Mannequin: on the Move Recap

Jamie

Hollywood is back, Jack!… oh and the mannequin or whatever. When a supposedly cursed mannequin turns out to be an actually cursed princess (and she’s hot stuff to boot) Jason’s got to figure out what to do in the name of love. Can he defeat the wicked sorcerer who’s come looking for the girl before it’s too late? Find out in… Mannequin: On the Move.

How?! Back in Middle Earth or some shit a Prince is totally into a peasant woman, Jessie. But before they can run off together they are caught by the Queen, whose sorcerer curses the woman for a thousand years. As long as she wears the cursed necklace (that can only be removed by her true love) then she’ll be a statue. Anywho, flash forward 999 years later and under the guise of a worldwide tour, the evil sorcerer’s descendant plans to take the mannequin away (specifically to Philadelphia) just in time for her to become human again so he can steal away to Bermuda with her. Enter Jason (who looks startlingly like the Prince) a man about town just trying to do his best at his new job at the department store of the first film. He’s placed under the guidance of Hollywood (finally! Some connecting fibers to the first entry) in order to plan the big presentation about the cursed mannequin. When the mannequin is almost destroyed in transit, Jason saves her and is shocked to find that she appears to be momentarily alive. Intrigued, he hangs around the mannequin and finds he can remove the necklace no prob and proceeds to teach this totally hot former mannequin all about the modern world. They are totally in love and Jason is dancing and making breakfast and all that jazz when Jessie decides to try on her necklace and becomes a statue again. Uh oh! Jason is confused and real sad and so he brings the mannequin back to the store. But Hollywood also inadvertently takes off the necklace (guess the rules changed all of a sudden) and Jessie is on the move once again. The sorcerer is suspicious and have the police help get Jessie back and have Jason arrested. But that just won’t do. Hollywood stages a jailbreak and soon they are in the midst of the big presentation where Jason and Jessie confront the sorcerer. In a panic he attempts to escape with Jessie in a hot air balloon (obviously), but Jason plays hero, put the necklace on the sorcerer’s neck and pushes the statue out of the balloon. Hooray! THE END.

Why?! Love. It’s all about true love. The confounding part is the sorcerer. Really in the beginning of the film it’s not like the sorcerer is all “in 1000 years if you don’t find true love you will become human and have to love my descendant” so I’m not really sure what his plan is. Steal treasure and take Jessie to Bermuda where… what? She’ll look at how gross you are and be like no thanks? Just steal the jewels and leave… why do you even need the mannequin lady? You can probably find plenty of women who will love you for your jewels and treasure.

Who?! Lots of dual roles here. Jason, the sorcerer, and Jason’s mom are also part of the set up of the film. A lot of recaps and synopses get a little confused whether they are meant to be reincarnations of the same people (which is understandable since that’s more in line with the original film’s story). Even Hollywood gets to play a random bouncer at one point. They were just loving the multiple roles.

What?! Some nice MacGuffins in here. While Jessie herself is a MacGuffin of sort, I don’t love when people are MacGuffins. Doesn’t seem right. But the necklace she’s wearing definitely is one. No one really cares how it works and in fact it seems to bend its own established rules throughout the film. Jason is the only one that can take it off Jessie? Not so fast, we need Hollywood to take it off for a gag. So after a thousand years it just wears off? Well apparently the main bad guy thinks it’ll force her to fall in love with him. Why? I don’t know and I don’t care. MacGuffin. Should note that there is a bunch of product placement here since it’s set in a department store and all, but the MacGuffin is more important.

Where?! Philly of course. Probably the most pleasant surprises of these films is how hard they lean into the Philadelphia setting. You have to admire it (I know we do). I wish more films did this, just lean heavy on being all about the Dallas-Fort Worth scene. Really play up the Salt Lake City sights and sounds. You got a movie about a guy who finds out he can telepathically communicate with dogs? How about a guy who finds out he can telepathically communicate with dogs… in Nashville? B+

When?! I do not know. All I know is that probably the opening scene takes place in the year 992 A.D. Let’s see what we got going on then… hmmm, according to Wikipedia not too much. I’m sure there was, just not a lot is recorded in detail being several centuries before the printing press. So it seems like it’s not out of the question that a peasant girl was turned into a mannequin around then. Mannequin: On the Move. “Plausible” – Jamie from BadMovieTwins.com. C+ just fo funsies.

I’d like to think there is a perfect trilogy out there of films where the first entry is already off the rails and then it gets a sequel that is even more off the rails and makes you wistfully remember the first entry as if it’s some lost masterpiece. Certainly the Weekend at Bernie’s series fits the bill with its voodoo magic twist in the second film. This similarly enters the twilight zone with its cursed necklace and hot air balloon finale. It’s not even like the films are all that unpleasant really, they are just really really really dumb and have two of the worst set ups I can recall for major motion pictures. Anyway, I’ll leave it at that: harmless for the most part (well maybe the stereotypical nature of Hollywood’s character is a little harmful) and not really so much worse than the original I think… but they are both stupid so not sure that says a lot. The real conclusion is that we are now in pursuit of the third film of this ilk. We better get thinking. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Now this is a Mannequin on the Move! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – The explicit setting in a fictional country? Hollywood Montrose in a triumphant return? Cursed necklaces? Bad German-esque accents? Did I mention that Hollywood Montrose makes a triumphant return?!?! Having watched the first film, and then the trailer for the second I was pretty excited for this guy. What were my expectations? A bananas film about mannequins on the move, and a healthy dose of Hollywood Montrose!! Sock it to me.

The Good – I know that the characterization of Hollywood Montrose is a problem, but I can’t help but like him in his own insane 80s way. He is a living breathing “Jordan Peele from the Gremlins 2 sketch” … like, Jordan Peele explicitly based on the character off of Hollywood Montrose right? Also in its own weird way the acting between the two leads works for me. It isn’t good acting, it just feels genuine. Probably because the film was shot without an actual script or something. Really good Philadelphia film as well. Best Bit: Hollywood Montrose.

The Bad – The Germans and the Count are just exasperating. I can’t handle any of the junk they are doing throughout the film. The plot is also hard to deal with since, for whatever reason, the main character Jason never seems to realize that all he has to do is pull off the magic necklace and then everyone would be able to see that Jessie is a human being. The set up (and all the stuff with the fictional Germanic country) is also just the worst, I don’t really get why they couldn’t just run back the Pygmalion idea in the end. Fatal Flaw: Horrid caricatures all over the place (and somehow I’m not talking about Hollywood Montrose).

The BMT – Jamie nails it on the head, this is Weekend at Bernie’s 2. I don’t even remember the plot of that film, the only thing I remember is being horrified and that there was a voodoo magic dancing scene with a corpse. Rest assured the entire Mannequin saga is going to boil down to the first one seeming kind of okay, and the second one having a ridiculous hot air balloon ending involving german people. I’ll forget everything else. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, I mean, Hollywood Montrose was Hollywood Montrose and the whole thing was absurd. What more could I ask for really?

Roast-radamus – Yet again a very solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for Philadelphia. They even roll down the main road in Midtown in order to get some genuine Philly Cheesesteak. There is definite potential for MacGuffin (Why?) for the Mannequin aka Jessie herself. Everyone wants her, only Jason can have her because of love (awwwwww). Very much closest to BMT in the end.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Obviously since Emmy is a former mannequin she couldn’t possibly have half-mannequin children, right? WRONG. They have a son Paul who has been given the task by his architecture firm to build the Connecticut suburban town New Paphos. Going to the half-built New Paphos, everything is falling apart! The eeeeeevil Richards is back as the planning commissioner for Southern Connecticut, and he wants nothing more than to see Paul fail. But with the help of the new school teacher who has arrived early, Paul and her whip the town in shape just before Richard’s contrived deadline. And guess what else? They fall in love! The film is Son of the Mannequin, and it does feature a cameo by Andrew McCarthy, but they couldn’t get Kim Cattral.

You Just Got Schooled – As should be obvious Mannequin is, of course, an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion which itself was based on the mythological figure of Pygmalion who fashioned a beauty from stone and fell in love with her. I read both, although the myth was just a short section of Ovid’s Metamorphoses I think. The play is pretty short and readily available for free from Project Gutenberg and the like. It is very good, although obviously it has nothing to do with Mannequin. It is actually very much like the myth in that a man “creates” a woman, falls in love with her, the end. Mannequin is about a man who creates a woman which is then inhabited by an Egyptian soul and then he saves his department store from a hostile takeover … slightly different. I would recommend the play though for anyone with a few hours to spare, it is, at the very least, interesting for its Victorian setting. A.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Mannequin Recap

Jamie

Jonathan Switcher is a true artist who just can’t seem to hold down a job. That is until his most prized creation (a beautiful mannequin) shows up in a store window. This begins his wild ride as a top display window creator. (Oh and also the mannequin comes alive only for him and he’s in love with it.) Can they stop the dastardly rival store before it’s too late? Find out in… Mannequin.

