2020 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 7: Black Circle Boys (1998)

Day 7: They’re Out to Get You: One with Heavy Paranoia (real or imagined).

“I don’t want to take lessons! I wanna have a fucking band! Fucking be like Deicide! Deicide. Yes, Deicide!”
—Shane Carver, loser leader of the Black Circle Boys

Yeah, maybe the guitar is broke, douche-dick.

I won’t say I hate this movie. But I was certainly disappointed by this movie, considering it “starred” John Doe of X and dealt with a misguided ne’er do well finding solace in black metal music. A group of Satan worshiping dopers want to start a band—and kill people—and John Doe? I’m up for that.

Oh, be careful for what ye hail, black metal and horror film buff.

What we ended up with here is an all-male version of—without the supernatural hocus pocus—1996’s much better The Craft, which also gave us a peek into the teenaged occult, as well as 1987’s The Lost Boys. And, oh shite, this film pulls the ‘ol Eric Roberts (Power 98) bait-n-switch on you. (Bastards!) Either John Doe was cast—in typical Eric Roberts fashion—for one scene just to get a brand name on the box/in the credits, or Doe’s work as a police detective investigating the Black Circle Boys Murders, for whatever reason, ended up on the cutting room floor. And sorry, Donnie Wahlberg is cool these days (and excellent) in TV’s Blue Bloods, but he just isn’t an effective consolation prize when we came to see John Doe (but, truth be told, the ex-New Kids on the Block member, in his third acting role, is very good as Greggo, effeminate Satanist who introduced Shane to the Black Arts). Oh, yeah . . . blink and you’ll miss Lisa Loeb (remember her gal-paldom with Ethan Hawke and hitting the U.S. Top 10 in 1994 with “Stay (I Missed You)” from Reality Bites?) as an “angry goth chick” in a club.

As you can see, the casting on this movie is flat out, upside down FUBAR’d. Why would a production (granted, it’s low budget, but still) take known commodities—that inspire us to rent in the first place—such as John Doe and Lisa Loeb—and place them in one scene cameos; each should be in the larger, respective roles of Detective Roy, played by Victor Morris (NBC-TV’s In the Line of Duty film series and Bigger Than the Sky), and the Dead Head-high schooler Chloe, played by Tara Subkoff (The Last Days of Disco; The Notorious Betty Page).

True, both Morris and Subkoff are affable in the roles, but wouldn’t you, as The Devil’s Advocate (sorry) producer, want to predominately feature Doe and Loeb’s names on the box in smaller type under the leads and copywrite-plug their past, known works on the box’s flipside? Loeb could totally pull off the wiles of a hippy chick high schooler—and you could feature her playing the acoustic guitar and singing a folk song—to the antithesis of the goth kids running the school. And if you’ve seen John Doe’s work in A Matter of Degrees and his co-starring role as Teddy Connor, the leader of the once great Wotan, in the NBC-TV Law & Order: TOS 2003 “Ripped from the Headlines” episode “Blaze” (which took it scripting cues from Great White’s tragic 2003 performance at The Station night club in Rhode Island*), you know that Doe not only carries a film as a lead actor with distinction—he can pull off a goth rocker with class and style. (Sorry, Donnie. No offense. We love Doe ’round these ‘ere Allegheny wilds and crush any actor before him.)

Ye, hail Teddy Connor! Courtesy of Gregory Hill Design/NBC-TV

But alas . . . Black Circle Boys was made in 1998 and not 1988; so the producers decided to appeal to the then nostalgic-maturing New Kids on the Block contingent, instead of the ol’ punk codgers (aka myself and B&S boss Sam) who admire John Doe and rocked out to X in the ’80s via The Decline of Western Civilization and Urgh! A Music War. And yeah, David Newsom (ABC-TV’s Homefront) is a fine actor (and now a successful reality television producer; kudos, Dave!), but the divine Dee Wallace Stone of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and The Howling fame is wasted in her “Eric Roberts Casting” as the troubled mom; Wallace would have been more effectively utilized in Newsom’s larger role as the swim coach-physics teacher hybrid—and being the horndogs we are, even get a few scenes of her in a curve-accentuating one piece. And yes . . . that is the pride of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Richard “Les Nesman” Sanders of WKPX in Cincinnati (check out our review of FM) also being woefully underutilized in his one (uh, I think it was two?) shot role as Principal Dunkel. (At this point, the producers should have called in Eric Roberts—who we friggin’ love like blood around here. And yes, another major f-up by the producers: not having Killing Joke on the soundtrack, Deicide references be damned.)

Now, that’s how you cast, music consult, and sell tickets, kiddies. But alas, I am a schlub writer and not a casting director or music consultant. . . .

So, anyway . . . We meet Kyle (Scott Bairstow of FOX-TV’s Party of Five), a star high school swimmer wallowing in depression over a personal loss (an idiot friend fell off a bridge/water tower and broke his neck while they were drunk; instead of moving on and taking responsibility, Kyle blames “the world”)—which makes him easy pickings for paranoia-poster child Shane Carver (a very good Eric Mabius; big screen debut in Welcome to the Dollhouse, noticed in Cruel Intentions) and his little goth clique, The Black Circle Boys. Kyle is introduced to hard booze, drugs, devil worship, and frog beheadings-by-mouth in quick succession . . . and murder, by way of drug-dealing Rory (an early Chad Lindberg of The Fast and the Furious), a BCB “slave-trainee” by Shane as a form of sacrifice. Along the way the boys start a band, which is an utter failure. So, out of frustration—and a parnoid belief his goth-clique is betraying him—Shane starts killing off the other members of ‘the Circle.

At least I think that’s what happened. Yeah, they lost me. That’s what happens when you deny me of my John Doe fix, boondoggle me with Donnie Wahlberg, and don’t give us the black metal we came for and stick us with a bunch of never-heard-of bargain bin basement clutter that is neither “black” nor “metal” or anything worthy of woof or a tweet. I mean, come on . . . a movie about “black metal murders” that only uses the word “Satan” once? And what in the Sam Hill (another music consultant f-up: no Glenn Danzig and Samhain**) is this B.S. referring to Satan as “Father” all the time? Get the Anton LeVey (The Devil’s Rain) out of here, Mr. Politically Correct screenwriter. Fuck, dude.

And what the hell, bass player? Learn your root, 3rd, and 5th triads. Fuck me. Even the shittiest of shite bassists know ’em. You deserved Shane slashing your throat and tossin’ your lame ass off a bridge. I’d nut-punch you myself, dick breath. The Relentless from American Satan would dissolve you and your “boys” into a puddle just by pissing on ‘ya. Pusswads.

In the end, what we have here is an ineffective, low-budget variant of 1987’s far superior River’s Edge (starring Crispin Glover and Keanu Reeves), in the Black Circle Boys claims in its promotional materials that it is “Based on a True Story.”

F-You, marketing department. Your “true story” and John Doe bait-n-switch be damned, pisses me off. And you too, Mr. Music Consultant.

That “true story” takes us back to Slayer, whose loud and aggressive music—featuring violent themes that would even scare Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath—went beyond the usual horror-film influenced, satanic lyrical themes to include odes to sadism, necrophilia, serial killers, and Nazi death camps. Not helping Slayer’s reputation in the eyes of the Moral Majority was Slayer’s music being predominately featured in the River’s Edge, the film itself based upon the 1981 California murder of Marcy Renee Conrad and the 1984 New York murder of Gary Lauwers, where their troubled-teen killers bragged about and returned to the murder site of their victims.

The most catastrophic example of this ignorance regarding hard rock and heavy metal music was the highly publicized, 1994 West Memphis 3 case in which questionable “evidence” led to the wrongful conviction of three non-conformist boys as murderous Satanists. Their only guilt: a shared interest in rock music, horror films, and unconventional art and books (you know, guys like myself and Sam, B&S About Movies’ boss. And we’re harmless, really).

A seriously f-up dude giving AC/DC a bad name.

The occult and the America justice system simmered in a cauldron of abhorrence and ignorance once again in the 1999 Columbine massacre, as satanic-panic maligned the music of shocker-rocker Marilyn Manson and, to a lesser extent, the industrial/goth bands KMFDM and Rammstein as underlying causes. The misguided controversy forced Manson to cancel the remaining dates of his 1999 Rock Is Dead world tour and negatively affected the sales of his third album, Mechanical Animals (1998). Additionally slandered as “co-conspirators” were Oliver Stone, by way of the Quentin Tarantino-scripted Natural Born Killers, in addition to the designers behind the video games Doom, Wolfstein 3D, and Duke Nukem. (A 1999 Rolling Stone article: “Columbine: Whose Fault is It?,” in addition to Dave Cullen’s 2009 in-depth tome, Columbine, examine the tragedy.)

Paving the way for the legal atrocities of the West Memphis 3 was the 1986 case regarding the seminal British metal band, Judas Priest. In that judicial miscarriage against the creative arts, the parents of two Reno, Nevada, teenaged boys sued Judas Priest and its label, Columbia Records, for $6.2 million dollars, claiming the band’s 1978 release, Stained Class, contained backward, subliminal messages that drove the boys to suicide (the court dismissed the case in 1990).

F-in railroaded. Man, Don’t even get me started.

Prior to Judas Priest’s slandering by religious zealots, Ozzy Osbourne, the ex-lead singer of Black Sabbath, became the victim of another bogus suicide-by-rock music claim. Three sets of parents sued the “Prince of Darkness” between 1985 and 1990, claiming the song “Suicide Solution” from Ozzy’s 1980 debut album, Blizzard of Oz, encouraged their young sons to commit suicide—all three cases were eventually dismissed. In an archetypal overreaching misconstrue by the Christian Right blinded by satanic-panic to deflect their parental failures and to excuse the “misadventures” of their own children, the clearly anti-alcohol and an anti-suicide song, with lyrics written by bassist Bob Daisley, was a touching tribute to Bon Scott, the then recently deceased lead singer of AC/DC (AC/DC: Let There Be Rock). Other tomes claim it was actually about Daisley’s concerns regarding Ozzy’s health. Whatever Daisley’s lyrical motivation, the song certainly is not a clarion for teenagers to commit suicide.

Anyway, back to Black Circle Boys.

This ain’t no River’s Edge and director Joe Berlinger’s theatrical, three-film documentary series Paradise Lost is more disturbing and far more engrossing (in addition to the non-fiction books Blood of Innocents by Guy Reel and Mara Leveritt’s Devil’s Knot, both which examine the WM3 tragedy at length; the later book itself was adapted into a 2013 film). If the filmmakers behind Black Circle Boys had only adhered to their source material: David St. Clair’s 1987 expose Say You Love Satan, about 17-year-old Ricky Kasso and the murderous exploits of the Knights of the Black Circle (which resulted in the death of the aforementioned Gary Lauwers).

You can stream Black Circle Boys for free on You Tube, as it is not available on any streaming platforms. Used copies of the unnerving Say You Love Satan are readily available in the online marketplace—it’s a highly suggested read. In fact, read the book instead of watching this movie.

Seriously, though: The appreciation of a film—whether it is good or bad, well-made or poorly made—is based in the age of the viewer; for film appreciation is of a time and place. While I love my horror movies (Phantasm to Rocktober Blood) and my Killing Joke, Samhain, The Misfits, Venom, King Diamond, and Deicide as much as the next guy, I was already ensconced in adulthood (wearing shirts with collars, even ties!) when Black Circle Boys was released. So, if you were in middle school or just starting high school at the time Black Circle Boys was released—as I was when the juvenile delinquency drama Over the Edge was released in 1979—rewatching this film will warm the cockles as your own person “classic” film.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

* The Great White tragedy also served as the basis for the Mark L. Lester-directed and Eric Roberts-starring Groupie.

** Glenn Danzig is in the filmmaking biz these days. We recently reviewed his film Verotika. Yeah, we adore auteur projects and movies with rock stars ’round here. Speaking of which . . .

Do, you want to write for us? We have a “John Doe Week” coming up in December. You can get all the deets, HERE.

Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)

Ah, the late 1990’s, when teen comedies came back for a while. What a simpler time than today, trapped in our homes and constantly waiting for he inevitable next chapter of the end of all things. Or something, right?

This is where the career of so many of your favorite stars began. You can literally play spot the star here.

Figuring that the best part of teen movies were the party scenes, this movie is basically one long party scene. I guess that’s the way to do it, as hijinks ensue movies off a meager set-up are so much of what I watch.

While it takes it’s title from The Replacements song, it really doesn’t have much to do with the song (other than featuring it in the credits).

Ethan Embry and Jennifer Love Hewitt are the main stars here, star-crossed lovers who absoutely must come together for the good of the story. Along the way, there are many last night — when high school seemed like the end all, be all of our existence — moments that must have a resolution before college begins.

That said, this film smartly sets up that yesterday’s cool senior is tomorrow’s geek freshman. This lesson would serve you well for your entire life, reminding you that you must continually prove yourself.

Of course, Clea Duvall’s Jana is my favorite character, although I find the fact that she ended up hooking up with Steth Green’s Kenny to be out of character. That said, high school is about being out of character.

Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont would go on to make Josie and the Pussycats, a movie that’s way better than it has any right to be.

Tainted (1998)

What if Kevin Smith introduced vampires into his 1994 debut breakthrough film, Clerks? Well, courtesy of that spare $35,000 in actor-writer Sean Farley’s pocket, we have our answer. Oh, and don’t be distributor duped: Troma didn’t bankroll or produce this: they only gave it a national release (beyond the film’s initial, self-distributed Midwest boarders) via the Tainted Vampire Collection, a DVD three-pack with the SOV-analogous Sucker the Vampire and Rockabilly Vampire. But this Michigan-lensed slacker vs. vamp fest is definitely more Lloyd Kaufman than Richard Linklater. It’s more Andy Milligan that Quentin Tarantino. It makes Don Dohler look like John Carpenter. And check the Sam Raimi comedy-horror mix at the door of the Evil Dead cabin, Sumerian demons be damned.

So. Is this a ripoff or homage to Smith?

Well, Clerks had a convenience store. Tainted has a video store. Clerks had the customer-abusing smart assery of video clerk Randal Graves and the less verbally-sharp convenience store jockey Dante Hicks. Tainted has the customer-abusing smart assery of video clerk J.T. (actor-writer Sean Farley) and the less verbally-sharp clerkin’ sidekick with Ryan. All Randal and Dante wanted to do was play hockey on the roof. All J.T. and Ryan want to do is go to a midnight-moving screening of Bladerunner*. And like Randal and Dante, J.T. and Ryan slack off and yakity-yak riff on each other all day long. Smith had $7,500 less-in-his-pocket than Farley. And Clerks was shot on an Arri SR camera running 16mm black and white. Farley shot in color on video.

Yeah, uh, we’re not in the View Askewiverse anymore, Antie Em. For this ain’t Blade. This ain’t Near Dark. For you’ve just clicked your heels into the Ed Wood Plan Niniverse, Dorothy.

You ever have one of those co-workers who rat-a-tat bulldozers their way through conversations with a faux-poignancy, so impressed with themselves and opinions and, with each jaw-hinging, you’re hit with their pretentious-tainted and substance-void breaths? And you just want to punch them in their trite-spewing face, then cram a Tic-Tac down their throat — in lieu of doing them the “favor” they just asked for?

That’s J.T.

And J.T. and his he-makes-me-seem-more-important sidekick Ryan are stranded after hours at The Video Zone (actually Detroit’s Thomas Video) when their ride punks out — and there’s nothing of more importance in this world than making that Bladerunner showing. So, as any self-centered I-could-give-a-shite-about-you personality would do: the slacker-duo beg a ride from the new clerk, Alex (Dean Chekvala). Oh, and unbeknownst to our two Clerks-clone: Alex is a vampire. And so is Aida, Alex’s girlfriend. And when Alex’s car breaks down (natch), they hoof it to Aida’s house — and find her staked by local sociopath vampire Slain, who’s intent on tainting the local plasma supply and hoarding all the clean corpuscles for his own fangs. And, with that, Alex recruits Randal and Dante J.T. and Ryan on a low-budget, hallucinogenic journey across the “D” to foil Slain’s insane plan. And J.T. and Ryan, for once, have to care for something bigger than their Seinfeld-nothingness selves (sorry, Sam!).

Granted, Tainted is surely an interesting, fresh take on the played-out vampire vs. vampire genre, but if this had only nixed the vampires and stuck to being a low-budget tale about two (or three) carless losers on a Homeresque odyssey across Detroit (say, like Adam Rifkin’s pretty-darn-cool coming of age get-to-the-Kiss-concert-at-any-costs teen comedy Detroit Rock City) to get to that Bladeunner midnight movie showing, we’d be onto something. But $35,000 does not a (good) vampire flick make. And Farley is off the vanity calling-card rails with his purposeful, spotlight dialog-diatribes. Yeah, it’s intelligent at times, but the “snappiness” simply runs-on (and on) way too long — like some of the shots in the film (including “shakey cams”!) — and quickly transitions from a cut-’em-some-slack-because-it’s-an-SOV-and-they’re-trying quaint blood sucker to being just plain annoying. And in a closing twist that would send Sam on a Shirley Doe-killing spree across Lawrenceville, we have the longest-running set of end credits (to pad that running time) in horror film history.

In a cool, ironic twist: Dean Chekvala kept on thespin’ away (he’s actually very good here) and worked his way up to guest-starring roles on TV’s Num3bers, the NCIS franchise, and Without a Trace to a recurring role on HBO’s True Blood. Sam Raimi junkies may recognize Sean Farley from his work on Raimi’s failed post-Evil Dead work, Crimewave (1985), but he’s since retired from the biz. Director Brian Evans hasn’t directed, lensed, or edited a film since, but he’s carved (sorry) himself a commendable, behind-the-scenes career on a wide variety of direct-to-video flicks, feature films, and network television series.

There’s no trailer or clips available, but you can watch the full film on You Tube.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

* We had a post-apoc blowout back in September 2019, so do check out our two-part “Atomic Dustbin” catch-all overview of the genre that also features links to all of our film reviews.

Blade (1998)

Say what you will about its CGI today, but if we didn’t have 1998’s Blade, we may have no Marvel Cinematic Universe. Let me tell you, there was probably no cooler hero than Wesley Snipes at this point in time. Ah, it’s still pretty rad today.

New Line almost made this movie as a comedy, but after Snipes couldn’t get Black Panther made, he was able to get the main role in this one. To me, the best part of the film is the relationship between Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) and Blade, but I’d still be interested to see what it would have been like if Patrick McGoohan or Marc Singer had taken the role.

As for the main bad guy, Deacon Frost, Jet Li, Mark Wahlberg and Skeet Ulrich were all up for the role, but it belongs to Stephen Dorff. You kind of have to respect a bad guy so evil that he keeps the hero’s mother a vampire for decades.

Actually, all of the vampires are great here, even in the minor roles for Donal Logue, Udo Kier (who has been in the vampire films Blood for DraculaSpermulaDie Einsteiger, Modern Vampires, Shadow of the Vampire, Dracula 3000 and Bloodrayne) and Traci Lords. Director Stephen Norrington (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) was supposed to play Morbius the Living Vampire, but the part was cut.

N’Bushe Wright also makes a great partner for our hero as Dr. Karen Jenson, as she works to determine a cure for Blade’s vampirism. But hey — he’s the Daywalker. He pretty much will always be a vampire determined to kill all the others.

How cool is it that Marvel’s first big movie success came from a side character from the 1970’s Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan The Tomb of Dracula series? Sadly, while those creators got a “based on characters created by” credit, they didn’t make any extra money. Such is how comics has always screwed creators.

The Faculty (1998)

David Wechter (The Malibu Bikini ShopMidnight Madness) and Bruce Kimmel (The Creature Wasn’t Nice) wrote their first draft of this film eight years before it was made. The success of Scream led to Miramax bringing Kevin Williamson on board to rewrite the dialogue and Robert Rodriguez to direct.

The result is a very hip for the 90’s remix of Invasion of the Body Snatchers that stars plenty of gorgeous teen actors like Elijah Wood, Usher, Josh Hartnett, Clea Duvall and Jordana Brewster.

The teachers are all taken over by the time the movie begins. Coach Joe (Robert Patrick), Miss Burke (Famke Janssen), Principal Drake (Bebe Neuwirth), Mrs. Olson (Piper Laurie), Mr. Fulong (Jon Stewart) and even Nurse Harper (Salma Hayek) are all soon transformed into the carriers of a “cephalopod-specific parasite called a mesozoan.”

Becca remembers that when this movie came out that it was part of a Tommy Hilfinger promotion, even featuring a character named Venus who was only in the commercials and the clothing promos. Whatever it takes to get your movie made.

There’s also a scene that’s a homage to Carpenter’s The Thing, but this time involving doing drugs. Another interesting thing is that each of the teens has a counterpart in The Breakfast Club. Stan (Shawn Hatosy) is Emilio Estevez’s jock character Andrew Clark, Delilah (Brewster) is Molly Ringwald’s Claire Standish, Zeke (Hartnett) is Judd Nelson’s John Bender, Stokes (DuVall) is Ally Sheedy’s Allison Reynolds and Casey is obviously Anthony Michael Hall’s Brian Johnson. So who is Marybeth (Laura Harris)? Do you want me to spoil the movie for you?

Urban Legend (1998)

Of all the 90’s and 00’s sequels we’ve covered this week, I’d say the first two Urban Legend films were the best. Admittedly, that’s a low bar to trip over. But at their heart, they have more in common with the giallo than making fun of the formula of slashers.

I have a fondness for urban legends, as I was obsessed by the books of folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand, from whom I learned that so many of the stories that came by way of a friend of a friend weren’t true and merely our way of moving legends of the past into the modern era.

This film was written by the late Silvio Horta, who was still working as a perfume spritzer at Nordstrom while he was trying to get into Hollywood. He’d eventually be the head writer and executive producer on Ugly Betty, the American version of the telenovela Yo Soy Betty, La Fea.

The film starts with the “The Killer In the Backseat” coming true as Michelle (Natasha Gregson Wagner) is murdered, despite the best efforts of a Brad Dourif cameo as he tries to warn her. While that’s happening, Paul (Jared Leto), Parker (Michael Rosenbaum),  Natalie (Alicia Witt) and Brenda (Rebecca Gayheart) are discussing a variant of the “Hatchet Man,” which in this movie is all about a series of murders that happened in their school’s Stanley Hall.

Michelle’s murder is quickly hushed up by Dean Adams (John Neville, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen) and security officer Reese Wilson (Loretta Devine), Damon (Joshua Jackson) tries to console Natalie, who is disturbed by the murders, but after she rejects his attempt to aardvarking, he’s killed outside the car. All she knows is that he never comes back, just like “The Boyfriend’s Death.”

Danielle Harris shows up as Natalie’s roommate Tosh, who spends much of the movie flimp-flopping before she’s murdered and a note is left behind, which is “The Roommate’s Death.” That’s when Natalie tells Brenda that Michelle and she were once close, but caused an accident after driving without their headlights and chasing the first person who flashed their brights — a long-standing “gang initiation” urban legend. while that’s happening, Paul discovers that Stanley Hall was real and only one person survived: Professor Wexler (Robert Englund), who has already spoke about urban legends with the students, showing them how the Pop Rocks and soda story didn’t murder Little Mikey.

After “The Slasher Under the Car” takes out the dean — oh yes, I forgot “Bloody Mary” was used as well — we also get the “Love Rollercoaster” death story (as Tara Reid’s character Sasha is murdered while doing her radio show), “The Microwaved Pet” and stories of kidneys being stolen while their owner is still alive. By the end, the murders in this movie have taken on a life of their own and thus, become urban legend.

Director Jamie Blanks wanted to make I Know What You Did Last Summer that he directed a mock trailer for the project. After losing out, he made this film as well as Valentine, which is another very, very late to the game slasher that is way better than you’d think. He also made the remake of Long Weekend. It was scored by Christopher Young, who also did the music for The Dorm That Dripped Blood, HellraiserTrick or TreatThe GiftThe GrudgeDrag Me to HellSinister and many more movies.

If the school in this movie looks familiar, that’s because it was also the setting for Killer Party. It’s the University of Toronto, in case you were wondering. If you look closely at the Latin motto of the school, it translates as “The Best Friend Did It,” which makes sense at the end of this movie, which has a well-done closing.

You can get this on blu ray from Shout! Factory.

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

Written by Trey Callaway instead of Kevin Williamson (who was busy with writing  Dawson’s Creek, The Faculty, Halloween H20 and Scream 3 while directing Teaching Mrs. Tingle), this sequel takes the survivors of the first film — Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.) — and places their relationship in peril with Julie away at college and their lives all over again when her roommate Karla (Brandy) wins a vacation to Bahamas, despite getting the trivia question wrong.

If you think, hey, this is all a trap, now you know why a hook handed killer has never menaced your life. At least I hope.

This film has more in common with the inspiration for Lois Duncan’s original I Know What You Did Last Summer, as a new boy comes between everyone. That woudl either be Will (Matthew Settle) or Tyrell (Mekhi Phifer).

The funniest part of this for me is that Jack Black has a cameo — before Jack Black became a thing — as a stoner that works on the vacation island. His part is every drug reference in movies ever, a totally unbelievable part, all played by someone who would soon be on the A-list. Speaking of cameos, look, there’s Jeffrey Combs! And hey! They’re watching Curse of the Demon, making you wish you could shut this movie off and watch that superior movie!

Somehow, director Danny Cannon was still permitted to make movies after Judge Dredd. He’d follow this film — which was a big success — with work on CSIGotham and Pennyworth.

This is also one of three — maybe four — movies that i watched over this young adult week where someone was trapped inside a tanning bed. How did this trope show up in so many films? Who was first? Man, now I have something new to write about.

The Werewolf Reborn (1998)

Teenager Eleanor Crane goes to visit her uncle Peter in a remote Eastern European village, and receives an unexpectedly cold welcome from the villagers, who are plagued by a deadly curse. That’s because Peter just so happens to be a werewolf.

Director Jeff Burr had plans to make an entire series of movies based on the Universal monster films, with only this movie and Frankenstein Reborn ever getting made. However, there were posters designed for the Dracula and Mummy installments, as Full Moon wanted an entire series they were going to call Filmonsters!

Burr would also co-direct Mil Mascaras vs. the Aztec Mummy and direct the fourth and fifth Puppet Master films, as well as Pumpkinhead II: Blood WingsLeatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and Stepfather II. Plus, he was also the director for From a Whisper to a Scream.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Six Days, Seven Nights (1998)

Yes, Ivan Reitman, the same man who made Meatballs, made this movie.

What can I say nice about it?

Harrison Ford did all his own flying?

That this was shot on the same island as the 1976 King Kong?

Temuera Morrison and Ford are in this movie yet never meet in any of the Star Wars movies?


Robin Monroe (Anne Heche) is a New York fashion editor whose boyfriend Frank (David Schwimmer) takes her on a South Pacific vacation, but the plane of Quinn Harris (Harrison Ford) crashes and hijinks, as I always say, ensue.

Sometimes, I watch movies like this just to make my wife happy. It makes me wonder what she sees in me, you know? I’m such a horrible grump, sitting here writing about movies that I don’t even care about while she watches true crime shows and I hope I’m doing the best that I can in this marriage.

Originally, the film was intended to make Anne Heche into a sex symbol. After she showed up on a red carpet with Ellen DeGeneres, Touchstone Pictures fired her, but Harrison Ford got her hired back.

A Night at the Roxbury (1998)

Saturday Night Live regulars Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Molly Shannon, Mark McKinney and Colin Quinn all came together to try and make a movie out of what had once been, until now, a five-minute sketch about two guys dancing to Haddaway’s “What Is Love.”

John Fortenberry has been an editor for eight years at producer Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video before making this film.

Steve and Doug Butabi (Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan) are two brothers who spend most of their lives dancing, getting rejected and trying to get into the Roxbury, a famous Los Angeles nightclub.

It may be a simple film, but a great cast is along for the ride, like Loni Anderson and Dan Hedaya as their parents, plus Dwayne Hickman (Dobie Gillis!), Richard Grieco, Jennifer Coolidge (who was in nearly early late 90’s comedy, it seems), Michael Clarke Duncan and Chazz Palminteri.

In his book Baby, Don’t Hurt Me, Kattan claimed that he was pressured by producer Lorne Michaels to have sex with Amy Heckerling so that she would direct the film. He must have held out, because she only produced it.

That said, Kattan also claims that Will Ferrell didn’t speak to him again until the 23rd season of Saturday Night Live due to his relationship with Heckerling. Kattan alleged that Ferrell said “I got all your messages, but I didn’t call you back because I didn’t want to talk to you.”