Oh boy. Here’s the thing. I was racing my sweet car in the Winston Cup Series (yeah this was decades ago) and then I go into a gnarly crash and hit my head real hard. Pros: I met a hot doctor and we are now dating. Cons: I had a massive concussion and might not be able to race again and also I don’t remember anything. Do you remember what happened in Days of Thunder?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) Why did Duvall quit stock car racing?
2) Well, the start of the season really doesn’t go well. What is causing the failure of communication between the driver and pit crew?
3) Cole and his arch nemesis Michael Rooker get into an accident while trading paint on the track. What injury does Cole suffer?
4) What super duper secret maneuver are Harry and Cole working on to help they win Daytona?
5) Why does Cole get fired from his team, and why does he end up using Michael Rooker’s car instead?
Bonus Question: How many more races does Cole win in Nascar?
With Patrick back at the apartment blazing the k’board on some dynamic AI features for their FMV video game, Jamie is off to the Super Dope Toys factory for a little R&D on the big Rich & Poe toy give away. On his guided tour through the surreal factory he gazes about with a childlike sense of wonder. There’s Eldric the Elephant, his favorite toy as a child! And the dastardly Dr. Cybotronic, with his stethoscope that shoots laser beams! Novelty farts! Novelty darts! Novelty darts shaped like farts! In his glee he finds himself separated from the group and lost in what seems like a never ending maze. Suddenly a door appears before him marked ‘Top Secret.’ Jamie hesitates, but eventually concludes that nobody likes a secret. Secrets are for sharing. But when he opens the door he only sees a dumb ol’ tank of water far below at the bottom of the room. A chill runs down his spine as he hears the door close behind him. Now trapped, the walkway he is standing on begins to slowly lower into the water. An alarm sounds and Jamie becomes acutely aware that he’s not alone. There is something in the water… something big. A periscope emerges and, being a submarine expert, Jamie recognizes the sounds of tubes flooding. That submarine is ready to strike and here he is without a single depth charge. Thinking quickly he jumps on the jetski conveniently waiting nearby. But this ain’t time for any old jetski action, Jamie knows it time to kick it up a notch. “Let’s do the dew,” he says, popping a can of refreshing Mountain Dew into the jetski’s gas tank, “cause I got the need, the need for speed.” And with that he roars away. That’s right! Close enough, cause this week we’re doing an actually good movie that somehow got bad reviews. That would be Days of Thunder starring the always in need of speed Tom Cruise. We didn’t choose it for its bad reviews as it’s admittedly pretty close to not qualifying. We chose it for its killer soundtrack including Show Me Heaven by Maria McKee which hit #1 on the UK charts (oh, and also a video game too). Let’s go!
Days of Thunder (1990) – BMeTric: 29.8; Notability: 73
StreetCreditReport.com –BMeTric: top 11.6%; Notability: top 3.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 31.1% Higher BMeT: Rocky V, Ghost Dad, The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, Wings of the Apache, 3 Men and a Little Lady, RoboCop 2, Navy Seals, Ernest Goes to Jail, Desperate Hours, Another 48 Hrs., Hard to Kill, Air America, The Rookie, The Guardian, Bird on a Wire; Higher Notability: RoboCop 2, Predator 2; Lower RT: Ghost Dad, Spaced Invaders, Wings of the Apache, Meet the Applegates, Where the Heart Is, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, Heart Condition, Ernest Goes to Jail, Opportunity Knocks, Air America, Everybody Wins, The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, Brain Dead, Too Much Sun, Graffiti Bridge, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Navy Seals, Short Time, Stella, Another 48 Hrs. and 26 more; Notes: Low 6’s is exactly what I would have expected for a film like this for IMDb. The Notability is something else though, wow. We’ve been smashing some 50+ Notabilities in this cycle (I guess that’s why they get movie tie-ins). Seems to genuinely have been the biggest non-sequel by that metric in 1990 which is incredible.
RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – Kidman has little to do as the love interest and doesn’t make much of an impression. And Cruise is so efficiently packaged in this product that he plays the same role as a saint in a Mexican village’s holy day procession: It’s not what he does that makes him so special; it’s the way he manifests everybody’s faith in him.
(This is a really weird review, and at the same time probably explains how people actually saw Tom Cruise at the time. He was a bonafide movie star. And if not that quite yet, he was one in the making. An action star, but versatile enough that you’ll believe him in Cocktail, and someone people might have seen as a young, I don’t know … Paul Newman? This would be the last BMT film for Cruise for basically a decade, he’d effectively star in A Few Good Men and then only good films until the 2000s.)
(Reminds me of Youngblood. I just hope he has a montage scene where he’s hitting a sack of straw on a farm or something to build up his muscles. That reminds me … we should watch Youngblood.)
Directors – Tony Scott – (Known For: Top Gun; Beverly Hills Cop II; True Romance; Enemy of the State; Unstoppable; Spy Game; Deja Vu; Crimson Tide; The Hunger; The Last Boy Scout; The Taking of Pelham 123; Future BMT: Domino; The Fan; Revenge; Man on Fire; BMT: Days of Thunder; Notes: Brother of Ridley Scott. During the 2000s he worked in television, and won two Emmys for his television movies and miniseries (The Gathering Storm, and Gettysburg). Committed suicide in 2012, apparently after a lengthy battle with cancer and poor prognosis.)
Writers – Robert Towne (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Mission: Impossible; Chinatown; The Firm; Mission: Impossible II; Bonnie and Clyde; Frantic; The Two Jakes; The Parallax View; Shampoo; Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes; Tequila Sunrise; The Missouri Breaks; The Last Detail; Orca; Heaven Can Wait; Ask the Dust; 8 Million Ways to Die; The Yakuza; Personal Best; Cisco Pike; Future BMT: Deal of the Century; Love Affair; BMT: Days of Thunder; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Mission: Impossible in 1997; Notes: Nominated for four Oscars (won for Chinatown). His career started writing and acting in Roger Corman films.)
Tom Cruise (story) – (BMT: Days of Thunder; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for The Mummy in 2018; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; and Nominee for Worst Actor in 1989 for Cocktail; and in 2006 for War of the Worlds; Notes: This is one of two projects on IMDb for which Cruise is listed as a writer. The other? The upcoming SpaceX project which he has an illustrious “idea” credit. Crazy that Cruise never really felt the need to write films for himself like Stallone and others.)
Actors – Tom Cruise – (Known For: The Outsiders; Top Gun; Tropic Thunder; Mission: Impossible – Fallout; Eyes Wide Shut; A Few Good Men; Rain Man; Collateral; Edge of Tomorrow; Oblivion; Mission: Impossible; Jack Reacher; Minority Report; War of the Worlds; The Last Samurai; Magnolia; Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation; Jerry Maguire; Future BMT: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back; Lions for Lambs; Legend; BMT: The Mummy; Endless Love; Cocktail; Days of Thunder; Vanilla Sky; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for The Mummy in 2018; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; and Nominee for Worst Actor in 1989 for Cocktail; and in 2006 for War of the Worlds; Notes: Nominated for three Oscars (Magnolia, Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire). Famously he is extremely high up in Scientology, was married to Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes.)
Nicole Kidman – (Known For: Aquaman; Bombshell; Eyes Wide Shut; Moulin Rouge!; The Killing of a Sacred Deer; Lion; Destroyer; The Golden Compass; The Prom; Panic Room; The Others; The Upside; Cold Mountain; Australia; The Hours; Dogville; The Beguiled; Stoker; Paddington; Happy Feet; Future BMT: Bewitched; The Stepford Wives; Nine; The Invasion; Billy Bathgate; Practical Magic; Secret in Their Eyes; Before I Go to Sleep; The Goldfinch; BMT: Batman Forever; Trespass; Days of Thunder; Just Go with It; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Bewitched in 2006; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Just Go with It in 2012; Notes: Born in Hawaii, but notably Australian. Nominated for four Oscars (won for The Hours). Has done a lot of television recently including Top of the Lake, Big Little Lies, and The Undoing.)
Robert Duvall – (Known For: The Godfather; Apocalypse Now; The Godfather: Part II; Jack Reacher; Widows; Falling Down; The Chase; The Conversation; The Judge; To Kill a Mockingbird; Deep Impact; Secondhand Lions; The Road; Sling Blade; M.A.S.H.; Bullitt; Network; Invasion of the Body Snatchers; The Handmaid’s Tale; Open Range; Future BMT: Four Christmases; Something to Talk About; Lucky You; John Q; Newsies; BMT: The Scarlet Letter; Days of Thunder; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Gods and Generals; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for The Scarlet Letter in 1996; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Newsies in 1993; Notes: When just starting out he lived with Dustin Hoffman and was good friends with Jack Nicholson. Was nominated for 7 Oscars, and won for Tender Mercies.)