How?! Jonathan Switcher just crafted his masterpiece. A paragon of artistic achievement. A mannequin? Wha-wha-whaaaa. While he can’t get his bodacious mannequin out of his head, he also can’t hold down a job due to his artistic vision. Wandering the streets, no job, no girlfriend, no hope he suddenly happens upon his mannequin queen in the window of a store. Oh, glorious day! He shows up the next day and through some quick thinking he gets on the good side of the owner of the store. She insists he get a job and soon he’s working alongside the mannequin herself. What a dream! And what’s even more fantastic is that the mannequin also turns out to be a cursed Egyptian princess, Emmy, who comes alive when Jonathan and her are alone (not making this up). Now they are rocking out together and totally in love, not to mention that Jonathan has found his true calling as a display window creative. Soon he’s the talk of the town and the crosstown rivals, who are also hoping to buy their store, are ready to swipe Jonathan away. With the help of his ex-girlfriend and the smarmy manager of the store, they are able to figure out that the mannequin is the key to it all. They swipe Emmy and Jonathan and his pals are soon in hot pursuit. It’s a classic 80’s action sequence that ends with Jonathan rescuing Emmy from an industrial shredder. As a result Emmy no longer is cursed to only be alive for Jonathan and everyone is like “Woah, that lady was a mannequin but now she’s just a hot alive person,” and Emmy and Jonathan smooch a bunch. THE END.

Why?! Love, and that’s not even a joke. While I like to compare the film to the ludicrousness of Weekend at Bernie’s, that film was much closer to the greed-is-goodness of the 80’s ideal. This is all about Emmy not being forced to marry and instead find true love. Now the bad guys… those guys are just about greed being good.

Who?! There is an interesting Producer aspect to this film. Joseph Farrell was an executive producer. At the time he was the founder and chief executive of NRG, the original market testing firm in Hollywood. He basically created the focus group. Apparently he stepped in on this film to prove that the method really worked and made significant changes (hiring McCarthy was one). Despite it being BMT it was a big success and got us Mannequin 2: On the Move. So thank you, Joseph Farrell.

What?! Unfortunately Emmy herself is the MacGuffin here. Everyone wants and needs her, but the audiences could care less about that. They just want them sweet smooches between Emmy and Jonathan. I also do believe this was the one where Patrick and I spied a Dunkin Donuts coffee in the background of a scene and exclaimed “Mannequin runs on Dunkin” and it was pretty great.

Where?! You can read articles online where people suggest this is one of the substantial Philly settings of all time. The gist of the argument is that Mannequin really does take you around Philly and reiterate the setting of Philly and celebrate Philly to an extent that you just don’t see very often. Obviously it’s not going to compete with Rocky, but it is a surprisingly strong setting film/franchise. B+.

When?! I really would have thought this could have been a secret holiday film cause everyone knows that the holidays are prime display window season. The rival company could have been all like “We need him, Christmas is just around the corner,” and that would have done. But the real issue is that I just don’t really remember if there was a specific time mentioned… and I blame the movie itself by not setting it during Christmas. F.

Mannequin is pleasant enough once you get past the set up. It opens with a totally unnecessary and poorly acted scene set in “ancient Egypt” in order to set up the (also totally unnecessary) plot point that Emmy is an Egyptian princess trapped in the mannequin’s body until she is able to find true love. They should have learned a thing or two from Xanadu and just rolled with Emmy being alive because of the power of art/love or whatever. But beyond that it’s just a silly farce a la Weekend at Bernie’s. Similar to that film it really mostly suffers by reputation. When your concept is that a man falls in love with a mannequin who comes to life only when they are alone (a concept that would likely be frowned upon by today’s standards), you are playing a bit behind the eight ball… much like if, you know, you came up with a film where a couple of dopes have to pretend their boss is alive for a weekend and parade around with his corpse… kinda like that. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Mannequin? What, does this Mannequin not even know how to move? Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I think the most startling thing was realizing that despite no one mentioning this fact, the mannequin is actually from ancient Egypt. I had just figured she was, you know … a magic mannequin or something. But then only Leonard Maltin talks about the whole beginning in Egypt. Still totally different than the set up to the sequel, but a lot closer than most of the preview would suggest. What were my expectations? I only really expected Kim Cattrall to be amazing as usual. Otherwise I was excited for (1) a dance sequence, and (2) just how 80s everything was going to be. So I knew I would at least be entertained by that.

The Good – Kim Cattrall is, as expected, very charming in the film, and mostly saves it from just being forgettable 80s nonsense. The way they play into the silliness of the concept is also very winning, and Hollywood Montrose as a character might be offensive by some standards these days, but I think it ends up being the right tone of ridiculousness. That isn’t to say the film works because the plot is nonsensical, but there are good performances, and it is less self-serious than one might think going into it. Best Bit: Kim Cattrall.

The Bad – It feels like Spader and Carole Davis were in a totally different movie, the aforementioned self-serious Mannequin … which now that I think about, I’ll definitely be writing a pitch for in the later Remake section. I think the major strike against the film is that it is virtually plotless. A guy can’t hold down a job, ends up finding a magic mannequin … uh, I guess he foils the B-plot of a takeover of a Philadelphia department store? Wait, is that actually the plot of the film? See, it slides off your brain like water off of a mannequin’s slick exterior. Fatal Flaw: Nothing story.

The BMT – I think this film is better than it has any right to be. And I think given the second film, it ends up being far more enjoyable that you would think given that as context. As far as BMT is concerned, this is exactly the type of film you forget actually qualified until one day you check Rotten Tomatoes and it is sitting at 40% and no longer qualifies. Then you thank god for giving you the instinct to watch the film while it was still considered bad. Did it meet my expectations? The dance sequence is b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-bonkers, and makes the movie worth watching just for that. Well … I guess in reality it makes it worth finding that specific clip on Youtube. Still, so very very 80s.

Roast-radamus – Some solid Product Placement (What?) with Mannequin running on Dunkin’ (Donuts), and Carnival Cruises doing one of the window displays at the department stores (uh, big pull for a down-on-its-luck department store to get their window display sponsored by Carnival, but whatever). Really nice Setting as a Character (Where?) for Philadelphia. Which is bigger for Philadelphia, the Mannequin Cinematic Universe, or Rocky? Let the debate rage. In the end I think this is closest to Good.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I already mentioned it, I’m doing the gritty Remake of the Mannequin franchise. Jonathan Switcher is a happy-go-lucky artist creating ou-of-this-world mannequin creations for local department store Prince & Company in 80s Philadelphia. He has a wonderful life and a wonderful wife and couldn’t be happier. That is, up until the eeeevil Richards, a corporate raider hell bent on owning Prince & Company once and for all, sends thugs to work Switcher over and accidentally kills his beloved wife Emmy! Descending into madness and grief Switcher goes to the department store and fashions an exact replica of Emmy from the mannequin displays, and as he prays to god to take him and return Emmy, she … comes alive? He’s horrified, but maybe, just maybe this is a sign. He asks Emmy who killed her and she reveals it was Richards! His old nemesis did this! Hell bent on vengeance, Switcher and Mannequin Emmy take out Richards’ thugs, and work their way up to a showdown at Richards’ corporate headquarters. As Switcher shoots down Richards in cold blood he turns to his lady love to find her to be a mannequin once more. Was it all in his head? Or did the vengeance release her restless soul from its terrestrial prison? You’ll have to wait for the sequel to find out. Now called The Mannequin.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Mannequin: on the Move Quiz

So there I was dressing up a Mannequin (again), when it comes to life (again) and bops me on the head (again). Now I can’t remember a thing (again)! Do you remember what happened in Mannequin: on the Move?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film Jessie is a normal girl living in a fictional country just wanting to marry her beau. But then she gets cursed by an eeeevil wizard and becomes a statue. Under what two conditions would she unfreeze?

2) Jason on the other hand is about to start his new job at the department store. What are his initial responsibilities?

3) And as part of those responsibilities Jason needs to go pick up the enchanted statue from the airport. Why is the enchanted statue coming to Philadelphia?

4) The bulk of the film is Jason trying to save the very much alive Jessie from being kidnapped by the eeeeeevil Count Spretzle. Why does Jason get arrested and how is he freed?

5) How many people become Mannequins during the course of the film?

Bonus Question: Obvs Jessie and Jason fall in love (awwwwww) and get married, by what does it say they do afterwards?

Answers

Mannequin Quiz

So there I was dressing up a Mannequin for the big morning reveal (obviously) when all of a sudden it came to life, bopped me on the head, and now I don’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Mannequin?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film our hero loses his job … well many jobs. And all for the same reason in the end. What reason does he lose all of these jobs?

2) And how does our hero get his job at the department store?

3) What window displays does he and the mannequin make throughout the film?

3) Why does Richards (James Spader) get fired?

4) In the end our arch-villain (Roxie … wait is that right?) is chased through the store by Switcher. What is Roxie trying to do to foil Switcher’s career and gain power at Illustra?

Bonus Question: At the end of the film Emmy and Swisher get married and live happily ever after, where do they go afterwards?

