Double Dragon Preview

“And that’s the story of how I cheated on my wife multiple times, destroyed my family, and continued to be a rich asshole. Now where to start concerning the mailman?” sighs Colonel Von Freed. Jamie looks grimly at Patrick. They endured his story of serial philandering for the last two hours and, considering the length of his sigh, the story of the fraudster mailman seems to be even longer. Suddenly a group of horses run by with grimy men clinging to their backs. Letters flutter about them as they watch them disappear in a cloud of dust. “Aha, the chase is afoot,” sighs the Colonel, “it’s helicopter time.” With that the Colonel snaps his fingers and a helicopter suddenly appears over the horizon. Gatling guns ablaze, the helicopter swoops towards the mailmen, who shields their eyes and scatter in every direction. One remains behind, the leader. “The choice is yours, mailman,” we say as we approach, “hand over the medallion or get another taste of our helicopter.” The mailman smiles. “Oh really, you’re gonna blow me away? I don’t think so,” he laughs, “that would be against the rules.” In shock Jamie and Patrick look at each other. What rules? Rulez=coolz and this could spell trouble. Another mailman returns and joins the first. Uncoiling the scarf from his face Jamie and Patrick gasp. Twins. They rip their sleeves off their shirts to reveal the secret tattoos of the twins engraved on their well-toned arms. “He isn’t lying, Colonel,” Jamie says. “This will not end peacefully. It’s the way of the Twins. They have challenged our twin prowess,” confirms Patrick. The mailmen scream in unison, “It’s a Double Dragon challenge, Bad Movie Twins! A fight for the medallion. A fight for destiny. A challenge that can only end with blood.” That’s right! We are watching Double Dragon, one of the many terrible video game films made in the *checks notes* ever… there has never been a good one. Apparently though the worst films of all time wiki page only has room for one video game film and that’s Alone in the Dark, which is no fun. At least this should be some fun to watch. Reading about it a bit apparently they changed the script so that Jimmy and Billy Lee weren’t twins but just brothers because the actors didn’t look enough alike. Bullshit. Just for that it should be on the worst of all time list. Let’s go!

Double Dragon (1994) – BMeTric: 66.9

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(Below 4.0 is incredible. And while climbing a bit (pretty much unavoidable when the rating is that low), for a film from the early-90s that is very impressive. Pretty close to that 75+ pantheon, although now it’ll never make it.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  In the junky, gang-dominated post-earthquake “New Angeles” of 2007, martial artist brothers Dacascos and Wolf battle evil billionaire Patrick for the possession of a two-part Chinese medallion that grants mystical powers. Sometimes lively but mostly silly and tedious; based on an arcade game.

(This review is mostly silly and tedious, so take that! But honestly, this feels like Maltin fell asleep in the middle of the review. Although, then again, there is a very nice semi-colon right near the end. Love it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh9ioolJrd0

(My God the acting! AND LOOK WHO’S GOT IT! Whooooooaaaaaaaa! Man the 90s, what a time to be alive. Everything was so straight up raaaaaaad. Karate and hacking and like … video games. It is ridic. Too ridic to quit. I’m amped.)

Directors – James Yukich – (BMT: Double Dragon; Notes: He was a music video director for the most part, including directing videos for Bruno, Bruce Willis’ alter ego.)

Writers – Paul Dini (story) – (Known For: Batman Ninja; Batman: Mask of the Phantasm; Batman and Harley Quinn; BMT: Double Dragon; Notes: Invented Harley Quinn for his friend Arleen Sorkin.)

Neal Shusterman (story) – (BMT: Double Dragon; Notes: Quite an accomplished writer, including nine or ten different series. Also wrote a ton of How to Host a Murder games.)

Michael Davis (screenplay) – (Known For: Shoot ‘Em Up; 100 Girls; Monster Man; Future BMT: Eight Days a Week; BMT: Double Dragon; Notes: Wrote the entire Prehysteria series.)

Peter Gould (screenplay) – (BMT: Double Dragon; Notes: The co-creator of Better Call Saul.)

Actors – Robert Patrick – (Known For: Terminator 2: Judgment Day; Wayne’s World; Bridge to Terabithia; Walk the Line; Die Hard 2; Spy Kids; Safe House; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Trouble with the Curve; The Faculty; Back Roads; Lovelace; Cop Land; Kill the Messenger; The Men Who Stare at Goats; Flags of our Fathers; We Are Marshall; The Road Within; Ladder 49; Rosewood; Future BMT: Balls of Fury; Eye See You; Supercross; Identity Thief; Fly Me to the Moon 3D; Hellions; Eloise; All the Pretty Horses; Last Action Hero; Alien Trespass; The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond; Fire in the Sky; Gangster Squad; Jayne Mansfield’s Car; BMT: Striptease; The Marine; Double Dragon; Strange Wilderness; Firewall; Texas Rangers; Endless Love; Notes: Replaced David Duchovny in The X-Files late in the series. Famous for his role as the T-1000 in Terminator 2.)

Mark Dacascos – (Known For: Brotherhood of the Wolf; Future BMT: The Island of Dr. Moreau; Code Name: The Cleaner; Showdown in Manila; Nomad: The Warrior; BMT: Double Dragon; Cradle 2 the Grave; Notes: A martial artist. Competed in the 9th season of Dancing with the Stars.)

Scott Wolf – (Known For: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Go; White Squall; Future BMT: The Evening Star; All I Want for Christmas; BMT: Double Dragon; Notes: Most famous for his role on Party of Five. Had some success in television across the years. Has a mildly famous cousin Josh Wolf.)

Budget/Gross – $7.8 million / Domestic: $2,341,309

(Somehow a catastrophe despite basically costing nothing. Having watched the film you see all $8 million on screen, it is pretty impressive how far they stretch that.)

#116 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(Beat out the previous low gross by a BMT film by … Gymkata, wowza. This came in right when martial arts film was huge, but they were progressively making less and less money. At least according to Box Office Mojo this genre is basically non-existent at this point.)

#38 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(Somehow less than In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale as well! A film intentionally made to be a failure. Right at the beginning of this genre which has been trying to break through for several years now.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (1/13): Double Dragon’s clever use of special effects cannot mask the film’s overly simplistic storyline and cheesy dialogue.

(A lot lower than I would expected to be honest, it felt like something you’d be like “ambitious, yet on a shoestring budget, and somehow not as bad as you would expect”. Reviewer Highlight: Even kids won’t get much of a kick out of this high-energy, low-IQ futuristic slugfest. – Brian Lowry, Variety)

Poster – Twin Time! (F… in a good way)

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(Well I know what Patrick is getting for Christmas. This is quite literally amazing. It’s taken everything I love in a poster and taken it to an extreme that makes it terrible. Love fonts? We got two of the craziest. Love bold colors? How about two jarringly bright ones? Want it to tell a story? This got shit everywhere.)

Tagline(s) – Power. Justice. Darkness. Light. (C)

Two halves of an ancient puzzle are the only hope. (D-)

(Should have just went for the first one which is fine enough. Not sure what it’s really saying, but they are words that make the film sound important. The second is nonsense and I’m not sure is even proper english.)

Keyword(s) – teenage girl; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.7 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 88.9 House of the Dead (2003); 87.5 Crossroads (I) (2002); 86.3 Troll 2 (1990); 85.9 Fantastic Four (2015); 85.7 Piranha 3DD (2012); 84.5 Movie 43 (2013); 82.4 Prom Night (I) (2008); 80.8 Halloween: Resurrection (2002); 79.6 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009);

(We only have horror films left. Horror films will tend to have teenage girls I guess, so that makes sense. We swept the non-horror films real quick though.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robert Patrick is No. 1 billed in Double Dragon and No. 7 billed in Firewall, which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 1 + 7 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 = 15. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – In the final battle, Linda Lash (Kristina Wagner) says to Marion (Alyssa Milano), “Now who’s the boss?” Later, Marion tells Lash, “You’re lucky, generally I put people in the hospital.” Alyssa Milano starred on the television series Who’s The Boss, and Wagner was a regular on General Hospital. (AWFUL. Just awful)

A video game featuring motion captured sprites like Mortal Kombat was concepted to co-inside with the movie, having the actors of the film and their stunt doubles provide the captured images. However it was deemed it could not be completed in the same amount of time as the movie, so was scrapped. After the movies release the film studio admitted it was a stroke of luck the game didn’t go ahead. The film would later have a Japan-only, tie in, fighting game of the same name, developed by Technos Japan under the license of SNK Playmore, ported to the Neo Geo MVS and the Neo-Geo CD in 1995 as well as the PlayStation in 1996. (Yeah that sounds like a terrible idea)

The boat chase was filmed on the Cuyahoga River in Northeast Ohio. It climaxes with an explosion which used 700 gallons of gasoline combined with 200 gallons of alcohol. Despite warnings the night before on several news channels, the explosion caused Cleveland residents to panic, leading to 210 phone calls to emergency services over ten minutes. (Wow, I wouldn’t have thought that was in Ohio, I just thought it was in a kind of isolated, industrial, run-down part of the LA coastline somewhere)

Dozens of arcade games appear in the Power Corps hideout. DOUBLE DRAGON is one of them. It’s visible when Jimmy (possessed by Kogo Shuko) tries to kick Billy but misses and shatters the game screen. (Yeah, it is terrible. It sucks)

In one scene, Kogo Shuko asks his henchmen (Huey and Lewis), “Huey, Lewis. Any news?” a reference to the band Huey Lewis and the News. (Yeah that also sucked)

According to editor Danny Retz the alley where the Lee brothers are about to face off with Abobo was shot in downtown Los Angeles. “It was used by junkies and other nefarious persons and had to be steam clean before shooting could be done.” said Danny.

The seal on Jimmy Lee’s “Retour” shirt was designed by the DECA teacher at Snohomish High School. The image in the middle of the seal is the original Snhomish High School building. (I actually did think that shirt was rad)

First-time director Jim Yukich summarized his approach to the film: “Our characters are like normal kids – three kids on an adventure, so we didn’t want to make something that kids would almost be too afraid to see. … I’d like to make it in a funnier, light-hearted vein.” (Basically the Batman & Robin approach. “You’re making a video game, it’s ridiculous, remember” was probably shouted)

The plot from the game is originally about two martial artists which is a blue-suited young man named Billy “Hammer” Lee and a red-suited twin brother Jimmy “Spike” Lee, as they fight their way into the turf of the Black Warriors gang (with Linda and Abobo as members) who assaulted and kidnapped their love interest Marian, the martial arts brothers won’t stop at nothing to rescue her. After going through skirmishes lead by Abobo and Jeff at a city slum, a factory, the woods and the gangs hideout; Billy and Jimmy reach the lair where the have a showdown with the gang’s machine gun wielding leader who is the Big Boss and they defeat him, also resulting in a conflict where Billy and Jimmy fight to the death over the determination of who will win the affections of Marian.

The characters from the game that appear in this film are: Billy Lee (1st player), Jimmy Lee (2nd player), Marian (Non-playable character), Linda (3rd enemy) and Abobo (1st boss).

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Mortal Kombat: Annihilation Preview

In the Z-universe’s most notorious prison, the Robotoronic Jail 3000, two prisoners blow a hole in the prison wall and walk to their freedom while sirens wail. They begin the long walk across the Wasted Land towards Ecumenopolis.

“Keep digging,” whispers Patrick as Jamie attacks the wall with a sharpened spoon. After three weeks they both know it’s time to blow this joint and they’re doing it the old fashioned way. No kung fu hacking or super powers. This is just lean muscle, a spoon, and a stone wall. Well guess what? You done lost, wall. Jamie breaks through into a large air vent and Patrick turns to their friend Kyle who was the muscle to their brains in this terrible place. “Kyle, you’ve been a true friend showing us the ropes and helping us navigate the prison world. I’ll always remember when you took a shiv for me. It’s a memory I’ll cherish.” Kyle nods. “Come with us. Help us figure out our destiny.” Just as Kyle is about to join them in the vent a large gust of winds blows the entrance closed and blows Jamie and Patrick deeper into an underground tunnel. Patrick looks up to where Kyle had been waiting, but Jamie puts a hand on his should. “He’s gone. I’m sure we’ll meet him again. We have to move forward.” Patrick grudgingly nods and looks around at where they’ve landed. It’s a fork in the road. A path to the left and a path to the right. Jamie hesitates, “We must go left, Patrick. Something seems off about the right.” But Patrick is already heading that way, drawn by some force within. Jamie follows, trying to pull him back but a steady wind starts pushing them forward until they are tumbling head over heels. They land in a world unlike Earth. The clouds overhead are gray and move unnaturally fast. A hooded figure stands in front of them. “The wind,” whispers Patrick. “It’s been trying to get us here this whole time,” responds Jamie. The hooded figure speaks. “Welcome to my world, Bad Movie Twins. Are you ready to defend Earth in the tournament of champions?” That’s right! We’re watching Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation to finish the Franchise-zzzzz cycle. These are films we saw in our childhood (obviously), but never got the full BMT treatment. They also serve as the transition to our second cycle of the year: The (Not Quite) Worst Films Ever. These are films that were at one time posted on the wikipedia page for the List of Films Considered the Worst. All such films are listed in the “Talk” section for the page. For people who don’t know the “Talk” section of wikipedia pages are where you can get a glimpse into the minds of crazy people. Let’s go!

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) – BMeTric: 86.9

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(Sub-4.0 is incredible obviously. And that BMeTric. It it the 28th highest BMeTric for any wide release ever! That is pretty impressive. Got to tick those boxes. There are only seven above it we haven’t watched: Disaster Movie, Date Movie, Son of Mask, Vampires Suck, House of the Dead, Street Fighter, and BloodRayne.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Mind-numbing sequel rehashes battle between good and evil for the fate of mankind (yawn). OK visual effects but endless fight scenes and dreadful acting stop film dead in its tracks. Of interest only to American Gladiator fanatics and vidkids with really low attention spans. Remar’ morph from David Carradine-style kung fu sensei to turbo warrior is unintentionally hilarious.

(Vidkids? “Low” attention spans? Some real shade here. Not that the film doesn’t deserve it, I’m like 99% sure it is complete hot garbage, and I can’t wait.)

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

(Redux edit eehhhhhhhh. Hey guys watch out for all of the ninjas. This film looks like complete and utter garbage. And wait, is that the Night Slasher from BMT Hall of Fame inductee Cobra! I think it is. As if I wasn’t amped already.)

Directors – John R. Leonetti – (Future BMT: Annabelle; Wish Upon; Wolves at the Door; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Prominent cinematographer who has intermittently delved into feature directing. He is probably best known for his collaboration with James Wan on the Conjuring universe of films.)

Writers – Ed Boon (video games) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: One of the creators and the game designer of the video game franchise. Also the voice of Scorpion.)

Lawrence Kasanoff (story) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: WTF. This is the Foodfight! guy. We have now completing his screenwriting filmography. But he thought making a new Pixar was easy, failed miserably, and made an extremely unpleasant animated film. Read the Alpha and Omega recap for more information.)

Joshua Wexler (story) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Was 26 years old when we produced and got a story credit on this film! Also got a writing credit on Foodfight! Currently serves as the Chief Executive of Fun (CEF?) for Pure Imagination Studios (not joking))

John Tobias (story) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: One of the two creators of the video game. Not sure why he got a “story” credit on this one and the other creator, Ed Boon, didn’t. He is credited with most of the character development for the first set of games.)

Brent V. Friedman (screenplay) – (Known For: Ticks; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Another writer on Foodfight! He and Bryce Zabel created a show Dark Skies following the success of X-Files and he’s been mostly in TV since then.)

Bryce Zabel (screenplay) – (Known For: Atlantis: The Lost Empire; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Was once a correspondent for CNN before moving to mostly television writing. He was the Chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.)

Actors – Robin Shou – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: DOA: Dead or Alive; Beverly Hills Ninja; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Has a degree in Civil Engineering and actually worked for a couple years in the field before quitting and finding his way first into stunt work and then into acting.)

Talisa Soto – (Known For: Licence to Kill; Don Juan DeMarco; The Pope of Greenwich Village; The Mambo Kings; La Mission; Spike of Bensonhurst; Piñero; Future BMT: Spy Hard; The Sunchaser; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Mortal Kombat;  Notes: Married to one of our BMT faves Benjamin Bratt of Catwoman fame.)

James Remar – (Known For: Django Unchained; The Warriors; The Girl Next Door; X: First Class; Ratatouille; What Lies Beneath; RED; Pineapple Express; February; 48 Hrs.; The Phantom; Cruising; The Long Riders; Drugstore Cowboy; The Cotton Club; White Fang; Boys on the Side; Miracle on 34th Street; The Dream Team; Fear X; Future BMT: Psycho; The Unborn; USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage; The Quest; Blade: Trinity; Duplex; Persecuted; Fatal Instinct; Rent-a-Cop; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Renaissance Man; Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; Horns; Band of the Hand; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Judge Dredd; 2 Fast 2 Furious; The Clan of the Cave Bear; Wild Bill; Notes: I know him from The Warriors and as Dexter’s dad on the television series Dexter and am shocked at how many BMT films we’ve seen him in. Interesting story is that he was originally cast as Hicks in Aliens but had to be replaced, but you can still see him in some scenes that were too expensive to reshoot.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $35,927,406 (Worldwide: $51,376,861)

(And yeah, that is super duper terrible considering the performance of the original. A complete and utter rejection of this franchise just as it began.)

#33 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(Just a little below Universal Soldier there. A wonder Showtime didn’t pick it up for series after this (heyyoooooo). On the downswing of martial arts … literally right before Rush Hour and The Matrix blow it up again.)

#21 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(Just a little below Hitman which is somewhat surprising honestly. I would have imagined that at least some of the other halfway decent video game films would have done better than this. Then again … I did see this film in theaters, so literal morons did spent money on it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (1/40): With its shallow characters, low budget special effects, and mindless fight scenes, Mortal Kombat – Annihilation offers minimal plot development and manages to underachieve the low bar set by its predecessor.

(So close to being one of the worst every 0% films. It would have been top ten for sure. Reviewer Highlight: Never — at least not since the first Mortal Kombat — has tedium been so loud, so full of backward flips and flying fists to the kissers of centaurs from another realm. – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Poster – Sklog Fight: Liquidation (C)

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(It is the exact same poster… weird. Still bad font, but short and sweet and with a little more pizzazz color-wise. It’s just slightly better than OK this time.)

Tagline(s) – Destroy all expectations. (Lol.)

(Holy shit. Is this a joke? This is a joke, right? I mean, yes. It certainly destroyed any and all expectations people had. Particularly any expectation of another sequel.)

Keyword(s) – warrior; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.0 Meet the Spartans (2008); 94.8 Catwoman (2004); 94.7 Battlefield Earth (2000); 94.0 Dragonball: Evolution (2009); 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.7 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 89.1 The Last Airbender (2010); 87.9 Street Fighter (1994); 87.6 BloodRayne (2005); 86.9 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997);

(Come out and play. To think. Ten of the top 30 or so worst films by BMeTric have the keyword “warrior”. Useless.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robin Shou is No. 1 billed in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and No. 6 billed in Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 1 + 6 + 2 + 2 = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – A third Mortal Kombat film was going to be developed, called “Mortal Kombat: Devastation”. Christopher Lambert, Linden Ashby, Adoni Maropis, Robin Shou, Chris Casamassa, Keith Cooke, and Lynn ‘Red’ Williams were hired to be in the cast as Lord Rayden, Johnny Cage, Quan Chi, Liu Kang, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Jax, respectively. Talisa Soto and Sandra Hess were in talks to reprise their respective roles of Princess Kitana and Lt. Sonya Blade. However, plans for a third film fell through and the film rights went to Warner Bros., which is planning a Mortal Kombat reboot. (Wait … Lambert was going to come back? I don’t believe it)

Ray Park’s first film role was as Rayden’s fight double in this movie. (Darth Maul baby)

Michael Jai White was scheduled to play as Jax, but eventually he got the lead part in Spawn (1997) instead. He would eventually portray Jax in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth (2010) and Mortal Kombat (2011). (Amazing to think that you could say “taking that role in Spawn was a very good move”)

For years, a third Mortal Kombat movie was being developed by New Line Cinema to atone for the poor reception to “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.” mink was hired to direct, and then Russell Mulcahy was hired to replace him. Sean Catherine Derek and Lawrence Kasanoff took turns writing the script, which would have had Johnny Cage resurrected to help the heroes against Quan Chi and a resurrected Shang Tsung. However, according to cast member Chris Casamassa, who would have reprised his role as Scorpion, production was halted when Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of the sets and the film ultimately never happened. (WHAT)

In the film, Jax fitted his arms with “muscle enhancers”; essentially a sort of exoskeleton that quadrupled his muscle capacity. However in the storyline for Mortal Kombat 3 (1995) (One of the shared premises for this film) Jax had his actual arms removed and fitted himself with the bionic arms.

Robin Shou (Liu Kang) and Talisa Soto (Kitana) are the only actors from the first film to reprise their roles. The other main characters are portrayed by different actors. The only other actor to return was Keith Cooke, but as a different character. In the first film, he was Reptile. Here, he portrays Sub-Zero.

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras was offered to reprise the role of Sonya Blade, but then turned it down for the role of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s sister in I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997). (Oh yeah … slashers are always a good choice a think, if only for the miniscule chance of becoming a scream queen.)

Both Deron McBee (Motaro) and Lynn ‘Red’ Williams (Jax) are former American Gladiators (1989), and they have a fight scene in this film together. (People must have been going bananas at the time)

Chris Casamassa was to reprise his role as Scorpion, but he was committed to do stunt work in Batman & Robin (1997). (Somehow a movie with a higher BMeTric, what are the odds?)

Featured in Rob Hill’s The Bad Movie Bible. (Hmmm might need to check out, read, and hate this book at some point in the future.)

Mortal Kombat Preview

If you are looking for the Adventures of The Bad Movie Twins they continue on the Mortal Kombat: Annihilation preview. That’s right! This week we’re watching Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation to finish the Franchise-zzzzz cycle. These are films we saw in our childhood (obviously), but never got the full BMT treatment. They also serve as the transition to our second cycle of the year: The (Not Quite) Worst Films Ever. These are films that were at one time posted on the wikipedia page for the List of Films Considered the Worst. All such films are listed in the “Talk” section for the page. For people who don’t know the “Talk” section of wikipedia pages are where you can get a glimpse into the minds of crazy people. Let’s go!

Mortal Kombat (1995) – BMeTric: 40.0

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(It’ll be above 6.0 on IMDb soon. The BMeTric is shocking high I think. I was honestly under the impression that Mortal Kombat was the first non-qualifying video game film ever. For some reason I thought it had managed near 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. Nope. Legitimately every single video game film ever qualified until Tomb Raider of last year! WTF. Watch out for May, because I have a feeling Detective Pikachu might be our first fresh video game film ever made.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Shou, Ashby, and Wilson are among those kompeting in a martial arts tournament with nothing less than the fate of Earth in the balance. Elaborate special effects and impressive set design are helpless against a weak story, uneven akting, and komikally thin karakters. Mostly one fight after another, as you might expect from a movie based on a video game. Followed by a sequel.

(Boo, Leonard got to it first, how am I supposed to add superfluous k’s to things once the joke has been done? For a 1.5 star review it is actually pretty mild. At least, you can kind of see how it ended up getting kind of reasonable reviews: set design.)

Trailer –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHIfHL5UgFs/

(That set design though. For real though, Christopher Lambert, what you allowing them to do to your hair? And the CGI for real looks absolutely awful. The series of action shots with their names being whispered beneath them. MORTAL KOMBAT!!!! I’m in!)

Directors – Paul W.S. Anderson – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: Resident Evil: Retribution; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Resident Evil: Afterlife; Resident Evil; Event Horizon; BMT: Pompeii; AVP: Alien vs. Predator; The Three Musketeers; Mortal Kombat; Soldier; Notes: A BMT fave married to a likely future BMT fave Milla Jovovich… we just haven’t seen enough of her films I don’t think, but she has a lot.)

Writers – Ed Boon (video games) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Is technically credited for having the record for the longest working video game voice role since he has voiced Scorpion in all the games and this film.)

John Tobias (video games) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: The character Noob Saibot is an anagram of his and Ed Boon’s names.)

Kevin Droney (written by) – (BMT: Wing Commander; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Wrote on The Highlander TV series. He also wrote a book called Le Missionnaire in the 80’s but it was only released in France… so I guess we have to learn French now.)

Actors – Christopher Lambert – (Known For: Highlander; Hail, Caesar!; Bel Canto; Kickboxer: Retaliation; Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes; Fortress; Subway; White Material; To Kill a Priest; Future BMT: Highlander: Endgame; Beowulf; Fortress 2; Southland Tales; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; The Sicilian; Loaded Weapon 1; Gunmen; Knight Moves; Resurrection; The Hunted; Electric Slide; BMT: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Highlander II: The Quickening; Highlander III: The Sorcerer; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Who would have thought we’d watch two Lambert films so close together. Married to Diane Lane for several years.)

Robin Shou – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: DOA: Dead or Alive; Beverly Hills Ninja; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Apparently trained Milla Jovovich for her role in the Resident Evil franchise.)

Linden Ashby – (Known For: Iron Man Three; Wyatt Earp; The Joneses; Mr. & Mrs. Bridge; Future BMT: Prom Night; Resident Evil: Extinction; 8 Seconds; BMT: Mortal Kombat; Notes: Replaced Brandon Lee in Mortal Kombat after his sudden death in 1993.)

Budget/Gross – $18 million / Domestic: $70,454,098 (Worldwide: $122,195,920)

(Obviously a huge success. Literally just turn around and green light the sequel, definitely can’t be a total joke catastrophe after this success right?)

#11 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(Rush Hour 1, 2, and 3 are three of the top 4 on the list. But this is surprisingly good for a BMT film, only being beaten by The Last Airbender. Came as the genre was waning a bit in the 90s, right before Jackie Chan and The Matrix breathed new life into it.)

#6 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(This is our 15th BMT film I think. This was a true early days of the genre, prior to it struggling to land any kind of hit in the 2000s. Really has kicked up a notch since 2015 in both large theatrical releases and gross. Possibly bodes well for the future.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (12/32): Despite an effective otherwordly atmosphere and appropriately cheesy visuals, Mortal Kombat suffers from its poorly constructed plot, laughable dialogue, and subpar acting.

(Appropriately cheesy? These is no such thing. The reviews are quite interesting. Most of the big print critics gave it tepidly good reviews. Reviewer Highlight: The most intriguing is a glassy-eyed follower whose right hand shoots out a hissing reptile that can extend itself for miles. Exotic creatures like these make watching Mortal Kombat feel like being in a high-tech fun house. – Stephen Holden, New York Times)

Poster – Sklog Fight (C)

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(This is basically as mediocre a poster as you can get. It’s short and sweet but clearly riding on the known property that is the symbol. A little weird they chose to move away from the video game font/color scheme and make both much more boring.)

Tagline(s) – Nothing In This World Has Prepared You For This (C-)

(So I guess this is a play on the fact that it take place literally out of this world? I’m not in love with it. Long. Repeats the word this, which make it hard to think about. And only vaguely informative. Everything about the poster and tagline says “don’t ruin this for the video game fans out there… just do as little as possible.”)

Keyword(s) – based on video game; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.8 House of the Dead (2003); 87.9 Street Fighter (1994); 87.6 BloodRayne (2005); 86.9 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 86.1 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.7 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 79.6 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 73.4 Far Cry (2008); 69.9 Wing Commander (1999);

(Getting there. Far Cry and BloodRayne don’t technically qualify, but I bet we could get one of them in via Bring a Friend fairly soon. Super Mario Bros. might very literally be one of the biggest bad movies we still haven’t watched for BMT. I’ve seen it in real life dozens of times, just not for BMT.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robin Shou is No. 2 billed in Mortal Kombat and No. 6 billed in Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is also in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 2 + 6 + 2 + 2 = 12. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Ed Boon, co-creator of the original video game Mortal Kombat (1992), starred as the voice of Scorpion.

Brandon Lee was said to have been originally cast as Johnny Cage, but died before production began. (Sad stuff)

Jean-Claude Van Damme turned down the role of Johnny Cage to do Street Fighter (1994). The character in the games was originally based on him. (I mean, fine choice. There probably should have been a terrible Street Fighter sequel as well)

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras performed all her own stunts (refusing to use a double), including the fight scenes. She dislocated her shoulder during one scene, but they were able to fix it on set, without any recurrence. (I love Wilson-Sampras fun facts)

The film’s soundtrack went platinum in less than two weeks.

At around 6 minutes, Steven Spielberg, an avid fan of the Mortal Kombat series, was set to make a cameo appearance as the director in Johnny Cage’s first scene. However scheduling conflicts forced him to back out. Nonetheless, the “director” character in this scene does resemble Spielberg, which is most likely a reference to this. (Ha!)

Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was the filmmakers’ first and only choice for the role of Shang Tsung. He came to the audition in a costume, and read his lines while standing on a chair. Shang Tsung was depicted as relatively younger in the film in order to avoid the excessive makeup that would have been required to duplicate his aged appearance in the game.

Chris Casamassa was hired to work as a stunt ninja. At the audition the producers were so impressed that he got the part of Scorpion. (I mean … you have a character whose face is covered 100% of the time. Don’t you usually hire stunt men for that? It feels like a Darth Maul or Snake-Eyes situation)

At around 1 hour 12 minutes, when Reptile in his chameleon creature form takes over the body of an Outworld statue and rises as a green ninja, you can hear, very quietly, a voice say “Reptile”. This is the voice of Shao Kahn, and was sampled directly from Mortal Kombat II (1993).

Christopher Lambert also voiced Rayden in the French dubbed version of the film.

Originally the character of Kano was Japanese-American. However, Ed Boon and John Tobias were so impressed with how Trevor Goddard portrayed him that they retconned Kano’s history in future games to make him Australian, which they thought was Goddard’s nationality. They later learned that, although Goddard gave Kano an Australian accent, Goddard himself was actually born in England but had claimed to be of Australian descent. (What the hell is this fact?)

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras had read and auditioned for the part of Sonya Blade several times, but due to the long casting process, she chose to do Billy Madison (1995) instead. Christina Applegate was also considered for the role but Cameron Diaz was cast after the producers saw dailies of her from The Mask (1994). However, Diaz broke her wrist during training, just before filming. Fortunately, filming on Billy Madison had just wrapped, making Wilson available again. She happily took the role, even if it meant that she had to be flown to the set the next day, and had to train for the big fight scenes in between shooting the rest of the movie.

The locations in Thailand were so remote they were only accessible by boat. Cast, crew and equipment had to be transported by long canoes. An outhouse was built in a secluded area near the set so that the crew didn’t have to make constant trips to and from the mainland. (That’s how you get those vistas baby!)

Robin Shou originally turned down the opportunity to audition for the movie, assuming that he’d be cast as a stereotypical Asian villain. He reconsidered at the advice of his agent. (And the rest is history I guess? Not that Shou became some mega star after I suppose)

The coined phrase “Flawless Victory” (a match where the victor sustains no attacks from their opponent) was used regarding four matches in the film. However only two of the matches meet the criteria: Sub-Zero’s first match against a henchmen and Johnny Cage’s match against Goro. (Nerd! You are such a nerd!)

Robin Shou said that in the original script he “was supposed to fall in love with Talisa Soto [Kitana]. I was looking forward to it, but they thought we have so much action, we don’t want to add romance to it. They cut it out.” (Smart move. Probably part of the reason it got reasonable reviews)

Steve James was to have played Jax but died a year before production on the film began. Gregory McKinney, who replaced James, died in 1998. Both actors died at the age of 41. (That’s nuts. Steve James died of pancreatic cancer, but I can’t find anything about McKinney surprisingly)

According to the film, the Outworld fighters have won nine straight victories of Mortal Kombat and only need one more in order to take over Earth. Given that the tenth tournament takes place in 1995, this means that the Earth-realm had been participating since 1725 (considering the battle taking place once a generation means every 30 years). (That’s a bad losing streak. I don’t necessarily hate Outworld, I just find it boring that they win all of the time you know?)

Gary Daniels, Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp were considered for the role of Johnny Cage. (Gary Daniels? Who told you that? Gary Daniels in a fake moustache?)

Michael Jai White was slated to play the role of Jax. Ultimately, he left in order to do Tyson (1995). He would eventually end up portraying Jax in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth (2010) and Mortal Kombat (2011). (Neither of those are real films though, you know?)

A music video was created for the KMFDM single “Juke Joint Jezebel” and featured clips of fight scenes from the movie, but it was pulled by MTV due to complaints about its violent content. (Oh you mean this thing?)

Quickly after the movie’s box office success, director Paul W.S. Anderson was asked by New Line Cinema to helm a sequel, but he had set his mind to doing something completely different, and accepted the offer to do Event Horizon (1997) instead.

Director Paul W.S. Anderson nicknamed Bridgette Wilson-Sampras “RoboBabe”. (That’s weird and offensive … I choose not to believe it for now)

Included in the movie novelization was a detailed opening scene of an unsuccessful joint mission of arresting Black Dragon members by the Special Forces and an international task force, which culminates in Kano killing the task force’s lieutenant who is designated therein as Sonya’s murdered partner. (I have a policy that the instant a novelization is mentioned I’m out)

Universal Soldier: The Return Preview

Dear Diary, Jamie writes, I know I haven’t written to you in awhile but I met someone. I know, very exciting. Less exciting? I met someone else. Classic Jamie, right? Anyway, I need some advice. On the one hand you have beautiful… actually now that I think of it I don’t know their names. Classic Jamie you know and love. So Demon #1 is beautiful and a lawyer, but also a demon. Demon #2 is beautiful but also a liar and still a demon. The choice is tearing me apart, like hooks into my flesh. What do I do?! Gah! Classic Jamie. But having talked it out with you I think I have my decision. I will just have to marry both of them and live forever in this puzzle box. It’s the only logical choice. Thanks Diary. With that Jamie looks up and find himself back in the alleyway where they cornered the Predator. “Wha… what?” He asks stunned. Patrick comes over and places a hand on his shoulder, “A gust of wind blew by and closed the puzzle box while you were writing for the last twelve hours.” Jamie nods, but can’t help but wonder if he could have found happiness in that demon world. Probably not… because they were demons. Suddenly light floods the alley and they are surrounded by police. “Freeze, Predator dirtbag! Wait… where is it?” Asks the Commander. Jamie and Patrick look at each other and toss the puzzle box into a nearby sewer. “That Predator won’t be bother anyone else, Commander. We made sure of that.” The Commander is impressed. First a multimillion dollar t-shirt business and now this. He approaches Jamie and Patrick, “ I have a new assignment for you. Ever heard of the Super Duper Commando Program?” That’s right! We’re crushing the Universal Soldier franchise by watching the only two qualifying films in the franchise. Weirdly this is actually the first and the fourth films made. That’s because after the first film they made a couple Universal Soldier TV movies before deciding those never happened and starting over again with a new sequel Universal Soldier: The Return. It’s just weird enough that I made sure to get the TV movies from my local public library so I could torture myself with them. This is the Chain Reaction part of the cycle as Xander Berkeley was in both Proud Mary and Universal Soldier: The Return. Perfect. Let’s go!

Universal Soldier: The Return (1999) – BMeTric: 76.8

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(Oh shit, it was at 3.0 for a hot second there. It has “recovered”, although mostly because you can’t really stay below 4.0 without being a truly legendary film while accruing votes. This should be a truly dire experience. I’m excited.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  The muscles from Brussels is back and must stop an out-of-control super-cyborg from world domination. Derivative but not boring rehash of the original. Features two tough heroines, Schanz and ESPN fitness guru Tom, but it you’re threatened by the enlightened sexual politics, there’s also a gratuitous brawl at a nudie bar. In his acting debut, WCW superstar Bill Goldberg proves he has all the dramatic range of Foghorn Leghorn.

(WCW star. Check. An ESPN fitness guru. Check. Brawl at a nudie bar. Check. Uh, this might be the greatest thing I’ve ever read. My body is ready, but will my mind melt when I watch this? There is only one way to find out.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2SxMcP-UFo

(That looks way dumber than the original! It looks so bad. Just explosions, and guns, and stunts, and Michael Jai White … woof!)

Directors – Mic Rodgers – (BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Notes: A stuntman, and, I can’t believe I’m saying this, most notable for being Mel Gibson’s personal stunt double for over ten years.)

Writers – Richard Rothstein (characters) – (Known For: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Universal Soldier; Notes: Died this year. He made the television series Deadly Nightmares.)

Christopher Leitch (characters) – (Known For: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Universal Soldier; Notes: Worked with Rothstein briefly on Deadly Nightmares, which is possibly why he got the job at the time.)

Dean Devlin (characters) – (Known For: Independence Day; Stargate; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; Future BMT: Godzilla; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Independence Day: Resurgence; Geostorm; Universal Soldier; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1999 for Godzilla; and in 2017 for Independence Day: Resurgence; and Nominee for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Independence Day in 1997; Notes: Advised the games company ZeniMax in the early 2000s, they own Bethesda.)

William Malone (written by) – (Future BMT: Supernova; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Notes: He was the designer of the Michael Myers mask in Halloween!)

John Fasano (written by) – (Future BMT: Darkness Falls; Megiddo: The Omega Code 2; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Another 48 Hrs.; Notes: Died in 2014. He began his career creating industrial films for IBM.)

Actors – Jean-Claude Van Damme – (Known For: The Expendables 2; Kung Fu Panda 3; Kung Fu Panda 2; Kickboxer: Retaliation; Hard Target; Kickboxer; Kickboxer: Vengeance; Sudden Death; Timecop; Breakin’; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; JCVD; Enemies Closer; Future BMT: Street Fighter; Derailed; Cyborg; Knock Off; Welcome to the Jungle; The Order; Double Impact; Legionnaire; Maximum Risk; Replicant; Inferno; Missing in Action; The Quest; Nowhere to Run; Pound of Flesh; Black Water; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; Last Action Hero; Bloodsport; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Double Team; Universal Soldier; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Double Team in 1998; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Bloodsport in 1989; Notes: Y’all know Jean-Claude. He was a karate champion in Belgium, including appearances on the Belgian team which won the 1979 European Karate Championship. After a successful fill-contact career he became an actor.)

Bill Goldberg – (Known For: American Satan; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; Future BMT: Ready to Rumble; The Longest Yard; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Notes: Was a pro football player for a bit (he played for the Falcons, Rams, and Panthers). Had a horrible sounding abdominal injury which ended his career. He then became a WCW star, and even the Heavyweight champion!)

Heidi Schanz – (Known For: Se7en; The Truman Show; Future BMT: Virtuosity; Kiss the Girls; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Notes: Was at one point a model, and has been in a smattering of television programs as well. Appears to have retired from acting in 2003.)

Budget/Gross – $40-45 million / Domestic: $10,667,893

(Oh that is terrible, although I’m somewhat skeptical that it actually cost that much. Considering the crew they had going and the cast besides (an older) Van Damme … where would the money even go!)

#87 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(Oooof worse than Double Team! This kind of came at a nadir of the genre. Possibly, this was a last gasp for testing Van Damme (and any martial arts) films in theaters.)

#43 for the Cyborg / Android / Robot genre

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(Juuuust narrowly beats out Deadly Friend, which is atrocious. Basically the only super successful robot films recently were transformer films.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 5% (3/58): Universal Soldier – The Return fails on almost every level, from its generic story to its second rate action and subpar performances.

(Oh, that sounds delighful. And sub-10% is incredibly bad. Getting more excited. Reviewer Highlight: It’s actually the fourth entry in the series, after a couple of straight-to-cable sequels. That’s a lot of pulp to squeeze out of a concept that was fairly juiceless to begin with. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Robo Soldier v2.0 (A-)

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(Gotta be honest with you… this is working more me. The balance, the sepia tone, the kooky font. Yes, yes, yes. Just a tad bit less going on… like what’s with the circle?)

Tagline(s) – Prepare to become obsolete (B)

(Am I a soldier in the scenario this tagline is commenting on? Why am I preparing? Shouldn’t Van Damme be preparing? Anyway, it’s short and comments vaguely on the premise, but not really all that clever other than a weak double entendre with obsolete.)

Keyword(s) – time bomb; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.7 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 87.9 Street Fighter (1994); 85.7 Spice World (1997); 84.4 Movie 43 (2013); 84.0 RoboCop 3 (1993); 77.9 Torque (2004); 76.8 Universal Soldier: The Return (1999); 68.9 On Deadly Ground (1994); 68.4 Double Team (1997);

(Oh shit, we need to watch Street Fighter stat! Kind of a great list to be honest, a decent range, but also a few terrible films.)

Notes – The role of Romeo was originally intended for WWE wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. However, without notifying Steve, his agent turned down the offer of $55,000 to star in the film. The role was subsequently offered to WCW star Bill Goldberg, who accepted the role, for a fee of $250,000. When Austin found out about this, he expressed his anger to Vince McMahon for not letting him know about the movie offer. (Austin would have been better. I haven’t even seen the film and I know this)

Subsequent Universal Soldier films ignore the events of The Return, and outright contradict it in several ways. While still an official entry, it is no longer considered part of the franchise canon. (Reeeeeeally … I don’t believe you)

Michael Jai White (S.E.T.H.) also appeared in the original Universal Soldier (1992) as a soldier.

(At around one hour and eleven minutes) During the final fight sequence between Seth and Luc, when Seth finally breaks the termination code, the first part of the code is NCC1701, the same as the numbers that are on the outside of the Enterprise, of Star Trek fame. (Oooooooo I like that)

Was released theatrically despite the previous sequels having been made-for-television.

The last feature to be theatrically released starring Jean-Claude Van Damme until JCVD (2008). (Wow. It was kind of strange how abruptly Seagal and Van Damme retired into straight-to-DVD stardom)

(At around one hour and six minutes) When Bill Goldberg’s character Romeo tears his shirt off, and starts to fight with the security guards, he uses one of his signature wrestling moves, the spear. (natch)

Certain subterranean scenes were filmed in Texas, in the tunnels dug for the U.S.’s Superconducting Supercollider project. After the project was canceled in 1993, the tunnels were used as storage by Ellis County. (That’s sad)

William Malone was originally going to direct the film, but left just before the start of shooting due to creative differences with the producers, and was replaced by Mic Rodgers. (Hmmm Malone had at least a little more experience as a director, so probably unfortunate that happened)

Universal Soldier Preview

This film will we watched as a BONUS to go along with Universal Soldier: The Return. Go to that preview to read the ongoing adventures of The Bad Movie Twins.

Universal Soldier (1992) – BMeTric: 32.9

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(Nearly reached 50 for a second there. Just following along the normal vote-rating trajector up to 6.0. It is a bit surprising it didn’t stall out, but then again, these types of films feel very ironic and ageless it seems. So I would guess the further away from the time in which it was unironically made, the easier it is for people to give it a good review.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Van Damme and Lundgren – well, it’s not exactly Tracy and March in Inherit the Wind. Hunks are well cast as rival cyborgs (in a runaway government experiment, natch) whose human components hated each other during Vietnam. Has the requisite number of explosions. The director slyly keeps the grocery store Muzak going during Lundgren’s one big emoting scene – right after he eats raw meat from a bin. Followed by three “official” sequels and two DVD spinoffs.

(First, Leonard Maltin said “natch” in a review, which is excellent. Second, the Inherit the Wind name drop is sublime. If this review weren’t so long winded I would say it was one of my favorites of his.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7TFssY9ZF0

(That actually seems pretty rad I have to be honest. Just some hunky dudes shooting guns and slaying ladies. 1992 was a simpler time.)

Directors – Roland Emmerich – (Known For: The Day After Tomorrow; Independence Day; Stargate; The Patriot; White House Down; Anonymous; Future BMT: Godzilla; Stonewall; BMT: 10,000 BC; Independence Day: Resurgence; 2012; Universal Soldier; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Independence Day: Resurgence in 2017; Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Godzilla in 1999; and Nominee for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Independence Day in 1997; Notes: German. Notably a campaigner for gay rights, global warming, and human rights. He is openly gay.)

Writers – Richard Rothstein (story) – (Known For: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Universal Soldier; Notes: Died in 2018. He retired right after Universal Soldier came out it appears, only receiving things like story or character credits from that point onwards.)

Christopher Leitch (story) – (Known For: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Universal Soldier; Notes: Directed a number of television episodes in the late 2000s, but appears to have retired in 2010.)

Dean Devlin (screenplay) – (Known For: Independence Day; Stargate; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; Future BMT: Godzilla; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Independence Day: Resurgence; Geostorm; Universal Soldier; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1999 for Godzilla; and in 2017 for Independence Day: Resurgence; and Nominee for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Independence Day in 1997; Notes: A very interesting career as an actor turned writer turned producer turned director! He directed Geostorm in addition to writing it.)

Actors – Jean-Claude Van Damme – (Known For: The Expendables 2; Kung Fu Panda 3; Kung Fu Panda 2; Kickboxer: Retaliation; Hard Target; Kickboxer; Kickboxer: Vengeance; Sudden Death; Timecop; Breakin’; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; JCVD; Enemies Closer; Future BMT: Street Fighter; Derailed; Cyborg; Knock Off; Welcome to the Jungle; The Order; Double Impact; Legionnaire; Maximum Risk; Replicant; Inferno; Missing in Action; The Quest; Nowhere to Run; Pound of Flesh; Black Water; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; Last Action Hero; Bloodsport; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Double Team; Universal Soldier; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Double Team in 1998; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Bloodsport in 1989; Notes: Y’all know Jean-Claude. The crazy person he portrayed in Bloodsport accused him of not actually being good at martial arts. This, however, is unlikely considering Van Damme had a martial arts career.)

Dolph Lundgren – (Known For: Aquaman; Creed II; The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Hail, Caesar!; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; Don’t Kill It; Future BMT: Masters of the Universe; Red Scorpion; The Punisher; Black Water; Skin Trade; The Peacekeeper; Showdown in Little Tokyo; A View to a Kill; Dark Angel; Small Apartments; Rocky IV; BMT: Johnny Mnemonic; Universal Soldier; The Expendables 3; Notes: Notable partially for being a karate champion, and having a Masters in Chemical Engineering. He earned a Fulbright scholarship to attend MIT, but decided to become an actor instead.)

Ally Walker – (Known For: While You Were Sleeping; Singles; Happy, Texas; Wonderful World; Future BMT: Kazaam; Bed of Roses; Steal Big Steal Little; BMT: Universal Soldier; Notes: Started out on the soap Santa Barbara. Has had a long successful career in television including Taxi Brooklyn!)

Budget/Gross – $23 million / Domestic: $36,299,898

(Decent I think. At least, not a financial catastrophe. I’m not surprised the next one went straight-to-DVD though. I imagine that was a decision made based on quality, not finances.)

#32 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(This genre really did just tumble down recently. Likely it is getting sucked into VOD and not getting actual releases. This came out right as the genre started to see significantly less gross per theater which is likely the reason the sequels went to DVD. Sadly the highest earning BMT film is The Last Airbender.)

#35 for the Cyborg / Android / Robot genre

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(Robocops and Transformers everywhere! Oh, and Deadly Friend. This came out at a kind of peak of robot films, and since then it has mainly been touch and go. I would guess every year there is some enormous Terminator, or Transformers film, but not very many smaller releases to fill the gaps.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (7/28): No consensus yet.

(I’ll make a consensus: wholly derivative, the audience is just as likely to laugh at as cheer at the repetitive action sequences. Reviewer Highlight: Though the idea is dumb enough to be fun, director Roland Emmerich does the Terminator thing without much style, and the two stars bash into each other but never connect. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)

Poster – Oh no! Robots! (C+)

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(I like the idea but it needs a bit more brightness. Font is terrible and what’s with the circle? Just OK.)

Tagline(s) – The future has a bad attitude. (D+)

Almost human…Almost perfect…Almost under control. (A+)

(It’s like the guy who made the tagline never even watched the film! It’s set in present day! But I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant the “future of weaponry.” Still bad. The second one is just god damned beautiful. It’s perfection. This is what I want out of a tagline.)

Keyword(s) – soldier; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.3 Epic Movie (2007); 96.0 Meet the Spartans (2008); 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.1 The Last Airbender (2010); 87.9 Street Fighter (1994); 87.6 BloodRayne (2005); 86.2 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987); 86.1 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 85.8 Fantastic Four (2015); 82.7 The Legend of Hercules (2014);

(Very nice. We should clean up this very soon. You would think this is just a who’s who of the worst films ever … but I actually genuinely think of soldiers in all of these films. The word is just kind of overly broad.)

Notes – (at around 18 mins) The young couple that Luc reacts to at the Hoover Dam incident are actually the same young couple in the beginning in Vietnam. (I saw that in the trailer, fun)

The production script presented a much darker depiction of the U.S. Military than what eventually ends up on the screen. In the screenplay the Colonel in charge of the Unisol project orders Dolph Lundgren’s character to ruthlessly kill off all the civilian witnesses to his pursuit of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s character. The Colonel also informs the head scientist that the terrorists at the dam were not terrorists at all, but mercenaries hired by the army to provide fake justification for the Universal Soldier program. In the finished film, these scenes are omitted so the witnesses are left unharmed and the gunmen killed by the Unisols at the dam were genuine terrorists. The Colonel and his men are actually heroic figures with a real and valid mission who just want their multi-million dollar Unisol back. Whereas military villains were de rigeur in the post Vietnam 1970s and well into the 80s, by the time of filming the reputation of the U.S. Military was at an all time high following the first Gulf War so it was considered unlikely that the audience would accept them being shown in such a poor light. (Huh cool I guess)

Though they’re all supposed to be American, the Universal Soldiers are played by a Belgian (Jean-Claude Van Damme), a Swede (Dolph Lundgren), and a German (Ralf Moeller). (Their accents are a bit off …)

The last film to be recorded in CDS, an early digital sound format. In the following year of the film’s release, sound technicians had developed DTS. This sound format was apparently of higher audio quality than CDS and has been used in most movie theaters ever since.

The Grand Canyon bus chase was re-edited years later as library footage into Fred Olen Ray’s Critical Mass (2001) produced by Andrew Stevens’ Phoenician Entertainment (a company that specialized in shooting low budget action films around stock footage). (Fun fact)

The small patch worn on the left breast of many of the UniSols is a U.S. Army Air Assault Badge, signifying that the wearer is a graduate of the Air Assault School. (Some guy on the internet knows his patches)

The first screenplay was initially called “Crystal Knights”.

Ralf Moeller and Dolph Lundgren co-starred together in Universal Soldier (1992). Years later, both actors auditioned for the role of Hagen in Gladiator (2000), with Lundgren losing it due to Ridley Scott being unimpressed by his acting and Moeller winning the role. (Damn you Ridley Scott!)

The film takes place in 1969 and 1994. (Good to know)

[NOTE: There is an inordinate number of notes having to do with weapons and weapon accoutrements … I’ve left one in so you can see what I mean]

The highly specialized load bearing equipment worn by the UniSols was custom made by Eagle Industries for the film, including the thigh holster for the Desert Eagle .357 magnum (which also held 2 extra magazines and a Cold Steel Magnum Tanto), the shoulder holster harness for the H&K; MP5K sub-machine guns and the H&K; P9S pistol, extra magazines and grenades. On the opposite thigh, the UniSols are carrying collapsible PR-24 batons.

Exit Wounds Preview

“Where are we going?” Jamie says as he drags the corpse of Frang through the forest with hologram wolves nipping at his heels. Captain Chip strides boldly where he has presumably gone before with The Predator snacking on some Doritos Locos Tacos from Taco Bell behind him. Suddenly a massive spaceship comes into view. “Here it is. Now tell me where to point this thing,” Captain Chip says, one arm slung over the shoulder of his new bro, The Predator. “We’re trying to find a Little Old Librarian before she can use a weapon called the Ivory Socket.” Captain Chip’s mouth falls open, “did you say Little Old Librarian? Finally revenge shall be mine,” he exclaims with a gleam in his eye. We all pile into the spaceship and off zoom into the stratosphere. Focused for mere moments, Captain Chip and The Predator are soon competing to see who can zoom the fastest across the nighttime sky. While they are preoccupied Jamie wonders to himself how the world has turned so upside down. Could the impact of the Obsidian Dongle’s destruction have caused more problems than first imagined? Also, why are these hologram wolves so sexy? Suddenly there are flashing lights behind the spaceship and a police rocket pulls them to the side. When the Space Cops approach the window and ask why they were going so fast Jamie spills the beans about their urgent mission to defeat the Little Old Librarian. “Did you say Little Old Librarian?” Says one of the Space Cops to the other, “That sounds like our girl, Jacobs.” Jacobs leans closer, “you may know her as the Little Old Librarian, but we know her as Officer Libby… the dirtiest Space Cop in the universe.” That’s right! We’re watching Exit Wounds starring Steven Seagal and DMX. I honestly have no idea what it’s about. All I know is that it stars a soon-to-be past his prime Steven Seagal and DMX and Tom Arnold and seems to have been created in a BMT lab. This is the Games portion of the cycle as this film is on the Calendar for March 16th. Oh, glorious day. Let’s go!

Patrick, Sticks, and Stones ride out into the desert. “It is weird that we don’t really see anyone else around, right? People have to live here, like … actors?” Patrick still didn’t really understand how the Z-movie multiverse worked. Stones’ eyes well up with tears. “Gosh dern it, they do. But they all end up like us. They can’t help but end up like us.” Sticks growls a woeful assent. “You mean, cops?” Patrick says dumbly, like a real dummy he has no idea. What a fool! Just then glowing alien ships begin to descend. “There they are, aliens for sure” says the truck driver. Large spotlights roam the sky, clearly projected from a nearby airbase, a group of people dance a mesmerizing dance a few hundred yards away. As the truck driver whoops and howls, stripping his clothes off to frolic in the desert, Patrick begins to follow. “Naw, it ain’t worth it son.” Stones says, “We just need to get to LA. No time for fake alien gobbledygook. Gosh dern it, it is enough to drive a man insane I tells ya.” Patrick begins to scramble back into the truck. “No. We don’t need that anymore” Sticks growls. Sticks and Stone gaze at Patrick with an insane look. “Use your twin powers,” they say in creepy unison, their eyes glazing over, doll-like and hard. Patrick laughs, “You guys are real weird,” and zap, they are in Los Angeles on a police precinct set, papers blowing around them, the din of the criminals raging against the overwhelmed cops ringing in the distance. Outside there is a very tall black police officer, and a white officer with a katana. “Gosh dern it, it’s Wash and Hoops. I … I, uh, owe them money, let’s go around the back.” Sticks says quickly. That’s right! We’re also watching Samurai Cop!

Exit Wounds (2001) – BMeTric: 45.8

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(The fact that it went down first is pretty amusing. It is basically: Phase 1 – Seagal-heads watch it and think “this is pretty bad”, Phase 2 – Regular action fans get a hold of it and think “this is really bad”, Phase 3 – Regular people get a hold of it and basically think “a bad rating is 6 stars right? I’ll give it that”.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Blah actioner with aging, ever-wooden Seagal playing a tough loner cop who tangles with some on-the-take colleagues. Rapper DMX adds life to the proceedings as a mysterious drug entrepreneur. All too familiar, but the target audience might not mind.

(Give me ‘dem hyphens Leonard!! I’m heartened to hear DMX brings some life to the film. There is a reason we tend not to do Seagal films (they are usually garbage), so maybe there is some special sauce here.)

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

(Wholley spoils the twist of the film! WHAT THE HELL BRO?! Also they frame the story incorrectly. When he says that DMX worked for internal affairs he isn’t actually talking to DMX, he’s talking to someone else. Such a weird trailer.)

Directors – Andrzej Bartkowiak – (BMT: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Doom; Exit Wounds; Cradle 2 the Grave; Romeo Must Die; Notes: We did it boys, we finished Andrzej Bartkowiak’s BMT filmography. Seems to be a very accomplished cinematographer when he isn’t directing garbage.)

Writers – Ed Horowitz (screenplay) – (BMT: On Deadly Ground; Exit Wounds; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for On Deadly Ground in 1995; Notes: You can see his full resume online, he did a bunch of theater more recently in California, so possible that is kind of what he does now.)

Richard D’Ovidio (screenplay) – (Known For: The Call; Future BMT: Gallows Hill; The Forger; BMT: Thir13en Ghosts; Exit Wounds; Notes: Went to UMass where he got a degree in Economics.)

John Westermann (novel) – (BMT: Exit Wounds; Notes: I don’t understand. The book this movie is based on is free, doesn’t have any reviews on Amazon, and doesn’t have a plot summary anywhere … why was this even optioned?!)

Actors – Steven Seagal – (Known For: Machete; Under Siege; Executive Decision; Above the Law; Future BMT: The Patriot; Half Past Dead; The Foreigner; Under Siege 2: Dark Territory; The Glimmer Man; Hard to Kill; Marked for Death; Out for Justice; Contract to Kill; China Salesman; BMT: On Deadly Ground; Fire Down Below; Exit Wounds; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for On Deadly Ground in 1995; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1995 for On Deadly Ground; in 1998 for Fire Down Below; and in 2003 for Half Past Dead; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Executive Decision in 1997; and Nominee for Worst Original Song, and Worst Screen Couple for Fire Down Below in 1998; Notes: He is effectively a Russian citizen now … somehow not at all shocking.)

DMX – (Known For: Top Five; Future BMT: Belly; BMT: Exit Wounds; Cradle 2 the Grave; Romeo Must Die; Never Die Alone; Notes: Just got released from prison having served a one year sentence in a tax fraud case.)

Isaiah Washington – (Known For: Out of Sight; Dead Presidents; True Crime; Clockers; Bulworth; Crooklyn; Love Jones; Welcome to Collinwood; Dead Birds; The Washington Snipers; Get on the Bus; Stonewall; Go for Sisters; Future BMT: Girl 6; Strictly Business; The Moguls; BMT:Hollywood Homicide; Ghost Ship; Exit Wounds; Romeo Must Die; Notes: My God, this cast is just filled with amazing people. Anyways, Mo’Nique just released a video where she claims she has evidence that Isaiah Washington was blackballed from Grey’s Anatomy based on a lie. Juicy. I’ll save judgement until I see the evidence I guess.)

Budget/Gross – $33 million / Domestic: $51,758,599 (Worldwide: $79,958,599)

(Pretty good. Kind of surprising this ended up being Seagal’s last theatrical release considering it did fine. But then again, he sounds like a nightmare to work with so who knows.)

#19 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(Ah, I yearn for the days of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Alas, I think Martial Arts films are a bit out of fashion, and when they are made I bet they go VOD. Someday we might just have to search those out.)

#4 for the Cop – Dirty genre

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(This made more money than Cop Land which is a travesty. Not many qualify it looks like. The next one down is Street Kings.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 32% (21/65): It probably goes without saying that Exit Wounds is loaded with plotholes and bad dialogue. Critics also note that Seagal has aged rather badly.

(Ha! The subtle “critics note” there feels like Rotten Tomatoes covering their asses. Like, people are saying … we’re not saying, we’re just saying that other people are saying you look broke down, Steven. Reviewer Highlight: It doesn’t take long to see that Seagal has not spent his layoff getting buff and into fighting trim. – Todd McCarthy, Variety)

Poster – What if Like … People Were the Real Guns, You Know? (A+)

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(This is what I’m talking about. We got some polish, some bold colors, some distinctive font. We got a gun with faces in it and people at the muzzle. This literally checks off every box on what I want out of a poster. I don’t care what you think, I’m a big fan.)

Tagline(s) – What Can Two Men Do Against A Gang Of Crooked Cops? Whatever It Takes. (F)

This Is Gonna Hurt (C-)

(The first is long and not clever and makes my head hurt when I think about it. The second is short and sweat. Still not clever or very interesting, but I appreciate it. Especially compared to the first one.)

Keyword(s) – heroin; Top Ten by BMeTric: 70.5 The Animal (2001); 56.5 The Lords of Salem (2012); 54.3 The Informers (2008); 52.5 Nude Nuns with Big Guns (2010); 52.0 Bangkok Dangerous (2008); 49.1 Abandon (2002); 45.8 Exit Wounds (2001); 44.8 Contracted (2013); 41.9 What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? (2004); 38.8 Observe and Report (2009);

(I wonder if What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? Actually has a story related to heroin, or … if they misspelled heroine when plugging in the keyword. Regardless, no joke, these are all garbage. The Animal has one moment where he finds heroin in a guys butt and it gets the keyword? It is just terrible.)

Notes – Eva Mendes (who called this a “terrible movie”) said her dialogue in this film was entirely re-dubbed by another actress. Mendes says she learned of this when she attended the premier with her family and realized “…Something was wrong. Something was just off.” She says the producer later explained to her that her voice was replaced because she “didn’t sound intelligent enough.” Mendes told Jon Stewart on The Daily Show (1996), “A Steven Seagal film, and I didn’t sound intelligent enough?!” (Ha, that’s misogynistic. Mainly because DMX is supposed to be as or more intelligent than her in the film, both of them are millionaire computer scientists)

In an interview with Huffpost Live, Tom Arnold claimed that Steven Seagal fell into the water while filming a scene on his character’s houseboat: Seagal had opted to shoot the scene without rehearsal and mistakenly exited through the wrong door, leading him to drop into the bay.

DMX did not enjoy working with Steven Seagal, describing him as a “dickhead”. (HA! I wonder what he thought of Jet Li)

Filming in Toronto was delayed again when David Vadim was arrested and charged with committing a sexual assault on a wardrobe technician on the set. (WHAT. Gross.)

According to Stephen Quadros, the fight scene between Steven Seagal and Michael Jai White was not choreographed in advance; Seagal and White ad-libbed it during production. (Wait … the one with the swords? Yeah … I don’t believe you)

During filming in Hamilton, a van was being towed along a street upside-down as part of a chase scene; stuntman Chris Lamon and another man were supposed to roll safely out, but Lamon apparently struck his head, and died six days later. Todd Schroeder suffered a concussion in the same incident. The scene was re-shot with the van moving slower and the stuntmen placed differently. (What?! Someone died on this film too? What a mess)

The opening action sequence which was actually part of the re-shoots was inspired by similar action sequence from screenwriter Jeffrey Boam’s rejected script for fourth Lethal Weapon film which he wrote in 1995, and which had main heroes of Lethal Weapon films, Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh, fighting against neo-nazi terrorists in L.A. Producer Joel Silver remembered the action sequence from the script and he was the one who decided to add it in Exit Wounds.