Budget/Gross – $55 million / Domestic: $82,670,733 (Worldwide: $157,920,733)
(That actually doesn’t seem so bad. I always say this, but I assume they were going for something more like Top Gun in the end which made nearly $200 million domestically. Not that that means there would have been a sequel or anything … although given Top Gun 2 is coming out, maybe we can get Days of Thunder 2 with Cole Trickle as the team owner or something.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (25/65): Days of Thunder has Tom Cruise and plenty of flash going for it, but they aren’t enough to compensate for the stock plot, two-dimensional characters, and poorly written dialogue.
(Yeah, so “stock plot” is basically the moral of every single bad review of this film. I think the critics genuinely got offended that the plot is basically identical to Top Gun (just swap jets for cars). Reviewer Highlight: This is the kind of monstrously overgrown commercial movie that depends entirely on the microscopic pleasures of having one`s most routine expectations fulfilled. – Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune.)
(Yes. Into it. One note: could we perhaps make Tom Cruise’s face bigger? No? It’s literally the biggest face of all time? Got it. Still like the artistry. Obviously the font is dope (and I say that unironically). Tells me this is all about speed. I’m good to go. A.)
Tagline(s) – You can’t outrun the thunder. (B-)
(I don’t know what this actually means, but it’s amazing. Basically the movie is telling you that you can’t help but watch it because it’s so fun and awesome. No matter how hard you try to run away from watching Days of Thunder you will fail. Bump it up cause it sounds good, but like… this is nonsense.)
Top 10: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Le Mans ’66 (2019), Ready Player One (2018), The Social Network (2010), Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), Cars 3 (2017), Speed Racer (2008), Days of Thunder (1990), Planes (2013)
Future BMT: 46.2 Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again (1980), 40.9 Planes (2013);
BMT: 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), Days of Thunder (1990)
(Nothing super interesting since the keyword seems pretty sparse. At the very least a bunch are missing (the Cannonball Runs come to mind). But it is a good idea to keep Smokey and the Bandit in mind going forward.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Nicole Kidman is No. 3 billed in Days of Thunder and No. 2 billed in Trespass, 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) => 3 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 13. There is no shorter path at the moment.
Notes – Dr. Jerry Punch revealed that Tom Cruise approved Nicole Kidman to be his love interest in the film after it was suggested that Cruise see her performance in “Dead Calm (1989),” after a recommendation by Dr. Punch to director Tony Scott.
Production began without a finished script. Scenes were often written the day of filming. During one driving sequence, Tom Cruise actually had to read his lines off cue cards attached to his windshield, which resulted in a minor car accident. For subsequent driving sequences, Cruise was fitted with a special earpiece to have lines fed to him.
Some footage for the movie was shot during the 1990 Daytona 500. Two additional cars, driven by Bobby Hamilton and Tommy Ellis, were added to the rear of the field for the express purpose of shooting them for this film. They were not officially scored, and left the racetrack after one hundred miles (forty laps) were completed. At one point in the race, leader Dale Earnhardt even lapped the movie cars. (That is some insane shit)
Real-life Hendrick Motorsports pit crew member Mike Slattery served as an extra for Cole’s crew. After hearing what the stuntmen’s pay would be, he asked for the opportunity to do some of the stunts. However, when he saw how close the car came to the stuntmen, he changed his mind saying, “They can have it!”
The movie was conceived by Tom Cruise when he and Paul Newman were allowed to test one of Rick Hendrick’s race cars. Tom’s first lap was in excess of one hundred eighty miles per hour.
Don Simpson, Jerry Bruckheimer, and sometimes Robert Towne, often started their days on-set having arguments with Tony Scott over how to shoot scenes.
Tom Cruise and Robert Duvall characters are (very) loosely based on former driver Tim Richmond and his crew chief Harry Hyde. Richmond was known as an overnight sensation, and Hyde was the veteran crew chief. The scene where Duvall’s character teaches Cruise about tire management is based on an actual incident between Hyde and Richmond, who died from complications from AIDS the year before the film was released.
The scene where Cole leaves the pits after a race, to hit Russ Wheeler, is based on an actual event during the 1987 All-Star race at Charlotte, North Carolina, between drivers Bill Elliott and Dale Earnhardt. (It wasn’t quite the same, Elliot and Bodine drove up beside him and bumped him after the race, they didn’t smash directly into the side of their car!)
NASCAR driver Greg Sacks did most of Tom Cruise’s stunt driving. Cruise wanted to do his own stunt driving, but wasn’t allowed to for insurance reasons. The Chevrolets were prepared by Rick Hendrick’s racing team, which later used some of the movie cars in real races. Thirty-five cars were wrecked during filming.
According to Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Tom Cruise had a meeting with Dale Earnhardt, Sr. prior to the production of the film. It was rumored that Earnhardt was offered the role of Rowdy Burns, but he turned it down because he did not want to play the bad guy.
All cars used in the movie for the races had to pass inspection and qualify. Bobby Hamilton qualified one of the movie cars in the top ten.
At Daytona for the final race of the movie “Gentlemen Start Your Engines” is the voice of Burt Reynolds
In an effort to give a more realistic atmosphere, professional racing broadcasters were brought in to play the broadcast reporters and track announcers. Key among these were members of ESPN’s racing crew, including Booth Announcer Bob Jenkins, and Pit Reporter Dr. Jerry Punch.
Nicole Kidman wanted to study neurosurgery for her part, but the producers told her it would be a waste of time.
Donna W. Scott was cast by Don Simpson when he was casting roles for the film. They began dating afterwards, leading to Donna getting a small role as a “pit girl” in the film and spending almost two months on-set. After she broke up with Simpson, she began dating Tony Scott. They would eventually get married and have two children before he died in 2012.
In Daytona, Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer spent $400,000 to have a vacant storefront in their hotel converted into their private gym, with a large neon sign reading “Days of Thunder”. Simpson also kept a closet full of Donna Karan dresses to offer the attractive women his assistants found on the beach, and held private parties with friends like rapper Tone Loc. They threw a special welcome party for the crew at a local nightclub with minimal food and drink, and no music, but plenty of hookers they flew in, most of whom they limited to a roped-off VIP area with themselves and Tom Cruise. (uh … allegedly?)
Upon seeing the film “the King” Richard Petty (so named because he holds the record for most wins in NASCAR Grand National history) said of the movie, “the only thing they got right was the numbers on the side of the cars
Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Sound (Charles M. Wilborn, Donald O. Mitchell, Rick Kline, Kevin O’Connell, 1991)
The head of a fanciful toy factory passes away and instead of leaving it to his similarly minded son, Leslie, he gives it to his militaristic brother. Soon the factory is deep into the development of drones and most of the workers laid off. Can Leslie and his gang of misfits team up to stop the general (and perhaps get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Toys.
How?! Leslie is the silly son of a silly founder of a silly toy company. He has his head in the clouds and is a bit of a flake, so on his deathbed his father decides to give the factory over to his militaristic general brother instead. The general comes in guns a-blazing, taking a liking to tamping down perceived corporate espionage and the possibility of getting back in the war game with the development of toy-sized drones. As the budgets of these secret military projects balloon, Leslie soon looks around and realizes that all the happy employees are gone and the factory has transformed into a venture that he barely recognizes. Leslie decides that the general must be stopped and finds allies in his sister Alsatia, his new boo Gwen and, surprisingly, the general’s son Patrick, who has realized that his father is a monster. They head into the factory, which is now controlled by a state of the art AI driven security system. They face death at every turn at the hands of the (surprisingly effective) drones. But through ingenuity, elbow grease, and good old-fashioned fun they break through, take out the security system and confront the general. In the final fight Alsatia is revealed to be a robot, which is a bit of a surprise, and the general is ultimately taken down by his own ultimate weapon, The Sea Swine (which I choose to imagine is a sophisticated submarine drone). In the end Leslie gets the factory and the girl and everyone lives whimsically ever after. THE END.
Why?! This is where you have to start to question whether the film is actually bad or not. The motivation is pretty thought provoking, because why was the factory even left to the clearly eeeevil general? It becomes obvious that the Zevo patriarch always meant for Leslie to take over, but that he was flaky… he had no backbone. He knew that the general would twist the factory to his whims and eventually Leslie would be forced to fight back and through that process he would grow into the owner that the factory needs. Profound… although he almost killed his own son and ruined the company, so not a foolproof plan or anything.
Who?! Ladies Love Cool Jamie and also LL Cool J making his (almost) film debut. He was coming off the Michael J. Fox film The Hard Way but who remembers that? Everyone remembers him in Toys camouflaged in a couch. Paved the way for NCIS: Los Angeles. The best NCIS… although I can’t make that judgement. Patrick is the resident NCIS expert. (Patrick Note: I’ve only seen one episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, but I do think Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J are a significantly more fun pairing that Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly)
What?! There are quite a number of props from this film for sale online. Given that there is a battle between thousands of toys at the end this is unsurprising. Nothing too spectacular, though. Then as Patrick mentioned we see that the Toy factory serves Pepsi and not Coke, so no wonder it’s going down the tubes. Other than that, the sea swine is kind of a MacGuffin if you squint enough… it’s at least an object of great but unknowable power, but not really something that everyone wants to get their hands on.
