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).

Ghosts of Mars Preview

A small note prior to this post: Last July we decided to take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews before 2013ish we also decided to provide a preview for the movie. This is the second in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediately afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

Ghosts of Mars (2001) – BMeTric: 67.2

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(that is quite a low rating I’m going to be honest. I’m not really surprised, the movie is a hilarious debacle, but you’d think those John Carpenter heads out there might be keeping the rating afloat a bit.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  In the near future, Mars has been colonized, but there’s an outbreak of mass murder in some remote settlements. People are possessed by vengeful Martian ghosts; it’s up to the leam of a lady cop and a hardened criminal to battle them. Routine, predictable, and dull; unimaginatively, the Martian-possessed people adopt a punk/grunge look. Basically a remake of Carpenter’s early Assault on Precinct 13.

(Multiple places note the similarities between this as Assault on Precinct 13. The reviews seem like a mix between either dull and predictable or so bonkers it is amazing. Suffice it to say: we thought it was so bonkers it is amazing.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbmFwk8n0f0

(Wow … well, that was certainly stylized. The premise is kind of a western (with alien possession being akin to some Native American burial ground perhaps, or just a Native raid on a mining outpost), and the costumes certainly seem to match at times.)

Directors – John Carpenter – (Known For: Halloween; Halloween; They Live; Escape from New York; Escape from L.A.; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; The Fog; Prince of Darkness; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Assault on Precinct 13; Assault on Precinct 13; Eyes of Laura Mars; Dark Star; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Halloween; Lockout; Black Moon Rising; Halloween II; BMT: The Fog; Ghosts of Mars; Notes: One of the most influential horror directors in history. One of my favorite directors. Halloween and The Thing are two great movies to introduce two very different approaches to the genre.)

Writers – Larry Sulkis (written by) – (Future BMT: Village of the Damned; BMT: Ghosts of Mars; Notes: Very likely close to or a production partner with Carpenter at the time, uncredited as a writer of his Village of the Damned as well.)

John Carpenter (written by) – (Known For: Halloween; They Live; Escape from New York; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Escape from L.A.; The Fog; Assault on Precinct 13; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Prince of Darkness; Assault on Precinct 13; Dark Star; Eyes of Laura Mars; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5; Halloween; Black Moon Rising; Halloween II; BMT: The Fog; Ghosts of Mars; Notes: He wrote a good number of the films he directed back in the day. Notably he also often produced the synth heavy soundtracks. I was in Edinburgh and missed a concert by him by one day. I was very sad.)

Actors – Natasha Henstridge – (Known For: The Whole Nine Yards; Bounce; Future BMT: Maximum Risk; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; Steal; Deception; Dog Park; BMT: Species II; Ghosts of Mars; The Whole Ten Yards; Species; Notes: Canadian, but started as a model in Paris. Species was her first role in the biz, which makes perfect sense.)

Ice Cube – (Known For: xXx: Return of Xander Cage; 21 Jump Street; Friday; Boyz n the Hood; 22 Jump Street; Three Kings; The Book of Life; Higher Learning; Barbershop; Barbershop: A Fresh Cut; Rampart; Trespass; Barbershop 2: Back in Business; The Longshots; The Glass Shield; Future BMT: First Sunday; Lottery Ticket; Fist Fight; Friday After Next; I Got the Hook Up; All About the Benjamins; Next Friday; Dangerous Ground; The Players Club; BMT: xXx²: State of the Union; Torque; Anaconda; Are We Done Yet?; Are We There Yet?; Ghosts of Mars; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes: Basically a BMT staple at this point, and we got plenty of time to go. Has had an interesting acting career going from mostly thug / gangbanger, to comedy, to kids’ film, and now he tends to be a cop in comedies.)

Pam Grier – (Known For: Mars Attacks!; Jackie Brown; Escape from L.A.; The Man with the Iron Fists; Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey; Above the Law; Foxy Brown; Something Wicked This Way Comes; Beyond the Valley of the Dolls; The Big Bird Cage; Holy Smoke; Class of 1999; Coffy; Just Wright; The Big Doll House; The Package; Fort Apache the Bronx; Original Gangstas; Future BMT: Bones; Fortress 2; Snow Day; Jawbreaker; Larry Crowne; Posse; The Allnighter; In Too Deep; Scream Blacula Scream; BMT: Pluto Nash; Ghosts of Mars; Notes: Insane life. She started in blaxploitation cinema filming in the Philippines where at some point in the 70s she contracted some tropical disease, lost all her hair, and temporarily went blind taking over a year to recover. Then in 1988 she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 18 months to live. She survived both. Say what?)

Budget/Gross – $28 million / Domestic: $8,709,640 (Worldwide: $14,010,832)

(Absolute catastrophe! Oh no John Carpenter, why?)

#71 for the Action Heroine genre

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(Ah right there before the peak, that’s definitely fun. Considering the notes indicate Henstridge was basically dying of exhaustion during filming from making so many movies it does seem like it was the time to be a fit female actress in Hollywood. You got to just pick a franchise and run with it for a bit there.)

#43 for the Sci-Fi Horror genre

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(You’d think this would be surging a bit more with the recent Horror surge … especially because sci-fi feels like one of the genres that can benefit from a low budget shoestring approach. We’ve seen quite a few of these at this point. Can’t genre I enjoy the genre much to be honest. Kind of like action comedies … not really good action films, not really good comedies. Sci-fi horror tends to make for a not really good sci-fi film and a not really good horror film.)

#30 for the Zombie genre

ghostsofmars_zombie

(Right at the forefront of a Zombie resurgence! Rather interesting because this is still the only bad zombie film we’ve done which seems … unbelievable. Although I guess that is mainly because we haven’t done any of the Resident Evil films. Really became a thing around 2015, has since cooled.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (22/104): John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars is not one of Carpenter’s better movies, filled as it is with bad dialogue, bad acting, confusing flashbacks, and scenes that are more campy than scary.

(The flashbacks! That is one of the best parts to be honest. Once you are like 4 layers deep you kind of forget who you are and why you are even watching the film. Reviewer Highlight: Someday we’re all going to look back on this one and l-a-a-a-augh. – Cody Clark, Mr. Showbiz)

Poster – BANANANANANANANAS! (D)

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(I really really really wanted to like this poster but I have several problems with it. It looks cheap and dumb. The color scheme is both obvious (red is for Mars, black is for spoooooky) and poorly done. The alien guy looks silly. He wouldn’t look that silly, but they you notice his multiple finger piercings and you are like “that looks silly”. I desperately want to think any part of this is cool, but it isn’t. The font is maybe okay, the gradient is tough to replicate exactly on the fly.)

Tagline(s) – It’s their planet… we are the aliens. (B-)

(I like the idea of it, but it just doesn’t roll of the tongue as much as it needs to to get it a better score. Kind of obvious, but with the poster above I think it works enough, like you see the weird looking guy and you know it is kind of talking about him / them / it specifically.)

Keyword(s) – martian; Top Ten by BMeTric: 70.0 Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964); 67.2 Ghosts of Mars (2001); 61.0 Doom (2005); 51.4 My Favorite Martian (1999); 45.9 Mars Needs Moms (2011); 39.4 Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003); 26.8 Contamination (1980); 26.3 Spaced Invaders (1990); 26.2 Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991); 24.7 Mars Attacks! (1996);

(I’m kind of shocked at how few of these we’ve done. I bet we could get a lot more done. Maybe with a stellar cycle … would have to think of how best to do something like that though.)

Notes – John Carpenter revealed that he had become burnt out after he had made this film and made the decision of leaving Hollywood for good. It would not be until nine years later that he made a full feature film, which was The Ward (2010).

Filmed entirely at night.

The prosthetics that the main bad guy wears were rather too large for his mouth and resulted in most of the “ghost-speak” having only the “a” vowel sound. (kind of like him sounding like he’s saying banananananans the entire time? … yeah I might have noticed that a bit)

Much of the location shooting was done on a gypsum mine near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The gypsum, which is almost pure white, was sprayed with a biodegradable red food dye to give the appearance of a Martian landscape. (Oh they didn’t create a giant biohazard by spraying it with blood?)

Jason Statham was originally hired to play James “Desolation” Williams, but was replaced by Ice Cube for star power.

Natasha Henstridge replaced Courtney Love (the original choice) at the last minute. Love left the project after her boyfriend’s ex-wife ran over her foot in her car while she was in training for the picture. Michelle Yeoh, Franka Potente and Famke Janssen were briefly considered. Henstridge was suggested by her then-boyfriend Liam Waite, and was able to join the cast just a week before production began. The actress found the experience to be very harrowing, due to the heavily physical nature of her role and the difficult working conditions.

In a 2006 interview, Ice Cube nominated this as the worst movie he had appeared in, calling it “unwatchable in many ways. John Carpenter really let us down with the special effects on that one – it looked like something out of a film from 1979”.

This film contains Jason Statham’s first ever on-screen kiss.

Production had to shut down for a week when Natasha Henstridge fell ill due to extreme exhaustion (she had just done two other films back-to-back before joining the production at the last moment).

For the film’s score, music producer Bruce Robb brought in famed heavy metal band Anthrax to play to picture for director John Carpenter, who had originally filmed the movie listening to Metallica. The film’s score is entirely original and was recorded by Robb at his Cherokee Studios in Hollywood. The film’s DVD offers a bonus feature with behind-the-scenes footage in the studio with the musicians, Carpenter and Robb.

The narrator on the trailer is Keith David.

The film is considered to be a futuristic remake of John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 (1976). (Eh makes sense I guess. I’ve seen the original Assault on Precinct 13, very grindhouse style which is good and bad I think)

Originally called Escape from Earth, a supposed sequel to Escape from L.A. (1996) that features Kurt Russell as Snake Plisskin before changing its script due to box office failure.

For the film’s soundtrack, director and composer John Carpenter called upon various rock musicans to help enhance his own score. They include members of Anthrax, Steve Vai, Guns N’ Roses’ guitarists Buckethead and Robin Finck and Elliot Easton (formerly of The Cars).

The film takes place in 2176.

Jason X Preview

It’s back, Jack! Right on cue we are continuing our Mini-Challenge journey through the world of Friday the 13th. It’s been an interesting time and I’ll miss the series once it’s gone, particularly since I went from actively disliking the series to fascination with the series and finally anticipation for each successive watch. There may be none more anticipated than the SciFi entry of the Calendar cycle. That’s right! We’re (finally) watching Jason X. Because everyone knows that it’s a super good idea to take a struggling franchise to outer space (see: Leprechaun 4: In Space). Works like a charm. Of course this also means we’ll be doing the 9th in the series, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday as a BMT bonus in preparation for the film. Hooray! I really do love watching these totally unscary horror films. Let’s go!

Jason X (2001) – BMeTric: 77.9

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(INCREDIBLE! It has gone down as more people watch it! This can only mean one thing: this film is going to be great. I can feel it. A Very Popular Bad Film through and through.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  In this, the tenth Friday the 13th installment (and first since 1993’s Jason goes to Hell: The Final Friday), cryogenically frozen Jason (Hodder) and a sexy scientist (Doig) are thawed while on board a spacecraft in the year 2455. You can guess what happens next. For dedicated slasher fans only. David Cronenberg appears briefly as Dr. Wimmer. Not to be confused with Malcolm X.

(Not to be confused with Malcolm X? I get you Leonard. This is such a nicely rote review. He definitely either didn’t write this or basically barely watched this film. Leonard gave so many of these films BOMB designations it is kind of weird that the 8th, 9th, and 10th didn’t manage even one. Seems he’s a softy for the more ridiculous horror films maybe.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sv8eWDEFsM

(I remember the Let the Bodies Hit the Rope soundtrack from when I was younger. This trailer looks atrocious on several different levels: the humor, the acting, the special effects, and Jason’s design. I can’t believe Kane Hodder came back for this garbage to be honest, after 9 years I would have read the script and just said “good luck”. I have a feeling this is going to be the first Friday the 13th that doesn’t even feel like a Friday the 13th as well.)

Directors – James Isaac – (Future BMT: Skinwalkers; House III: The Horror Show; BMT: Jason X; Notes: Was involved with creature effects for both Gremlins and Enemy Mine. Every so often he would give directing a try it would seem. Also involved with special effects on Virtuosity, which I’m only noting because I interviewed for a job with this guy who now works as an MD-PhD at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.)

Writers – Victor Miller (characters) – (Known For: Friday the 13th; Freddy vs. Jason; Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI; Future BMT: Friday the 13th; BMT: Jason X; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: I feel like he hasn’t shown up in the credits for a few of these, so weird he would all of a sudden get credit again. He wrote the original movie. The end.)

Todd Farmer (written by) – (Known For: My Bloody Valentine; Future BMT: The Messengers; BMT: Drive Angry; Jason X; Notes: The guy has a crazy life. He dropped out of college and because an independent AmWay distributor, and then moved to LA and started working for Sean S. Cunningham (the other original writer of Friday the 13th). That is how he got this gig and probably his other writing gigs, he was working under Cunningham on different projects he was involved in.)

Actors – Kane Hodder – (Known For: Monster; Daredevil; The Devil’s Rejects; Frozen; Hatchet; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon; Alligator; Lone Wolf McQuade; Hatchet III; Prison; Digging Up the Marrow; The Rapture; California Split; Future BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Room 6; House II: The Second Story; Hatchet II; Muck; Wishmaster; Father Hood; Best of the Best II; Out for Justice; BMT: Jason X; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Grind; Notes: There is nothing else to say about this guy! He is Jason, and I doubt anyone has a chance of beating him or Englund for dominating a slasher killer like they did.)

Lexa Doig – (BMT: Jason X; Notes: She had the title role in the show Andromeda, and has been in many other television series. The cast for this movie is pretty funny, no wonder Hodder got first billing.)

Jeff Geddis – (Known For: Crime Spree; BMT: Jason X; Notes: Canadian, and a voice actor almost exclusively.)

Budget/Gross – $11 million / Domestic: $13,121,555 (Worldwide: $16,951,798)

(Complete disaster. It is a wonder that they didn’t scrap Freddy v Jason after this. Although maybe they thought that would have more pull. And smartly, it did actually. The franchise went from this pitiful return to over $80 million in Freddy v. Jason only a few years later.)

#64 for the Horror – Slasher genre

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(Around Halloween 5. I mentioned in the other preview that this genre is effectively dead (the last major release was January 2013 according to Box Office Mojo) in theaters. Kind of understandable, the return since 2005 was the same as during the lull in the early 90s.)

#39 for the Sci-Fi Horror genre

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(Near Ghosts of Mars. With Alien Covenant and the final Resident Evil film this genre has had a bit of a resurgence in recent years, and has been going strong since 2000 regardless. It has been flopping a bit recently though, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the release numbers wane a bit as well though.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (20/104): Jason goes to the future, but the story is still stuck in the past.

(Nope, terrible Rotten Tomatoes. A few franchises did this (inexplicably send their slashers to the future in space, most notably Leprechaun in Space), but it can’t go well. It also crosses the rubicon from horror to at least close to horror-comedy. Not super great.)

Poster – Jason Sklog (B-)

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(We jump from an early 90’s bonkers poster for Jason Goes to Hell straight to an even crazier early 2000’s bonkers poster for this one. Better font, worse coloring, but I like the artistry.)

Tagline(s) – Evil Gets An Upgrade (B-)

(I’m good with this. Short, sweet, little hint on the futuristic aspect of the plot, but perhaps not quite clever enough. Could be better, but could be a whole lot worse.)

Keyword(s) – scientist; Top Ten by BMeTric: 93.5 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 90.0 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.4 House of the Dead (2003); 88.4 Street Fighter (1994); 85.7 The Avengers (1998); 85.6 Fantastic Four (2015); 84.1 Piranha 3DD (2012); 82.4 Baby Geniuses (1999); 82.1 Inspector Gadget (1999); 82.0 Highlander II: The Quickening (1991);

(Incredible list. This is a marathon I would actually hold, although I would be a bit more discerning. Here … The Avengers would make the cut for sure. Highlander II I think. But a marathon without Bats? Travesty. So there would be some work to do.)

Notes – The first film in the Friday the 13th series to rely on digital effects for death and gore shots. (Interesting. Sad but interesting)

Jason Voorhees’ eyes never blink when they are shown. (Cool idea actually)

During a Q&A;, screenwriter Todd Farmer joked that there were probably about 20,000 people aboard the Solaris space station when Grendel inadvertently crashed into and destroyed it. (Acknowledgment of flippantly killing people, I can respect that.)

Screenwriter Todd Farmer based much of the film on Alien (1979), even naming one of the characters (whom he also played) Dallas, after Tom Skerritt’s character in the Ridley Scott film. (Yeah I feel like you can tell from the trailer)

The name of the primary ship in the film is the “Grendel” which is the name of a monster in the Old English poem “Beowulf”. Grendel was a direct descendant of Cain from the Book of Genesis, a monster described as half-troll, half-ogre. Like Jason, Grendel rose from a lake in search of victims and seemingly could not be killed. Also, in their fight, Beowulf rips Grendel’s arm off, and in the movie, when Kay-Em shoots up Jason, the first thing he loses is his arm. (I … kind of love the comparison)

Because Jim Isaac wanted the acting in his film to “blow every other Friday movie out of the water.” The associate producer videotaped the rehearsals on a camcorder for Isaac, who would view them afterward to get ideas from seeing his characters in action. The problem was with all the script re-writes a lot of the time Isaac didn’t even know if what the actors were rehearsing was still going to be in the movie (most of it wasn’t). (That’s kind of sad all things considered. Kind of sweet how much he cared though, sucks it didn’t work out).

One of the things which won over everyone to the concept of Jason in space was the idea of the kids seemingly killing the hockey mask monster halfway through only for him to be recreated into something even scarier via futuristic technology. The mechanism of this change ended up being nanotechnology, an idea screenwriter Todd Farmer lifted from Virtuosity. However, the actual concept of an UberJason predates Jason X. (Gross and I hate it)

(at around 15 mins) The space debris floating in space has “Cunningham Realty” written on the side. This is a reference to the name of producer Noel Cunningham, the son of executive producer and maker of the original Friday the 13th (1980), Sean S. Cunningham.

During Jason X’s development process, director Jim Isaac, producer Noel Cunningham (Sean’s son), and screenwriter Todd Farmer kicked around any scenario they could think of it, typically “Jason in [insert blank] (the hood, snow, underwater, the arctic, in L.A. fighting gangs, on safari).” They even considered something involving the NASCAR circuit. Farmer suggested “in space” because he knew Freddy Vs. Jason was on the way, and it’d be best if Jason X was set after the events of that epic battle. So, they needed to jump into the future, and going into space certainly did that. They were a little scared of doing a horror sequel in space [see: Hellraiser, Leprechaun, and Critters.], but they thought it could be fun to do a mash-up of Ridley Scott’s Alien and James Cameron’s Aliens with not one but two strong Ripley-type females on a ship of bad-ass space marines hunted by Jason instead of xenomorphs. (When your idea can be boiled down to: it would be best if we could flash forward a bit because a movie that was planned in 1987 and never made it totes going to come out soon … let’s put it in space I guess. That is not great).

Jason murders 28 people, more than any of the other Friday the 13th movies. (Jesus Christ, that is a ton)

In 2010, Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters actually tested out Jason X’s liquid nitrogen head smash kill. It turns out it doesn’t quite pass the smell test. (I think I saw that one. Yeah, doesn’t really work in my mind, wouldn’t freeze all of the way through).

Species II Preview

There had been some thought that this week might be time for a BMT Live! Rings came out to absolutely horrifying reviews (see what I did there?) and we had to think quick on whether we should act. The answer: not until we see the reviews for Fifty Shades Darker. It would be irresponsible to let it go by without giving it a chance at BMT Live! glory. It deserves it. So instead we head into SciFi/Fantasy and get to do a set of films that I’ve been eyeing for awhile. That’s right, we’re watching Species and Species II. These films promise three things: nudity, a scene where someone kisses someone else and their tongue bursts through the back of their skull, and… uh… nudity again. So basically I’m super duper duper excited. Let’s go!

Species II (1998) – BMeTric: 67.3

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speciesii_rv

(Again we see the 2011 inflection and regression to the mean as the votes increase. Unlike its predecessor this one is considered definitively bad. As I said in the Species preview these plots are all starting to look the same to me, so I’m categorizing them. For Species II I’m going to call it: Poorly Rated, but Perplexingly Popular. In this case a sub-5 rating is definitively terrible, but we still see a high number of votes (I think … I think I’m going to automate this now that I think about it).)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – The first man on Mars gets infested with alien DNA, and begins raping women who immediately, and fatally, give birth. Elsewhere, scientists have recreated the half-alien woman from the first film, hoping she’ll be nice this time. Compared to this clunker, the first looks like a collaboration between Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury.

(Well, I’ll set aside the atrocious last line there. This plot sounds bonkers. Like … the first part! This will be at least the third film in which someone gets infected by a disease on Mars. And like Doom and Ghosts of Mars before it may it be a ridiculous nonsense movie.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE-Amil6oQc

(Also seems pretty rad … but also definitely a step down from the last one. That storyline is indeed just as bonkers as Leonard seemed to suggest. So he wasn’t exaggerating there. I having a feeling the erotic horror sci-fi genre might not attract the best and brightest you know? …)

Directors – Peter Medak – (Known For: The Changeling; The Krays; Zorro: The Gay Blade; The Ruling Class; Let Him Have It; BMT: Species II; Romeo Is Bleeding; Notes: Has had a very long career in Hollywood starting in the late 50’s. His best known film has got to be The Ruling Class for which Peter O’Toole received an Oscar nomination for Actor.)

Writers – Dennis Feldman (written by) – (Known For: Just One of the Guys; BMT: Species II; Virus; Species (BMT); The Golden Child (BMT); Notes: Just a character credit on this one. I find it amusing that he also wrote Virus, which Jamie Lee Curtis considers her worst film.)

Chris Brancato (written by) – (Known For: Hoodlum; BMT: Species II; Notes: He is the creator of the Netflix show Narcos… say what?)

Actors – Natasha Henstridge – (Known For: The Whole Nine Yards; Bounce; BMT: Species II; Ghosts of Mars (BMT); The Whole Ten Yards; Maximum Risk; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; Species (BMT); Steal; Deception; Dog Park; Notes: Uh… I already had to make a note for the first Species so… she’s Canadian and part Native American. Fun stuff, right?)

Michael Madsen – (Known For: The Hateful Eight; Kill Bill: Vol. 1; Reservoir Dogs; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Sin City; Kill Bill: Vol. 2; Die Another Day; WarGames; Wyatt Earp; Thelma & Louise; Donnie Brasco; The Doors; Free Willy; The Natural; Pauly Shore Is Dead; BMT: BloodRayne; Species II; My Boss’s Daughter; Scary Movie 4 (BMT); Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; Hell Ride; House; Species (BMT); Notes: Brother of BMT legend Virginia Madsen.)

Marg Helgenberger – (Known For: Erin Brockovich; Bad Boys; Mr. Brooks; Always; In Good Company; My Fellow Americans; BMT: Species II; Fire Down Below (BMT); Species (BMT); The Cowboy Way; Notes: Won an Emmy for her role in the Vietnam War drama China Beach.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $19,221,939 (N/A)

(Wowzer. I would genuinely believe it if this was the worst original-to-sequel ratio for a major release ever. The original made basically six times more that its sequel and they were released to roughly the same number of cinemas. Astonishing.)

#47 for the Creature Feature genre

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(Ooooof right near Shark Night 3D. I feel like 1998 is a significant year where the studio system completed its transition from the blockbuster 80’s era through slow experimentation with CGI and effects. From 2000-2010 we would enter a true golden age where bad movies flowed like wine. Here though an Erotic SciFi Horror sequel was made and released to 2500 theaters. Think about that.)

#29 for the Sci-Fi Horror genre

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(That peak though. This sadly clocks in right around Apollo 18 which undoubtable cost maybe $40 to make. But it came right at a true peak of the genre. It has been an up and down experience since, but the Species franchise could have stood alongside the second tier of the genre (Underworld and Resident Evil) if not for flaming out and pushing out two direct-to-video sequels instead of waiting on a better opportunity.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (3/33): No consensus yet.

(Another consensus to make: A totally unnecessary sequel which amps up the silliness without adding any brains to the equation. Nearly exploitative in its gratuity. As EW puts it: “By now, if you’ve seen one set of slimy phallic tentacles shooting out of someone’s back during orgasm, you’ve seen ’em all.” Sounds like a plan EW.)

Poster – Mating Skloging Begins (C-)

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(I like the color tone and the font (again), but there is a bit much going on now. What are all the sparkles everywhere? Stars and… a bunch of lines like in a western blot… because DNA or something?)

Tagline(s) – Mating season begins… (C-)

(Meh. It’s short and certainly tells you what this one is all about: some aliens going to the bone zone. Rad. But nothing clever about it.)

Keyword(s) – sex scene; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.8 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 78.6 Sex and the City 2 (2010); 72.7 Jason X (2001); 71.4 Showgirls (1995); 67.3 Species II (1998); 65.3 The Boy Next Door (2015); 63.8 Knock Knock (I) (2015); 62.6 All About Steve (2009); 62.0 Jennifer’s Body (2009); 59.1 Captivity (2007);

(Pretty amazing list. Wish something like Color of Night could sneak in though, those classic 80’s/90’s erotic thrillers deserve a place on the list, some representative.)

Notes – Though showing Eve in a black leather outfit on some of the posters and DVD-Covers, she never actually wears it in the film.

Shortest of all four Species movies. (small blessings …)

EVE stands for Extraterrestrial Vulnerability Experiment. (Egad)

Most of the nude scenes, such as the debutantes having sex with Patrick or the strip-club sequence, were shortened in the final version of the movie. The full scenes can be seen in the DVD extra features. (No wonder someone stole the DVD from the Minnesota public library system)

Natasha Henstridge is on the miller lite cut out in the grocery store when they are hunting her. (nooooooooooo. Never a good idea. I hope the cut out says “Great taste, less filling, out of this world.” Get it? Cause she’s a famous alien.)

Species Preview

There had been some thought that this week might be time for a BMT Live! Rings came out to absolutely horrifying reviews (see what I did there?) and we had to think quick on whether we should act. The answer: not until we see the reviews for Fifty Shades Darker. It would be irresponsible to let it go by without giving it a chance at BMT Live! glory. It deserves it. So instead we head into SciFi/Fantasy and get to do a set of films that I’ve been eyeing for awhile. That’s right, we’re watching Species and Species II. These films promise three things: nudity, a scene where someone kisses someone else and their tongue bursts through the back of their skull, and… uh… nudity again. So basically I’m super duper duper excited. Let’s go!

Species (1995) – BMeTric: 34.9

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species_rv

(This plot basically shows the 2011 inflection and regression to the mean. The BMeTric is amazingly consistent through time (35 basically). Hey, since these plot are getting a little boring I’m going to start a new series with this. This is to put movies into groups based on what I see. The first group, for Species, is: Below Average and Perplexingly Popular. Basically this movie ultimate doesn’t seem too bad (rating of 5.8), but the sheer number of votes (nearly 60 thousand) gives an impressive BMeTric overall.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – DNA-tampering scientists at a Utah facility ultimately get theirs after creating a murderous creature, complete with tentacles, who’s packages like a blond centerfold. Fast and not without entertainment value, but don’t look at yourself in the mirror too closely if you end up defending it. Direction is somewhat sturdier than the script, which has its share of (we think) unintentional howlers.

(I mean, I’m all about unintentional howlers Leonard, you know me. Films with the horrible villain-scientists are the best though. Like Bats I hope these guys are real megalomaniacal assholes.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbaYnTLuX7U

(Alright, that looks pretty rad. Pretty old school though. Just a short rundown of the movie: Contact, communication, experiment, termination, escape, pursuit, mutation, confrontation, outcome unknown. Species! Yeah …. That sounds about right, and I’m on board!)

Directors – Roger Donaldson – (Known For: The Bank Job; The Recruit; The Bounty; Thirteen Days; No Way Out; The World’s Fastest Indian; Cadillac Man; White Sands; Smash Palace; BMT: Dante’s Peak; Cocktail (BMT); Species; The Getaway; Justice; The November Man; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1989 for Worst Director for Cocktail. His son Chris represented New Zealand in the 100 meter sprint in 1996 and 2000 Olympics. Now that’s a fun fact.)

Writers – Dennis Feldman (written by) – (Known For: Just One of the Guys; BMT: Species II; Virus; Species; The Golden Child (BMT); Notes: Brother of Randy Feldman who wrote Tango & Cash and son of producer Phil Feldman.)

Actors – Natasha Henstridge – (Known For: The Whole Nine Yards; Bounce; BMT: Species II; Ghosts of Mars (BMT); The Whole Ten Yards; Maximum Risk; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; Species; Steal; Deception; Dog Park; Notes: According to an interview she gave in Empire she turned down roles in both Independence Day and Men In Black after reading the scripts and thinking, “What is this shit?”)

Michael Madsen – (Known For: The Hateful Eight; Kill Bill: Vol. 1; Reservoir Dogs; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Sin City; Kill Bill: Vol. 2; Die Another Day; WarGames; Wyatt Earp; Thelma & Louise; Donnie Brasco; The Doors; Free Willy; The Natural; Pauly Shore Is Dead; BMT: BloodRayne; Species II; My Boss’s Daughter; Scary Movie 4 (BMT); Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; Hell Ride; House; Species; Notes: A published poet (he has released eight books of poetry) and photographer.)

Ben Kingsley – (Known For: The Jungle Book; Schindler’s List; Shutter Island; Hugo; Knight of Cups; Iron Man Three; Ender’s Game; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Lucky Number Slevin; The Walk; The Dictator; Gandhi; Eliza Graves; Tuck Everlasting; Sexy Beast; The Boxtrolls; Life; Sneakers; Oliver Twist; The Triumph of Love; Robot Overlords; Dave; House of Sand and Fog; Searching for Bobby Fischer; Learning to Drive; Bugsy; Transsiberian; BMT: The Love Guru (BMT); BloodRayne; A Sound of Thunder (BMT); Thunderbirds; The Last Legion; Species; War, Inc.; The Ten Commandments; Exodus: Gods and Kings; Suspect Zero; Slipstream; Rules of Engagement; Self/less; Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2009 for Worst Supporting Actor for The Love Guru, War, Inc., and The Wackness; and in 2007 for BloodRayne. Nominated for four Oscars, winning one for Gandhi.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $60,074,103 (Worldwide: $113,374,103)

(Of course, otherwise there is no chance this is franchised. Just thinking of the storyline I don’t think they would even think of this these days. It almost comes across as exploitation, and with erotic thrillers being basically a totally defunct genre I don’t really see it. Erotic Sci-Fi Horror … how’d this make $100 million?!)

