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+)

texas_chainsaw_massacre_the_beginning

(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

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(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

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(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-)

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(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).

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday 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 Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) – BMeTric: 72.7

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(That might look like regression, but that is pretty slow. I think it probably will settle solidly below 5.0. Incredible regardless. A popular bad movie. Horror films are always very popular, and tend to be below average, but the BMeTric here just goes up and up. It feels like this is stable, consistent, possibly legendarily bad.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Ninth entry in the Friday the 13th series, ignores the plots of the last six or so, and opens with Jason being blown to pieces in an ambush. However, his evil spirit takes over a convenient bystander, and reborn, he heads for home to confront his (hitherto unmentioned) sister. Erratic, illogical, and pointlessly cruel; some fans liked it because of its delight in including elements from other contemporary horror movie series.

(Oooof the sister thing is an awful idea. And they don’t ignore the other movies. In fact, the task force which blows up Jason in the beginning I believe is set upon him because of the rampage he goes on while heading from NYC back to his home in New Jersey (or Connecticut or whatever). All of this is tight Leonard, don’t be slandering this series like that.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8gRu3t3OF4

(Rough trailer there. I’ll give them credits though, they didn’t give much away, just tantalizing glimpses of what the franchise had in store (specifically you could kind of see an alien looking thing which suggests a bit more supernatural / sci-fi elements than we had seen before). Cannot begrudge them.)

Directors – Adam Marcus – (Known For: Snow Days; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: At the time he was the youngest director ever hired by New Line at the age of 23. Him and his brother often appear in bit roles in the movies he directs.)

Writers – Jay Huguely (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: Sadly died in 2008. Was heavily involved with Magnum P.I. back in the day.)

Adam Marcus (story) – (Future BMT: Texas Chainsaw 3D; Momentum; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: He wrote and directed most of the movies he’s been a part of. He doesn’t have many credits recently though.)

Dean Lorey (screenplay) – (Future BMT: My Boyfriend’s Back; Major Payne; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: Big television guy, including writing nine episodes of Arrested Development. Was a script doctor during development in order to restructure the script.)

Actors – John D. LeMay – (Known For: The Couch Trip; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: Funny enough was in the Friday the 13th television series prior to this film. Has been sticking to theater work in Hollywood more recently.)

Kari Keegan – (Known For: Jerry Maguire; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: I can find nothing about her, her role in Jerry Maguire was uncredited, and I think she quickly dropped out of the acting scene after this film.)

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: Room 6; House II: The Second Story; Hatchet II; Muck; Wishmaster; Father Hood; Best of the Best II; Out for Justice; BMT: Jason X; Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Grind; Notes: Along with Robert Englund I think Hodder is probably the second most famous horror film slasher around, and for good reason. I’ve loved his personal interpretation of the character. I’m surprised by how much he was able to add, but he does his part to make the later franchise installments a little bit tolerable.)

Budget/Gross – $3 million / Domestic: $15,935,068

(Solid return probably, but always a dwindling with this series. As the slasher genre slipped oh so silently into a slumber the money just stopped coming in.)

#52 for the Horror – Slasher genre

jasongoestohell_slasher

(Only a little above Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, and Psycho III. Brutal. Slashers are interesting. This came out right in the trough between the 80s franchises  But the genre is effectively dead. I don’t think they will return. They’ve gone to the VOD world I think.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 24% (4/17): No consensus yet.

(My consensus: Might work on its own as a supernatural thriller, but within context it is a true incoherent mess. From the first nine in the franchise it might just be the worst of the bunch. Certainly interesting considering number five is just horrid. The good reviews are pretty okay with the movie, but almost anything that is said is framed around how not-Jason-X the film is.)

Poster – Jason Sklogs to Hell: The Final Friday (C+)

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(Is it better than the posters from earlier in the franchise? No. Is the font good? Hell no. But do I kinda dig how bonkers insane this poster is? Yeah. Early 90’s crazy town.)