Where?! I usually say that if I could just get my hands on a prop newspaper or look closer at what’s on TV or in the background of shots that you could figure out where any film takes place… but probably not this film. Seems pretty clear that they have set this very specifically in an unknowable, whimsical location in the United States. Case closed. F.
When?! Secret Holiday Film Alert!… I think. The opening and ending of the film is a Christmas extravaganza. I speculated on the possibility that this was just because the owner of the factory was dying and Christmas was every day because he loved that time of year, but when it came back at the end I threw that theory out the window. Add in that one of the songs that plays during the celebration is called The Closing of the Year and I have to think that in fact the events of the film take place over a single year from Christmas to Christmas basically. B+.
I mean… this is not that bad (It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad!). I can understand that when people saw that there was a film about toys starring Robin Williams they came in with some expectations. Those expectations were not exactly met by a dark comedy about military toys with a heavy surrealist influence on production. But it’s not like some auteur “dream projects” that are the bread and butter of bad movies. Is it weird that this was Berry Levinson’s passion project? I don’t think so. It’s an interesting story with some downright prescient themes on drone warfare and a beautiful and whimsical visual spectacle that is kind of the definition of movie magic. Just like how there are things to celebrate about Little Nicky even existing, it’s a wonder and amazing that this exists and it really isn’t even all that bad (unlike Little Nicky). Interesting. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Wonder and whimsy is the name of the game. And a … mechanical sea slug maybe? Real hard to tell what is happening with that thing. Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – Toys! I’ve seen Toys a ton of times, it was constantly on television when I was a kid. And spoilees. I loved it as a kid. Kids … are morons. But Robin Williams was great, and it was just a bunch of kid jokes and toys flying around in an insane toy factory. What’s not to love?! What were my expectations? I think like with that other Robin Williams classic, Hook, I’ll be able to acknowledge that Toys is a messy film that should have been a lot better, while also admitting that I still love it. That’s my prediction.
The Good – Whimsy is indeed the name of the game. With horror films the most interesting thing, to me, is often the practical effects and how that really brings a horror film to life. With the occasional comedy or drama with a very specific set of directors, pure set design can at least partially save a film. This is one of those rare films (and funny enough so is the aforementioned Hook). There are genuine “wow!” moments in this film, and it is a shame the product wasn’t polished enough to really let it stand the test of time. Best Bit: The set design.
The Bad – The film is a mess for a few complex reasons. It feels cobbled together from a bunch of Robin Williams manic improvisational shots, and while they sometimes work, they sometimes are just really really annoying. The military ends up feeling like a weird antagonist, likely because the film was originally written in the late 70s (and thus Vietnam was in the more recent past). And then the finale is a real dud with a weirdo sea slug machine thing (in the original script, by the way, it was called a “submarine with a nose”). It seems like the film wants to be a kids film when determining humor, but also have giant war scenes and a sex scene and stuff. It is weird. Fatal Flaw: Thinks it is funny, but it isn’t.
The BMT – Log this as another Oscar-nominated BMT film, a BMT film from our past, and a BMT film I kind of like. I can’t hate Toys! It is an indelible part of my childhood. But yeah, it is a mess … you can mostly get the gist of it by watching a youtube video about the production design. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah! Actually, I did get the ending of the film a lot better as an adult. I always was a bit confused as to why Robin Williams thinks he can defeat the military toys with the old Toys … but he doesn’t, he just uses them as a distraction to buy LL Cool J time to defeat his father. See, well worth the rewatch.
Roast-radamus – A genuine Product Placement (What?) for Pepsi of all things, which is a wild product placement for a film like this, it feels like they would have you know … gotten some toys or something. And I declare this an official Secret Holiday Film (When?) for the beginning and ending of the film almost definitely taking place around Christmas one year apart. It is debatable, but I think it is easier to reason about if it was actually Christmas rather than some other event involving Santa. I think it is closest to Good, sue me.
Prequel, Sequel, Remake – You know what? I’m going with remake. Sell it to Netflix, and make it a nostalgia driven period-piece a la Stranger Things. Set in 1980 (so not too far off from the original script date), right as personal computers and a big arcade boom was coming around. Re-tool the story towards Leslie being too resistant to technology for his father to entrust the company to him. And then Leland becomes obsessed with military games, just like in the movie. Underlying the whole thing is an underground Soviet-US double agent thing with Leland attempting, with the help of some Russian dissidents, to start a third world war. In the end, Leslie, with the help of a few of the kids brought in to test the war games, ends up creating a whole line of whimsical Zevo brand arcade games, and they hack the planet to take down Leland once and for all. Toys: World War. It will be a ten episode order obviously. The second season would bring in a rival toy company and really ramp up the magical whimsey to eleven, so consider that before passing on this Netflix.
You Just Got Schooled – The video game movie tie-ins keep on coming, and Toys is no exception. There was a SNES game called Toys: Let the Toy Wars Begin! and hoooooooooooooooooo boy is this a pile of dog poo in my face! The game is an isometric shooter (for the most part) consisting of only five levels. The first four are mostly identical, involving Leslie running around defeating military toys and then playing a bizarre mini-game to turn off the cameras to allow Patrick, Leland’s son, into the factory. The final level is a side scrolling game with you in an airplane. Notably considered one of the worst movie tie-ins ever created, and playing it I can’t say I disagree. The wide variety of games I’ve played for this cycle is astounding! I think by the end I will have played basically every type of game totally by accident. It is great. F. Absolutely worthless game with aggravating gameplay. Just watch the speed run to see how it operates if you are curious.
Oh boy, well I was in a fantastical toy company, and what a place it was. But then, suddenly, a little toy elephant popped out and bopped me on the head! Now I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Toys?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) Why does Leslie’s father hand the company over to his brother instead of his son?
2) Why is Patrick Zevo, the general’s son, brought into the business?
3) Where does Leslie meet Gwen within the company?
4) What is Leland Zevo’s big secret project within the toy company?
5) What is the plan with all of the old toys they find during the culminating infiltration of Zevo Toys?
Bonus Question: How long do Gwen and Leslie stay together after the events of the film?
“Riiiich and Poooooe,” Jamie croons ethereally as a dope hip hop beat plays behind the track, “They’ll never diiieeeee, noooooo,” he continues while Rachel and Patrick sway to the ghostly high pitched sound of his falsetto. “No matter what you sawwwww, this game is canon and you can’t kill the lawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Rich and Poe, alive forever. Peace.” He finishes in a whisper. There isn’t a dry eye in the room. Jamie and Patrick shrug at each other, it’s worth a shot. Likely a tie-in FMV VR music video game isn’t actually canon, no matter how many times Jamie mentions it in the lyrics (28, by Patrick’s count). But the most important thing is to get this single on the airwaves and start the hype machine a-hummin’. As Jamie turns to the computer in order to begin crafting the email to WGRG, he bumps into the giant box again. “Gah,” he says in frustration and bangs his hand on the lid. “Don’t take it out on the box,” scolds Patrick as he inspects the completely useless box for damage. But Jamie is already waving off the dumb, useless box and shoots off the email to WGRG. Just as he and Patrick are about to high five in celebration they hear that distinctive “You Rang” notice from the JeevesMail. An email from WGRG sits in the inbox titled “Rad Dopness for sure… BUT” But what? Jame purses his lips. No one seems satisfied with all the hits he’s churning out lately. When he opens the email the WGRG manager suggests they send over some Rich & Poe merch as a prize for the premier of the song to “really hype the film for the millennial gucci crowd.” Not a bad point, but what R&P toy should they make? That’s right! We’re watching the Robin Williams classic Toys. Obviously we saw this as children and really not many times since then. So I’m interested in whether it is in fact a misunderstood masterpiece. Plausible. It also had a tie-in video game that is apparently just the worst. Let’s go!
Toys (1992) – BMeTric: 58.4; Notability: 77
StreetCreditReport.com –BMeTric: top 1.6%; Notability: top 3.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 23.4% Higher BMeT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Pet Sematary II; Lower RT: Man Trouble, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, The Opposite Sex and How to Live with Them, Mom and Dad Save the World, Passed Away, Ladybugs, Claire of the Moon, Mr. Baseball, The Distinguished Gentleman, The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag, Aces: Iron Eagle III, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, California Man, Mo’ Money, Class Act, Knight Moves, Freejack, Dr. Giggles, Blame It on the Bellboy and 16 more; Notes: My god, the highest notability of 1992. This was a huge film. Impressively low IMDb rating as well. Definitely a top bad movie from 1992.
