Halloween II (1981) Preview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poster – Ballerween II: Big Time Scares

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

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

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

Keyword – halloween

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare Preview

Jamie bursts through the door, running headlong into the giant box in the middle of their apartment. The corner connects directly with his testicles, which amuses Rachel and Patrick to no end. When Jamie is done writhing on the ground and cursing the obviously and unendingly useless box, he announces that he has gotten a toy for the big toy giveaway. “Tada,” he says as he reveals a Rich themed blanket and a Poe brand tea set. Apparently after the war toy submarine fiasco the Super Dope Toy company was looking for something a bit more lowkey and the blanket and tea set hit all the right notes. “The perfect combination,” Jamie explains, “Just like Rich & Poe are the perfect combination of bad guy stopping power.” Patrick holds up his hand in exasperation. While it wouldn’t exactly be the toy he would have chosen, it’ll have to do because he also has big news. The FMV VR Rich & Poe experience is done and he thinks it’s pretty great. No need to say more. Jamie quickly sends off the Rich & Poe Blanket & Tea set to WGRG, while Patrick sets the FMV release date for peak chart time. With their nerves on edge and 15 hours to kill before they see if their plan has worked, Jamie and Patrick contemplate what to do until then. “Should we watch Here on Earth?” Patrick suggests, breaking out their well-worn 4K copy with extra bonus features. But Jamie shakes his head. The white-hot tragic love story is a bit too intense for the moment. What they really need is some sleep. Suddenly it hits him like a ton of bricks. Duh, let’s take this blanket and tea set for a test drive and snooze away the time. Hopefully they don’t have any bad dreams. That’s right! We are transitioning out of the video games/song cycle and right into one of our favorites: franchises! We are going to hit up some beautiful sequels, please, and start it off hot with the two Nightmare on Elm entries that qualified for BMT (before the reboots started). Those are A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child and Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, which were five and six in the series. I really liked the first one, so I was excited to watch the whole original series. Let’s go!

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) – BMeTric: 66.4; Notability: 42

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.4%; Notability: top 23.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 12.7% Higher BMeT: Cool as Ice; Higher Notability: Hook, Hudson Hawk, Mobsters, Switch, Flight of the Intruder, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Rock-A-Doodle, Life Stinks, Out for Justice, Necessary Roughness, The Marrying Man, The Five Heartbeats, Driving Me Crazy, Billy Bathgate, He Said, She Said, Oscar, Teen Agent, King Ralph; Lower RT: Cool as Ice, Mobsters, Problem Child 2, Pure Luck, The Marrying Man, Strictly Business, Drop Dead Fred, Another You, Oscar, Nothing But Trouble, The Hitman, Mannequin: On the Move, Curly Sue, One Good Cop, Suburban Commando, Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time, Ernest Scared Stupid, Driving Me Crazy, Life Stinks; Notes: Phew, at least it managed to get below 5.0. The film is rough, and the impressive BMeTric is well deserved.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Don’t believe the title. This Nightmare on Elm Street entry has Freddy Krueger trying to break out of the town where he’s been slaughtering teens in their dreams. Now the stage is set for the end-all Freddy showdown – a 10-minute 3-D finales that didn’t even look good in theaters. A total yawner. Cameos by Alice Cooper, Raseanne and Tom Arnold, and Johnny Depp, whose film debut was in the first Nightmare. Followed by Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.

(I think you can believe the title Leonard! This is the (sad) culmination of what is, in reality, a really solid slasher franchise with six films. New Nightmare is a meta reboot. Freddy v. Jason is something outside of both of those franchises (and I think would have been considered its own unique franchise is they had got to make a sequel). And then they had the remake. This is actually the conclusion of the first set of films.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGQP6PIXzyc/

(I swear to god the middle of that trailer is just a series of people hitting him and punching him in the face. Terrible trailer. Having seen it, I also think they should have played up that this is set 10 years in the future and that Springwood is a ghost town without any children … but then again that is ultra dumb and I hate it so ….)

Directors – Rachel Talalay – (Known For: A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting; Future BMT: Tank Girl; Ghost in the Machine; BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Notes: Crazy life, she was a mathematician who worked as a programmer at Yale when she met John Waters which got her into movies. She was involved in the first four films in various ways which got her this job. She was the first American to direct a Doctor Who episode. And now she directs a ton of television shows.)

Writers – Wes Craven (characters) – (Known For: A Nightmare on Elm Street; The Hills Have Eyes; The Last House on the Left; Freddy vs. Jason; Wes Craven’s New Nightmare; The People Under the Stairs; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge; The Last House on the Left; The Hills Have Eyes; Deadly Blessing; Paris, je t’aime; A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; Swamp Thing; The Hills Have Eyes Part II; Future BMT: Pulse; The Hills Have Eyes II; My Soul to Take; A Nightmare on Elm Street; A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Shocker; BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Notes: His son is a horror film producer, and his daughter was an actress who had a bit part in this film as a nurse.)

Rachel Talalay (story) – (BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Notes: She wrote her first feature since this film last year, although I don’t think it is necessarily going to be released widely anywhere.)

Michael De Luca (screenplay) – (Known For: In the Mouth of Madness; BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Judge Dredd; Notes: Ended up as Dreamworks’ President of Production and MGM’s Motion Picture Group Chairman. He also wrote seven of the Freddy’s Nightmares episodes.)

Actors – Robert Englund – (Known For: A Nightmare on Elm Street; Freddy vs. Jason; A Star Is Born; Hatchet; Wes Craven’s New Nightmare; Galaxy of Terror; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge; A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; Dead and Buried; Strippers vs Werewolves; Stay Hungry; Zombie Strippers!; Death Trap; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon; Big Wednesday; 2001 Maniacs; The Midnight Man; Red; Strangeland; Future BMT: The Mangler; A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Meet the Deedles; Wishmaster; The Phantom of the Opera; The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Urban Legend; Notes: I find it pretty interesting that he is top billed in all of these films except the first and third (where  Heather Langenkamp gets a higher billing). Out of all of the slasher franchises that must be a fairly unique thing, to have the slasher be top billed.)

Lisa Zane – (Known For: Bad Influence; Heart of Dixie; Floundering; Femme Fatale; The Girl from Nagasaki; Cruel But Necessary; Future BMT: Gross Anatomy; BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Monkeybone; Notes: That’s right, the sister of BMT mega-star Billy Zane! Was a voice on Biker Mice from Mars, the cartoon.)

Shon Greenblatt – (Known For: The Last Days of Paradise; Luster; Chopper Chicks in Zombietown; Future BMT: Newsies; BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Notes: Son of famous broadway producers, and the father of famous child actor Ariana Greenblatt who we haven’t seen in anything, but will presumably eventually see in Bad Mom’s Christmas.)

Budget/Gross – $11,000,000 / Domestic: $34,872,033 (Worldwide: $34,872,033)

(Yeah that is good. Slashers (and horror in general) were in a really bad place in the 90s, so it is a bit of good fortune they didn’t charge forward with trying to make this not the final nightmare. But it is a bit of a surprise that they didn’t start to think through how to continue with it. These franchises always seem like such easy money at the time.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (6/30): Reducing the once-terrifying Dream Reaper into a goofy caricature, this joyless climax will leave audiences hoping Freddy stays dead.

(Yup. It was inevitable though. Outside of three all of the sequels started giving Freddy more and more to do and say and … well, what can a child murderer say that is interesting except goofy puns that undermine the horror? Reviewer Highlight: The joke is on the filmmakers: By taking the finality out of death, they’ve already robbed the horror genre of its giddy sting. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – The Nightmare’s Over: Sklog Street Edition

(Went back to more traditional, which was a harbinger of things to come. Not sure why it’s tilted or why that bus is on there. But color scheme is nice and showing who the real star was at this point: Freddy. Somehow regressed on the font. C+)

Tagline(s) – They saved the best for last. (D)

(Ooooof, that’s an unfortunately inaccurate tagline. I generally do not like meta taglines and this is no different. Bad all around.)

Keyword – slasher

Top 10: Get Out (2017), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Seven (1995), American Psycho (2000), Jennifer’s Body (2009), Scream (1996), The Cabin in the Woods (2011), Urban Legend (1998), Scary Movie (2000), Wrong Turn (2003)

Future BMT: 82.8 Prom Night (2008), 82.5 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 72.6 Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017), 72.1 Black Christmas (2019), 69.3 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), 68.8 Black Christmas (2006), 68.1 Seed of Chucky (2004), 67.0 Halloween II (2009), 64.3 Valentine (2001), 63.6 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995);

BMT: Urban Legend (1998), House of Wax (2005), Friday the 13th (2009), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), Jason X (2001), Truth or Dare (2018), Cobra (1986), The Bye Bye Man (2017), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990), Friday the 13th: Part III (1982), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), The Fog (2005), Deadly Friend (1986), Graveyard Shift (1990)

(Horror is an interesting franchise in that you can see in the last ten years how much it must have migrated to streaming (like Shudder) with the precipitous drop in notability. The big peak is around Scream I think and the newly minted big budget horror genre which swiftly died. I am excited to do the entirely Halloween franchise next. I’ve seen mot of those, but I have a lot more horror experiences to draw on now.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robert Englund is No. 1 billed in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare and No. 10 billed in Urban Legend, which also stars Alicia Witt (No. 1 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 2 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 10 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch The Phantom of the Opera, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 17.

Notes – This is the first film in the franchise that does not include the little jump rope girls singing Freddy’s rhyme.

Peter Jackson’s original screenplay for Freddy’s Dead saw Freddy aging and growing weak within the dream world. The teens of Springwood would have drug-fuelled slumber parties for kicks, and enter the dream world to beat him up. (HAHAHA)

A sixteen-year-old Jacob Johnson, the son that was born to Alice Johnson in the previous installment, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989), was a major character in the original script written for the movie by Michael Almereyda. In this first draft of the film, Alice, now in her thirties, was killed by Freddy. Taryn, Joey, and Kincaid from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) also returned as the “Dream Police”. In the script, Taryn was the “Blade Cop”, Joey was the “Sound Cop”, and Kincaid was the “Power Cop”. Director Rachel Talalay has stated that she greatly disliked the original script, and that the replacement script by Michael De Luca “saved the day”. De Luca also said that he was surprised he wasn’t asked to write the screenplay in the first place, since he had done a similar last-minute re-write on A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989). (WHAT, I … kind of love that? I love the idea of the “Dream Police” would be an interesting idea of the Dream Masters getting recruited into a group to fight Freddy)

When shown theatrically, audience members were given one pair of red cardboard 3-D glasses with movie taglines printed on it. The inside arms had adhesives for attaching to standard glasses. An advertisement for House Party 2 (1991) was printed on the outside of one arm.

They re-used most of the crew from John Waters’ Cry-Baby (1990), including Traci Lords’ husband. (Right, because the director was good friends with John Waters)

The video game system that Freddy Krueger plays is similar to the NES which featured the A Nightmare on Elm Street (1989) video game.

Alice Cooper, who has an uncredited role as Freddy’s father, previously co-wrote and performed the theme song for Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986). Both that film and this film are the sixth films in their respective franchises.

When released to home video, the 3-D sequence was shown in standard format, excluding the UK rental version. However, the LaserDisc version had the full 3-D sequence, along with the regular version. Two pairs of 3-D glasses were included with the disc. The glasses were similar to the ones given out in theaters, minus the advertisements, adhesives, and taglines. They were also printed on a thinner cardstock. This was the only way to view the 3-D sequence prior to the DVD release in the U.S.

