Lost in Space Recap

Jamie

The Robinson family are ready to save the Earth by traveling across the universe to open a gateway to a new world. Unfortunately sabotage is afoot by the eeeeevil Dr. Smith. Can they stop the evil genius from destroying humanity (and maybe find love) before it’s too late? Find out in… Lost in Space.

How?! It’s the year 2058 and the world is on the brink of ecological disaster. The only thing that stands in the way is the Robinson family and their brood of kids: whiz kid Will, angsty teen Penny, and the smoking hot Judy (don’t get any ideas Matt Leblanc). Unfortunately their physician, Dr. Smith, has his own plans and it involves getting a whole bunch of money from a rebel group to sabotage the trip. Saboteur! After they launch, he sets a robot to destroy the ship, but he is double crossed (double saboteur!) and left to die. Waking up just in time, he helps subdue the robot and is taken prisoner, but not before super pilot Matt LeBlanc (I guess his character was Major Don West… whatever), does some super pilot shit and uses their hyperdrive to shoot through the sun and into deep space. Uh oh! In a shocking coincidence they end up exactly where a time hole exists and they encounter a long dead ship from the rescue mission sent to find them. On the ship they encounter a CGI monkey (wait, were we supposed to think it was real?) and a bunch of spider aliums that totally bite Dr. Smith (but shhhh, don’t tell anyone). Escaping just in time they crash land on a plant where they once again encounter a time hole. Needing supplies to get off the planet they venture into the time hole to find that inside is their own ship from the future with a grown up Will Robinson living inside. He’s on the verge of finishing his time machine and aims to go back to Earth and stop the mission but uh oh! Dr. Smith from the future is there and he’s totally a gross spider monster. He’s ready to use that time machine to totally eat up Earth with his space spider friends (triple saboteur!), but Dr. Robinson has different ideas. He goes and karate chops that spider monster in the neck (probably, I can’t remember) and then saves Will, who in turn realizes that the only course of action is to use the time machine to send his dad back to the ship in time to get them off the planet. He once again engages the hyperdrive, gets them super lost in space again setting them up for the inevitable sequel for this megahit. Oh and Matt LeBlanc and Judy totally smooch and her dad is like “wtf, mate?” THE END.

Why?! Humanity, duh. The Robinsons just want to save Earth and their family. Per usual the motivation of the bad guy is much more interesting. In the beginning Dr. Smith is all about the benjamins (as the kids say) and wants that sweet rebel cash to destroy the mission. The point seems to then turn around and make a much more capitalistic mission that will save Earth but for a price. Anyway, it’s actually kinda funny that then when Dr. Smith is trapped with the Robinsons he’s almost immediately bitten by some space spiders that turn him into a monster then hungers only to eat Earth. It wasn’t enough that he already wanted to fuck up the only mission to save Earth, he then has to be bitten by some spiders that make him literally want to eat Earth. This is also not resolved in the film. He’s still alive and totally going to turn into a spider monster at the end.

Who?! One thing we haven’t really talked about in this section is the case where two actors portray the same character. It’s always funny when one actor portrays two (think JCVD in Maximum Risk AND Double Impact), but there are way more cases where two actors play the same character. Usually it’s via flashback. Here, though, is a classic time travel version of it where Will Robinson is portrayed by both Jack Johnson and Jared Harris and briefly coexist in time. I feel like there could be a really difficult cycle for us in here somewhere… perhaps collecting a bunch of interesting cases of such double dipping.

What?! I was disappointed there wasn’t a little more for this category. Perhaps they realize how old the rescue ship is because all the delicious Coca-Cola has gone flat, so while still refreshing (when isn’t it?), it’s just not the same. So Will invents a recarbonator so they can all enjoy some refreshing Coca-Cola’s before battling some space spiders (the space spider’s only weakness? Coca-Cola, duh). But that didn’t happen. It’s also hard to figure out if I was missing anything because the Netflix reboot TV series apparently had a ridiculously terrible Oreos product placement that dominates my Google searches. There are some fun props online, but it’s hard to tell whether they are on sale… like could Matt LeBlanc’s entire battle costume really me for sale? Doesn’t seem possible.  

Where?! A+ Space setting for this one. They almost immediately zip right through the sun and start grappling with small metal spider aliens and meet a space monkey and crash on a snow planet. Really just the greatest hits from the space genre.

When?! We get a really nice intertitle exact setting on this as we are told that the attack depicted in the beginning of the film takes place on September 30th, 2058. Generally speaking I’ve given intertitles B’s in the past, but given just how rare it is for us to get something of this level I have to give it an A.

The more I think about this film the more I love it. It really tickled me in a lot of ways. It’s just so stupid and really convoluted and involves a time travel storyline where a (quite literally insane) future version of Will Robinson helps his dad save their space ship and as the space-time continuum collapses around him he screams “Don’t forget mmmmmmmeeee.” Like… you want him to remember the weird scraggly bearded version of his son that befriended a spider monster and nearly destroyed Earth? Do you want him to remember you as a cautionary tale? It’s bizarre. The entire film is bizarre. Add on top Matt LaBlanc not being able to act his way out of a paper bag (sorry Matt, I know you’re a reader) and a CGI monkey that is impressive only insomuch that they dared release it to theaters and I’m starting to think this might be a dark horse classic. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Danger, Will Robinson! A classic phrase I’m sure every 12 year old was just a-clamoring to hear on the big screen in 1998. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Fun fact, I saw this in theaters in 1998 in New York City. Just thought I would mention that. And indeed, I never saw it again. Weirdly I could remember quite a bit of it. Like the Spider Smith at the end. And the CGI monkey. I have to say, muddled memories from over 20 years ago did not prepare me for just how wild this film would be.

The Good – The film never tries to be much more than it needs to be to kick off what was surely a trilogy of deep space adventure films. Oldman is at peak scenery chewing glory at times as well, which I personally consider a very positive note for the film. The design of the spaceship is fun. And hey, they went for it didn’t they? They really went for some stuff about two years before it was a good idea to go for them, specifically they reached on the CGI. But partial credit there.

The Bad – Straight up this might be the worst CGI we’ve seen. At times it is on par with A Sound of Thunder, but in this case they didn’t run out of money, they just tried to create multiple full CGI characters and it didn’t work out very well at all. Matt LeBlanc is terrible in the film, and his character is a real smarmy weirdo (in a children’s film! Man, the 90s were a wild ride sometimes). They hired Jared Harris to play an American without, somehow, realizing he couldn’t do an accent and had to dub all of his lines. Spider Smith I think is the reason I am scared of spiders, so thanks for that. The Space Spiders in general were just awful. And Penny’s fashion choices … this film is something to behold.

The BMT – It is something to behold and I love it? It doesn’t offend your sensibilities because it is kind of a kids’ film, so who cares right? But then you have Spider Smith, and the CGI monkey, and Penny as a character somehow 100 years in the future, but stuck in the late 90s, and Matt LeBlanc existing 100 years in the future but outside of the MeToo movement? Oldman chewing scenery, weird time travel story, a son and father understanding each other and learning to love again! Ah yes, that’s the stuff, it hits you right here (I’m pointing at my throat like in the A-1 Steak Sauce commercial, not my heart). Very BMT.

Roast-radamus – Whooooooo doggy. I think you could argue this is one of the better Setting as a Character (Where?) films we’ve seen as long as you stretch the definition to include the spaceship itself. It really is kind of a character, just needed a sassy AI voice. And what the heck I’ll throw in Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal of Spider Smith being the ultimate bad guy who gets eaten by his own Space Spider babies. And naturally a nod for BMT as the film itself is b-b-b-b-b-bonkers. That’s some good stuff.

StreetCreditReport.com – As usual with this cycle the cred is always there because Siskel and Ebert themselves declared this to be one of the worst films of the year in 1998. Besides that it is a bit hard to find other lists, but it is thrown into Time’s run down of the worst films based on television shows. It’s got the cred.

You Just Got Schooled – Naturally when you watch a film based on a television show you should watch an episode of the television show. And what better episode to watch than the first one. I only watched part one, I’m not a monster, but amazingly the first half of the 1998 film is almost identical to the plot of The Reluctant Stowaway (first aired September 15, 1965). The family is going to Alpha Centauri to colonize. Smith is trying to sabotage the ship for money but accidentally is taken away with the crew. He programs the robot to destroy the ship and then is unable to stop it before it wrecks things almost irreversibly. And he is kept around because he saves one of the Robinsons (this time the mother, not the daughter). The show is incredibly slow, much slower even than its contemporary Star Trek. But I imagine it is mostly the same style, a monster / exploration of the week type deal. Kind of admirable that they tried to stay so true to the original series in the first half there. B adaptation, should have stopped short of the Space Spiders.

Cheerios,

Ths Sklogs

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Armageddon Recap

Jamie

When an asteroid is found to be hurtling towards Earth, NASA has to turn to a group of oilmen led by Harry Stamper to figure out how to blow it up. Can Harry become an astronaut, learn to trust AJ (the hotshot boyfriend of his daughter), and stop that asteroid before it’s too late? Find out in… Armageddon.

How?! We open with the destruction of a space shuttle mission and parts of several major US cities (naturally, this is Michael Bay) and NASA scrambles to figure out what it was. Turns out a giant asteroid is on its way and boy howdy do they need some help figuring out how to drill a hole in it and blow it up (I feel like there’s a metaphor here). Who you gonna call? Harry Stamper, duh. But he’s also going through his own major catastrophe as he’s just found out that his cocky hotshot partner is dating his daughter. Oh no! That’s just as bad as that asteroid stuff. No time to figure it out though because the government comes and brings him to Houston. There they are like, can you help us? And he’s like “not with these jokester astronauts. Me and my bozo gang of misfits have to be your astronauts.” So they get the gang together, go through some real intense training, and then remember what they are fighting for by visiting family and going to a strip club (to two most american things you can do). The plan is to get some fuel from the Russian space station, swing around the moon, and land on the asteroid, but things immediately go wrong when the junky Russian space station blows up. They swing around the moon but get caught in asteroid debris and one of the spaceships go down, including AJ. Noooo. The other spaceship overshoots the landing spot and has to drill through an iron plate. It’s slow going and they keep breaking parts of the driller and it looks like all is lost when the drill monster truck blows up and flies into space. Things start going nuts with the government trying to blow up the nuke from the surface and people getting “space madness,” but unbeknownst to everyone AJ is being a total hero and he and a few of the others make their way from their wreck and arrive in time to save the day. AJ pushes that drill monster truck like no one has ever pushed a drill monster truck before and totally gets that nuke in there (still feeling like a metaphor), but uh oh! The nuke can’t be detonated from the surface! Someone will have to step in. That man is Harry and he gives a rousing speech to his daughter and saves the goddamn world! After coming back everyone forgets how shitty everyone was before and greet them like heroes. THE END.

Why?! You’re probably all like “for humanity, duh.” *shakes head sadly* you learned nothing. It’s for love, man. Love. And your eyes, your eyes, your eyes. They tell me how much you care. Ooooh yes, you will always be… my… endless looooove. Armageddon.

Who?! Hail to the Chief! We have the election of an unnamed President to the BMT Hall of Presidents played by Stanley Anderson. Has he played the President in other films? Why yes. In The Rock, also directed by Michael Bay and also the greatest film ever made. Does that mean those two films take place during the same presidential term? Probably. Also need to shoutout the least heralded member of the Armageddon crew: Noonan, played by Clark Brolly. I did not remember this character until this viewing and he really does get short shrift when all is said and done. As Ben Affleck is crying over Owen Wilson’s body he just kinda implies that Noonan was also killed on impact. Who is Noonan?!

What?! Some real iconic product placement here for Animal Crackers. There is probably some more blatant placement for Nokia or TAG Hauer, but the Animal Cracker scene is perfection. I don’t want to close my eyesssss. I don’t want to falll asleep. Cause I’d miss you babe and I don’t want to miss a thaaaaannnnngggggggggg. As for props there are some real gems here. A Stamper Oil hard hat?! AJ’s space costume?! How do I choose just one?

Where?! We got scenes all over the place. These are the types of films that really would help cover a large portion of a world map. But really this is set in Texas and Space… a solid choice for the catchall setting, Space. As specific as needed and quite necessary. A.

When?! I do not believe that they make it clear when the film takes place. Seems like the summer given the sweltering look of NYC in the beginning. Usually I’m all like “but only if I could get my hands on some props,” well from the website above I can… they purposefully don’t have any dates on it. So I think they never really make it clear other than to say that the events of the film take place over almost exactly 18 days. F.

Armageddon is the greatest film ever made. Patrick?… oh, should I elaborate on that? I sat down to watch this movie and was like “It’s pretty late, I’ll watch half the movie and then finish it tomorrow.” Three hours later, with tears streaming down my face, I finished watching Armageddon. I literally didn’t want to close my eyes… didn’t want to fall asleep… cause I’d miss Armageddon and I didn’t want to miss a thing. Now, just to be clear, when I say Armageddon is the greatest film ever made I don’t mean that it’s like the best film ever made or anything crazy like that. It just hits all the right buttons for me and allows me to forgive all the bad visual effects, scientific inaccuracies, ludicrous plot devices, and the fact that Michael Bay films America like it still is 1957… even when astronauts are flying souped-up space shuttles to an asteroid to plant a nuke using a monster truck space drill. I forgive all that because Ben Affleck is playing with animal crackers and is like “I hope other people are doing this, because otherwise what are we fighting for,” and Bruce Willis telling his daughter that he’ll look in on her from time to time before sacrificing himself for the good of humanity. As A1 steak sauce would say, it gets me right here *points to heart*. Patrick?

‘Ello everyone! Sometimes for BMT we re-watch a film we’ve seen before to give it the real BMT treatment. And sometimes we … watch a film for the like 50th time and revel in it and make fun of all the no-fun-having critics who hate explosions and America. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – You think I didn’t already know everything about Armageddon? The most interesting things were that it was nominated for several Oscars. More rare than you would think for BMT. You’d think more terrible films would still manage the technical awards. And that this was the most successful Michael Bay film outside of the Transformers films, which is also fun.

The Good – Uh … this film? The film is good? More seriously, the first half of the film is very fun. Just balls to the wall grumpy Bruce Willis telling the eggheads at NASA what’s what about drilling in space. Lots of funny characters, lots of funny lines, and great visuals that hold up. The cosmonaut character is still the best as well. Just absolutely the funniest. The last third is a bit melodramatic, and the asteroid set … has problems. But the movie is gosh darn entertaining. I would watch it again right now if you asked me to.

The Bad – The asteroid set is ludicrous. I think if they had had a bit more time they could have whipped something together that looked fine … but it doesn’t. Very melodramatic, and basically the definition of inserting a romantic subplot into an action film for no reason (and Bay would repeat the same mistake in Pearl Harbor). Some bits here and there are problematic (Buscemi suggesting he committed statatory rape being played for laughs isn’t great), but hey, it’s an action film in 1998.

The BMT – There is, in my opinion, more good than bad here. I don’t think this film comes out to the same reviews these days. I think it gets a very respectable “good for what it is” like … 50-60% on Rotten Tomatoes released today. So no. Of course it isn’t BMT. It is too good. I will never accept this film isn’t good. It is like Hook, I saw it at just the right time to love it and it’ll always tug at that bit of nostalgia. I can’t help myself.

Roast-radamus – Can we get a Where? for the asteroid? No? I’m going to give it a What? (Product Placement) though. What product? NASA and the US Military of course. Legitimately this is US propaganda, but whatever, I love it. Something about this film screams Why? to me. Is it a MacGuffin? No, but the entire thing about the 800 foot hole they are trying to drill on the asteroid is just too much. How they are all so sad when they are only at 250 feet. When they are so happy when they cross this arbitrary point. It is just so good. I have a sneaking suspicion this is a shoe in for Good as well because … well, just read my review.

StreetCreditReport.com – As usual, all of these films have a lot of cred already because Siskel and Ebert put it on their worst of list for 1998. And crazily … I can’t find any other lists where it was mentioned. There are so many bad disaster films it doesn’t even get close to the lists it seems. So good for Armageddon, it ain’t got the cred.

You Just Got Schooled – You may or may not have heard of the notorious Ben Affleck Armageddon audio commentary. The most famous bit is when he talks about how he asked Michael Bay why they couldn’t just send astronauts up to drill on the asteroid, and Michael Bay told him to shut up. (1) His Michael Bay and Billy Bob Thornton impressions are second to none. (2) His on set stories are really interesting, like about how much stuff leaked in from other projects, and how crap everything looked when you are actually doing it. (3) He basically has the same opinion as me about the patriotic aspects, he says he’s mostly a cynic about such things, but something about Armageddon he likes and he finds really powerful. People think he was drunk, but I think he was mostly just tired. If you listen to the entire thing, he is far too coherent for way too long while watching the entire film for the drunk idea to hold much water. A+ audio commentary, especially this svelte 30 minute cut which is just Affleck and not the other people:

Cheerios, and back to you Jamie!

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Jade Recap

Jamie

David Corelli is the future DA of San Fran. That is until a prominent art dealer is found dead and his best friend’s wife, who also happens to be his ex-lover, is the lead suspect. It seems she’s been living a double life as the sultry Jade, mistress of the rich and powerful. Can he solve the crime, clear her name (and perhaps find love) before it’s too late? Find out in… Jade.

How?! The presumed future DA of San Fran, David Corelli, is pulled away from a high powered function to a gruesome murder scene of a rich businessman, Kyle Medford. He’s shocked to find that all evidence starts to point towards his former lover and prominent psychologist Katrina Gavin, wife of his best friend, defense attorney Matt Gavin… you getting this? They’re all rich… it’s all about rich people. Anyway, amongst Medford’s possessions is a video of the Governor of California having sex with a prostitute. Additionally a plethora of evidence suggests that Medford acquired high-end prostitutes for powerful men and then tapes them for blackmail. Things start going seriously awry as one of their only witnesses is killed, David has his brakes cut, and evidence begins to mount against Katrina. When shown the evidence, Katrina and Matt’s messed up married life spills over resulting in Katrina attempting to seduce David, which turns out to be her only alibi for another witness’s murder. Enraged, Matt confronts David at gunpoint, but they both realize that Katrina is in danger and rush to her aid. Arriving at the house they find an associate of the governor and colleagues of David’s attempting to kill her. They are subdued and the audience is like “phew, I’m really glad everything worked out a-ok for these rich fucked-up assholes. I hope there isn’t a twist where it turns out that they actually did it and got away with it.” But then there is. What a twist! Matt killed all the people and they got away with it and now uses that to blackmail Katrina into not leaving him… which is really gross. THE END.

Why?! As is typically the case, erotic thrillers kind of muddle the motivations. David just wants to solve the crime while Katrina really was living a double life as a high-end escort seemingly because she was bored with her life with adulterous Matt. Matt turns out to be the real sleezeball in the end. After finding out about Jade he creates the intricate plot of murder and mayhem to further entrap Katrina in his world and force her to take on her persona of Jade with him. It’s really quite gross when you lay it all out there. Not sexy really at all.

Who?! Usually we are highlighting Presidents here, but it is interesting to find the governor of a major state depicted. Richard Crenna plays Governor Edwards in this film. I wondered whether he played a President in his time. Answer? Yup. He played Ronald Reagan in the TV Movie The Day Reagan Was Shot… Governor of California and then onto the presidency… sounds familiar.

What?! I crossed my fingers and googled “Jade 1995 hatchet prop for sale” but alas not every dream can come true. I will instead highlight the rididididiculously long car chase that occurs in the middle of the film where David chases a suspect through a very very slow moving parade. The car in the chase was a modified ‘92 Thunderbird XL with some swizzeeet window louvers on the back. That’s kind of a product placement, for those that wish to be rad.

Where?! This is quite a good setting considering that you could easily imagine it set in Miami, Los Angeles, or any number of hot and steamy cities. In fact, thinking about it it’s really appropriate that it’s set in San Francisco since it’s not your typical hot and steamy erotic thriller. Doesn’t feel like a Miami erotic thriller. Got some sights and sound in there too. A-

When?! A nice solid A here as not only do you get a clear picture of a newspaper letting you know that it’s March 16, 1995, but there is a scene with an autopsy where it’s clearly stated exactly when the event is occurring. I think that might end up being the triad of temporal settings: newspapers, police stations, and medical facilities. Almost always get a non-holiday setting from one of those. A

Well… I did think this was watchable, but had a very, very strange tone to it all the way through. It almost felt like a less ridiculous 88 Minutes. That film seemed like a prank that someone played on Al Pacino a la The Game. Here everyone seemed like willing participants at least. It just seems very strange to have everyone in the film end up being the bad guy… like no one really comes out looking good in the end. And while I don’t require my films to have happy endings, I still squirm a little when it’s so unpleasant. I was pretty disappointed because erotic thrillers are usually so much fun with the weird twist and turns and the idea of “sexy” that shines through from the time period. This had all the ingredients, but instead of being “sexy” it’s like Friedkin was like, “well, if an erotic thriller happened in real life then it probably wouldn’t be sexy at all… it would probably be real depressing and gross… I got it!” Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We were getting all hot and heavy with another erotic thriller. It really is just the best bad movie genre around. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – The second Friedkin film in a row, but I was far more interested in Eszterhas, the writer. This film and Showgirls were both released within a month of each other in 1995. Quite the time for people to realize almost all of Eszterhas’ films were just kind of erotic garbage. Jade partially marks the end to the erotic thriller era in the early 90s, and thus has always been an exciting prospect for BMT.

The Good – Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh. There are maybe some decent car stunts? Some nice San Francisco vistas. It runs like a erotic R-rated version of a tv show, like Law & Order. Which means the story itself is fairly uninteresting, but the progression through the investigation has a few nice spots along the way. It is pretty slim pickings to be honest.

The Bad – Shockingly the directing I thought was fairly terrible. Especially the beginning. The music was also rather intrusive at times. The acting is basically top to bottom terrible, I can’t think of a single person who came out looking good here. The film is very confusing and the twist is somehow both telegraphed and completely ridiculous. If it was just a bit clearer it might have been tolerable. And the film is more thriller than sexy and it is not nearly funny enough to manage a Color of Night legacy, instead it just demonstrated perfectly why these films stopped being made. If I could make up a tagline for the film I might go with “It’ll make you feel gross!” … that is the best way to describe the film.

The BMT – Erotic thrillers are always good for BMT as examples of a genre that is basically dead and only lives in our collective memory of the early 90s. This is the weakest I’ve seen and likely marks the genre’s last gasping breath. Otherwise there is very little reason I will ever watch this film. I will certainly not recommend it. It sadly isn’t a very good BMT film in the end.

Roast-radamus – A very minor Setting as a Character (Where?) for San Francisco here, although I think you could move this to Seattle or Los Angeles without too much issue. Would actually probably make the more sense in LA to be honest. It definitely falls into a Worst Twist (How?) category though with the reveal that Chazz Palminteri was the actual murderer after learning of his wife’s alter ego Jade and her infidelity … it is honestly quite confusing, but that is roughly what I gleaned from it. I think this could sneak into Bad as just an unpleasant film to watch, but hopefully we get worse films that Jade to flesh that category out.

StreetCreditReport.com – It manages an astonishing number two in the Rolling Stone list from 1995, just behind Eszterhas’ other film Showgirls. Also gets a number 7 shout from Den of Geek’s 10 most unerotic thrillers. The second is better cred. I’ve come around on my idea of cred recently I think. Being a very bad example of a small genre is more interesting that just being such a disaster that it is the worst of a year for me.

You Just Got Schooled – While it isn’t quite as good as Jade, I just had to get my eyes on David Caruso’s tour de force CSI: Miami. … What? You think I’m joking? I watched the first episode of CSI: Miami for BMT. And guess what? It was kind of good? Like, not good good, but like out of CSI, CSI: Miami, and NCIS I would go Miami every time based solely on the first episode. Things going for it: David Caruso isn’t a colossal dick to all of his subordinates, none of the subordinates sexually harass their co-workers, and you get those Miami vistas. I hated the two episodes of CSI I’ve seen, and I think it was the main characters fault as he was just a weirdo. NCIS while amazing and hilarious is literally the opposite of all those things I listed and makes me feel gross when I watch it. Will I watch more? Hell no. But David Caruso could have done a lot worse and seems like a good (tv) actor. So he’s got that going for him.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Guardian (1990) Recap

Jamie

A young LA couple hire a nanny to take care of their young son but, while great with the child, she unfortunately turns out to be a tree spirit monster that literally feeds children to trees. Can they stop her from… feeding their child to a tree before it’s too late? Find out in The Guardian (1990).

How?! After moving to LA and having a baby Kate and Phil decide to hire a nanny so they can both continue to work. After their first choice dies in a tragic and highly suspicious bike accident, Camilla, their second choice, moves in and is wonderful. They seems like quite the cozy family, you know other than the fact that Camilla is in fact a tree witch who sacrifices babies to a tree. Oops. But at least the tree is super far away and hard to get to… oh wait, it’s basically in their backyard. Double oops. When Phil starts to have weird dreams about Camilla and their next door neighbor is killed by a pack of wolves randomly (for real) Phil starts to have some suspicions. It’s only after getting a call from a woman who tells him in great detail exactly how Camilla stole her baby and sacrificed it to a tree does he finally decide that it’s time for her to go. Unfortunately Camilla doesn’t think so and she transforms into a monstrous tree creature and attempts to take the baby against their will. After unsuccessfully trying to kill her by running her over with a car, Phil takes a chainsaw and runs into the forest where he does battle with the tree (I’m seriously not joking. This is real). He’s able to injure the tree enough for Kate to overpower the tree monster witch nanny and send her back to… Hell, I guess. I’m not sure where she’s actually from. THE END.

Why?! It’s become a trend that the motivations of the antagonists are always much more interesting than the main characters. Mostly protagonists do things for justice or love. Same here. Phil and Kate just love their baby. As for the tree nanny, she’s scouring the greater LA area looking for babies that are just on the verge of ripeness (apparently just about four weeks, according to this movie… which by all accounts in the definitive source). At that point she can sacrifice them and the tree gets that sweet baby juice so it can keep living and make Camilla stronger.

Who?! I thought for sure that such a small film wouldn’t have anything of interest for these categories. I was wrong as Def Leppard drummer Frank Noon played one of the wildly stereotypical punks that get killed by the tree (how scary. I super scared of that tree). He’s actually had a long career in TV and film.

What?! I do occasionally like to highlight some specific plot devices these films use when there isn’t anything to note otherwise (and there really isn’t here). I probably should do it more since I’m sure there have been some hilarious Chekhov’s Guns thrown around. Anyway, we do have a pretty solid Deus Ex Machina here as the film spends a long time telling us how amazing the tree monster nanny is at taking care of children to the point where it would be hard to imagine what would make Phil and Kate decide that their wonderful nanny was a tree monster… apparently a call from a stranger who happens to own a Hansel and Gretel children’s book you dreamed about once. Good enough for me, “get the fuck out of here, wonderful nanny! You are clearly a deranged tree monster in disguise. I have been given all the clues needed.”

Where?! As implied above this is a great example of late-80’s, early-90’s Los Angeles, which honestly seems like one of the weirdest places on Earth. These films make it seem like a totally foreign land full of complete weirdos living in crazy houses… about 400 ft from a giant, ancient tree that a nanny feeds babies to. B+

When?! While we can’t get an exact date from it, Phil and Kate do mention that the baby is a Libra and was born in October. Considering a majority of the film takes place between when the baby is 2 and 4 weeks old, we can assume that it’s end of October into November. Part of me thinks that this is probably hinting that the baby will be four weeks just around Halloween… but that’s just me wishing it were so. C+.

I feel like Friedkin fell into all the trapping of a Color of Night and yet somehow made a less ridiculous film, despite basing the entire premise of his film on a nanny that feeds children to trees. It’s literally “what if I made Hansel & Gretel except set in cocaine fueled LA instead?” and yet he swam out of it with a film that is certainly bad, but also has a ton of kinda weird visual stuff going on (which I can appreciate). Pretty easily the worst part of it all is the actual storytelling and acting. Everything seems to just float along until the main character gets a call from someone who is like “your nanny is a tree monster” and he’s like noooooooo, I 100% believe you despite there being no evidence for this being the case and it’s also insane. Then he runs into the forest and has to literally battle nature with a chainsaw and try to cut down her tree before it’s too late. It’s actually kind of amazing in a literal metaphor kind of way. I’m not sure I didn’t kinda dig it. But it’s hard to tell. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! For the second time we’ve watched a film called The Guardian for BMT. This time it was the one with the creepy tree nanny. I know there is nothing scarier than a creepy tree nanny. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I was actually genuinely excited for this film. It was a genre I traditionally haven’t watched a ton of (horror), and a sub-genre which was very weird (nature horror? Religious horror?), from a director who is known for one of the greatest religious horror films ever (The Exorcist, which I hadn’t seen prior to watching The Guardian either). There was literally no frame of reference going into the film. None.

The Good – I think the fact that mid-way through the film the main character strikes a woman across the face and my reaction wasn’t a shock or horror it was “yeah!” is a testament to Friedkin’s ability to make me think of Seagrove’s character as a non-human monster despite looking like a young woman throughout. I do think that at the very least Friedkin was up to the task even if ultimately the film was a losing effort on his part. The practical effects at times were also decent.

The Bad – The film looks cheap, and has cheap acting (beyond, I think, Seagrove). While eerie the film still falls short. First by resorting to kind of gorey nonsense horror, and later by not pulling out the cool makeup effect earlier and instead using the (fairly weak) wolf scene. For something like this you don’t really have to be scary, but it just wasn’t very spooky at all. Even the idea of a nanny who manages to get away with giving fake references twice (at least) from same company where a baby went missing months prior just doesn’t really fly.

The BMT – Eh I don’t think so. I’ll certainly add it to my horror film repertoire, but I don’t think this is a BMT film really. I think we’ll get to that more in the awards predictions as well. There just is not very much meat on the bone. The film is honestly a bit too good in some respects, definitely a bit too weird and interesting, for me to call someone up and tell them to watch this bad movie. There is very little reason to watch this as a bad movie in the end, unless you are a huuuuuge Friedkin-head.

Roast-radamus – There is a very tiny Setting as a Character (Where?) here for Los Angeles. I wish I could say it was a secret holiday film, but despite taking place around Halloween (the baby was an October baby they say, and is only two weeks old) there is no actual evidence of that fact in the film. Does the tree count as a MacGuffin … I don’t think so, because people aren’t trying to obtain it, it doesn’t really drive the plot. The very tiny setting is really it, I don’t think it gets a Good, Bad, or BMT nod in the end. See, the film really brings very little to the table.

StreetCreditReport.com – First I will just say this film has at least some cred. It was on an end of the year worst of list for Siskel and Ebert. So a reviewer watched this film and thought “that was terrible”. Otherwise I can find no evidence this film exists let alone was considered bad at the time. In my defense though, it is basically impossible to search for The Guardian as it is the name of a giant British tabloid.

Good Movie Twins – Prior to The Guardian I had seen Friedkin’s The French Connection, which I quite liked. But I had never seen The Exorcist. So I popped that in and I have to say I loved it. The film takes on a 70s style as you would expect, the story initially just follows the daily lives of our characters to lend insight into their personalities, which has been how I tend to feel 70s cinema operated from my limited experience. The young priest is very compelling, a conflicted man who loses his mother and is in crisis just as he is enlisted to battle a demon on Earth. Linda Blair and especially Ellen Burstyn were amazing. Bringing a religious horror element up against a very (almost overly) scientific analysis of Regan is a crux of many horror films to this day, specifically in J-Horror where demons and spirits often exploit or inhabit the newly technological world we live in. You can see elements of The Exorcist in The Guardian as well, just from a pagan perspective instead. There the modern yuppie culture is infiltrated by the ancient almost unknowable evil that is Camilla and they do battle with what sometimes feels like nature itself. Consider the storyline in which Camilla wants Kate to continue breastfeeding Jake instead of using formula. Nature versus the modern sensibilities of child-rearing. It kind of makes me wish the end of the film was Phil hacking the tree apart with an ax, an idea of returning to a more natural state (an ax instead of a chainsaw) to destroy the natural evil that is the tree. Horror films are great.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Super Mario Bros. Recap

Jamie

Mario and Luigi are just a couple of plumbers trying to make ends meet in Brooklyn. When Luigi meets the love of his life, Daisy, only to have her taken through an interdimensional portal to Dinohattan the bros follow after her. Can they stop King Koopa from merging the dinosaur and human worlds (and find love) before it’s too late? Find out in… Super Mario Bros.

How?! In the midst of a string of kidnappings of women, two Brooklyn plumbers, Mario and Luigi, are just trying to get by. When a beautiful researcher, Daisy, who is excavating some strange fossils in a local construction site catches Luigi’s eye things seem like they are looking up. That is until she is becomes the next victim of the kidnappers. Even weirder is that Mario and Luigi witness Daisy getting dragged through what looks like a solid rock wall, but in actuality is a portal to another dimension (oooooooo). Luckily they grab Daisy’s necklace before she is dragged through because it turns out to be the key to everything (more on that later). Refusing to lose his chance at totally smooching this pretty lady, Luigi jumps in right after and Mario is not far behind. They find themselves in Dinohattan, an alternate dimension where the dinosaurs never went extinct, but instead evolved into intelligent humanoids themselves. This realm is ruled by the eeevil King Koopa, who needs Daisy’s necklace in order to make complete the meteorite that split the dimensions millions of years ago. By completing the meteorite he will merge the two dimensions and he can use his advanced deevolution technology to take over the world (bwawawawa). Hearing that the plumbers have the necklace, Koopa puts out an APB. Before they can be arrested, though, they are mugged and the necklace is taken. Once arrested, they are told the entire intricate MacGuffin-centric plan but totes escape before Koopa can do anything about it. Ending up in the wasteland they are helped by some of Koopa’s toadies (and now defectors) to get back into the city and locate the necklace. Almost immediately after getting it back, though, Koopa’s lady love Lena gets the necklace and decides that actually she wants to rule the world and goes off to use it on the meteorite. Mario and Luigi decide it’s time to rescue Daisy (and all the other kidnapped girls) and infiltrate Koopa’s building and take everyone out like the Super Mario Bros that they are. Once outside Mario confronts Koopa, while Luigi and Daisy confront Lena, who immediately is killed when she attempts to merge the dimensions. While the dimensions are briefly merged Koopa deevolves Mario’s biggest rival into a chimpanzee before Luigi and Daisy remove the necklace and Koopa is dispatched. Dinohattan rejoices, Daisy’s dad is reevolved from a fungus into a humanoid by unknown means, and Luigi and Mario return to their own dimension. Luigi is real bummed because he doesn’t get to smooch Daisy, but is surprised when she returns to let them know about their next great adventure in the sequel. THE END… or is it? (it is). Believe it or not this is me being brief… the plot is a disaster.

Why?! Major MacGuffin Alert over here. In fact, I’m going to call it right now. This is the best MacGuffin in the history of BMT. I’d have to go back through all our films to confirm it, but the Meteorite Necklace is kind of a perfect level of stupidity. You see, King Koopa really wants this Meteorite Necklace that Princess Daisy has. Why? Because it’s part of the meteorite that sent the dinosaurs into an alternate dimension. By putting the meteorite back together he’ll be able to merge dimensions because… why not. Obviously that would be the case. But that’s not all. Even if he had the piece of the meteorite he wouldn’t be able to merge the dimensions. Why? Because only Princess Daisy would be able to do that and survive the power surge (?). Again… why? I literally have no idea. Because it was laid down in an ancient scroll probably. Or maybe… like Princess Daisy’s mom was actually human and so she’s the offspring of both dimensions and thus can bridge the gap… I just made that up, but good enough for me. Everyone else is motivated by love (awwwww).

Who?! Weird musician-turned-actor in this as Toad was played by a guy by the name of Mojo Nixon, a psychobilly musician who’s heyday was in the early 90’s. He appeared a few films around this time… in fact this isn’t the first film we’ve seen him in. He was also in Car 54, Where Are You? I should also mention that Lance Henriksen has a very brief cameo as the Mushroom King after he is reevolved back into a… mushroom human, I guess. Never a real explanation why he even reevolves either. It just kinda happens at the end.

What?! Again, one of the greatest product placements in BMT history. So good that I remember being puzzled by it even when I watched this film as a child. In the climactic scene where the Super Mario Bros take out Koopa with a Bob-omb we get a very clear shot of the bottom of the bomb’s feet… which for no explainable reason are emblazoned with the Reebok logo. Magnifique.

Where?! Brooklyn, baby. In both dimensions Brooklyn/NYC exists and plays a prominent role in the action. The best part is that they actually give some pretty clear details of Dinohattan and the world that it exists in. Apparently it’s a small inhabitable city surrounded on all sides by a wasteland that covers the rest of the planet… which is exactly how Patrick and I describe the Z-Universe in our ongoing Bad Movie Twins saga. Great minds. A-.

When?! My guess is that this is actually identifiable given that there are a number of prop newspapers with news stories regarding the missing Brooklyn girls. I just couldn’t catch a clear glimpse of a date on them, but they exist. I just need to scour the dark web for some of those sweet sweet props. F.

There are moments in my life where I know I’m watching a first ballot HoF film. This was one of them. It is truly the crowning BMT achievement in multiple categories close to our BMT hearts. The MacGuffin is a masterpiece, the product placement is inexplicable, and the stories behind the production may very well be a case study in how arrogance and ego mixed with cynicism and disillusionment mixed with greed comes together into a perfect BMT film. They weren’t trying to make a BMT film, they were trying their damndest to make a hit, and yet they produced something that is so odd and weird and nonsensical that it became beautiful. A beautiful piece of trash. The only good thing about it was how invested it seemed that Bob Hoskins was in an obviously terrible role… and then I learned he was drunk the whole time and didn’t give a shit. Give the man an Oscar. I could not tell. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! For about two years now we’ve allowed ourselves to rewatch movies for BMT. Now, I thought Batman & Robin was going to be the quintessential example of why this is a good thing. Apparently I forgot about Super Mario Bros. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Everything I remember about the film and everything I heard about it subsequently kind of focuses on the set design of Dinohattan. All of the cast hated the two directors, and part of why the two directors were being insufferable was because they were being limited in their vision of a surreal alternate dimension Mushroom Kingdom. I noted during the Double Dragon recap that these two movies are kind of the same: let’s adapt this video game, but since we are a bit light on story … uh, it is also post-apocalyptic. I was intrigued and very very excited due to all three prospects.

The Good – In an alternate dimension this film is fantastic and ushers in a wave of bizarre metaphorical adaptations of video games. There is something just so bold and brash in the vision. The leads are solid I think, at least as good as you would hope given the material. Dinohattan in all of its misguided glory is kind of amazing, and tells you a lot about how films were being made in that sweet spot of the late 80s / early 90s. Finally, Yoshi is a very very impressive puppet, right before Jurassic Park killed the need for cinematic puppets once and for all.

The Bad – The story makes no sense. The fan service is off the chain. It is completely operating on the level of “well we have this script that is just a sci-fi post-apocalyptic film … how much Super Mario shit do we need to add to it to make it a Super Mario film again?”. Hopper is awful, just awful in the King Koopa role. It is clear the directors were out of their depth, the script was re-written daily, and Nintendo was offering no guidance. It is awful … even if it is incredibly fun to watch.

The BMT – The film is somehow one of the worst films I’ve ever seen, and a cinematic achievement. I absolutely expect to watch this film many more times in my life. I will show my children this film. They will watch it with me. And guess what? When they are like 30 years old they’ll say “What was that weird Mario film we watched with dad those twelve times when we were kids? Jesus, you want to watch that again in our holo-cinema, Robo-Butler?”. This is the first film in a while that might make the Hall of Fame simply on bad movie merits alone. It will endure for BMT.

Roast-radamus – Last week we had evil Laurel & Hardy, and this week let’s go with Evil Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Who?) because this film is somehow almost definitely a rip off of Hamlet, and the two cousins of King Koopa play R and G for sure. One of the best Produce Placements (What?) we’ve had in a while with Reebok sponsoring the grand finale bom-bomb. Naturally a small Setting as a Character (Where?) for Brooklyn and alternate reality Brooklyn (Dinohattan) which is pretty great. It actually literally is a character, as the Mushroom Kingdom is covered in Princess Daisy’s father who was de-evolved into a fungus. We have a fantastic MacGuffin (Why?) in the meteorite shard which will somehow merge the two dimensions back together. And finally I think this has a good shot at both the BMT award this year, and also an eventual Hall of Fame in the future, but we’ll see. That’s five years away. Very impressive award potential though.

StreetCreditReport.com – Obviously Siskel and Ebert put this in their worst of list of this year. Normally that would be well and good as far as street cred is concerned. Rifftrax has it on their worst of the 90s list at number 3. Gamestop puts it at number 13 on their worst video games list. And variety put it maybe at number one (but it seems to be in no particular order) as a top 7 worst video game films list as well. This has the cred. Up the wazoo as they say.

You Just Got Schooled – Another video game film, another speedrun. Well, not precisely. In this case it is Mario 64 TAS (tool-assisted super-run) involving not pressing the A button (at all) in the final level. But how you might wonder, well take a look at the video:

Basically the computer is just pressing B, manipulating its environment, and pausing to eventually get all of the red stars and defeat Bowser. Obviously this can only be done via computer, but still pretty impressive. The entire game can in theory be done with a single half-A press, which I understand to be that you come into the game with A pressed down and merely release it at a single point in the game to achieve the only jump currently required in the entire game. If that video intrigued you I would suggest watching the previous video he uploaded (it is in the description), and reading that description. It explains a bunch about how the B jump works. Other videos explain the pausing mechanisms, and other junk. And Games Done Quick (summer event is June 23rd to 30th) does a few TAS breakdowns as well which is the only reason I know anything about this. And there you have it, you’ve been schooled on deeeeeeep Mario 64 super-run knowledge.

And that’s it. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot Recap

Jamie

Det. Joe Bomowski is on edge when his overbearing mother comes to town. When his mom witnesses a murder and he’s faced with hosting her until the case can be solved he takes matters into his own hands. Can he solve the case and get rid of his mom (and perhaps find love) before it’s too late? Find out in… Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.

How?! It’s just not Joe’s week. First he gets in a wild shootout during a sting operation, then his girlfriend/boss (you read that right) breaks up with him because he’s an immature man-child, and then his overbearing mom comes the visit. Gah! Women! Am I right? Anyway, after his mom ruins his gun in a failed attempt to clean it she heads off to the bad part of town to buy him a new one. Unable to get a gun due to a waiting period she heads around the corner to buy some heavy duty illegal firearms out of the back of a van. Illegal transaction being what they are she finds herself in the middle of a shootout and subsequent murder investigation. Wanting to get her son a leg up for a promotion, she decides to withhold information (Probably ain’t going to work given that he’s been carrying on an inappropriate relationship with his immediate superior… oh, and he’s a bad cop). As a result she kinda forces him to team up with her and they start to uncover a (not so) intricate insurance fraud conspiracy. You see a company had all these (illegal?) guns. Wanting to double dip they faked a warehouse fire, collected the insurance, and then were going to turn around and sell them on the black market. Joe figures all this out with the help of his mom and even while navigating his personal relationships, growing a little as a person, and learning to live and love again, he is able to track the bad guys down. They attempt to escape to South America, but are confronted by Joe’s mom. Taking her with them (but, why?) Joe is forced to make a daring rescue, while his trigger-happy mom saves the day with the help of her gun. In the end Joe gets engaged and his mom heads home as her work there is done… you know until they start having babies and she has to come back for the sequel Stop! Or My Grandma Will Shoot. THE END.

Why?! Love. Obviously. The love of a mother for her child, the love of a bachelor for his independence, and the love of money for an anonymously eeevil business person. The funniest thing to dive into is the business person, just because they seemed to be so lazy with that part of the plot. He’s a business person who had an insurance claim on a shipment of guns and weapons. Being geniuses they decide to double dip and burn down the warehouse so they can turn around and sell the weapons on the black market. Unfortunately for them some of the people involved steal some of the guns and sell them on the street, where they are discovered and immediately traced. After that everything goes to shit. I am 100% certain this is also the plot of a Michael Dudikoff film. It just has to be. It’s so vague.

Who?! Some early(ish) roles for some actors that became well known, most notably Ving Rhames who has a very minor speaking role as “Mr. Stereo,” for real. Most important though is that I love when animals get credits. A lot of films will not actually give a credit for animals, even when they are pretty prominent parts of the action. Here though they have a credit for Pixie, who played Estelle Getty’s little Yorkie. Only credit Pixie got.

What?! There are a number of product placements in this film but I think Cocoa Puffs is the best one. He’s forced to eat it as part of a large breakfast prepared by his mother. This of course gives him an upset stomach. Why did I like this one the best? Well after discussion with Patrick he pointed out that normally Stallone writes into all his films that his character is a health nut, which allows his to provide sage dietary advice to all his coworkers and potential love interests. Since he didn’t write this film, he is eating Cocoa Puffs. Must have killed him inside.

Where?! This is a pretty good LA film as it plays into the plot a little bit. Like Stallone grew up in New Jersey with his mother and when he got old enough he escaped, moved as far away from her as he could, and become a police officer. Where is far away from New Jersey? LA of course. That’s more backstory, though, and not much in the actual film. A-.

When?! Second film in a row where it takes place in large part in a police station and yet I couldn’t for the life of me determine anything close to an exact date. I’m really pretty sure that for all these films there is a way to find this stuff out, but perhaps I would need to start getting in contact with propmasters and writers on the films. Yeah that’s what I’ll do. I’ll become a crazy person. Perfect. F.

This is probably one of the worst written films we’ve watched. It’s almost like one of those bikini car wash films or something. Everything is two-dimensional and the premise of the film has to keep on getting reset in order to get to feature length. One moment you’ll see Stallone realizing that his mom isn’t that bad and maybe she is just trying to help and the next he’s screaming “She’s going to kill me!” Just over and over and over. The interesting thing is that I thought Estelle Getty was actually kinda fun and charming as the overbearing mom. Stallone was really overreacting… she just seemed like a regular mom (with some characteristics ratcheted up slightly for laughs). Apparently this was one of Ebert’s critiques even as he noted that they seemed scared to make her an actual nightmare, but instead landed on a fairly likable character. The biggest problem I had with the film was Stallone’s love interest who is supposed to be his boss but is written like a two-dimensional, marriage-obsessed, needy stereotype. It’s insulting. She’s a lieutenant in the LAPD! You couldn’t make her even a slightly strong character? Instead she spends the movie wringing her hands over whether this dope is going to stop being a dope and love her? Terrible. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Stallone looked over at Schwarzenegger’s Kindergarten Cop and was “I’ll have what he’s having, but way worse and nobody will like it.” Well, Hollywood can dish that out in spades. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I needed something, anything, that suggested this was something other that a cynically made one-note comedy. ANYTHING. Because if it was what the trailer suggested, then there was never any hope for this. And without hope … what is BMT really? Where would we really be if we just walked directly into a film that offered no laughs and no entertainment. WHERE?!

The Good – The movie is yet another film that you can kind of call quaint. The further you get from the cash-grab cynicism it was obviously made with, the more it just kind of seems like a weird cop-based sitcom from the 60s. This hard-boiled LAPD detective has a new roommate … his mother! And boy are they an odd couple! I liked Getty, who played the mother. Stallone was mildly amusing. I can at least see why people are giving it better reviews as time goes on, it was far far less aggravating than I expected. I think that is a testament to Estelle Getty, she’s such a cute little old lady!

The Bad – The film is trash and should never have been made. “Hard pass” should have been the only two words the screenwriter heard from the instant the mere concept was put forward. It is sad it was made. It was also not funny (despite claiming to be a comedy). And the B-story was a complete nothing. Some jabroni wanted to commit some light fraud by burning down a warehouse full a guns, yada yada yada, he killed like a dozen people and tries to flee to Mexico. Like … okay? And the love life storyline is tacked on … and no one looks very good after that one. The detectives are harassing their female superior officer, and Stallone’s boss/girlfriend’s actions towards her subordinate in Stallone is wildly inappropriate. Of all of the cop-plus-something movies, I would guess this is the worst one … but that isn’t a surprise when your formula is cop-plus-his-mother. Wait … I forgot about the cop-plus-a-literal-dinosaur film we saw a few years ago …

The BMT – Somehow cop-plus-something films are a sub-genre. A ridiculously specific sub-genre, but a bad movie sub-genre nonetheless. And I think it is just ridiculous enough to either be brought up again on its own as just a dumb 90s comedy, or as a combo with Theodore Rex, the aforementioned cop-plus-a-literal-dinosaur film. It really is a great sub-genre, and we should find a time to fit in one of the many cop-plus-a-dog films that obviously qualify for BMT.

Roast-radamus – I think this qualifies for a Setting as a Character (Where?) for LA, it plays a huge part. There is kind of a new category here for Evil Laurel & Hardy (Who?) for the skinny and fat guy comedic combo bad guys who are always joshing each other and sneezing and stuff … legit, weirdly an amazing thing in film now that I think about it. That is probably it though, unfortunately they decided against having the mother ultimately be the bad guy in what would have certainly been the worst twist ever. Sigh, what could have been.

StreetCreditReport.com – Weirdly most of the 1992 lists for some reason ignored this. Luckily Roger Ebert was all over this as the time. “`Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot’ is one of those movies so dimwitted, so utterly lacking in even the smallest morsel of redeeming value, that you stare at the screen in stunned disbelief.” … so I take it you didn’t like it Roger?

You Just Got Schooled – On the DVD for the film there is a short 5 minute documentary (advertisement really, although I’m not sure where it would be shown … these days it would be one of the earlier commercials that play in a theater before the trailers) operating as a making of clip. It was interesting. Nothing much more than what the trailer gives you, except you can see Sly just razzing Getty the entire time. It is pretty impressive. He’s telling off color jokes (like how they just unfroze her because he needed some ice cubes for a drink … get it, she’s old) and Getty clearly is just loving it. There are like 30 parts where he’ll say something a little inappropriate and then she’ll laugh and give him a little punch. You can really see the charisma of Sly at the time, and also a bit of how smart he probably actually is, he was really coming at her quick with one-liners. I wish there were more of these things for the bad movies we watch, it makes me appreciate even more the genuine dynamic Getty and Sly had in the film.

And that’s it. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Vampire in Brooklyn Recap

Jamie

Maximillian is the last vampire in the world and he’s in search of a mate. Turns out Detective Rita Veder is the gal for him and half-vampire to boot. Can her and her partner stop Max from seducing her to the dark side before it’s too late? Find out in… Vampire in Brooklyn.

How?! Maximillian is a vampire in the Caribbean. Looking for his half-vampire bride, he travels to Brooklyn, killing a boat-full of people along the way. These deaths are investigated by Det. Rita Veder who, unbeknownst to her, is a half-vampire (what a coincidence!). Realizing she is his one true love, Max set out to woo her with his dancing skillz. Unfortunately Rita’s partner, aptly named Justice, is in love with her too and cock-blocks Max at every turn. Frustrated and angry Max starts to pull out all the tricks. In a really dark psychological turn, he employs manipulative tricks to try to isolate Rita to the point where she would want to give up everything and go with him (to the world of the undead, but he doesn’t tell her that). He seduces and kills her roommate and convinces Rita that her partner actually had sex with her. He transforms into a preacher and convinces her that her faith wants her to be evil. He transforms into a stereotype of an Italian gangster to further convince her that Justice is bad. Finally, he pretends to save her from a runaway cab and at her lowest convinces her to go to dinner with him. This dinner ends up being the first step to Rita becoming a vampire as she dances the night away. The next night Justice is shocked to find Rita all over him… but, like, in a vampire way, and he finds out that he’s got one last chance to save her. He’s got to stop her from feeding. Confronting Rita and Max, Justice is subdued, but at the last moment Rita retains her humanity and kills Max with a magic dagger (oh I forgot, there’s a magic dagger). With that Justice and Rita kiss (and presumably make some ¼ vampire babies), while Max’s ghoul, Julius, turns into a vampire for a sequel. THE END.

Why?! For love, baby. Or at least for trying to bring vampires back from the brink of extinction. Max is actually the last vampire in the world and needs to find his bride in order to help make more vampires. Apparently this will allow him to speed up the process… or perhaps they actually will just have a whole bunch of vampire babies. Hard to tell because at the end we see Max’s ghoul become a vampire without Max having to procreate in any way. As for Rita and Justice it’s both for love, but also to bring closure for Rita. She has always thought her mom was insane and feared that she would go insane too, but is probably relieved to find that it’s just because her mom boned a vampire and she’s half-vampire. Phew.

Who?! Obviously this stars major singing superstar Eddie Murphy. Seriously though I would hear an argument that Julius was actually a Planchet, although I don’t think he’s really competent enough. There has to be an element of unjust hate to a Planchet. There is an odd cameo in the film as Ray Combs, host of Family Feud, actually filmed a short spoof of the show specifically for this film.

What?! I do love looking for props. If this were 2013 I could be sporting a sweet black and red vampire coat worn in the film. Damn. I’d look real rad in that. Also, like Julius above, I think there is an argument that the magic dagger could mean something for BMT, but just not prominent enough to be notable.

Where?! It’s been a second since our last A+ Setting Alert! This obviously starts and end entirely in Brooklyn and it is a very large and essential part of the plot. I give it a bing thumbs up. A+.

When?! I searched twice through the film trying to find this, but alas could not. I’m not going to say it’s impossible since portions of the film take place in a police station (and there are always calendars floating around those sets), but it would be very hard and probably would take a while for me to figure out. F.

Meh, I mean the film is not very good. It’s much more a horror film than any other genre and Murphy seems to be unwilling to be even remotely funny in his role as Max. Likely purposefully so as this was also reportedly the case for Beverly Hills Cop III. Sounds like he was just trying to get out of his studio deal at that point. Only when he transforms into the preacher or Italian gangster does he let loose and both of those characters are offensive and have hands down the worst makeup jobs I’ve ever seen. It’s actually crazy just how bad the makeup is in this film. You know how bad it is? It’s so bad that I’m talking about the makeup. Anyway, I had high hopes for this film, but it’s hard to get excited when Murphy is so flat. The only good thing I can think about it is the kinda crazy psychological tools used by Max in the film… which was actually real creepy the more you think about it. The true horror was within humanity the whole time! *gasp* Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Watching Eddie Murphy films is just part of the life of any bad movie aficionado. You tick them off like a list of chores. Time for the Dracula one … let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – By far the most fascinating thing going into the watch was the directing / acting combination. The notes provide a contradictory story of Wes Craven either being annoyed with Murphy for making it too comedic, or being the one that insisted that it not be so serious. So dissecting which seemed to be right was going to be priority number one. This is also is another Murphy film where he plays multiple characters, so the makeup was also of great interest. I always go to bat for the make up in Norbit which is incredible.

The Good – I think there is a solid story deep within this film. The story of a desperate vampire facing mortality for the first time in hundreds of years, and the danger that poses to not only civilians, but also “creatures” like a half-vampire who wouldn’t really know who she was unless this situation arose. Julius and Silas showed what the silliest version of the film could be, and honestly the biggest crime is that they didn’t choose a side. The silly Julius / Silas version wasn’t that bad if it was actually funny.

The Bad – The movie is kind of a blah nothing film. Very very straightforward, nothing really complicated, and shockingly nothing to add to the vampire films that came before it. It either should have been funnier or scarier, but much like most genre mash-em-ups it manages to merely be poor examples of both genres. Murphy really doesn’t do much, but I think that is intentional, I think he was intending on playing a serious role and only punched things up after Craven asked him to be more “vulnerable”. For whatever reason he seemed to take that to mean “add jokes” when in reality I think Craven had an idea of playing it as a different type of vampire. A vampire facing death and acting recklessly. Craven was right, but I don’t think Murphy’s acting was poor per se. Oh … the makeup is atrocious, I’m not sure how that happened when they would end up making Nutty Professor the next year. Jesus, how could I forget Guido! Just another in a long line of genuinely racist caricatures played by Eddie Murphy. Fantastic. Now that you string them all together you can see why this is considered a terrible film …

The BMT – It has to be a BMT film because it is a poorly received film starring Eddie Murphy. But I don’t think I would ever recommend it or watch it again. At least not without a reason (like … if I’m watching a vampire movie marathon pairing this with Blacula could be a fun then-and-now version of what was originally a blaxploitation idea: Black Dracula). But no, beyond checking off another box in Murphy’s filmography it won’t last in my mind.

Roast-radamus – Obviously we got an A+ Setting (Where?) with Brooklyn right in the title and very much acting as a character. Surprisingly Julius is a decent Planchet (Who?) as Max rips on him throughout the film. I think that is it though. No real twist, and I doubt it’ll get either Good, Bad, or BMT in the final awards either. Pretty weak.

StreetCreditReport.com – I’m not surprised it didn’t get any play for 1995 itself, but it does get the second worst vampire film according to Screencrush. I think that is a bit high (it didn’t even make the other worst-of list for vampire lists I found). You can read around how people consider this a cult classic now for all of the obvious reasons: Murphy’s acting, Craven’s directing, and the on-screen chemistry of the leads.

Good Movie Twins – New game for when I feel up for an extra movie … which won’t be often. As an extra vampire film I settled on From Dusk Till Dawn as that was a similar mash up, a kind of crime thriller thing with the vampire horror exploitation thing. And honestly … the first half is way better than the second. It is a far better crime thriller than exploitation horror. The vampire design was garbage, and it didn’t really have anything interesting to say from a vampire perspective. Having just read ‘salem’s Lot, it is pretty sad that a 40 year old book brings more interesting ideas to vampire lore than basically any movie I’ve seen concerning them. I mostly agree with the New York Times, the effort was mostly sophomoric and leaned too heavily into the exploitation part of things. I’ll be watching more vampire films I think, we have Dracula 2000 (and 3000) coming up, what better time to do Bram Stoker’s Dracula?

Cheerios,

The Sklogs