RogerEbert.com – 2.5 stars – “Toys” is visually one of the most extraordinary films I’ve seen, a delight for the eyes, a bright new world. It takes place within the entirely imaginary world of a giant toy corporation, which springs from a limitless grain field as if there were no other buildings on earth.
(Incredible. We really are on a roll of sneaky good films. The Bodyguard and Toys back to back? I can say that will confidence because I’ve seen Toys a bunch of times and loved it as a kid. So there is no way I don’t watch it now and at least love it due to nostalgia.)
(Great trailer. Shows off the crazy set pieces, doesn’t overdo the absolutely over-the-top performance by Robin Williams, gives a good perspective on the overarching story (without touching on the final act pretty much at all). Like, actually seems like a delightful movie.)
Directors – Barry Levinson – (Known For: Sleepers; Rain Man; Bugsy; Diner; Avalon; Disclosure; The Natural; Good Morning, Vietnam; The Bay; Wag the Dog; Young Sherlock Holmes; What Just Happened; Bandits; The Last Act; Tin Men; Liberty Heights; An Everlasting Piece; Future BMT: Rock the Kasbah; Sphere; Jimmy Hollywood; Man of the Year; BMT: Envy; Toys; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Toys in 1993; Notes: Was nominated for 5 Oscars (winning one for directing Rain Man) and 11 Emmys (winning 4 times, twice for writing on The Carol Burnett Show, for producing Displaced Person, and for directing Homicide: Life on the Street). Does a lot of television work now including the upcoming Dopesick.)
Writers – Valerie Curtin (written by) – (Known For: …and justice for all.; Inside Moves; Best Friends; Future BMT: Unfaithfully Yours; BMT: Toys; Notes: Was married to Barry Levinson until the mid-80s, nominated alongside him for …and justice for all. Was in the original cast of Three’s Company, but was replaced after the pilot was picked up.)
Barry Levinson (written by) – (Known For: Sleepers; Tootsie; Diner; Avalon; High Anxiety; The Bay; …and justice for all.; Silent Movie; Inside Moves; Tin Men; Best Friends; Liberty Heights; Street Girls; Future BMT: Jimmy Hollywood; Man of the Year; Unfaithfully Yours; BMT: Toys; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Toys in 1993; Notes: Wrote Paterno, the big television movie starring Al Pacino. And is writing an upcoming tv movie called Sheela, about the leader of the Rajneesh movement from the 1980s which was profiled in the Netflix series Wild Wild Country.)
Actors – Robin Williams – (Known For: Jumanji; Good Will Hunting; Dead Poets Society; Night at the Museum; Aladdin; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Mrs. Doubtfire; Insomnia; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Popeye; Robots; Awakenings; Night at the Museum 2; The Butler; What Dreams May Come; The Birdcage; The Adventures of Baron Munchausen; Happy Feet; The Fisher King; Good Morning, Vietnam; Future BMT: Flubber; R.V.: Runaway Vacation; Nine Months; Fathers’ Day; Jack; Club Paradise; The Night Listener; Man of the Year; The Best of Times; The Survivors; To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; Jakob the Liar; Hook; Patch Adams; Bicentennial Man; August Rush; BMT: Toys; License to Wed; Old Dogs; The Big Wedding; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2000 for Bicentennial Man, and Jakob the Liar; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Death to Smoochy in 2003; Notes: Notable for being a Juilliard trained actor who cut his teeth in the stand up comedy scene of the 70s. Committed suicide in 2014, apparently due to dementia. Was nominated for four Oscars, and won for Good Will Hunting.)
Michael Gambon – (Known For: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; The Book of Eli; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; Kingsman: The Golden Circle; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; Fantastic Mr. Fox; The King’s Speech; Sleepy Hollow; Judy; Paddington 2; The Good Shepherd; Hail, Caesar!; Paddington; The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou; Gosford Park; Layer Cake; The Insider; Future BMT: The Omen; Mary Reilly; Mobsters; Clean Slate; BMT: Toys; Notes: Nominated for two Emmys, and was the replacement Dumbledore after Richard Harris passed away.)
Joan Cusack – (Known For: Sixteen Candles; Instant Family; The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Toy Story 4; School of Rock; Grosse Pointe Blank; Toy Story 3; High Fidelity; Say Anything…; Toy Story 2; Working Girl; Runaway Bride; Addams Family Values; Klaus; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; My Sister’s Keeper; Broadcast News; Let It Snow; Ice Princess; My Bodyguard; Future BMT: Snatched; Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil; Mr. Wrong; Nine Months; Mars Needs Moms; Chicken Little; Raising Helen; Class; The Allnighter; Corrina, Corrina; Where the Heart Is; Martian Child; BMT: Toys; Confessions of a Shopaholic; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars for In & Out and Working Girl. Was apparently the first regular cast member of SNL to be nominated for an Oscar. Of the Cusack acting family, including her brother John Cusack.)
Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $23,278,931 (Worldwide: $23,278,931)
(Oooof, that is a disaster. The budget is basically all production costs, which makes it all the worse. They apparently produced this stunning work of art from a production design perspective … and then the film was a totally mess and financial disaster. Too bad.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 30% (8/27): Like a colorfully overengineered gewgaw on the shelf, Toys might look like fun, but its seemingly limitless possibilities lead mainly to confusion and disappointment.
(That is definitely true. As a kid it was a real spectacle and Robin Williams is obviously the best for kids. Reviewer Highlight: The failure of Barry Levinson’s Toys is of a different order: it’s the kind of folly only a very fine filmmaker could make, a labor of misguided love. – David Ansen, Newsweek)
(Clever and actually does hint a little at the plot… or at least Barry Levinson’s perspective while making the film. Absolutely great great great custom font and it certainly is unique. I like it. Striking. Maybe a little more color theme, but good. B-)
Tagline(s) – Laughter is a state of mind. (D)
(I don’t know what this means. I guess maybe it’s playing on the poster itself. That Robin William’s mind in the film is a Russian nesting doll of himself? I don’t know. Nonsense. But at least it’s short nonsense.)
Top 10: Avengers: Endgame (2019), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), The Dark Knight (2008), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Avengers Assemble (2012), The Goonies (1985), Blade Runner 2049 (2017), The Prestige (2006)
Future BMT: 83.1 Inspector Gadget (1999), 68.7 Supergirl (1984), 65.0 Max Steel (2016), 57.1 Flubber (1997), 47.3 Blankman (1994), 46.3 Machete Kills (2013), 40.1 Paranoia (2013), 38.5 Two of a Kind (1983), 30.9 Van Helsing (2004), 30.4 Arthur and the Invisibles (2006);
BMT: Warcraft: The Beginning (2016), Fantastic Four (2015), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Geostorm (2017), Masters of the Universe (1987), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Pixels (2015), Wild Wild West (1999), Tango & Cash (1989), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), Hudson Hawk (1991), Toys (1992), Jobs (2013), Envy (2004), A Sound of Thunder (2005), Ernest Goes to Jail (1990)
(I’m here for the other Robin Williams inventor bad movie, Flubber. Mostly has been buoyed in recent years from Tony Stark and Beast in the new X-Men films from what I can tell.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: LL Cool J is No. 7 billed in Toys and No. 2 billed in Rollerball, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 7 + 2 + 1 + 2 = 12. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.
Notes – Theatrical movie debut of Jamie Foxx (Baker).
It took writer, producer, and director Barry Levinson over ten years to develop this movie. It took ten months to shoot.
Much of the look drew its inspiration from surrealist painter René Magritte. This is most obvious in the break in scene where Leslie Zevo (Robin Williams) and Alsatia Zevo (Joan Cusack) pretend they’re doing a music video featuring raining men in the background.
As of May, 2001 the Zevo Tombstone (the stone elephant) resides at Planet Hollywood in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
The blue car that Leslie (Robin Williams) drove was a rare 1950 Muntz Jet, of which fewer than four hundred were made.
In the arcade sequence, where a child is shown playing one of the military games of a helicopter destroying civilian vehicles, a “kill” monitor is visible at the bottom of the screen listing the number of cars destroyed by model. Only the Volvo column is still at zero kills, an in-joke referring to the Volvo’s legendary safety and indestructibility.
The scene with Leslie Zevo (Robin Williams) addressing his troops was ad-libbed. Levinson kept a camera rolling everytime Williams was on-set.
The “electric jacket” worn by Robin Williams was created by Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini.
In the arcade scene, the introduction to “Tank Gunner” is actually the introduction to Absolute Entertainment’s Super Battletank. One year later, Absolute Entertainment released the video game adaptation for this movie. (Oooooooo I’m going to play that!!)
A long-cherished project for writer, producer, and director Barry Levinson, this was originally set to be his directorial debut.