#17 for the Creature Feature genre

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(Ooooo right on the cusp of a giant surge. Obviously this was fueled by Jurassic Park (not this one, but creature features). Critters 2 and King Kong Lives are recent BMT examples, and recently the genre is back with Jurassic World and Godzilla. The new King Kong should continue that trend if it gets good reviews.)

#10 for the Sci-Fi Horror genre

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(Ahead of its time! And since about 1995 it has been a pretty consistently released genre. It just doesn’t make a ton of money. I mean, Species is the 10th highest grossing film ever! It is at quite the nadir at the moment, but things like Predator and Alien should sustain it for at least a while longer. It isn’t totally VOD yet!)

Rotten Tomatoes – 34% (12/35): No consensus yet.

(Ooooo I love giving consensuses: A smart take on schlocky sci-fi horror which ultimately devolves into soft-core pornography with a clunky premise. My favorite part of a review is from Ebert himself where he describes the alien as a: “[d]isgusting, slimy morph-creatures with rows of evil teeth, whose greatest cultural achievement is jumping out at people from behind things.” I don’t like jump scares either Ebert.)

Poster – Our Sklog is Up (B+)

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(While it is cheesy in a lot of ways, it is also epic. Really raw image with great font, nice balance, and coloring. Looks like a knockoff of the Alien poster. Still good though.)

Tagline(s) – Two decades ago scientists sent a message to space. This… is the reply. (B)

(Too long and detailed (we need to know that it was two decades ago?), but I like the suspense. Got some cleverness in too with the ellipses.)

Keyword(s) – interspecies sex; Top Ten by BMeTric: 67.3 Howard The Duck (1986); 46.7 Caligula (1979); 35.9 Decoys (2004); 35.8 Splice (2009); 34.9 Species (1995); 22.9 Ta paidia tou Diavolou (1976); 20.1 The Dunwich Horror (1970); 18.5 Une vraie jeune fille (1976); 17.2 The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat (1974); 17.0 The Beast Within (1982);

(This is real everyone. This is the real top keyword for this movie on IMDb, yet again proving that IMDb keywords are useless … also false! Howard the Duck never has sex with a human. Liars! This list is a house of lies!)

Notes – During the production, MGM opted not to shoot the “nightmare train” sequence to keep costs down. H.R. Giger was not willing to accept that, however, so he spent $100,000 of his own money to finance the sequence.

For the scene in which Sil is ‘born’ from the cocoon, the train set was built upside down. Natasha Henstridge, totally naked and covered in KY Jelly lubricant, was pushed through the cocoon, and the shot was flipped upside down afterwards, to achieve the effect of her falling out.

Xavier (Ben Kingsley) Fitch says that the alien signal was received by the Arecibo radio telescope exactly nineteen years after an outbound message was transmitted. Since the transmissions traveled at the speed of light, that means that the alien solar system is approximately nine light-years from Earth. There are two stars which are likely candidates, Sirius and Luyten 726-8A. (now these are the fun facts I like to see)

Fitch’s comment that they made Sil female to be more docile is an in-joke that belies his ignorance. In every predatory species known, the female is always more aggressive. (I don’t believe this is true)

Michael Madsen and Marg Helgenberger were allowed to improvise their sex scene.

SIL is actually S1L, the medical cell in the lab where the DNA was grown.

An early draft of the script had the young Sil calmly killing a friendly cab driver. In an effort to keep the audience’s sympathy for her character (and to make the murder of the porter more shocking) the scene was changed to Sil killing a tramp in self defense after he attempts to attack her. (There was another BMT film like this, where there clearly was just no kills by the “bad” protagonist for almost the entire movie … but I can’t remember what it was, although I do remember it was a terrible idea.)

When Sil watches TV at the motel, she flips through different channels and they all show various things she will do later in the film. Like having sex, changing her hair, showing off her body, etc. (coooooool)