This is the first “A Nightmare On Elm Street” film not to have the words “Elm Street” in the title.

Part of the title was inspired by the hit song “Freddie’s Dead” by Curtis Mayfield from the almost 20-year old film “Super Fly” (1972).

Robert Englund has stated that his favorite kill in any of the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise, is Carlos’ death in this film. (It is my least favorite so …)

John Doe comes to think he may be Freddy’s son. As noted earlier, this film takes place ten years in the future, circa 1999. The “A Nightmare on Elm Street” official website’s time line notes that Freddy Krueger’s death at the hands of the Springwood parents, took place in 1968 (based on the fact that in A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989), Freddy’s mother is said to have died soon after Freddy’s trial). This film notes that Freddy’s child was taken away from him in 1966 (see the chalkboard scene at Springwood High School). Therefore, John Doe would have to be in his thirties to be Freddy’s son, which he obviously was not. (This is some A+ movie timeline stuff and I love it)

The producers where planning a spin off film in which Freddy Kreuger’s spirit possesses the body of his daughter Maggie Burroughs (Lisa Zane) and she continue’s her father’s murderous killing spree but it never happened.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Iggy Pop, 1992)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child Preview

Jamie bursts through the door, running headlong into the giant box in the middle of their apartment. The corner connects directly with his testicles, which amuses Rachel and Patrick to no end. When Jamie is done writhing on the ground and cursing the obviously and unendingly useless box, he announces that he has gotten a toy for the big toy giveaway. “Tada,” he says as he reveals a Rich themed blanket and a Poe brand tea set. Apparently after the war toy submarine fiasco the Super Dope Toy company was looking for something a bit more lowkey and the blanket and tea set hit all the right notes. “The perfect combination,” Jamie explains, “Just like Rich & Poe are the perfect combination of bad guy stopping power.” Patrick holds up his hand in exasperation. While it wouldn’t exactly be the toy he would have chosen, it’ll have to do because he also has big news. The FMV VR Rich & Poe experience is done and he thinks it’s pretty great. No need to say more. Jamie quickly sends off the Rich & Poe Blanket & Tea set to WGRG, while Patrick sets the FMV release date for peak chart time. With their nerves on edge and 15 hours to kill before they see if their plan has worked, Jamie and Patrick contemplate what to do until then. “Should we watch Here on Earth?” Patrick suggests, breaking out their well-worn 4K copy with extra bonus features. But Jamie shakes his head. The white-hot tragic love story is a bit too intense for the moment. What they really need is some sleep. Suddenly it hits him like a ton of bricks. Duh, let’s take this blanket and tea set for a test drive and snooze away the time. Hopefully they don’t have any bad dreams. That’s right! We are transitioning out of the video games/song cycle and right into one of our favorites: franchises! We are going to hit up some beautiful sequels, please, and start it off hot with the two Nightmare on Elm entries that qualified for BMT (before the reboots started). Those are A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child and Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, which were five and six in the series. I really liked the first one, so I was excited to watch the whole original series. Let’s go!

A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989) – BMeTric: 57.4; Notability: 55

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 2.0%; Notability: top 6.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 26.8% Higher BMeT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Cyborg; Higher Notability: Troop Beverly Hills, Road House, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Lower RT: Wired, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, DeepStar Six, No Holds Barred, She’s Out of Control, Millennium, Winter People, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, The Karate Kid Part III, The Salute of the Jugger, Chattahoochee, Nightmare Vacation 3, The Lemon Sisters, Three Fugitives, Cookie, Her Alibi, Cyborg, Rude Awakening, Renegades, Harlem Nights and 18 more; Notes: Man what a year for bad horror sequels! I’m always astounded by how much people on IMDb hate bad horror films.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Fifth in the Nightmare series, with everyone except Englund just going through the paces. Here, scarred, dream-haunting Freddy Krueger (Englund) uses the unborn child of Wilcox to strike at her friends. As usual, special effects are a highlight but don’t save the film from being a bore. Followed by Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.

(I’m pretty intrigued by the idea that the special effects are a highlight. It seems like this series in particular tends to have some pretty good special effects. I’m a bit surprised that Maltin, who seems to hate horror films, doesn’t mention how weirdly vulgar Kreuger is in the later sequels.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFm_jiI8RiA 

(The reveal of the subtitle, The Dream Child, almost seems like a joke. Pair that with the Beetlejuice-esque sets and “It’s a Boooooooooy” at the end and I kind of hate this trailer. I think it might have been different at the time, but knowing it is a bad movie makes the trailer seem merely a confirmation of that fact.)

Directors – Stephen Hopkins – (Known For: The Ghost and the Darkness; Race; Under Suspicion; The Life and Death of Peter Sellers; Tube Tales; Dangerous Game; Future BMT: The Reaping; Blown Away; Judgment Night; BMT: Lost in Space; A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Predator 2; Notes: Won an Emmy for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, and also was lead director on the first season of 24. Was storyboarding commercials when he was 15 in Australia, originally born in Jamaica and raised in England.)

Writers – Wes Craven (characters) – (Known For: A Nightmare on Elm Street; The Hills Have Eyes; The Last House on the Left; Freddy vs. Jason; Wes Craven’s New Nightmare; The People Under the Stairs; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge; The Last House on the Left; The Hills Have Eyes; Deadly Blessing; Paris, je t’aime; A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; Swamp Thing; The Hills Have Eyes Part II; Future BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Pulse; The Hills Have Eyes II; My Soul to Take; A Nightmare on Elm Street; Shocker; BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Notes: Well known for his genre defying horror films, including twice creating what could be construed as send-ups (and meta versions) of the Nightmare franchise in both New Nightmare and Scream. A quintessential voice in horror throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s.)

John Skipp (story) – (Known For: Class of 1999; Tales of Halloween; BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Notes: A musician with a band called Arcade. Him and Spector wrote several bestselling novels as well.)

Craig Spector (story) – (BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Notes: Also a musician and writing partner with Skipp, they were a part of the “splatterpunk” horror fiction movement of the 80’s.)

Leslie Bohem (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Tracers; House III: The Horror Show; Twenty Bucks; Kid; Future BMT: Nowhere to Run; Dante’s Peak; The Alamo; BMT: The Darkest Hour; A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Daylight; Notes: Also a musician with the Gleaming Spires in the 80s! She won an Emmy for the miniseries Taken.)

Actors – Robert Englund – (Known For: A Nightmare on Elm Street; Freddy vs. Jason; A Star Is Born; Hatchet; Wes Craven’s New Nightmare; Galaxy of Terror; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge; A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; Dead and Buried; Strippers vs Werewolves; Stay Hungry; Zombie Strippers!; Death Trap; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon; Big Wednesday; 2001 Maniacs; The Midnight Man; Red; Strangeland; Future BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; The Mangler; Meet the Deedles; Wishmaster; The Phantom of the Opera; The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Urban Legend; Notes: Apparently he wrote a version of the third film that they didn’t use. He is going to be in a few episodes of the upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things.)

Lisa Wilcox – (Known For: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; Gimme an ‘F’; Men Seeking Women; Watchers Reborn; Clinger; The Church; BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Notes: Was mostly out of acting in the 2000s and running a costume jewelry company “Toe Brights” which she founded. She’s has a few small horror films in the works.)

Kelly Jo Minter – (Known For: The Lost Boys; Mask; House Party; The People Under the Stairs; New Jack City; Summer School; Doc Hollywood; The Principal; Miracle Mile; Cat Chaser; Sunset Grill; Future BMT: The Rich Man’s Wife; Out for Justice; Popcorn; BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Notes: Has three children and currently is designing handbags under the label KJO Los Angeles.)

Budget/Gross – $8 million / Domestic: $22,168,359 (Worldwide: $22,168,359)

(That’s pretty good. I really don’t understand how they make these films for so little! $8 million and you are paying for a returning actress from the fourth and Englund and special effects? That is pretty impressive.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (9/31): A Nightmare on Elm Street feels exhausted by this cheesy fifth entry, bogged down by a convoluted mythology while showing none of the chilling technique that kicked off the franchise.

(Man. If they think the mythology in Nightmare on Elm Street is convoluted they better not Halloween and the Cult of Thorn. Reviewer Highlight: Fifth edition of the hit Nightmare series is a poorly constructed special effects showcase. – Variety Staff)

Poster – Nightmare on Sklog Street 5: Dream Baby

(Wild, Just wild. Nightmare on Elm really got away with crazy posters and visuals throughout the series, becoming more and more late 80’s/early 90’s as it went along. This is the peak though. The poster is bonkers. It’s nuts that this hung in theaters and stuff next to a poster for, like, Uncle Buck or something. I’m gonna give it a B+ just for the chutzpah.)

Tagline(s) – Freddy delivers. (A-)

(They really missed a chance at using “You snooze, you lose” as a tagline for one of the films. This probably wouldn’t have been it. Probably the second one. Anyway, this is kind of a fun one so I appreciate it. Short, sweet, and clever. It’s good, if silly for a horror film.)

Keyword – nightmare

Top 10: The Passion of the Christ (2004), Midsommar (2019), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Wonder Woman (2017), Watchmen (2009), Interstellar (2014), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Captain Marvel (2019), Get Out (2017), Stardust (2007)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 87.9 BloodRayne (2005), 82.8 Prom Night (2008), 76.5 Junior (1994), 71.8 Bewitched (2005), 70.0 The Unborn (2009), 67.0 Halloween II (2009), 65.6 Pulse (2006), 61.0 Cursed (2005), 61.0 Legion (2010);

BMT: 2012 (2009), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), Event Horizon (1997), Fifty Shades Darker (2017), Fantasy Island (2020), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), The Nun (2018), Rambo (2008), Vampire Academy (2014), Slender Man (2018), Replicas (2018), Flatliners (2017), The Bye Bye Man (2017), Nothing But Trouble (1991), Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992), Red Riding Hood (2011), The Rite (2011), Perfect Stranger (2007), Rings (2017), Dracula 2001 (2000), The Number 23 (2007), New York Minute (2004), Silent Hill: Revelation (2012), The Lawnmower Man (1992), Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), The Ring 2 (2005)

(What a bizarre keyword. Passion of the Christ? Was there a nightmare in that? Was there a nightmare in all of the MCU and DCU films? I guess we got over nightmares in the mid-2000s.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robert Englund is No. 1 billed in A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child and No. 10 billed in Urban Legend, which also stars Alicia Witt (No. 1 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 2 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 10 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch The Phantom of the Opera, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 17.

Notes – According to director Stephen Hopkins, they “got lots of tarantulas, hand-painted them green and red, and on the floor of the stage placed a little wall up in the shape of an arm and had trainers come in and around the tarantulas.” The plan was to simply drop the wall and film the resulting scattering of the spiders. However, after they got the shot they were left with a studio full of around 200 angry tarantulas. Hopkins figures, “We probably carried on shooting on another set, I’m sure. I don’t think anyone ever found them again.” (That’s ecologically irresponsible)

The graduation sequence was cut down significantly to speed up the pacing of the film.

Stephen Hopkins was given just four weeks to shoot and a further four weeks to edit the film. This meant that he had to shoot on one stage while the crew dressed the other, so they could shoot almost continually. After he made it, the studio was so impressed, that he was given the task of directing Predator 2 (1990).

When Alice wakes up from her nightmare in the asylum, and one of the deranged Westin Hills patients, who’s portrayed by Robert Englund, appears beside her in bed and pins her down, originally he said, “There’s no such thing as safe sex.” The line was excised from the film.

Stephen King and comic book writer Frank Miller were offered the job of writing and directing this movie. (A Stephen King directed Nightmare film would have been wild)

Executive producer Sara Risher’s original pitch to New Line Cinema for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) was for Freddy to have a baby. Risher states, “I went in, one of the executives was pregnant at the time, and I said, ‘Picture Freddy clawing his way out of the womb.’ No one liked my idea. So then I got a call for Nightmare 5, and when they came to me they said, ‘Remember when you wanted Freddy to have a baby? Well, we like that idea now. What if Alice was the mom?'”

There was a nude body double that stood in for Lisa Wilcox during the scene where Alice’s dream morphs into a nightmare.

The film was the lowest-grossing film of the franchise.

Virtually nothing of the screenplay by John Skipp and Craig Spector made it into the film (according to Skipp, only the phrase “It’s a boy” was retained), while only around half of Leslie Bohem’s screenplay was kept. William Wisher and David J. Schow did further re-writes, and the final screenplay was put together just a few days before shooting by Michael De Luca.

The end credits song, “Let’s Go” by Kool Moe Dee was actually a diss track to LL Cool J. The two rappers were feuding at the time this film was being made.

The only ‘Nightmare on Elm Street” Film not to have any direct involvement from Rachel Talalay who had worked on Elm Streets 1 to 4 in various crew roles, though she is thanked in the end credits and miss it if you blink call out on the Doctors door in the Baby clinic to a DR Tala (obscured). Rachel Talalay would be reunited with Freddy Krueger in ‘Freddy’s Dead’ (1991) as Director.

Alice is the only person who has fought Freddy Krueger twice and survived. And she is one of only a handful of characters in the three major slasher franchises to survive their killer more than once. Halloween’s Dr. Loomis, Laurie Strode, Nurse Marion Chambers, Jamie Lloyd, Sheriff Brackett, and Tommy Doyle. And Tommy Jarvis of the Friday films.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Bruce Dickinson, 1990)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Kool Moe Dee, 1990)

House of Wax Preview

As the gamemasters cackle and begin the unnecessarily long process of putting the two pieces of the Dongle back together, Rich begins to hear a whistle. It steadily grows louder until even the gamemasters stop and look around. A lightning strike suddenly hits the Earth. It quakes and Poe emerges from a crack. “Im… impossible,” John Travolta gasps in horror. Rich and Poe clasp hands in a Predator high five. “I’m here, brother,” Poe says, “now let’s pound some dweebs.” While Rich and Poe’s greasy abs, gleaming in the sunlight, would normally strike fear into anyone’s hearts (and in fact, even more so now as Poe emerged from the Earth entirely in the nude), the gamemasters simply smile. “Silly brothers, you have no chance against the power of the twins,” screams Travolta in crazed glee, but when he attempts to smash the pieces of the Dongle together an unseen power prevents him. “Wha wha whaaaaaa?” he says like a total dumbo. The pieces of the dongle are suddenly wrenched from his hands and float over to Rich and Poe. A look of peace is on their face as they use their new found powers to provide an anticlimactic ten minute long expository monologue directly into the gamemasters’ heads. It’s incredibly detailed and reveals formerly unknown facts about Rich and Poe’s upbringing on the bayou. It’s a tale of twins, separated at birth, one taken in by a rich family, the other a poor, but forever linked by their sense of justice and attitude towards rulez. They are and have forever been… the Bad Movie Twins. And with that they place the pieces of the Dongle together and totally pound those dweebs. The ceremonial chamber melts under the intense power of the Dongle. Looks like it’s time to blow this joint. That’s right! We are transitioning to a very special 2020 year in review cycle by watching House of Wax (2005). I’m sure you’re all like “but wait, that wasn’t made in 2020!” and you’d be right. Because of world events there just aren’t that many major motion pictures for the year. So instead we are doing what we are calling Hindsight is 2020. We are mixing together some of the films that did get released early in the year with a retrospective look at films released 5, 10, 15, etc. years ago and a few holiday films to boot. It’ll be an extravaganza the likes of which we’ll (hopefully) never see again. Let’s go!

The literary agent looks in fear at the two cyborg men. “Wh-what do you want with me?” he asks in fear and then looks down at the basket they have brought into the office, “and what’s in the basket?” he wonders aloud. “Oh, just something I think you’ll be very interested in,” the two cyborg men say before they turn and take off their stylish fedoras to reveal none other than… Sticks and Stones! Bum bum bum. That’s right! We are finishing our Bring a Friend cycle by partaking in the lesser known horror franchise Basket Case 2. It’s a little questionable just how bad some of these films are as they have niche audiences that love them, but can’t we just watch a weird horror sequel involving a tiny deformed twin in a basket in peace? Let’s go!

House of Wax (2005) – BMeTric: 58.0; Notability: 34 

(Nice, 2005 is basically the oldest a movie can be and still see the beginning of the film’s release on the internet archive it looks like. I find it interesting that it opened so low … maybe finicky horror fans slamming a not-great horror film? Maybe people trying to brigade a Paris Hilton film? Maybe back then IMDb was much more of a movie aficionado’s site. It is hard to tell, but still pleasantly low rating even today. Fun trajectory.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – The Dead Teenager Movie has grown up. The characters in “House of Wax” are in their 20s and yet still repeat the fatal errors of all the “Friday the 13th” kids who checked into Camp Crystal Lake and didn’t check out. … Where the movie excels is in its special effects and set design. Graham “Grace” Walker masterminds a spectacular closing sequence in which the House of Wax literally melts down, and characters sink into stairs, fall through floors and claw through walls. There is also an eerie sequence in which a living victim is sprayed with hot wax and ends up with a finish you’d have to pay an extra four bucks for at the car wash.

(I agree with Ebert about the final scene. I saw this film long ago and that is, indeed, an impressive set piece in a way. I’m more surprised, though, that he didn’t reject the film flat out as torture porn garbage. Because it is pretty close to Hostel-level in how it revels in gore. Unpleasant in my opinion, just not my cup of tea as far as horror is concerned. This is, of course, based on my memory of watching it over 15 years ago.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DnFKwVcM10/

(Pretty standard. Having watched it a few times now I can say they are being a bit deceptive about the set up for the film. The set up is epically stupid. But it gives the right vibe: Texas Chainsaw Massacre basically.)

Directors – Jaume Collet-Serra – (Known For: Orphan; The Shallows; The Commuter; Non-Stop; Unknown; Run All Night; Future BMT: Goal II: Living the Dream; BMT: House of Wax; Notes: Tapped for Black Adam and Jungle Cruise, two upcoming Dwayne Johnson features. From Spain, and directs music videos under the mononym Juame.)

Writers – Charles Belden (story) – (Known For: House of Wax; Dracula’s Daughter; Mystery of the Wax Museum; Charlie Chan at the Opera; BMT: House of Wax; Notes: This is why I found it odd that people talk about the 1953 film as the predecessor, when this guy wrote the 1933 Mystery of the Wax Museum and gets a credit listed on IMDb on this and the 1953 film. The story is a lot closer for that film as well.)

Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes (screenplay) – (Known For: The Conjuring; The Conjuring 2; Future BMT: The Turning; The Reaping; The Crucifixion; BMT: House of Wax; Whiteout; Notes: You guessed it, they are twins! They are twins that wrote a horror film about twins. They also played twins in the movie Rad starring Lori Loughlin. They are part of the writing team for the Die Hard prequel McClane.)

Actors – Chad Michael Murray – (Known For: Freaky Friday; Max Winslow and the House of Secrets; Fruitvale Station; Camp Cold Brook; Future BMT: The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia; Survive the Night; Megiddo: The Omega Code 2; A Cinderella Story; Home of the Brave; Cavemen; Outlaws and Angels; BMT: Left Behind; House of Wax; A Madea Christmas; Notes: Most notable for his star turn on One Tree Hill. He never quite made it to being a movie star, but he’s done a ton of television. Apparently he was up for the Ryan Atwood role on The O.C. but turned it down to do One Tree Hill.)

Paris Hilton – (Known For: Zoolander; The Bling Ring; Snakes on a Plane; Repo! The Genetic Opera; Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!; Future BMT: The Hottie & the Nottie; Pledge This!; Raising Helen; Wonderland; BMT: The Cat in the Hat; House of Wax; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for The Hottie & the Nottie in 2009; Winner for Worst Supporting Actress in 2006 for House of Wax; and in 2009 for Repo! The Genetic Opera; and Winner for Worst Actress of the Decade in 2010 for House of Wax, Repo! The Genetic Opera, and The Hottie & the Nottie; Notes: The heiress of the Hilton fortune, but apparently has made around $300 million herself mostly through fragrance royalties overseas. Allegedly her antics caused her grandfather to donate 97% of his fortune to charity, thus costing her relatives billions in inheritance. Can’t say I’m crying a river over that, that sounds swell.)

Elisha Cuthbert – (Known For: The Girl Next Door; Love Actually; Old School; Goon: Last of the Enforcers; He Was a Quiet Man; Future BMT: Captivity; The Quiet; Just Before I Go; BMT: House of Wax; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Captivity in 2008; Notes: I think she’s still known for being Jack Bauer’s daughter on 24. But beyond that she also had a starring role on Happy Endings, and on Ashton Kutcher’s show The Ranch. Married to the professional hockey player Dion Phaneuf.)

Budget/Gross – $40,000,000 / Domestic: $32,064,800 (Worldwide: $68,766,121)

(Hmmmm, not great. I’m actually really surprised by this, usually horror films are money in the bank. I have two guesses. First, its word of mouth was so bad it torpedoed the release. This is most likely. Second, this is right around when things like Hostel were starting to come out and it ended up playing into a much more niche audience than the producers realized. This is maybe supported by Hostel, a film I feel is wildly successful and spawned multiple sequels, “only” made $47 million domestically. Saw II and The Ring 2 were released the same year and made far more despite being worse than Hostel … but maybe that is the sequel effect.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (41/158): Bearing little resemblance to the 1953 original, House of Wax is a formulaic but better-than-average teen slasher flick.

(I’m actually a bit surprised they even mention the original. The original really has nothing to do with this film. I don’t even really think they considered it a remake in any capacity, it just used the same name. Reviewer Highlight: Related to the 1953 Vincent Price film in name, embalming technique and Warner Bros. pedigree only, the new House of Wax is a dreary, predictable tale. – Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Time)

Poster – House of Racks on Racks

(That house is making bank on those wax sculptures fo sho. This is just a flat out good poster. Creepy and getting me intrigued. I like the subtle color scheme and the font is just enough, although I would have enjoyed them melting a little too. A)

Tagline(s) – Prey. Slay. Display. (A+)

(I mean… that’s… I’m speechless. This is the creativity I want. Stay within the tried and true formula while also surprising me. Rule of three with a rhyme scheme?! Come on. A little hint of the gory details of the plot and do it all in three words?!?! It’s a masterclass.)

