The Rite Quiz

Man, so I went to Rome to study under the creme de la creme of exorcism teachers and boom! I was doing exorcisms. For real, they are real?! Who knew. Anyways, I got bopped in the head by a demon naturally and now can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in The Rite?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why does Michael intend to enter the clergy in the beginning of the film? 

2) Ultimately why does he want to withdraw his intention of taking the vows and becoming a priest at St. Osmund College? 

3) What event makes him change his mind … well, how is he pressured into doing it? 

4) Due to further lapses in faith Michael is sent to Father Lucas Trevant to witness an exorcism. What test (the quickest test according to Trevant) do they perform to prove the girl is possessed? 

5) Nearing the end of the film why is Michael trying to get back to the US? Why can’t he? And what spooooooooooky event occurs while Michael is in Paris? 

Bonus Question: When is the next time Michael is called in to do an exorcism after Father Lucas? 

Answers

The Rite Preview

The half-cyborg robot from the past looks quizzically at the latest gadget: the mp3 player. “Beep boop beep boop kids these days,” it says as it puts on a walkman and pops in its “Tunes to Kill By” mixed tape.

Patrick massages his head. The book is inane… “I don’t get it,” says Jamie quizzically, “were they trying to make a bad book or the raddest books, cause I’m digging this dope bot (as the kids say).” As the unofficial king of YA lit and the creator of the mega swamp monster revival, Patrick is embarrassed and yet unsurprised by Jamie’s lack of literary sense. Whoever wrote this book knew what bad media was all about. It’s almost… like… “they were born there,” he mutters. “What?” asks Jamie, looking up from the Rich and Poe book, “I didn’t catch that. The half-cyborg just started playing electric guitar with his leg..” My god, four chapters in and the cyborg still hasn’t left its apartment! “No dummy,” Patrick says, shaking his head, “the authors. There is no way they could make a book like this without being immersed in bad media. I think these imposters were born in the BMTverse. Or maybe even the Z-movie universe.” This is going to be tougher than either of them thought. How can they find two people who never even existed in this world? “Keep reading,” suggests Patrick, stumped. The book may be their only chance to find any clues.

As the half-cyborg finishes describing the perfect method for whittling a whistle there is a knock at the door. The robot cracks its knuckles. Could be some dweebs. When he opens it there stands his steamy neighbor, Mary. (“this should be good”, thinks Patrick) “Time for church, Cyborg,” she says (Gah!) That’s right! We’re watching The Rite. Now you might be thinking “why would you watch The Rite, a movie that no one remembers coming out?” That’s because believe it or not it’s the 10th (!) anniversary of us starting to watch bad movies. At the time we started, this film was out in theaters and happens to be based on a book. What a coincidence and happy anniversary to us. Let’s go!

The Rite (2011) – BMeTric: 33.2; Notability: 31 

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 35.6%; Notability: top 50.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 15.7% Higher BMeT: Jack and Jill, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World, Shark Night 3D, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, The Roommate, Abduction, Conan the Barbarian, I Don’t Know How She Does It, Zookeeper, Apollo 18, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, The Dilemma, Trespass, Season of the Witch, The Smurfs, The Son of No One, Green Lantern, The Resident, and 29 more; Higher Notability: Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Green Lantern, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, Cars 2, Jack and Jill, Battle: Los Angeles, Hop, New Year’s Eve, Your Highness, The Smurfs, Immortals, In Time, Red Riding Hood, Johnny English Reborn, I Am Number Four, The Hangover Part II, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, Larry Crowne, Priest, and 26 more; Lower RT: Jack and Jill, The Roommate, A Little Bit of Heaven, Beneath the Darkness, Hick, Abduction, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, Dream House, New Year’s Eve, The Reunion, Trespass, Red Riding Hood, Season of the Witch, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, Atlas Shrugged: Part I, The Moth Diaries, Zookeeper, The Ledge, Something Borrowed, Priest and 14 more; Notes: This is a decent test here, because by both BMeTric and Notability this is kind of meh, but it was one of the worst reviewed of that year … kind of seems like it is just going to be boring though. Even the IMDb rating isn’t as bad as most of the films we’ve been doing recently.

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – This is I suspect a more realistic film than “The Exorcist,” although not its equal. The real Father Gary Thomas has cited “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” (2005) as more accurate. I admire “The Rite” because while it delivers what I suppose should be called horror, it is atmospheric, its cinematography is eerie and evocative, and the actors enrich it. It has given some thought to exorcism. Grant its assumptions, and it has something to say.

(Hinteresting. Not typical you’ll see Ebert go this far from the rest of the critics. It is an interesting points about the film though. Most people thought it was dull. Ebert grants that, but being somewhat dull is forgivable since at least it has a raison d’etre. Makes sense.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hG3ktopqv8/

(Ha! The opening. Someone said they were going to do something ludicrous, The Vatican denied it … that must mean there is a ton of truth to it! I think as long as the film doesn’t pretend exorcisms and possessions are real I’m going to be kind of peachy keen with it. If it does though, I’ll probably end up having a problem.)

Directors – Mikael Håfström – (Known For: Escape Plan; 1408; Evil; Future BMT: Outside the Wire; Derailed; Shanghai; BMT: The Rite; Notes: Swedish, he wrote and directed mostly in Sweden until the 00s when he transitioned to Hollywood. He directs mostly television now.)

Writers – Michael Petroni (written by) – (Known For: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Book Thief; The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys; Future BMT: Backtrack; Till Human Voices Wake Us; BMT: Queen of the Damned; The Rite; Notes: He’s written a few different possession films. He also seemed to make good money adapting books with religious themes into films.)

Matt Baglio (book) (suggestion) – (BMT: The Rite; Notes: He has basically just does a few exorcism things as far as Hollywood is concerned. It seems likely that the female journalist in the film is supposed to be him, while Colin O’Donoghue is Gary Thomas.)

Actors – Colin O’Donoghue – (Known For: Carrie Pilby; Storage 24; What Still Remains; BMT: The Rite; Notes: Played Captain Hook in Once Upon a Time. Is Irish and was the guitarist for the band The Enemies, but had to quit to pursue acting full time.)

Anthony Hopkins – (Known For: Thor: Ragnarok; The Silence of the Lambs; Thor; The Father; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; A Bridge Too Far; Thor: The Dark World; Bram Stoker’s Dracula; Meet Joe Black; Legends of the Fall; Red Dragon; The Elephant Man; Mission: Impossible II; The Two Popes; Chaplin; Noah; Fracture; RED 2; Beowulf; The Mask of Zorro; Future BMT: Alexander; Misconduct; Freejack; Go with Me; The Wolfman; Slipstream; Desperate Hours; Collide; Kidnapping Freddy Heineken; All the King’s Men; 360; Solace; Instinct; The Innocent; Surviving Picasso; The Trial; Hannibal; The City of Your Final Destination; August; BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight; Bad Company; The Rite; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for A Change of Seasons in 1981; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 2018 for Collide, and Transformers: The Last Knight; Notes: Y’all know Anthony Hopkins. Good news for him, he just got the Covid-19 vaccine!)

Ciarán Hinds – (Known For: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2; Red Sparrow; There Will Be Blood; First Man; Frozen; Frozen 2; Munich; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Silence; In Bruges; Road to Perdition; John Carter; Miami Vice; Excalibur; The Woman in Black; The Sum of All Fears; Race to Witch Mountain; The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover; The Debt; Bleed for This; Future BMT: Mary Reilly; Salvation Boulevard; The Weight of Water; Justice League; McCanick; The Statement; The Tiger’s Tail; The Nativity Story; The Phantom of the Opera; BMT: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Hitman: Agent 47; The Rite; Notes: From Northern Ireland. Apparently is a close friend of Liam Neeson.)

Budget/Gross – $37,000,000 / Domestic: $33,047,633 (Worldwide: $96,560,591)

(Borderline. I’m kind of surprised it made more money internationally … is there be big religious / exorcism market outside of the US? I could believe it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (37/173): Anthony Hopkins is as excellent as ever, but he’s no match for The Rite’s dawdling pace and lack of chills — or Colin O’Donoghue’s tentative performance in the leading role.

(Hmmm, too bad, because I don’t think you could really do this film with anything but an unknown in the lead role. It needs that balance with Hopkins do there isn’t a competition basically. Reviewer Highlight: The Rite commits the supreme sin of making the devil dull. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – That’s Rite!

