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Bad Movie Tuesday: The Best Worst Movie Villain!

May 28, 2013

The results are in!  The shark who ate Sam Jackson in Deep Blue Sea is the champion. The intelligent shark cruised it’s way to victory past The old lady who fell face first into a table in The Skeleton Key, The Crocodile from Lake Placid,  The motherf***ing snakes from Snakes on a Plane, Parker Posey in Blade: Trinity and Gerard Butler’s hair in Dracula 2000. The only thing that could have defeated the shark is Sam Jackson with Gerard Butler’s hair in Dracula 2000. Imagine Sam Jackson doing this audition with the same hair.

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The shark attack represents a unique milestone among film aficionados and cinema novices.  Everybody loves the moment because it is so bonkers. It is equal parts dumb, kinda smart and uber awesome. Deep Blue Sea lives on as a surprising surprise of a movie. It could have been super idiotic and stock but the Jackson kill made it a beast all it’s own. Director Renny Harlin injected Finnish steroids into it  and DBS became the 12th highest grossing creature feature of all time. It also developed a cult following and Entertainment weekly gave the kill an A+.

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The shark resembles director Renny Harlin’s career. Weird timing, bombastic eccentricities and initially undervalued. Harlin has directed such odd delights as Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, Driven, Cleaner The Long Kiss Midnight, Cutthroat Island, Mindhunters, Exorcist: The beginning,  The Covenant, 12 Rounds and now Hercules 3D. 

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Interesting fact: Actors must love acting for Harlin because he has worked multiple times with Geena Davis (ex-wife), Syllvester Stallone, Stellan Skarsgard, Sam Jackson, LL Cool J, Val Kilmer and Rex Linn.

Harlin owns the Guinness world record for Biggest Box-Office Flop of all time with the 1995 debacle Cutthroat Island (Budget $115 million, Grossed $10 million). Percentage wise it is still the biggest flop ever.  Harlin goes big or goes home much like the sharks in Deep Blue Sea.

Later in his career Harlin was brought in to finish films after the directors were fired. He added more action and created wonderfully jumbled films that confused while bringing lots of boom. Harlin punched up Mindhunters (a movie about people using their super brains to hunt criminals) and Exorcist 2 (It needed more action?). Both were borderline unwatchable while being strangely magnetic.

Harlin also owns the distinction of being fired from one of the biggest flops ever. Here is the how it happened via Ray Bradbury:

“He’d been on the project for more than a year, and he’s a fine director… But then, about four weeks ago, quite suddenly, [he said,] ‘Why don’t we take the butterfly out of SOUND OF THUNDER?’ Can you believe that? When I heard it, I whooped with laughter. I said, ‘Oh my God,… if you wanted to be accurate about being stupid, this was it.’ So they fired him, and we’ve got a new director now.”

I’d wager if they kept him on the film it would have been loud, dumb and not as bad. Watch the trailer here.

Renny Harlin has had a strange career. There have been ups (Die Hard 2), downs (Mindhunters?) and everything in between (17 years later The Long Kiss Goodnight is being considered an action classic). However, Harlin should be proud of the work he did on Deep Blue Sea. I was working in a theater when it was released and it received more crowd reaction then any movie I’ve ever watched in a theater. DBS is perfect popcorn cinema and as evidenced by this tournament still very relevant. Thank you Renny for your loud Finnish ways.

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