Keyword – twins

Top 10: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Doctor Sleep (2019), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), The Great Outdoors (1988), House of Wax (2005), Lord of the Flies (1990), A Cinderella Story (2004), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 58.2 Deck the Halls (2006), 54.9 The Back-up Plan (2010), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 36.2 A Cinderella Story (2004), 31.0 It Takes Two (1995), 13.4 Little Women (2018);

BMT: House of Wax (2005), Double Impact (1991), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Father Figures (2017), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), Jack and Jill (2011), Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), Pluto Nash (2002), Mrs. Winterbourne (1996), The Identical (2014)

(And with that we finish our twin cycle with eleven bona fide “twins” films. A wild success if I say so myself. It Takes Two is probably the only one on the list which is definitely “twins” and we should do. A Cinderella Story is close, but it is just the step sisters that are twins in that case (and it is really hard to tell if it is real or assumed online).)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Chad Michael Murray is No. 5 billed in House of Wax and No. 2 billed in Left Behind (2014), which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 5 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 15. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Aside from the title and the setting of a wax museum, this film has no connection to the original film House of Wax (1953) in terms of plot.

Jared Padalecki is one foot taller than co-star Elisha Cuthbert. To make herself appear taller in scenes where she and Padalecki would be filmed together, Cuthbert taped two-inch blocks of wood to the bottoms of her boots. This was only done during scenes where they would be shot from the knee and up.

Names mentioned in the script but not the film are the roadkill collector (Lester), and Carly and Nick’s last name (Jones). Chad Michael Murray (Nick), in a radio interview, was shocked to hear his character finally had a last name, and said that it was an ongoing debate on set.

The town of Ambrose was constructed in 10 weeks, and was modeled after a real town in Eritrea called Asmara. Asmara was built by the Italians in Africa during World War II in the Modern Style rather than the Deco Style, which was more popular at the time. (Whaaaaaa?)

On 26 June 2004, a sound stage being used for the film burned to the ground during a test of special-effects equipment. The fire, started by a candle, destroyed a studio at Warner Bros Movie World on Australia’s Gold Coast. One crew member was treated for burns to his arm, but no one else was injured.

Paris Hilton was actually the first to be cast for this film. The cast was then built around her. (Whaaaaaa?)

Though the film takes place in Florida, USA, the film was actually shot in Australia. (False, the film is set in Louisiana, they are coming from Florida. But whatever)

The first end credits song and one of the songs on the film’s soundtrack, “Helena” which is by the rock band, My Chemical Romance, was released about two months before the film’s release and was already a huge hit. (I love fun facts about made-for-film songs. Just bizarre how famous some songs ostensibly made for films can be over time despite the films themselves not being particularly notable)

This is Dark Castle Entertainment’s fifth film.

The film takes place in Florida. One of the filming locations of this film’s predecessor, House of Wax (1953), was Saint Augustine, Florida. (Wait … this is the second note to suggest it is in Florida. But I swear, they are travelling to Louisiana to see a Florida-LSU game? Maybe I have the direction wrong. This has to be confirmed!)

The film originally opened with a character named Jennifer (Emma Lung) stuck on an empty road with car troubles and is attacked and killed by either Bo or Vincent (this alternate opening is included as a special feature on the DVD and Blu-ray). Though this scene was scrapped, Jennifer’s presence still lingers in the film. She is the female sculpture that Vincent is working on and is later displayed with a pink dress and bouquet of flowers outside the movie theater. (WHAT? This is my exact criticism of the film. That they needed an early kill of a person you’d later see as a wax figure. Why scrap it?)

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress of the Decade (Paris Hilton, 2010)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Paris Hilton, 2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (2006)

Urban Legends: Final Cut Preview

“Hey Poe, what’s wrong? Looks like you saw a ghost.” Rich’s mouth has run dry at the sight of none other than Helmut Gruber. He leaps to his feet and tackles him to the ground, handcuffing him to the desk. “What the hell are you doing Poe?” the captain asks incredulously. “Let DETECTIVE Heinerich Gruber up and get to work.” Detective? Heinrich? Rich needs to get out of here and fast, but before he can leave the chief grabs his arm and stops him. “I know this is hard, but do this for Rich. The fact is that we no longer think his death was a freak dressage accident. We think it’s… murder.” Everyone gasps. Murder? But why? “For this,” the chief says and turns on a projector. On the screen is the Obsidian Dongle. Gasps ring out again. “That’s right,” the chief says, “Rich had gotten close to a seller of the Dongle. You think you can keep it cool and get this done?” Rich stops rubbing his chest and nods his head. In the car he and Gruber discuss the plan. A quick karate chop to the neck should do it. When they enter the abandoned cement factory where the deal is supposed to take place they are greeted with a gruesome scene. “Is that… the seller?” Rich asks. Gruber nods and gulps, taking in a man pinned to the wall by an arrow, his blood smeared on the wall, “Sincerely, The Sparrow.” Rich ponders for a moment. Sparrow… arrow… he turns to Gruber and asks again how Rich was killed. Gruber sighs, “Like you heard, a freak dressage accident. He got tangled in the reigns of his horse and literally rode until he couldn’t anymore.” My god, Rich thinks, we’ve got a serial killer on the loose. That’s right, we’re doubling up and crushing the Urban Legend(s) franchise. While the first is totally bereft of twins (mistake), the sequel is twin centric. Hopefully the twins are used for good instead of evil. But there’s only one way to find out. Let’s go!

Poe looks at the twin dragons circling the smoking mountain. If that’s the way back to help Rich then that’s where he will go. “How?” he asks his twin protectors. They look at each other and nod, “To defeat the twin dragons you must have strength.” Poe thinks for a moment, “So like a killer workout routine?” But the twins laugh. “No,” they say, still shaking their heads, “food… it’s munchies time.” That’s right! We’re pairing up our horror cycle with the Gremlins super-knockoff Munchies where they literally hired the editor of Gremlins and told her to make another one. Let’s go!

Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000) – BMeTric: 68.8; Notability: 31 

(Brutal rating. It floated sub-4.0 for years prior to a more recent inexplicable uptick. I think I finall have a good grasp on the notability. A film with 50+ means they are pulling out all the stops on the budget and pretty rare for bad films. 30-50 are normal theatrical releases. Some odd tweener films are from 20-30 where it is released to theaters, but they are going with a smaller budget or skimping on the cast. Anything in 10-20 might be independent, or some straight-to-video with recognizable faces, etc. Anything below 10 is a nothing movie. There you have it.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – I don’t know if you’re tired of terrified girls racing through shadowy basements pursued by masked slashers while the soundtrack pulses with variations on the “Halloween” theme, but I am. Real tired. This time the killer wears a fencing mask, and at the end no one even thinks to say “touche!”

(I can’t believe he gave this a 2, that’s so crazy. By all accounts this is much worse than the first, and yet he just shrugs and is like “all the same to me I suppose”. If he’s so tired of the genre why give it a two out of four?)

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

(Oh shit, the scene where they fake the girl’s death they clearly had to color the blood black to get around issues with putting the trailer on television. It is the only explanation. Immediately a much worse concept than the first film … basically just a rip off of the cooler concept of Scream 2. Seriously, what is wrong with the people making Urban Legend that they are literally just copying Scream beat for beat?)

Directors – John Ottman – (BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Notes: Mostly a composer, he is the notorious editor for Bohemian Rhapsody, a film most critics seemed to think was poorly edited, but evidently the mere fact that he cobbled together a film from what was apparently a pile of nonsense earned him accolades in the editor community (who are the ones who vote on the award).)

Writers – Silvio Horta (characters) – (Future BMT: Urban Legend; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Notes: Didn’t seem to actually write this, this is just a character credit. Executive produced The Chronicle a one and done workplace comedy set at a tabloid newspaper.)

Paul Harris Boardman (written by) – (Known For: The Exorcism of Emily Rose; Future BMT: Deliver Us from Evil; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Devil’s Knot; Notes: Appears to have only written horror films in his career. Wrote Hellraiser: Inferno, the fifth Hellraiser film.)

Scott Derrickson (written by) – (Known For: Doctor Strange; Sinister; The Exorcism of Emily Rose; Land of Plenty; Future BMT: Sinister 2; Deliver Us from Evil; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Devil’s Knot; Notes: A major director and producer now for Disney, he not only wrote Doctor Strange, he also directed it and is involved with the Labyrinth sequel.)

Actors – Jennifer Morrison – (Known For: Bombshell; Star Trek; Warrior; Star Trek into Darkness; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; The Report; Assassination Nation; Stir of Echoes; Superfly; Miracle on 34th Street; Back Roads; All Creatures Here Below; Sun Dogs; Some Girl(s); Future BMT: The Darkness; Amityville: The Awakening; Surviving Christmas; Intersection; Big Stan; Knife Fight; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Grind; Notes: You’d know her from the first few seasons of House, and she was one of the main characters in Once Upon a Time. Started modelling as a child in things like JCPenney.)

Matthew Davis – (Known For: Legally Blonde; Blue Crush; Tigerland; Below; Heights; Future BMT: BloodRayne; S. Darko; Pearl Harbor; Finding Bliss; Seeing Other People; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Waiting for Forever; Notes: Briefly a star in the early 2000s, he was the bad guy in Legally Blonde. Starred in Vampire Diaries and the spinoff series Legacies.)

Hart Bochner – (Known For: Die Hard; Carrie; Batman: Mask of the Phantasm; For Your Consideration; Rules Don’t Apply; Breaking Away; Bulworth; Anywhere But Here; Making Mr. Right; Rich and Famous; Islands in the Stream; Apartment Zero; Future BMT: Supergirl; Spread; Liberty Stands Still; Terror Train; Mr. Destiny; The Innocent; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Notes: Was the yuppie asshole Harry Ellis in Die Hard, and has always been juuuuuust not quite a star throughout his career. Directed PCU and High School High, and is the son of Lloyd Bochner who was all over television and film in the 60s and 70s.)

Budget/Gross – $14,000,000 / Domestic: $21,468,807 (Worldwide: $38,574,362)

(Ehhhhhh this would be considered a pretty bad haul by most standards just because it relies on worldwide take to recoup a 2x on the budget. So definitely not surprising they didn’t go for a third. I have to assume at some point you’re running on fumes with some mediocre urban legends.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (7/82): This teen horror movie brings nothing new to an already exhausted genre. And it’s bad. Really bad.

(Yeah, that’s a rouch sub-10 percentage there. It is pretty sad how exhausted the slasher genre got only a few years after Scream revitalized it. Reviewer Highlight: It delivers bald-faced variations on devices that were originally deployed, albeit with a redeeming glint of irony, in the Scream films and in Scary Movie. – David Chute, Los Angeles Times)

Poster – Karl Urban Legends: Ghost Ship with the Most Ship

(I really appreciate that they went all in on a Jason style mask even before the mask premiered in the franchise. As if we are supposed to know what a fencing mask is supposed to mean in this context. Like the orange, but needs that sweet sweet font and feels very crowded. C+.)

Tagline(s) – Legends never die (A)

(I think… I think I like it. It’s very short and sweet and gets to the point. It’s also a little double meaning mixed in and lets you know you’re in for some thrills and chills. Yeah, I like it. Weird to use a word from the title in the tagline, but OK.)

Keyword – twins

Top 10: Doctor Sleep (2019), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), The Great Outdoors (1988), House of Wax (2005), Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), Despicable Me 3 (2017), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 58.2 Deck the Halls (2006), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 54.9 The Back-up Plan (2010), 52.0 The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 43.7 Double Impact (1991), 36.2 A Cinderella Story (2004), 17.3 Mrs. Winterbourne (1996), 13.4 Little Women (2018);

BMT: Jack and Jill (2011), Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), Father Figures (2017), Pluto Nash (2002), The Identical (2014)

(We are getting there. We have at least three more of these on the docket, so we are moving through them. Came in right before the big twins boom of the Harry Potter franchise it looks like.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Eva Mendes is No. 6 billed in Urban Legends: Final Cut and No. 2 billed in Ghost Rider, which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 6 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Kingdom Come we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Originally set to film on the campus of the University of Western Ontario, it was turned down by the administration, because of its violent nature.

The opening sequence in the film was originally supposed to take place on a boat. During a location scout, they found the airplane set, and decided to revise the script. As it turns out, the original boat sequence was originally inspired by the airplane sequence in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983).

The character of P.A. Kevin was based on an actual student at USC, where John Ottman, Paul Harris Boardman, and Scott Derrickson attended. (Ha)

The snow storm seen in the film was unintended.

Since the campus used as Alpine University in the film didn’t have an actual bell tower, a one hundred fifty foot tower was built at an estimated one hundred fifty thousand dollars. All of the interiors were done on a separate stage and the bell was papier-mâché. (Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat)

The campus used during filming was Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.

Anson Mount originally auditioned for the role of Travis/Trevor. (I think he would have been better honestly)

Reached number one at the box office opening weekend with a mere gross of $8,505,513. The film was a moderate financial success, but only grossed about half of what the original made, leading to the third film, Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005) being released straight-to-video.

The ice in the bathtub during Lisa’s death scene was actually made of silicon, and very heavy. The kidney used in this scene was actually a goat’s kidney.

The sequence with Lisa (Jacinda Barrett), Trevor (Matthew Davis), and Toby (Anson Mount) at the bar shortly before her death was a reshoot. It was filmed several months after principal photography was completed. It was decided after the film was done, that a death scene needed to occur much earlier in the film to add a sense of danger. This is why the character is never mentioned before or after her appearance. Mount had to wear a wig during this sequence, because he had cut his hair significantly since. (Ahhhhhh this makes so much sense! Because there is no logical reason for the murders to have started occurring until the idea of an Urban Legend film was pitched, but that happens after the first death)

While the killers are different (as was the studio that produced it), this film picks up on the same urban legend where the first movie left off, The Kidney Heist. (Yeah I find that a bit odd actually)

The character of Vanessa being revealed to be a lesbian with a crush on Amy was a holdover from the original draft of the first film, where Reese was originally going to be a lesbian.

Urban Legend Preview

“Hey Poe, what’s wrong? Looks like you saw a ghost.” Rich’s mouth has run dry at the sight of none other than Helmut Gruber. He leaps to his feet and tackles him to the ground, handcuffing him to the desk. “What the hell are you doing Poe?” the captain asks incredulously. “Let DETECTIVE Heinerich Gruber up and get to work.” Detective? Heinrich? Rich needs to get out of here and fast, but before he can leave the chief grabs his arm and stops him. “I know this is hard, but do this for Rich. The fact is that we no longer think his death was a freak dressage accident. We think it’s… murder.” Everyone gasps. Murder? But why? “For this,” the chief says and turns on a projector. On the screen is the Obsidian Dongle. Gasps ring out again. “That’s right,” the chief says, “Rich had gotten close to a seller of the Dongle. You think you can keep it cool and get this done?” Rich stops rubbing his chest and nods his head. In the car he and Gruber discuss the plan. A quick karate chop to the neck should do it. When they enter the abandoned cement factory where the deal is supposed to take place they are greeted with a gruesome scene. “Is that… the seller?” Rich asks. Gruber nods and gulps, taking in a man pinned to the wall by an arrow, his blood smeared on the wall, “Sincerely, The Sparrow.” Rich ponders for a moment. Sparrow… arrow… he turns to Gruber and asks again how Rich was killed. Gruber sighs, “Like you heard, a freak dressage accident. He got tangled in the reigns of his horse and literally rode until he couldn’t anymore.” My god, Rich thinks, we’ve got a serial killer on the loose. That’s right, we’re doubling up and crushing the Urban Legend(s) franchise. While the first is totally bereft of twins (mistake), the sequel is twin centric. Hopefully the twins are used for good instead of evil. But there’s only one way to find out. Let’s go!

Poe looks at the twin dragons circling the smoking mountain. If that’s the way back to help Rich then that’s where he will go. “How?” he asks his twin protectors. They look at each other and nod, “To defeat the twin dragons you must have strength.” Poe thinks for a moment, “So like a killer workout routine?” But the twins laugh. “No,” they say, still shaking their heads, “food… it’s munchies time.” That’s right! We’re pairing up our horror cycle with the Gremlins super-knockoff Munchies where they literally hired the editor of Gremlins and told her to make another one. Let’s go!

Urban Legend (1998) – BMeTric: 45.7; Notability: 34 

(While it is rising, this has a much lower rating that I would expect. Considering how 90s nostalgia works I would have expected people to eventually get over the comparisons to Scream and embrace it as a silly send up of Horror tropes as well. It might eventually reach mediocrity, but it still seems like the consensus is the film just isn’t that good.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – “Urban Legend” is not art. But for its teenage audience, it serves the same purpose, which is to speed the meeting of like minds. Everybody knows how it works: The guy puts his arm casually around his date’s shoulders. Onscreen, Natalie/Brenda, etc., goes poking around in the abandoned campus building where the massacre took place years ago. The Creep Chord blasts out of the Dolby speakers, everyone jumps, and if in the confusion his hand slips south, well, who says cable will ever replace the theatrical experience?

(Oh Roger, you rascal. Much like a lot of critics it feels like Ebert might have mixed feelings on the slasher as the genre. But this review truly sounds like Ebert is at the very least game to learn the tropes of the modern slasher. And it sounds like he mostly understands the purpose of something like Urban Legend, and also how it is an inferior version of the truly fun / interesting slashers of the time.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4d1_D90BwU/

(Really good concept for a slasher film. It is actually a little bit amazing it hadn’t been done in the slasher heyday of the 70s and 80s. I have to say, playing up the Englund appearance was solid, I would have easily been sold for this film just from that, as silly as it looks.)

Directors – Jamie Blanks – (Future BMT: Valentine; Long Weekend; BMT: Urban Legend; Notes: Pitched for I Know What You Did Last Summer, but the directing jobs had already been filled. Producer Moritz then tagged him for the next slasher in Urban Legend. Is now a composer for film in Australia.)

Writers – Silvio Horta (written by) – (Future BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; BMT: Urban Legend; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy as a writer for Ugly Betty. Was a consultant for P-Valley this year, although he sadly passed away last January.)

Actors – Jared Leto – (Known For: Fight Club; Blade Runner 2049; Requiem for a Dream; American Psycho; The Thin Red Line; Dallas Buyers Club; Girl, Interrupted; Panic Room; Mr. Nobody; Lord of War; How to Make an American Quilt; Lonely Hearts; Prefontaine; Future BMT: Alexander; Black and White; Suicide Squad; Chapter 27; The Outsider; Switchback; Basil; BMT: Urban Legend; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Suicide Squad in 2017; Notes: Was mostly a star in the late 90s despite winning an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club in 2014, and playing the Joker in 2016. The lead singer and songwriter for the band Thirty Seconds to Mars, which amazingly had a number two album in 2018 and several number one singles on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart.)

Alicia Witt – (Known For: Dune; Mr. Holland’s Opus; Two Weeks Notice; Citizen Ruth; Last Holiday; The Upside of Anger; Cecil B. Demented; Liebestraum; Bodies, Rest & Motion; Fun; Playing Mona Lisa; Future BMT: Bongwater; Peep World; Four Rooms; I Do; BMT: Urban Legend; A Madea Christmas; 88 Minutes; Vanilla Sky; Notes: Did a bunch of Hallmark Christmas movies in the mid-2010s. She’s also a musician, although there is little information about whether she’s charted in any meaningful way.)

Rebecca Gayheart – (Known For: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Scream 2; G.B.F.; Pipe Dream; Future BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Jawbreaker; Harvard Man; Nothing to Lose; Shadow Hours; BMT: Urban Legend; Notes: Was a model and at one point engaged to Brett Ratner. Is married to Eric Dane, although they filed for divorce in 2018. Convicted of vehicular manslaughter in 2001 and sentenced to probation in the accidental death of a boy in Los Angeles.)

Budget/Gross – $14,000,000 / Domestic: $38,072,438 (Worldwide: $72,527,595)

(Not exactly a Scream performance, but it still shows why pretty bad slasher schlock can be such a draw for production companies. $14 million in young actors and fake blood and you can make money hand over fist.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (12/56): Elements of Scream reappear in a vastly inferior vehicle.

(Ah interesting. Perhaps this is a little hindsight creeping in, but I guess it is understandable to view this as merely a copycat of Scream as that had temporarily resurrected the teen slasher genre. Both I Know What You Did Last Summer and this seem to have a pretty distinct premise though. Reviewer Highlight: It’s just a weary sigh over how Scream’s juicy archness has already turned into boilerplate. – Ty Burr, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Keith Urban Legend

(There is just a lot going on here. I appreciate the effort and the artistry on this one, but it’s very busy. Some nice color and spacing. Needs a distinctive font. FInally, is this somehow a play on breaking a mirror gives you bad luck? Anyway, interesting but not necessarily in a good way. C+.)

Tagline(s) – What You Don’t Believe Can Kill You. (C)

(I was trying to figure out whether this was a play on a phrase and apparently yes. “What you don’t know can’t hurt/kill you,” which is probably more commonly heard in reference to like “What Mom doesn’t know won’t kill her.”. A phrase so entrenched that cultural touchstone Murder She Wrote played on it for Episode 22 of Season 12 What You Don’t Know Can Kill You… what I’m saying is that this is taking mediocre to an entirely different level.)

Keyword – slasher flick

Top 10: Truth or Dare (2018), Unfriended: Dark Web (2018), I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), Candyman (1992), Halloween (2018), Scream 4 (2011), Hostel (2005), Scream 2 (1997), Happy Death Day (2017), Child’s Play (2019)

Future BMT: 82.8 Prom Night (2008), 82.5 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 72.6 Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017), 69.3 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), 68.8 Black Christmas (2006), 68.4 Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), 65.9 Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), 64.3 Valentine (2001), 63.6 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), 61.7 My Soul to Take (2010);

BMT: Truth or Dare (2018), Urban Legend (1998), Friday the 13th (2009), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Friday the 13th: Part III (1982), Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981), Jason X (2001), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

(The genre has certainly been relegated to things like Shudder in recent years, although Blumhouse has busted out a few (which would also mean low notability as they operate on a shoestring budget). The big bump around 2004 I think might be things like Hostel where there was a flurry of torture porn all of a sudden. You can also see how it died in the mid-90s before Scream.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 7) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Alicia Witt is No. 1 billed in Urban Legend and No. 2 billed in 88 Minutes, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 = 7. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – When Paul and Natalie walk into the hidden room in Professor William Wexler’s office, a puppet of Freddy Krueger can be seen just before they see the axe. Robert Englund, who played Professor William Wexler, played Freddy Krueger in the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” films.

The killer’s outfit is based on the fact that the film was originally planned to be set in the middle of winter. When the weather was too warm, it was decided to drop the winter aspect of the storyline, rather than fake snow in all the outdoor scenes, and dress all of the extras in winter outfits, but they kept the killer’s costume. (Well it certainly was initially supposed to be winter because one of the characters goes on a ski trip to Vermont, but yeah, the date is supposed to be around April 27th during filming. Weird they didn’t change the ski trip at least)

The SUV driven in the beginning, was originally supposed to be a Land Rover. It was changed to the Ford Expedition (the largest 4×4 available at the time), because the filmmakers discovered they couldn’t swing an axe inside of a Land Rover. (I don’t believe it, this had to be product placement, that is ludicrous)

Brenda is seen wearing a blue ribbon around her neck at the end of the film, as this is a minor reference to another urban legend about a girl whose head falls off if she removes the ribbon around her neck.

Joshua Jackson (Damon Brooks) cranks his car before he takes Natalie to “that” spot in the woods. When it cranks, the radio plays Paula Cole’s “I Don’t Want to Wait” from Dawson’s Creek (1998) also starring Jackson. (Booooooooooooooooooooooooo)

The book sitting on the desk in Professor William Wexler’s desk in his class, is “The Vanishing Hitchhiker”, which is one of the seminal texts on urban legends. (He is an urban legend professor after all)

Danielle Harris (Tosh) was a smoker at the time and thrilled to be allowed to smoke while working. She quickly realized that shooting scenes while smoking meant that she was going to have to smoke cigarettes for hours all day while they shot. She eventually got sick of it and quit smoking.

Rebecca Gayheart got sick after eating Pop Rocks all day for the classroom scene.

Julian Richings who plays the “Weird Janitor” later had a recurring role as “Death” on “Supernatural” (2005), the first season of which was mostly based on urban legends.(Huh … I might have to check that out actually)

At the end when students are recounting the events and one comments “Yeah and Brenda was the girl from the Noxema commercial ” – Rebecca Gayheart (Brenda) WAS the Noxema girl in the commercials at that time. (This is all very Scream which is pretty dumb)

Filmed at the same university as “Killer Party” (1986), another campus-set slasher. Incidentally, both films feature a costume party at a fraternity, characters being targeted by a masked killer, and an urban legend about murder at an abandoned dormitory. (Huh, now I REALLY have to watch that one)

The film was inspired by the huge success of “Scream” (1996), and whereas that film was a self-aware satire of horror film tropes, this one is a self-aware satire on urban legends. The film’s negative reception was a result of many critics finding the film to have been an imitation of “Scream”.

The film’s fictional location is Melbourne, New Hampshire. Director Jamie Blanks home city is Melbourne, Australia.This film co-starred two of Hollywood’s most iconic mass murderers. Brad Dourif, who portrays Chucky in the “Child’s Play/Chucky” films, and Robert Englund, who played Freddy Krueger in the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” films.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning Preview

Rich and Poe glide down the mountainside away from the smoldering ruins of the Wicker Man. The wind is in their hair and they feel as free as a couple of birds (you know, if birds had washboard abs and slammed Mountain Dew to the extreme). Distracted by the wonders of flight, they fly a little too close to the edge of a cliff and suddenly a minotaur is upon them, thrusting a spear through the wing of their beloved hanglider. Only through their poly extreme athletic skillz are they able to master their damaged craft and steer it directly into a tree growing out of the side of the cliff. Rich laments the appearance of the minotaur, clearly sent by their tournament foes in an attempt to stop them. Their zen oneness with the air prevented them from counteracting such an obvious trap. “We were playing by the rulez, bro,” he says to Poe, “we gotta remember that rulez aren’t coolz in this universe and not everyone is gonna play by them.” But Poe isn’t listening. A man has appeared just above the crag on which they’re trapped. Perchance this man could lower a rope and help them out of this jam. Maybe he even knows about the tournament and where the well worn path Nic Cage mentioned is at. Suddenly the man emerges further from the bushes and Poe’s heart sinks. While the top half is a man, the bottom half is a horse. These -taurs are going to be the death of them… literally. For at that very moment the centaur pulls out a chainsaw and revs the engine before starting in on the base of the tree they are sitting in. “This is going to be a massacre,” Rich says forlornly. That’s right! We’re hopping right back into that Texas Chainsaw Massacre saddle and watching the 2003 remake of the film along with the 2006 prequel that followed. These are often grouped together not just because the actor portraying Leatherface is the same, but BMT fav Michael Bay produced. I’m always down for some Bay action. Let’s go!

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006) – BMeTric: 39.2; Notability: 37 

TheTexasChainsawMassacreTheBeginningIMDb_BMeT

TheTexasChainsawMassacreTheBeginningIMDb_RV

(This is held basically stock still over time. I still find it somewhat insane that this one is nearly over 6.0 as well. This film got absolutely ruined by critics. In this case I am fairly convinced the relatively high IMDb score is because of the gore. It is just one of those underserved markets.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  When the ideas for endless sequels wear out, bring on the prequels! This one creates a backstory for the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface, set in the 1970s. Two teen brothers and their girlfriends go on a final fling before shipping off to Vietnam, get caught up in the infamous house of horrors and face-lifts after a car accident brings them to the attention of the evil local sheriff. There is nothing to suggest the ‘70s period; it’s all about graphic violence. This is one “beginning” whose ending can’t come quickly enough.

(Now that I’ve automated the review section off of RogerEbert.com it is more rare to get the OG Leonard’s take on film. RogerEbert.com though didn’t see this film. We got semicolons and Leonard’s usual disdain for horror films. So check and check. He only liked the original, and partly because it isn’t nearly as violent as it is reported to be.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OKXd2j6Fmo/

(I was kind of okay with this right up until Amazing Grace started playing. Then it started to feel like a cynical cash grab.)

Directors – Jonathan Liebesman – (Known For: The Killing Room; Future BMT: Darkness Falls; Wrath of the Titans; BMT: Battle Los Angeles; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 2015; Notes: Born in South Africa he apparently got the notice of producer Michael Bay because of his short film Rings which connected the first two American Ring films.)

Writers – Sheldon Turner (screenplay & story) – (Known For: X: First Class; Up in the Air; Future BMT: The Longest Yard; BMT: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Up in the Air.)

David J. Schow (story) – (Known For: The Crow; Future BMT: Critters 3; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; Notes: He allegedly came up with the term stalk-and-slash to describe the emerging horror genre that would later be referred to as “slasher” films in 1977.)

Actors – Jordana Brewster – (Known For: Fast & Furious 7; Furious 6; Fast & Furious 5; The Faculty; Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!; Nearing Grace; Future BMT: American Heist; D.E.B.S.; Home Sweet Hell; Annapolis; The Invisible Circus; BMT: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; Fast & Furious; The Fast and the Furious; Notes: )

Matt Bomer – (Known For: The Nice Guys; The Magnificent Seven; Magic Mike; Magic Mike XXL; Walking Out; Papi Chulo; Duplicate; Space Station 76; Anything; Future BMT: Flightplan; In Time; BMT: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; A New York Winter’s Tale; Notes: )

Diora Baird – (Known For: Star Trek; Wedding Crashers; Hot Tub Time Machine; Transit; Future BMT: Stan Helsing; Night of the Demons; My Best Friend’s Girl; Young People Fucking; Accepted; BMT: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; Notes: )

Budget/Gross – $16,000,000 / Domestic: $39,517,763 (Worldwide: $51,764,406)

(Ah that makes sense. It was such a let down from the original they basically decided to reboot it instead of trying to salvage it. That is still a healthy profit, but considering how much the original made it killed the franchise.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (11/85): The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is full of blood and gore, but not enough scares or a coherent story to make for a successful horror film.

(If you read just the big reviewers the consensus seems to be: remember how some of us thought the last one was sadistic? Well, now all of think it is sadistic. Reviewer Highlight: Attention sadists: Demand more from your gorefests than this pro forma return to the well. Has mass murder ever been this dull? – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)

Poster – Sticks & Stones Origins: The Beginning (B+)

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(Gotta say, still digging it. Artistic and dark… still, not really telling a story. I mean, he looks all grown up in the poster. I’m looking for a little baby Leatherface.)

Tagline(s) – Witness The Birth Of Fear (A)

(This is good. The more I read it the more I like it actually. Birth of fear is a nice turn of phrase and packs a wallop in a small package. It’s quite good.)

Keyword – extreme violence

TheTexasChainsawMassacreTheBeginning_extreme violence

Top 10: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019), Hellboy (2019), Rambo: Last Blood (2019), Goodfellas (1990), The Hateful Eight (2015), Logan (2017), Drive (2011), True Romance (1993), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Casino (1995); 

Future BMT: 66.7 Halloween II (2009), 60.0 Pet Sematary II (1992), 52.8 The Green Inferno (2013), 46.7 Saw 3D (2010), 44.6 Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992), 40.1 Gothika (2003), 34.2 Hell Fest (2018), 30.5 Marked for Death (1990), 30.2 Halloween (2007), 29.6 House of 1000 Corpses (2003); 

BMT: Hellboy (2019), Rambo: Last Blood (2019), Rambo (2008), Gangster Squad (2013), Silent Hill (2006), Cobra (1986), Ghosts of Mars (2001), RoboCop 2 (1990), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), Punisher: War Zone (2008)

(Let’s see. Most of those, weirdly, I don’t completely hate. I don’t really like excessive violence, but most of what we’ve watched it like amusing 80s versions of excessive violence which I’m apparently fine with. This has definitely become more popular recently with things like John Wick and Logan, both of which I also quite liked.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 20) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jordana Brewster is No. 1 billed in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and No. 4 billed in Fast and Furious, which also stars Vin Diesel (No. 1 billed) who is in Babylon A. D. (No. 1 billed), which also stars Michelle Yeoh (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 4 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 20. If we were to watch Chasing Mavericks, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 19.

Notes – During filming, R. Lee Ermey was called away to his mother’s death bed. For the remainder of the time, filming was done around his character.

When Eric gets his face wrapped in cellophane by Sheriff Hoyt that’s actually real, Matt Bomer’s head was actually being wrapped in Saran Wrap, R. Lee Ermey said he was very concerned for him. They left a small gap opening at the bottom of Matt’s chin for him to breathe but that didn’t help much, so when ever he was having trouble breathing he would indicate by knocking his knees together

The cow that gets hit by the jeep was made of fiberglass and filled with blood, fake entrails and fake bones then screwed together. (Huh, that’s cool to know)

Producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller decided not to make a sequel to the 2003 movie. But the fans kept coming to them, asking how the family got that way and wanting to know several unanswered questions in the 2003 version (some of them include how Monty lost both of his legs, to how Sheriff Hoyt lost his front teeth, and how Leatherface got his nickname). And after a meeting with Michael Bay, they let Sheldon Turner write the script for a prequel and they were prepared to make it. (Stupid fans, no one should want to know these things!)

Jordana Brewster initially got made fun of for the way she ran during filming scenes in which her character Chrissie had to run. (YES! I love weird running)

Jordana Brewster said while filming with future husband Andrew Form ‘Everyday Andrew wore these work boots to the set, and if I was lying down in the shot or there was equipment in the way, I’d look for his shoes. It was comfortable just to know he was nearby.’ They married in 2007.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Prequel or Sequel (2007)

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III Preview

Jamie and Patrick stop dead in their tracks as they espy Chris Klein and Josh Hartnett by the craft station. “What thuuuuuu…” Patrick says before storming over and knocking their Nespresso’s out of their hands. Chris and Josh are stunned, “what the hell, bro,” Chris says annoyed, “I thought we were friends. You know how much I love my Nespresso.” But Patrick isn’t having any of it and demands to know why they are there. “We’re just here to be your body doubles, man. Chill. The studio was getting a little worried about… well…” he looks away embarrassed. But Patrick presses him on it. “Well,” Josh continues, “it’s because you gained sixty pounds and have been wearing a fedora in every scene.” Patrick is shocked and looks down at his body. It’s not that bad… right? And everyone loves his hats. But even Jamie looks away at that. Patrick storms back to their trailer. “What are we going to do?” he asks Jamie, “we’re losing control of the production. First body double, next they’ll replace us entirely and then our vision will never be realized.” Jamie rubs his hands in glee. Finally, it is happening and they will get full control, just like he wanted from the beginning. A fire lights in his eyes. “We’ll burn it all down,” and they both cackle in glee.

“They did what?!” Banks says upon hearing that Jamie and Patrick had fired the entire cast and crew of the film. Unbelievable. This just went from a debacle to a disaster and all because Patrick was a glutton and Jamie a vengeful maniac. As a last resort he arrives on set to find Patrick smiling peacefully at the quiet serenity of the abandoned set and Jamie tearing it all down with a chainsaw. Perfect. That’s right! We’re watching (another) film that somehow attracted crazy huge stars but ended up bombing at the box office. It’s Serenity starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. Never heard of it? We have and apparently it’s gotta be seen to be believed. This is for Bring a Friend and we’re gonna do something a little different by celebrating the 25th anniversary of a major BMT straight-to-video release. How is this connected to Serenity you ask? Well it also stars our boy Matthew McConaughey 25 years younger. That’s right! We’re watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, the absolute bottom of one of the major horror franchises in film history. This also means we’ll get the third film, Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, as a bonus. Perfect. Let’s go!

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) – BMeTric: 50.0; Notability: 27 

LeatherfaceTexasChainsawMassacreIIIIMDb_BMeT

LeatherfaceTexasChainsawMassacreIIIIMDb_RV

(Wow it is kind of amazing how high that has climbed. Considering how picky horror fans are. I wonder if the gore has anything to do with it. There is a contingent of fans who would like the boldness of really going for over the top gore at the very least.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Mostly a remake of the first film: cannibal clan battles three would-be dinners. Severely damaged by prerelease cuts designed to reduce gore but which only make the film incoherent. Followed by Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.

(This appears to be a big part of the notes. Seems like an odd thing still to pull out for Leonard since, again, he doesn’t seem to like horror films. I always wonder whether he outsources some of these reviews to people more familiar with the genre.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYiwLl6doPE/

(Hooooooooooly shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit … I kind of dig that trailer. The main problem is it kind of goes with the previous entry (which is basically a horror comedy) instead of this one (which the producers had trouble editing in order to avoid an NC-17 rating). It feels like a bait and switch.)

Directors – Jeff Burr – (Known For: Straight Into Darkness; Future BMT: Stepfather II; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: Has always been a horror director. Quite interesting to film a horror film in four different decades. Dropped out of USC to become a director.)

Writers – Kim Henkel (characters) – (Known For: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre; Future BMT: The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Texas Chainsaw 3D; Leatherface; Death Trap; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: He’s a film professor in Texas, he wrote the original and almost all of his credits are for the characters involved (Leatherface in particular))

Tobe Hooper (characters) – (Known For: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2; Future BMT: The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Texas Chainsaw 3D; The Mangler; Leatherface; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: Was the “director” of Poltergeist … in reality Spielberg probably shadow directed it. Also made the incredibly long and boring television adaptation of Salem’s Lot.)

David J. Schow (written by) – (Known For: The Crow; Future BMT: Critters 3; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: Wrote non-fiction and film criticism in magazines up until becoming a screenwriter. This was his first film. He also wrote Critters 4.)

Actors – Kate Hodge – (Known For: Beach Rats; Rapid Fire; Future BMT: Harold; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: This was her first film, and she then starred in the television series She-Wolf in London soon after. She’s worked consistently, especially in television, but rarely in starring roles.)

Ken Foree – (Known For: Dawn of the Dead; The Devil’s Rejects; Water for Elephants; Dawn of the Dead; The Wanderers; The Lords of Salem; From Beyond; Knightriders; Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling; The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings; Without You I’m Nothing; Future BMT: The Dentist; Halloween; Filofax; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: Appeared as himself in the 2008 novel, “Bad Moon Rising”, by Jonathan Maberry, which featured horror “celebrities” finding themselves facing real-life horrors.)

R.A. Mihailoff – (Known For: Death House; Hatchet II; Dark House; Future BMT: License to Drive; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: Plays Leatherface here, which naturally means he’s big and acts in a ton of horror films.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $5,765,562 (Worldwide: $5,765,562)

(The budget is probably in the millions, just because unlike early 80s slashers they built a set. But I would guess this was a very modest success in the end. Films like this so rarely cost more than a few million to make.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (3/16)

(We’re going to need a consensus: Generic slasher with the added bonus of lacking clarity. Reviewer Highlight: For those who saw the first two Massacres, this will seem pretty much deja-boo! – Richard Harrington, Washington Post)

Poster – Pleatherface (C)

leatherface_texas_chainsaw_massacre_iii

(Hmmmm, I honestly can’t tell if this is good. The coloring and lighting are interesting, but that’s about it. Font is meh and then it seems like they just put a million words on there to fill in space. But it is still promoting the star of the show and so it’s not like it’s a total disaster.)

Tagline(s) – The Most Controversial Horror Film Ever Is Finally Here. (F)

The terror begins the second it starts. (D-)

(Both are too generic to be anything but bad. I bumped the second one because it is slightly better than the first. I don’t even think the first is even true. Basically all of the Chainsaw films had controversy due to the violence depicted and I can’t imagine it was actually more controversial than the first film. It is notable as the last film to be given an X rating before NC-17 was instituted… although it was trimmed back to get an R and not released under X.)

Keyword – masked killer

LeatherfaceTexasChainsawMassacreIII_masked killer

Top 10: Gemini Man (2019), Zodiac (2007), Happy Death Day 2U (2019), Happy Death Day (2017), Scream (1996), Halloween (2018), Friday the 13th (2009), Scary Movie (2000), You’re Next (2011), Scream 4 (2011); 

Future BMT: 80.8 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 69.2 Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), 63.9 Valentine (2001), 63.0 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 52.2 The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018), 47.4 Scream 3 (2000), 38.8 Club Dread (2004), 36.3 Gemini Man (2019), 34.2 Hell Fest (2018); 

BMT: Friday the 13th (2009), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Cobra (1986), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), The Gallows (2015), Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

(I literally want to see all of those … well, I’m not sure why Gemini Man is on the list to be honest. Masked killer? Because … like does his clone wear a mask or what? And finally and interesting plot. This guy, of course, comes in right between the big 80s slasher kick, and the late 90s resurgence via Scream. A time when literally all of the slasher films completely sucked. You are in good company Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Viggo Mortensen is No. 5 billed in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and No. 3 billed in Daylight, which also stars Amy Brenneman (No. 2 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 4 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 5 + 3 + 2 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – The original script was much more brutal with explicit gore sequences. The producers objected to many of the scenes (one of which had a nude man being split down the middle while hung upside down) and demanded extensive changes to the script to reduce gore and violence. Further cuts had to be made to avoid an X-rating after the film was finished. (Apparently it leaves it incomprehensible)

Director Jeff Burr was fired toward the beginning of production. When nobody else accepted the job, he was rehired. (My God)

Kane Hodder – whose best-known role is that of another horror icon, Jason Voorhees – was the stunt coordinator for this movie. He was also R.A. Mihailoff’s stunt double and played Leatherface in the trailer. (Fun, by far the best Jason)

Film trailer was done even before they even had a director and before the production started.

There was also supposed to be a brutal “unmasking” scene, which would reveal Leatherface as horribly disfigured. That scene was scrapped (despite an obvious buildup during the opening credits) and saved because New Line wanted to use it in the next sequel, which never materialised. It was eventually used in the remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003).

Submitted 11 times to the MPAA. On each submission, more and more footage was cut out, some of which was lost forever. (That is actually too bad)

Caroline Williams reprises her role as Stretch from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) in a cameo as a news reporter. Director Jeff Burr said he imagined Stretch becoming a reporter following the trauma she experienced in the second movie in an attempt to hunt down Leatherface.

Among others, one of New Line’s first choices for director was Peter Jackson. (Makes sense, Jackson would have been somewhat known because of Bad Taste.)

This was the final movie to be given an “X” certificate by the MPAA before the rating was replaced with “NC-17”.

Tobe Hooper, director of the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), was originally going to be involved in the film. He had submitted a treatment to New Line execs, but bowed out of the project due to scheduling conflicts concerning his film Spontaneous Combustion (1990).

Leatherface is never referred to as Leatherface he’s always referred to by his family simply as “Junior”.

Originally slated for a November 3rd, 1989 release, the release date was soon pushed to January 12th of the following year. (That is never a good sign)

Originally, Benny and Leatherface both succumbed to their injuries at the end of the movie, but New Line decided to shoot a new ending with editor Michael N. Knue in which both characters survive. Jeff Burr was very surprised when he saw the movie in the cinema for the first time; the new ending was shot without his knowledge.

Friday the 13th (2009) Preview

Huge week for BMT as we finish up our adventure through the Friday the 13th series. I’m actually getting a little emotional as I relive our journey from F13 n00bs to veterans of the series and big enough fans to be legitimately disappointed when they scrapped the planned reboot this year. The 11th movie in the series, Freddy vs. Jason, pitted two of the most famous film slashers against each other and earned enough goodwill to not qualify for BMT, so that’s just a bonus this week. As for the Bring A Friend for Friday the 13th we went with Black Friday the 13th, pairing a Bargain Bin C-list Gary Daniels martial arts film, Black Friday, with the conclusion of the horror franchise. There had been some questions for as as to what qualified for “Bargain Bin,” but this certainly does: stars a C-list actions star, does not have a trailer, and was directed by the same guy who made Saving Christmas. That is legit lower than Direct-to-DVD… that’s like Might-not-ever-be-on-DVD level. But of course my local public library had a copy ready to rent (my library is amazing). All things considered I’m willing to bet watching Black Friday will be a more horrifying experience than finishing up Friday the 13th. Let’s go!

Friday the 13th (2009) – BMeTric: 46.6

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(Nice. Opened high with the horror fans hitting the ratings hard, and they it goes a-tumblin’ down to the “mean”. The idea of an average rating is actually quite fascinating. The mean rating for IMDb as a whole is something like 7.0 (weighted by number of votes). For the top 10 thousand films (by popularity) it is closer to 6.4 instead. And I think if you were to postulate a limit, the mean rating a movie would hit if it was (1) perfectly average, and (2) an infinite number of people rated it, I think it would be around 5.8 all said and done. What does it say about BMT that so many of our movies approach this 5.8 limit like clockwork? I think it tells you a bit about how bad the “average” movie is, but this could also all be horseshit. Only deep diving data-analysis can tell the tale. Stay tuned.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  The 12th Friday isn’t a sequel but something like a remake of the 1st and 3rd. As before, some annoying teenagers encounter the silent, murderous Jason, who chops, stabs, and bludgeons his way through the cast, though without as much gore as in previous entries. Plodding, dull, and repetitive, this is only occasionally creepy and never scary. Yes, there’s a setup for a sequel, if anyone cares.

(Leonard loves lists. Although I do like the rhythm created by “chops, stabs and bludgeons” and “Plodding, dull, and repetitive”. Brutal takedown at the end, mainly because yeah, no one cared and Paramount cancelled the sequel mere months ago. Sigh.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVsVKn-MS14

(As far as a remake is concerned this is probably the best storyline available. Use the hiker looking for his sister conceit. Replace Mama Voorhees with Jason. And give a few call backs (like the bag over the head). I like the idea of him being a weirdo protecting his territory as well. I am genuinely interested in seeing how they screw it up. Although judging by how much Camp Crystal Lake there is in the trailer, they might have caught a case of over-explainitis.)

Directors – Marcus Nispel – (Future BMT: Conan the Barbarian; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: Pathfinder; Friday the 13th; Notes: Was originally attached to End of Days as his feature directorial debut, but left due to budget issues. Was originally a commercial and music video director.)

Writers – Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Freddy vs. Jason; Future BMT: Baywatch; BMT: Friday the 13th; Notes: True blue writing partners (they even have a joint wiki page). Brought in after Wheaton (and the originally attached director) was fired, having written Freddy vs. Jason.)

Mark Wheaton (story) – (Future BMT: The Messengers; BMT: Friday the 13th; Notes: He wrote for a number of film magazines prior to becoming a screenwriter despite going to school for playwriting. Writes for video games as well, and has had a few crime novels published in the past few years.)

Victor Miller (characters) – (Known For: Friday the 13th; Freddy vs. Jason; Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI; 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; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: Wrote the original film.)

Actors – Jared Padalecki – (Known For: Phantom Boy; Future BMT: House of Wax; Cry_Wolf; Flight of the Phoenix; BMT: New York Minute; Friday the 13th; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: His IMDb profile is very details and weirdly focused on his high school academic achievements (like being a Presidential Scholar and an “exceptional” chess player). Played Dean Forester on Gilmore Girls.)

Amanda Righetti – (Known For: Captain America: The First Avenger; Role Models; BMT: Friday the 13th; Notes: Was Hailey Nichol on The O.C.! That’s Kirsten’s little sister for those playing at home. Mainly a television actress she had major parts on The Mentalist and Colony most recently.)

Derek Mears – (Known For: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore.; Predators; Signs; Zathura: A Space Adventure; Død snø 2; Hatchet III; MacGruber; Future BMT: Wild Wild West; The Haunted Mansion; The Hills Have Eyes II; Cursed; Men in Black II; Live by Night; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; The Demolitionist; Gangster Squad; BMT: Dragon Wars; Friday the 13th; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Notes: Known for his “towering height”. Makes sense he would take over as Jason. I don’t have issues with not having Hodder return in the remake, if they had planned on making it a series I think you try out a few people to find someone who can bring something new and fresh to the part.)

Budget/Gross – $19 million / Domestic: $65,002,019 (Worldwide: $91,379,051)

(I mean, that’s a hit. $65 million is nothing to scoff at for a horror. They probably expected more, but none of these films made money, so I don’t know why they would. I am actually stunned they cancelled the sequel. The only plausible explanation is that they are rebooting it again to give it back that microbudget feel with a Blumhouse Pictures deal, but who could possibly know. Perhaps the cut they saw was so bad it would have killed the franchise forever.)

#7 for the Horror – Slasher genre

fridaythe13th09_slasher

(Second best of the remakes of classic horror franchises, beaten only by Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This franchise died with the remake wave. Is there no novel ways to make a slasher? Is the genre too narrow and self-aware. Possibly. Only time will tell. Would make me sad if true, but I have to imagine someone will come up with a twist and revive it, even if the glory of practical effects fueled 80s slashers are dead and gone.)

#7 for the Horror Remake genre

fridaythe13th09_horrorremake

(You can kind of see how the slasher died at the same time the remake boom died. There aren’t really any 90s horrors worth rebooting, so possibly they are just waiting a bit before delving back into more recent films? Unclear. Horror is experiencing a renaissance at the moment, so remakes don’t seem like the are entirely wanted or needed.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (42/166): Though technically well-constructed, Friday the 13th is a series rehash that features little to distinguish it from its predecessors.

(Yeah … well I’m not sure going the other way would have worked out very well either. Honestly, I’m hard pressed to think how you could reboot a horror franchise like this without rehashing quite a bit. Any type of “innovation” I don’t think comes across as anything but gimmicky. Maybe set it after all of films (besides Jason X …) and don’t explain his resurrection? Soft reboot into Jason as a ghost story in the woods around Crystal Lake, something everyone forgot about.)

Poster – Friday the 13th (B-)

friday_the_thirteenth_ver2

(I like it! Some similarities to the original, although less artistic and more generic. Like the spacing, Jason-centric nature of it, and the coloring is dark but nice. Biggest flaw is they took a series with unique font and made it boring as shit.)

Tagline(s) – Welcome to Crystal Lake (B-)

(Concise and to the point, hinting at what’s to come (hopefully): a Friday the 13th film. Not clever in the least bit though.)

Keyword(s) – camp; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.5 Batman & Robin (1997); 85.3 Troll 2 (1990); 81.3 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959); 78.4 Pledge This! (2006); 75.9 Freddy Got Fingered (2001); 69.8 Year One (2009); 64.0 Seed of Chucky (2004); 60.5 Shrooms (2007); 53.6 Exit to Eden (1994); 50.8 Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987);

(Booooooo, unless … does camp mean like a camp … or like campy? Because then Batman & Robin makes sense. Seems like a mix to be honest, which would make this list an absolutely bonkers marathon.)

Notes – The first time Paramount has any association with the “Friday the 13th” series since 1989.

Producer Michael Bay walked out in the movie premiere, stating that the movie featured too much sex. (Ha! Just too much for him)

Adrienne King, star of the original 1980 film, was approached by producers Andrew Form and Bradley Fuller to do a cameo appearance during preproduction. A few days later, the producers called her back and told her they didn’t want anyone from the original film to appear in the remake. (This production sounds organized).

The first film in the series released by both New Line Cinema and Paramount Pictures. Originally, Paramount owned the rights to the series after the original was released in 1980 but sold the rights to New Line Cinema in the early 1990’s after poor box office returns of Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989). New Line bought the rights to the characters of Jason Voorhees and Pamela Voorhees, the Crystal Lake name, and the trademark for the title “Friday the 13th”. All footage from the first eight films and the remake rights for the first film remained the property of Paramount. New Line Cinema released Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Jason X (2001) and Freddy vs. Jason (2003). When Platinum Dunes came aboard to develop the new film, they wanted the freedom to use scenarios and characters from the films still owned by Paramount. After a legal dispute, the companies decided to co-produce the 2009 film.

In this movie Jason wears both the legendary hockey mask and the burlap sac, although neither of those appeared in the original Friday the 13th (1980). (Hmmmm, that’s a lot of fan service)

With $42.2 mil, had the biggest opening weekend of a horror-remake beating out former record holder The Grudge (2004) ($39.1 mil).

The title card of the movie isn’t displayed until the end of the opening segment, nearly 25 minutes into the film, which is one of the longest prologues for a horror film ever. (Holy shit, that is ridiculous)

Tommy Jarvis, a character that appeared in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), and Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986) was at one point confirmed by producers Bradley Fuller and Andrew Form of Platinum Dunes to be returning as Jason’s nemesis. (That would have actually been cool maybe, set them up in a trilogy or something to battle it out. I could have gotten behind that).

According to co-writer Damian Shannon, the character of Jason Voorhees was re-envisioned as more territorial, like a hunter, someone who doesn’t kill people at random but will defend his territory from anyone invading it, and this in the most horrible manner. Director Marcus Nispel similarly claims the film shows new aspects of Jason’s personality. Derek Mears says his portrayal of Jason as a survivalist defending his territory is partially inspired by the character of John Rambo in First Blood (1982). (That makes a lot of sense)

Despite the title, the date the events supposedly take place on, Friday the 13th, is only mentioned once. The date can be seen on a tear-away type calendar in the police station, as the officers leave to investigate towards the end of the movie.

One of the victims was originally supposed to drown due to exhaustion as Jason waited her out from the shore of the lake.

Travis Van Winkle portrayed the same character from Transformers (2007) which was directed by Michael Bay.

The film’s setting (New Jersey) is an homage to the original film being filmed in New Jersey. (Wellllll … Crystal Lake is in New Jersey so easy peasy).

Jason just randomly appearing out of thin air as in the earlier films wouldn’t fly this time around. So, they decided he traveled via a series of underground tunnels. That concept was in Mark Wheaton’s original script, but Mark Swift and Damian Shannon claimed to have never read Wheaton’s script until the film was finished, having come up with the same idea about the tunnels on their own. As for the marijuana plant farm which Jason appears to use to lure teenagers into traps, apparently no writer can claim that as their own. According to Swift and Shannon, that was actually director Marcus Nispel’s idea from early on in the development process, and it was their job to work it into the script. (Huh, that could work, but it sounds a bit too over-explainy to me).

The character of Sheriff Bracke, played by Richard Burgi, is named after author Peter Bracke, who wrote the book “Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th”.

Screenwriters Mark Swift and Damian Shannon wanted Jason’s body count in the film to be just 13 as an easter egg for fans. It was surprising how much work it was to kill thirteen people.” Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter pulled off the “just 13 kills” thing as well, and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives writer/director Tom McLoughlin originally turned in a film featuring just 13 kills. Executive Producer Frank Mancuso, Jr. forced him to perform re-shoots to up the body count to 18. (Ha, yeah, 13 is pretty close to typical for Friday the 13th, 18 is a lot).

A follow up to 2009’s Friday the 13th was slated for release on October 13, 2017, and was all set to go into production in a matter of weeks. But in February 2017 it was announced that paramount had pulled the plug on the project. (Sigh, yep, this is why we were doing this entire thing)

The film takes place on June 13, 1980 and in 2009.

It shares screenwriters with Freddy Vs. Jason, who had previously turned down the chance to do a Freddy Vs. Jason sequel. Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, as a result of the legal delays, Friday the 13th lost its original director (Jonathan Liebesman) and screenwriter (Mark Wheaton). Freddy Vs. Jason writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, who had earned their first writing credit with Freddy Vs. Jason but had yet to get another script onto the screen, were brought in to replace Wheaton. Both grew up huge Jason/Freddy fans, but their Freddy Vs. Jason script was largely re-written by David S. Goyer, who went uncredited, and the far campier film that came out of that was not to their liking. Still, New Line actually offered them the chance to pitch ideas for a Freddy Vs. Jason 2, which they turned down, according to Shannon, because “we thought maybe somebody else should tackle it because we shot our wad so to speak. Every idea we had about that was in the first. I don’t know what we could have done with a second one.”

Mark Wheaton’s original pitch to New Line was to reboot the series with “a new Part V,” ignoring the original “New Beginning” and everything that happened after while featuring a prologue showing Jason Voorhees witnessing the murder of his mother. The characters who come to Crystal Lake then know of Jason as they did in Friday the 13th Parts 2, 3-D, and IV, but Voorhees is not yet supernatural as he is beginning with Part VI (or is a demon worm, or has gone to space, etc.). To further suit the needs of a reboot, Wheaton had Voorhees in first the canvas bag as he was in Part 2 only to replace it with the hockey mask halfway through the film.

The character Richie was one of a few characters to have CGI effects added into his death. Derek Mears (Jason) was holding only the handle with half the blade of the fake machete, making it look like it impaled Richie’s (Ben Feldman’s) head. The visual effects crew digitally superimposed the fake machete to look like it was a completely bladed weapon in the final film. Director Marcus Nispel usually allowed minimal use of CGI effects into his films.

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).