Tag Archives: I know whatcha did!

Ridiculous scene o’ the month: I won’t survive

A Ridiculous Scene classic. This moment from 1998’s I Still Know What You Did Last Summer must rank as one of the most inexplicably idiotically deranged moments ever to spew from the mind of a screenwriter.

I mean… how the FUCK is that even achieved!?

In a film jammed full of nil-possibles, Julie and the prophetic karaoke machine of dooooom takes the gold.

RSOM-I-Still-Know2Considering the 90s slasher movies were built on a base of being more believable than their ancestors, it’s mindboggling to consider that just the second film in this series swung a wrecking ball through all the hard work done in the original film to make yer standard slasher plot that little less reliant on clichés.

Nobody cares


 1 Stars  2001/15/91m

“Curiosity kills.”

Director: Thomas Bradford / Writers: Del Tenney & Kermit Christman / Cast: Joseph Lawrence, Dorie Barton, Tom Jay Jones, Chad Allen, Jeff Conaway, Ellie Escobar, Leonora Scelfo, Jack McGee, Britton Purvis.

Body Count: 9

Dire-logue: “I don’t want you, you’re a control freak.”

This past week has sucked. Someone I know quite literally dropped dead, then my longest surviving fish died, riots, stock market crashes… Thank God you can chillax with a good slasher flick. Or not.

Where the hell is the question mark at the end of that title? Nobody will want to know “a secret” if they are not actually being asked if they want to know. Fail, fail, FAIL!

So anyway… Connecticut college brats drive down to Florida for Spring Breeeeeeeaaaak!!11!!1!!! where the killer who murdered one of their friends the previous year now stalks them. At the scene of each murder, the masked and robed fiend leaves his message (the one that isn’t a question despite trying to be) on pieces of paper, computer screens, carved into the flesh… It’s up to the sonically dull heroine and fucking Joey Lawrence to solve the mystery.

One secret that’s seemingly never revealed is why the kids don’t seem to give a shit about any of their dead friends, still finding time to piss about, laugh and show as much of an emotional reaction as a baked potato.

Finally, when plotting “questions” are solved (in a way that shamelessly rips off Mortuary) and the killer has been laid to rest by none other than Kenickie from Grease, we still don’t know what this big secret was supposed to be! The killer’s motive is way too dull to pass.

And what’s with one guy being knocked out no less than THREE TIMES even though the killer wants him dead anyway. Oops, put in a question mark there – my bad.

All these inhibitors make Do You Wanna Know a Secret nothing more than a resume thickener for the cast of unknowns and something else to be swept under Joey Lawrence’s mountainous career rug.

Blurbs-of-shame: The late Conaway was also in The Curse of the Forty-Niner; Lawrence was Graham in Urban Legends: Final Cut.

Dire-logue’s Greatest Hits Volume 6: Oh, the wit…

Some people are funny, some people aren’t (Ricky Gervais, Adam Sandler, I’m looking at you). Some horror films try to be funny and, on occasion, it works, other times it’s just a little cringe-inducing. Regardé…

ALL-AMERICAN MURDER (1991): “I’ll be history before my next history class.”

APRIL FOOL’S DAY (2008): “This is supposed to celebrate someone coming out, not going out.”

THE CURSE OF EL CHARRO (2005): “You said it, sweet cunt, now get the hell out of here before I get bitchy.”

HELL NIGHT (1981): “If you weren’t screamin’…and we weren’t screamin’… Then someone’s trying to mind-fuck us.”

I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER (1997): “What are we gonna say? ‘Hi, we killed your son and we were in the neighbourhood, so…'”

MOTOR HOME MASSACRE (2005): “Woah…last time this thing was on the road Michael Jackson was cool.”

SANTA’S SLAY (2005): “File that next to brown-coloured toilet paper as a bad idea.”

SAVAGE LUST (1989): “What’s next – Uncle Fester on the patio?”

SPIKER (2007): “I’d rather screw a porcupine than touch your spooky ass!”

TURISTAS (2006): “Hello mate, here’s your dead nephew and, by the way, you’re out of Scotch.”

WELCOME TO SPRING BREAK (1988): “Welcome to spring break: the annual migration of the idiot.”

Legacies of the 90s: Stab-a-thon Stars

As Kevins Costner and Bacon, Holly Hunter, George Clooney and Tom Hanks paid their slasher movie dues in the films of the 80s, the 90s saw many a familiar face from teen-oriented TV shows rushing to board the terror train following Scream‘s unprecedented success.

Some have remained famous, lots of vanished from the radar and some probably didn’t expect any success at all when they signed on for three scenes and a murder in a video shelf flick they thought nobody would ever see. Bet they hope nobody asks about Teenage Death Camp Massacre VIII now…

stars1aSo, starting at the top left, Sarah Michelle Gellar, arguably the biggest teen star of the era thanks to her role as ass-kickin’ demon hunter Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she played the role of defenceless girly victim in both I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2. She was also originally to play Sasha in Urban Legend before scheduling conflicts got the best of her. Apart from appearing in the first two Grudge movies, after marrying Last Summer co-star Freddie Prinze Jr., she’s disappeared a bit…

Seann William Scott, known as potty-mouthed Stifler in American Pie, became one of Death’s first screen victims in Final Destination but his career has flourished since. Katherine Heigl, recently surfing a wave of rom-coms after the success of Knocked Up, donned final girl shoes in Bride of Chucky and then “the Drew Barrymore role” for Valentine, which she seemed less than impressed with…

Puck from Glee (Mark Salling) looked a lot different (and significantly less buff) when he played Naomi Watts’ little brother in Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering. He later had a small role in the dull The Graveyard.

Another big name from the teen flick circuit, Joshua Jackson had been a fairly successful child star in all three Mighty Ducks movies and a leading role in Dawson’s Creek; aside from his role in Urban Legend and a cameo in Scream 2 (sharing a scene with Gellar), he also starred with Gellar, Ryan Philippe and Reese Witherspoon (who avoided horror at the time) in Cruel Intentions and almost-horror flick Gossip. He’s now in Fringe.

Eva Mendes joins Salling as another Corn almnus after debuting in Fields of Terror, the fifth in the series. She moved on to Urban Legends: Final Cut before mainstream Hollywood success followed. And who could forget Jack Black’s uncredited cameo as Titus the dreadlocked dope-smoking pool boy in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer? I bet he wishes he could!

Rounding off this box, Jennifer Love Hewitt, co-star to Neve Campbell in Party of Five, took the lead in both Last Summer films.

stars2aMrs Liev Schrieber, sometimes known as “Naomi Watts”, yet another survivor of the neverending Children of the Corn franchise, playing Salling’s big sis and eventual heroine. Josh Hartnett was Jamie Lee Curtis’ annoyingly slappable offspring in Halloween H20, in which he was smug boyfriend to Dawson’s Creek star Michelle Williams.

The late Brittany Murphy was on the verge of stardom when she played the heroine of Cherry Falls; and mini Aussie pop queen Kylie Minogue – relatively unknown in the US but with over 30 UK Top 10 hits to her name – was the ‘big star’ to be offed at the beginning of Australian Scream off-shoot Cut.

Like Josh Jackson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a child star in 3rd Rock from the Sun, he turned up in many an art project and a strangely small and thankless role as an early victim in Halloween H20. The beautiful Kelly Brook, now better known to horror fans as one of the naked porn stars ripped apart by dodgy-looking CGI piranhas, was an unlikely criminal psychology student in Ripper: Letter from Hell.

Lastly, James McAvoy and Isla Fisher turned up in the strangely eclectic German slasher film The Pool, which starred Cherry Falls‘ Kristin Miller. Both were gruesomely dispatched fairly early on but can look back and laugh now they’ve had admirable Hollywood careers.

And lastly, I couldn’t get a good shot of the lovely Anna Faris, who, before she became a comedy queen thanks to doing all four (ugh!) Scary Movie‘s, turned up in the type of film they parodied, Lovers Lane, where she played Janelle the plucky cheerleader, who just wanted to make new friends but got gutted with a hook for her trouble. Here she is on the cruddy UK cover with it’s naff international title…

So there we have it, the biggest faces of the 90s horror scene, eleven of them died (one of those twice!), none of them went topless (well, some of the guys did), and only one came back for a sequel! Ha ha @ Jennifer Love Hewitt!

By Hook, By Crook & By the Book


 3 Stars  1998/18/96m

“Some secrets will haunt you forever.”

Director: Danny Cannon / Writer: Trey Callaway / Cast: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Brandy, Mekhi Phifer, Matthew Settle, Muse Watson, Jennifer Esposito, Bill Cobbs, Jeffrey Combs, John Hawkes, Jack Black.

Body Count: 9

Dire-logue: “This is the worst vacation of my life: I’m tired, I’m hungry, I’m fucking horny and personally I haven’t seen one Goddamn psycho killer.”

If I Still Know What You Did Last Summer were not so ridiculously bad, it’d be two-star city for the most ridiculously named sequel going. Even after it grossed about half the original’s box office, someone involved with the production (possibly Producer Neil H. Moritz) admitted that the wrong script was chosen.

I Still Know is a collage of Slasher 101 cliches, godawful dialogue and performances most of the cast members would likely wish to forget, most of them phoning in hammy recitals as everything unfolds in the most predictable of manners. Nevertheless, upmarket production values and some saving graces still make it better than most of the contemporary Scream pretenders that surfaced around the same time (The Clown at Midnight comes to mind).

Another year has passed and Julie James (Hewitt) is back in college, struggling with nightmares that eeeevil fisherman Ben Willis is coming back for her after she escaped the slashings of his oversized, rather phallic hook on July 4th, last summer. Phallic, you ask? Look at the artwork; pointy hook slashing towards Hewitt’s much-contemplated cleavage. Anyway, her boyfriend Ray (Prinze) is acting a bit arsey and her roommate Karla is pushing her towards the affections of dorky friend Will.

When Karla wins a radio contest that rewards her with four tickets to the Bahamas, Ray continues his arsey behaviour, neither confirming nor declining the free trip but telling Julie to go if he doesn’t make it. This is an especially fortuitous outcome for The Fisherman, who has gained psychic powers in his gap year and can tell exactly what highway Ray (plus an unlucky buddy) will drive along so that he can set up a faux road accident. He also knows exactly where the truck will stop. Ray escapes the hook but is too late to stop Julie going off to the Bahamas.

At the Tower Bay resort, holiday season is over and storm season is in, meaning only the “lucky” competition winners are there along with a skeleton staff, who will naturally be laid to waste to hike the bodycount as far as it can go. However, before people start dropping like flies, Julie becomes aware that all is not what it seems. The others blame it on her paranoia, but then, how do you hack into karaoke machine lyrics and change them to a sinister message…?

Sing it girl! Whether or not this was intended to be a hallucination of Julie’s is not clear but miraculously none of the other four people present notice the sudden change from I Will Survive’s chorus to “I still know what you did last summer…” A short time later, Julie finds a body in the closet, which is magically gone when she raises the alarm. Everyone ignores her again and even she gets talked into writing it off and going for a tanning session!

Eventually, the others are convinced when bodies begin falling out of washing machines and stuff and the chase is on. I Still Know kicks into gear at this juncture with a very nicely done chase as The Fisherman accosts three women through the attic of the hotel, cornering them at various times until they escape at the last second. Yes, it’s a complete retread of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s frantic rush from the first film, complete with the “hurry up and open the door!” moment.

Much material is repeated from numero uno; the body that Julie finds which then disappears without a trace of it ever being there. One must ask how Ben Willis is able to clean up so quickly? Then there’s the scene where she gets desperate and, as she yelled “What are you waiting for, huh?” last summer, this year it’s “Come and get me, I’m right here!”

What detracts from the horror is how laughable things become. The cliches come so thick and fast that it’s like Scream never happened. Gone is all of the intelligence of the first film, replaced by naivety and annoying behaviour: Karla finds herself on top of a glass roof and tries to stand up. The glass on one panel begins to crack so what does she do? She simply brings her other foot on to the same pane of glass, doubling the weight on the already splintering surface.

Add to this, there’s a sort of weird narration in the dialogue. Karla (again) goes to a door and sees it’s chained. She’s alone so why say aloud “damn, it’s locked”? Then Will appears, scaring the girls, steps into the light and utters a line of dialogue. Then Julie says; “it’s just Will.” FFS. Shouldn’t this be consigned to the commentary track?

So The Fisherman, now with a hook in place of the hand he lost at the end of the first film, is not only psychic but can teleport to precise locations around the hotel locus using his prior knowledge. When someone finds themselves alone, they tend to pause and listen for something (what they expect to hear is a question that’ll die with them) and the killer simply opens the nearest door over their shoulder and creeps up for the kill.

A half-decent twist is revealed at the end (though someone told me what it was before I saw it) and Ray and Julie are reunited to take on Willis, who advises a gun-toting Ray: “Think about is boy, you’re no killer – that’s my job.” Jesus wept.

Needless to say, I was left with questions:

  • Are we to believe the killer shelled out for four plane tickets plus accommodation just to get Julie to the island?
  • Why would the hotel accept guests during storm season and why does the ‘season’ last only about 18 hours?
  • When Julie is stuck in the tanning bed, why don’t they just turn it off – or at least down – before smashing it open with a barbell?
  • Where do the 50-odd other tourists all vanish off to minutes after the group arrives?

A film baren of any insight or intelligence but fun all the same with some nice visuals and that great chase scene. Prinze is given little to do and what he does get isn’t done very well; Brandy is surprisingly tolerable as the loyal BFF but talks as if she’s trying to hawk her latest album by reciting the lyrics and saying “girl” a lot. But the cast list is good with Jack Black in a bizarre uncredited role, pretty much playing himself. Hopes for a (related) third film effectively died along with the hotel staff and so unless the surviving characters sign on for a “15 years later”-style opus, their fates are uncertain. Instead we got I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer.

Blurbs-of-interest: Jeffrey Combs was in Frightmare and Castle Freak; John Hawkes was in Night of the Scarecrow and Identity.

If you, like me, think the title sucks, other reported working titles for this film included:

  • I Know What You Did Last Summer 2 – ok.
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer… The Story Continues – uuh…
  • I Know What You Did Two Summers Ago - yikes!
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