Answers

Mannequin: on the Move Preview

Jamie and Patrick sit nervously in their limousine. Fortunately the hours worth of makeup covering Michael Myers’ chest shielded him from the brunt of the sniper’s bullet. The rest of production went off without a hitch, but even so Banks insisted they have a bodyguard for the premier. “It’s the next logical place they’ll try to take you out,” the suave bodyguard says. They watch the final cut of Rich & Poe: Legends Never Die: The Director’s Cut with mixed emotions and pat each other on the back when the crowd rises in thunderous applause. While a disaster would have stopped the cyborgs they can’t help but cherish the return of Rich and Poe. They smile as it’s announced that the Academy has met early and awarded them Best Picture. On stage, they lean into the microphone but stop, puzzled. Something is off…. Suddenly they see their bodyguard amidst the crowd. “He’s got a gun!” they scream but as a shot rings out they find themselves pushed to the side. On the ground is Kyle, their old friend from prison, having taken a bullet for them. 

A week later they sit in their apartment waiting with bated breath as the reviews for the R&P rip-off pour in. 37%… 38%… 39% and it stops. “One review and it would have topped 40% and never qualified,” Jamie says banging the giant box still taking up half the apartment. “If only we knew someone else who had a review website… that would be perfect,” Patrick says with a chuckle. Kyle, staying with them while recovering, softly says, “I do, but you probably aren’t interested in it.” He shrugs, red-faced. They look at him quizzically. “Uh,” he continues, “it’s called SMT… SexyMannequinTimes.com… we primarily review films that have sexy mannequins in them.” That’s right! We are indeed watching the premier film series for SexyMannequinTimes.com (warning: not a real website… hopefully) Mannequin and Mannequin 2: On the Move. The mere existence is dumbfounding, but no more dumbfounding than the existence of Weekend at Bernie’s and Weekend at Bernie’s 2. This also marked the transition from sequels/franchises into big ol’ bomb town where we are only watching films that are rated BOMB in Leonard Maltin’s review book. Let’s go!

Mannequin: On the Move (1991) – BMeTric: 50.6; Notability: 21

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 3.6%; Notability: top 68.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 7.4% Higher BMeT: Cool as Ice, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Problem Child 2, Child’s Play 3, Suburban Commando, Nothing But Trouble; Higher Notability: Hook, Hudson Hawk, Mobsters, Switch, Flight of the Intruder, Rock-A-Doodle, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Life Stinks, Out for Justice, Necessary Roughness, The Marrying Man, The Five Heartbeats, Driving Me Crazy, Billy Bathgate, He Said, She Said, Oscar, Teen Agent, King Ralph, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Married to It, and 39 more; Lower RT: Cool as Ice, Mobsters, Problem Child 2, Pure Luck, The Marrying Man, Strictly Business, Drop Dead Fred, Another You, Oscar, Nothing But Trouble, The Hitman; Notes: See that’s more like it, a solid sub-5.0 disaster. Juuuuust managed to creep over the wonderful 50+ BMeTric mark, impressive for the early 90s.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – This inept sequel to Mannequin makes you think the original was not so bad by comparison. Ahain, a window dresser (Ragsdale) in a department store frees the spirit of a medieval peasant (Swanson) who has been imprisoned inside a mannequin’s form for – quite logically – 1000 years. Torpor ensues.

(“Torpor ensues” is one of the better zingers I’ve seen in a short-form film review. Just the right level of disdain. They are much more explicit about this one having some sort of mystical curse involved … I’m still not entirely convinced that is the case with the first one.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1oy_TQ9tyE/

(You can immediately tell this is barely a sequel. What did they do!? Why wouldn’t you just play back the same story with two different actors? It seems so strange to all of a sudden start talking about curses and middle ages stuff for a sequel. Bizarre. I love it.)

Directors – Stewart Raffill – (Known For: Tammy and the T-Rex; Three – III; The Philadelphia Experiment; The Adventures of the Wilderness Family; Bad Girl Island; Across the Great Divide; The New Swiss Family Robinson; High Risk; Shipwreck!; Lost in Africa; Grizzly Falls; When the North Wind Blows; A Month of Sundays; The Tender Warrior; Future BMT: The Ice Pirates; Standing Ovation; BMT: Mac and Me; Mannequin: On the Move; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director in 1989 for Mac and Me, and Sunset; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Mac and Me in 1989; Notes: Directed multiple episodes of a television series called 18 Wheels of Justice which aired on the channel TNN in the early 00s. It had two seasons worth of episodes!)

Writers – Edward Rugoff (characters & written by) – (Known For: Double Take; Future BMT: Mr. Nanny; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Mannequin; Notes: Produced a documentary about his father’s career in independent film.)

Michael Gottlieb (characters) – (Future BMT: Mr. Nanny; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Mannequin; Notes: Produced the 1999 N64 remake of The Paperboy video game. It was not received well.)

David Isaacs and Ken Levine (written by) – (Known For: Volunteers; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Notes: Also rewrote the first film, but didn’t get credited for that one. They both wrote on M*A*S*H, Cheers, and Frasier.)

Betsy Israel (written by) – (BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Notes: Wrote an article in Playboy in August 1994 called “Going all the Way” and no, I couldn’t find it online.)

Actors – Kristy Swanson – (Known For: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; Hot Shots!; Pretty in Pink; The Phantom; Higher Learning; The Chase; The Program; Highway to Hell; What If…; Ground Control; Storm Rider; Getting In; Diving In; Soul Assassin; Future BMT: Dude, Where’s My Car?; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag; Flowers in the Attic; Big Daddy; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Deadly Friend; Notes: Was the original Buffy. Apparently dated Alan Thicke when she was 17 and he was 40.)

William Ragsdale – (Known For: Fright Night; Alex Strangelove; Fright Night Part 2; Thunderstruck; Smooth Talk; What Just Happened; The Last Time; Just a Little Harmless Sex; Wonderful World; Screams of a Winter Night; Future BMT: The Reaping; Broken City; BMT: Left Behind; Big Momma’s House 2; Mannequin: On the Move; Notes: Mostly does smaller television roles now, although he had a recurring role on Justified. Apparently notably for missing out on a number of big leading man roles in the 80s, including Biloxi Blues.)

Meshach Taylor – (Known For: Explorers; The Howling; Omen II: Damien; The Beast Within; House of Games; Warning Sign; Hyenas; Stony Island; Ultra Warrior; Inside Out; Friends and Family; One More Saturday Night; Jacks or Better; Future BMT: Mannequin; The Allnighter; Class Act; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Designing Women. He starred in that for 152 episodes, and Dave’s World for over 90.)

Budget/Gross – $13,000,000 / Domestic: $3,752,428 (Worldwide: $3,752,428)

(Holy good god. They doubled the budget and managed to get 10x less money out of the other side! That is one of the worst bombs I’ve seen in a long time just based on that fact alone.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (3/23)

(Time to make a consensus: Dumb and cliche, the second Mannequin manages to somehow do even less that the first with its already weak concept. Reviewer Highlight: It took four writers to struggle with another idea of why a mannequin would come to life in a department store and what would happen if she did. – Variety)

Poster – Manalive: There’s a Man Alive in There

(My god they made it worse! Font is still good and still has things that are really funny. Like Hollywood, the real star of the first film, stating “yoo hoo, I’m back.” Phew, thank god. Cause I would not have watched without you. D+.)

Tagline(s) – She’s been frozen for a thousand years… now it’s time to break the ice. (C-)

(I mean, a little more clever, much longer, and pretty much exactly the same amount of info about the film. Which is to say a lot because they basically wrote a novel with this tagline. Boo.)

Keyword – time travel

Top 10: Tenet (2020), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Interstellar (2014), Back to the Future (1985), Arrival (2016), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), Masters of the Universe (1987), Deadpool 2 (2018), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Future BMT: 69.1 The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006), 66.2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 62.9 Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014), 60.9 The Final Destination (2009), 59.5 Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015), 56.2 Land of the Lost (2009), 50.0 The Sin Eater (2003), 47.4 Clockstoppers (2002), 45.3 A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995), 43.0 Freejack (1992);

BMT: Masters of the Universe (1987), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Event Horizon (1997), Assassin’s Creed (2016), Timeline (2003), Jumper (2008), Lost in Space (1998), The Lake House (2006), Paycheck (2003), Mannequin: On the Move (1991), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (1996), The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007), A Sound of Thunder (2005), Black Knight (2001)

(People love time travel, although as maybe the graph suggests it has became a bit played out on the larger stage. All of the good time travel films seem to be going to streaming (much like all of the good groundhog day films).)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: William Ragsdale is No. 2 billed in Mannequin: On the Move and No. 9 billed in Left Behind (2014), 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) => 2 + 9 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 19. If we were to watch Big Daddy we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – “Mannequin: On the Move” is the actual title of this sequel. “Mannequin Two: On the Move” was the poster’s title.

The pink convertible used in this sequel is the same convertible driven by the aliens in Mac and Me (1988), also directed by Stewart Raffill. (Is it his car?)

Andrew Hill Newman also appeared in Mannequin (1987) playing a different character. (I do love when that happens)

This sequel is the last movie to be released by Gladden Entertainment.

The name of the mythical kingdom, “Hauptmann-Koenig”, is German for “Captain-King”.

During the nightclub scene, Jason does the infamous “Ronald Miller” dance, (Patrick Dempsey) made famous during the prom scene in Can’t Buy Me Love (1987). In Can’t Buy Me Love (1987), Ronald gets the entire school to do this ridiculous dance along with him. In this movie, Jesse tells Jason “that’s not dancing, this is dancing” and proceeds to do a medieval dance routine. The other people on the nightclub dance floor start doing this dance along with her. (Wait … this film also has a dance scene? What is up with teen comedies and dance scenes?)

The three soldiers/bodyguards all wear genuine Corcoran jump boots as worn by American paratroopers.

Mannequin Preview

Jamie and Patrick sit nervously in their limousine. Fortunately the hours worth of makeup covering Michael Myers’ chest shielded him from the brunt of the sniper’s bullet. The rest of production went off without a hitch, but even so Banks insisted they have a bodyguard for the premier. “It’s the next logical place they’ll try to take you out,” the suave bodyguard says. They watch the final cut of Rich & Poe: Legends Never Die: The Director’s Cut with mixed emotions and pat each other on the back when the crowd rises in thunderous applause. While a disaster would have stopped the cyborgs they can’t help but cherish the return of Rich and Poe. They smile as it’s announced that the Academy has met early and awarded them Best Picture. On stage, they lean into the microphone but stop, puzzled. Something is off…. Suddenly they see their bodyguard amidst the crowd. “He’s got a gun!” they scream but as a shot rings out they find themselves pushed to the side. On the ground is Kyle, their old friend from prison, having taken a bullet for them. 

A week later they sit in their apartment waiting with bated breath as the reviews for the R&P rip-off pour in. 37%… 38%… 39% and it stops. “One review and it would have topped 40% and never qualified,” Jamie says banging the giant box still taking up half the apartment. “If only we knew someone else who had a review website… that would be perfect,” Patrick says with a chuckle. Kyle, staying with them while recovering, softly says, “I do, but you probably aren’t interested in it.” He shrugs, red-faced. They look at him quizzically. “Uh,” he continues, “it’s called SMT… SexyMannequinTimes.com… we primarily review films that have sexy mannequins in them.” That’s right! We are indeed watching the premier film series for SexyMannequinTimes.com (warning: not a real website… hopefully) Mannequin and Mannequin 2: On the Move. The mere existence is dumbfounding, but no more dumbfounding than the existence of Weekend at Bernie’s and Weekend at Bernie’s 2. This also marked the transition from sequels/franchises into big ol’ bomb town where we are only watching films that are rated BOMB in Leonard Maltin’s review book. Let’s go!

Mannequin (1987) – BMeTric: 33.2; Notability: 27

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 11.6%; Notability: top 50.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 12.6% Higher BMeT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Teen Wolf Too, Ishtar, Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, Surf Nazis Must Die, Who’s That Girl, Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, Masters of the Universe, House II: The Second Story, Over the Top, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Burglar, Cherry 2000; Higher Notability: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Masters of the Universe, Who’s That Girl, Ishtar, Walker, Cherry 2000, Blind Date, Burglar, Fatal Beauty, Over the Top, House II: The Second Story, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, The Sicilian, Slam Dance, The Believers, Nuts, Creepshow 2, Malone, Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, Rent-a-Cop, and 8 more; Lower RT: Teen Wolf Too, Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, House II: The Second Story, The Sicilian, Hello Again, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Date with an Angel, Flowers in the Attic, Masters of the Universe, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Russkies, The Squeeze, Rent-a-Cop, Siesta, Beyond Therapy, Slam Dance, Surf Nazis Must Die; Notes: Borderline cult classic right there. You get that up to around 6.2 and you’re cooking with fire. The Notability is relatively low which is interesting … I assume there are like five characters total and the film is basically just Weird Science but with a mannequin.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Cattrall is an ancient Egyptian spirit who embodies a department store mannequin; McCarthy is the only one who sees her come to life, and falls in love with her. Attempt [sic] to recreate the feeling of old screwball comedies is absolute rock-bottom fare. Dispiriting to anyone who remembers what movie comedy ought to be. Followed by a sequel.

(Huh … uh, none of the advertisements or anything actually suggest the Egyptian spirit thing. I sure hope they expand on that explicitly in a bizarre opening segment. If not that I hope they instead basically never mention it at all.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTfhUj4LZVE/

(Oh shit, Cannon. Wait a minute, is that the cop from Police Academy … they really were on a studio contract back in the day. The concept of the film is so very, very strange … I kind of dig it. The 80s were a hell of a drug.)

Directors – Michael Gottlieb – (Known For: The Shrimp on the Barbie; Future BMT: Mr. Nanny; A Kid in King Arthur’s Court; BMT: Mannequin; Notes: The Shrip on the Barbie was a film he disowned, an Alan Smithee film. He became a video game producer after he stopped directing. He died in 2014.)

Writers – Edward Rugoff (written by) – (Known For: Double Take; Future BMT: Mr. Nanny; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Mannequin; Notes: Clearly the writing partner of Gottlieb. His father was also in the movie business and ran something called Cinema 5 which was some independent film thing back in the day.)

Michael Gottlieb (written by) – (Future BMT: Mr. Nanny; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Mannequin; Notes: Filmed, edited, and directed the Playboy Mid Summer Night’s Dream Party in 1985.)

Actors – Andrew McCarthy – (Known For: Weekend at Bernie’s; Pretty in Pink; St. Elmo’s Fire; The Spiderwick Chronicles; Less Than Zero; The Joy Luck Club; Main Street; Only You; The Good Guy; Jours tranquilles à Clichy; Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle; Night of the Running Man; The Beniker Gang; Camp Hell; I Woke Up Early the Day I Died; Getting In; Stag; New Waterford Girl; Dr. M; Cosas que nunca te dije; Future BMT: Class; Fresh Horses; Mulholland Falls; Year of the Gun; Kansas; Catholic Boys; BMT: Weekend at Bernie’s II; Mannequin; Notes: Is a pretty big television director, directing things like The Black List and Orange is the New Black. He still acts in stuff, although I couldn’t tell you the last thing I saw him in.)

Kim Cattrall – (Known For: Sex and the City; Big Trouble in Little China; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; The Ghost; Live Nude Girls; Ice Princess; The Devil and Daniel Webster; Horrible Histories: The Movie; Masquerade; The Return of the Musketeers; Rosebud; Hold-Up; Above Suspicion; City Limits; Meet Monica Velour; The Tiger’s Tail; Tribute; Midnight Crossing; Ticket to Heaven; Future BMT: 15 Minutes; Porky’s; Unforgettable; Turk 182; BMT: Crossroads; Baby Geniuses; Sex and the City 2; The Bonfire of the Vanities; Mannequin; Police Academy; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress for Sex and the City 2 in 2011; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for The Bonfire of the Vanities in 1991; Notes: She had a wild career, being on the last actors on the studio contract system (I think in the late 70s, hard to tell). She has had a very public feud with Sarah Jessica Parker about Sex and the City and is not going to appear in the third film.)

Estelle Getty – (Known For: Mask; Tootsie; Stuart Little; Deadly Force; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Mannequin; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot in 1993; Notes: Won an emmy for Golden Girls. Was married for over 50 years.)

Budget/Gross – $7.9 million / Domestic: $42,721,196 (Worldwide: $42,721,196)

(That is a huge success! No wonder they decided to make a sequel. It is still confusing that they decided to make a sequel with a whole new cast and a totally different plotline … but we’ll deal with that in that preview.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (8/39): Mannequin is a real dummy, outfitted with a ludicrous concept and a painfully earnest script that never springs to life, despite the best efforts of an impossibly charming Kim Cattrall.

(They had to go with “dummy” huh? I would have as well. And yes, Kim Cattrall was impossibly charming in the 80s, just go watch Police Academy! Reviewer Highlight: There`s some solid talent here, but Gottlieb’s overemphatic direction reduces them all to broad caricature — the kind of crazed mugging that isn’t often seen outside the boundaries of Saturday morning kiddie shows. – Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune)

Poster – Manalive

(This poster really tickles me for a variety of reasons. Like why is he leaning against a rad motorcycle?… why is he wearing a tuxedo?… the dude is a down on his luck artist. And those are kind of the most normal parts of the poster. It is bad, but kinda ironically good… but still other than the font it is basically everything I hate in a poster. C-.)

Tagline(s) – When she comes to life, anything can happen! (C-)

(Good thing they didn’t use the first tagline here, cause that one doesn’t make sense. This at least is telling you the plot of the film, albeit in the blandest, least creative way possible. Also a tad too long.)

Keyword – mannequin

Top 10: Eyes Wide Shut (1999), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Prisoners (2013), Blade Runner (1982), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), Escape Room (2019), Stardust (2007), Now You See Me (2013), Zombieland: Double Tap (2019), V for Vendetta (2005)

Future BMT: 95.8 Disaster Movie (2008), 56.2 Land of the Lost (2009), 55.1 The Bachelor (1999), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 49.8 Curse of the Pink Panther (1983), 47.0 Beverly Hills Ninja (1997), 46.1 Sleepover (2004), 42.7 Maximum Risk (1996), 42.2 Transylvania 6-5000 (1985);

BMT: Mannequin: On the Move (1991), Mannequin (1987), Friday the 13th (2009), House of Wax (2005), Battlefield Earth (2000), Perfect Stranger (2007), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Silent Hill: Revelation (2012), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009), Grind (2003)

(Hell yeah there is a mannequin in Silent Hill: Revelation. There is a whole mannequin monster! The Bachelor, now that is a film I haven’t thought of in years! I can’t wait to watch bonafide movie star Chris O’Donnell in action.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Estelle Getty is No. 3 billed in Mannequin and No. 2 billed in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 3 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 15. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Director Michael Gottlieb got the idea for this film when he was walking by a store window and was startled to “see” a mannequin move by itself. He realized it was just an optical illusion caused by a combination of lights and shadows, but began to wonder what would happen if a mannequin actually DID come to life.

The scenes for the rival store Illustra were filmed at an actual department store, Boscov’s in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. It’s easy to distinguish by the square chandeliers and neon department signs on the walls. (Probably not actually that easy …)

Originally, the lead role was written to be an older, lonely storekeeper, with Dudley Moore in mind for the role, but when Andrew McCarthy came on board, the role was rewritten to be the role of a young artist. (fun)

Before filming this movie, Kim Cattrall spent six weeks posing for a Santa Monica sculptor, who captured her likeness. Six mannequins, each with a different expression, were made. Cattrall later recalled, “There’s no way to play a mannequin except if you want to sit there as a dummy. I did a lot of body-building because I wanted to be as streamlined as possible. I wanted to match the mannequins as closely as I could.” (Kim Cattrall you are a gem)

The organ Jonathan Switcher sits at in the dance sequence is an actual organ in the John Wanamaker building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is the largest operational pipe organ in the world. (wait wait wait wait wait … dance sequence?)

Kim Cattrall stated doing this movie made her feel grown up: “I’ve become more of a leading lady instead of, like, the girl. All the other movies that I’ve done I played the girl, and the plot was around the guy. I’ve never had anybody to do special lighting for me, or find out what clothes look good on me, or what camera angles are best for me. In this movie, I learned a lot from it. It’s almost like learning old Hollywood techniques. I’ve always been sort of a tomboy. I feel great being a girl, wearing a dress.”

One of the original Emmy mannequins used in the filming of the movie was restored by the store South Fellini and is currently on display in their store, which is located in the Fashion District in center city Philadelphia (the head/torso are the original pieces).

David Isaacs and Ken Levine did an uncredited rewrite of the screenplay. They later did a rewrite for Mannequin: On the Move (1991) for which they were credited. (Cool)

This movie is the rare Hollywood romance where the lead actress is older than the lead actor. Kim Cattrall was 30 years old when she played Ema Hesire aka Emmy; Andrew McCarthy was only 24 years old when he played Jonathan Switcher.

Meshach Taylor made a cameo as flamboyant window dresser Hollywood Montrose in the music video of the movie’s theme song “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by the rock band Jefferson Starship. He also reprised the role in the sequel Mannequin: On the Move (1991). (A cameo? He’s basically the entire trailer!)

The series episode Journey to the Unknown: Eve (1968) featured the story of Albert Baker (Dennis Waterman), a young man who sees in the display window of a department store an attractive mannequin. It comes to life and smiles at him, he falls in love and so gets a job at the store as a window dresser. (Isn’t this all based on Pygmalion?)

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song (Albert Hammond, Diane Warren, 1988)

Halloween II (1981) Recap

Jamie

Michael Myers is back, Jack! And boy is he angry at his sister (spoiler alert). After the events of the first film, the unstoppable Myers continues his horror spree in the town of Haddonfield. He eventually tracks his ultimate victim, Laurie Strode, to the hospital. Can she stop the maniac before it’s too late? Find out in… Halloween II.

How?! Following the events of the first film, Haddonfield, Illinois is scrambling to figure out what happened. Laurie Strode is in shock and is transported to the local hospital where she is quickly sedated. Forget about her for the next hour, cause it’s the Loomis show everyone. He’s scrambling aroundt being like “he’s goddamn evil!” and “we gotta stop him” and basically acting like a total maniac. Good news and bad news comes with the Loomis show. The bad news is that he inadvertently kills a kid in town that he thinks is Myers. Ooops. The good news is that he does convince people that he’s still alive and they track down Myers. They find that he broke into a school and left curious occult markings and stuff. Suddenly he realizes it! Laurie is Michael Myers younger sister who was put up for adoption after Michael killed her older sister. Her name was changed and no one ever talked about the fact that she was a Myers. Myers is tracking Laurie, which can mean only one thing: the hospital. There, Myers is already killing pretty much everyone. Eventually Laurie wakes up and in a panic begins to evade the killer. She eventually gets out but can’t get a car started to leave. Just then she sees the police and Loomis show up and they are able to save her from Myers before leading him into an operating room. Loomis is stabbed while Laurie is able to blind Myers. In his dying moments (or are they?) Loomis tells Laurie to flee and lights a tank of gas on fire, totally exploding Michael Myers. THE END.

Why?! With the revelation that Laurie was in fact adopted and was the sister of Michael, this colors almost all the motivations from not only this film, but also the original film. In the original it is set up that Michael Myers is mostly interested in the memory of the sister that he killed and the family home that Laurie is seen dropping a key off at. It appears he becomes fixated on Laurie as a result of the random happenstance, right? Wrong, apparently. Just a coincidence… and maybe he just kinda magically is drawn to her by pure evil will. Otherwise it seems to make little sense that he would actually know that Laurie is his sister (secret adoption and name change and all)… this is all to say that Laurie just wants to survive and Myers just wants to kill (but more specifically wants to kill he remaining sister (which still makes no sense)).

Who?! I do like to talk a little bit about the monsters when we watch the entries of horror films, just to note how they change. I think I kinda forgot how consistent Myers was (besides the sister thing). Always an unstoppable force of evil from the get go. The one minor thing they add, that becomes a major thing, is a connection to Celtic occult lore… which ends up kinda ruining everything. Besides that, Dana Carvey shows up in a non-speaking role for like five seconds.

What?! Love it when a sequel really embraces the product placement. Here everyone is constantly asking each other if they might like a refreshing Coke. What does the guy in the hospital do to try to be sweet to Laurie? “Hey, I’m gonna go grab you a Coke.” Honestly, don’t blame them. What’s the only thing that can stop Michael Myers in his tracks? That cool refreshing taste of a Coca-Cola.

Where?! Unlike the revisionist history of Nightmare on Elm Street, this series was always set in the midwest, specifically the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois. I wouldn’t say Illinois is required for the plot or anything, but it is made clear, so I’ll say a B+. It really makes it lame that Nightmare went Ohio at the end. Would have been nice if the major horror franchises were East Coast (Friday the 13th), West Coast, and Midwest. Zombies would eventually take the Southern region as their own.

When?! Right off the bat we can throw out an A+ Time Setting Alert on this guy. Set on Halloween and cha, it just might be important to the plot. It is a different kind of horror franchise though, since usually the films still sorta stick the everything being set in the year that the film is actually released. Obviously not the case here. If the first film was set in 1978, then the second one is as well. So really a period piece.

This is certainly a worse movie than I remember from the first time I watched it. It has far too much Loomis (who really started to annoy me even by the end of the first film) and far too little Jamie Lee Curtis, who spends much of the film in a coma. I also still can’t really understand why they made Laurie his sister. It has never made sense and never will make sense. But at least Carpenter doesn’t pretend like it was the plan the whole time. Even he kinda thinks the twist is dumb and only did it because they needed a new storyline for the sequel. Despite this, I think overall the film comes out on the plus side as far as horror films go (not to mention horror sequels). I still like the hospital setting quite a lot and the kills are a nice mix of gory and silly. It makes me wish they made one more for a trilogy to finish the full Halloween night of mayhem. As for The Birds II: Land’s End, it actually lived up to expectations a bit. It’s a little slow going at first, but you can get by with just how much of a total dick one of the characters is and also just how much of a rip-off of Jaws the whole set up is. Shame, really, for a classic film to have a sequel reduced to a boilerplate rip-off decades later. But really the payoff is the end, which is just a batshit crazy scene of mayhem where people are full body burning left and right. Wasn’t expecting how enjoyable the experience would be. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We are continuing to collect the films I’ve already seen before. I think I’ve seen Halloween II a few times. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – At one point I decided I just wanted to watch a full horror series without waiting for BMT and so I consumed most of the Halloween series in the span of a few months. The preview is a revelation about the second Halloween though. At the time I was like “oh weird they continued the story and it was okay”, but the preview makes it clear Carpenter mostly did the film reluctantly and also forced them to make it gorier because he figured that was the direction horror in particular had gone between 1978 and 1981. I was genuinely surprised at how much of a hand Carpenter had with the odd direction the franchise took after the classic first film. What were my expectations? Well, I had seen the film before and mostly liked it. Given that it is, in fact, a bad movie, I figured with more horror franchise knowledge under my belt I would probably think it was a bad film like the critics did.

The Good – I do like the setting a lot. The setting of the hospital was a genius maneuver instead of running back the same suburban setting from the first film. I was somewhat surprised to realize just how much connective tissue from the first to the second there is, in particular the surprisingly varied methods of killing people and the way Michael displays the bodies all are very similar to the first film. The final full body burn is very impressive. Best Bit: The hospital setting.

The Bad – I cannot understand or believe how little they give Jamie Lee Curtis to do in this film. She basically doesn’t move or talk in the first hour of the film, and then mostly limps around barely being able to scream for the rest. Loomis is a jerk and dumb and I had forgotten how lame his character was until he ended up being the star of the film when outside of the hospital. Speaking of which, too much of the film takes place outside of the hospital, it should have all been inside the hospital with Loomis only showing up at the end. The kills in this one feel far more exploitative, and I think the entire thing would have been better served by a similarly slow and methodical pace of the first. Fatal Flaw: Too little Curtis.

The BMT – Yup, I can transparently see all of the issues this film had now that I know the rhythms of an 80s horror franchise. It tries to ratchet up the gore, but it feels exploitative. It fails to leverage its star, favoring a dialogue-less monster instead, which never works. It has far too much filler with Loomis wandering around. And then the twist is awful. And amazingly, from what I can glean, all of those decisions were Carpenter’s … I guess it makes sense given he didn’t want to so a second Halloween film, he wanted to do an anthology series instead. Did it meet my expectations? Absolutely. I kind of liked this film the first time I watched it. This time? I can transparently see all of the things they failed to do to keep the franchise going.

Roast-radamus – A solid Product Placement (What?) for the obviously placed Coca-Cola machines seen in the hospital. A very excellent Setting as a Character (Where?) for Haddonfield, Illinois which is where all of the original Halloween films take place (as that is where Michael Myers grew up and where he killed his sister in 1963). And an A+ Temporal Setting (When?) for the film taking place mostly on Halloween Night, 1978 (explicitly that year as it is explained that it is precisely 15 years after he killed his sister). Mostly closest to BMT I think, in that isn’t isn’t unpleasant to watch, just bemusing.

Prequel, Sequel, Remake – I think with a lot of sequels your best bet is a Remake. Mainly I think the key is setting it entirely in the hospital. Show Loomis finding the body missing and telling Laurie that the killer is still out there and to not let the doctors knock her out, that he’ll get there as soon as possible to prevent Michael from finding her. Then introduce the late-night skeleton crew at the hospital. From that point it is mostly the same as the film, except now Laurie is conscious and actively trying to rally the staff to defeat Michael because she knows he’s there somewhere. We see the staff picked off one by one (after they find the security guard missing … curious), and the remaining survivors corralled further and further into the dark hospital unable to escape. In the end Laurie and the young EMT friend find the staff killed and displayed like the girls in the first film, and just as Michael finds them Loomis comes bursting through the door and incapacitates Michael once again. Loomis explains that the police arrested him, suspicious as to how much he knew about Michael during the events of the first film, but they were convinced once the hospital’s phone lines were found to be cut. This sets up a concluding sequel which would take place entirely within the Myers home. Still called Halloween II.

You Just Got Schooled – Obviously I had to rewatch the classic Halloween (1978) prior to watching this film. And yeah, it is a classic for a reason. It is a lot different than the other films in the series though (even the second). It basically invents the Unstoppable Force as far as killers go (that might not be precisely true, but I think it is a plausible claim at least). But then the film takes absolute ages before anyone is killed. Mostly Myers can be seen stalking some of his victims and waiting around before finally starting to kill them. It works because it is not really a “slasher” film as the genre has now been defined. I also get why later entries in the series ended up going with the more early kills and more evenly paced kills. A. The film is, as I said, a classic and is probably one of my favorite horror films. Curtis is, in particular, amazing in the film.

Bring a Friend Analysis – Wow, this is getting long, but I can’t not talk about The Birds II: Land’s End. I hadn’t seen the original prior to the viewing, but did catch up on that as well (obviously a great film and quite a bit different than I imagined, I thought it took place on an island like Jaws). I think the makers of Birds II took to heart the idea of animals attacking during an otherwise intriguing family drama a little too much. The sequel is 95% the story of a family dealing with tragedy, and 5% “oh, wait, I forgot about the birds, quick put some birds in there for a second.” The film would have been boring except that the local newspaper editor/photographer, Frank, is an insatiable horndog who can’t stop hitting on Ted’s wife May even after being told multiple times about Ted’s difficulties dealing with the death of Ted and May’s son. It is just an incredibly aggressive and unyielding display which captured my interest in the most BMT way. B. Unusually high, but I think the combination of it being a made-for-tv sequel to a beloved film, and Frank makes for a film that as crazy as it sounds I would willingly watch again. Wild stuff.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Halloween II (1981) Quiz

Oh man, so I was in the hospital for a totally unrelated issue with a severe concussion I received at the big high school football game (I’m the star quarterback / running back natch), when this slasher just starts slashing everyone! Well, that’s what I was told since I coldn’t remember anything because of the concussion I had received. Do you remember what happened in Halloween II?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Soon after getting shot six times by Loomis, Michael reappears and steals a new knife. Where does he get it?

2) Initially the police think Michael Myers is dead, despite Loomis insisting he is inhuman, able to walk away from being shot six times. Why do they think he’s dead?

3) How does Michael Myers get into the hospital? 

4) During the night Laurie Strode has an emergency!! They need a doctor. Why?

5) How do they kill Michael Myers? 

Bonus Question: What do the good guys ultimately do with Michael Myers’ charred remains?

Answers

Halloween II (1981) Preview

“Where is everyone?” Patrick says in exasperation with a look at his watch. The set is empty and today was supposed to be the big zeppelin chase sequence. Just then Jamie runs up. He’s out of breath, but manages to gasp out news of an impending disaster. The TikTok teenyboppers playing Richie and PJ are holding out for a stand alone series of their own: The R&P Saga: Young Guns II – Part 1 of 4. “And we can’t get rid of them,” Jamie says with a shake of his head, “it’s in their contract that they are the only actors allowed to pilot the airships… and we’ve already spent $40 million on the state-of-the-art zeppelin technology.” Patrick throws his hands up in despair. Advances in zeppelin technology may prevent any future disasters like the Hindenburg, but apparently it can still be the reason a film production goes down in flames. They settle in their chairs and ponder the mess they’re in. “Kids these days,” Patrick thinks ruefully. “Don’t give a damn about baseball or good ol’ apple pie. Just want to twerk and dab and somesuch,” he thinks stroking his previously unmentioned goatee he grew for production. Suddenly he jumps out of his chair. Eureka! He grabs Jamie by the elbow and starts to lead him away. “Get makeup and wardrobe on the phone, they have a long night ahead of them,” he tells Jamie who is thoroughly confused. Sighing in exasperation he lets him in on the plan. “Kids these days. We gotta scare them straight and you and I both know what that means.” Jamie is already pale with horror. “No, not… not him,” he stammers, but Patrick just nods. “Get me Michael Myers,” he says, but the quaver in his voice belies his own fear. That’s right, we are starting in on one of the major horror franchises that has probably the best first entry in the series, but some pretty dire sequels in the mix. Little known BMT fact is that Halloween II is a BMT qualifier, while the very odd Halloween 3 (which doesn’t even feature Michael Myers) somehow has escaped BMT by some quirk of nostalgia. Oh well, bring on #2. Let’s go!

“It’s a disaster,” the mastermind notes, cackling with glee. “Release the film, for it’s too late for them to stop us.” The cyborgs grin and leave the office to do his bidding. The mastermind hobbles over to a large birdcage housing his award winning pigeons. “Yes, my pretties. Just a matter of time before you are feasting on the flesh of the bad movie twins.” That’s right! Obviously everyone knows that the director of Halloween II also directed The Birds II: Land’s End, the TV movie sequel to the Hitchcock classic that was only released on VHS and I definitely didn’t buy off of ebay for probably (definitely) too much money… … Let’s go!

Halloween II (1981) – BMeTric: 18.6; Notability: 47

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 23.9%; Notability: top 12.1%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 16.0% Higher BMeT: Endless Love, Galaxy of Terror, The Final Conflict, Saturday the 14th, Final Exam, Madman, The Hand, Friday the 13th: Part 2, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, Student Bodies, Deadly Blessing, Caveman, The Cannonball Run, Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen, The Boogens; Higher Notability: The Cannonball Run, The Incredible Shrinking Woman; Lower RT: Saturday the 14th, Final Exam, Deadly Blessing, Death Hunt, The Devil and Max Devlin, The Hand, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, Student Bodies, Caveman, Endless Love, Friday the 13th: Part 2, Tattoo, The Final Conflict, The Cannonball Run, Galaxy of Terror; Notes: You know what? That sounds right. The film is arguably a genuine cult hit. I liked it when I saw it years ago, entirely because of the setting. I am not surprised it is in the mid-6’s on IMDb.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – This can get monotonous. But since most of this movie takes place in a hospital, the killer has lots of props to work with. I’ve already mentioned the whirlpool bath and the needles. Another particularly nasty gimmick is the intravenous tube. The killer uses it to drain the blood from one of his victims. That’s gruesome, but give the filmmakers credit. They use that gimmick to deliver the one scene I’ve been impatiently expecting for years and years in gore films: Finally, one of the characters kills himself by slipping on the wet blood and hitting his head on the floor. Sooner or later, it had to happen.