Tagline(s) – Evil has finally found a home. (F)

(This tagline intrigues me because it’s a generic piece of shit that I have no idea how it could connect to the horror franchise I’ve grown to love. How could this be?)

Keyword(s) – undead; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.2 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959); 80.5 The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009); 77.9 Jason X (2001); 77.7 Universal Soldier: The Return (1999); 72.7 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 72.1 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010); 72.0 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011); 71.8 Zombie Strippers (2008); 69.9 Cell (I) (2016); 69.3 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989);

(Twilight and Friday the 13th. I would be down for this movie marathon, would be bonkers. Universal Soldier 2 is intriguing. Both theatrical releases got simply terrible reviews, and the second one is notable for basically relegating JCVD to direct-to-video status until Expendables 2. Interesting indeed.)

Notes – There was a comic book that bridged the gap between Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) and this film. It followed Jason after he was dipped in toxic waste in a New York City sewer, and his killing spree all the way back to Camp Crystal Lake. It also explains why the FBI has a task force specifically for Jason. (I want to read this. What is happening to me? Why am I obsessed with this franchise?)

Jason’s heart was used in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) as Monkey Man’s heart. (I don’t understand this sentence, the prop I suppose?)

(at around 54 mins) The Necronomicon found in the Voorhees house is a prop created by Tom Sullivan for The Evil Dead (1981) and Evil Dead II (1987). Sam Raimi sent a letter asking Sullivan to forgive him for not asking permission to borrow Sullivan’s Evil Dead II (1987) props for this film. Tom Sullivan said he was not paid and would never again loan out props without granting permission. (That is deep prop master stuff)

The original title of the movie was “Friday the 13th Part IX: The Dark Heart of Jason Voorhees”. (WHAT)

There were plans for a high tech video game based on this movie. The game was created but never released. (Uh … so you are telling me this exists).

One early concept for this movie was “Jason Goes To L.A” in which two rival gangs would be fighting; when Jason would show up and start murdering them. This would force the rival gangs to band together to defeat Jason. (Cool idea, but kind of a rip off of Manhattan. That could have been part of the eight one if they were willing to pay for it)

This entry features the strongest clues as to the location of Crystal Lake. Namely, twice (once at the start, once when Steve Freeman sees the hitchhikers), a sign indicating that Crystal Lake is approximately 29 miles from Fairfield and 39 miles from Westport appears. Fairfield and Westport are both located in Connecticut. Previous films had indicated New Jersey or its environs; in part 3, a sign for Pick-It, the New Jersey state lottery, appears on the sign of a window at around 14 minutes into the film, while in part 1, Enos’ truck has New Jersey on the side, and at about 11 minutes into part 1, the gates for a cemetery also has New Jersey on it. (oh goddamit)

The film takes place in 2003. (Ha, loving it. We’ll have to see how that comes up)

There is a substantial amount of male nudity in this film as with female nudity, probably most notably in the “homoerotic shaving scene” as many fans have come to call it. The reason for this that director Adam Marcus viewed the previous “Friday the 13th” film as somewhat sexist, showing only or primarily female nudity, and thought it more acceptable to show male and female nudity in equal amounts. (Good for him Adam. It is sexist, got to give male nudity a chance to shine)

The only film in the series to be released in the 90s. (Which is probably the only interesting thing about it for me to be honest)

Sean Cunningham long since believed actors never took their cues fast enough, meaning it would take them just a couple of seconds too long to (for example) go out of a room through a door because they’d be too busy emoting. His passive aggressive solution was not to communicate more clearly to the actors but instead shoot at 22 frames per second instead of 24, thinking the increased speed would eliminate any sign of slight hesitation from the actor. This put the audio all out of whack, but he could fix that with a harmonizer. Cunningham puts this technique to the test on Deepstar Six, and liked the results enough to force Marcus to employ the method while filming Jason Goes to Hell. An unexpected though obvious consequence of filming everything at a slightly faster frame rate was that (for example) where they thought they had a 90 minute film they only actually had 80 minutes. (WTF That is incredible and bizarre and just one of the most incredibly terrible bullshit).

Conceptually, the notion of Jason’s essence being transferable came from Adam Marcus’ original story treatment. Ignoring Jason Takes Manhattan, he picked up where Part VII: The New Blood left off, i.e., Jason neutralized and trapped at the bottom of Crystal Lake. The film would open with a mystery man dredging up Jason’s body, so that an autopsy could be performed in a nearby cabin converted into a science lab. We were supposed to expect Jason to wake up and go berserk. However, as a surprise, Jason would awake only to watch his own black heart torn out by the the mystery man. This would instantly render him powerless, and the mystery man would consume the heart, thereby absorbing Jason’s “powers.” The big reveal would be the identity of the man: Elias Voorhees, Jason’s never seen, never mentioned father. It’s not clear where the story would have gone from there, but they dropped all of it except the idea of someone eating Jason’s heart, thereby taking his powers. Jason’s body-hopping via mouth-ingested parasite from that point forward, was likely ripped off from The Hidden (1987), a science fiction flick from New Line’s archive. (These notes are long, but they are incredible. Sounds like they decided to go the Halloween 6 route and completely ruin a horror franchise by over-explaining things)

Magnum P.I. writer Jay Huguely’s final draft for Jason Goes to Hell was awful and impossible to understand. Cunningham was coming up against a deadline, as in New Line needed to see the script within a couple of days or else they’d cancel the project. So, he recruited My Boyfriend’s Back writer Dean Lorey, sat with him in a room for 4 days, and wouldn’t let him leave until they had a script they could film. In the process, they basically threw out all of Huguely’s work. (My God, that is just a crazy story! The 90s were a crazy time)

After the film was released, the Wall Street Journal called it “a return to morality in cinema” because of the scene where Luke and Deborah are murdered while having sex after deciding not to use a condom. (That sentence makes me sick to my stomach. Fuck you Wall Street Journal)

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Preview

Clearly when we double our work for a week by watching a double bill there is only one thing that we can do. That’s right! Watch another double bill for the horror entry in the Calendar cycle. My Gawwwwwd! Is that… I Know What You Did Last Summer/I Still Know What You Did Last Summer’s music? I’ve been really looking forward to watching this series for BMT. Not only is the title ridiculous, but it’s based on a book (!) and features one of the underrated stars of BMT, Freddie Prinze Jr. It landed on the Calendar for November 13th beating out the likes of 2012, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, and Love the Coopers. Let’s go!

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998) – BMeTric: 76.1

IStillKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer_BMeT

IStillKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer_RV

(This is much more like a really terrible film. The regression to the mean maybe means this will be more boring that really funny-bad, but I still have some hopes. It has an impressive number of votes, but a lot of horror films do. Popular – bad film here, and a classic step down as far as a sequel goes.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Hewitt and friends win a vacation to a Caribbean island, where they are pursued by the killer with a hook from the first movie, I Know What You Did Last Summer. Another film in which the cast runs around screaming while being killed, one by one. Plotless mess lacks any suspense, and makes the original look like a classic. Jack Black appears unbilled.

(Deep burn on the first one Leonard. Although I’ve mentioned time and time again that Maltin has said he doesn’t particularly enjoy horror films, so I doubt he would have considered it a classic regardless. I’ll have to watch out for Jack Black, hopefully it is more substantive than his bit part in Waterworld.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99yCJwP97Uo

(Ahhhh, now that looks like complete shit. There we are, everything is right with the world. Everything looks like shitty sets, it looks like they repeat a bunch of stuff, and the storyline appears to be ludicrous. It went full Scream 3, but with worse acting for sure. Congrats.)

Directors – Danny Cannon – (Known For: Goal!; Phoenix; Future BMT: The Young Americans; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Judge Dredd; Notes: Started as a movie director, but is now mainly a television director / producer including most recently Gotham. He is from Luton in the UK which is home to the airport you really hope you don’t fly into because it means it will take you forever to get to London.)

Writers – Lois Duncan (characters) – (Known For: Hotel for Dogs; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Mentioned above she is the author of the original book. In more sad info, one of her books is a non-fiction account of her search for the person who killed her daughter in the 80s, a cold case that was never solved. She became a children’s book author after the event, not being able to write thrillers anymore.)

Trey Callaway (written by) – (BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Almost exclusively a television producer / writer, this was one of his first writing gigs. Given that his only writing credit prior to the film was two episodes of Timon & Pumbaa, one might wonder how he got the job …)

Actors – Jennifer Love Hewitt – (Known For: Tropic Thunder; Can’t Hardly Wait; Heartbreakers; Future BMT: Garfield; Garfield 2; Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit; Delgo; The Suburbans; House Arrest; The Truth About Love; Jewtopia; Telling You; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; The Tuxedo; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: At the age of 12 she recorded her first album Love Songs. It was released exclusively in Japan and made her a pop star in Japan for a brief period. She released a few other albums all the way up to 2002, but never really found success in the United States.)

Freddie Prinze Jr. – (Known For: The House of Yes; Brooklyn Rules; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; Happily N’Ever After; Summer Catch; Boys and Girls; Head Over Heels; She’s All That; Delgo; To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday; Jack and Jill vs. the World; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Wing Commander; Down to You; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Scooby-Doo in 2003; Notes: I know him best as Best Friend Forever to Matthew Lillard. He was in Scooby Doo, Scooby Doo 2, Summer Catch, Wing Commander, and She’s All That with him, it is crazy!)

Brandy Norwood – (Known For: Arachnophobia; Osmosis Jones; Future BMT: The Perfect Match; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor; Notes: A singer / rapper first who made an incredibly successful transition to acting, although mostly in television, most famously as the title character in Moesha. Kobe Bryant took her to senior prom.)

Budget/Gross – $24 million / Domestic: $40,002,112

(Still not too bad. I’ve mentioned before during our viewings of various Friday the 13th films that slasher films ultimately don’t really make money. Two Scream films are the only ones to have broken one hundred million domestic, and $40 million is honestly a rather impressive take. Especially considering it got such bad reviews.)

#17 for the Horror – Slasher genre

istillknowwhatyoudidlastsummer_slasher

(This came right at the peak of post-scream 90s horror. How big the genre got in the early to mid 2000s kind of surprised me, but that was fueled by a binge on remakes of the big 80s franchises. It has since, obviously, collapsed. Which is kind of sad. Slashers never made money, but you can make them on a shoestring, which should be right up Blumhouse’s alley. Hopefully it hasn’t been permanently relegated to VOD. This came in a shade above the original Friday the 13th’s gross in 1980 … yeah, maybe not so great.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (4/56): Boring, predictable, and bereft of thrills or chills, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer is exactly the kind of rehash that gives horror sequels a bad name.

(Boring? Boring?! I don’t believe it. This looks like a cartoon come to life and a testament to everything that is wrong with horror (and specifically slashers) since the major franchises up and died. How can one not be entertained watching the film that gives horror sequels a bad name!)

Poster – I Still Know What You Sklogged Last Summer (B+)

i_still_know_what_you_did_last_summer

(Ehhhh, not loving the hook they added in this one. But the coloring is slightly better and they added some flair to the font for “Still.” Only a small step back.)

Tagline(s) – Some secrets will haunt you forever. (C+)

Someone is dying for a second chance. (C-)

(Both of these are not good. The first is the better of the two. Short and a small hint at the concept of these films, but lacking creativity. The second makes me sad. All I can think of when I read it is someone smirking and saying “nailed it.” Too clever by half and largely meaningless besides letting us know that this is indeed a sequel.)

Keyword(s) – fisherman; Top Ten by BMeTric: 88.0 Vampires Suck (2010); 76.1 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998); 73.2 Swept Away (2002); 52.5 Free Willy 3: The Rescue (1997); 52.3 Gone Fishin’ (1997); 52.0 Sura (2010); 47.4 I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997); 44.1 The Incredible Melting Man (1977); 42.3 Flipper (1996); 41.1 Clash of the Titans (2010);

(Wow, this is like a who’s who of films I feel like we should have seen. Swept Away I actually did see (we illogically owned that on VHS whilst in high school, a combination of the local rental place’s bargain bin and gag gifts), but not yet for BMT. It is coming. Gone Fishin’ is also on the calendar, and we will see Elijah Wood’s tour de force Flipper at some point.)

Notes – Peter Jackson was asked to direct. (and he said NO)

The character of Karla Wilson was originally intended to be a Caucasian girl, until Brandy auditioned and won the role. (I’m sure the character description in the script read “Karla, a caucasian woman white as the driven snow”. Give me a break)

Scheduling conflicts with Dawson’s Creek (1998), The Faculty (1998), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), and gearing up to direct Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999) prevented Kevin Williamson from writing the screenplay for both this film and Scream 3 (2000) after having written their predecessors. (If it gave us Dawson’s Creek then ANYTHING GOES. Dawson’s Creek is a national treasure. They had a student-teacher relationship in the FIRST EPISODE!!)

Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Muse Watson are the only actors to reprise their roles from the previous film, with Sarah Michelle Gellar only reappearing as Helen Shivers via a photograph. (I presume this is a spoiler alert: I would guess Gellar’s character died)

Due to the negative critical reaction to the film upon its release, Freddie Prinze Jr. admits that he has never seen the film because of its reputation. (ha!)

Early promotional material, including the theatrical trailer, credit Stephen Gaghan as co-writer of the screenplay. In the final credits, only Trey Callaway is credited. (That is strange. I wonder how such a thing happens)

While the film is set in The Bahamas, it was actually shot at: El Tecuan Marina Resort Costalagree, in Jalisco, Mexico.

Brandy’s second time playing a character that won a fixed radio contest. Once in this film and a second time in Double Platinum (1999) in the following year. (hilarious fun fact)

I Know What You Did Last Summer Preview

Clearly when we double our work for a week by watching a double bill there is only one thing that we can do. That’s right! Watch another double bill for the horror entry in the Calendar cycle. My Gawwwwwd! Is that… I Know What You Did Last Summer/I Still Know What You Did Last Summer’s music? I’ve been really looking forward to watching this series for BMT. Not only is the title ridiculous, but it’s based on a book (!) and features one of the underrated stars of BMT, Freddie Prinze Jr. It landed on the Calendar for November 13th beating out the likes of 2012, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, and Love the Coopers. Let’s go!

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) – BMeTric: 47.4

IKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer_BMeT

IKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer_RV

(Maybe it is because we’ve been doing just brutal films, but I am fascinated by this plot. It is almost entirely a function of it having so many reviews while still being slightly below average (average is roughly 6.0), and the way it just floats around the same value … it is kind of the definition of regression to the mean. It has managed to just follow a contour line on the rating-vote plot perfectly. Very nice. Very popular – below average film.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  In coastal North Carolina, four friends accidentally run down a pedestrian on a lonely road. They dump the body in the sea and vow never to mention it again. But a year later, they each begin receiving the title message in the mail, and then the murders begin. … Scripter Kevin Williamson’s attempt at a Scream follow-up is too routine to succeed overall.

(Pretty low key review, but somewhat expected given this isn’t really supposed to be a truly terrible film. I’m actually pretty shocked that it is below 40% in the first place, but it is kind of barely there, and horror fans and critics alike are fickle when it comes trashing slasher films. Add in that late-90s horror outside of Scream was basically a garbage pit and maybe this will be relatively okay?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcWK0M4VMjA

(It seems real, but it is a bit unbelievable. The change of tone at the end gives off a thick Scream vibe, which is probably a smart move since Scream is basically the only big budget slasher film to be received well post 1990. I personally think this is going to be fun, but closer to Scream 3 than anything else. Like it knows what it should probably do to make the post-1990 slasher work, but never quites gets where it needs to get … vague, but I know what I mean.)

Directors – Jim Gillespie – (Future BMT: Venom; D-Tox; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Scottish. It is hard to say this film ruined his career as it was unclear if it was really on the upswing to begin with, but D-Tox, which was a big budget straight-to-DVD disaster. Anyways, it appears he might work for London Film School now.)

Writers – Lois Duncan (novel) – (Known For: Hotel for Dogs; BMT:  I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Note that in addition to writing the book Hotel for Dogs (which I didn’t know was adapted from a book …), she also wrote Killing Mr. Griffin which has an eerily similar plot, so much so it is mentioned on the books wiki page. And double weird, Kevin Williamson wrote Teaching Mrs. Tingle! Anyways, in sadder news she died last year.)

Kevin Williamson (screenplay) – (Known For: Scream; Scream 4; Scream 2; The Faculty; Future BMT: Cursed; Scream 3; Teaching Mrs. Tingle; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: He has a very interesting career, clearly very much focused in the horror genre. He was raised in North Carolina where this film is set, and ended up producing Dawson’s Creek. Horror films and Dawson’s Creek, who would have thunk it.)

Actors – Jennifer Love Hewitt – (Known For: Tropic Thunder; Can’t Hardly Wait; Heartbreakers; Future BMT: Garfield; Garfield 2; Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit; Delgo; The Suburbans; House Arrest; The Truth About Love; Jewtopia; Telling You; BMT:  I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; The Tuxedo; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Probably more famous for her later television work (The Client List and Ghost Whisperer in particular) at this point, she was a megastar when I was growing up due to Party of Five. In between … well she made bad movies basically. She is a huge fan of Glasgow Celtic Football Club apparently.)

Sarah Michelle Gellar – (Known For: Cruel Intentions; Scream 2; Small Soldiers; Funny Farm; Suburban Girl; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; The Grudge 2; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; Happily N’Ever After; The Return; Southland Tales; Simply Irresistible; She’s All That; The Grudge; Harvard Man; TMNT; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Is most famous as Buffy, and has basically been doing television work for the most part. I married to Freddy Prinze Jr., who also stars in this film.)

Anne Heche – (Known For: Donnie Brasco; The Other Guys; My Friend Dahmer; Catfight; Volcano; Wag the Dog; Rampart; Cedar Rapids; The Adventures of Huck Finn; Return to Paradise; A Simple Twist of Fate; Walking and Talking; Wild Side; I’ll Do Anything; The Third Miracle; Auggie Rose; Future BMT: Psycho; Nothing Left to Fear; Wild Card; Six Days Seven Nights; The Juror; Milk Money; Spread; Birth; Arthur and Mike; That’s What She Said; What Love Is; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress for Psycho in 1999; Notes: Growing up I mainly knew of her because she was Ellen DeGeneres’ partner for a few years. Recently she was on the podcast Doug Loves Movies where she thoroughly embarrassed herself and was kicked off.)

Budget/Gross – $17 million / Domestic: $72,586,134 (Worldwide: $125,586,134)

(Really solid haul for a slasher film. Basically right there with Scream, and is basically exactly what they were going for. This was when people thought slashers were back! They weren’t.)

#6 for the Horror – Slasher genre

iknowwhatyoudidlastsummer_slasher

(While the slasher genre made a triumphant comeback with Scream, it was not to last. The 2000s saw a bunch of remakes of 80s classics (like our beloved Friday the 13th) and then the genre basically disappeared. That isn’t to say there haven’t been any. Most Likely to Die is an example of what appears to be a fairly big slasher released basically exclusively to VOD in 2015. So it is likely that is where the genre is at the moment.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 35% (15/43): No consensus yet.

(I get to make one: Fun, energetic, uninspired, predictable, fairly scary … but not that scary. I Know What You Did Last Summer goes through the beats of a Scream knockoff, but never quite reaches the satisfying tongue-in-cheek peak of its obvious predecessor. That is basically the gist of it. A fairly scary, fairly satisfying Scream knock-off.)

Poster – I Know What You Sklogged Last Summer (A-)

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(Have to admit, this is nicely done. This is exactly how prominent pictures of stars should be employed on a poster. Just wish the color they used was better. I like the dash of red, the slightly modified font, and the spacing.)

Tagline(s) – If you’re going to bury the truth, make sure it stays buried. (C+)

(Well that’s a mouthful. Using the word bury twice sounds odd. This seems like a second draft of a tagline that they couldn’t quite make all the way to the end. Does give a hint at the plot and isn’t totally bereft of cleverness.)

Keyword(s) – overalls; Top Ten by BMeTric: 77.9 Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009); 71.9 The Next Karate Kid (1994); 68.9 Dance Flick (2009); 57.7 The Big Bounce (2004); 57.3 God’s Not Dead 2 (2016); 56.4 Troll (1986); 54.0 Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992); 50.3 Dhoom:3 (2013); 50.1 Runaway Bride (1999); 49.6 The Spy Next Door (2010);

(Ba-da-da-da-da I’m lovin’ it. Overalls!? We talking about overalls!? I want to hold a bad movie marathon announced as “IMDb keyword: Overalls”. Some of those are legit hilarious, although I would cut Dhoom 3 obviously.)

Notes – Lois Duncan has stated openly that she hates the movie, because the filmmakers turned her book into a slasher film. She especially detested it in the wake of her 18-year-old daughter’s murder in 1989. (Makes sense, I’ve read the book NBD, and it is nothing like this. Certainly not a slasher film)

Despite being part of the main cast and appearing in many key scenes together, the characters Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.) only speak to each other twice (Ray – “How do you know that?” Helen – “Missy, said there was a friend named Billy Blue)” (at around 1h 2 mins) and (Ray – “No, it’s not, it’s true” Helen “Yeah, I don’t think so, Ray”) (at around 10 mins). In real life, the two later fall in love and marry. (That is absurd)

Kevin Williamson wrote this script before Scream (1996), but was unable to sell it. Following the big screen success of his next screenplay, “Scream,” Columbia Pictures immediately bought I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) (Ha! Purely fueled by Scream. Calling this a knock-off is a little unfair I admit, since they share the same main screenwriter.)

The ice inside the storage of the boat was actually made of gelatin so Jennifer Love Hewitt could comfortably move around inside. (fun fact)

The group goes to “Dawson’s Beach.” This is a reference to Dawson’s Creek (1998), also written by Kevin Williamson. (Doubt it, seems like it would have to be the other way around given the years involved)

The set relocated from North Carolina to California for the scene where the four teenagers run over the man. Producer Erik Feig said that North Carolina was the flattest state and they needed a more ‘curvy’ and ‘dangerous looking’ road. (I’m sure it isn’t the flattest state, but it is flat)

The original trailer for the movie described Kevin Williamson and the movie as “from the creator of Scream (1996)”. Miramax, owners of the “Scream” franchise successfully sued Columbia Pictures for “false advertising” and the phrase was removed. (It was from the writer of Scream … amazing they could do that)

The scene where Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) escapes from the cop car mirrors a similar scene in Scream 2 (1997) with Sydney and Hallie. Sarah Michelle Gellar plays the sorority girl CeCe in said film. (Interesting)

After the first Croaker County Beauty Pageant, the band playing at the beach party is the alternative/surf rock band Southern Culture on the Skids. (Very interesting. Might have to go into our Who section of the recap)

(at around 38 mins) “Hush” from the soundtrack (played fully over the end credits) is heard briefly on the radio of Barry’s car. (Gross)

(The rest of the notes are all spoilers for the movie or the book which I figured were mostly unnecessary)