(A yes, nothing gets the butts in the seats like a giant poster of Anthony Hopkins’ face. The Elephant Man himself. The box office draw of Hearts of Atlantis. Anyway, I do like a lot about this poster… but the size of Hopkins’ face is making me uncomfortable. B.)

Tagline(s) – You can only defeat it when you believe. (C-)

(That is more or less the plot of the book. It basically lays out the argument for why demonic possession is real this way: how could it not be real if so many people believe in it… so faith basically. And yes, you can only defeat it by believing in it because otherwise there isn’t anything to defeat in the first place. Bravo. The tagline is confusing and doesn’t sound right in my ears. But it’s just boring, not offensive.)

Keyword – based on book

Top 10: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Ready Player One (2018), Goodfellas (1990), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Forrest Gump (1994), Le Mans ’66 (2019), A Simple Favour (2018), Fight Club (1999), Die Hard (1988), Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

Future BMT: 65.2 The Turning (2020), 56.5 Snow Dogs (2002), 55.9 The Stepford Wives (2004), 53.1 Hanging Up (2000), 49.7 Abandon (2002), 44.3 Thomas and the Magic Railroad (2000), 42.1 Village of the Damned (1995), 39.1 Krippendorf’s Tribe (1998), 38.0 Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (2011), 37.0 Deal of the Century (1983);

BMT: Something Borrowed (2011), Striptease (1996), Eragon (2006), Cocktail (1988), Kiss the Girls (1997), Gangster Squad (2013), What to Expect When You’re Expecting (2012), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), The Rite (2011), Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001), Deadly Friend (1986), I Dreamed of Africa (2000)

(Below average notability for a based on a book film. I think this is the lesser of the two keywords (the other being Based on a Novel). Here, obviously, we have a great future film in Krippendorf’s Tribe … yeah that film is a load of shit.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Ciarán Hinds is No. 5 billed in The Rite and No. 2 billed in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 5 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 15. If we were to watch Instinct, and Pearl Harbor we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Mikael Håfström attended exorcisms to prepare for directing this movie. He was not allowed to witness them, but he could hear what was happening from outside the door. (… alright then)

The language Istvan Kovak (Rutger Hauer) speaks is Hungarian. It can be translated as: “My love, my flower, my bliss.”

Shipped to theaters under the code name “Denial”.

Alice Braga (Angeline) is the niece of Sonia Braga (Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)).

The film is based off a book, which centres around real-life priest Father Gary Thomas from California. He was tasked by his bishop to become the diocesan exorcist and so was sent to Rome to learn how to do it.

The writing on Father Lucas Trevant’s (Sir Anthony Hopkins’) wall (“Fi sydd biau fe nawr”) is Welsh (just like Hopkins), and translates to “He belongs to me now”.

The image used to describe the demon Baal is usually that of a man, a cat, a toad, or a combination of all of them. Father Lucas Trevant’s (Sir Anthony Hopkins’) house is infested with cats, as well as toads in the fountain.

Solo (1996) Recap

Jamie

Solo is just a robot who feels a little too much. So when his program prevents him from killing civilians as collateral damage, the US military tanks the project. But Solo escapes and makes his home in a peaceful village that needs his help. Can he protect the village and evade capture by the US before it’s too late? Find out in… Solo.

How?! Solo is the ultimate fighting machine… except for the whole part where his advanced AI system has taught itself to care about human life. ‘Dang,’ thinks the US military, ‘we can’t have this weapon caring about humans,’ so they scrap the project and set Solo up for a memory wipe. Sensing that this is the equivalent to a death sentence for him, Solo decides to escape and heads deep into the jungles of [insert anonymous Central American country]. There he finds a peaceful village who helps him get back up and running. The village is constantly terrorized by some anonymous rebels and Solo helps them learn how to defend themselves. This involves mostly montages and laughing. They successfully drive the rebels off, but this gets interest from the military. They send in an eeeevil black ops group who teams up with the rebels to overtake the village and hold Solo’s friends hostage. Returning to the village, Solo basically owns everyone cause he is a killer robot and is way faster and stronger. I mean, come on. He’s got robot muscles and junk… it’s really no competition. That is until the military drops in a new, advanced black ops killer robot and Solo is like ‘oh, shit.’ They do battle in an ancient temple where it looks like the bigger, badder robot is going to win, but they forgot one thing: love. Solo is able to use the uniquely human skills he learned from the villagers (like bluffing) to fool the eeevil android and kill him. Everyone assumes both robots died, but not so fast… methinks Solo may be out there somewhere laughing his robot ass off and loving life. THE END.

Why?! Why indeed. Solo just wants to live and to figure out what living means for him. In the book there is a lot of concern that he’ll end up basically being Skynet once he figures out that all the ills of the Earth are caused by humans so that’s why there is so much urgency to get out and kill him. It’s hinted that Solo loves amnimals and the implication is that if left to his own devices it’s actually more likely he would just become the greatest zoologist of all time because that’s his passion… which is kind of nice… until he figures out that humans are killing all the amnimals.

Who?! Probably the best aspect of the film is that the super duper badass robot they bring in after Solo kills William Sadler’s eeevil black ops character is a… William Sadler robot. First of all, not the most intimidating model of your killer robot. Second, is that a dual role I smell? Not too many films I can think of off the top of my head where someone has a dual role: one human, one robot. Nice.

What?! Is Solo a MacGuffin. That’s the question I have to ask… literally because I can’t think of anything else to do for this section. I mean, he’s an object of incredible power that everyone wants to get their hands on and his capture is central to the plot. That sure sounds like a Solo MacGuffin to me.

Where?! The book is very explicitly set in Nicaragua, but that is not made clear here. It’s definitely Mesoamerica given the spanish speaking population and the ball game that is shown being played, but given that by 1996 it no longer made sense for it to involve the Contras it seemed like they just left it ambiguous. D  

When?! Just like the location, it seems like when this is set is just an ambiguous present. The world is almost like a cartoon… there isn’t much in the way of reality to hang onto. Would have loved for them to give us a Mesoamerican specific holiday to really spice this part up. Alas. F.

Solo is based on a book called Weapon. The film follows the plot pretty closely, although the book goes much more in depth on the philosophy of what an AI machine like Solo might do when confronted with the ethical questions of war and is more of the time, being set during the  American anti-communist efforts using the Contras in Nicaragua. It started off pretty badly, but I rather enjoyed it by the end. Not a half bad beach read if you’re looking for a little techno-action. They really dumbed it down when it came to this (should have been straight-to-video) schlock. 1996 must have really been peak action if this managed to make it into theaters. You can tell a little by Seagal and JCVD. Just a mere two years later and they were in the straight-to-video realm after both releasing two (!) films in 1996. The script is bad, everything looks cheap, and they even whip out a crazy nonsense ending involving a robot William Sadler. At that point it seemed like even the director gave up. At least we had some explosions and the main character was a robot so there wasn’t an unnecessary love interest… although that would have been hilarious and great. In fact, I count that against the film. Patrick?  

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! When you think of action star, you think Mario Van Peebles. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – The thing that really stands out for Solo is that the poster absolutely looks awful. Like, comically bad. Other than that I welcome the return of Mario Van Peebles who we last saw in Highlander: The Final Dimension I think. So yeah … he isn’t a great actor, or at least he was in some wild films in the mid-90s. The film seems like a borderline straight-to-DVD knockoff of Terminator 2. That has to be fun … right? What were my expectations? Basically a straight-to-video film from the mid-90s. Which can definitely be fun, especially with someone like Mario Van Peebles in the lead. But there is an outside shot it is just boring.

The Good – This is the type of straight-to-video film I would dig watching as a BMT Friend. Big robot arm guns, ripping off the plot of Seven Samurai, poorly directed action. Like, yeah, sign me up. Feels a bit like Sudden Death with Van Damme in that regard. There is probably a kind of worthwhile message about the US military-industrial complex hidden in there (as with so many films of the 90s). And the film can be funny at times. Best Bit: Light 90s action.

The Bad – Some reviews suggest Van Peebles is okay, but I really don’t get it. He’s acting like a robot, sure, but it feels like either a play off of Arnold in The Terminator without being an enormous bodybuilder, or just a “beep boop I am a robot” schtick from a cable movie. The storyline is generic and boring, and the twists at the end are obvious. The acting (including Adrian Brody) is awful as well. It is hard to point at a single thing (the explosions maybe?) and say it was done well. This film feels like a straight-to-video film because that is what it is. They just accidentally released it to theaters for some reason. Fatal Flaw: Looks like garbage.