The words used by Lieutenant General Leland Zevo (Sir Michael Gambon) in an attempt to stop the rampaging sea creature are “Klaatu, Barada, Nikto”, the same words used to command the robot Gort in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008). Also, these were the same words Ash (Bruce Campbell) was supposed to use in Army of Darkness (1992) prior to picking up the necronomicon. (That is a super fun fact)
Italian designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti spent over one year designing the sumptuous sets, which took over every soundstage at Twentieth Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles. (Awesome)
Robin Williams and Joan Cusack performed “The Mirror Song” themselves in the MTV scene. (Amazing)
Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Ferdinando Scarfiotti, Linda DeScenna, 1993)
Nominee for the Oscar for Best Costume Design (Albert Wolsky, 1993)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Barry Levinson, 1993)
Frank Farmer is the best. So when rising singer-actor double threat Rachel Marron life is in danger there is only one man to call. Frank doesn’t like to mix business with pleasure but Rachel and her YOLO lifestyle cracks through his tough exterior to find… love (awww). But can Frank stop the threat before it’s too late? Find out in… The Bodyguard.
How?! Frank Farmer will always love you. And by “you” I mean “stopping danger”. That’s cause he’s a bodyguard extraordinaire and if the price is right he’ll be there at your side stopping any threat. But there is one thing he won’t do: guard a celeb. Why? They are too much for his super serious methods. But Rachel Marron isn’t just any celebrity. She’s the it girl: a singing sensation on the verge of winning an Oscar. So he says yes, but it’s pretty clear pretty soon that he’s in trouble. That’s cause he can feel his ice heart melting and soon he and Rachel are totes in love for real. But love doesn’t stop the threat (unfortunately) and Frank and Rachel are always at odds on how best to guard her against the stalker leaving creepy notes, while also doing promotion for her big soundtrack release and Oscar campaign (how relatable). When Rachel’s son is threatened she finally realizes the seriousness of the situation and Frank takes her and her crew up to his father’s lakehouse. Unfortunately the whole thing is a setup and Rachel’s sister, jealous over her sister’s success, has been the one behind the threats. She hired a hitman through so many back channels that even she can’t stop it now. Before Frank can get anymore information Rachel’s sister is murdered. After burying her sister, the big Oscar night is here and Rachel insists on going cause obviously she’s going to win. When Rachel goes up on stage to accept the award, Frank realizes that the killer is a former secret service agent he knows and is able to take the bullet for Rachel and then shoot the killer. Later, Rachel is off for bigger and better things and Frank insists that the relationship won’t work, so they say goodbye at the airport. At the last minute, though, Rachel gets off the plane and gets her a piece of some Kevin Costner action. Love! THE END.
Why?! Love. It can’t be denied that this film is all about L-O-V-E. Do we care about Rachel’s Oscar campaign? Sure, who wouldn’t. Are we intrigued by Kevin Costner’s interest in ancient Japanese culture and the ways of the samurai? Duh, I mean, we’re all humans right? But despite all these very interesting things happening it still all boils down to love.
Who?! I wonder how many fake Oscar hosts there have been in cinema. In this case Robert Wuhl was the host, which makes some sense. He was part of the writing team for Billy Crystal’s 1990 and 1991 shows so he would know exactly what the job entails while also… you know… not being Billy Crystal.
What?! Are we absolutely sure that the film itself is not a very long advertisement for the power of Whitney Houston’s voice? I mean… check out this music video. Do you even need to watch the full movie at that point? This is actually fun, I’ll have to keep that in mind for future What?! Sections. Whether there is a music video using clips from the film. Like Wiki-wiki-Wild Wild West.
Where?! Mostly Los Angeles, but there are some pretty good Miami scenes (I thought for sure it was in the same hotel as in The Specialist, but IMDb tells me I’m wrong) and Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe was a funny one because I was thinking how weirdly familiar everything looked in the Tahoe scenes, but then I realized that I was just remembering The Godfather Part II. I’ll give it an A- since we get that sweet Oscar LA centric.
When?! Speaking of the Oscars, perfect kinda secret holiday film alert. At the time the Oscars took place on the last Monday of the March. Meaning that the climax of this film takes place on March 30th, 1992 (assuming this isn’t set in the near future for some reason). Makes sense too with the weather and in Tahoe and the idea that he would be protecting her from around the beginning of the year as the Oscar campaign heated up.
I kinda think a film like this is timeless, but just not this specific film. Mega-celeb stalker situation that needs a mumbly Kevin Costner statue man to swoop in? Yeah, make that every few years, throw it on Netflix or whatever and people are going to be into it (at least I would be). They even had a pretty good variant of it come out not that long ago called Beyond the Lights that is more or less this story without the overwrought Oscar/assassin plot. While this film was fairly enjoyable, and I thought Houston did a pretty good job, I think it really didn’t deliver on a few things that really hurt it. 1. Just a complete lack of sexy steamy action. I personally blame Costner who was even more wooden than usual. 2. Really pretty basic paint-by-number thriller plot, which they shouldn’t have needed (see point 1). 3. Hollywood likes nothing more than a film talking about Hollywood… but they also will hate a movie that talks about Hollywood in a not serious way. The Oscars ceremony scene in this film is bonkers and I kinda love it, but critics probably hated it. Patrick?
‘Ello! Iiiiii-iiii-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii will always loooooooove Kevin Costnerrrrrrrrr. He’s just always so brooding and emotionally stunted, you know? Super sexy stuff. Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – This is definitely in the category of “films I’m surprised qualify for BMT.” Prior to looking I would have guessed the film got something like 50-60% on Rotten Tomatoes in general. Even the reviews seemed somewhat tepid, merely calling the film a bit schlocky and cliche. I’m 100% convinced if this film came out today starring, I don’t know, Lady Gaga, that it would at least get a “meh, what did you expect?” from most critics. What were my expectations? A good movie. But in that Kevin Costner-in-the-90s sort of way. I’m not joking when I say he plays an emotionally stunted very quiet and brooding man in basically all of the films he’s in … and usually he’s a widower. I’ve watched maybe five of his films in the last six months.
The Good – It is a pretty entertaining (if a bit overlong) film, and Whitney Houston is surprisingly good. I’m a little surprised she didn’t get more roles after this, although I think this was also the beginning of her tumultuous fall into addiction that ultimately ruined her career. The soundtrack, naturally, is top to bottom bangers. And the few action scenes when they happen are solid, especially the sequence in Tahoe. Best Bit: The soundtrack obviously.
The Bad – Overlong, as I said. The twist in the end of the film is very Murder, She Wrote-esque. Oh, the person who seemed like a pretty famous character actor who was in the film for approximately one minute early in the film for no reason is the big bad guy? Who could have guessed? The motive for the crime is also weak. As much as I love the amusing fake Oscars they set up at the end, the camera gun assassin seems like it is somehow from a different movie … In the Line of Fire comes to mind. Fatal Flaw: Bad twist.
The BMT – I kind of dig this film, although I don’t think I would watch it again anytime soon due to the length. But if I turned it on and I saw Kevin Costner in snowy Tahoe? I would stick around for, at least, the chase scene soon after. It’ll always have a place in the BMT Record Collection for a rare film that spawned a number one hit single in the US. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, not surprisingly the film is pretty entertaining, if a bit long and old school. And it was very very Kevin Costner.
Roast-radamus – The first decent Product Placement (What?) in a bit with the characters literally guzzling Stolichnaya Vodka at times, which is hilarious. Also not a bad Setting as a Character (Where?) for Los Angeles where the film predominantly takes place (except for the quick jaunt to Tahoe). Really really nice Specific Time (When?) for the ending of the film which takes place at the Oscars, so very specifically late-March (with the rest of the film taking place probably from sometime in the previous Fall). And finally a Worst Twist (How?) for the unsurprising reveal that that guy who seemed like a significant character in the middle of the film, but had only had one minute of screen time, popped back up as the assassin. Definitely closest to Good.
Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Obviously we are going Prequel here, because I got to know about the Reagan assassination attempt which is hanging over Frank Farmer’s career. A cross between Oliver Stone’s JFK and The Bodyguard, we follow a young Frank Farmer, a hot shot Secret Service agent who always gets his man. The story unfolds through post-event interviews mostly, with Frank admitting that with the death of his wife, his head just wasn’t in the game. But … could the event have been stopped? As a (entirely fictitious, creative license and all that) conspiracy slowly starts to unravel, along with Farmer’s life, we learn that Hinkley may have had an inside man in the Secret Service. In the end, to cover up the potential scandal for the service, Farmer is relieved of duty and goes into private security. But, he vows to find the ones responsible for nearly killing the president on his watch (That’s for The Bodyguard: Legacy starring DeVaughn Nixon reprising his role as Fletcher, grown up and following in Frank’s footsteps). The Bodyguard: Origins.
