Trot doesn’t get a lot of love as a bad movie. It is the 3rd worst talking animal film ever though, but then gets 23rd on a list concerning all of the 80s. That guy is a random guy from Tampa Bay, but we have seen 5 of his top 10 (Cobra, Rhinestone, Ishtar, Over the Top, and Gymkata) … I’m sticking to my guns, this easily gets into my top 10. Anyways, I think why this doesn’t get more notice is because no one remembers. This list seems to suggest that is plausible. That is what Bad Movie Twins give you though, the unpopular opinions. You heard it here first … Hot to Trot is a bad movie.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs