Today’s feature is a Die Hard knockoff starring Anna Nicole Smith: 1996’s Skyscraper.
The writers for Skyscraper were William Applegate Jr. and Joseph Barmettler, who worked together on The Silencers, L.A. Heat, and Alien Secrets.
The director on Skyscraper was Raymond Martino, whose credits are primarily obscure, law-budget affairs like American Born, Dumb Luck In Vegas, and Da Vinci’s War, as well as another Anna Nicole Smith movie, To the Limit.
The cinematographer for the film was Frank Harris, who shot a number of low budget action movies, including the Cynthia Rothrock vehicle 24 Hours To Midnight and Killpoint, starring Richard Roundtree of Shaft fame.
The musical score for the movie was provided by Jim Halfpenny, whose credits include low-budget features like Magic Kid, Magic Kid II, and Little Bigfoot 2.
The producers on Skyscraper included star Anna Nicole Smith, Richard Pepin (Night of the Wilding, Cyber Tracker), and Joseph Merhi (Columbus Day, The Whole Ten Yards, Little Bigfoot).
The effects team on Skyscraper included Richard Cole (Volcano, Dante’s Peak), Jay Combs (Tremors 3), Rela Martine (CSI:NY, That 70s Show), Larry Roberts (Masters of the Universe, Trick or Treat), and Jori Jenae McGuire (Boston Legal, Entourage).
The cast for Skyscraper is made up of Anna Nicole Smith (Naked Gun 33 1/3), Jonathan Fuller (Castle Freak), Richard Steinmetz (The One), Calvin Levels (Adventures in Babysitting), Lee de Broux (RoboCop), and producer Branimir Cikatiæ, who appears in his only credited acting role.
A helicopter charter soon turns deadly when the female pilot finds that she is on a building held by terrorists. It is up to her and her husband to save the hostages.
Currently, Skyscraper holds an astoundingly low 2.5 rating on IMDb, alongside a 26% audience aggregate score Rotten Tomatoes.
The first thing that is impossible not to notice when watching Skyscraper is that Anna Nicole Smith, the film’s inexplicable lead, can’t act worth a damn. While none of the acting in the movie is stellar, she particularly stands out from the pack as being particularly ill-equipped for the task. On the flip side, the lead villain of the movie is clearly trying way too hard, and is hilarious to watch as a result.
Skyscraper, from the start, is immensely sleazy. The movie is very transparent about what it is: an exploitation film wrapped in a Die Hard plot. Those two elements don’t exactly gel well with each other to start with, which makes for a formula set up to fail. The sexual situations primarily come in the form of flashbacks or attempted sexual assaults by goons, both of which grind the movie to an absolute halt, and neither of which are necessary in the slightest.
While there are some entertainingly cheesy action elements in Skyscraper, and a handful of entertaining performances from the villains, the movie is mostly a chore to sit through. The novelty of watching Anna Nicole Smith trying to act wears off very quickly, and unless you are someone who can sit through a movie for the presence of boobs alone, making it through the run time is an arduous ordeal. I don’t think this movie is as incompetent as many of the lower-tier entries in the IMDb Bottom 100 I covered, but it is deserving of the terrible reviews it has accrued.