You Just Got Schooled – I was thinking about just listening to the entire Bodyguard soundtrack while working one day, but nah. Instead I decided to hit up one of the few remaining big Kevin Costner films I haven’t seen, Dances with Wolves. Why hadn’t I seen it? Because it is three hours long. For a three hour film it is quite good. Never really flags, lots of interesting characters, a beautiful setting, with a few impressive action set pieces thrown in. I can see most of the complaints about the film, and as usual Kevin Costner’s very Kevin Costner-y performance as “Kevin Costner on the frontier” (I think that was his character’s name) is a bit distracting. But I can also see why it won Best Picture, this is basically the definition of 90s Oscar bait, with a story of resurrecting the Western as a genre thrown in. B+. I’ll just deduct a bit for Kevin Costner, I have to, it’s all I’ve been talking about in this entire review.
Oh man, so here I was protecting this pop star from an assassin, when all of a sudden the assassin popped up and bopped me on the head. Don’t worry, despite my severe concussion I managed to safety roll to a kneeling position and popped off a few rounds into the forest with my eyes closed, so that probably scared him away. Besides that though I don’t remember a thing … do you remember what happened in The Bodyguard?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) How did Frank Farmer know that the guy he shot in the beginning was the assassin trying to kill his client?
2) Why is Frank hired on to protect Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston)?
3) What is the date that Frank takes Rachel on after Rachel asks him out?
4) Who hired the assassin to kill Rachel and Why?
5) What award is Rachel up for at the end of the film when the assassin’s plot is attempted, and Frank literally takes a bullet for Rachel?
Bonus Question: Who is Frank Farmer’s client after Rachel?
“Virus?!” asks Patrick, shocked at the latest twist in their ever evolving adventure. “That’s right,” Jamie answers, making his way around the giant box that now occupies their living room. Stupid box. Why have such an unwieldy thing around when it’s so obviously useless? “Why do we have this box around when it’s so obviously useless?” Jamie finally asks, but Patrick waves him off. “Nevermind that, a global pandemic totally changes our calculus.” They both turn to Rachel, their resident pandemic expert, and ask whether people in the pandemic still, perchance, enjoy video games. They cross their fingers and hold their breath. The anticipation is killing them. “Probably even more,” she replies honestly. Excellent. “And music? We haven’t entered some footloose scenario where music has been outlawed, right?” Rachel rolls her eyes, but they just shrug. A lot can change in a year… in fact it has. With a footloose scenario confirmed not to be in play, Jamie fires up his AskJeeves.com email account and drafts an email containing their Starring Jason Derulo demo for WGRG, but before he hits send Patrick stops him. He looks serious. “Starring Jason Derulo is a great song,” Patrick starts. Well, duh, everyone knows that, especially Jamie the writer, lead singer, and keyboard player on the Starring Jason Derulo track. “But,” he continues and this confuses Jamie. What else needs to be said about Starring Jason Derulo? “With the new developments do you think we need something more…” But Jamie is already nodding his head. When Patrick’s right, he’s right. “Inspirational. Something a little more like…” and now they’re both nodding their heads, “I Will Always Love You from the smash film (and musical) The Bodyguard,” they say in unison and Predator high five. Time to get their sentimental ballad on. Let’s go! If you couldn’t guess from that introduction we are watching The Bodyguard starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. It had one of the most iconic soundtracks of all time and that still wasn’t able to prevent it from qualifying for BMT. All the better for us. Let’s go!
The Bodyguard (1992) – BMeTric: 24.4; Notability: 57
StreetCreditReport.com –BMeTric: top 18.4%; Notability: top 9.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 26.3% Higher BMeT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Pet Sematary II, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice, Sleepwalkers, 3 Ninja Kids, The Lawnmower Man, Poison Ivy, Freejack, Beethoven, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aces: Iron Eagle III, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, California Man, Dr. Giggles, Evil Toons, Ladybugs, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, Passenger 57, Man Trouble, Captain Ron, and 9 more; Higher Notability: Newsies, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Freejack, Tom and Jerry: The Movie; Lower RT: Man Trouble, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, The Opposite Sex and How to Live with Them, Mom and Dad Save the World, Passed Away, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Ladybugs, Claire of the Moon, Mr. Baseball, The Distinguished Gentleman, The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag, Aces: Iron Eagle III, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, California Man, Mo’ Money, Class Act, Knight Moves, Freejack, Dr. Giggles, Blame It on the Bellboy and 20 more; Notes: Notability is impressive, which I guess kind of reminds me that I’m very excited to watch Newsies for BMT, I unironically love that film. Incredible rise in the rating, maybe pointing to another genuinely good film!
RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – The movie was made as a thriller, I suppose, because of box-office considerations. I felt a little cheated by the outcome, although I should have been able to predict it, using my Law of Economy of Characters, which teaches that no movie contains any unnecessary characters, so that an apparently superfluous character is probably the killer. I thought the basic situation in “The Bodyguard” was intriguing enough to sustain a film all by itself: on the one hand, a star who grows rich through the adulation that fans feel for her, and on the other hand, a working man who, for a salary, agrees to substitute his body as a target instead of hers. Makes you think.
(Love that law. It is true all the way from Murder She Wrote, to Scooby Doo. I watched a Scooby Doo episode the other day (don’t ask) and I’m not joking when I say there was only one other person in the entire story other than the meddling kids … so yeah, obviously the Creeper was that guy. It was bizarre. And you can almost always guess the bad guy in things like Psych because they’ll be the most famous person other than the main cast. It is hilarious that The Bodyguard falls into the same trap.)
(Oh man, those jamming tunes! Haha, them playing the fight in the kitchen (spoiler alert, it is with Houston’s original bumbling security guard guy) as an intruder is pretty funny. I wonder why I Will Always Love You didn’t get any play? There is something in some of the notes that maybe suggest it was a single created pretty late into production, so maybe they didn’t think it was going to be the big one.)
Directors – Mick Jackson – (Known For: Volcano; Denial; L.A. Story; Chattahoochee; The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest; Future BMT: Clean Slate; BMT: The Bodyguard; Notes: Won an Emmy for directing the TV movie Temple Grandin. He’s from Britain originally.)
Writers – Lawrence Kasdan (written by) – (Known For: Raiders of the Lost Ark; Solo: A Star Wars Story; Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens; Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi; Silverado; Wyatt Earp; The Big Chill; Body Heat; The Accidental Tourist; Grand Canyon; Continental Divide; Mumford; Darling Companion; BMT: Dreamcatcher; The Bodyguard; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Remake or Sequel for Wyatt Earp in 1995; Nominee for Worst Director for Wyatt Earp in 1995; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for The Bodyguard in 1993; Notes: Nominated for three Oscars for screenplays. His sons also write and produce movies, Jonathan notably writing Solo: A Star Wars Story with this father. Both are writing on the upcoming Willow television show.)
Actors – Kevin Costner – (Known For: Zack Snyder’s Justice League; Dances with Wolves; Hidden Figures; Man of Steel; Molly’s Game; Let Him Go; The Highwaymen; Waterworld; Silverado; The Untouchables; Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit; Field of Dreams; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; Draft Day; Wyatt Earp; JFK; No Way Out; McFarland; Open Range; The Art of Racing in the Rain; Future BMT: Play It to the Bone; Dragonfly; 3 Days to Kill; Swing Vote; Criminal; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Revenge; Black or White; The War; BMT: Rumor Has It…; 3000 Miles to Graceland; The Postman; The Bodyguard; Message in a Bottle; The Guardian; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for The Postman in 1998; Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Remake or Sequel for Wyatt Earp in 1995; Winner for Worst Actor for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1992; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1993 for The Bodyguard; in 1996 for Waterworld; in 2000 for For Love of the Game, and Message in a Bottle; and in 2002 for 3000 Miles to Graceland; Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Wyatt Earp; and in 2002 for 3000 Miles to Graceland; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Century in 2000 for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Postman, The Postman, Waterworld, Waterworld, Wyatt Earp, and Wyatt Earp; Notes: Very notably was nominated for best picture, directing, and starring in Dances With Wolves. A very “every man” kind of leading man, a bone fide movie star in the 80s and 90s, but then in the late 90s he was in eight straight BMT films before having an old-man-renaissance in the 2010s. Wait … he must be in a band right? Yup, “Kevin Costner and Modern West” … that is a hilarious name.)
Whitney Houston – (Known For: Waiting to Exhale; The Preacher’s Wife; Sparkle; BMT: The Bodyguard; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress, Worst Original Song, and Worst New Star for The Bodyguard in 1993; Notes: Won an Emmy for performing at the Grammy Awards. Sung backing vocals with her mother at age 15 on Chaka Khan’s 1978 hit “I’m Every Woman”.)
Gary Kemp – (Known For: The Krays; Killing Zoe; Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism; Dog Eat Dog; Hide and Seek; Büvös vadász; American Daylight; BMT: The Bodyguard; Notes: Principal songwriter and vocalist for Spandau Ballet. Brother of Martin Kemp who was on EastEnders for 13 years.)
Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $122,006,740 (Worldwide: $411,006,740)
(That is a pretty big hit. Costner has apparently said he has never had any interest in doing sequels to any of his films (even ones that have written sequels). So I guess this was just a one-off smash success as usual.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 33% (15/46): The Bodyguard is a cheesy, melodramatic potboiler with occasional moments of electricity from Whitney Houston.
(That sounds good to me actually. Some drama with serenades by Houston every so often is just the ticket, I hope Costner mumbles every single one of his lines. Reviewer Highlight: Just about everything that can go wrong with this film does, and yet it’s compulsively watchable. (So is a train wreck.) – Peter Rainer, Los Angeles Times)
(A poster so iconic it’s still spoofed today. This is how you bring your stars seamlessly into a poster. The blue hue gets the tone right and it looks pretty dramatic and sexy. Just needed a sweet Bodyguard specific font to put it over the top. B+.)
Tagline(s) – Never let her out of your sight. Never let your guard down. Never fall in love. (B)
(They have the right idea, but couldn’t edit it down enough. I do like the twist at the end though. The first two it’s like “well yeah, bodyguard stuff” and then they hit you with the love angle and you’re like this isn’t your parents’ The Bodyguard. Get ready for a sexy ride.)
Top 10: Tenet (2020), Wonder Woman 1984 (1984), The Dark Knight (2008), The Gentlemen (2019), Inception (2010), Titanic (1997), Black Panther (2018), Batman Begins (2005), Iron Man (2008), Deadpool (2016)
Future BMT: 82.8 Kazaam (1996), 63.5 Mr. Nanny (1993), 62.9 Fat Albert (2004), 58.2 Wild Orchid (1989), 56.8 The Transporter Refueled (2015), 51.9 Blackhat (2015), 47.4 Men in Black: International (2019), 46.3 Machete Kills (2013), 44.9 The Rhythm Section (2020), 44.0 Fred Claus (2007);
BMT: Baywatch (2017), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Fantasy Island (2020), Bloodshot (2020), Geostorm (2017), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), Angel Has Fallen (2019), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Hunter Killer (2018), Rambo: Last Blood (2019), The Expendables 3 (2014), Hitman: Agent 47 (2015), London Has Fallen (2016), Vampire Academy (2014), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), The Bodyguard (1992), Conan the Barbarian (2011), The Snowman (2017), The Last Witch Hunter (2015), The Pacifier (2005), Gangster Squad (2013), Mortdecai (2015), Be Cool (2005), Elektra (2005), Over the Top (1987), Alex Cross (2012), Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Ride Along (2014), Romeo Must Die (2000), The Prince & Me (2004), Pluto Nash (2002), The Gunman (2015), Highlander II: The Quickening (1991), I, Frankenstein (2014), I Spy (2002), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005), Exit Wounds (2001), First Daughter (2004), Grind (2003), Hollywood Homicide (2003), Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009), Proud Mary (2018), Left Behind (Video (0), Ride Along 2 (2016), The Musketeer (2001), Never Die Alone (2004)
(Is the concept of bodyguards having a moment? This is a really loose keyword idea. Like, doesn’t Kazaam only kind of have a bodyguard because the bad guy has one or something? Or is Kazaam the bodyguard?)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Kevin Costner is No. 2 billed in The Bodyguard and No. 2 billed in Rumor Has It…, which also stars Jennifer Aniston (No. 1 billed) who is in Just Go With It (No. 2 billed), which also stars Adam Sandler (No. 1 billed) who is in Jack and Jill (No. 1 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 15.
Notes – It was Kevin Costner’s idea for Whitney Houston to start “I Will Always Love You” a capella.
Rachel’s mansion is the same mansion as the “horse’s head in the bed” mansion in “The Godfather (1972).” (fun fact!)
Whitney Houston suffered a miscarriage during production and missed a couple of weeks of production recovering.
Whitney Houston would give Kevin Costner singing lessons on set in exchange for acting advice. (ha!)
Kevin Costner said that he based his portrayal of Frank Farmer on actor Steve McQueen. He even went as far as to get McQueen’s trademark haircut for the role.
As of 2015, with over 37 million albums sold, the film had the best-selling soundtrack of all time. “Saturday Night Fever (1977)” places second–with nearly 10 million fewer albums sold.
Kevin Costner and Mick Jackson encouraged Whitney Houston not to take acting lessons – they wanted her to be natural.
This film was originally proposed in the mid-’70s, starring Diana Ross and Steve McQueen, but was rejected as “too controversial”. The film concept was to be attempted again in the late 1970s, with Ryan O’Neal and Diana Ross cast as the leads. The project fell through after only a few months because of irreconcilable differences between O’Neal and Ross, who had been dating.
Crew driver Bill Vitagliano was killed in an on-set accident when he was crushed between two colliding scissor-lifts, during the preparation for an underground parking garage scene.
The film had to undergo some hasty re-cutting when test audiences jeered Whitney Houston’s performance. (But why?)
Originally “I Will Always Love You” wasn’t in the movie – the big single was “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.” When that song was used in “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (1991),” Kevin Costner suggested “I Will Always Love You.” (These production stories are wild, Costner really was involved in every single aspect of this film)
Rachel and Frank go and see “Yojimbo (1961),” which was released in the United States as “The Bodyguard”. (THAT is a fun fact)
The basement used as Kevin Costner’s basement in the movie The Bodyguard (1992) is the same basement that’s used in NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2003) as Gibbs’ basement. (I’m in love with this fact)
One of the few films that presented a fictional Academy Awards in its plot and later on were nominated for the actual Academy Awards. While this movie scored two Best Song nominations, the other movie with similar circumstances, California Suite (1978) managed to win an Oscar (acting category, an ironic contrast with the movie’s subplot involving an actress who loses the same award).
The brand of whisky being drunk throughout the film is Springbank from Campbeltown in Scotland, where the director was on holiday prior to making the film.
Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan is a fan of director Akira Kurosawa. As such, he named the film after Yojimbo (1961), and wrote the male lead role for Steve McQueen, who had appeared in The Magnificent Seven (1960), a remake of Seven Samurai (1954). Two of the characters in Kurosawa’s film The Hidden Fortress (1958) were the inspiration for C-3PO and R2-D2 in the Star Wars films, four of which Kasdan wrote.
Scriptwriter Lawrence Kasdan was also the director of The Big Chill (1983), Silverado (1985) and Wyatt Earp (1994). Kevin Costner was in all of those films, though his part in the first one was cut.
Dolly Parton wrote and sang the song I will always love you” In an interview on the Graham Norton show she said that they asked her to let them use the song “I will always love you” for the movie and she sent it in and forgot about it. Then one day she was driving from her office to her house in Nashville when she heard Whitney Houston’s version on the radio and she had to pull off the side of the road in order to finish listening to it. Dolly Parton was blown away by how well, and beautiful the song was done. She was also impressed by how beautifully Whitney Houston sang it.
Kevin Costner said that if he could change one thing about the movie, he would not have the shooting take place at the Academy Awards. (Yeah it doesn’t make much sense, they even have to say it out loud during the film because it is so weird)
Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song (David Foster, Linda Thompson, 1993)
Nominee for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song (Jud Friedman, Allan Rich, 1993)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Lawrence Kasdan, Jim Wilson, Kevin Costner, 1993)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Kevin Costner, 1993)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Whitney Houston, 1993)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Lawrence Kasdan, 1993)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (1993)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Whitney Houston, 1993)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Whitney Houston, Eric ‘Babyface’ Walsh, Daryl Simmons, 1993)
Kit and Steve are part of the unlucky crew of a tugboat whose container ship gets lost in a storm (along with their financial future). Damaged, they find themselves in the eye of the storm with a ghost ship (with the most ship). Seeing a salvage opportunity, they board, but soon realize that something is amiss. Can they escape before it’s too late? Find out in… Virus.
How?! Kit is the badass XO of a tugboat whose captain has staked his entire life on one big container ship. Unfortunately that ship is now at the bottom of the ocean after they run smack into the middle of a Pacific typhoon. Badly damaged, they fortunately find their way into the eye of the storm where they are surprised to find they aren’t alone. A giant Russian research vessel is there and looking pretty rough. The captain is seeing dollar signs and as long as no survivors are found they can get a huge chunk of change for salvaging what is a very expensive ship. But things start going badly right away and they realize they aren’t alone. Not just that they find a terrified surviving crew, but when they turn on the power they feel like they are being watched and one of their crew goes missing. When they go searching for him they find an automated workshop producing robots and are attacked by a cyborg! Egad! Turns out there is a spooky alium onboard that is all electrical and shit and it is all up in those robots. They are taking people and turning them into robots too. Like a… uh… robot… uh, what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh… virus. A robot virus. Realizing they have to take out the computer brain they head off, only to be attacked by more alium robots. The captain decides to become a cyborg of his own volition (apparently so he can still salvage the ship… which will probably be a little difficult being a crazy scary cyborg person, but whatever) and the rest of the crew scatter just trying to survive. In the climax they have to fight (and kill) the captain cyborg and then ultimately sets a trap to fight (and kill) the main robot alium brain. Just as they explode the ship, Kit and Steve eject themselves off the ship and are rescued. THE END.