The BMT – In some small way this is exactly what BMT is meant to do, find those forgotten films, resurrect them, and mine them for BMT gold. There is no gold in these hills. I have no interest in watching this film again. I have no interest in recommending this film to anyone. Even trying to search for a related bad movie for the You Just Got Schooled section was basically impossible, the only possible analogues are garbage like Runaway starring Tom Selleck. Did it meet my expectations? No, sadly. Most straight-to-video films from the 90s are amusingly entertaining in some small way. There is nothing here. As I feared, the film is merely boring. Pass.

Roast-radamus – Very very borderline Setting as a Character (Where?) for … Central America I guess? There are definitely some Mayan ruins in the film. It isn’t a great setting, but it is a character. It does have a pretty great Worst Twist (How?) for the eeeevil colonel not being the final boss after all, instead a robot version of him with a gun arm is! That’s fun. The film is a BMT I think, just because of Peeble’s bizarre performance and the improbable elevative of the film above its seemingly inevitable straight-to-video quality.

Sequel, Prequel, Streaming – So after the original’s origin story for Solo I think the sequel needs to get serious. And what could be more serious in these trying times than a hard boiled Washington political drama? Solo is elected as a Senator representing Florida (which is where he settled due to his snake wrangling abilities). Our robot friend is trying to revamp a flagging VA office, but gets wrapped up in a scandal when his field reports are leaked to the press. Can Solo navigate the minefield that is modern political discourse to figure out who is trying to take him down? Find out in Solo Goes the Washington. Twist ending, the President is a robot, the ultimate military weapon: a robotic Commander in Chief, which sets up the finale to the trilogy, President Solo.

You Just Got Schooled – There wasn’t anything that popped out to me that seemed like a good Schooled movie this week. With Hall of Fame inductions coming up I think I’ll start skipping it in lieu of watching some of those during the week.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Solo (1996) Quiz

On man, so get this. I’m a robot, you see, and I decide to escape because they are going to reboot me. But then I crash my helicopter and I totally can’t remember anything! Can you remember what happened in Solo?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) What is the first mission the Solo prototype is sent on?

2) What directive is violated in that mission which results in its failure and ultimately the termination of the Solo program?

3) When trying to decide on a face to give Solo what person does the robot see which he ultimately uses to determine which soldier to base him on?

4) What do the villages think Solo is when he comes back to life at his funeral?

5) Solo agrees to help the villagers from the beginning of the film in exchange for what?

Bonus Question: How long does Solo stay in the village after the events of the film?

Answers

Solo (1996) Preview

Jamie and Patrick emerge from the portal to Earth and they breathe in the fresh Brooklyn air. Home at last. Patrick pulls out his emergency cable knit sweater and they begin the hike back to their apartment. He sure is ready to put the Obsidian Dongle away for safekeeping and see his wife and six children, while Jamie just needs a classic NY slice and his MTV. Rad. As they pass by their favorite book store a stray glance stops Patrick dead in his tracks. “J-j-jamie… what is that?” he says in a panic. A large “Bestseller” sign hangs over a large stack of the latest hit: R&P: Rest in Peace: The Death of Rich and Poe. They scramble into the bookstore and buy a copy for themselves. They stare at the glossy cover in disbelief. It’s exactly like the one they saw in the BMTverse. They flip to the back page to see a picture of them… there they are smiling from a picture neither remembered taking. A chill runs down their spines when they turn back to the front and see a small sticker that reads: “soon to be a major motion picture.” “They can’t,” mutters Patrick, “if that movie bombs then…” but Jamie is right there on the same page, “Rich and Poe will die in the BMTverse.” Hearts racing they run back to their apartment and pace the room. “We need to know who stole our identities and what the hell is going on”, says Jamie, “and there’s only one way to do that.” Patrick nods. They have to read that book. “Maybe it won’t be so bad,” says Patrick as he reads the first line: “‘Let’s pound some dweebs,’ says the robot terminator cyborg sent from 1996 to kill Rich and Poe…” Oh boy. That’s right! We continue the based-on-a-book cycle on a lesser known 90’s action film Solo starring Mario Van Peebles. It’s about an AI weapon that fights back against its creators and is based on the book Weapon by Robert Mason. Let’s go!

Solo (1996) – BMeTric: 46.5; Notability: 18 

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 7.2%; Notability: top 80.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 1.0% Higher BMeT: Barb Wire, Kazaam, Striptease, Bio-Dome, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, The Crow: City of Angels, The Stupids, Hellraiser: Bloodline, Mr. Wrong, Spy Hard, Poison Ivy 2, Jingle All The Way; Higher Notability: Eraser, The Fan, Spy Hard, Jingle All The Way, Chain Reaction, Daylight, The Associate, Dear God, Mulholland Falls, Up Close & Personal, Eddie, Eye for an Eye, Sgt. Bilko, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Larger Than Life, Dunston Checks In, The Chamber, Carpool, Girl 6, and 58 more; Lower RT: Bio-Dome, Kazaam; Notes: I’m starting to think bad films come in two flavors. There are the ones where the notability is relatively low but it absolutely crushes BMeTric / RT (which are usually the same as long as critics and audiences don’t disagree). And then there are the soulless films which have huge notability but seem to always hover in that 35-55% range on RT. I think the low-notability ones tend to be the more beloved in BMT, so that’s promising. Also, I can’t believe we haven’t seen either Bio-Dome or Kazaam for BMT yet.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Solo is an android who has a crisis of conscience when he directly disobeys an order that would result in the murder of innocent people. This sets him on a collision course with his creators, particularly a sadistic colonel. Standard action for nondiscerning fans of the genre. Van Peebles is actually quite appealing in the lead.

(Not much to discuss there as it boils down to: pretty much what you would expect, although Van Peebles is better that one would think. I’m shocked, having watched the movie, that he doesn’t mention that it yet again seems to rip off Seven Samurai.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV-4gWRtNxY/

(Oh wow the overlay with the blatant Apocalypse Now rip off. This trailer looks like a direct-to-video garbage fire. What the hell were they thinking?)

Directors – Norberto Barba – (BMT: Solo; Notes: Mostly does television now, including 11 episodes of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Served in the U.S. Army Special Forces.)

Writers – Robert Mason (novel) – (BMT: Solo; Notes: Wrote an autobiography called Chickenhawk about his experience flying helicopters in Vietnam. His only other credit is writing for a documentary on the same subject. His writing is mostly science-fiction, like Weapon, the book Solo is based on.)

David L. Corley (screenplay) (as David Corley) – (BMT: Solo; Notes: Almost exclusively wrote straight-to-video stuff after this, including Executive Power starring Jean Claude Van Damme.)

Actors – Mario Van Peebles – (Known For: Ali; New Jack City; Heartbreak Ridge; The Cotton Club; Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song; Run the Race; How to Get the Man’s Foot Outta Your Ass; Stag; The Hebrew Hammer; Future BMT: Exterminator 2; Gunmen; Posse; Submerged; We the Party; Multiple Sarcasms; Panther; BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; Highlander III: The Final Dimension; Solo; Notes: A director, actor, and producer, the son of Melvin Van Peebles. He directed the film Badasssss! which is about the making of his father’s film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.)

William Sadler – (Known For: The Shawshank Redemption; The Green Mile; Bill & Ted Face the Music; Iron Man Three; Die Hard 2; The Highwaymen; The Mist; Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey; VFW; The Hot Spot; Kinsey; Freeheld; Freaked; Rush; Project X; Trespass; Being Flynn; Greetings from Tim Buckley; Ava’s Possessions; The Hollow; Future BMT: Grudge; Machete Kills; Bordello of Blood; Disturbing Behavior; Hard to Kill; K-9; The Duel; RocketMan; Living Among Us; The Battle of Shaker Heights; Hanky Panky; Eagle Eye; Man on a Ledge; Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight; Awaken the Night; A New Wave; Freedom; August Rush; Reach the Rock; Frank the Bastard; BMT: Solo; Notes: I never realized he played the Grim Reaper in the Bill & Ted films. Played Sgt. Toomey in Neil Simon’s Tony Award winning play Biloxi Blues.)

Barry Corbin – (Known For: No Country for Old Men; WarGames; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; Stir Crazy; Urban Cowboy; The Hot Spot; The Homesman; Planes: Fire & Rescue; In the Valley of Elah; Dead and Buried; Honkytonk Man; Nothing in Common; Permanent Record; All Saints; The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez; That Evening Sun; Provinces of Night; The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez; The Valley; Race to Space; Future BMT: The Dukes of Hazzard; Ghost Dad; Who’s Harry Crumb?; Held Up; Career Opportunities; Burning Rubber; Beer for My Horses; Any Which Way You Can; The Man Who Loved Women; Curdled; The Grand; My Science Project; Lake City; Short Time; New Life; BMT: Solo; Critters 2; Notes: Nominated for three Emmys, two for Northern Exposure, and one for the TV Movie Moon Shot. He was in the marines and actually did train at Camp Pendleton in California where they were planning on reprogramming Solo.)

Budget/Gross – $19 million / Domestic: $5,107,669 (Worldwide: $5,107,669)

(Brutal return. But I’m not sure what they expected since the film looks like it was destined to be straight-to-video. I’m not sure why you would spend $20 million on a Mario Van Peebles vehicle in the first place. Where did the money go? Exclusively into pyrotechnics?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (3/36): Featuring hammy performances and bland characters, Solo is an all too straightforward actioner that’s both predictable and instantly forgettable.

(Sounds about right. I’m still pretty perplexed that of all people Mario Van Peebles was being tagged as a potential action star in 1996. Reviewer Highlight: These escapist showdown movies are only as good as their villains and heroes. The heavies here are more of those ubiquitous gung-ho military types who are due to be dishonorably discharged from further cinematic duty. – Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune)

Poster – Solo: A BMT Story

(I’d love to think what would happen if Patrick and I were able to travel back in time and see this poster in the wild. I feel like a graphic artist somewhere threw this together and assumed it would be rejected and then when he was told his poster was chosen he panicked. At least they got that sweet block lettering. D.)

Tagline(s) – Part man. Part machine. Total weapon. Prepare to go Solo! (C+)

(You were going so good there for a while, tagline. Honestly the end is tacked on. Prior to that it’s an OK tagline. It’s got the structure and the plot. Just lacks a little creativity. Really what they have is something that works for any cyborg film… although, I’m not always prepared to go solo for every cyborg film, so that’s helpful to know.)

Keyword – based on novel

Top 10: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Catch Me If You Can (2002), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Emma. (2020), Goodfellas (1990), Ready Player One (2018), Jojo Rabbit (2019), Forrest Gump (1994), Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Future BMT: 72.2 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), 47.5 The Dark Tower (2017), 45.7 London Fields (2018), 43.8 Priest (2011), 43.6 Allegiant (2016), 43.4 The Rhythm Section (2020), 42.2 Pan (2015), 41.3 Addicted (2014), 39.7 Eat Pray Love (2010), 39.4 The Princess Diaries 2 (2004);

BMT: After (2019), Dolittle (2020), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Warcraft: The Beginning (2016), The Three Musketeers (2011), The Circle (2017), The Snowman (2017), Striptease (1996), Conan the Barbarian (2011), The 5th Wave (2016), Hunter Killer (2018), Fifty Shades Darker (2017), Vampire Academy (2014), Jumper (2008), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), A Walk to Remember (2002), A Dog’s Purpose (2017), I Am Number Four (2011), Death Wish (2018), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Poseidon (2006), Eragon (2006), Kiss the Girls (1997), Dragonball Evolution (2009), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), Along Came a Spider (2001), The Choice (2016), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), Something Borrowed (2011), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), The Host (2013), Safe Haven (2013)

(My god, we’ve done so many of them. And we still, confusingly, still have Twilight films to watch? I forget because I actually randomly watched them all years ago for no apparent reason. None of the others in that Future BMT section seem particularly appealing if I’m being honest. Although some of them have to be in a different keyword since we aren’t even half way through this cycle.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Mario Van Peebles is No. 1 billed in Solo and No. 2 billed in Highlander: The Final Dimension, which also stars Deborah Kara Unger (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 6 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 3 + 6 + 3 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, and Kingdom Come we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – The program on the TV that the people in the village is The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951). (I noticed this in the wild. Really good film, would highly recommend even if you don’t typically go for 50s films and that particular brand of special effect artistry)

2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story included the subtitle so as not to be confused with this film. (Well … I would assume it included a subtitle because Solo sounds like it could literally be anything. I doubt many people would be like “I’m going to Solo tonight want to come?” and their friends would respond “Wait, you’re going to go see that 1996 Mario Van Peebles robot film in theaters? That’s weird”)

Exit to Eden Recap

Jamie

Elliot Slater is some hot stuff. So naturally when he heads off to a swanky BDSM resort he catches the eye of Lisa, the head dominatrix. But not before he also catches on camera a previously unidentified jewel thief (duh) being pursued by some undercover cops. Can Elliot help catch the thief (and perhaps find love?) before it’s too late? Find out in… Exit to Eden.

How?! Elliot Slater has always had a different taste in love. So after his latest breakup he decides to descend fully into his fantasy by becoming a sex slave at an upscale BDSM resort where richie riches live out their wildest dreams. A photographer by trade, he happens to snap a pic of an illegal jewel smuggling operation run by Omar and Nina in action just before boarding the boat to his new life. Sheila and Fred and two of LA’s finest undercover cops who are on the verge of cracking the jewel smuggling case. But alas! The thieves get away. Learning that Elliot may in fact have the evidence they need to track down and capture Omar and Nina (and knowing that the thieves will do anything to get the evidence out of the way) they follow to the resort posing as a dentist looking for a good time and the resort’s handyman. Meanwhile at the resort Elliot is causing quite the stir, particular in the loins of the head of the resort, Lisa. Despite his overall cheekiness and unfitness as a sex slave (but almost certainly due to his rad rollerblading skillz), Lisa finds herself becoming more and more possessive over Elliot. Meanwhile Omar and Nina unsuccessfully attempt to get their mitts on Elliot while Sheila and Fred mostly don’t know what’s going on (but are learning a lot about who they are… you know… sexually). There is a particular focus on butts and obviously this all leads to Lisa being driven mad with love, lust, and love and lust for butts. She breaks Elliot out of the resort for an escape to New Orleans. The whole gang follows and the film comes to a climactic conclusion at an old plantation where Omar attempts to kill Elliot and is instead shot by Sheila. Lisa is ashamed of her antics and how they almost got Elliot killed. She sadly goes back to her lonely life as a dominatrix only to be delighted when Elliot shows up and insists that they can both have BDSM and love without compromise. Sheila and Fred nod approvingly as they also embark on their new sex positive lifestyles with new love interests. THE END.

Why?! Hoo doggy this is where the film gets into a little trouble. The book (duh, I read the book) is a straight faced BDSM romance novel centered around two sadomasochists who fall in love and have difficulty reconciling that fact with their pasts. Here Eliot Slater just seems like a playboy who likes a bit of light spanking and after his engagement fizzles he decides it’s time to become a BDSM sex slave on a whim… it’s actually insulting. Oh and the whole police and diamond thief plot was made up entirely for the film, so their motivations are obvious.

Who?! Probably the most notable is the model-turned-actress Iman.This was her last feature film and her acting career wasn’t super extensive. House Party 2 is the only other BMT qualifying film she had (I think) but what really caught my eye was this made-for-TV masterpiece Lies of the Twins. Uh… yes please.

What?! The MacGuffin in this case is a photo that Elliot was able to take of Omar which he doesn’t know the value of. Both the police and Omar will go to great lengths (if you know what I mean) to get their hands on it. Interestingly, Omar doesn’t seem so hard to find really… I mean he barely wears a disguise and acts suspicious in every scene.

Where?! Partially in LA (San Francisco in the book) and more dramatically in New Orleans. In the book the resort is on a private, unnamed island in the Caribbean. Here it’s made clear that the island is off the coast of Mexico but there isn’t any evidence of it being part of Mexico. Possibly it’s still a private exotic island that just happens to be off the coast of Mexico. C.

When?! This is a real classic B+ situation we have here as they use the police procedural portion of the film to shoehorn in some voiceover. Each time it chimes in Rosie O’Donnell helpfully tells us the date. The whole thing starts on June 13th and continues for about a week after that. 

