Category Archives: Films Released in 1998
Directed by Danny Cannon
Written by Trey Callaway
Based on characters created by Lois Duncan
I still know what you did last summer. Well la-de-fucking-da. I don’t give a monkey’s balls about what you did last summer. All I know is that I hope to holy hell it wasn’t spent watching this putrid excuse for a sequel to a somewhat but not always putrid excuse for a movie. I was going to post my original review for “I Know What You Did Last Summer” as my review for “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.” All I would have had to do was change a few names and add in words like Bahamas, voo-doo, boat, storm and slasher and I would have been done. In fact, I really don’t have very much to say about the movie. But don’t go away, because I have visual aids.
Okay, the first picture I’m going to show you is the best part of “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer”. Are you ready? Here goes nothing.
For those of you who guessed that these belong to Jennifer Love Hewitt (Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties), give yourselves a pat on the back. This is not me being a male chauvinist pig; this is just me saying that the only thing good about this movie really had nothing to do with the movie since they could have re-cast the part in the first place if Hewitt had not been available for some odd reason. Oh, and I said ‘kitties’ in the parenthetical section of the previous sentence; not that other word that rhymes with ‘kitties’.
Okay, now I’m going to show you the absolute worst part of “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer”. I warn you it is not a pretty sight.
If you guessed that this is Jack Black (King Kong) in dreadlocks I don’t know whether to feel sorry for you or to tell you to give yourself a pat on the back. Needless to say I don’t think I have wished for a character’s demise to come as quickly as I did this one. Annoying does not even begin to describe Black as Titus Telesco.
I hope you enjoyed my little visual presentation of the best and the worst of “I Still Know—oh screw it; I really don’t care. If it will keep you from seeing it, then I have done my civic duty or some crap like that.
Early promotional material, including the theatrical trailer, credit Stephen Gaghan as co-writer of the screenplay. In the final credits, only Trey Callaway is credited.
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URBAN LEGEND-United States/France-1998
Directed by Jamie Blanks
Written by Silvio Horta
I heard this one from a friend of a friend’s second cousin’s twice removed roommate. It’s about this blogger who writes this ratty little horror film blog and uses it as a cover-up to commit horrible crimes. I heard that in reality he was that guy that played on “The Wonder Years.” You know the guy, right? The one that everyone thought was Marilyn Manson. You don’t suppose someone would make all that up, do you? You don’t think it’s all a…gasp…urban legend?
Of course it’s an urban legend. The blogger is me and the only horrible crime I ever committed was occasionally not washing my hands after peeing. That guy from “The Wonder Years” was Josh Saviano; who didn’t go on to become Marilyn Manson since Brian Warner already took that moniker. Don’t you just love urban legends? I certainly do; which brings me to the movie that I am going to wax so non-poetically upon: “Urban Legend”. This movie about a serial killer picking off the students at a college campus in the style of famous urban legends is certainly not the film you want to watch if you want to be the next Al Pacino or Meryl Streep. Let’s face it; thespian technique is not why you watch this movie.
Maybe you watch the movie to see Natasha Gregson Wagner get her head chopped off by the killer in the back seat; the very killer that nice man tried to warn her about. Then again maybe you’d had enough of Joshua Jackson and “Dawson’s Creek”; so you loved it when he was hung over the car while the girl sat unwittingly inside. What about poor Danielle Harris? Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light? As for you, Michael Rosenbaum; didn’t anyone ever tell you that you can’t microwave your dog and that you shouldn’t mix Drano with Pop Rocks? And is that really Tara Reid screaming bloody murder over the airwaves; or is it that 911 recording of an actual murder that the Ohio Players lifted for their song “Love Rollercoaster”? Sorry, Coen Brothers, but Tara’s not going to be sucking anything for a thousand dollars anytime soon.
Do you see where I’m leading with all this? “Urban Legend” is that rare movie in which the imaginative kills make it all the more fun. At least that’s what my cousin told me and he heard it from his brother’s girlfriend’s best friend. So tell me; would I lie to you?
If you look behind Natalie (Alicia Witt) and Parker (Michael Rosenbaum) in the auditorium, you will see the writer Silvio Horta acting as a college student.
The book sitting on the desk in Professor Wexler’s desk in his class is “The Vanishing Hitchhiker,” which is one of the seminal texts on urban legends.
At the end of the movie, students from an unnamed college recount the movie’s events as an urban legend. They joke about the tale’s validity, and one says, “And I bet Brenda was the girl from the Noxzema commercials.” Actress Rebecca Gayheart, who plays Brenda in the film, did indeed appear in several commercials for Noxzema.
The last name of Natasha Gregson Wagner’s character is ‘Mancini’. Don Mancini is the name of the writer of all the “Child’s Play” films, and the other actor that is featured in the beginning of the film, Brad Dourif, does the voice of Chucky.
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Directed by Stephen Norrington
Written by David S. Goyer
A history lesson, if you please. In 1978 there was Christopher Reeve as Superman and we all believed that a man could fly. It was the beginning of a new era of the cinema; the beginning of the superhero genre as we know it today. Well, then again, maybe not. After two spectacular films, the Man of Steel went just a little bit limp.
Cut to 1989 and Tim Burton decides to give it another go, this time with Supe’s Gotham City comrade, Batman. Burton even went so far as to cast against type when he hired comic actor Michael Keaton to fill the cowl of the Caped Crusader. Fanboys everywhere were wetting their pants and tearing up their parent’s basements in anger at this indignity. Then Keaton showed them all what he could do and everyone shut the hell up. Once again, the superhero genre was in full swing. Well, not so fast. In 1997, we were given Batman and Robin. How bad was it? It was so bad that you could literally hear the hopes that so many people had for the superhero genre as they lay screaming and bleeding in the streets. With something as small as nipples on the Batsuit the genre was finished, kaput.
Exit the Bat, enter Blade. I will argue with any man, woman or child on this planet and I will stand by my belief that not only is Blade a great vampire film, it is also the one film responsible for the superhero genre as we know it today. If you don’t know the story of Blade I’ll explain to you in nine words: he’s a bad ass motherfucker and he kills vampires. In the original film he’s on the trail of Deacon Frost. Deacon is trying to raise a vampire god that will make bloodsuckers all powerful, therefore making the humans their cattle. Does Blade save the day? Watch the movie and find out.
Blade s not a perfect movie. There are scenes that look cartoonish and the acting leaves a bit to be desired. But without Blade, there would be no Batman Begins. There would be no Dark Knight. There would be no superhero film as we know it today. While I’m at it, you can’t tell me that Blade wasn’t an influence on 1999′s The Matrix. Some of the action sequences and the costume designs are very reminiscent of scenes from Blade. Let’s face it; without Blade, all we would have is the nipples. I’m shuddering just thinking about it.
LL Cool J was originally considered for the part of Blade.
In the scene where Blade is chased to the subway, and the subway train is passing by, all the passengers are cardboard cutouts with the special FX man among them.
The true name of the Blade character is Eric Brooke. (“Eric” is mentioned once in the film, and Blade’s mother’s driver’s license says Vanessa Brooks of Bradenton, Florida).
When the film was first being developed, David Fincher was supposed to direct. He later dropped out to pursue other projects.
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- Blade – 1998 (jdcwitherton.com)
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- Review: “Batman” (1989) (viewerscommentary.wordpress.com)
- ‘Community’ and Britta’s Blade problem (marquee.blogs.cnn.com)
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- Community Season 3 Episode 15 – Origins of Vampire Mythology (geeksyndicate.wordpress.com)
JOHN CARPENTER’S VAMPIRES-United States-1998
Directed by John Carpenter
Screenplay by Don Jakoby
Based on the novel by John Steakley
There is a major rule of thumb that everyone involved in movie making should take to heart. It’s called the KISS rule and it stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. John Carpenter knows all about the KISS rule. He’s been doing it for years and he’s made some of the best low budget horror films in history. That includes They Live, Christine and to an extent this movie, Vampires. To Carpenter, vampires are traditional. They sleep during the day and they rise at night to feed on the blood of the living. They burst into flame when exposed to sunlight and they die when you drive a wooden stake through their hearts. The only difference between traditional vampires and Carpenter’s vampires is the quantity. There’s a whole damn bunch of the blood-suckers in Carpenter’s movie.
The film revolves around Jack Crow, head vampire slayer for the Vatican itself. Jack’s team has just been by slaughtered by the master vampire, Valek. He’s out for revenge and he will stop at nothing to get it. Of course, being a master vampire you can’t just expect Valek to lie down and play un-dead. That wouldn’t be very sporting, now would it? Valek has an agenda all his own. He’s after an ancient relic that will grant him the ability to walk in the sunlight. Will Jack Crow get major wood and rise to the task of killing Valek, or will Valek have his day in the sun?
Vampires is not the best vampire film ever made. That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. It is. James Woods is in all his scenery chewing glory as Jack Crow. This film was made long before he became a Family Guy caricature. Thomas Ian Griffith has his last major film role as Valek. After this it’s been strictly direct-to-video for him. I hope he enjoyed it while it lasted. Sheryl Lee, Daniel Baldwin and Maximilian Schell round out the cast as hooker turned bloodsucker, vampire slayer and priest. No actual vampires were harmed in the making of this film and a splendid time is guaranteed by all.
Just before production began the studio cut the budget by 2/3, and the filmmakers had to furiously rework the story to fit. According to John Steakley, who wrote the novel, the finished film contained much of his dialogue and none of his plot.
There are many similarities with this and another vampire film made the same year,Blade. Both are about a vampire killer, and they both have a similar plot of vampires trying to complete an arcane ritual that would allow them to move about in daylight. They also both feature a female character slowly turning into a vampire throughout. In addition, Tim Guinee appears in both films.
Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Story by David Wechter and Bruce Kimmel
Screenplay by Kevin Williamson
The Faculty is a blatant rip-off of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and a damn good one at that. It takes the same idea of aliens taking us over one person at a time and it puts it in the smaller scale of Herrington High School. The first ones to go are the faculty (e.g. the title of the film). The students have always suspected them of being from another planet, now they’re convinced. It doesn’t stop there. The parents are next, then the authorities. Now the students are starting to act funny. The same couple that was arguing and slapping the hell out of each other just a few days ago are now as docile as lambs. Six of the students; Casey, Zeke, Delilah, Stan, Stokely and Marybeth all know that there’s something strange happening here. Casey (Elijah Wood) sums it up for all of us when he asks “If you were going to take over the world, would you blow up the White House ‘Independence Day’ style, or sneak in through the back door?” It was after this film when I started realizing what a piece of garbage ID4 actually was. I mean, for heaven’s sake, do aliens think we are going to be dumb enough to let them just hover over our major cities?Don’t even get me started on Godzilla.
The only gripe I have about The Faculty is that the acting comes across as stiff in some scenes. For the most part however the cast all give good performances. Rodriguez regular Salma Hayek (Santanico Pandemonium in From Dusk ’til Dawn) has a small part as the school nurse. Piper Laurie (Carrie) is good as a teacher and Robert Patrick chews the scenery as Coach Willis.
The Faculty was the first film I ever saw from director Robert Rodriguez. It has remained one of my favorites despite the fact I’m way past the age group the film is aimed toward. Rodriguez has been a favorite director of mine ever since this film. From Dusk ’til Dawn, Sin City, Machete and Planet Terror are all excellent films from a director who I personally feel has yet to unleash his masterpiece on the world.
Jon Stewart plays Prof. Edward Furlong in this movie. Actor Edward Furlong played John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), chased by the T-1000 Terminator played by Robert Patrick (Coach Joe Willis).
At one point, the principal suggests saving money by reusing the set from “Our Town”. The joke in this is that Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” has no set.
A lot of the filming was done at the high school in Lockhart Texas. The football team was used and the city was told to show up for the football game and were given fake t-shirts to wear in the stands.
BRIDE OF CHUCKY-United States-1998
Directed by Ronny Yu
Written by Don Mancini
I watched Bride of Chucky for the first time upon it’s release in 1998. I paid my ticket, bought my popcorn and soda (essentials, remember?) and sat down in the darkened theater to watch the movie. I had been pretty damn disappointed by the third film in the installment so I admit I was a little wary of this new Chucky film. I have to say I’m damn glad I was wrong. I laughed my ass off this entire film. Yes, it’s fairly gory, but how can you not laugh when two rubber dolls have kidnapped Katherine Heigl and her boyfriend so that they can transport their souls into the two human bodies. Not only that, but we get to see the greatest dang sex scene in the history of the cinema when Chucky and Tiffany do the horizontal mamba. That is, after he assures her he doesn’t need a rubber. He’s all rubber!!
Then you have the great John Ritter showing his versatility as the chief of police Warren Kincaid. Chief Warren is dead set against his beloved niece Jade (Heigl) dating that ne’er-do-well Jesse. Hey, Warren, if Chucky and Tiffany are successful in transporting their souls into Jade and Jesse’ bodies and vice-versa then the main thing you’re going to have to worry about is buying clothes for Jade in the Barbie doll section at Toys ‘r’ Us.
This movie is a hoot from beginning to end. Hoot is Southern for a whole lot of fun. But that’s okay, you don’t have to be from the South to have a good time with this film. An appreciation for doll sex and John Ritter will do just fine.
In the opening scene Michael Myers’ and Jason’s masks (from the Halloween and Friday the 13th movies), Leatherface’s chain saw (from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies), and Freddy Kruger‘s glove (from the Nightmare on Elm Street movies) are visible.
The date on Tiffany’s newspaper clippings at the beginning of the movie and the date of death on Charles Lee Ray‘s tombstone is 9 November 1988, the release date of the first Child’s Play movie.
Julia Stiles got the part of Jade, but later dropped out to play a role in “10 Things I Hate About You”