Anthony Anderson joked that his main purpose in the film was to make DMX look good. (As per usual m’man. Anderson is another guy accused of sexual assault multiple times. What a gem of a cast we have here)

Michael Jai White and Steven Seagal first worked together in 1993, on a Japanese soup commercial. (I wish I would find that commercial but alas I cannot)

Steven Seagal’s last film to have a wide theatrical release. (Noice)

Jill Hennessy said being in this film was “one of the best times in my life.” (Not Law and Order. Tough look for Law and Order)

The bridge attack scene; with the Happy Face helicopter, was shot on the Centre Street Bridge in Calgary, Alberta. The 85-year-old bridge had been closed for close to a year for restoration when the Exit Wounds crew came to town, so there was much concern from nearby residents when things started blowing up on the bridge. About six months later, long after the bridge had been re-opened, there was a major controversy in Calgary when the producers requested the bridge be closed again for retakes.

This was Steven Seagal’s return to movies after a three-year absence. It was a new Seagal – he slimmed down, updated his wardrobe, and ditched his trademark ponytail. (He did look much more reasonable and not ridiculous I thought)

Andrzej Bartkowiak, Isaiah Washington, DMX and Anthony Anderson all worked together in Romeo Must Die (2000). (And DMX and Anthony Anderwon and Tom Arnold and Bartkowiak also made Cradle 2 the Grave!)

The film bares little resemblance to the novel it is based on by ex-cop-turned-novelist John Westermann. (Not surprising)

This was Steven Seagal’s first go at wire work in a movie. (Well, it was made in 2001, prime time for wire work)

Cradle 2 the Grave Preview

Whenever we start one of our long form Challenges like the mapl.de.map or Calendar, we always have a film in mind for a few of the spots. It’s no different for our newest challenge, The Periodic Table of Smellements. That’s right! For the Games entry of the Calendar cycle we’re hitting up Cradle 2 the Grave! Likely the most unnecessary numeral ever inserted into a title. So unnecessary that after picking it up from my local public library my wife asked me “Have you already seen the first one?” I had to inform her that this was the first one and that the 2 is there for no other reason than to amuse me and Patrick (I presume). Let’s go!

Cradle 2 the Grave (2003) – BMeTric: 37.2

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(Certainly seems like a “cult” type of film. A rating of 6.0 is genuinely solid, it is close to average for the top ten thousand films, and it is rising steadily towards average despite its critical ratings. Most of the BMeTric is from being relatively popular while being a bit below average.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  As an array of baddies and rival half-baddies pursue coveted black diamonds that look like oversized Chiclets, most of the actors playing these parts pursue their dramatically diverse audience demographics. Union is around for the demographic that enjoys seeing semi-unclad lookers, but even those viewers may have trouble with a script about diamonds with nuclear capabilities. DMX’s neckwear looks as if it could pick up sandlot baseball games from Radio Havana.

(This review is semi-incomprehensible. But some deep burns. The diamonds look fake, the actors are just there to hit a checklist of demographics, Gabrielle Union in particular is just there to get naked, and even then the story is too ludicrous for any of that being fun! And then he ends with a crazy dig at DMX’s (I’m sure very classy) bling. I was with you up to then Leonard, but don’t take digs at the bling.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3FKBdIA26Q

(People flying around on wires it might as well be called. Have to say … pretty amped for this. DMX sountrack, people flipping around looking dumb, diamonds, Tom Arnold. Kind of surprised they give away that the jewels might not be jewels in the trailer to be honest, but still, I kind of dig that trailer. All I want is to get excited for the film when I watch it, and this does that admirably.)

Directors – Andrzej Bartkowiak – (Future BMT: Exit Wounds; BMT: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Doom; Cradle 2 the Grave; Romeo Must Die; Notes: Primarily a cinematographer, known for his association with Sidney Lumet. He was cinematographer for Twins, which obviously inspired the BMT logo.)

Writers – John O’Brien (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Starsky & Hutch; Future BMT: The Dukes of Hazzard; BMT: Cradle 2 the Grave; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for The Dukes of Hazzard in 2006; Notes: There is nothing about this guy and I fear his name is too generic to get many certain hits elsewhere as well. Going from this to two tv-to-movie adaptations though feels a bit odd.)

Channing Gibson (screenplay) – (Known For: Lethal Weapon 4; Future BMT: Walking Tall; BMT: Cradle 2 the Grave; Notes: Prolific television writer. Won an emmy for his involvement with NYPD Blue.)

Actors – Jet Li – (Known For: The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Lethal Weapon 4; The Forbidden Kingdom; Unleashed; Fearless; Kiss of the Dragon; The Enforcer; Once Upon a Time in China; Future BMT: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor; The One; The Emperor and the White Snake; BMT: Cradle 2 the Grave; The Expendables 3; Romeo Must Die; Notes: Was a Wushu champion in China training with the famous Wu Bin, and upon retiring at the age of 19 he went into acting. He apologized to Jackie Chan for taking part in High Risk, which has a character described as “a famous and popular action movie star famous for doing all of his own stunts. In reality, he is very lazy and lecherous.” … I have to watch this movie.)

DMX – (Future BMT: Exit Wounds; Belly; BMT: Cradle 2 the Grave; Romeo Must Die; Never Die Alone; Notes: A world renowned rapper. Recently though he is probably more well known for his legal issues moving through the court system concerning tax fraud.)

Mark Dacascos – (Known For: Le pacte des loups; Future BMT: The Island of Dr. Moreau; Double Dragon; Code Name: The Cleaner; Köshpendiler; BMT: Cradle 2 the Grave; Notes: Born in Hawaii he is a martial artist proficient in Wun Hop Kuen Do which he learned from his father. He’s studied other disciplines (including Wushu, which Jet Li is known for) as well, although is not considered a master.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $34,712,347 (Worldwide: $56,489,558)

(Decent worldwide, but not great. I’ll have to look below to see how it compared to Martial Arts films of the time. That will indicate a bit more of what the studio was probably expecting, and whether the modest worldwide return would have been considered acceptable.)

#35 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(This came right at the peak of people thinking Martial Arts were cool. Probably after the Matrix in 1999. The genre has basically died, but this is getting me more interested in looking into it as an “educational” opportunity. Like slashers and westerns, martial arts films never held much appeal for me, but learning the tropes and how they tick could be pretty fun. This scored around Street Fighter unfortunately.)

#15 for the Action – Wire-Fu genre

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(Just above The Musketeer! The genre literally began with The Matrix and died out five years later. One would assume that is because wire work has been replaced by green screen and other cheaper techniques. What a time to be alive!)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (31/122): Dumb and by-the-numbers, but serviceable.

(Wow. Thanks Rotten Tomatoes, now I’m getting excited …. In reality this sounds boring. Dumb is good. By-the-numbers if bad. Serviceable though … sounds like they’ve put together a movie which makes sense, which for a martial arts film I think is a bad thing.)

Poster – Cradle 2 the Sklog (B-)

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(Real early 2000’s vibe on this guy. A bit too much going on, but I like the bold black with red features. Unique font and interesting spacing push it up a tad.)

Tagline(s) – Born 2 the life. True 2 the code. Bad 2 the bone. (A)

(Uh, yes. I am into this. Whether or not this has anything to do with the film itself is questionable, but I choose to believe it’s amazing.)

Keyword(s) – diamond; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.4 Batman & Robin (1997); 89.3 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 83.7 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 79.8 Littleman (2006); 70.8 The Spirit (2008); 69.6 Setup (I) (2011); 68.4 The Marine (2006); 67.9 Superman III (1983); 65.5 Thunderbirds (2004); 62.1 Bitch Slap (2009);

(Batman & Robin might be the most diamond-y movie in the history of diamond movies, fueling kick-ass puns throughout the film. All of these are great!! Setup is a crazy looking film starring Bruce Willis, 50 Cent, and Ryan Phillipe of I Know What You Did Last Summer fame! Just fantastic.)

Notes – The casting of Mark Dacascos was the result of a poll on Jet Li’s website where fans were asked who they would like to see him fight next. (The wonders of the Martial Arts movie fanbase … I don’t even know who this person is!)

Jet Li’s character only fights with one hand for a majority of the film.

Real life UFC competitors Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell were recruited by producer Joel Silver for the cage fight sequence with Jet Li. (oooooh yeah, Couture would co-star with Li in The Expendables franchise later)

DMX was constantly late for shooting. (HA)

The film was originally developed as a remake of M (1931). (weird, may have to check that out)

When filming wrapped up on time and the editing was proceeding at a fast pace, Warner Bros. considered opening the film in late August – a mere three months after it finished shooting. They later opted to release the pic in late Feb the following year. (… after watching it)

At one point, Arnold Schwarzenegger was slated to star.

Aaliyah was set to star in the film until her untimely death in 2001. (Oh no. Last seen in Queen of the Damned I would imagine)

2nd film to star Anthony Anderson and Tom Arnold. They share more screen time in this movie than they did in Exit Wounds, where they shared the last scene together. They also have the same kinda ending in this movie where they talk about their mom’s and who would play them in a movie about what they just went through in this movie. It is also the second film to star DMX and Tom Arnold after Exit Wounds. (wait … the Tim Arnold? Yeah, it would appear so. Double weird. This movie is going to be weird as fuck)