So I did indeed read this book and while I could hardly recommend it to anyone I think it understands its audience and the BDSM culture it’s writing about pretty well, which is a positive. It’s certainly interesting in that way because I think I now understand the critiques of the Fifty Shades films better as a result. It also gives me a real weird point of view on the film adaptation compared to say Patrick, who blessedly did not read the book. The film is a travesty. A real gut punch to fans of the book… who I guess they weren’t interested in courting. It comes off way more mocking of BDSM than anything else and is probably closer to a parody film like Fifty Shades of Black than Fifty Shades of Gray. I guess that’s the point, but the extraneous diamond smuggling plot really undermines the effort. Once you get past the ‘tee hee isn’t BDSM funny’ parts it’s just sweet ‘blading and diamond smugglers. So what’s the point? It all just seems like someone read Exit to Eden and was like this shit is hilarious and then when they realized it wasn’t as funny as they thought they added in some slapstick to hold it together enough to release. Terrible movie… just terrible. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Rosie O’Donnell and Dan Aykroyd in a BDSM sex comedy? Finally! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – This is one of those films where you think that it won’t qualify because it wasn’t released to theaters or something, and then you’ll realize that no … the Rosie O’Donnell and Dan Aykroyd BDSM sex comedy (based on a book?) was indeed released widely to theaters. The early 90s was something indeed. The preview did put China Beach on my radar, which is what the head BDSM woman is mostly known form, so that’s a plus I think. What were my expectations? Unfunny garbage. Isn’t that what early 90s bad comedies always are? Just unfunny garbage? It was like they were stretching the bounds of what could be called comedy.

The Good – The main three people (O’Donnell, Aykroyd, and Delaney) I thought were all pretty good. I mean, considering the film itself isn’t funny, they do a fine job of acting within the construction they are given. The diamond smuggling storyline also makes much more sense than I think a film like this usually would bother with: the bad guys need to find Elliot because they have a picture of one of the smugglers caught red handed with the diamonds. That’s it, that’s the bad guys’ plotline. That makes sense, like, definitely it would be bad for the bad guy to have that picture be discovered. The Good: The films makes some semblance of sense.

The Bad – I mean, it is unfunny garbage. Just like you would imagine. I won’t get into the btis about how the adaptation isn’t true to the story because I didn’t read the story (that’s Jamie’s job), but by all accounts that is its biggest crime. Paul Mercurio is such a nothing character he might as well not exist. You could swap anyone else out for him and the film would remain the same. And the entire thing just feels like a television production. Like they gave them the minimum amount of money to hire actors willing to appear semi-nude on screen and then made this. This unfunny garbage. Fatal Flaw: Unfunny garbage.

The BMT – Well we did it. This is actually, genuinely, one of the worst films in multiple metrics from 1994. So it is obviously 100% necessary that we watched it. And now we have. Congrats to us. And now I’ll forget I watched it, because there really isn’t a whole lot to like in this film. Did it meet my expectations? Unfortunately, yes, it is unfunny garbage, and is exactly what you would expect from an unfunny sex comedy from 1994.

Roast-radamus – A small shoutout for Product Placement (What?) for M&M’s which are the subject of several very specific jokes early in the film by O’Donnell. A fun Setting as a Character (Where?) for Eden, an island off the coast of Mexico, close enough to Los Angeles that you can get on a clipper ship and be there the next day it seems. I do think we have a MacGuffin (Why?) in that the cops and smugglers both want a specific picture from the main character Elliot. And I think this is closest to Bad in the end for being unfunny garbage.

Sequel, Prequel, Streaming – I have officially moved the StreetCreditReport.com to the preview, and I’m bringing back a classic in the new year! Now I know what you are saying: how could they not have made a sequel to this film!? It is crying out for the return of Sheila and Fred. In the sequel we find Sheila and Fred return to their undercover identities after a new serial killer strikes in the heart of Los Angeles, one that uses bondage as a weapon against his targets. Unravelling the mystery of a chain of underground BDSM clubs in L.A., they realize that their two cases had more to do with each other than they could have ever imagined. Is the serial killer actually a submissive being controlled by a dastardly dominant? Could it be Dr. Halifax, the bird enthusiast and creator of Eden? Or could it even be Fred, pushed to the brink by his crumbling marriage and newly discovered and unsatisfied sexual peccadilloes?! Find out in … Exit to Eden 2: The Fifty Shades Club.

You Just Got Schooled – I probably shouldn’t be doing this (because of Hall of Fame duties) … but whatever I watched another Anne Rice adaptation in Interview with the Vampire (also BMT Homework in that we’ve seen the sequel for BMT years ago, Queen of the Damned). The film is … fine. It is a cool eerie period piece, and it is an interesting take on vampire lore which plays off of the classics while also suggesting things like Dracula are just stories based on the real life vampires that exist in the story. The only odd bit is that Tom Cruise is absolutely awful in this film. They are lucky that he’s only in about half of it, because once he leaves the picture (albeit temporarily) it immediately becomes much more interesting. Still, decent enough film that it makes one wonder that there aren’t more sequels or a Netflix series. B-.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Exit to Eden Preview

Rich and Poe kneel next to Nic Cage, while Santa peers menacingly from just over their shoulder. “Here it is, Nic. May we open it to find the cure?” Nic nods weakly but when Rich and Poe open the book a look of shock crosses over their faces. Nic smiles. “Empty,” he says, “this was but one more test before you head back to your world. A world that must be protected from the Obsidian Dongle.” With that he waves his hand and a door appears in the distance. Tears run rivlets through Rich and Poe’s dust streaked cheeks as they finally see their path home. A home they had nearly forgotten, but now must be protected from the very real and not at all arbitrary power of the Obsidian Dongle. “But… but what about you?” they ask Nic, who honestly is not looking too hot. I mean… like… for real… Suddenly Santa butts into their touching scene and points at Rich and Poe demanding that he get his compensation for their ride to Nic. The twinkle in his eye is scary. What might they have wrought for poor Nic Cage in this moment of weakness? But just when Santa opens his mouth to speak a croaking chuckle begins to emanate from Nic’s throat. “Jokes on you, fat boy,” he finally gasps and with that he dies. Santa screams to the heavens in rage and flies away to bring destruction on all that lie in his path. Rich and Poe rush to Nic’s side and hold his broken body in his arms. A faint voice is heard, “never forget meeeee,” and with that his body fades leaving only a five dollar bill in its place. Wiping tears from their faces Rich and Poe look towards the final exit home. That’s right! We are starting off the first cycle of the year (films based on books) with a true classic of the bad movie genre. Exit to Eden was the misguided effort to make a comedy out of a Fifty Shades of Grey-esque BDSM book Exit to Eden with the inclusion of a wacky jewel theft subplot involving Rosie O’Donnell and Dan Akyroyd… so… yeah. It also has the distinction of being generally unavailable for viewing. But not for us! Let’s go!

Exit to Eden (1994) – BMeTric: 53.8; Notability: 55 

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.8%; Notability: top 11.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 1.2% Higher BMeT: The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Junior, The Next Karate Kid, The Flintstones, Double Dragon, On Deadly Ground, North, Leprechaun 2, 3 Ninjas Kick Back; Higher Notability: The Flintstones, Beverly Hills Cop III, The Shadow, Love Affair, Frankenstein, North, Radioland Murders, I Love Trouble; Lower RT: Getting Even with Dad, Major League II; Notes: Amazing that it started to rise a bit more recently. Some benchmarks: sub-10% RT, 50+ BMeTric, and 50+ Notability. And was chosen as one of Siskel and Ebert’s worst films of 1994. A top 10 BMT-qualifying film of 1994 across the board.

RogerEbert.com – 0.5 stars – How about Faye Dunaway? Linda Fiorentino? Sigourney Weaver? See what I mean? Anne Rice recently took out two-page spreads in Variety and the New York Times to announce that she has seen the film of her novel “Interview with the Vampire,” and thinks it is a masterpiece. I don’t think we should look for her ad about “Exit to Eden,” not even in the classifieds.

(This is right around when Ebert was bizarrely praising Jingle All the Way, so I think we have rest assured that he really truly hated this film. I assume in this case he is referring to the odd casting choices. You’d think his quote was concerning Rosie O’Donnell, but no, he is actually referring to Dana Delaney.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxa7yLhYDg8/

(Rollerblading. Going to weird resort vacations. This movie could not possibly be any more 90s. The trailer is really long I feel like … but maybe that is because it is a trailer for a comedy with no funny jokes, so it just feels longer than usual.)

Directors – Garry Marshall – (Known For: Pretty Woman; Overboard; The Princess Diaries; Runaway Bride; Beaches; Frankie and Johnny; The Flamingo Kid; Nothing in Common; Future BMT: The Princess Diaries 2; Raising Helen; Dear God; Young Doctors in Love; The Other Sister; BMT: Exit to Eden; Valentine’s Day; New Year’s Eve; Mother’s Day; Georgia Rule; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for New Year’s Eve in 2012; Notes: Died in 2016. A legend whose sister, Penny Marshall, is also a legend. Nominated for 5 Emmys for The Odd Couple and Mork & Mindy.)