(Yup, the hospital does all of the heavy lifting in the film. You get interesting kills. It is spooky and quiet. You have a protagonist who is vulnerable being held against her will in the location with a killer. I can see why critics wouldn’t like it at the time though.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEo5m2VEprI/

(Old 80s horror trailers like this are hard to get a grip on because Halloween has been so pervasive throughout my life … it was already a notorious long-running horror franchise by the time I would have even considered watching it. So it is weird to think of teenagers in 1980 sitting in a theater watching that trailer and being amped to FINALLY get to see Michael Myers again … was that a thing? It must have been.)

Directors – Rick Rosenthal – (Known For: Bad Boys; Just a Little Harmless Sex; Nearing Grace; Distant Thunder; Drones; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; Russkies, American Dreamer; BMT: Halloween II; Notes: Nominated for two Emmys for the show Transparent. Since the late 80’s he’s been doing pretty much exclusively television as far as directing is concerned.)

Writers – John Carpenter (written by) – (Known For: They Live; Halloween; Halloween; Escape from New York; Assault on Precinct 13; Escape from L.A.; The Fog; Assault on Precinct 13; Prince of Darkness; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Dark Star; Black Moon Rising; Eyes of Laura Mars; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Halloween; Lockout; BMT: The Fog; Ghosts of Mars; Halloween II; Notes: His father was a professor of music, and he, in turn, composed many of the synth-heavy soundtracks to the horror films he wrote.)

Debra Hill (written by) – (Known For: Halloween; Halloween; Escape from L.A.; The Fog; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Halloween; BMT: The Fog; Halloween II; Notes: Worked with Carpenter on many of his early films, and one of the bigger female producers of the time.)

Actors – Jamie Lee Curtis – (Known For: Knives Out; True Lies; Halloween; A Fish Called Wanda; Halloween; Trading Places; Escape from New York; My Girl; Freaky Friday; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; The Fog; Forever Young; Veronica Mars; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; From Up on Poppy Hill; Prom Night; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Terror Train; Beverly Hills Chihuahua; The Tailor of Panama; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; My Girl 2; You Again; Drowning Mona; House Arrest; BMT: Virus; Christmas with the Kranks; Perfect; Halloween II; Notes: Tony Curtis’ daughter, she was the original Scream Queen. Has been married to Christopher Quest for nearly 40 years.)

Donald Pleasence – (Known For: Halloween; The Great Escape; Escape from New York; You Only Live Twice; Prince of Darkness; THX 1138; Phenomena; Tales That Witness Madness; The Eagle Has Landed; Escape to Witch Mountain; Wake in Fright; The Greatest Story Ever Told; Fantastic Voyage; Death Line; Dracula; Cul-de-sac; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; Alone in the Dark; The Night of the Generals; The Last Tycoon; Future BMT: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; BMT: Halloween II; Notes: Was nominated for an Emmy for The Defection of Simas Kudirka. One of the only actors to appear in the five original Michael Meyers Halloween films.)

Charles Cyphers – (Known For: Halloween; Major League; Escape from New York; Grizzly II: The Concert; The Fog; Assault on Precinct 13; Coming Home; Death Wish II; Murder in the First; Gleaming the Cube; Truck Turner; The Onion Field; Big Bad Mama II; A Force of One; MacArthur; Honkytonk Man; Borderline; Gray Lady Down; Vigilante Force; Hunter’s Blood; Future BMT: Loaded Weapon 1; BMT: Halloween II; Notes: A decently big television actor, including a starring role in Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher. He appeared in many Carpenter films at the time.)

Budget/Gross – $2.5 million / Domestic: $25,533,818 (Worldwide: $25,533,818)

(Horror films at the time were easy money. You could make a crap horror film in a weekend and make $10 million dollars easy peasy, just have Carpenter fire up his synth and you are set.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 32% (13/41): Halloween II picks up where its predecessor left off – and quickly wanders into a dead end that the franchise would spend decades struggling to find its way out of.

(Yeah, basically. I’ve seen it before, and I like the second film, but it is true that they end up painting themselves into a corner with Myers as the main villain. Out of the three main horror mega-franchises they struggled the most with the lore. Reviewer Highlight: This uninspired version amounts to lukewarm sloppy seconds in comparison to the original film that made director John Carpenter a hot property. – Variety)

Poster – Ballerween II: Big Time Scares

(This almost looks like a spoof poster. The “All New” in the corner and “from the makers of Halloween”.. Uh duh. Otherwise it’s a nice looking poster with some mildly interesting font. Not as iconic as the first one, but I like the artistry. B+.)

Tagline(s) – More Of The Night He Came Home (C-)

(That… is what it is. It does its job, but in a not at all clever way. Fine.)

Keyword – halloween

Top 10: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Deadpool (2016), Mean Girls (2004), The Karate Kid (1984), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Wonder (2017), Zodiac (2007), The Predator (2018), Hocus Pocus (1993), Our Friend (2019)

Future BMT: 92.3 Son of the Mask (2005), 82.5 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 71.8 Bewitched (2005), 69.3 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), 67.0 Halloween II (2009), 63.7 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 63.6 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), 60.7 Skinwalkers (2006), 58.9 Pet Sematary II (1992), 57.7 The Next Best Thing (2000);

BMT: The Predator (2018), Batman Forever (1995), Thir13en Ghosts (2001), Halloween II (1981), Made of Honour (2008), Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016), Deadly Friend (1986), Town & Country (2001)

(I love that they, correctly, have The Predator there. A very Halloween film, weirdly. I can’t wait to watch all of the Halloweens, they are terrible with really weird lore. I think the plot is right … America was weirdly obsessed with ghosts and ghouls and Halloween in the late 90s … or is that just because I was a kid in the 90s watching Nickelodeon?)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jamie Lee Curtis is No. 1 billed in Halloween II and No. 2 billed in Christmas with the Kranks, which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 12. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – The mask Michael wears is the exact same mask (a repainted and modified Captain Kirk mask) worn in the original Halloween (1978) film. It looks different in the sequel because the paint had faded due to a few reasons, first because Nick Castle, the original Michael, kept it in his back pocket during shoots. Also, Debra Hill kept the mask under her bed for several years until the filming of Halloween II, causing it to collect dust and yellow because Hill was a heavy smoker. Also, the mask appears wider because Dick Warlock is shorter and stockier than Nick Castle, so the mask fit his head differently. As the producers thought it would be the final sequel in the series, they let Warlock keep the mask, scalpel, boots, jumpsuit, and knife used in filming. When they decided to revive Michael in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), the producers realized they had made a mistake and never again gave props out to the cast and crew, therefore subsequent sequels used different masks that looked rather different.

Producer/writer John Carpenter didn’t like director Rick Rosenthal’s first version of the film, believing it to be as scary as an episode of Quincy M.E. (1976). A re-edit was done, but Carpenter still found it too tame, so he took over the editing process and sped up the action. He also shot a few gory scenes that were added into the film despite Rosenthal’s objections. This annoyed Rosenthal because he had wanted the sequel to emulate the way the original avoided explicit violence and gore in favor of well-crafted suspense and terror. In fact, Carpenter had intended for “Halloween II” to do just that, but the success of the new wave of slasher films in 1979 and 1980 made him afraid that a film which was scary and R-rated but lacked bloodshed and nudity would do poorly at the box office, leading to the extra graphic material inclusions. He later said that he thought that Rosenthal didn’t have a “feeling for what was going on” with the film”. Rosenthal would go on to direct Halloween: Resurrection (2002).

John Carpenter and Debra Hill had no interest in making a sequel as they believed the original Halloween (1978) was a standalone movie. When the studio offered them more money to write the script, Carpenter took the job so he could earn back what he believes was his owed pay (at the time, Carpenter had seen little earnings from the original movie. He admitted that he received a significant back-end salary much later). However, the script was not forming out as well as he thought, and he has personally stated that the only thing helping him through the screenplay process was a six-pack of Budweiser every day, which led to what he believes an inferior script and bad choices in the movie’s story. He later called Halloween II “an abomination and a horrible movie”.

This is the only Halloween film to show the morning after the 31st. Every other movie ends on Halloween night.

“Halloween II” was originally written to take place in a high rise apartment building. Later in script meetings, however, the setting was changed to Haddonfield Hospital.

John Carpenter turned down an offer to direct, as he initially had no desire to become involved in the project anyway. However, several of his people convinced him to stay involved in some capacity, like executive producer, so that he could at least earn some money from it. He also liked the fact that he could help give a new director a chance to make a movie, as the first film had done for him. He ended up producing and writing the screenplay, and later got involved in editing and re-shoots as well. He was then asked by NBC to shoot additional footage for the TV version of Halloween (1978), since the original version was too short for the network, so he also oversaw the filming of those scenes while Halloween II was being shot.

In a 1981 interview in Fangoria magazine, Debra Hill told of how there was consideration of making the movie in 3D. Hill said: “We investigated a number of 3-D processes . . . but they were far too expensive for this particular project. Also, most of the projects we do involve a lot of night shooting-evil lurks at night. It’s hard to do that in 3D”.

Debra Hill years later knocked Dick Warlock’s portrayal as Michael Myers, claiming he didn’t move as well as Nick Castle or have his body language. Dick defended himself saying he followed her instructions all the time while she was on the set and she never showed any dissatisfaction with his work at the time of filming.

