Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Preview

“So that’s the big L-O-V-E,” Kyle says in wonder, wiping tears from his eyes as he thinks fondly (and yet with sadness) of the fleeting love that Kelley and Sam shared. Jamie and Patrick nod. Patrick thinks of his wife and six children, Jamie of the demonic puzzle box that presumably still holds the many demons that he’s fallen in love with over the years. They all sigh at the wonder of life, love, and learning. “So how do I know if it’s for real or if I’m just getting weak at the knees for something that won’t last?” Kyle asks. Jamie and Patrick ponder the question that is at the crux of it all. Kyle suggests perhaps he wait until Rachel gets really sick and then he can prove to her that he’s in it for the long haul by leaving college to be by her side. Jamie and Patrick agree that it’s a good place to start. While Patrick’s own love story mirrored Here on Earth almost exactly (minus one very important aspect), not all of them had to be exactly like Here on Earth. “Think of any great romantic comedy. Head over Heels for example. It’s more about getting into some major jam and then showing that you are there for each other through thick and thin.” Kyle is sold, but now is in the same spot as Patrick. With such a boring existence protecting the Dongle there aren’t any jams in their near future. Suddenly the doorbell rings. Jamie checks the peephole. “Huh, it’s Lou. Another resident in the building. Part of the welcoming committee.” It won’t solve their immediate problem, but at least Lou won’t create some giant catastrophe for them. That’s right! We’re watching Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City as the last great chance to grab a BMT Live this year (probably). I thought the trailer looked good, but trailers aren’t everything (even when they should be). Let’s go!

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021) – BMeTric: 31.7; Notability: 21

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 14.0%; Notability: top 8.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 16.2%; Higher BMeT: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Thunder Force, He’s All That, Cosmic Sin, Home Sweet Home Alone, Deadly Illusions, Music, Awake, The Misfits, Great White, Spiral, The Unholy, Tom and Jerry, Things Heard & Seen, After We Fell, Outside the Wire, Snake Eyes, Vanquish, Infinite, Out of Death, and 15 more; Higher Notability: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Tom and Jerry, Music, Chaos Walking, Infinite, The Addams Family 2, Home Sweet Home Alone, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Red Notice, Dear Evan Hansen, Snake Eyes, Sweet Girl, Cherry, The Starling, Thunder Force, Reminiscence, The Birthday Cake, The Woman in the Window, Voyagers, Breaking News in Yuba County, and 1 more; Lower RT: After We Fell, Out of Death, Cosmic Sin, Vanquish, Music, Midnight in the Switchgrass, Breaking News in Yuba County, Demonic, Deadly Illusions, Infinite, Home Sweet Home Alone, Die in a Gunfight, Zone 414, The Virtuoso, The Misfits, Sweet Girl, The Starling, Every Breath You Take, Thunder Force, Chaos Walking, and 11 more; Notes: I’m not even going to put the plots in as they are pointless. Surprisingly modest here. I do think maybe I should do something to delineate qualifying and non-qualifying in the lists. More recent years have so many bad direct to VOD options available.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – There’s also a sense that all of this will mean even less to those who haven’t played those early games. My greatest rush came from recognizing locations that I’ve seen previously with a controller in my hand. That’s not quite filmmaking—it’s fan service. I want a “Resident Evil” movie that takes these legendary locations and characters and does something fresh and exciting with them. Start with the mythology instead of just ending with it too. And the truth is there’s almost no story to “Welcome to Raccoon City.” After setting up a bunch of familiar faces, Roberts is content to bounce them off some zombies to a predictable final act that brings out some of the iconic big bads from the games. It’s depressingly easy to chart where this film is going to go and who’s going to make it to the inevitable sequel. There’s one thing a great horror game can never be (and something one couldn’t really accuse the Anderson movies of being either): predictable.

(Yeah, the trailers I’ve seen certainly feel like they went heavy for the fan service this time. Worth a shot I would think. It isn’t crazy to suggest that is exactly what the original Mortal Kombat did right. They took a bunch of disparate pieces and made sure to hit the notes that fans would be delighted by. So maybe that’s what we got, something fans will be like “that’s pretty okay” and non-fans will be like “this is gobbledygook. )

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

(As a person who played the first two games, it seems quite good from a fan service perspective. Sure, some of the CGI maybe seems a bit bad / obscured by darkness, but I still thought that they at least seemed to stay true to form.)

DirectorsJohannes Roberts – ( Known For: 47 Meters Down: Uncaged; 47 Meters Down; The Other Side of the Door; Storage 24; F; Forest of the Damned; Hellbreeder; Future BMT: The Strangers: Prey at Night; BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; Notes: British. Definitely a horror guy, including a short series for telephones called When Evil Calls.)

WritersJohannes Roberts – ( Known For: 47 Meters Down: Uncaged; 47 Meters Down; The Other Side of the Door; Storage 24; F; Forest of the Damned; Hellbreeder; BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; Notes: Has directed almost all of the films he’s written. He has an upcoming film called The Pool about a rabid dog in pre-production. Sounds like Cujo basically.)

ActorsKaya Scodelario – ( Known For: The Maze Runner; Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile; Moon; Crawl; Maze Runner: The Death Cure; Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials; Wuthering Heights; Now Is Good; Tiger House; The Truth About Emanuel; Spike Island; Shank; Twenty8k; Future BMT: Clash of the Titans; BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Notes: I knew that she was from Skins. She was in 26 episodes. She’s in a period piece about mermaids called The King’s Daughter which is coming out next year.)

Robbie Amell – ( Known For: The Babysitter; The DUFF; Code 8; The Babysitter: Killer Queen; When We First Met; ARQ; Desperados; Eat Wheaties!; Struck by Lightning; Left for Dead; Future BMT: Max; BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Nine Lives; Notes: He has starred in a ton of television including Alcatraz, 1600 Penn, Revenge, The Flash, and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Is starring in a film called Float next year which is a production based on a Wattpad story (i.e. fanfic?))

Hannah John-Kamen – ( Known For: Ready Player One; Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens; Ant-Man and the Wasp; SAS: Red Notice; Tomb Raider; BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; Notes: She’s playing Red Sonja in the new Red Sonja film. Also mostly a television actor including as Ornela in Game of Thrones.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $15,863,138 (Worldwide: $30,763,138)

(Not going to do well enough to guarantee a sequel, but also because of the pandemic they might think it is at least worth a shot to adapt a more original story next time. Only time will tell.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (19/66): Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is an affectionately faithful adaptation that further proves its source material is ill-suited to the big screen.

(Affectionately faithful is nice. I do feel like that is the way to do it if you insist on making a movie, even though it feels like a television series is obviously the way to actually adapt something like Resident Evil.)

Reviewer Highlight: Writer-director Johannes Roberts supplies plenty of fan service but scarce coherent plotting and even fewer scares. – Nick Schager, Variety

Poster – Raccoon City: The Movie

(I feel like modern posters are losing a bit of the joie de vivre of the past. This looks extremely CGI, like a video game cover rather than a real, live-action film poster. Font is classic and the red and white pop, but everything else is pretty dreary and bland. B-.)

Tagline(s) – Witness the Beginning of Evil. (D)

(Not actively bad, but that’s the only positive. What is this, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning? Would be impossible to count the number of films that this could be a tagline for.)

Keyword(s) – evil

Top 10: Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021), Black Widow (2021), Spider-Man (2002), The Suicide Squad (2021), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Ghostbusters (1984), The Last Son (2021), Joker (2019), Midsommar (2019)

Future BMT: 84.1 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 72.9 The Last Exorcism Part II (2013), 71.3 Supergirl (1984), 70.5 Halloween II (2009), 69.3 Seed of Chucky (2004), 65.5 The Darkness (2016), 65.2 The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008), 63.9 Blair Witch (2016), 62.5 My Soul to Take (2010), 60.4 Pet Sematary II (1992)

BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021), The Mummy (2017), Rambo: Last Blood (2019), Hellboy (2019), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Conan the Barbarian (2011), Friday the 13th (2009), Masters of the Universe (1987), Anaconda (1997), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Scary Movie V (2013), The Haunting (1999), Queen of the Damned (2002), Truth or Dare (2018), Leprechaun (1993), Ghosts of Mars (2001), Sleepaway Camp (1983), Slender Man (2018), The Golden Child (1986), Cobra (1986), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Dracula 2000 (2000), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Ouija (2014), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), Virus (1999), I Know Who Killed Me (2007), The Devil Inside (2012), The Gallows (2015)

Matches: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021), Spider-Man (2002), The Last Son (2021), The Fifth Element (1997), 6 Underground (2019), Hereditary (2018), The Devil All the Time (2020), Legend (1985), It Chapter Two (2019), RoboCop (1987), Fear Street: Part One – 1994 (2021), Poltergeist (1982), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Conan the Barbarian (2011), Evil Dead (2013), The Dark Tower (2017), Seed of Chucky (2004), Saturday the 14th (1981), Masters of the Universe (1987), The Haunting (1999), Drag Me to Hell (2009), Halloween (2007), The Fog (1980), The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014), Leprechaun (1993), Mirrors (2008), Gretel & Hansel (2020), 1408 (2007), Blair Witch (2016), Halloween II (2009), The Omen (2006), Sinister 2 (2015), The Lords of Salem (2012), Ouija (2014), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), The Prophecy (1995), Pumpkinhead (1988), Needful Things (1993), Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992), … (and many more)

(I wonder why 2019 was all about “evil” movies? Anyways, weak keyword, but I couldn’t resist the A+ keyword. The other Resident Evil’s not being on the future BMT list suggests the keyword is even weaker than you would think in that people basically just don’t use it, even in obvious cases.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Neal McDonough is No. 7 billed in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City and No. 3 billed in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => (7 + 3) + (2 + 2) = 14. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – A reboot of the series was announced while Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) was still in theaters.

Johannes Roberts told Screen Rant that the reboot would be “super, super scary” and more faithful to the games.

Greg Russo’s unused story and script, which he was developing with James Wan was inspired by Resident Evil VII: Biohazard (2017). Russo wanted to go back to scarier tone of original games and focus more on horror, just like Resident Evil 7 did.

Capcom gave the filmmakers their blueprints to recreate the main halls of the Spencer Mansion and the RPD (police station).

The film is based on and inspired by the first two video games.

The twelfth Resident Evil film count the animated CGI films Biohazard 4D: Executer (2000), Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008), Resident Evil: Damnation (2012), Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017) and Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness (2021) and the seventh live action Resident Evil film in the series.

The movie’s title appears in red bold letters. Color and font are identical to how the title appears in the first game.

Claire’s wearing a necklace. Its pendant is a dragonfly wing. In the video game Resident Evil: Code Veronica you have to collect multiple dragonfly wings to advance in the game.

Towards the end Claire is giving a set of keys that unlock a secret passage. There are four keys on the ring and they are modeled after the four keys required to access most of the locked doors in the police station in Resident Evil 2 game.

Leon kills mutated Birkin with a rocket launcher. It’s tradition in most Resident Evil video games to kill the final boss with a rocket launcher.

Wesker plays the piano to open a secret passage way. A similar event occurs in the original video game from 1996.

The movie set in 1998. Resident Evil (1996), first game of the franchise, set in the night of July 24-25, 1998.

The Unholy Preview

Jamie and Patrick stand ready for the influx of ninja as Kyle slowly opens the door, fearing for his own safety and wondering what could have happened to lovely Rachel and her lovely pretzels. The door swings open and Jamie and Patrick’s twin chop stops short. Rachel looks between them wide eyed. “What’s going on guys, who wants some piping hot pretzels?” Kyle quickly shuttles her to his room. “Don’t mind these jokesters, Rachel. They definitely didn’t think you were a pack of Dongle obsessed ninjas,” he says while staring daggers at them. Jamie shakes his head and puts his hands on his hips. “My word, what’s going on, Patrick? We almost twin chopped Rachel’s head off and all because you thought she was a pack of Dongle obsessed ninjas. The only pack I saw was the six pack of salty delicious soft pretzels she was carrying. And guess what? I’m not thinking we’re getting any pretzels tonight.” Jamie is clearly peeved. Patrick just shakes his head in wonder. “I don’t understand. We have this Dongle and yet what are we protecting it from? If I was our mortal enemy I would have exploited our pretzel obsession with ninjas. It’s almost like no one cares… you know?” He flops sadly into the couch. “What is this all for? Our lives used to be so exciting and yet now we just sit here, our Dongle in our hands.” Suddenly there is another knock at the door and they hear hardscrabble reporter Lindsey Appleton ask to come in. “My god!” Patrick says excitedly. “What, is she also a ninja?” Jamie asks, but Patrick shakes his head and through a series of intricate hand signals he explains that she is in fact the devil himself in disguise. That’s right! We are watching the major 2021 motion picture The Unholy. ‘What?’ you ask. Only the biggest theatrical release of last April. It’s about a reporter and the devil or something. Who cares? Let’s go!

The Unholy (2021) – BMeTric: 52.4; Notability: 15

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.8%; Notability: top 13.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 14.1%; Higher BMeT: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Thunder Force, He’s All That, Cosmic Sin, Deadly Illusions, Music, Awake, Home Sweet Home Alone, The Kissing Booth 3, The Misfits, Spiral, Great White; Higher Notability: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Tom and Jerry, Music, Chaos Walking, Infinite, The Addams Family 2, Home Sweet Home Alone, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Red Notice, Snake Eyes, Sweet Girl, Cherry, Dear Evan Hansen, The Starling, Thunder Force, The Birthday Cake, Reminiscence, The Woman in the Window, Voyagers, Breaking News in Yuba County, and 13 more; Lower RT: After We Fell, Out of Death, Cosmic Sin, Separation, Music, Midnight in the Switchgrass, Breaking News in Yuba County, American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally, Deadly Illusions, Infinite, Die in a Gunfight, Home Sweet Home Alone, Zone 414, The Virtuoso, The Misfits, Sweet Girl, The Starling, Every Breath You Take, Senior Moment, Thunder Force, and 8 more; Notes: So hard to tell with this year-of releases. BMeTric is very high though. And low-5.0 on IMDb is formidable.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – Disgraced journalist Gerry Fenn (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), investigating an incident of “cattle mutilation” in a small Massachusetts town, trips over another bigger story, when a deaf teenage girl sees the Virgin Mary in the trunk of the scariest-looking tree on the planet. Quivering with religious ecstasy, she performs a couple of miracle cures, and when word gets out—thanks to Fenn’s stories—her small town turns into a modern-day Lourdes. But is the Virgin Mary who she says she is? Based on James Herbert’s 1983 novel Shrine, “The Unholy” is fairly standard religious horror, just in time for Good Friday. It has some excellent jump-scares, but overall there’s something rote about the execution, bits that feel sketched-in as opposed to filled out, and a surface-level interest in the main theme of Herbert’s novel: what happens when the unholy masks itself as holy? The local priest says, “Wherever God goes, the unholy follows.” You got that right. The devil doesn’t strut into town cackling with evil glee. The devil is a smooth-talking charmer. “The Unholy” is not designed to be deep, but since glimmers of depth are present, the lack of follow-up makes this a disappointing watch. “The Unholy” misses a lot of opportunities to build out not just this idea, but all of them.

(That is a very long paragraph to effectively say: a rote religious horror film we’ve now seen dozens of times. I’m more interested in reading the book now though.)

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

(Oh boy, the little teaser bit at the beginning looks awful. And the rest indeed seems very generic.)

DirectorsEvan Spiliotopoulos – ( BMT: The Unholy; Notes: He’s written a ton of films (including this one). This is his first directorial effort, so he is obviously looking to expand things out.)

WritersEvan Spiliotopoulos – ( Known For: Beauty and the Beast; Charlie’s Angels; Hercules; Battle for Terra; Pooh’s Heffalump Movie; The Blue Elephant; Art Heist; Future BMT: The Huntsman: Winter’s War; The Jungle Book 2; BMT: Snake Eyes; The Unholy; Notes: Wait … he wrote Snake Eyes and The Unholy this year?! Busy bee.)

James Herbert – ( Known For: Haunted; The Survivor; Deadly Eyes; Future BMT: Fluke; BMT: The Unholy; Notes: Evidently a staple of British horror writings, he has a bunch of novels from the 70s and 80s which are notable enough to get their own wikipedia page. I think I’m going to read The Rats, his first book and the first in a trilogy of horror books he wrote.)

ActorsJeffrey Dean Morgan – ( Known For: Watchmen; Rampage; The Losers; Solace; The Salvation; The Postcard Killings; The Resident; They Came Together; Heist; The Accidental Husband; Texas Killing Fields; Taking Woodstock; Shanghai; Desierto; Walkaway Joe; Peace, Love & Misunderstanding; The Courier; Six: The Mark Unleashed; Live!; Dead & Breakfast; Future BMT: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Fred Claus; P.S. I Love You; The Possession; BMT: The Unholy; Jonah Hex; Red Dawn; Notes: Oh you mean Denny from Grey’s Anatomy. He’s a character actor of sorts, but now a television star with his turn as the bad-guy-turned-good-guy Negan on The Walking Dead.)

Cricket Brown – ( BMT: The Unholy; Notes: Acted almost entirely in short films prior to this, including Wake Up by Olivia Wilde.)

William Sadler – ( Known For: The Shawshank Redemption; Iron Man Three; The Green Mile; The Mist; Bill & Ted Face the Music; The Highwaymen; Die Hard 2; The Hot Spot; Rush; Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey; Kinsey; Freaked; The Duel; Project X; Freeheld; Trespass; Being Flynn; Hanky Panky; Greetings from Tim Buckley; Freedom; Future BMT: Eagle Eye; Machete Kills; Disturbing Behavior; The Grudge; August Rush; Man on a Ledge; Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight; Bordello of Blood; RocketMan; BMT: The Unholy; Hard to Kill; K-9; Solo; Notes: The Unholy, Hard to Kill, and K-9 were all this year. Truly the Year of Sadler. He played Sgt. Merwin J. Toomey in a Tony Award winning production of Biloxi Blues.)

Budget/Gross – $10 million / Domestic: $15,530,440 (Worldwide: $30,830,440)

(Looks okay maybe. Especially considering the pandemic. I imagine they would be looking for like $50 million)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (15/57): Rarely scary and often dull, The Unholy falls back on the same tired tropes that have already been done to death by countless other religious horror movies.

(Nooooooo, not dull. The rest seem more reasonable. I do imagine this is just a run of the mill religious horror film.)

Reviewer Highlight: The Unholy has the stately aura (and endless speechifying) of a sermon, but it’s really a creaky nothing of a B-movie, like a chintzy Halloween exhibit set up inside an old church. – A.A. Dowd, AV Club

Poster – The Totally Unholy

(I like that it’s artistic and how everything is framed. Adequate font to boot. Biggest critique is that it seems a little unpolished. Almost like fan art or something. A little too much going on maybe. I don’t know. Still pretty good. B.)

Tagline(s) – Be careful who you pray to. (B+)

(I kinda like this. Simple changes lend a level of cleverness to it. It’s quick and concise and gives us an idea of what’s going on. A little clunky, though. Could it have just been ‘Be careful what you pray for’? Maybe they took it a step too far and now it sounds a little off.)

Keyword(s) – miracle

Top 10: Blade Runner 2049 (2017), The Princess Bride (1987), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), The Green Mile (1999), Children of Men (2006), Watchmen (2009), The Unholy (2021), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Passion of the Christ (2004), Awakenings (1990)

Future BMT: 55.0 Evan Almighty (2007), 44.5 The Reaping (2007), 41.2 Ben-Hur (2016), 41.1 Michael (1996), 30.8 Arthur and the Invisibles (2006), 25.2 Miracle at St. Anna (2008), 24.6 Angels in the Outfield (1994), 20.9 The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999), 20.2 Do You Believe? (2015), 9.3 The Nativity Story (2006)

BMT: The Unholy (2021), A Walk to Remember (2002), Winter’s Tale (2014), Going Overboard (1989), Solarbabies (1986)

Matches: Children of Men (2006), The Unholy (2021), The Prince of Egypt (1998), Winter’s Tale (2014), Miracles from Heaven (2016), Breakthrough (2019), Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006), The Christmas Candle (2013), The Cokeville Miracle (2015), Henry Poole Is Here (2008), Leap of Faith (1992), A Christmas Tree Miracle (2013), Miracle on Christmas (2020), The Reason (2020), 17 Miracles (2011), Touch (1997), Picking Up the Pieces (2000), Joshua (2002), Miracle at Sage Creek (2005), The Third Miracle (1999), A Karate Christmas Miracle (2019), The Visitation (2006), Julie Walking Home (2002), The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepherd (2000), A Lobster Tale (2006), Taliesin Jones (2000), Runaway Hearts (2015), The Final Patient (2005)

(What happened in 2005 to make religious films bounce up so much I wonder. Passion of the Christ proving that religious themed films have power? That seems like it. And man, I don’t look forward to watching Evan Almighty eventually.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Cary Elwes is No. 3 billed in The Unholy and No. 3 billed in Kiss the Girls, which also stars Ashley Judd (No. 2 billed) who is in The Identical (No. 2 billed) which also stars Ray Liotta (No. 3 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 2 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (3 + 3) + (2 + 2) + (3 + 2) + (3 + 1) = 19. If we were to watch P.S. I Love You, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – Based on the classic gothic horror novel by master of the genre the late James Herbert.

The publicity/marketing campaign for “The Unholy” utilized preeminent Parapsychologist Christopher Chacon to promote its release. As one of the world’s foremost authorities on supernatural/occult and metaphysical phenomena, Chacon has investigated and researched thousands of cases around the world of miracles and divine-intervention phenomena, as well as thousands of possessions and supernatural infestations, having worked with the Roman Catholic Church as well as every religious/spiritual belief-system.

In Spain the movie was titled “Ruega por nosotros” (Pray for us), referencing the “Ave María” (“Hail Mary” in English), a Christian prayer about the Virgin Mary: -Spanish: “Dios te salve María, llena eres de gracia. El Señor es contigo. Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres, y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre, Jesús. Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén”. -English: “Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen”.

The movie mentions Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugore. (1) On February 11, 1858 in Lourdes, France, a 14 year old girl named Bernadette Soubirous told her mother that a lady had talked with her from a cave close to her home in Massabielle. Due to the different apparitions and miracles in Lourdes, on July 3, 1876, Pope Pius IX officially granted a Canonical Coronation to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes. (2) On May 13, 1917 in Fatima, a town belonging Ourém, Portugal, three children — the siblings Francisco, Jacinta and Lucía do Santos — claimed to have witnessed the appearance of the Virgin Mary, who talked them and gave the oldest sister, Lucía, three prophecies (known as the Three Secrets of Fatima). Diverse miracles happened where the three children had seen her, such as a dancing sun and miraculous healing, and a sanctuary was built in that place. In 2000, Pope John Paul II beatified Francisco and Jacinta in 2000, after their premature deaths in 1919 and 1920. (3) On June 24, 1981 in Medjugorje (now Bosnia and Herzegovina, then SFR Yugoslavia), six teenagers named Ivan Dragicevic, Ivanka Ivankovic, Jakov Colo, Marija Pavlovic, Mirjana Dragicevic and Vicka Ivankovic — the oldest of whom were 16 — claimed to have received messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary, causing strong controversy among the anti-Catholic regime in Eastern Europe at that time (the USSR was opposed to any demonstrations of religious faith). In time, all three places became places of pilgrimage, even for the later Popes of Rome, receiving several million visitors each year, with further healing and miracles continuing to this day.

The movie ends with a quotation: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s. clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” It is from Matthew 7:15.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch Preview

“Mr. Wrong,” Patrick finishes. With that he presses a button and the gigantic, useless box explodes to reveal its very not useless contents (what a twist!). Hundreds of Obsidian Dongles pour out. “You see,” Patrick explains, “once I saw the Rich & Poe book in the bookstore window I knew the Dongle wasn’t safe. I slipped it in the mail to my wife and told her to pack it up in this crate with numerous replicas. One of which you so conveniently stole from us.” He looks around in satisfaction, the Dongle nicely obfuscated by the sea of false Dongles. Manfred backs up in panic, attempting to use his false Dongle. “No, but… I quickened!” He screams in rage, still trying to use a power he never possessed. Patrick shakes his head. “Wrong again, Mr. Wrong.” At this point Manfred is picking up Dongle after Dongle, each one faker than the last. He sobs, lamenting his lost power as Patrick shakes his head in disgust. Time to wait and hope that Jamie triumphs over the cyborgs, but something told him that everything would be OK.

Jamie lifts the Obsidian Dongle from the safe and Kyle asks in a whisper how this could be. This world was a microcosm in and of itself and after decades living here it had carved itself into their image. Delivering unto them a Digital Dongle (all rights reserved). As the cyborgs bust into the back room their eyes widen for a moment before Jamie blasts them away.

Suddenly Jamie and Kyle wink into existence in the apartment, the power of cyberspace delivering them once again home. A tear trickles down Kyle’s face. “Never forget me,” he whispers. Patrick and Jamie embrace and then turn to Manfred. Sadly Patrick delivers justice, “Trick or treat, Manfred.” That’s right! As we head out of our 90’s extravaganza of friends we are transitioning to the year in retrospection. Just like 2020, this year proved difficult to collect an adequate roster of films, so we will be mixing in anniversaries (the first of which was 1996’s Mr. Wrong). But before that we will watch a Holiday Edition of BMT Live. While not a 2021 film, this Live is still with the spirit of the now in that it’ll celebrate Halloween with a film that just recently re-qualified for BMT. That would be Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Let’s go!

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) – BMeTric: 64.5; Notability: 33

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.4%; Notability: top 6.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 13.1%; Higher BMeT: Grease 2; Higher Notability: Young Doctors in Love, Firefox, Trail of the Pink Panther, Movie Madness, Hanky Panky, Grease 2, Monsignor, Making Love, Lookin’ to Get Out, The Man with the Deadly Lens, Death Wish II, The Toy, Yes, Giorgio, Fighting Back, Megaforce; Lower RT: Megaforce, Class Reunion, The Dorm That Dripped Blood, Movie Madness, Monsignor, The Toy, Zapped!, Friday the 13th: Part III, Five Days One Summer, Amityville II: The Possession, Parasite, The Beast Within, Losin’ It, Vigilante, Fighting Back, Summer Lovers, Trail of the Pink Panther, Young Doctors in Love, The Man with the Deadly Lens, Lookin’ to Get Out, and 6 more; Notes: The graph makes sense because I think this is a film which is slowly becoming more cult-classic as it ages. Weirdly high BMeTric while also barely qualifying.

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – There are a lot of problems with “Halloween III,” but the most basic one is that I could never figure out what the villain wanted to accomplish if he got his way. His scheme is easy enough to figure: He wants to sell millions of Halloween masks to the nation’s kiddies and then brainwash them to put them on at the same time, whereupon laser beams at the base of the neck will fry the tykes. Meanwhile, he runs a factory that turns out lifelike robots. What’s his plan? Kill the kids and replace them with robots? Why?

(Actually I know this. He is an ancient member of a cult. And every certain number of years they need to make a sacrifice (using things like Stonehenge as a way to focus power) to continue their eternal life I’m pretty sure. The bad guy plans the ultimate sacrifice. To kill hundred, thousands, millions (?) of children across the United States at just the right moment. So no, nothing really to do with robots. The robots are, I think, just to make it all not need to be a large conspiracy. The bad guy is effectively doing it all himself.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCNSJO24dvE/

(Sufficiently mysterious. Loving the classic Carpenter synth track. Just … the masks look pretty dumb. It is a fundamental issue with the film I think.)

DirectorsTommy Lee Wallace – ( Known For: Fright Night Part 2; Vampires: Los Muertos; Aloha Summer; BMT: Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Notes: Allegedly has a movie he wrote and is directing in production. It seems like that is always the case, and as usual I’m skeptical.)