Writers – Anne Rice (novel) – (Known For: Interview with the Vampire; The Young Messiah; BMT: Queen of the Damned; Exit to Eden; Notes: Her books featuring Lestat is by far her most famous, but she has written several other including the Mayfair Witch trilogy.)

Deborah Amelon (screenplay) – (BMT: Exit to Eden; Notes: She apparently was in Ice Follies with Dorothy Hamill. She ended up writing Hamill’s biography A Skating Life.)

Bob Brunner (screenplay) – (Future BMT: The Other Sister; BMT: Exit to Eden; Notes: Allegedly he gave “Fonzie” his nickname on Happy Days, and also wrote the infamous scene in which the Fonz jumps a shark on water skis.)

Actors – Dana Delany – (Known For: Tombstone; Fly Away Home; Batman: Mask of the Phantasm; HouseSitter; Light Sleeper; Masquerade; Wide Awake; Moon Over Parador; Patty Hearst; Where the River Runs Black; Spin; Future BMT: The Wedding Guest; Live Nude Girls; Dead Man’s Curve; Wild Mountain Thyme; The Fan; Multiple Sarcasms; Drunkboat; A Beautiful Life; BMT: Exit to Eden; Notes: She won two Emmys for her starring role in China Beach. Apparently she turned down the role of Carrie in Sex and the City.)

Dan Aykroyd – (Known For: Trading Places; Ghostbusters; The Blues Brothers; Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; My Girl; 50 First Dates; Ghostbusters; Ghostbusters II; Casper; The Great Outdoors; Tommy Boy; Get on Up; 1941; Chaplin; Twilight Zone: The Movie; Driving Miss Daisy; Sneakers; Evolution; Antz; Grosse Pointe Blank; Future BMT: Yogi Bear; Coneheads; Loser; My Girl 2; My Stepmother Is an Alien; Celtic Pride; War, Inc.; Feeling Minnesota; Loose Cannons; Doctor Detroit; Sgt. Bilko; Pearl Harbor; Canadian Bacon; The Couch Trip; Getting Away with Murder; Spies Like Us; Diamonds; Into the Night; This Is My Life; Unconditional Love; BMT: Crossroads; Caddyshack II; Tammy; North; Exit to Eden; Nothing But Trouble; Christmas with the Kranks; Pixels; Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor in 1989 for Caddyshack II; and in 1992 for Nothing But Trouble; Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Nothing But Trouble in 1992; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Exit to Eden in 1995; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for North in 1995; Notes: Is moving and shaking once again with a new Ghostbusters coming out soon, a new Ghostbusters animated series in production, and he’s the creator of a new Blues Brothers television show. Most notably the owner of Crystal Head vodka.)

Rosie O’Donnell – (Known For: A League of Their Own; Sleepless in Seattle; Pitch Perfect 2; Beautiful Girls; Tarzan; A Very Brady Sequel; Harriet the Spy; Wide Awake; I’ll Do Anything; The Twilight of the Golds; Future BMT: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; The Flintstones; Another Stakeout; BMT: Exit to Eden; Car 54, Where Are You?; Fatal Instinct; Now and Then; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress in 1995 for Car 54, Where Are You?, Exit to Eden, and The Flintstones; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Exit to Eden in 1995; Notes: Won 11 Daytime Emmys for her talk show, and a Primetime Emmy for hosting the Tony Awards in 1999. She still acts, the last thing I saw her in was a part in Curb Your Enthusiam a few years ago.)

Budget/Gross – $25-30 million / Domestic: $6,841,570 (Worldwide: $6,841,570)

(Wow, really really bad. I have to imagine this put the kibosh on any other plans to adapt Rice’s lesser known series. Queen of the Damned probably stopped the Interview with a Vampire series as well. BMT classics.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (1/18)

(My consensus: Boring. Everyone, especially Marshall, seems embarrassed about this one. Reviewer Highlight: A sodden, Emmanuelle-lite caper from Garry Marshall that wants to be a ”sex comedy” and that is neither sexy nor funny. – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Brexit to Eden

(I like the artistry in the layout and I like the font. But the color scheme isn’t good and it falls into mediocrity as a result. C+ probably although maybe better. Seriously though, if this is the poster for your movie you’ve got a problem on your hands. This is a film for no one. No one wants this.)

Tagline(s) – Two cops are going undercover on the exotic island of Eden. But to crack this case they’ll have to flash more than their badges. (C-)

(My god. It’s both beautiful and horrendous. I can only believe that they intentionally used the phrase “But to crack this case,” because it vaguely resembles butt crack and it’s kind of amazing. I like the puns but I can’t abide by the length.)

Keyword – bdsm

Top 10: Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017), Addicted (2014), 8MM (1999), Jawbreaker (1999), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), Exit to Eden (1994), Lightning Jack (1994)

Future BMT: 41.3 Addicted (2014), 41.0 Jawbreaker (1999), 31.5 Lightning Jack (1994), 19.0 8MM (1999);

BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), Exit to Eden (1994)

(I would think 8MM is one of the bigger ones for this, although it is more about snuff films I think. I couldn’t help myself with this keyword despite it probably having a little too few films to really give a good graph.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Stuart Wilson is No. 6 billed in Exit to Eden and No. 9 billed in Here on Earth => 6 + 9 = 15. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Dan Aykroyd when interviewed on the American morning radio show Hill-Man, identified this film as the one that he’d like to forget making. (Not Nothing but Trouble?)

Antonio Banderas was offered the role of Elliot Slater but his schedule for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) prevented him from accepting the role.

Rosie O’Donnell’s weight noticeably changes in certain scenes. This is because the studio ordered several scenes to be shot before releasing the film, which was several months after principle photography had been completed and she had gained weight.

Rosie O’Donnell reportedly disliked the final cut of the movie, calling it “terrible”, and refused to go promote it as a result.

This film was adapted from a book by Anne Rice, and during the scene in New Orleans people are arguing over whether a man is Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise. These two actors starred in a film adaptation of Rice’s Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), which mostly takes place in New Orleans.

Most of the Eden scenes were filmed at the Manele Bay Hotel, on the island of Lanai, Hawaii.

Feature debut for Penthouse Pet Sandra Taylor.

Garry Marshall’s daughter Kathleen Marshall plays the woman in the airport restroom. She makes cameos in all of her father’s films.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Rosie O’Donnell, 1995)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Dan Aykroyd, Rosie O’Donnell, 1995)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Dan Aykroyd, 1995)

Graveyard Shift Recap

Jamie

John Hall is a drifter just a-driftin’ along in Maine when he gets a graveyard shift job cleaning out the subbasement of a dilapidated textile mill. He and the crew of misfits are forced to go deeper and deeper by the eeeevil factory owner until untold horrors surround them. Can they escape from the true horror (hint: it’s themselves) before it’s too late? Find out in… Graveyard Shift.

How?! In a small town in Maine a local textile mill run by a sadistic foreman, Warwick, is desperate to get rid of all the rats that may or may not be killing some of the employees (but shhhh, that’s a bit of a secret). Taking advantage of the upcoming July 4th holiday, Warwick hopes to get a band of the most desperate workers together to work under the table to clean out the subbasement(s) where the infestation is assumed to be worst. Enter John Hall, a drifter who lost his family and *looks wistfully into the distance* now just drifts. He has a bit of a rivalry with Warwick, who decides he is definitely going to be one of the guys sent into rat hell along with Jane, the object of Warwick’s interest who instead more-than-brefriends Hall. Together with a bunch of other local riff-raff and misfits they clean out the whole basement but then ooops! Hall discovers a trapdoor. Warwick is like, uh duh, get down there and soon they are in the nest of a giant rat king/bat king/something king creature that is totally gross. They scramble in total horror all over the place, most of them getting ripped to shreds in short order. Warwick immediately descends into insanity and pounces on John and Jane just when they are about to escape the abomination, leading to the death of Jane. Distraught, John pursues Warwick only to see him eaten no prob by the giant bat creature. John is like “you know what, nevermind” and tries to escape but ends up having to do battle with the bat/rat creature in hand-to-claw combat. Using the power of Diet Pepsi he is able to blast the creature into the mill machinery and kill it. THE END.

Why?! Warwick is obviously eeevil and turns to all kinds of underhanded methods to keep his mill open despite being so horrifically disgusting that it has produced a giant rat/bat king of immense proportions that routinely kills the drifters he has working there. He has no motivation besides that and getting rid of anyone, like John, who he considers even a remote rival for his romantic pursuits. John is just a drifter looking for some honest pay so he can *looks wistfully into the distance* just keep a-driftin’. The rat/bat? Probably just to eat. But who knows, perhaps it harbors some deep desire to be accepted by society above so it can spread its gross translucent wings and soar majestically through the night stopping crime in its tracks.

Who?! There is an extremely Maine cameo in the film in the form of Joe Perham, who plays a Mill Inspector. He is a Maine specific humorist who was popular at the time. I’m starting to suspect this may actually be the most Maine film of all time. 

What?! Only through the power of Diet Pepsi is our hero able to subdue the giant bat rat. Using a slingshot he is able to shoot an empty Diet Pepsi can and hit the big red button that starts the murder machine that munches the creature up. And before you claim that any ol’ can would have done the job, we even see him try a Diet Slice can to no avail and then very pointedly eye the Diet Pepsi as his only savior… cause he knows only a Diet Pepsi can will fly true like a heat seeking missile of refreshment.

Where?! Maine for days. If it was a bigger film and not an exploitation horror then it could even be the definitive Maine film. But alas. Dreamcatcher probably gets that crown. But watch this movie for the Maine accent alone. It is both horrible and yet also actually is a clear attempt at a Maine accent… just like in a cartoonish way. A

When?! Secret holiday film alert! Pretty solid one too as Warwick takes advantage of July 4th weekend to get some of the misfits to take extra pay under the table and clean the hell basement. What else does our boy John Hall have to do… other than, you know… *stares wistfully into the distance, a tear traces a path through the dust on his cheek* just keep a-driftin’. A-. Actually plays a role in the plot. 

Stephen King is notoriously negative about most of the adaptations of his work. Usually the reason is just that they weren’t faithful enough to the source material. He’ll be like ‘by cutting out the giant bug creature at the end you totally ruined the metaphor on writers block’ or something. This is one example where I do totally agree though. I really enjoyed the short story this was based on and instead of attempting to make a psychological horror film where the group descends into insanity as they descend further into hell, they made just another exploitation film. It’s cheap and it’s looking for some cheap thrills. That’s not to say it’s not enjoyable in that way, it just is no more than what it is: a cheap horror. Although it does have one of the absolutely nuttiest accents I’ve ever heard put the screen. Warwick totally mangles an over the top Maine accent and it’s pretty amazing. Ayuh. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Giant bat/rats and eeeeeeeeevil factory owners. ‘Nuff said. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – So I hadn’t really ever heard of the film or the book prior to reading it. It actually compelled me to buy Night Shift, the short story collection it was later included in by Stephen King (it was originally a magazine story). So I well and truly went into the film blind, which was fun. The notable thing in the preview is that this is the only feature by the director. The direction is often singled out in reviews at the worst bit as well. What were my expectations? Looking at the trailer, I was looking forward to some campy 80s/90s creature feature horror, which is always a bit of fun.

The Good – In the end if you have the proper expectations and pretend the film was made five years before it was and for television instead of a theatrical release … it is a load of silly fun. It feels a lot like ‘Salem’s Lot, which was made for television and I think maybe gets a bit of a pass for the slow cheesiness of the affair because it was made a decade prior and for television. Decent creature design as well, although it is just a guy in a bad suit most of the time. Best Bit: Cheesiness.

The Bad – As far as a theatrical film is concerned it is really poor quality. It comes across a bit like the Corman films of the 80s, except somehow this film cost $10 million to produce which is just bizarre. I have to think that filming on location in Maine was a massive mistake given the entire film could have been filmed on a soundstage for pennies on the dollar. And, of course, you can’t not mention Stephen Macht’s bizarre Maine accent. That is what it is supposed to be, a straight Maine accent (for a while I thought he was supposed to be a Scottish person putting on an affected Maine accent), and it is bonkers. It is very very similar to the accents on Murder She Wrote (especially by Sheriff Jake Tupper), and was just a bad decision. Fatal Flaw: Maine accent.

The BMT – I like collecting smaller BMT films like this whenever possible. It seems weird, but I think something like Graveyard Shift is a lot more palatable and understandable from a bad movie perspective than even something like Here on Earth which would probably mostly be perplexing to a general audience. The reasons why this film is bad is understandable: cheap looking effects, exploitation feel, bad accents. Bing bang boom. Always good to knock off a Stephen King adaptation as well. Did it meet my expectations? One hundred percent, I actually kind of liked watching this film because I like creature features. They are not-scary horror films, and as you know, I get spooky scared by normal horror films.

Roast-radamus – I definitely think we have a Planchet (Who?) in the case of Ippelton. Sure, he seems affable in his ability to imitate Warwick (although somehow his Maine accent is better in the impression …), but he also exists only to run away and get dunked on by Warwick. I’m loving the Setting as a Character (Where?) for Maine, complete with terrible Maine accent, and Secret Holiday Film (When?) for Fourth of Juuuuuly, since that is when they decide they have to clear out the factory basement. And I think the film is closest to a Good film, it all depends on just how low you can get your expectations.

StreetCreditReport.com – This week was actually an interesting assessment because we were deciding between this film and The Mangler, both Stephen King short story adaptations. Here’s a few stats for both of them. Both are tops in BMeTric, both are around the top 3% of their respective years. But Graveyard Shift is significantly better as far as Rotten Tomatoes is concerned, being top 5% of its year whereas The Mangler is top 20%. Neither are major films though being one of the lower films are far as notability is concerned. So obviously most of the cred comes from it being a Stephen King adaptation, but Graveyard Shift is a particularly impressive critical failure for 1990. It got #7 in both the worst and the least accurate Stephen King adaptations according to IMDb as well.

You Just Got Schooled – Obviously whenever possible (which for me is not often) I do like to read the books of the films we watch for BMT. Well, this week it was possible since the book is a short story and easily readable given a half hour. Also called Graveyard Shift the short story is markedly different from the film. The premise is the same: a gang of factory workers are enlisted to clear out a factory basement of clutter on a July 4th weekend. In the short story though there is a classic “mysterious connection” between Warwick, the unlikeable factory owner, and the main character Hall. As the gang discovers a trapdoor in the factory basement, Hal is compelled to lead Warwick down into the basement to both of their dooms at the hands of a giant blind legless rat and its minions. A, I very much enjoyed the short story. Usually I find short story collections to mostly be boring, but I think I’ll return to Night Shift because the short format lends itself well to horror in general.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Graveyard Shift Quiz

Oh man, so I was just hired on to exterminate some rats in this old factory when lo and behold a giant rat/bat thing pops out and bops me on the head. Now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Graveyard Shift?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) We meet our hero, John Hall, as he applies for a position at Warwick’s insane Maine cloth (?) factory. Why is this position open and why does he get it?

2) Meanwhile an equally insane exterminator has arrived to take care of the rats in the factory. Why is it so very urgent for Warwick to whip his factory basement into shape?

3) In the end how many people are conscripted to battle the rats in the basement?

4) What is the final death toll for the film?

5) And how does John Hall destroy the giant rat/bat that lives in the sunken cemetery below the factory?

Answers

Shanghai Surprise Preview

This week we move to a romantic epic for the ages for our Girls Night Out. That’s right, we’re watching one of 1986’s worst picture nominees Shanghai Surprise starring Sean Penn and Madonna. Filmed back when they were married, it was made as a starring vehicle for Madonna after her breakout role in Desperately Seeking Susan. Obviously didn’t go great and was the first of many bumps in the road for Madonna’s acting career. I’m actually somewhat excited for this film considering it has an astonishingly low IMDb user rating (3.0). I honestly trust that a bit more than the Razzies. Let’s go!

Shanghai Surprise (1986) – BMeTric: 42.6

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(Well … I guess I can’t not acknowledge the weird rating dip in 2003 for this movie. It goes from 2.9 to 2.3 in a matter of months and has since just kind of regresses to the mean. The rating it also astonishingly low, at one point the film was likely in the bottom 100 on IMDb. The BMeTric trajectory is very very similar to King Kong Lives. Someday I’ll do a meta-analysis on graphics like this. I would call this the Classic Bad Movie trend. The BMeTric plot just goes up in a straight line because the rating is so low and the votes were already high enough when IMDb began that is never crosses from non-BMT to BMT, it is always BMT.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Missionary Madonna hires adventurer Penn (her then real-life husband) to capture a cache of stolen opium (for medicinal purposes only) in 1937 China. It’s all stupefyingly dull. As one critic noted, it’s tough for Penn to succeed in the grand adventure movie tradition when the screen legend he most reminds you of here is Ratso Rizzo. Coexecutive producer George Harrison, who appears briefly as a nightclub singer, wrote the songs.

(This cycle has so far been 2.5 stars, BOMB, 1.5 stars, BOMB, BOMB … there are no words. The irony being that this cycle has also been terrible by BMT standards. I think it is because bad films from 1986 are basically all stupefyingly dull. Sigh, We aren’t going to like this are we?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhX89dDoAw4

(Oh wow that ending. Does seem more of a comedy that you would have thought given the leading actors. Looks low budget and bizarre and I can see this either being one of the worst or one of the weirdest BMTs we’ve ever had the displeasure of viewing.)

Directors – Jim Goddard – (BMT: Shanghai Surprise; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1987 for Worst Director for Shanghai Surprise. He was fifty at the time of release which seems relatively old for the golden age of the blockbuster. British and primarily known for his television work his almost complete anonymity in the US was even noted in his obituary.)

Writers – John Kohn (screenplay) – (Known For: The Collector; Theatre of Blood; BMT: Shanghai Surprise; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1987 for Worst Screenplay for Shanghai Surprise. He was sixty at the time of release! His last screenplay. Nominated for a screenplay oscar in 1965 for The Collector. Mainly known for his production work he died of cancer in 2002.)

Robert Bentley (screenplay) – (BMT: Shanghai Surprise; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1987 for Worst Screenplay for Shanghai Surprise. I can literally find nothing about this person on the internet. His only credit is this movie.)

Tony Kenrick (from the novel “Faraday’s Flowers”) – (BMT: Shanghai Surprise; Notes:  An Australian advertising writer he’s had two books adapted into movies and at least three others have been optioned with stars attached and never made. He wrote 14 books and Shanghai Surprise was adapted from his fourth.)

Actors – Sean Penn – (Known For: Angry Birds; The Game; Mystic River; Risky Business; Fast Times at Ridgemont High; The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; The Tree of Life; The Thin Red Line; Carlito’s Way; 21 Grams; Milk; Taps; Fair Game; At Close Range; I’m Still Here; Colors; Dead Man Walking; U Turn; This Must Be the Place; Bad Boys; Casualties of War; Persepolis; The Interpreter; BMT: Shanghai Surprise; The Gunman (BMT); It’s All About Love; All the King’s Men; The Weight of Water; Hugo Pool; Crackers; Gangster Squad; I Am Sam; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1987 for Worst Actor for Shanghai Surprise. This movie is notable for the fact that Penn and Madonna were in a relationship at the time. Five time academy award nominee for best actor (two time winner) and famous (some might say notorious) speaker on human rights. He is no stranger to controversy over the years including accusation of domestic violence towards Madonna, explicit support of the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, allusions to Argentina’s claims towards the Falkland Islands (not a good look, I can tell you the Brits are sensitive about that guy), and the recent El Chapo interview. Most recently seen in The Gunman.)

Madonna – (Known For: A League of Their Own; Die Another Day; Dick Tracy; Desperately Seeking Susan; Vision Quest; Evita; BMT: Swept Away; Body of Evidence (BMT); The Next Best Thing; Who’s That Girl; Shanghai Surprise; Girl 6; Arthur and the Invisibles; Razzie Notes: Won the Razzie Award in 2000 for Worst Actress of the Century for Body of Evidence, Shanghai Surprise, and Who’s That Girl; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Actress of the Decade for Die Another Day, The Next Best Thing, and Swept Away; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1990 for Worst Actress of the Decade and New Star of the Decade for Shanghai Surprise, and Who’s That Girl; Won the Razzie Award in 2003 for Worst Actress for Swept Away, in 2001 for The Next Best Thing, in 1994 for Body of Evidence, in 1988 for Who’s That Girl, and in 1987 for Shanghai Surprise; Won the Razzie Award in 2003 for Worst Supporting Actress for Die Another Day, and in 1996 for Four Rooms; Won the Razzie Award in 2003 for Worst Screen Couple for Swept Away; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1992 for Worst Actress for Madonna: Truth or Dare, in 1990 for Worst Supporting Actress for Bloodhounds of Broadway, in 2003 for Worst Original Song for Die Another Day, and in 2001 for Worst Screen Couple for The Next Best Thing; Notes: A very strange career now that I look at it. She’s worked incredibly consistently (26 films in almost exactly 30 years). A smattering of small and big films. A smattering of great and terrible films. Even her Razzie acumen seems out of place considering how few movies she’s been in. Strange stuff. The two actors are really the only thing this movie will have going for it likely.)

Also stars Paul Freeman – (Previously in BMT future HoFer Getaway and Double Team)

Budget/Gross – $17 million / Domestic: $2,315,683

(Wow. What a complete unmitigated disaster. That boxoffice doesn’t even really make sense. Then again, I had literally never heard of this film that appears to be considered one of the worst films of the 80s, so maybe just no one has ever seen it?)

#44 for the Off-Screen Couples On-Screen genre: Movies with Real Life Romance Between Lead Actors at the Time of Release or Shortly Before

offscreencouples_44

(Huh, the waves don’t really make sense to me. Maybe we follow certain couples until they stop making movies (see Brangelina) and then it takes a few years to find the hot new couples? I don’t know. Kind of funny how ubiquitous the movies have been through the years though. Indeed looking down the list of recent examples nearly all couples are now broken up.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (1/8): No consensus yet.

(Uh oh, time to make a consensus: Madonna’s incompetence gave her an acting reputation she’s never shaken, all for a movie that appears to function solely as a vehicle to star the real-life couple as a novelty. The consensus seems a little scattered, but there is little anyone said about it that was good.)

Poster – Sklogging Surprise (D+)

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(I don’t like this poster. It is way way way too close in on Penn and Madonna. It is merely a shot from the movie (you can see it in the trailer). The red words are too bright atop the soft focus blues elsewhere. Why the plus? That’s sweet S on that Shanghai Surprise. Just complex enough that Sklogging Surprise would be a delight to produce (in that I wouldn’t need to change the S and it would make the title look snazzy). But what would it be? Soft focus Patrick kissing his wife? You would barely be able to tell I did anything! Boring.)

Tagline(s) – A romantic adventure for the dangerous at heart. (F)

(What in the hell? For the “dangerous at heart”? Is that a phrase? The answer is no. In fact, the only other time it appears in google searches is for a 1994 book of that very title. Here’s the synopsis of said books: Life was the pits for Rachel Hart. Single and pregnant, at least she’d had the good sense not to marry the no-good father of her child! Things couldn’t get worse, she assured herself. Then her ex-fiance turned up dead. And Rachel was the prime suspect… Big-city cop Delaney Parker didn’t fancy working undercover in this two-bit town. He liked even less getting involved with beautiful, sexy Rachel – she aroused his feelings as a man, a lover and a substitute daddy. Del was in over his head… he had to remember he was a cop first. But could he really send a pregnant woman to jail? You’re welcome. That’s an F.)

Keyword(s) – china; Top Ten by BMeTric: 59.6 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008); 49.8 Independence Day: Resurgence (2016); 48.2 The Man with the Iron Fists (2012); 47.9 Chandni Chowk to China (2009); 47.9 Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003); 46.2 Blackhat (2015); 46.1 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007); 43.2 Babylon A.D. (2008); 42.6 Shanghai Surprise (1986); 42.4 Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014);

(Methinks this list will be growing in the future with the growth of the Chinese market in determining the profits of Hollywood films. Transformers 4 is a perfect example of this. Something like Pacific Rim 2 and Need For Speed 2 could easily enter this list with a few missteps.)

Notes – Apparently, after principal photography wrapped, executive producer George Harrison allegedly said of lead stars Madonna and Sean Penn: “Penn is a pain the ass . . . [whilst] she has to realize that you can be a fabulous person and be humble as well”. (Brutal George, although I assume this is mostly him being a bit bitter about the inevitable financial loss of the film)

Ex-Beatle and executive producer George Harrison performs five songs on the movie’s soundtrack. (And apparently this is the only bright spot in the movie)

Lead stars Madonna and Sean Penn were married at the time the movie was made and released.

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Madonna)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Sean Penn), Worst Director (Jim Goddard), Worst Screenplay (John Kohn, Robert Bentley), and Worst Original Song (George Harrison)