John Carpenter himself admits that while writing Halloween II, the idea of Laurie being Michael’s sister came to him “at 2:00 in the morning in front of a typewriter with a six pack of beer.”

Jimmy’s fate is left unclear in the theatrical cut, as he simply collapses in his car, from a concussion after he slipped on the pool of blood. However, in the alternate ending, he is revealed to have survived, with bandages over his head, and sharing an ambulance with Laurie to be transported to another hospital.

This sequel was originally intended to be the final film to feature Michael Myers, Dr Sam Loomis and Laurie Strode. Producer/writer John Carpenter purposely killed off Myers and Dr. Loomis because he wanted to end the Haddonfield storyline. When he was asked to do a second sequel, he wanted to continue as an anthology of non-related horror stories that take place during Halloween. He co-wrote and produced Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) as a stand-alone movie, but fans were disappointed because they saw Halloween and Michael Myers as synonymous. The studio chose to revive both Myers and Dr. Loomis without Carpenter for the aptly titled Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), which retcons the events of Halloween II, and completely ignores Halloween III.

Young Guns II Recap

Jamie

Billy the Kid is back, Jack! And boy howdy is it… a movie that was made. As the authorities in New Mexico try to reign in the remnants of the Regulators, they start arresting the whole gang, inadvertently bringing them back together. Back on the run, they are pursued by an old ally, Pat Garrett. Can they escape before it’s too late? Find out in… Young Guns II.

How?! Unfortunately this film is bookended by a weird sequence that supposes that the conspiracy theory that Billy the Kid survived to old age is true (hint: it’s not) but whatevs. We learn that after the events of the first film (which we all know by heart), Billy the Kid continues his wild ways with a new crew. Unfortunately, Doc Scurlock and Chavez are brought back into the mix as the authorities of New Mexico try to arrest and do away with Billy the Kid and his associates. Seeing the writing on the wall, Billy makes a deal with the Governor to get a pardon, but is arrested instead. As a result he doesn’t just escape jail, he also frees Doc and Chavez for one more go around. Like the asshole that he is, Billy promises that they’ll escape to Mexico, but instead leads the new gang around having fun. Meanwhile a former member of the gang, Pat Garrett, is offered the job of sheriff in order to hunt down Billy and the gang. He pursues them to a house of sin, where through trickery Billy and the gang escape again. Soon thereafter the gang learns that they were never heading to Mexico, but it’s too late… Garrett is there and most of the gang is killed trying to escape, including Chavez and Doc. Billy is captured and even though he ends up escaping he is sad to find the gang dead and scattered. Eventually cornered by Garrett again, Billy begs to just let him go on to Mexico and eventually he relents (confirming the conspiracy story). Thus Billy the Kid lives happily ever after… until the sequel! THE END.

Why?! Who knows. Billy the Kid is portrayed as a rambunctious kid with no plan and a death wish (which mostly just results in the deaths of everyone around him). There is no reason for anything in this film. They aren’t trying to get money or anything… just kinda a general sense of revenge and doing crazy stuff. At least the first had some reason for the events. Here Billy just comes off like a crazy asshole.

Who?! The funnest fact of all is that Jon Bon Jovi and Tom Cruise appear unbilled in the first Young Guns film. Even funner is that Jon Bon Jovi apparently was so thrilled with the experience that he came back for more, appearing unbilled and in Young Guns II AND did all of the songs for the soundtrack AND that was his debut solo album! The more I write about it the crazier it all seems. I can only assume that he and Estevez were like super pals or something.

What?! I think most people were probably put off by the scene where Billy the Kid decides to put away his childish ways and grow up, but then takes a swig of Mountain Dew and winks at the camera. But I thought it was a bold acting choice by Estevez. There is also a surprising number of props for sale for a film that pretty much everyone forgets exists… like check out this wanted poster for Doc that is apparently authentic and unfortunately sold out for the low, low price of $145.

Where?! New Mexico, baby. Very solid setting given that the state is somewhat rare and it’s kind of mentioned all the time. Historically necessary to the plot as well… I mean, I think I have to give this a solid A.

When?! Since this is a historical film, you would have to assume it sticks to the idea that this all took place in 1881. The bookends apparently take place in 1950, meaning that Emilio Estevez in old man makeup is portraying a… like 90 year old. Alright, that’s crazy town. What is he, Clint Eastwood? A-.

It’s super weird to realize that in the late 80’s there weren’t just major Westerns being made, but like hip and rad Westerns starring dope teen heartthrobs. The first film is a much better representation of that as it’s a tale of revenge (classic) and honestly, other than some funny opening sequences of everyone being like “wahoooo, shoot some guns,” is played pretty straight with solid acting all around. Estevez’s take on Billy is in particular quite good and there’s some funny bits in there as well. The sequel though lacks all of that purpose. No more revenge. No nothing really other than Billy and the gang getting hunted down. And they don’t even pay that off. Instead they just lean into the conspiracy that he was still alive. They could have made the film about how Billy had to die. He was a shooting star that was destined to fall. But nah, nothing matters and he’s alive as an old man in bad old man makeup looking like Jean Claude Van Damme a la The Quest. Don’t worry about the plot of the film because he survived and is just a shitty old man that led all his friends to their deaths… so I guess I’d sum it up by saying I wish it had something interesting to say and then maybe it wouldn’t have been totally forgotten to time. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! I cannot wait until they make Old Guns to finish up this trilogy (it is more likely than you think …). Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – My perception of this film was that it was going to be like … electric guitars and a “young actors version of a western in 1990”. Which admittedly would have been amazing and rad. The trailer and original film told a different story. As the original film was pretty good, I was intrigued as to why the second was considered so bad. What were my expectations? I guess for it to just be the first movie again? A tale as old as time as to why a sequel to a successful film ends up being panned by critics.

The Good – The acting in the film is still good, especially Estevez who I think created quite an interesting character with his giggly psychotic Billy the Kid (in both films). I would have been pretty skeptical, given how the first film ended, that they would have had much of a “true” story to tell in the second, but there was quite a lot to work with given the events that lead up to Billy the Kid’s death. And yeah, the true story aspect was interesting. During both films I found myself reading a ton of Billy the Kid history on wikipedia, and they seemed like they did a decent job with both films in the end. Best Bit: Interesting historical story.

The Bad – The worst part was probably the bookends (which you could maybe tell they knew about at the time since there is nary of whisper of old-man-Estevez in the marketing material), the dumb story of a con man pretending to be Billy the Kid in the 50s is just not very interesting. The film also just feels very muddled. They want to have this lingering question of Billy being alive at the end, when the actual interesting bit was the manhunt a la Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The whittled down ensemble is much less impressive in the second, and they also unnecessarily kill a bunch of them when that didn’t happen in real life which was annoying. Fatal Flaw: Bookend segments.

The BMT – As we go through sequels I think we’ve managed to capture quite a few films which had great / surprisingly good initial films and terrible / surprisingly bad sequels. That is obviously the trope, but it makes me wonder whether that is anomalous in BMT history. Anyways, this is a bad western, which is a rarity. But, it is also a little too genuine to be fun, so I doubt I’ll ever revisit it. Did it meet my expectations? It mostly defied them. I expected them to crank up the electric guitar to 1000% and lean into all of the worst bits of the first and create an abomination. Instead it was an interesting movie with decent acting which just failed to be well made and really sunk itself with the bookend segments. I wonder if it wouldn’t have been BMT at all without those bookends … we’ll never know.

Roast-radamus – Basically only can get Setting as a Character (Where?) for New Mexico … long ago we did The Host as New Mexico, a movie I genuinely just don’t remember the plot of. Why didn’t we do this movie? Anyways, closest to Good I think.

Prequel, Sequel, Remake – The obvious answer to the question is Prequel, as that is really the only place you can go with it. Prior to the first film you have Billy the Kid, orphan, gunslinger, and genuine psycho just starting out in life. Fifteen, working in a boarding house for food, and stealing whenever and whatever he can get his hands on. The story would mainly focus on his time in and around Bonita where he is stealing horses for a living and gaining his original Kid Antrim name, and several run ins with the eeeeeevil Francis Cahill (fictionalized, probably just a dick … I’ve read just the Wikipedia page). The film culminates with him shooting Cahill, turning himself in, and then, realizing his life is already over, laughing and escaping. The end of the film is him in a saloon in Lincoln County and asking someone who the dapper gentleman is. “Oh, that’s John Henry Tunstall, he raises cattle.” The end. Obviously it is called Youngest Gun.

You Just Got Schooled – And that is a perfect introduction to the review of the original Young Guns. First, I’ll say that I quite enjoyed the film. I was surprised that it is an actual western. I figured it was going to be a silly electric-guitar faux-western or something given the brat pack cast. And the story is very interesting. If you trust Wikipedia it seems like quite a good telling of the Lincoln County War which I hadn’t really heard of before as I hadn’t ever really read up on Billy the Kid before. Estevez’s performance in particular is really rather good. I’ve mentioned it a few times, but his psychotic giggling is just pitch perfect for a character where you are like “wait … is this guy a sociopath?” … he is. B+. Kind of like Wyatt Earp, it is a film mostly interesting because of its historical context, but enjoyable if you like westerns I think.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs