Event Horizon Preview

“All for one, my ass,” says Rich as he and Poe attempt to push a large trunk over a log. They’ve been put on Planchet duty ever since their “rescue” and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight as the blue-clad backflipping buffoons don’t seem to be interested in anything but flipping around on ropes and trees and whatever other objects get in their line of sight. “We must save the King of France!” they scream for the thousandth time but Rich and Poe aren’t even sure if there is a King of France in this warped time sink they’ve fallen into. “Oh, Planchet! Dinner!” one screams, sitting on a log. Rich and Poe are pretty tired of the Planchet stuff so it’s time to climb the Musketeer corporate ladder. “Watch this,” Rich says with a wink and soon they are putting their years of culinary experience to good use showing off their knife skills in front of the Musketeers. At first they laugh, but soon are frowning at Rich and Poe. “No no no!” one screams, “You are Planchet! You don’t, how do you say… show off like some show off bird.” Puffing up and strutting around he challenges them to a duel. One after another the Musketeers come forward, and one after another they fall. With chests heaving and jorts brimming with sweat, Rich and Poe handily defeat the gang, who nod in appreciation. “You win, show off birds, we are now Planchets,” and they bow, asking where it is they want to go. Rich and Poe never even thought about that. As they look around they see a large wooden ship sunken into a bog in the distance. “There,” they point and the Musketeers begin to quake in fear, unwilling to go forwards. “G-g-g-g-ghosts,” they stammer out. That’s right! We’re catching up on the Paul W. S. Anderson classic Event Horizon that, while poorly reviewed in its time, has actually gained some cult following over the years. So this could really go either way in terms of being a BMT film. Set in the far future of 2047, this fits the bill for horror. Let’s go! 

Event Horizon (1997) – BMeTric: 14.6; Notability: 45 

(Oh snap, that is a pretty high notability, almost 50 on a film made in 1997. This is a true cult classic, so it isn’t that surprising that the IMDb rating is too high to give it a good BMeTric.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – It is observed darkly at one point that the gravity drive is a case of Man pushing too far, into realms where he should not go. There is an accusation that someone has “broken the laws of physics,” and from the way it’s said you’d assume that offenders will be subject to fines or imprisonment. Of course there are no “laws” of physics–only observations about the way things seem to be. What you “break,” if you break anything, is not a law but simply an obsolete belief, now replaced by one that works better. Deeply buried in “Event Horizon” is a suspicion of knowledge. Maybe that’s why its characters have so little of it.

(The production notes suggest otherwise (suggesting the film is actually just a Haunted House film in space, or a prequel to Warhammer 40,000), but that sounds suspiciously like they borrowed a major page from Jurassic Park and other “Science is Bad” films/books to suggest the hubris of scientists is humanity’s ultimate downfall … which makes me excited. As Dr. McCabe in Bats says: “I’m a scientist. That’s what we do. Make everything a little bit better.”)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix9CHnOo94k/

(F-it, that looks dope. I’m definitely not getting “science is bad” from that trailer. What I’m getting from that trailer is just a straight up haunted house film. And this is one dope looking haunted house film.)

Directors – Paul W.S. Anderson – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: Resident Evil: Retribution; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Resident Evil: Afterlife; Resident Evil; BMT: Pompeii; AVP: Alien vs. Predator; The Three Musketeers; Mortal Kombat; Soldier; Event Horizon; Notes: Married to Milla Jovovich. Changed how he billed his name by adding the W.S. due to confusion with Paul Thomas Anderson, but now he gets confused with Wes Anderson.)

Writers – Philip Eisner (written by) – (Future BMT: Mutant Chronicles; BMT: Event Horizon; Notes: Wrote the television sequel to Firestarter and has a new movie coming out staring Jason Momoa as a vengeful grieving father.)

Actors – Laurence Fishburne – (Known For: The Matrix; Apocalypse Now; John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum; Contagion; John Wick: Chapter 2; Man of Steel; The Matrix Reloaded; Where’d You Go, Bernadette; Boyz n the Hood; Ant-Man and the Wasp; Mystic River; The Mule; Mission: Impossible III; The Color Purple; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; The Signal; Predators; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; King of New York; School Daze; Future BMT: Biker Boyz; The Colony; Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fled; Running with the Devil; TMNT; Death Wish II; Quicksilver; Bad Company; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Just Cause; The Matrix Revolutions; 21; Band of the Hand; Once in the Life; Passengers; BMT: Ride Along; Event Horizon; Notes: Prior to 1993 was credited as Larry Fishburne and he mostly did supporting roles and television work (including as Cowboy Curtis on Pee-wee’s Playhouse). Nominated for an Oscar for What’s Love Got to Do with It.)

Sam Neill – (Known For: Thor: Ragnarok; Jurassic Park; The Hunt for Red October; Jurassic Park III; Hunt for the Wilderpeople; The Commuter; The Piano; Peter Rabbit; Possession; Wimbledon; Escape Plan; In the Mouth of Madness; Ride Like a Girl; Daybreakers; The Jungle Book; The Horse Whisperer; Dead Calm; Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole; The Hunter; Plenty; Future BMT: United Passions; The Final Conflict; The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box; Memoirs of an Invisible Man; Backtrack; Irresistible; A Long Way Down; Perfect Strangers; The Vow; Bicentennial Man; BMT: Event Horizon; Notes: Australian, he worked mostly in Australian cinema in the early 80s (like Attack Force Z with Mel Gibson), and then transitioned into American cinema around when he co-starred in The Hunt for Red October.)

Kathleen Quinlan – (Known For: Apollo 13; American Graffiti; The Hills Have Eyes; Breakdown; Horns; The Doors; Twilight Zone: The Movie; Breach; A Civil Action; Lifeguard; Lawn Dogs; Zeus and Roxanne; The Runner Stumbles; Wild Thing; Chimera Strain; Future BMT: My Giant; Elektra Luxx; Airport ’77; Sunset; The Battle of Shaker Heights; Trial by Jury; Hanky Panky; Warning Sign; Clara’s Heart; BMT: Made of Honour; Event Horizon; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Apollo 13. Was in a ton of non-theatrical stuff in the 80s, like She’s in the Army Now from 1981, which appears to be a blatant Private Benjamin clone.)

Budget/Gross – $60 million / Domestic: $26,673,242 (Worldwide: $26,673,242)

(Well that’s catastrophic. I guess that is how cult films work though. You can’t really become a cult film if you were a huge hit at the time of release.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (20/74): Despite a strong opening that promises sci-fi thrills, Event Horizon quickly devolves into an exercise of style over substance whose flashy effects and gratuitous gore fail to mask its overreliance on horror clichés.

(Ugh, I don’t like gore. But I think standing in contrast to the more protracted Alien maybe will make this an interesting exercise in Sci-fi horror. Reviewer Highlight: Director Anderson gets points for skillfully choreographing all of this, but he loses them for a consistent desire to brutalize the audience. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)

Poster – Ghost Ship with the Most Ship

(That’s a cool poster. That’s like a ‘hang on my wall’ cool. It feels real old school. Kinda low budget sci fi kinda stuff. I really really like that. Nice subtle font even. A+.)

Tagline(s) – Infinite Space – Infinite Terror (B)

(Unlike the poster this is merely fine. It’s snappy and short. But it doesn’t knock my socks off in the cleverness or originality department. I feel like it’s even a little limiting. Like this is more than just a space movie. You dig? Although, I will say… it still looks pretty cool on that super cool poster.)

Keyword – astronaut

Top 10: Ad Astra (2019), Interstellar (2014), Watchmen (2009), Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017), Toy Story 4 (2019), The Martian (2015), Rampage (2018), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Hidden Figures (2016)

Future BMT: 66.8 Thunderbirds (2004), 59.6 Virus (1999), 59.2 Space Chimps (2008), 58.7 Apollo 18 (2011), 56.2 Land of the Lost (2009), 52.0 Green Lantern (2011), 52.0 The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), 44.9 Fantastic Four (2005), 42.7 Mission to Mars (2000), 42.0 Red Planet (2000);

BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Armageddon (1998), Event Horizon (1997), Geostorm (2017), The Space Between Us (2017), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), Species II (1998)

(I wonder if the big peak in 2010 has to do with things like SpaceX launching their first rockets around 2008. Seems more steady than I would have expected though. The gap from 1990-1995 though is quite confusing. Besides Challenger there wasn’t any disaster around then, and that was 4 years prior. The only thing I can think of is that space films are expensive and that was around when a bunch of studios went bankrupt … that seems tenuous though. Maybe people just didn’t like space films for a while.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Joely Richardson is No. 4 billed in Event Horizon and No. 4 billed in Endless Love (2014), which also stars Bruce Greenwood (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 6 billed) => 4 + 4 + 3 + 6 = 17. If we were to watch Biker Boyz we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – Paul W.S. Anderson’s initial cut of the film ran 130 minutes and was quite graphically violent, so much so that both test audiences and the studio balked at the finished product. Paramount ordered him to cut the film by 30 minutes and tone down some of the violence, a decision he now regrets. Although it was announced in 2012 that a full version of the film had been found on a VHS tape, Anderson revealed in 2017 that due to bad archiving, a longer version no longer exists. The tape was in such poor condition when found that the footage was practically unwatchable, forcing Anderson to throw it away.

The space suits worn by the actors weighed 65 pounds (30 kilograms) each. Laurence Fishburne nicknamed his “Doris.” Due to the weight, standing upright in them for longer periods could lead to back injury, but sitting down was not possible either due to the backpack. Special “hanging poles” were constructed on the set, so the actors could rest on them between takes.

Everyone’s space suit has a flag showing hypothetical future political changes on Earth. Characters portrayed by American actors wear a flag of the United States with 55 stars. Characters portrayed by British actors wear a European Union flag with 22 stars, replacing the former Union Flag (the movie pre-dating the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in 2016). Sam Neill’s character wears a modified Australian flag, with the Union Jack removed from the top left-hand corner, and the Aboriginal flag in its place. (I should point out that the stars on the EU flag don’t represent countries and thus isn’t going to change after the UK fully extracts itself from the union. I would very much doubt they’ll ever change the number in that context)

The script originally described the Gateway machine as a smooth and featureless black orb, 10 meters (nearly 33 feet) in diameter, suspended in midair between large, rotating mechanical arms. It also was said to contain a stable black hole within it at all times (which the ship used as a power source), as opposed to briefly creating a temporary one. Paul Anderson decided to redesign it to involve interlocking circles as a homage to the puzzle box in Hellraiser (1987), which served as an inspiration. (That absolutely comes through in the finished product, it ends up being much closer to Hellraiser than any sci-fi film I’m seen)

Having just done a PG-13 movie, Mortal Kombat (1995), Paul W.S. Anderson was very keen to do something more mature and gruesome. This was why he turned down the chance to direct X-Men (2000).

Paul W.S. Anderson’s initial rough cut submitted to the MPAA received the kiss-of-death NC-17 rating.

The scene in which Weir explains how to bend space and time in order to travel huge interstellar distances is paraphrased in Interstellar (2014). Romily uses the exact same demonstration to illustrate the theory – folding a piece of paper and pushing a pen through it while explaining it to Cooper.

Although the film met with mostly negative reviews and a disappointing box office result at the time of its release, it amassed a considerable cult following over the years. Director Paul W.S. Anderson said that the movie’s cult status was predicted to him years before by Kurt Russell. Anderson screened Event Horizon before they started work on Soldier (1998), and Russell said “Forget about what this movie’s doing now. In fifteen years time, this is going to be the movie you’re glad you made”.

Philip Eisner wrote the movie after a family tragedy. He had recently entered a multi-picture writing agreement, and in an effort to force himself to get back to work he pitched the idea of “The Shining in space” to the studio, which was very receptive. Unfortunately he had no detailed treatment yet, and the subject matter blended with his emotional state to inspire a prolonged bout of writer’s block. The studio executive who had originally brought him on board, now a personal friend, helped keep Eisner on track, and the eventual first draft which was enthusiastically received.

The ‘Visions from Hell’ were inspired by works from 16th-century Renaissance painters Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel, which director Paul W.S. Anderson saw while he was touring art galleries with his production designer. Anderson was fascinated by these paintings, as the makers clearly believed in the reality of Hell as the complete antithesis of Heaven, and the images they created were terrifying and beautiful at the same time.

Some of the lost footage includes a great deal more of the Bosch-influenced Hell sequences and of the orgiastic video log that was found in the Event Horizon. This was shot by both director Paul W.S. Anderson and Vadim Jean, mainly on weekends.

Philip Eisner’s first draft of the script involved an alien infestation on the ship. When director Paul W.S. Anderson was approached, he liked the ‘Haunted House in space’ concept of the movie, but he had the source of evil changed from aliens to something more supernatural and diabolical.

Clive Barker, whose movie Hellraiser (1987) was a huge influence on the film, consulted on the project during pre-production.

The Event Horizon was modeled on Notre Dame cathedral. Its long corridor resembles a church nave, and its interior is filled with cruciform shapes, columns and vaults. Also, its engines resemble rotated church towers.

The working title was “The Stars My Destination”.

For his final scenes, Sam Neill would come to the studio at 3am so that he could spend 7-8 hours in make-up.

The original script had a sequence near the end where Starck (Joely Richardson) prepares the gravity tanks on the Event Horizon for the survivors’ escape, but one of them fills with blood, and a partially regenerated Dr. Weir (Sam Neill) without a skin appears inside. He breaks out and chases Stark, who flees and falls down a ladder to the room below; Weir follows, climbing down the same ladder upside-down. This scene was actually filmed but omitted from the movie. Weir’s upside-down walk was inspired by the infamous ‘Spiderwalk’ sequence from the extended version of The Exorcist (1973).

Replicas Preview

“We’re so sorry,” Patrick says solemnly through a mouthful of pie. Jamie echoes the words blandly, all the while picking at his fingernails. Angel is stunned. While he agrees that his character’s death will be emotional and raw for the audience, he had been led to believe his character was going to take a larger role in the series going forward. The feedback for his work was fantastic and his star seemed only to be rising. But suddenly it had fallen and there was nothing he could do about it. “Do you need me to film a death scene at least,” but Jamie seems bored and just says they’ll “do it in post using CGI or something.” Angel sighs and leaves. “Finally,” Jamie says with relief, “we can get back to work without Angel distracting us and ruining everything.” He looks sideways at Patrick who apparently hasn’t heard him. They were each reacting to the pressure of production in different ways… “you think you might want to slow down on the pie, bro?”

“Angel has what?!” Banks screams into the telephone. My god, they are out of control. The only good thing in the production and they have to get envious and fire the poor guy. Banks is panicked. Three weeks from the premier and they aren’t even wrapped filming! Not to mention that Patrick has managed to stress eat his way to 60 pounds overweight. Looking at Rod’s pictures from set he’s barely recognizable. He buzzes his assistant. “Get Chris Klein on the phone.” If these idiots are going to pout and eat this picture into the ground, Banks isn’t going to go down without a fight. And that means only one thing: he’s gotta somehow replicate the Rich and Poe magic himself and fast. That’s right! We’re watching Replicas, the Keanu Reeves Sci-fi flick that bombed at the box office early in the year. At the time it seemed to portend a ripe BMT harvest for the year. Little did we know that a drought was on the horizon. Let’s go!

Replicas (2019) – BMeTric: 44.6; Notability: 13 

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(The fact that it opened that high is incredible. What kind of bizarre PR team is hitting the IMDb page for a film that was delayed for release by two years which is an almost inevitable January bomb? That is just crazy.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – Here’s a fun game to play to keep your mind from truly wandering during a bad film: try and figure out exactly when the movie you’re watching went rotten. Was it a script that never should have been purchased? A concept that no one could have made work? Or did the problems start in pre-production, perhaps with the wrong cast or tech team being hired? Maybe the whole thing went to hell during production with a director who couldn’t manage tone or actors who checked out early? Or some bad films are tragically destroyed in post-production, sliced up in the editing bay. This is the game I played while watching the truly dreadful “Replicas,” and I went with “All of the above.”

(… I do the same thing to be honest. It always seems pretty easy to see where things went awry. Usually it is the director since his job often boils down to organization. And disorganization results in the most dire of situations: a boring bad movie.)

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

(Huh … so cloning and like … memory stuff? This seems very sci-fi and also very not good. I’m vaguely intrigued.)

Directors – Jeffrey Nachmanoff – (Known For: Traitor; BMT: Replicas; Notes: His brother is Dave Nachmanoff, a singer. Jeffrey accompanied him on his album Threads of Time.)

Writers – Chad St. John (screenplay by) – (Future BMT: Peppermint; BMT: Replicas; London Has Fallen; Notes: Writing the next Tim Story and Kevin Hart film My Own Worst Enemy)

Stephen Hamel (story by) – (Known For: Henry’s Crime; Future BMT: Siberia; BMT: Replicas; Notes: Executive Producer of John Wick. He writes a lot of the films his production company produces, but not all of them. Mostly has production gigs lined up it seems.)

Actors – Keanu Reeves – (Known For: Toy Story 4; The Matrix; John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum; John Wick; The Replacements; John Wick: Chapter 2; The Matrix Reloaded; Bram Stoker’s Dracula; Between Two Ferns: The Movie; The Neon Demon; Point Break; The Devil’s Advocate; The Bad Batch; Always Be My Maybe; Destination Wedding; Constantine; Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure; Speed; To the Bone; Dangerous Liaisons; Future BMT: Knock Knock; Exposed; Siberia; Even Cowgirls Get the Blues; The Watcher; Generation Um…; Chain Reaction; Feeling Minnesota; 47 Ronin; The Whole Truth; Youngblood; Matrix Revolutions; Sweet November; Street Kings; A Very Bad Day; BMT: The Day the Earth Stood Still; Replicas; Johnny Mnemonic; The Lake House; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 1996 for A Walk in the Clouds, and Johnny Mnemonic; in 1997 for Chain Reaction; and in 2002 for Hard Ball, and Sweet November; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 1994 for Much Ado About Nothing; and in 2001 for The Watcher; Notes: Ya’ll know Keanu. He played a French-Canadian in Youngblood, and it is bar none the worse accent I’ve ever heard.)

Alice Eve – (Known For: Bombshell; She’s Out of My League; Star Trek into Darkness; Men in Black 3; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Please Stand By; Starter for 10; Cold Comes the Night; Stage Beauty; Decoding Annie Parker; Some Velvet Morning; Future BMT: Sex and the City 2; ATM; The Con Is On; Misconduct; Dirty Weekend; Criminal; The Raven; The Decoy Bride; Entourage; Untogether; Crossing Over; Before We Go; BMT: Replicas; Notes: Daughter of Trevor Eve who was Jonathan Harker in Dracula with Frank Langella. Has two different colored eyes.)

Thomas Middleditch – (Known For: The Wolf of Wall Street; Zombieland: Double Tap; Godzilla: King of the Monsters; Kong: Skull Island; The Other Guys; Tag; The Kings of Summer; The Final Girls; The Campaign; The Rebound; Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie; Being Flynn; Joshy; Entanglement; Future BMT: Once Upon a Time in Venice; Fun Size; Search Party; The Bronze; The Brass Teapot; Splinterheads; BMT: Replicas; Notes: Starred in the hit comedy Silicon Valley on HBO, and … Verizon ads, I think it was Verizon.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $4,046,429 (Worldwide: $9,206,925)

(That has to be Hollywood accounting. The robot looks so bad in the film that they must have spent $0 on any of the CGI. So did they just pay Keanu $29 million or something?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (5/53): Equal parts plot holes and unintentional laughs, Replicas is a ponderously lame sci-fi outing that isn’t even bad enough to be so bad it’s good.

(Ha, it is just one giant plot hole, got it. Reviewer Highlight: The filmmakers manage to avoid every potentially interesting choice for far dumber, and far more inexplicable, conclusions. – Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times.)

Poster – Twinzos (B)

replicas_ver6

(This literally makes the movie look like it’s about Keanu and his robot replica probably battling each other in hand-to-robot-hand combat. But, spoiler alert, that is not the case. Nice organization, interesting font, and OK color scheme. It’s fine.)

Tagline(s) – Some Humans Are Unstoppable (A+)

(I think this very well might be The Avengers (1998) of taglines. It is complete and utter nonsense and I don’t know how you put that on the poster. So bad that it became an A+ again because it’s so stupid. My brain hurts trying to even comprehend what they were thinking.)

Keyword – clone

Replicas_clone

Top 10: Gemini Man (2019), Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Logan (2017), Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017), Annihilation (2018), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018), Tron (2010), Cloud Atlas (2012); 

Future BMT: 54.7 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 46.4 Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016), 46.2 Machete Kills (2013), 37.3 Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), 37.0 Morgan (2016), 36.3 Gemini Man (2019), 35.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008), 27.8 Pokémon: The First Movie (1998), 24.6 Resident Evil: Extinction (2007); 

BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), Replicas (2018), Hitman: Agent 47 (2015), Judge Dredd (1995), Æon Flux (2005), The Avengers (1998), Babylon A.D. (2008), Ultraviolet (2006), Species II (1998), Pluto Nash (2002), Godsend (2004)

(My God … we’ve seen so many of them! There appears to be a surge of clone related films. I wonder if the sour taste from Attack of the Clones has finally left everyone’s collective minds and clones are cool again.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Keanu Reeves is No. 1 billed in Replicas and No. 1 billed in Lake House, which also stars Sandra Bullock (No. 2 billed) who is in Demolition Man (No. 3 billed), 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) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch Hardball, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – The story and screenplay for REPLICAS was developed at Keanu Reeves and Stephen Hamel’s production company Company Films. Hamel writes the majority of all the stories produced there.

Filmed in August 2016, but not released in the United States until January 2019. (Wow, why even release it?)

Nicolas Cage turned it down before it goes to Keanu Reeves (It does seem like a Nic Cage film)

The Lawnmower Man Preview

Meanwhile… Poe and Brock are getting psyched for the big championship game. Suddenly Poe watches in alarm as the lawnmower men around the field stop in unison, their eyes suddenly glassy and unseeing. “Lawnmower Men,” Poe whispers while Brock stares on in shock. “Lawnmower Men? It can’t be. They… they are just silly legends used to scare kids.” But no, they are real and something has brought them out of their slumber. Poe suddenly realizes what it is and turns to Brock, “It’s Rich. He needs my help.” One of the other players begins to protest, but Brock stops them, “If you need my help, you have my bat, bro.” And they seal the deal with a Predator Handshake. That’s right! In celebration of the 500th BMT film (say what?!) we are also watching The Lawnmower Man and Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace. The sequel has been on my bad movie bucket list forever because it actually seems impossible that it got released to theaters. But it did and we couldn’t have asked for a better pairing for this celebration than the hacking computer technobabble extravaganza of Hackers and the Lawnmower Man franchise. Let’s go! 

The Lawnmower Man (1992) – BMeTric: 49.5 

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(Solidly below average. If it gets a few thousand more votes it could creep back up above 50, and that seems pretty appropriate given everything I know about it now.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Scientist Brosnan needs a guinea pig for hitherto failed experiments in drug therapy and computer instruction; who better than the grinning mental defective who mows his lawn? At least the pyrotechnics at the end (simulating “virtual reality”) are full of visual buzz. Fahey in a blond wig is really tough to take. Has nothing to do with the Stephen King short story it’s ostensibly based on.

(As usual Leonard teases me with his semi-colon work, he’s a true artist. And then “hitherto”? Now I’m really into it. This review is also somehow a novel, it is incredibly long, and I love it. He clearly just hated this film.)

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

(NOT FROM THE IMAGINATION OF STEPHEN KING. That is very very specifically not the case. That trailer makes the film look a lot more interesting that I suspect it ultimately will be.)

Directors – Brett Leonard – (Known For: Feed; T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous; Future BMT: Man-Thing; Virtuosity; Hideaway; BMT: The Lawnmower Man; Notes: Also a major music video director at the time. Won the 1994 MTV Music Award for best video for Peter Gabriel’s Kiss That Frog.)

Writers – Stephen King (title only) (credit removed following lawsuit) – (Known For: It; Pet Sematary; The Shawshank Redemption; The Shining; Stand by Me; Pet Sematary; The Green Mile; Gerald’s Game; The Mist; Carrie; 1922; Misery; The Running Man; Christine; Carrie; Cujo; The Dead Zone; Creepshow; Silver Bullet; 1408; Future BMT: Cell; The Rage: Carrie 2; The Mangler; Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice; Sleepwalkers; Graveyard Shift; The Dark Tower; Children of the Corn; Riding the Bullet; A Good Marriage; Thinner; Firestarter; Creepshow 2; The Night Flier; Needful Things; Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; BMT: Dreamcatcher; The Lawnmower Man; Maximum Overdrive; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Maximum Overdrive in 1987; Notes: This is a hilarious credit (apparently removed). I’ve read The Lawnmower Man short story by Stephen King and it has literally nothing to do with this film… I haven’t even see this movie but I guarantee you that.)

Brett Leonard (screenplay) – (BMT: The Lawnmower Man; Notes: He actually did kinda start the Cyber genre with The Lawnmower Man. Only major feature writing credit.)

Gimel Everett (screenplay) – (BMT: The Lawnmower Man; Notes: Producer who worked with Leonard on a number of credits. Died in 2011 at the age of 60.)

Actors – Jeff Fahey – (Known For: Alita: Battle Angel; Grindhouse; Machete; Planet Terror; Silverado; Wyatt Earp; Too Late; Psycho III; Body Parts; Sushi Girl; White Hunter Black Heart; Future BMT: Urge; Stranded; Impulse; BMT: The Lawnmower Man; Notes: Has had a very interesting life traveling the world and doing dance, then theater, and then film.)

Pierce Brosnan – (Known For: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again; The World Is Not Enough; Mrs. Doubtfire; Mamma Mia!; The Foreigner; The World’s End; GoldenEye; Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief; Mars Attacks!; Die Another Day; Tomorrow Never Dies; No Escape; The Ghost; The Thomas Crown Affair; Final Score; Seraphim Falls; Spinning Man; The Long Good Friday; The Tailor of Panama; The Mirror Has Two Faces; Future BMT: I Don’t Know How She Does It; Urge; I.T.; Survivor; Dante’s Peak; Lessons in Love; The Love Punch; Laws of Attraction; Salvation Boulevard; Nomads; The November Man; After the Sunset; Live Wire; Love Affair; A Long Way Down; The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot; The Only Living Boy in New York; Grey Owl; A Christmas Star; BMT: The Lawnmower Man; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Mamma Mia! in 2009; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for The World Is Not Enough in 2000; Notes: They just announced he is going to be working with Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams in a comedy film focused on the Eurovision Song Contest. I highly recommend Eurovision, it is hilarious.)

Jenny Wright – (Known For: St. Elmo’s Fire; Near Dark; Pink Floyd: The Wall; The World According to Garp; A Shock to the System; The Chocolate War; I, Madman; Future BMT: Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory; Queens Logic; BMT: The Lawnmower Man; Notes: Apparently people don’t even know where she currently is as they attempted to locate her for a Near Dark reunion unsuccessfully. Was apparently involved with Nic Cage for two years.)

Budget/Gross – $10 million / Domestic: $32,100,816

(That is an astonishingly high number. I’m going to assume that that is partially because the Stephen King name actually carried a lot of cache at the time. And it is absolutely no wonder they were already considering a sequel by the time the VHS was released (see the notes))

#135 for the Horror – R-Rated genre

lawnmowerman_rratedhorror

(This predates most of the other R-rated Horror films that have some out which have become a very on trend genre of late.)

#9 for the Virtual Reality genre

lawnmowerman_virtualreality

(Oh wow, I kind of didn’t realize both this and Hackers were put into this genre. That is awesome. We’ve officially doubled the number of Virtual Reality movies we’ve seen for BMT.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 35% (14/40): The Lawnmower Man suffers from a predictable, melodramatic script, and its once-groundbreaking visual effects look dated today.

(Basically all the reviews say that it is cheesy and the only thing it really has going for it are the special effects which admittedly dazzled at the time. Reviewer Highlight: So loosely based on a Stephen King short story as to constitute fraud, The Lawnmower Man goes right to the bottom of a growing list of failed King adaptations. – Richard Harrington, Washington Post)

Poster – The Lawnmower Man: Inspired by Stephen King’s The Lawnmower Man (B-)

lawnmower_man

(This entire thing is silly. Look at that poster. It is literally a man mowing grass with a giant eye in the sky with a… gyroscope? In the center? What are you supposed to think this film is about? Spacing is fine, as is the color scheme. The font is unfortunate and I know in my heart they could have done better.)

Tagline(s) – God made him simple. Science made him a god. (A-)

(I like this. Tells me what’s up and does it in a clever way. It’s a little long, but you get what you pay for.)

Keyword(s) – virtual reality; Top Ten by BMeTric: 82.8 Spy Kids 3: Game Over (2003); 78.9 Jason X (2001); 67.2 Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996); 55.7 Stormbreaker (2006); 54.6 Soldiers of Fortune (2012); 52.0 Let’s Be Evil (2016); 51.9 Surfer, Dude (2008); 49.5 The Lawnmower Man (1992); 47.3 Open Windows (2014); 46.3 Kill Switch (I) (2017);

(Two of the ten! I quite like that. None of the other one except maybe Spy Kids 3 are on our radar.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 26) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Dean Norris is No. 7 billed in The Lawnmower Man and No. 3 billed in Death Wish (2018), which also stars Bruce Willis (No. 1 billed) who is in The Whole Ten Yards (No. 1 billed), which also stars Natasha Henstridge (No. 4 billed) who is in Ghosts of Mars (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 3 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) => 7 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 26. If we were to watch I Don’t Know How She Does It, If Lucy Fell, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – New Line Cinema had obtained the rights to the Stephen King short story “The Lawnmower Man”, and the producers also had an unrelated script called “Cyber God”. They simply placed King’s title on the production of “Cyber God”. King was furious at this abuse of his name, and he sued the studio to have his name and title removed from the film and promotion. They refused, until the studio was ordered to pay ten thousand dollars and full profits. (Yeah that makes more sense than actually thinking this was an adaptation)

The scene where the cop (Troy Evans) says that the missing piece of the dead man is in the bird bath, is the only thing in the movie that was taken from Stephen King’s short story.

The eight minutes of computer generated effects took seven people eight months to complete on a budget of five hundred thousand dollars. (Wow, impressive)

It was discovered through FBI tapes that this was former Waco cult leader David Koresh favorite movie

Several of the symbols Jobe (Jeff Fahey) sees flying at him, during his first VR treatment, are demon evocation seals taken from the infamous Key of Solomon.

A remote controlled lawnmower was specifically built for the movie. In another movie adapted from a Stephen King story, Maximum Overdrive (1986), a remote controlled lawnmower chases a teenager. (And in yet another movie everyone almost dies in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids! due to a remote controlled lawnmower)

Dr. Angelo’s line “I’ve decided to take my work back underground”, was used as a sample in the intro track for the Music For The Jilted Generation album by The Prodigy. (Yet another connection to Hackers, Voodoo People from that album is on the soundtrack)

There are three video games based on the movie. Scrolling action game The Lawnmower Man (1993) for Game Boy, Genesis, and Super Nintendo, loosely follows the plot of the movie. FMV adventure game The Lawnmower Man (1993) for DOS, Macintosh, and SEGA CD, uses clips from the movie, and is a direct sequel to the movie, since Its plot begins where the movie ends. Adventure game Cyberwar (1994) for DOS and PlayStation is a non-FMV sequel to the FMV game.

Flatliners (2017) Preview

Our keen BMT instincts had us eyeing Flatliners since May for a potential Fall BMT Live! We needed something to bridge the gap between The Mummy and (hopefully) the weather disaster film Geostorm and it just didn’t seem possible that a remake of a 1990 cult classic that no one was asking for could possibly be good. Boy were we right. Taking a break from our Bring a Friend cycle we will be heading to the theater for some BMT fun. Coming into this weekend it stands as the worst reviewed major release of the year (2% on RT compared to 6% for the Rings sequel) and is everything that nobody was hoping it would be. Destined to be forgotten to the sands of time, but not to BMT, let’s get ourselves geared up for a sci fi/horror romp. We haven’t lived until we’ve died, babbbbbyyyyyyy! Let’s go!

Flatliners (2017) – BMeTric: 15.0 (October 1, 2017)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  This sort of movie can be more frustrating than a maliciously terrible or blunderingly incompetent film because at each step you can tell that everyone involved in the production sincerely believed in the material, both as raucous entertainment and as a tale of moral growth. But when the best you can say about a movie is that it means well, that’s proof that it’s not working on any level that matters.

(Just to be clear … this is a film which got 35 bad reviews in a row and sits at 2%. It is likely to be the worst reviewed film of a year that includes The Emoji Movie. Apparently a movie that merely “means well” is a movie everyone can rally behind and give uniformly bad reviews to.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1S52y5ZVlY

(I can’t tell if it is a good choice to go full horror or not. I do know that I don’t think this is a particularly interesting choice for a remake to Flatliners. Whether it is an IP grab or a legitimate choice to remake what is kind of a forgotten film of the 90s is yet to be scene, but it feels like an IP grab. Which probably means safe garbage-y horror.)

Directors – Niels Arden Oplev – (Known For: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; Drømmen; Future BMT: Dead Man Down; BMT: Flatliners; Notes: Danish, and that is naturally the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, not the American remake. He’s worked on several American television shows since including directing an episode of Mr. Robot.)

Writers – Peter Filardi (story by) – (Known For: Flatliners; The Craft; BMT: Flatliners; Notes: He is from a family of screenwriters including his brother and wife. Oddly hasn’t written all that much though, although he was attached to some sort of supernatural project a few years ago.)

Ben Ripley (screenplay by) – (Known For: Source Code; The Choir; BMT: Flatliners; Notes: Ha, he wrote the direct-to-video sequels to Species as his first jobs for Fox! He somewhat hit it big with Source Code (his original idea) and is attached to the sequel that is in production.)

Actors – Ellen Page – (Known For: Inception; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Juno; X-Men: The Last Stand; Mercy; Hard Candy; Into the Forest; Super; The Cured; To Rome with Love; My Life as a Courgette; Whip It; Tallulah; The East; Freeheld; Smart People; Window Horses; Mouth to Mouth; The Stone Angel; Marion Bridge; Future BMT: Touchy Feely; The Tracey Fragments; BMT: Flatliners; Notes: Vegan and well-known LGBT advocate having come out as gay a few years ago. In a relationship with professional surfer Samantha Jones.)

Diego Luna – (Known For: The Bad Batch; Rogue One; Elysium; Blood Father; Y Tu Mamá También; Open Range; The Terminal; The Book of Life; Frida; Milk; Contraband; Before Night Falls; Casa de mi Padre; Mister Lonely; Criminal; Rudo y Cursi; Nicotina; Future BMT: Vampires: Los Muertos; Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights; BMT: Flatliners; Notes: A mexican actor appearing in numerous mexican films and some telenovelas. He’s started producing with his company Canana Films.)

Nina Dobrev – (Known For: xXx: Return of Xander Cage; The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Chloe; The Final Girls; Away from Her; Fugitive Pieces; How She Move; Future BMT: Barely Lethal; Let’s Be Cops; BMT: The Roommate; Flatliners; Notes: Bulgarian, although she grew up in Canada. She starred in Vampire Diaries, and has started to make the shift to major features including Bring a Friend film xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.)

Budget/Gross – $19 million / Domestic: $2,150,000 (Worldwide: $5,250,000) (October 1, 2017)

(That budget is … respectable actually. It won’t make it back (it is a colossal bomb already), but this now seems like a kind of shot in the dark to try and get some cheap nostalgia cash instead of a poorly thought out use of sweeeeeeeet IP.)

#58 for the Horror Remake genre (October 1, 2017)

flatliners_rratedhorror

(Can’t really remake horror films without horror films to remake I guess. The boom in the late-00s suggest this is a very nice genre for bad movies. It seemed like it was surging again, but nay, this was the first placed in the genre in nearly two years. And it is not making much money at the moment, soooooo probably won’t help matters)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/47): Flatliners falls flat as a horror movie and fails to improve upon its source material, rendering this reboot dead on arrival.

(It falls flat? Really? Anyways, this is probably the worst reviewed film of the year. At least up there, sub-5% is extremely rare. I figured this film was going to be terrible because it is a terrible idea (not the killing themselves part, the part where they remake Flatliners), but I never really imagined it would get quite this bad reviews.)

Poster – Sklogliners (A-)

flatliners

(This poster is good. Seems a bit more like an art piece than a poster, but still good. Only wish the majority of the poster wasn’t so dull colorwise.)

Tagline(s) – You Haven’t Lived Until You’ve Died (A)

(I would say this is a near perfect tagline. It is short, plays on a common phrase, and hints at the plot. Check marks all around. The only concern I have is that I’m not sure it captures the tone of the film, which seems to be a sci fi/horror. But hard to tell without having seen the film.)

Keyword(s) – medical student; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.0 Jason X (2001); 65.4 Valentine (2001); 54.2 Annabelle (I) (2014); 44.3 Unrest (I) (2006); 35.7 The Ruins (2008); 33.7 The Prince & Me (2004); 31.3 Victor Frankenstein (2015); 30.1 Wrong Turn (I) (2003); 29.9 Pathology (2008); 28.0 The Taking (2014);

(Awesome. Victor Frankenstein is one of those films we should have just watched and then never got around to it. I don’t think it even got any Razzie nods, which is also super weird. From everything I heard it is as bad as I, Frankenstein.)

Notes – Sequel to Flatliners (1990) which starred Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, Oliver Platt and William Baldwin.

With Kiefer Sutherland returning as Nelson, the same character he played in the 1990 version of the movie, makes this a sequel rather than a remake.

This movie is NOT a sequel to the 1990 movie. It is a remake, a re-imagining, or a version of the previous movie and has no other connection to it at all. Although Kiefer Sutherland appears in both versions, he plays two different characters. (See above … this production sounds very clear and coherent)

Ellen Page also voiced and motion captured the lead character Jodie Holmes from the 2013 video game Beyond: Two Souls (2013). The game explores the “infraworld” which is analogous to the world after death where the souls reside. Ellen Page’s character in the game also experiences supernatural activities and communicates with entities from the “other side.”

Avery Bederman, the daughter of one of the executive producers of the film, Michael Bederman, has a small role in this movie.