WritersTommy Lee Wallace – ( Known For: Fright Night Part 2; Vampires: Los Muertos; Far from Home; Future BMT: Amityville II: The Possession; BMT: Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Notes: Was married to Nancy Kynes (who starred in Halloween and was in this as well), and worked on multiple Carpenter films around this time.)

John Carpenter – ( Known For: Halloween; Halloween; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; The Fog; They Live; Prince of Darkness; Escape from New York; Assault on Precinct 13; Escape from L.A.; Dark Star; Assault on Precinct 13; Eyes of Laura Mars; Black Moon Rising; Future BMT: Halloween Kills; Halloween; Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Lockout; BMT: Halloween II; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Ghosts of Mars; The Fog; Notes: Y’all know Carpenter. This was his attempt to move Halloween away from the trashy horror franchise quagmire of the 80s and into an anthology idea. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.)

Nigel Kneale – ( Known For: The Abominable Snowman; Quatermass and the Pit; The Quatermass Xperiment; First Men in the Moon; The Witches; Quatermass 2; Look Back in Anger; The Entertainer; H.M.S. Defiant; BMT: Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Notes: A ton of his credits are for various versions of Quatermass. A cursory glance suggests quite a few similarities between that original story and this film which is interesting.)

ActorsTom Atkins – ( Known For: The Fog; Escape from New York; Creepshow; My Bloody Valentine; Lethal Weapon; Night of the Creeps; Trick; The Detective; Maniac Cop; The Ninth Configuration; The New Kids; Two Evil Eyes; Bob Roberts; The Owl and the Pussycat; Encounter; Bruiser; Where’s Poppa?; Amazing Racer; Special Delivery; Lemon Sky; Future BMT: Striking Distance; BMT: Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Drive Angry; Notes: A horror icon of the era. Still works at the age of 85, he has a movie coming out next year, Final Summer.)

Stacey Nelkin – ( Known For: Bullets Over Broadway; Up the Academy; Get Crazy; Serial; California Dreaming; Going Ape!; Everything Relative; Future BMT: Yellowbeard; BMT: Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Notes: Apparently she was the person who went out with Woody Allen as a teenager which inspired the plotline of Manhattan.)

Dan O’Herlihy – ( Known For: RoboCop; The Last Starfighter; Imitation of Life; Waterloo; Fail-Safe; 100 Rifles; The Dead; Macbeth; Odd Man Out; Robinson Crusoe; The Tamarind Seed; The Desert Fox; MacArthur; One Foot in Hell; The Cabinet of Caligari; The Black Shield of Falworth; Love, Cheat and Steal; The Blue Veil; Home Before Dark; Larceny; BMT: Halloween III: Season of the Witch; RoboCop 2; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Robinson Crusoe in 1955. His son Gavan was also an accomplished actor.)

Budget/Gross – $2.5 million / Domestic: $14,400,000 (Worldwide: $14,400,000)

(That is fine, but also obviously not what you are looking for at the time. At the time you are probably looking to get a huge multiplier on your budget for the classic low-budget franchise horror schlock. This merely made “some money”.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 39% (11/28): Its laudable deviation from series formula not withstanding, Halloween III: Season Of The Witch offers paltry thrills and dubious plotting.

(For the record, this barely qualifies and didn’t only a few months ago. But we jumped on it before it (inevitably) became unqualified again. Amazing how high the critical rating is at the moment for a film with terrible IMDb ratings.)

Reviewer Highlight: This movie is a dirty trick on all Halloween fans. – Aja Romano, Vox

Poster – Baller-ween III: Season of the Sklog

(Most of this poster is terrible. It’s just a random shot from the film that makes no sense. I like the bit at the top though. Just make that the poster. If that was the poster I think it might have been like a B+. As it is, it’s just a C.)

Tagline(s) – The night no one comes home. (C-)

(These are words. I’m not sure they totally make sense. Certainly not in the context of the film, which is predicated on everyone gathering in their homes to watch a commercial at 9pm PST (midnight EST??). It’s short… that’s about it.)

Keyword(s) – halloween

Top 10: Halloween Kills (2021), Halloween (2018), Hocus Pocus (1993), Halloween II (1981), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), The Addams Family (1991), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), The Crow (1994), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Scary Movie (2000)

Future BMT: 83.9 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 72.1 Bewitched (2005), 70.4 Halloween II (2009), 70.0 Texas Chainsaw (2013), 67.6 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), 64.6 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 61.3 Skinwalkers (2006), 60.4 Pet Sematary II (1992), 60.0 Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), 56.9 The Next Best Thing (2000)

BMT: Halloween II (1981), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), Thir13en Ghosts (2001), Batman Forever (1995), The Predator (2018), Deadly Friend (1986), Son of the Mask (2005), Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016), Made of Honour (2008), Town & Country (2001)

Matches: Halloween Kills (2021), Halloween (2018), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), The Crow (1994), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Scary Movie (2000), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), Halloween II (2009), Trick ‘r Treat (2007), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Hubie Halloween (2020), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019), Monster House (2006), Haunt (2019), Terrifier (2016), Idle Hands (1999), The Haddonfield Nightmare (2021), A Cinderella Story (2004), Hell House LLC (2015), Night of the Demons (1988), Tales of Halloween (2015), Once Bitten (1985), Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018), Night of the Demons (2009), All Hallows’ Eve (2013), Fun Size (2012), When We First Met (2018), Ghost Squad (2015), Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (2017), Pet Sematary II (1992), C.O.R.N. (2021), Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016), Bad Candy (2020), Fear PHarm (2020), Candy Corn (2019), Stan Helsing (2009), …

(Sooooo many films have the keyword matches, I limited it to just up to the last one I definitely recognized by name. We really need to start working through the franchise though, that would fill out the plot well.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Tom Atkins is No. 1 billed in Halloween III: Season of the Witch and No. 8 billed in Drive Angry, 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) => (1 + 8) + (1 + 1) + (5 + 1) = 17. If we were to watch Striking Distance, The Jackal, Nights in Rodanthe, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 22.

Notes – John Carpenter didn’t plan on having Michael Myers in every Halloween movie, only the first. He wanted a different Halloween related story each time. But after the first Halloween (1978) was a success, producers forced him to use Myers again. He did, but killed off Myers and Loomis to be done with them. Then he produced Season of the Witch to get back to his original plan. But at that point people were expecting Myers again so it failed. Carpenter then dropped the franchise and sold the rights years later because he wasn’t interested in doing more Myers. The new owners then brought Myers and Loomis back in 1988 with no explanation how they survived.

The movie’s novelization was published in 1982 by science-fiction writer Dennis Etchison under the pseudonym Jack Martin. Despite the movie’s critical failure, the book became a best-seller and was even reissued two years after the movie’s release, in 1984.

The song “London Bridge is Falling Down” was chosen as the Silver Shamrock jingle because this was in the public domain.

Using the original molds, the skull, witch, and jack-o’-lantern masks seen in the movie were mass-produced by Don Post Studios and sold in retail stores to promote the movie’s release.

During a reunion panel for the cast and crew of the movie in the Summer of 2015, Tom Atkins and Stacey Nelkin confirmed that the bedroom scene was one of the very first things that they shot together. Both found this humorous because Nelkin had been quickly cast as Ellie Grimbridge due to time restraints on the studio’s part and the two had barely gotten acquainted beforehand.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Press newspaper shortly before the movie’s release, Tom Atkins told the hometown publication that he didn’t know how the movie was going to end because they “shot a couple of different endings”.

Tom Atkins and Garn Stephens (who played Marge Guttman) were husband and wife at the time.

The tagline “The night no one comes home” is a play on the original Halloween movie’s tagline “The night HE came home”.

Director Tommy Lee Wallace credits the concept of witchcraft in the computer age to producer Debra Hill.

Executive producer Irwin Yablans was against not using Michael Myers in this sequel, even though Myers and Loomis were killed off in the previous movie. He has said in interviews he had little to do with the finished movie, and basically received credit for his minor involvement. He also said he did receive a “fat cheque” for his trouble.

The cartoon playing on television in the bar is The Cigarette and the Weed (1981), directed by Ralph Bakshi, the director of Fritz the Cat (1972), Heavy Traffic (1973), Wizards (1977) and The Lord of the Rings (1978).

The movie is included on the film critic Roger Ebert’s “Most Hated” list.

“Season of the Witch” was the original working title of Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets (1973). “Season of the Witch” is also the name of a song by Donovan and the name for George A. Romero’s movie Season of the Witch (1972). Also the name of Nicolas Cage’s movie Season of the Witch (2011).

In “Halloween Kills” (2021), three of Michael Myers victims are displayed wearing the Silver Shamrock masks on a merry-go-round.

Kazaam Preview

Jamie and Lindsey turn a corner heading for the stairs to the rooftop only to stop short at the sight of the cyborg bad movie twins. They are talking with a man hidden in the shadows who shouts for the cyborgs to stop them. Scrambling up to the roof, Jamie follows the steamy water pipe until finally he and Lindsey stand by two dials. “Here goes nothing,” they say, initiating the emergency electronic wash. With a loud boom they are blown backwards across the rooftop, landing at the feet of the cyborgs. But before they can destroy Jamie and Lindsey with their fearsome robot strength a voice rings out, “not so fast!” Freed from their computer simulation prison by the water and returned to their young, super athletic bodies, Patrick and Kyle stand ready for a fight. The shadowy figure approaches, slowly clapping. “Impressive,” he says softly, “I knew you were clever Patrick, but I didn’t think you had it in you to match wits with me. Certainly not your meathead brother there and his sad bunch of friends. But I guess there was some reason you always were our publisher’s favorite.” And with that he steps from the shadows and Jamie and Patrick gasp. That piece of shit Manfred Long. “You goddamn hack,” Patrick spits, “I should have known if there was anyone who would shamelessly rip-off the BMT brand it would be you.” But Manfred just chuckles at that and waves the Cyborgs over to Jamie, Kyle, and Lindsey. “Take them,” he says, “I want to have a little chat with Patrick here. See if we can’t make a deal. I now have the power to make any wish you want come true… as long as you play ball.” And with that he holds up the Obsidian Dongle. That’s right! It’s the original Wishmaster of the NBA (as everyone called him) Shaq and the 90’s rapping genie classic Kazaam. I think probably this was just a bit past prime time for Patrick and I so I don’t think I’ve ever seen it. Let’s go!

The cyborgs approach Jamie, Kyle and Lindsey with their evil dead eyes glowing red. Gulp! Looks like the end for our heroes, that is until they hear a whistle from above and they see Rachel the Pretzel Girl soaring in on one of their hang gliders. “You feeling lucky, punks?” she shouts and Kyle pumps his fist at her wholly original quote. Let’s go! We are taking a risk with a Troma film for the Kazaam pairing and watching Getting Lucky about a Leprechaun that gives a nerd a chance at… well, getting lucky. Let’s go!

Kazaam (1996) – BMeTric: 83.8; Notability: 30

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.4%; Notability: top 28.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 2.5%; Higher BMeT: Barb Wire; Higher Notability: Eraser, The Fan, Spy Hard, Jingle All The Way, Chain Reaction, Daylight, Eddie, The Associate, Up Close & Personal, Mulholland Falls, Dear God, Sgt. Bilko, Eye for an Eye, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Adventures of Pinocchio, The Crow: City of Angels, Space Truckers, In Love and War, Joe’s Apartment, High School High, and 50 more; Lower RT: The Dentist, Adrenalin: Fear the Rush, Ed, Big Bully, Ripe, Bio-Dome; Notes: Wow that BMeTric is gaudy. How have we avoided doing this film until now? A sub-3.0 on IMDb is absurd for such a wide release, it is incredible.

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – “Kazaam” is a textbook example of a filmed deal, in which adults assemble a package that reflects their own interests and try to sell it to kids. How else to explain a children’s movie where the villains are trying to steal a bootleg recording so they can sell pirated copies of it? What do kids know, or care, about that? The movie stars Shaquille O’Neal, the Orlando Magic’s superstar center, as Kazaam, a genie who is released from captivity in an old boom box and has to perform three wishes for a little kid (Francis Capra). Right there you have a wonderful illustration of the movie’s creative bankruptcy. Assigned to construct a starring vehicle for Shaq, the filmmakers looked at him, saw a tall bald black man, and said, “Hey, he can be a genie!” At which point, somebody should have said, “OK, that’s level one. Now let’s take it to level three.” Shaq has already proven he can act (in “Blue Chips,” the 1994 movie about college basketball). Here he shows he can be likable in a children’s movie. What he does not show is good judgment in his choice of material. This is a tired concept, written by the numbers. Kids old enough to know about Shaq as a basketball star will be too old to enjoy the movie. Younger kids won’t find much to engage them. And O’Neal shouldn’t have used the movie to promote his own career as a rap artist; the soundtrack sounds less like music to entertain kids than like a trial run for a Shaq album.

(Wow, he cuts right to the core. And yeah, that’s called a great B-plot. This movie sounds kind of amazing for that reason alone, I love B-plots that make no sense for a kids movie.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFVaxa1UKNg/

(Looks fun. Although now I remember why we haven’t done this one yet … it’s a kids movie. This is definitively a kids movie. Just give me all B-plot. Recut the entire film into just the B-plot.)

DirectorsPaul Michael Glaser – (Known For: The Running Man; The Cutting Edge; Future BMT: Band of the Hand; The Air Up There; BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for directing an episode of Miami Vice. He played Starsky in Starsky and Hutch. He also directed a great Criminal Minds episode starring Jason Alexander called Masterpiece.)

WritersPaul Michael Glaser – (BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Interestingly his only real attempt at writing apparently. I have to imagine he did uncredited stuff previously and probably just did too much tickering as the director and got a credit.)

Christian Ford – (BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Wrote an episode of Deep Space Nine which I can already tell I was probably fuming at since Kai Winn played a big role in it (she was a central long-running villain in the show).)

Roger Soffer – (Known For: Throne of Elves; BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Was Ford’s writing partner. Looks like they must have parted ways at some point since Soffer got his Throne of Elves credit in 2017 well after the bulk of their writing work.)

ActorsShaquille O’Neal – (Known For: Hubie Halloween; The Lego Movie; The House Bunny; What Men Want; Uncle Drew; Thunderstruck; Future BMT: Scary Movie 4; Good Burger; After the Sunset; The Smurfs 2; Blue Chips; The Wash; BMT: Grown Ups 2; Blended; Jack and Jill; Freddy Got Fingered; Kazaam; Steel; Show Dogs; Chairman of the Board; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Steel in 1998; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Blended in 2015; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Blue Chips in 1995; Notes: Y’all know Shaq. Probably the best NBA actor ever, even if he doesn’t always choose the best roles. A four time NBA champion with the Lakers and Heat, he might be the most dominant big man in history (and if not that, he’s at least the most unique given his body shape).)

Francis Capra – (Known For: A Bronx Tale; SLC Punk!; Veronica Mars; Blood and Bone; Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; Rampart; Black Irish; Dishdogz; Future BMT: A Simple Wish; BMT: Crank; Kazaam; Notes: Not related to Frank Capra. Amazingly I recognize him mostly from his adult role as Eli Navarro (Weevil) in Veronica Mars. He looks quite different now obviously.)

Ally Walker – (Known For: While You Were Sleeping; Singles; Happy, Texas; Welcome to Hollywood; When the Bough Breaks; Mischief Night; Wonderful World; Eye of the Storm; The Seventh Coin; Future BMT: Bed of Roses; Steal Big Steal Little; BMT: Universal Soldier; Kazaam; Notes: Has been pretty much continuously employed in major television roles since the mid-90s besides taking a 10 year break while she was raising a family in the early 2000s. Was the star of the show Profiler.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $18,937,262 (Worldwide: $18,937,262)

(Yep, a huge bomb, and likely Ebert is right in this case. There is no way this didn’t derail any cinematic career Shaq could have had (well … until he became a staple of Adam Sandler comedies I suppose, he was in at least four of those).)

Rotten Tomatoes – 5% (2/37): Crafted from a mix of genre clichés, Kazaam doesn’t know what kind of film it wants to be, and Shaq’s larger-than-life charisma is stifled by rote filmmaking and an unimaginative story.

(Yeah, sounds about right. Two good reviews, and they basically just say Shaq is charming and the film old-school but fine.)

Reviewer Highlight: Kazaam never brings off the trick we most want to see: It fails to make the jolly, 7-foot-1 Shaq larger than life. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Poster – Sha-blam

(Love the font, hate everything else. Like Ebert said it makes you wonder about the choices Shaq was making at the time. Like he can actually act and is charming as hell and yet he apparently was so keen on being a rapper that he did this shit. The poster looks like it’s for a straight-to-video talking cat movie or something. D)

Tagline(s) – The world’s most powerful genie has just met his match. (F)

(The world’s most powerful genie… as opposed to all those less powerful genies we are familiar with? It’s amazing that they were so set on using this generic tagline that they tried to force it. It no longer even makes sense. I think I hate it… yup, I hate it.)

Keyword(s) – genie

Top 10: Aladdin (2019), Bedazzled (2000), Aladdin (1992), Weird Science (1985), Aladdin (2020), Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road (2002), Kazaam (1996), Burying the Ex (2014), The Tale of Despereaux (2008), Five Children and It (2004)

Future BMT: 13.9 Three Wishes (1995)

BMT: Kazaam (1996)

Matches: Kazaam (1996), The Lamp (1987), Miracle Beach (1992), Wishman (1992), Pretty Cool Too (2007), Wish Me Luck (1995), Djinn (2008), Wildest Dreams (1990), The Incredible Genie (1999), Shivers Down Your Spine (2015), Jinn (2016), Wishful Thinking the Series (2015)

(So few films with a genie … that somehow feels wrong, but yet, yeah … an all powerful, immortal being doesn’t leave much original storytelling ideas. The actual matches are mostly pretty small, Kazaam is the only major release. That is, if you want to be specific about the difference between a Djinn and a genie (this movie certainly does …))

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Efren Ramirez is No. 4 billed in Kazaam and No. 4 billed in Crank, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (4 + 4) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 14. If we were to watch Blue Chips, and Three Fugitives we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – Despite the fact that this film was a critical and financial disaster, Shaquille O’Neal has not expressed regret for his involvement. He said in a 2012 interview, “I was a medium-level juvenile delinquent from Newark who always dreamed about doing a movie. Someone said, ‘Hey, here’s $7 million, come in and do this genie movie.’ What am I going to say, no? So I did it.”

John Costelloe plays a firefighter in this movie. In real life, he was a firefighter for 11 years before retiring in 1998. He also played a volunteer firefighter in The Sopranos (1999).

The main villain’s name is Malik, which is the Arabic word for king.

This movie is part of the false memory phenomenon (also called the “Mandela Effect”). According to many people, there was a movie named “Shazaam” starring Sinbad as the genie. This false memory was probably caused by a mix-up with this film and a costume Sinbad wore in 1994 when he hosted a TV broadcast of Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977). For April Fools’ Day 2017, the team of CollegeHumor Originals (2006) filmed a skit about alleged VHS footage of the Shazaam movie, with Sinbad starring as the genie.

Paul Michael Glaser’s last movie as a director, as of July 2021. He continues to direct television.

Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach Preview

Having jacked in to hack jack port, Patrick swims through cyberspace like a beautiful otter. “Have you done this before?” asks Kyle, struggling to figure out the physics of this strange new world. “Yeah,” starts Patrick, remembering back to Rich and Po3: Dark Web 3D, “kinda… when Jamie and I were Rich and Poe,” he continues but stops and shrugs. It’s all pretty confusing at this point. Their task, on the other hand, should be pretty simple, just find the trash folder (probably) and hack the planet and get Kyle’s website approved as an official reviewer. But as they look around they suddenly hear a booming voice, “Bad Movie Twin, where is your stupider half? Or are you the stupid one, I always forget.” A bead of sweat forms on Patrick’s forehead. I can’t be. “What is it?” asks Kyle, eyes wide. “Gruber,” Patrick says in a whisper as Gruber’s laughter begins to echo through cyberspace. Patrick clenches his eyes closed. “It can’t be. He’s not real. He was never real.” He lets out a bellow and when he opens his eyes he finds himself in a police station. On his chest is a name tag, “Rich.” Kyle is pale with fear and jumps when a man angrily screams for Rich and Gruber to get the hell in his office. Kyle holds up his own name tag, “Gruber,” and Patrick’s mouth runs dry. “It’s just a simulation, playing on my fears” he reassures Kyle (but mostly himself), “we just have to break the mainframe and everything will be OK.” When they get to his office, the Captain throws a couple of pieces of paper at them. Airline tickets… to Party Town, USA? The captain scowls, “The city’s under siege… and the Vice President has been taken hostage.” That’s right! We are doing double duty this week by watching not one, but three Police Academy films! We are officially finishing the series with Police Academy’s 5, 6, and 7, all three of which got a BOMB rating from Leonard and the last of which (Mission to Moscow) failed to make it to a wide theatrical release. It is perfection for the Bring a Friend entry in the cycle. Let’s go!

Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988) – BMeTric: 72.5; Notability: 38

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.8%; Notability: top 6.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0%; Higher BMeT: Mac and Me, Caddyshack II; Higher Notability: Action Jackson, Sunset, High Spirits, Big Top Pee-wee, Caddyshack II, My Stepmother Is an Alien, Moving, Cocoon: The Return, The Couch Trip, Vibes, License to Drive, Arthur 2: On the Rocks, Hot to Trot, Cocktail, Mac and Me, The Seventh Sign; Notes: The cred on these films are off the hook and only get better and better as the series goes along. We’ve seen the top three BMeTric for 1988. BMeTrics of 70+ are incredibly rare. There are only 184 out of over 2000 qualified films, so less than 10%. Amazingly we’ve seen around 65% of those so far. We legitimately could finish those off in like five years, twelve a year (two a cycle) … easy.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Gaynes is in Miami to receive an award before his mandatory retirement; arch-rival Bailey comes along to gum up the works. Fourth attempt to improve on imperfection is no charm; what can you say about a sequel that Steve Guttenberg won’t even appear in.

(Hey hey hey … Guttenberg for some reason claims he regrets that. I don’t really see why. Also two semi-colons? You know me well Leonard.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKEspwO4vHA/

(Wow, this is quite the 80s comedy spot. Wow they put the fart joke directly into the trailer … I guess you have the lead with your funniest joke (ba-dum-ch). The trailer is just “these zany character you love are doing all the same things you love but in Miami.” I mean … fair.)

DirectorsAlan Myerson – (Known For: Private Lessons; Steelyard Blues; BMT: Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Notes: Scottish. Was a huuuuuge television director throughout the 90s. Ended up getting nominated for an Emmy for directing the Larry Sanders Show.)

WritersNeal Israel – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Moving Violations; Americathon; Tunnel Vision; Future BMT: Look Who’s Talking Too; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Just has a character credit here. Was a big director as well, directing such classics as Surf Ninjas.)

Pat Proft – (Known For: Real Genius; The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!; Hot Shots!; Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult; Bachelor Party; Hot Shots! Part Deux; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Moving Violations; Brain Donors; Lucky Stiff; Future BMT: Scary Movie 3; Scary Movie 4; Wrongfully Accused; Mr. Magoo; High School High; BMT: Police Academy; Scary Movie 5; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Was nominated for an Emmy for the variety special Van Dyke and Company. He worked a ton with the Scary Movie guys (including the last three movies in that series).)

Stephen Curwick – (BMT: Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Claims that he wrote a video game called Bad TV in the 2010s, but it is hard to search for due to the name.)

David Sheffield and Barry W. Blaustein – (Known For: Coming 2 America; Coming to America; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Nutty Professor; Boomerang; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; The Honeymooners; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Notes: Only wrote the second. I guess the series is interesting since they added characters throughout and so a ton of people get “character” credits.)

Gene Quintano – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Sudden Death; Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold; Making the Grade; Funky Monkey; Comin’ at Ya!; El tesoro de las cuatro coronas; Future BMT: Loaded Weapon 1; King Solomon’s Mines; Operation Dumbo Drop; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; The Musketeer; Notes: Here’s the main guy for the third and fourth films. He directed Loaded Weapon 1.)

ActorsBubba Smith – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Black Moon Rising; The Silence of the Hams; The Naked Truth; Full Clip; Down ‘n Dirty; The Wild Pair; Future BMT: Stroker Ace; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Played in the NFL prior to his acting career. He believed that Superbowl III was rigged.)

David Graf – (Known For: The Brady Bunch Movie; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Guarding Tess; Irreconcilable Differences; Fist of Legend; Citizen Ruth; Georgia’s Friends; Suture; Love at Stake; The Enforcer; American Kickboxer 2; Future BMT: Rules of Engagement; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: In interviews he talked about how he was struggling financially when he got the part in the first film, and so he never refused to appear in any of the subsequent films.)

Michael Winslow – (Known For: Spaceballs; Gremlins; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Nice Dreams; Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie; Grandview, U.S.A.; The Great Buck Howard; Killing Hasselhoff; Starchaser: The Legend of Orin; Tag: The Assassination Game; Alphabet City; Think Big; The Trumpet of the Swan; Lovelines; Gingerclown; Robodoc; Far Out Man; Going Under; Lenny the Wonder Dog; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Still performs standup and has a multitude of apps which emit Winslow-produced sound effects.)

Budget/Gross – $14 million / Domestic: $19,510,371 (Worldwide: $19,510,371)

(This isn’t so bad. I could definitely see why they thought they just needed to being it back to “nameless city” and allow the gang to hit the streetz again to get the money rolling in … they were wrong, but I could see why they may have thought that.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/8)

(Consensus time: The usual, except now it reeks of desperation, resorting to fart jokes with a neon-pink Miami background.)

Reviewer Highlight: Miami field trip only brings a pastel backdrop to the insipid infighting of the boobs in blue. – Variety Staff

Poster – Cop School: Destination: Tokyo

(Still got it, baby! This style of poster never really went out of style. Look at the details. It’s really a work of art. Makes me want to find out who drew it. In some respects it doesn’t totally work as a poster (color scheme, all the white space), but it’s hard for me not to like it. B.)

Tagline(s) – Hold everything! The cadets are dropping in on Miami Beach for an all new adventure. (F)

(No.)

Keyword(s) – police-academy

Top 10: The Departed (2006), 21 Jump Street (2012), Police Academy (1984), The Snowman (2017), CHIPS (2017), Judge Dredd (1995), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Ride Along (2014), Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), Empire State (2013)

Future BMT: 45.1 National Security (2003), 27.0 Kuffs (1992)

BMT: Police Academy (1984), The Snowman (2017), CHIPS (2017), Judge Dredd (1995), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Ride Along (2014), Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985), Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988), Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989)

Matches: Police Academy (1984), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988), Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994)

(I’ve changed this plot up, and I think it is a lot cooler. The y-axis is the total notability for each year. Blue is all films, green is wide release films, red is qualifying films (with the filled in portion being films we’ve seen), and gold is the amount being filled in by the film this week (in this case both BMT films this week). “Matches” at the bottom are films with the keyword in the IMDb plotline, so it isn’t a surprise that we’ve now seen all “police academy” films. Fun that we’ve seen another legit film in CHIPS.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Bubba Smith is No. 1 billed in Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach and No. 2 billed in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, which also stars Sharon Stone (No. 4 billed) who is in The Specialist (No. 2 billed) which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in The Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed) which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 2) + (4 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 18. If we were to watch Surrender we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Steve Guttenberg turned down the lead role and gave a firm “no” to any other Police Academy sequels that might turn up (and they did). He turned them all down. Two decades later, he expressed in an interview that he regretted turning down the chance to star in the later sequels, and was among the main people trying to make another Police Academy movie.

When Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) was released, acerbic critic Rex Reed swore, “If they make another Police Academy movie, I’ll leave the business.” At the time, Paul Maslansky said, “Reed’s one of the reasons I’m making Police Academy 5. I expect him to be a man of his word.” To Maslansky’s disappointment, Reed was not.

Regarding his experience working on this film, Rene Auberjonois (Tony) stated, “Why I choose to do things is a mystery to me sometimes. I’ve done things that, on the face of it, you think, ‘why would anybody do Police Academy 5?’ I had to look at the role, and see if there’s a reason to do it. I did it because it was an opportunity to play a character that nobody else was ever going to let me play. I had a great time doing it, don’t regret it for a moment, and I’d do it again in a minute.”

Had Steve Guttenberg agreed to appear in the movie, his character Mahoney was to be promoted to Lieutenant at the end of the film. (Instead it was Hightower)

Bobcat Goldthwait did not reprise his role of Zed due to not being able to come to a financial agreement with the producers. Because of this, the filmmakers believed that there was no point in bringing back Sweetchuck without Zed, and so Tim Kazurinsky ended up not being involved either. Bobcat later said that he skipped this sequel because the script lost focus and his character “would never talk like that.”

The movie’s script and some promotional materials list Tony’s full name as Tony Stark. The surname was edited out of the film after Warner Brothers discovered that “Tony Stark” was a registered trademark owned by Marvel, for use in their Iron Man comics.

The book that Captain Harris is seen holding whilst “congratulating” Commandant Lassard on his mandatory retirement is a hardback copy of “3 Cheers for Me”, the first novel in the Bandy Papers series written by Donald Jack.

Janet Jones (Officer Kate) wed hockey player Wayne Gretzky four months after this movie’s release.

Michael Winslow (Jones), David Graf (Tackleberry), and George Gaynes (Commandant Lassard) are the only actors who appeared in all seven Police Academy movies. Winslow also had a regular role on Police Academy: The Series (1997).

Matt McCoy’s character of Commandant Eric Lassard’s nephew, Nick, marks the fourth member of the Lassard family to be in a Police Academy movie. Previously, we’ve seen Lassard’s wife in Police Academy (1984) and Lassard’s brother, Captain Pete Lassard in Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985).

Early drafts featured a canine character called Clancy, a Miami police dog.

At one point, David Spade’s Kyle Rumford character from Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) was being considered as a possible replacement for the departing Steve Guttenberg.

Wild Orchid Preview

“Lindsey Appleton, hardscrabble investigative reporter from the Brooklyn Gazette Tribune,” Lindsey says, flashing her RTHQ badge. The officers at the gate peer at the badge, which denotes her status as a “full-blown journalist” and nod their heads, but just as Jamie, Patrick and Kyle walk through the gate the K-9 units start to bark wildly. Suddenly suspicious, the officers ask Lindsay who the bozos are tagging along. “These are my cameramen and audio technicians, Jerry, Lee and Lewis… and their baby” The officers narrow their eyes at the three men and a baby but eventually relent. The plan has worked! “Oh and Ms. Appleton,” the head officer notes, “We’ve had reports of some highly dangerous hang gliding terrorists attempting to infiltrate The Rock (as we call it). We are advised to shoot on sight. Would hate for your pals to get caught in the crossfire.” Lindsey coolly nods her head and ushers them inside, but Jamie and Patrick look at each other in shock. Someone tipped them off! The cyborgs are closer than they imagined. “We should split up,” Patrick says, “it’ll give us the best shot of finding the, and excuse the technical term, hack jack port that Niall needs to hack into the system.” Seeing that the adrenaline of the heist seems to have put a wild spark into Jamie and Lindsey’s eyes, Patrick suggests maybe Kyle and Lindsey pair up. There is no time for thrills, erotic or otherwise. But Jamie and Lindsey are already off and running. Patrick sighs and communicates with Rachel via earpiece to find the quickest way to the hack jack port… it’s now up to him and Kyle. Jamie and Lindsey are lost to an adventure of the senses. That’s right! We are indeed watching the ultimate adventure of the senses: Wild Orchid. A real classic erotic thriller film and it should go without saying that it’s been on our radar for a very, very, very long time (if you know what I mean). Gross. Anyway, it should be fun in a probably unpleasant way. Let’s go!

Wild Orchid (1989) – BMeTric: 59.8; Notability: 18

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 1.6%; Notability: top 71.7%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.7% Higher BMeT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Higher Notability: Troop Beverly Hills, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child, Fletch Lives, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Harlem Nights, Leviathan, Pink Cadillac, Lock Up, Three Fugitives, Dead Bang, Renegades, Let It Ride, Millennium, Slaves of New York, The Karate Kid Part III, Who’s Harry Crumb?, Cookie, Gross Anatomy, Her Alibi, and 26 more; Lower RT: Wired; Notes: Back to back 1989 films huh? That’s interesting. Sub-5.0 is amazing as usual. Hmmm maybe we should watch Wired at some point … seems depressing though.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Prim lawyer Otis, employed by banker Bisset, gets assaulted by Rio de Janeiro carny-time temptation: semi-public fornicators, limousine raunch, and the right of earringed Rourke in deep bronze makeup. Notorious simulated sex scene caused a stir, but it’s all for naught; this picture is enough to make any two bananas roll over in Carmen Miranda’s grave. Followed by a sequel.

(Semicolon? You know what I like to see Leonard. I kind of get the Carmen Miranda reference I guess … I think I do at least. It is kind of super weird if I’m being honest. Basically every review mentions the rumors about the final sex scene which notoriously some thought (incorrectly) was unsimulated.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StwWLUzLbg8/

(“A man … struggling to unleash his emotions.” Ha! That’s an understatement. Having watched the film I have to say I wasn’t expecting them to so openingly state the plot as “A woman discovering her desires … a sociopath who can’t feel.”)

Directors – Zalman King – (Known For: Two Moon Junction; Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue; Delta of Venus; Pleasure or Pain; In God’s Hands; Wildfire; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Nine 1/2 Weeks in 1987; Notes: Notoriously was an erotic films producer / director in the 90s and 00s, including the television program Body Language which he produced.)

Writers – Patricia Louisianna Knop (written by) – (Known For: 9½ Weeks; Delta of Venus; Siesta; Lady Oscar; The Passover Plot; Silence of the North; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Nine 1/2 Weeks in 1987; Notes: She was the wife an collaborated for Zalman King. She was a producer on Red Shoe Diaries.)

Zalman King (written by) – (Known For: 9½ Weeks; Two Moon Junction; Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue; Pleasure or Pain; Return to Two Moon Junction; In God’s Hands; Roadie; Wildfire; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Nine 1/2 Weeks in 1987; Notes: He was an actor in the 60s and 70s including starring in the television show The Young Lawyers.)

Actors – Mickey Rourke – (Known For: Iron Man 2; Body Heat; Sin City; The Expendables; Immortals; The Rainmaker; The Wrestler; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; 9½ Weeks; Angel Heart; Buffalo ’66; Rumble Fish; Heaven’s Gate; 1941; Girl; The Pledge; Spun; Diner; Year of the Dragon; Future BMT: Domino; Desperate Hours; Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man; Man on Fire; BMT: Double Team; Wild Orchid; Get Carter; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 1991 for Desperate Hours, and Wild Orchid; Notes: Notable went back to professional boxing in 1991 well into his career as an A-list actor where he sustained severe facial injuries. He’s gotten extensive plastic surgery in an attempt to correct the issues.)

Jacqueline Bisset – (Known For: Bullitt; Murder on the Orient Express; Casino Royale; The Deep; L’amant double; Airport; Day for Night; 9/11; Blue Night; Dangerous Beauty; Miss You Already; Latter Days; The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean; Two for the Road; Death in Love; Backstabbing for Beginners; The Detective; The Man from Acapulco; Cul-de-sac; Under the Volcano; Future BMT: Domino; When Time Ran Out…; Class; Inchon; BMT: Wild Orchid; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Joan of Arc. Is Angelina Jolie’s godmother, as she was asked while working with Jon Voight on End of the Game.)

Carré Otis – (Known For: Exit in Red; Going Back; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star for Wild Orchid in 1991; Notes: Famously married Rourke in 1992, a romance that has fueled (unfounded) rumors that the final sex scene was unsimulated.)

Budget/Gross – $7 million / Domestic: $11,060,485 (Worldwide: $11,060,485)

(Not super great obviously, but not a complete bomb maybe. The budget is so low though, must basically be all salary for the actors at that point.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (2/29): Body Orchid is a tease-too-long, with overblown editing with an already slipping Mickey Rourke and unexperienced actress Carrie Otis.

(I had to look it up, and no, nowhere was the film called Body Orchid … is it just a weird play on words or something? Maybe they are mashing the title with Body Heat? Reviewer Highlight: What I couldn’t believe was the chemistry between Rourke and Otis, whose passion is supposed to shake the earth but seemed more like an obligation imposed on them by their genitals. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Wild Sorkin

(Wild Sorkin is the high school comedy about Aaron Sorkin’s wild youth. This poster is… not that. It makes me feel sweaty and dirty, so mission accomplished I assume. I do like the font and the color scheme fits what I would call “nude,” which is probably the point. Anyway, it could be better. C+)

Tagline(s) – An adventure of the senses. (C-)

(Grosssss. No thanks. Those words on that poster is just… just the worst. Leave my senses out of this garbo. It’s certainly telling you exactly what you can expect in just a few words, but it’s not something I want.)

Keyword – erotica

Top 10: American Beauty (1999), Call Me by Your Name (2017), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Sin City (2005), Brokeback Mountain (2005), Don Jon (2013), Coyote Ugly (2000), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), Body Double (1984), Showgirls (1995)

Future BMT: 71.2 Showgirls (1995), 60.5 Obsessed (2009), 54.1 Bolero (1984), 49.4 In the Cut (2003), 46.2 40 Days and 40 Nights (2002), 43.7 Coyote Ugly (2000), 41.3 Addicted (2014), 41.0 Jawbreaker (1999), 37.8 Never Talk to Strangers (1995), 33.0 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016);

BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), The Boy Next Door (2015), Basic Instinct 2 (2006), Striptease (1996), Cool World (1992), Good Luck Chuck (2007), Color of Night (1994), Wild Orchid (1989), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), The Specialist (1994), I Know Who Killed Me (2007), Miss March (2009)

(I had to try this one out. We have a few left, and a bunch of those are, in reality, not erotica. But Bolero and Showgirls definitely are. I’m pretty surprised that the notability plot is as stable as it is. I would have thought it would have dropped off a cliff after 2000, but that didn’t really happen until 2010.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Bruce Greenwood is No. 5 billed in Wild Orchid and No. 6 billed in Here on Earth => 5 + 6 = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Mickey Rourke and Carré Otis were a couple at the time this film was made, and there is a persistent rumor that the sex scenes were not faked.

In a 2004 interview, Carré Otis denied the rumors that suggested the infamous last sex scene was real.

Brooke Shields turned down the role of Emily because she knew that nudity would be required.

Willem Dafoe turned down the role of James Wheeler.

The hotel construction site was actually the skeleton of an abandoned hotel in Salvador, Bahia that was never completed. It was imploded a few years later, after decades of abandonment.

Anne Archer was signed to play the Jacqueline Bisset part, but she had a disagreement with the producers over the scripts R rated content.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Mickey Rourke, 1991)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Carré Otis, 1991)

Two of a Kind Preview

While Jamie sobs and goes over all the events that led to the deaths of his friends, he is comforted by Wally, a kangaroo wearing a tophat, and Phillip Von Snout, a tiny elephant. “I just don’t understand,” Jamie says through sniffles, “I feel torn to pieces and yet it’s like the crash happened only moments ago, you know?” The top hat wearing animals nod in understanding but suddenly disappear as Jamie wakes up to find that it was all a dream! Phew! Except, wait, his friends are still dead. And he’s now in the middle of a psychology midterm! And he’s got only ten minutes left! And he’s naked and all his teeth have fallen out! He looks through bleary eyes at the test and just barely makes out the first question: “What’s in the bag?” He looks up to see a bag dripping blood. When he looks back at the paper an answer is scrawled in blood: “A SHARK OR SOMETHING.” Jamie wakes with a start. Another dream. Phew. Except, wait, his friends are still dead. And he’s making out with a sexy lady! Cool! But wait, he also lost a bet regarding hacking the planet and is wearing a leather dress of some sort! “Wait,” he says to the sexy lady, “weren’t we heading to hack the planet when I crashed the car?” She seems confused, but Jamie now understands. It’s all a dream and they still have to hack the planet. He’s gotta WAKE UP!

Jamie’s heart starts beating and he blinks his eyes open. He smiles at Kyle, Baby Niles, and Patrick and mumbles that none of them were there in his dream and it was super lame. They all laugh and Patrick predator high fives Jamie. The dynamic duo back together. Just… that’s right! Two of a Kind… is the movie we’re watching. You know, the laugh-a-minute Travolta-Newton-John joint that everyone remembers. No, you remember. It’s the one where Angels are hoping bank robbers Travolta and Newton-John redeem themselves and fall in love? No? Well it’s a movie. Let’s go!

Two of a Kind (1983) – BMeTric: 39.4; Notability: 38

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 8.5%; Notability: top 19.7%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 8.0% Higher BMeT: Jaws 3-D, Superman III, Smokey and the Bandit Part 3, Amityville 3-D, Curse of the Pink Panther, Porky’s II: The Next Day, Hercules; Higher Notability: Superman III, Curse of the Pink Panther, Deal of the Century, Flashdance, Doctor Detroit, The Lords of Discipline, The Osterman Weekend, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, The Black Stallion Returns; Lower RT: The Survivors, Amityville 3-D, Deal of the Century, Porky’s II: The Next Day, Still Smokin, Jaws 3-D, Smokey and the Bandit Part 3; Notes: That is a much higher BMeTric than I would have expected I think. We have a lot to go for 1983 it looks like, we’ve only seen those top two, Jaws 3-D and Superman III. Also higher Notability than I might have expected for a comedy in 1983 as well. Interesting.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Puerile fantasy-romance with a script that must have been scrawled on a gum wrapper. A quartet of angels try to persuade God to give the human race another chance – using two pretty unappealing subjects (an inventor-turned-bank robber and a not-so-innocent bank teller) as guinea pigs. Just awful.

(Ha. You could just cut out the front bit and have it just say “Just awful” and it would be the same review.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvZhmjRzcf4/

(Man … the smash cut from Travolta and Olivia Newton-John clearly having sex and him assuring her that he doesn’t intend to sexually assault her to “rated PG” is pretty amusing. In their defense the PG-13 rating would be introduced less than 8 months after this film was released.)

Directors – John Herzfeld – (Known For: Escape Plan 3; 2 Days in the Valley; Bobby Z; Collection; Future BMT: 15 Minutes; BMT: Two of a Kind; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Two of a Kind in 1984; Notes: Was a bit actor before becoming a director, even having a named part in Cobra (as Cho), probably because apparently he was the roommate of Sylvester Stallone at the University of Miami.)

Writers – John Herzfeld (written by) – (Known For: Escape Plan 3; 2 Days in the Valley; Collection; Voices; The Last Winter; Hard Feelings; Future BMT: 15 Minutes; BMT: Two of a Kind; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Two of a Kind in 1984; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for directing Don King: Only in America. Went from directing ABC Afterschool Specials all the way to Escape Plan 3 most recently.)

Actors – John Travolta – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Grease; Saturday Night Fever; Carrie; Face/Off; Austin Powers in Goldmember; Blow Out; The Thin Red Line; Hairspray; Savages; Urban Cowboy; Eye for an Eye; Get Shorty; The Taking of Pelham 123; Bolt; Broken Arrow; Look Who’s Talking; Gotti; Life on the Line; The Fanatic; Future BMT: Look Who’s Talking Now; Look Who’s Talking Too; Staying Alive; Lucky Numbers; Domestic Disturbance; Michael; White Man’s Burden; The Punisher; From Paris with Love; The General’s Daughter; Mad City; Basic; BMT: Battlefield Earth; Old Dogs; Be Cool; Perfect; Wild Hogs; Two of a Kind; Swordfish; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor in 2001 for Battlefield Earth, and Lucky Numbers; and in 2020 for The Fanatic, and Trading Paint; Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Battlefield Earth in 2001; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1984 for Staying Alive, and Two of a Kind; in 1986 for Perfect; in 2002 for Domestic Disturbance, and Swordfish; in 2010 for Old Dogs; and in 2019 for Gotti; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Shout in 1992; Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Gotti in 2019; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990 for Perfect, Staying Alive, The Experts, and Two of a Kind; and in 2010 for Battlefield Earth, Domestic Disturbance, Lucky Numbers, Old Dogs, and Swordfish; Notes: His daughter Ella is set to make her lead acting debut with Get Lost, a modern adaptation of Alice in Wonderland set in Budapest. We’ve seen her before, she was one of the kids in Old Dogs.)

Olivia Newton-John – (Known For: Grease; The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee; She’s Having a Baby; A Few Best Men; Sordid Lives; It’s My Party; Toomorrow; Score: A Hockey Musical; Funny Things Happen Down Under; BMT: Xanadu; Two of a Kind; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 1981 for Xanadu; and in 1984 for Two of a Kind; Notes: Y’all know ONJ, right? English (but notably Australian) pop singer from the 70s and 80s who headlined multiple John Travolta films. Was weirdly just in Sharknado 5, which is just a weird choice.)

Charles Durning – (Known For: Scarface; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Sisters; Dog Day Afternoon; The Sting; Dick Tracy; Tootsie; The Final Countdown; The Muppet Movie; When a Stranger Calls; The Hudsucker Proxy; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; The Fury; One Fine Day; True Confessions; Sharky’s Machine; Cat Chaser; The Man with One Red Shoe; Breakheart Pass; I.Q.; Future BMT: Spy Hard; V.I. Warshawski; Stick; BMT: Two of a Kind; Solarbabies; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars (To Be or Not to Be, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas). Apparently was a Dance instructor and studied judo for a time.)

Budget/Gross – $14 million / Domestic: $23,646,952 (Worldwide: $23,646,952)

(That is maybe okay. It isn’t great, it is definitely a poor showing given the budget, but I would have thought that it would have made far less than $25 million in 1983, so that seems pretty all right for a weird borderline TV movie.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 18% (2/11)

(My consensus: Mediocre Travolta and not at all what you expect from what should have been an interesting Travolta / Newton-John reunion after Grease. Reviewer Highlight: This movie should have been struck by a lightning bolt. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Two of a Sklog

(This poster is absurd. Like I understand the concept of a poster just being a star’s face and begging audiences to pay money to see that face act, but this isn’t even staged in an interesting (or sane?) way. It looks like they are posing for headshots. Like the font though. C-)

Tagline(s) – It took a twist of fate to make them two of a kind. (B-)

(Why do I kinda like this? Why does “twist of fate” paired with “two of a kind” sound so good to my ears. Is it just the repeat ‘of’? Is it the hard ‘t’ sound of took, twist and two? I think maybe it’s because the pacing is so nice… you can almost hear a spokesperson saying the line. This is a great example of nonsense tagline writing actually. You can replace every word with “dah” and it still sounds good. Otherwise a little long, kinda nonsense, and not very clever. But the heart wants what the heart wants. )

Keyword – angel

Top 10: Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Constantine (2005), Natural Born Killers (1994), Click (2006), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), What Dreams May Come (1998), Old School (2003), Coraline (2009), Legion (2010), Dogma (1999)

Future BMT: 64.9 The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2014), 61.0 Legion (2010), 53.3 Over Her Dead Body (2008), 43.4 Down to Earth (2001), 40.8 Michael (1996), 39.0 The Final Conflict (1981), 37.0 The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013), 35.8 Hideaway (1995), 35.7 The Perfect Holiday (2007), 34.1 The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (2009);

BMT: Little Nicky (2000), Ghost Rider (2007), Bless the Child (2000), Two of a Kind (1983)

(I still can’t quite believe we haven’t watched Legion, that has been on my radar for literally years. Michael is another Travolta and really weird if I recall correctly. Anyways, do you think the plot jumps up at 1990 for a reason? Like, is that just because that is when keywords start showing up in the data, or is there some sort of evangelical story here? I honestly don’t know, the IMDb keyword data is fun to peruse, but hard to take seriously most of the time.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: John Travolta is No. 1 billed in Two of a Kind and No. 2 billed in Wild Hogs, which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 12. If we were to watch Shout we can get the HoE Number down to 10.

Notes – Although she’d starred in three theatrical movies and had made countless TV appearances in the 15 year prior to this movie, Olivia Newton-John was insecure about her acting abilities and decided to enroll in acting training in preparation for the film.

The movie’s soundtrack was so successful that it went platinum.

After striking box office gold in Grease (1978), the 20th Century Fox studio re-teamed John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John for the second and final time in this film.

Bill Conti was the original composer for this film, but he left the project as his original score was rejected by writer/director John Herzfeld. He was then subsequently replaced by composer Patrick Williams. Williams had been asked by Herzfeld and producers Joe Wizan and Roger M. Rothstein to create a melody based off Olivia Newton-John’s hit single “Twist of Fate” which was released just before the film. However this was done so late that 20th Century Fox was unable offer to preview screenings to the news media, and final prints were unavailable until a few days prior to the December 16, 1983 release. Meanwhile, Conti was allegedly unaware that he had been replaced. Lionel Newman, the senior vice president of music for 20th Century Fox said that Conti’s dismissal was “amicable”. Conti’s credit is retained on the back cover of the film’s soundtrack album as well as a 1995 VHS Reissue and on the back cover of the film’s DVD release.

The movie was part of a 1980s cycle of Hollywood angelic comedies which had started with Heaven Can Wait (1978). The films included that movie and Two of a Kind (1983), The Devil and Max Devlin (1981), Defending Your Life (1991), Oh Heavenly Dog (1980), Kiss Me Goodbye (1982), The Heavenly Kid (1985), Made in Heaven (1987), Almost an Angel (1990) and Oh, God! (1977) and its two sequels. The phrase “Heaven Can Wait” forms part of the lyrics in Two of a Kind (1983)’s theme song “Twist of Fate” sung by Olivia Newton-John.

Travolta played an angel himself later on in Michael (1996).

Debut theatrical feature film as a director for John Herzfeld.

The picture was nominated for Worst Picture at the Hastings Bad Cinema Society’s 6th Stinkers Bad Movie Awards in 1983.

The same year this movie came out, Charles Durning also appeared in the Mel Brooks remake of To Be or Not to Be (1983). That film was also released by 20th Century Fox on the same day as this film, December 16, 1983. (He was nominated for an Oscar for that one)

“Twist of Fate” and “Take a Chance”, both song titles from the soundtrack, were considered as possible film titles.

Robert Stigwood was originally involved with this project as a producer because of his then-ongoing picture deal with John Travolta . But he subsequently left the project because of creative differences between him, co-producer Joe Wizan and writer/director John Herzfeld. Stigwood wanted to have more of a say in casting as well as the film’s soundtrack as he also wanted to have The Bee Gees write and record some songs for the film in addition to the songs Olivia Newton-John had written. After Stigwood left the project, he then brought on his friend Roger M. Rothstein to take over his duties as the two had worked together on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978).

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Roger M. Rothstein, Joe Wizan, 1984)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (John Travolta, 1984)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Olivia Newton-John, 1984)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (John Herzfeld, 1984)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (John Herzfeld, 1984)

Soul Survivors Preview

Jamie, Patrick, Kyle and little Baby Niles race through the streets of New Jersey trying to evade the powerful enemies that Kyle’s son Niall has made. They Tokyo drift everywhere and a bullet shatters the back windshield. Baby Niles wails in terror as Kyle does his best to calm him. Suddenly a car pulls up to the side of them and a guy in a real dopey plastic mask stares back at them. “What thuuuuuuu…” Jamie says, transfixed by the dopiness of the mask. But he’s soon snapped back to reality as Patrick screams out, “watch the road you dumbo!” Jamie’s eyes dart back in time to see an oil slick ahead, seeping out from an overturned sardine truck. Oh woe is them! Unless Jamie is some kind of El Diablo behind the wheel, ready to set fire to the road in pursuit of justice and fambly, then there’s no way they can get out of this jam. Psych! Jamie is exactly that kind of El Diablo and he drifts right through that sardine oil and splashes it all over that weirdo mask guy to boot. They all high five a bunch as they make their escape. But as they are high fiving they fail to realize the dopey mask guy has pulled out a sniper rifle. With a loud pop their back tire explodes and they start spinning out of control. Thinking fast, Jamie furiously turns the wheel in time to put the car into a semi-controlled spin. He aims for a nearby tree that could stop their momentum and save them from certain death. With a crash everything goes black.

4 weeks later

Jamie, having miraculously survived the crash, cries softly as he looks at the only picture of him, Patrick, Kyle and Baby Niles. That’s right! We are watching Soul Survivors… that movie that everyone remembers. You know, the one… where they are sole survivors… anyway, it got really terrible reviews and it’s probably about time we watched it. Let’s go!

Soul Survivors (2001) – BMeTric: 62.7; Notability: 24

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.0%; Notability: top 74.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.5% Higher BMeT: Glitter, Jason X, Freddy Got Fingered, Driven, The Animal, Ghosts of Mars, Black Knight, Valentine, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles; Higher Notability: Pearl Harbor, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Monkeybone, Hannibal, Ghosts of Mars, Impostor, Not Another Teen Movie, Bubble Boy, Swordfish, 15 Minutes, Town & Country, The One, Scary Movie 2, The Affair of the Necklace, America’s Sweethearts, I Am Sam, 3000 Miles to Graceland, Along Came a Spider, Chelsea Walls, Joe Dirt, and 58 more; Lower RT: Texas Rangers; Notes: My god, sub-4.0 is so low, no wonder this film I’ve never heard of has a 60+ BMeTric. And holy crap, this rounds out the top-10 as far as BMeTric for 2001 and I have definitely seen nine of them (although I don’t think we’ve officially watched The Animal for BMT, I think I’ve just watched it multiple times by myself …))

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  A young woman and her three friends have one last night of celebration before going their separate ways for college. Unfortunately, something goes terribly wrong. Supernatural, horror, teensploitation, reality/fantasy grab bag set to pulsing music, this movie shamelessly steals ideas from good movies – and bad ones too. So-called “Killer Cut” is rated R.

(Uh oh … this sounds suspiciously like it is going to be trite nonsense. Which can be fun, but usually isn’t very fun for horror. For horror you want absurdity like Lindsay Lohan with a robot arm and a robot leg for example.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gLy7dks4GI/

(Uh oh … I think this might be trite nonsense like Maltin suggested. Like … she’s dead or almost dead or the only one alive right? It is one of those three, it can’t be anything else. Also the acting looks dire. Only Dushku looks like she’s doing anything special in this. And the soundtrack!! There is a lot to digest with this terrible terrible trailer.)

Directors – Stephen Carpenter – (Known For: The Dorm That Dripped Blood; The Kindred; The Power; BMT: Soul Survivors; Notes: Ultimately probably most well known for creating the hit television show Grimm (and some of the spin off mini-series and such).)

Writers – Stephen Carpenter (written by) (as Steve Carpenter) – (Known For: The Dorm That Dripped Blood; The Kindred; The Power; Future BMT: The Man; Blue Streak; BMT: Soul Survivors; Notes: Allegedly created the first draft for the Ocean’s 11 remake, although he ended up not being credited obviously.)

Actors – Melissa Sagemiller – (Known For: Get Over It; The Clearing; Standing Still; Love Object; Future BMT: Sorority Boys; BMT: Soul Survivors; Mr. Woodcock; The Guardian; Notes: Her father played for the NFL, and he mother was Jimmy Carter’s campaign finance manager. She began as a model and now mostly does television, for example she was briefly the DA during a later season of Law & Order: SVU.)

Wes Bentley – (Known For: Interstellar; The Hunger Games; The Best of Enemies; American Beauty; Mission: Impossible – Fallout; Knight of Cups; Pete’s Dragon; Lovelace; The Four Feathers; Final Girl; Broken Vows; Beloved; Welcome to Me; The Claim; The Game of Their Lives; Rites of Passage; Unconscious; There Be Dragons; Dolan’s Cadillac; Pioneer; Future BMT: Gone; P2; We Are Your Friends; Underworld: Awakening; BMT: Jonah Hex; Soul Survivors; Ghost Rider; Notes: Was discovered during an open casting call for Rent, and was nominated for a BAFTA for his supporting role in American Beauty.)

Casey Affleck – (Known For: Interstellar; Gone Baby Gone; American Pie; Good Will Hunting; Ocean’s Eleven; Our Friend; The World to Come; Every Breath You Take; Manchester by the Sea; American Pie 2; Tower Heist; Ocean’s Twelve; Ocean’s Thirteen; Triple 9; The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; A Ghost Story; To Die For; Out of the Furnace; The Finest Hours; The Old Man & The Gun; Future BMT: Drowning Mona; 200 Cigarettes; Race the Sun; BMT: Soul Survivors; Notes: Won an Oscar for Manchester by the Sea (and was nominated for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford). You know Affleck, he’s Ben’s brother. Notably got called out during the Me Too movement for hostile set environments on some of his films.)

Budget/Gross – $17,000,000 / Domestic: $3,111,545 (Worldwide: $4,299,141)

(Oh wow, even on the usual shoestring budget for teen horror films this still didn’t even get close to breaking even. Even if the budget was inflated after it was clearly not a success (likely), there is no way this would have cost the $2 million it would have needed to even get close. A huge bomb.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (2/48): Soul Survivors’ stock characters and utter lack of suspense gives viewers little reason to attempt deciphering the confusing plot.

(Wow, the film continues to grow in cred. I basically had never heard of it, but sub-10% on RT is nothing to joke around about. And … I doubt the plot is all that confusing, if we are being honest. Reviewer Highlight: Blatantly cannibalising every horror movie it can think of in the attempt to produce some patchwork Frankenstein’s monster. – Jamie Russell, BBC)

Poster – Sklog Survivors

(I like the cool blue, but the font isn’t great and it fits perfectly into the “generic horror film poster” set up. Reminiscent of the Scream Franchise. The most interesting aspect is the ordering of the actors. Melissa Sagemiller is way in the back. She’s the main character! Look at this alternate poster… she’s not even on it! Luke Wilson’s name appears instead! My god. I think it’s a C.)

Tagline(s) – The World of the Dead and the World of the Living… are About to Collide. (D)

(Boooo. I get the idea but poor execution… which is probably what you can say about a lot of this film. I can’t in good conscience give this even an OK grade, even if the cadence is fine for the length.)

Keyword – hallucination

Top 10: Midsommar (2019), The Little Things (2021), The Father (2020), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), The Game (1997), Joker (2019), Suicide Squad (2016), Inception (2010), Chaos Walking (2021), The Big Lebowski (1998)

Future BMT: 89.4 Vampires Suck (2010), 82.8 Prom Night (2008), 70.0 The Unborn (2009), 67.8 Poltergeist (2015), 67.0 Halloween II (2009), 65.6 Pulse (2006), 63.0 Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983), 60.9 Darkness Falls (2003), 60.7 A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), 60.3 Brahms: The Boy II (2020);

BMT: Hellboy (2019), Fantasy Island (2020), Sucker Punch (2011), Batman & Robin (1997), Friday the 13th (2009), Event Horizon (1997), The Bodyguard (1992), The Mummy (2017), The Covenant (2006), After Earth (2013), The Last Witch Hunter (2015), Safe Haven (2013), Assassin’s Creed (2016), Seventh Son (2014), The Lone Ranger (2013), Truth or Dare (2018), The Golden Child (1986), Slender Man (2018), 10,000 BC (2008), Ghosts of Mars (2001), Max Payne (2008), Son of the Mask (2005), The Forest (2016), The Number 23 (2007), The Lawnmower Man (1992), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Flatliners (2017), Dreamcatcher (2003), Silent Hill: Revelation (2012), Dracula 2001 (2000), Ride Along 2 (2016), The Wicker Man (2006), The Rite (2011), Solarbabies (1986), Rings (2017), A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989), The Ring 2 (2005), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Toys (1992)

(The keywords falling off a cliff is so common I have to think it is because it takes a bunch of years for anything but the biggest films to gain enough edits to cover them all. Nonsense keyword in realist, but The Unborn I think is, at least, a real one. Mostly horror films as you would expect, with probably The Unborn being one of the biggest ones we haven’t watched yet.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Wes Bentley is No. 2 billed in Soul Survivors and No. 3 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) => 2 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 13. If we were to watch 200 Cigarettes, and Pearl Harbor we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – James Marsden turned down the role of Sean in favor of the part of Scott Summers/Cyclops in X-Men (2000). (Good choice)

Casey Affleck has gone on record to reveal that this movie and Drowning Mona (2000) were his two least favorite films on which he has worked.

Half Past Dead Preview

Kyle sits nervously outside the house of his estranged son Niall. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” he says despondently when Patrick asks what came between them. Jamie smirks, as if anything could shock them at this point. “Well…,” Kyle begins, “there was this cursed Egyptian amulet of immense power. Niall stole it using his hacking skillz. Everyone wanted it and so they went after him. In the end he put it on and… the power… it felt good. I guess it drove him a little crazy. So like I said, a bit of a wild card.” Jamie and Patrick nod in understanding. Gathering up courage they boldly stride to the door and knock in unison. As the door opens techno music blares and Niall dances his way to the doorstep looking pretty dope in his hacker clothez and a funky fresh ancient Egyptian amulet hanging from his neck. He slides his wildly fashionable sunglasses down his nose, “Daddio? That you?” Kyle nods sheepishly and looks closely at Niall. “How are you? Still a little wild?” he asks hesitantly. Niall waves him off and explains that he learned that “with great power comes great responsibility.” (Jamie and Patrick write that wholly original phrase down). Niall then ushers them into the house where he introduces his beautiful baby boy. It’s all very touching and they are on the verge of tears. Kyle and Niall go in for a hug when a shot rings out only to be blocked by the immense power of the amulet. “My god they’ve found me!” Niall yells, “Quick take the child. I’ll juke Miles’ stats, just keep little Niles safe.” The three of them look frantically at the child as Niall flees. What are we just three men and a baby or something? That’s wrong! We obviously aren’t watching the hit comedy classic Three Men and a Baby, but if Niall doesn’t get out of there quick he is gonna be… Half Past Dead. Starring Steven Seagal in pretty much his last starring role in a theatrical release this film looks bonkers and it’s no wonder it got a big ol’ BOMB by Leonard. Let’s go!

Half Past Dead (2002) – BMeTric: 63.0; Notability: 36

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.0%; Notability: top 48.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 1.4% Higher BMeT: Crossroads, Rollerball, Halloween: Resurrection, The Master of Disguise, Pluto Nash, Feardotcom, Scooby-Doo, Boat Trip; Higher Notability: Men in Black II, Scooby-Doo, The Time Machine, Star Trek: Nemesis, The Master of Disguise, Dragonfly, John Q, Unconditional Love, Collateral Damage, Showtime, Queen of the Damned, I Spy, Rollerball, The Country Bears, Bad Company, The Truth About Charlie, The Sweetest Thing, The Tuxedo, Pluto Nash, Analyze That, and 21 more; Lower RT: The Master of Disguise, Deuces Wild, Feardotcom; Notes: Pretty incredible the rating is rising at all if I’m being honest. It should absolutely stick below 5.0 I would think. The notability is about where I would expect, maybe even a bit high. It is a theatrical action film with a ton of rappers and stuff, but they almost definitely skimped on the crew.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Seagal is an undercover FBI agent who arrives as an inmate in prison on the same day a team of crooks – get this – break into the joint, to get a condemned man to tell them where there’s a hidden stash of gold bars. To call this bad is an understatement … even by Seagal standards. Followed by a direct-to-video sequel.

(There is a reason I’m pretty sure this is the last theatrical release by Seagal. I don’t know why all of the martial artists all went away at the same time, I wonder if someone wrote a book on it. Market corrected by Jackie Chan? The realization you could get actual actors like Nic Cage to star in weird action films? I don’t know, seems weird though that nearly all martial artists became straight-to-video at the same time.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNYoAd02Uo/

(My god the opening with Seagal spinning Ja Rule out of the car. Let’s see if they are going to give it away. Please give it away. Please. Oh shiiiiiiiit they didn’t do it! That’s impressive. Spoiler alert, but Seagal isn’t a convict, he’s an undercover agent. It isn’t hard to guess.)

Directors – Don Michael Paul – (Known For: Kindergarten Cop 2; The Scorpion King: Book of Souls; The Garden; Future BMT: Who’s Your Caddy?; BMT: Half Past Dead; Notes: He was an actor to some degree, even starring in a television series called The Hat Squad with Billy Warlock. He’s directed a ton of straight to video action sequels basically.)

Writers – Don Michael Paul (written by) – (Future BMT: Who’s Your Caddy?; Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man; BMT: Half Past Dead; Notes: He’s mostly been writing the straight to video stuff he’s directed over the last two decades. He sold his freshman script which became Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, although he was originally an actor.)

Actors – Morris Chestnut – (Known For: Boyz n the Hood; The Last Boy Scout; The Call; Girls Trip; Think Like a Man; G.I. Jane; Like Mike; Heist; Higher Learning; The Inkwell; The Best Man; Ladder 49; The Best Man Holiday; Confidence: After Dark; Scenes of the Crime; Two Can Play That Game; The Brothers; Future BMT: The Cave; Under Siege 2: Dark Territory; Identity Thief; When the Bough Breaks; The Perfect Holiday; The Perfect Guy; Breakin’ All the Rules; Kick-Ass 2; Not Easily Broken; BMT: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Half Past Dead; The Game Plan; Notes: Won the 1998 Madden Bowl which was a video game tournament between celebrities and professional athletes. Mostly does television now, like the title role in Rosewood.)

Steven Seagal – (Known For: Under Siege; Machete; Executive Decision; Above the Law; Beyond the Law; China Salesman; General Commander; Sniper: Special Ops; About Time; Code of Honor; The Onion Movie; Attrition; Killing Salazar; End of a Gun; Contract to Kill; The Foreigner; The Asian Connection; Maximum Conviction; The Perfect Weapon; Ticker; Future BMT: Under Siege 2: Dark Territory; Hard to Kill; Marked for Death; Out for Justice; BMT: On Deadly Ground; Half Past Dead; Fire Down Below; The Glimmer Man; Exit Wounds; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for On Deadly Ground in 1995; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1995 for On Deadly Ground; in 1998 for Fire Down Below; and in 2003 for Half Past Dead; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Executive Decision in 1997; and Nominee for Worst Original Song, and Worst Screen Couple for Fire Down Below in 1998; Notes: Famously a Bhuddist, he was even announced as a tulku (to some controversy) by his advisor. Has Serbian and Russian citizenship, both granted to him after visiting both countries.)

Ja Rule – (Known For: Assault on Precinct 13; Shall We Dance; Pauly Shore Is Dead; I’m in Love with a Church Girl; Goat; Back in the Day; Don’t Fade Away; Furnace; Future BMT: Scary Movie 3; The Cookout; Turn It Up; BMT: Half Past Dead; The Fast and the Furious; Notes: Born in Queens as Jeffrey Atkins. He apparently has a feud with 50 Cent and was born on Leap Day.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $15,567,860 (Worldwide: $19,233,280)

(Yeah that is some Hollywood accounting. There is no way they spent $25 million on a Seagal film in the mid-2000s. He was basically toast at this point career wise.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (3/88): Seagal is now too bulky to make a convincing action hero, and Half Past Dead is too silly and incoherent to deliver any visceral kicks.

(Oh snap, they actually call him fat in the Rotten Tomatoes consensus! That is coooooooold blooooooooded. Reviewer Highlight: It goes through the motions of an action thriller, but there is a deadness at its center, a feeling that no one connected with it loved what they were doing. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Half Past Sklog

(I’m glad they put all those colors on there or I wouldn’t know how rad this is. Seriously, though, if I saw this poster in a theater today I might just live there until it came out. Look at that tiny little Alcatraz in the corner! Nice font, interesting spacing, and pretty horrid colors. Comes out a little bit of a wash but I’ll give it a C+ just for funsies.)

Tagline(s) – The Good. The Bad. And the Deadly. (C+)

(It’s a little generic, but it does hit a lot of the right beats. It’s short and is trying to be clever. Basically, it sounds like a tagline and does its job adequately. I was gonna give it higher than it deserved, but then I looked and found another film with the same tagline… and it looks pretty amazing.)

Keyword – prison

Top 10: Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020), Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017), Boogie Nights (1997), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), The Goonies (1985), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), The Dark Knight (2008), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Future BMT: 88.2 Street Fighter (1994), 68.7 Supergirl (1984), 68.7 Gulliver’s Travels (2010), 66.2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 64.6 102 Dalmatians (2000), 57.5 The Counsellor (2013), 56.0 Ri¢hie Ri¢h (1994), 54.3 Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005), 54.3 Honey (2003), 51.9 Blackhat (2015);

BMT: Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), Over the Top (1987), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), The Last Witch Hunter (2015), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Assassin’s Creed (2016), A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), Tango & Cash (1989), Pixels (2015), Gamer (2009), Battlefield Earth (2000), Need for Speed (2014), Rambo III (1988), Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), Gangster Squad (2013), Judge Dredd (1995), Pompeii (2014), Zoolander 2 (2016), American Outlaws (2001), 10,000 BC (2008), Hudson Hawk (1991), Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003), Lock Up (1989), Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory (1990), A Haunted House 2 (2014), Problem Child (1990), xXx²: The Next Level (2005), Twisted (2004), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), Mortdecai (2015), 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001), Dungeons & Dragons (2000), Another 48 Hrs. (1990), Old Dogs (2009), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), Romeo Must Die (2000), Alex Cross (2012), Exit Wounds (2001)

(If I’m being honest, none of the future BMT films are very appealing. Street Fighter maybe, but I’ve seen the film a number of times. I guess Supergirl given it is apparently one of the worst films of all time, but I wish there were more terrible prison films you know? Just make one film set in future Alcatraz a year and I’d be pretty down to watch it.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Steven Seagal is No. 1 billed in Half Past Dead and No. 1 billed in Exit Wounds, which also stars Isaiah Washington (No. 3 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 5 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 1 + 1 + 3 + 5 + 2 + 3 = 15. If we were to watch Out for Justice we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – In an article for the German publication Berliner Kurier, Wolfgang Lindner recalls the eccentricities of Steven Seagal on the set. Reportedly, Seagal traveled everywhere in the company of a Buddhist adviser whose verdicts on the state of Seagal’s karma would be reason enough for Seagal to halt filming for a day. (Sounds about right)

Some aerial shots in this film were originally shot, but ultimately unused, for Michael Bay’s film The Rock (1996). Bay is very good friends with director Don Michael Paul and allowed him to use the footage in this film.

The shot of the skydivers jumping out of the airplane is footage from Navy Seals (1990).

Although writer/director Don Michael Paul praises Steven Seagal in the “making-of featurette” on the DVD, he has since gone on to give interviews saying that Seagal was a disruptive force on the set and that he would constantly turn up late and delay production for no apparent reason.

All indoor prison scenes were shot in an old STASI prison in Berlin, Germany.

The script to this film was written ten years prior to filming as The Rock (1996) but there was another script with the same title that was filmed so this one had to wait ten years later to be done (I don’t think that’s why it took 10 more years …)

Although many industry publications stated that the film’s budget was in the mid $20 million range, the actual figure is closer to $15 million. (I knew it!)

Near the beginning while the PST news report is running, the scroll at the bottom is either ridiculous or reflects the politics of the writers/producers and also in one case contradicts itself. As follows: Middle East Crisis Escalates, Stock Prices Surge – Pessimism Ebbing, Economy Sluggish-Gross National Product Flatlining, 27 Foot Great White Shark caught off Barrier Reef, Polar Ice Caps Melt-Global Warming to Blame.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Steven Seagal, 2003)

Toys Preview

“Riiiich and Poooooe,” Jamie croons ethereally as a dope hip hop beat plays behind the track, “They’ll never diiieeeee, noooooo,” he continues while Rachel and Patrick sway to the ghostly high pitched sound of his falsetto. “No matter what you sawwwww, this game is canon and you can’t kill the lawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Rich and Poe, alive forever. Peace.” He finishes in a whisper. There isn’t a dry eye in the room. Jamie and Patrick shrug at each other, it’s worth a shot. Likely a tie-in FMV VR music video game isn’t actually canon, no matter how many times Jamie mentions it in the lyrics (28, by Patrick’s count). But the most important thing is to get this single on the airwaves and start the hype machine a-hummin’. As Jamie turns to the computer in order to begin crafting the email to WGRG, he bumps into the giant box again. “Gah,” he says in frustration and bangs his hand on the lid. “Don’t take it out on the box,” scolds Patrick as he inspects the completely useless box for damage. But Jamie is already waving off the dumb, useless box and shoots off the email to WGRG. Just as he and Patrick are about to high five in celebration they hear that distinctive “You Rang” notice from the JeevesMail. An email from WGRG sits in the inbox titled “Rad Dopness for sure… BUT” But what? Jame purses his lips. No one seems satisfied with all the hits he’s churning out lately. When he opens the email the WGRG manager suggests they send over some Rich & Poe merch as a prize for the premier of the song to “really hype the film for the millennial gucci crowd.” Not a bad point, but what R&P toy should they make? That’s right! We’re watching the Robin Williams classic Toys. Obviously we saw this as children and really not many times since then. So I’m interested in whether it is in fact a misunderstood masterpiece. Plausible. It also had a tie-in video game that is apparently just the worst. Let’s go!

Toys (1992) – BMeTric: 58.4; Notability: 77

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 1.6%; Notability: top 3.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 23.4% Higher BMeT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Pet Sematary II; Lower RT: Man Trouble, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, The Opposite Sex and How to Live with Them, Mom and Dad Save the World, Passed Away, Ladybugs, Claire of the Moon, Mr. Baseball, The Distinguished Gentleman, The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag, Aces: Iron Eagle III, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, California Man, Mo’ Money, Class Act, Knight Moves, Freejack, Dr. Giggles, Blame It on the Bellboy and 16 more; Notes: My god, the highest notability of 1992. This was a huge film. Impressively low IMDb rating as well. Definitely a top bad movie from 1992.

RogerEbert.com – 2.5 stars – “Toys” is visually one of the most extraordinary films I’ve seen, a delight for the eyes, a bright new world. It takes place within the entirely imaginary world of a giant toy corporation, which springs from a limitless grain field as if there were no other buildings on earth.

(Incredible. We really are on a roll of sneaky good films. The Bodyguard and Toys back to back? I can say that will confidence because I’ve seen Toys a bunch of times and loved it as a kid. So there is no way I don’t watch it now and at least love it due to nostalgia.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP-TU0P2Lw4/

(Great trailer. Shows off the crazy set pieces, doesn’t overdo the absolutely over-the-top performance by Robin Williams, gives a good perspective on the overarching story (without touching on the final act pretty much at all). Like, actually seems like a delightful movie.)

Directors – Barry Levinson – (Known For: Sleepers; Rain Man; Bugsy; Diner; Avalon; Disclosure; The Natural; Good Morning, Vietnam; The Bay; Wag the Dog; Young Sherlock Holmes; What Just Happened; Bandits; The Last Act; Tin Men; Liberty Heights; An Everlasting Piece; Future BMT: Rock the Kasbah; Sphere; Jimmy Hollywood; Man of the Year; BMT: Envy; Toys; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Toys in 1993; Notes: Was nominated for 5 Oscars (winning one for directing Rain Man) and 11 Emmys (winning 4 times, twice for writing on The Carol Burnett Show, for producing Displaced Person, and for directing Homicide: Life on the Street). Does a lot of television work now including the upcoming Dopesick.)

Writers – Valerie Curtin (written by) – (Known For: …and justice for all.; Inside Moves; Best Friends; Future BMT: Unfaithfully Yours; BMT: Toys; Notes: Was married to Barry Levinson until the mid-80s, nominated alongside him for …and justice for all. Was in the original cast of Three’s Company, but was replaced after the pilot was picked up.)

Barry Levinson (written by) – (Known For: Sleepers; Tootsie; Diner; Avalon; High Anxiety; The Bay; …and justice for all.; Silent Movie; Inside Moves; Tin Men; Best Friends; Liberty Heights; Street Girls; Future BMT: Jimmy Hollywood; Man of the Year; Unfaithfully Yours; BMT: Toys; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Toys in 1993; Notes: Wrote Paterno, the big television movie starring Al Pacino. And is writing an upcoming tv movie called Sheela, about the leader of the Rajneesh movement from the 1980s which was profiled in the Netflix series Wild Wild Country.)

Actors – Robin Williams – (Known For: Jumanji; Good Will Hunting; Dead Poets Society; Night at the Museum; Aladdin; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Mrs. Doubtfire; Insomnia; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Popeye; Robots; Awakenings; Night at the Museum 2; The Butler; What Dreams May Come; The Birdcage; The Adventures of Baron Munchausen; Happy Feet; The Fisher King; Good Morning, Vietnam; Future BMT: Flubber; R.V.: Runaway Vacation; Nine Months; Fathers’ Day; Jack; Club Paradise; The Night Listener; Man of the Year; The Best of Times; The Survivors; To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; Jakob the Liar; Hook; Patch Adams; Bicentennial Man; August Rush; BMT: Toys; License to Wed; Old Dogs; The Big Wedding; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2000 for Bicentennial Man, and Jakob the Liar; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Death to Smoochy in 2003; Notes: Notable for being a Juilliard trained actor who cut his teeth in the stand up comedy scene of the 70s. Committed suicide in 2014, apparently due to dementia. Was nominated for four Oscars, and won for Good Will Hunting.)

Michael Gambon – (Known For: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; The Book of Eli; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; Kingsman: The Golden Circle; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; Fantastic Mr. Fox; The King’s Speech; Sleepy Hollow; Judy; Paddington 2; The Good Shepherd; Hail, Caesar!; Paddington; The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou; Gosford Park; Layer Cake; The Insider; Future BMT: The Omen; Mary Reilly; Mobsters; Clean Slate; BMT: Toys; Notes: Nominated for two Emmys, and was the replacement Dumbledore after Richard Harris passed away.)

Joan Cusack – (Known For: Sixteen Candles; Instant Family; The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Toy Story 4; School of Rock; Grosse Pointe Blank; Toy Story 3; High Fidelity; Say Anything…; Toy Story 2; Working Girl; Runaway Bride; Addams Family Values; Klaus; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; My Sister’s Keeper; Broadcast News; Let It Snow; Ice Princess; My Bodyguard; Future BMT: Snatched; Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil; Mr. Wrong; Nine Months; Mars Needs Moms; Chicken Little; Raising Helen; Class; The Allnighter; Corrina, Corrina; Where the Heart Is; Martian Child; BMT: Toys; Confessions of a Shopaholic; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars for In & Out and Working Girl. Was apparently the first regular cast member of SNL to be nominated for an Oscar. Of the Cusack acting family, including her brother John Cusack.)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $23,278,931 (Worldwide: $23,278,931)

(Oooof, that is a disaster. The budget is basically all production costs, which makes it all the worse. They apparently produced this stunning work of art from a production design perspective … and then the film was a totally mess and financial disaster. Too bad.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 30% (8/27): Like a colorfully overengineered gewgaw on the shelf, Toys might look like fun, but its seemingly limitless possibilities lead mainly to confusion and disappointment.

(That is definitely true. As a kid it was a real spectacle and Robin Williams is obviously the best for kids. Reviewer Highlight: The failure of Barry Levinson’s Toys is of a different order: it’s the kind of folly only a very fine filmmaker could make, a labor of misguided love. – David Ansen, Newsweek)

Poster – Please Enjoys Toys

(Clever and actually does hint a little at the plot… or at least Barry Levinson’s perspective while making the film. Absolutely great great great custom font and it certainly is unique. I like it. Striking. Maybe a little more color theme, but good. B-)

Tagline(s) – Laughter is a state of mind. (D)

(I don’t know what this means. I guess maybe it’s playing on the poster itself. That Robin William’s mind in the film is a Russian nesting doll of himself? I don’t know. Nonsense. But at least it’s short nonsense.)

Keyword – inventor

Top 10: Avengers: Endgame (2019), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), The Dark Knight (2008), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Avengers Assemble (2012), The Goonies (1985), Blade Runner 2049 (2017), The Prestige (2006)

Future BMT: 83.1 Inspector Gadget (1999), 68.7 Supergirl (1984), 65.0 Max Steel (2016), 57.1 Flubber (1997), 47.3 Blankman (1994), 46.3 Machete Kills (2013), 40.1 Paranoia (2013), 38.5 Two of a Kind (1983), 30.9 Van Helsing (2004), 30.4 Arthur and the Invisibles (2006);

BMT: Warcraft: The Beginning (2016), Fantastic Four (2015), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Geostorm (2017), Masters of the Universe (1987), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Pixels (2015), Wild Wild West (1999), Tango & Cash (1989), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), Hudson Hawk (1991), Toys (1992), Jobs (2013), Envy (2004), A Sound of Thunder (2005), Ernest Goes to Jail (1990)

(I’m here for the other Robin Williams inventor bad movie, Flubber. Mostly has been buoyed in recent years from Tony Stark and Beast in the new X-Men films from what I can tell.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: LL Cool J is No. 7 billed in Toys and No. 2 billed in Rollerball, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 7 + 2 + 1 + 2 = 12. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – Theatrical movie debut of Jamie Foxx (Baker).

It took writer, producer, and director Barry Levinson over ten years to develop this movie. It took ten months to shoot.

Much of the look drew its inspiration from surrealist painter René Magritte. This is most obvious in the break in scene where Leslie Zevo (Robin Williams) and Alsatia Zevo (Joan Cusack) pretend they’re doing a music video featuring raining men in the background.

As of May, 2001 the Zevo Tombstone (the stone elephant) resides at Planet Hollywood in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

The blue car that Leslie (Robin Williams) drove was a rare 1950 Muntz Jet, of which fewer than four hundred were made.

In the arcade sequence, where a child is shown playing one of the military games of a helicopter destroying civilian vehicles, a “kill” monitor is visible at the bottom of the screen listing the number of cars destroyed by model. Only the Volvo column is still at zero kills, an in-joke referring to the Volvo’s legendary safety and indestructibility.

The scene with Leslie Zevo (Robin Williams) addressing his troops was ad-libbed. Levinson kept a camera rolling everytime Williams was on-set.

The “electric jacket” worn by Robin Williams was created by Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini.

In the arcade scene, the introduction to “Tank Gunner” is actually the introduction to Absolute Entertainment’s Super Battletank. One year later, Absolute Entertainment released the video game adaptation for this movie. (Oooooooo I’m going to play that!!)

A long-cherished project for writer, producer, and director Barry Levinson, this was originally set to be his directorial debut.

The words used by Lieutenant General Leland Zevo (Sir Michael Gambon) in an attempt to stop the rampaging sea creature are “Klaatu, Barada, Nikto”, the same words used to command the robot Gort in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008). Also, these were the same words Ash (Bruce Campbell) was supposed to use in Army of Darkness (1992) prior to picking up the necronomicon. (That is a super fun fact)

Italian designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti spent over one year designing the sumptuous sets, which took over every soundstage at Twentieth Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles. (Awesome)

Robin Williams and Joan Cusack performed “The Mirror Song” themselves in the MTV scene. (Amazing)

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Ferdinando Scarfiotti, Linda DeScenna, 1993)

Nominee for the Oscar for Best Costume Design (Albert Wolsky, 1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Barry Levinson, 1993)