Why?! As usual I kinda love the motivations in a horror film. Obviously all the crew members just want to survive. Other than the captain who really doesn’t care if or how he survives as long as he can still salvage that ship. Turn him into a cyborg, he doesn’t care. Probably use his cyborg brain to get an even better deal on the salvage. Anyway, the bad guys are always more interesting and here the alien is indeed interesting to ponder. It’s electrical and, by my reading, was having a jolly time floating through space before unfortunately finding its way into a space station computer that was connected to the research vessel. Now the alien is trapped on this big dumbo ship and needs to find its way out. Solution? Get some cyborg bodies, pilot its way to a base, and upload onto the world’s computers like a big ol’ terrible alien robot virus. Check mate.
Who?! It’s been a while since I’ve had a surprise entry in this, but Ritchie (who builds the contraption that helps Kit and Steve escape the ship in the end) was played by Sherman Augustus. He was a former professional football player with the Chargers and Vikings. It sounds, though, like he might be a “former professional football player” like on The Bachelor. He apparently suffered a knee injury and never played in a game.
What?! Like Cutthroat Island, you know they were ready to unload what had to be an ungodly number of props for this film. I obviously love the ones that aren’t for sale because I like to imagine how much a fully animatronic cyborg prop would cost. Whatever number you have in mind factor in that one of the tiny robot props runs $2800.00. Yah.
Where?! In some ways this is an A. It takes place on a ghost ship (which the most ship) and that obviously plays quite a big role. However if we’re going from the actual location this is in the pacific somewhat generally. So it’s still quite good for a Middle of the Pacific film, but maybe would put this in more the B range.
When?! This seems to be unknown, although maybe you can catch a glimpse somewhere. The only thing you get is the time frame in relative terms. The alien gets beams down to the research ship before the storm and then seven days later our groups of tugboaters get damaged in the storm. I wonder why seven… maybe biblical? F+.
Much like the big ol’ dumbo ship, this is a big ol’ dumbo movie. It’s got some pretty weird and at times interesting (at other times a little cheesy) special effects. Clearly that’s all the director was interested in because most of the stuff the actors get to do is just scream and run and look at cyborg aliens (and then scream and run some more) and the script is as basic a scifi horror as they could have come up with. No wonder Jamie Lee Curtis talks about this like it’s the worst movie she ever made. Doesn’t seem like the director was very interested in giving the actors much to chew on. Everything is in service of the effects. This isn’t the worst movie though. Just a pretty one-dimensional movie. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! How is it that I’ve watched multiple William Baldwin films this year? Well this one is about him fighting robo-aliums in the South Pacific, so … Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – An interesting preview since Jamie Lee Curtis hate, hate, hated this film. She has called it the worst film ever made in multiple interviews. That seems … hyperbolic. I mean, I’ve seen Battlefield Earf, so it is unlikely that Virus is somehow worse than that hot garbage. Based on a graphic novel (yeah, I’m reading that), and with a shoddy PS1 game barely released in the US (yeah, I’m playing that). What were my expectations? From the movie? I don’t know, I guess a mostly cheesy Sci-Fi film with bad effects. From the video game? The game genuinely looks like the worst game I’ve ever seen, and I recently watched someone speedrun King’s Quest 8. So that is exciting.
The Good – Some of the monster designs are okay, even if the execution is unimpressive. I also like Jamie Lee Curtis, who, despite hating working on the film, brings that Scream Queen cachet to the film to solid effect. The core idea of the electrical alien attack is trite now, but was definitely an interesting idea at the time when computer viruses were still a somewhat unknown entity in popular culture. Best Bit: Jamie Lee Curtis.
The Bad – The actual effects are awful, a poor man’s The Thing (1982). If they were done with as much effect as in that film, then I’m convinced the film would have been somewhat effective. Sutherland and Baldwin were both subpar, likely second or third choices for their roles, borderline television movie level at times. Like when Sutherland is a robot … it is Heartbeeps level weirdness, the whole thing feels like a director completely in order his head and over budget. Fatal Flaw: The aliums look like trash.
The BMT – I love films set on boats. I love films with electric aliums. I love films with William Baldwin. This film kind of had it all. It is a kind of fun movie is you squint, but it does get sunk by looking like garbage. The vitriol by Curtis is unwarranted … but you can definitely feel like the production must have been terrible. Did it meet my expectations? Yup, cheesy sci-fi film with bad effects. I was delighted that William Baldwin was as weird as ever, and who can help but be charmed by just-almost-too-old Donald Sutherland, if only he was an arsonist. Stay tuned for my video game review.
Roast-radamus – A pretty solid and rare Setting as a Character (Where?) for the boat being specifically stranded in the South Pacific. I wonder if they were near the Blue Lagoon. I think that is it. Closest to BMT I think. I personally liked it, but I’m also certain if I showed it to anyone they would be like “what the hell is this?” and laugh at it.
Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Definitely a sequel. Set 25 years after the events of the original film Steve Baker has made a name for himself in the US military as they prepare for the potential return of the electro-aliums from the original film. This terror is unleashed upon the world in the form of a communication satellite infected with a new virus which beams into, you guessed it, the internet. That’s right, the Aliums are in cyberspace and they want to take over the world! Ba ba baaaaaaa! Los Angeles, the mecca of social media influencers becomes ground zero for a viral infection that makes the original film look like a radio play, you got robots up the wazoo. In flies Baker, who gets Kit Foster, now a Neo-Luddite living off the grid, out of retirement to try and contain the cyberspace firestorm. They tap into cyberspace with the military’s new VR haptic suits and fight the virus virtually, and, spoiler alert, they totally pwn those alium dweebs. Virus 2: Cryptowarz. Get fat William Baldwin on the phone stat!!
You Just Got Schooled – Another tie-in cycle film, another terrible video game. This week, the survival horror game Virus: It is Aware. Oh boy … uh, this might actually be the worst game I’ve ever played. I only ultimately played an hour or two of it, and while I think I could finish it, I don’t think I have the will to. A bit tough to find, I ultimately set up a standalone PS1 emulator and got it working. It feels a bit like a homeless man’s Resident Evil as far as gameplay is concerned. Somewhat interesting in that each level, much like Little Nicky, is standalone. After you complete the level it gives you a code (you can save, but apparently around this time for releases to secondary markets some games chose to also provide a code instead, again, like Little Nicky!), and you get all of your health and ammo back. The parallels to Little Nicky are striking, a game made on the cheap, borrowing heavily from better games, to push to market a tie-in with little thought about gameplay. Except I found Little Nicky bizarrely charming. This … is an abomination, only to be played ironically. F. Until further notice this is the worst game I’ve ever played in my life, may god have mercy on the developers’ souls.
Bonus Book Report – Oh snap, that’s right, I also read the four issue graphic novel series by Dark Horse, also called Virus. The story is kind of close to the movie, although here everyone is immediately on board with the salvage operation, and the alium takes over really quickly. In my opinion … the art style is pretty bad looking, and the two main characters are cliches. It is pretty obvious that it was written by someone who isn’t a professional writer, ultimately creating an impossibly capable everyman mechanic as his main character with really really bad dialogue. It also seems potentially like a rip off of The Thing … especially considering he wrote a sequel graphic novel to the 1982 film that same year … it seems pretty likely. That being said, a pretty enjoyable quick read, took me maybe an hour, and you can see why they thought they could brush it up into a sci-fi thriller. C+. Not a good graphic novel, but a fun read regardless paired with the film.
Oh boy, so last summer I was working on this tugboat when we went full “salvage operation” on an abandoned Russian research ship. It turns out though, this abandoned ship wasn’t really abandoned … more like infected. With aliums. Yeah. And one of them bopped me on the head, and now I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Virus?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) In the beginning of the film a Russian research vessel is chilling in the South Pacific. What is the purpose of the ship and what is it doing when it is infected with an electric alien lifeform?
2) Meanwhile, a tugboat is dragging some cargo through the Typhoon in the South Pacific. What are they tugging and why won’t the captain cut it loose to save their lives?
3) When they encounter the Russian research vessel Captain Everton gets miiiiiiiiiighty excited. How much do they think the salvage will be worth and what is their cut?
4) They eventually find a lone survivor on the ship and learn about what happened when the alien species infected the ship’s computer. What does the alien want with the humans and Earth in general?