Tag Archives: beeper

Beeper

Beeper

beeper1

Today’s flick is a mostly forgotten 2002 thriller that takes its name from an item that is now a technological relic: Beeper.

The writers for Beeper were Gregory Gieras, who has since written the monster movies Big Ass Spider and Centipede, and Michael Cordell, who has no other listed credits on IMDb.

The director for Beeper was Jack Sholder, who also directed such films as Arachnid, Wishmaster 2, Renegades, The Hidden, and A Nightmare On Elm Street 2.

The cinematographer for Beeper was Ajayan Vincent, who also shot Centipede, which was written and directed by Beeper co-writer Gregory Gieras.

Beeper‘s primary editor was Andy Horvitch, who also cut the Stuart Gordon movies Edmond, Stuck, The Pit and The Pendulum, and The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, as well as flicks like Arena, American Ninja, Demonic Toys, and Trancers II.

The visual effects team for Beeper included Jim Stewart (Troll, Chopping Mall, School Spirit, Dr. Alien, The Dentist 2, King of the Ants), Brady Hallongren (Scorcher), Sean Hewitt (Alien Hunter, Poolhall Junkies), and Rita Schrag (The Dentist 2, Soccer Dog, King of the Ants).

The musical score for Beeper was composed by J. Peter Robinson, who has also provided music for such movies as Detroit Rock City, Vampire In Brooklyn, New Nightmare, The Wizard, and Blind Fury.

The cast of Beeper is headlined by Harvey Keitel (Taxi Driver, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Bad Lieutenant), Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy), Ed Quinn (Starship Troopers 2, House of the Dead 2), and Gulshan Grover (Hera Pheri, I Am Kalam).

beeper2The plot of Beeper centers around the kidnapping of a prestigious doctor’s son while he is traveling in India. He is then given instructions by the child’s captors via an electronic pager, and has to to figure out a way to get his son back from the criminal organization that his holding him hostage.

Beeper was filmed in the city of Hyderabad in India, which features a good deal of photogenic architecture, which can be seen in the background of many shots.

The film was produced by a company called Shoreline Entertainment, which specializes in the production and distribution of b-movies like Ninja Cheerleaders, Parasite, and Voodoo Lagoon, just to name a few.

The reception for Beeper, at least from what I could find, was pretty negative: the film currently holds a 4.4 on IMDb, along with a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 17%.

First off, the lead character (played by Ed Quinn) in Beeper looks and sounds just enough like Christian Bale from American Psycho that throughout the movie I kept expecting him to eventually snap and start murdering people with an axe or a chainsaw. I think this is due to some mixture of his wardrobe, his hair style, and the cadence of his voice, but it was pretty amusingly distracting for me during less exciting moments of the film regardless.

beeper3The production was able to scout out some really inspiring locations for the movie, given the historic architecture throughout Hyderabad. I’m a little surprised more western productions don’t use Indian locations more often, given their impressive visuals and the fact that the country has a significant existing film infrastructure available.

As I kind of suspected, Harvey Keitel isn’t a major player in this movie, despite being highly billed on most of the promotional materials I have seen. He is far and away the biggest and most expensive name in the movie, and I imagine the production kept the amount of time they needed him on set to a minimum for financial reasons.

In general, the beeper itself provides a pretty interesting plot device to move things forward wile maintaining a sense of mystery and vagueness in the riddles and messages. While the plot mostly amounts to a high stakes scavenger hunt, there are certainly worse gimmicks out there.

Overall, Beeper isn’t awful as far as low-budget thrillers go, but it also isn’t particularly outstanding in any way. As much as there were a few things I liked about it, I mostly didn’t have strong feelings about the movie one way or another. I do wish Keitel got to shine a bit more, though I can certainly understand why he was in a limited role. He also was clearly phoning in his performance, as he has with many over the past few years.

Advertisements

Bargain Bin(ge), Part 1

One of my favorite hobbies as a bad movie aficionado is scrounging around used DVD bargain bins, searching for sufficiently horrible movies to watch. It is a fantastic way to come across unknown or forgotten b-movie relics, and sometimes I’ll luck out and discover something truly fantastic.

Since the beginning of the year (and the start of my IMDb Bottom 100 challenge), I’ve been doing quite a lot of sifting through bargain bins searching for the worst of the worst in the world of DVD releases. I think I’ve made some promising finds along the way, digging up movies either too obscure to make IMDb’s Bottom 100 list and/or are just generally terrible in appearance/concept. I haven’t watched through these yet, but I have built up quite a queue for when I do wrap up the Bottom 100. Here is the first in a number of entries chronicling what I’ve found.

For each movie, I’ll link the IMDb page, a trailer or clip, and some initial comments:

—-

Max Magician and The Legend of the Rings

This looks like an absolute train-wreck.  I can’t wait to actually watch this thing, because I am struggling to find a competent aspect of it from those clips. At first glance, I assumed this would be a child-centric rip-off of “Lord of the Rings”, but it looks like something much more akin to “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” in intent. Honestly though, the movie I am most reminded of in these clips (at least in the acting department) is “Troll 2”. I could see that child actor pissing on some hospitality with that kind of performance.

—-

Ultimate Prey

My initial, unbelievable reaction to the trailer is that this movie appears to be beneath Joe Estevez (oft-forgotten brother of Martin Sheen).  Also, I can’t help but wonder if this movie is trying to be a knock-off of “Deadly Prey”. I can’t hold that against it, because “Deadly Prey” is absolutely an awesome movie. However, it is itself a knock-off of “First Blood”. You aren’t supposed to get that many levels of knock-offs. That’s like a movie trying to rip off “ROTOR” instead of just going straight to “RoboCop”.

—-

Android Insurrection

This seems like a fairly generic sci-fi horror movie, but people seem to really hate it. There is bound to be something more to the horribleness of this movie that isn’t let on in the trailer. As a side note, I did get a flashback to the evil robot animal thing from “Red Planet”, which I assume most people have forgotten about entirely by now. Also of some interest, the production company behind this (Pandora Machine) looks like an imitation of The Asylum, trying to capitalize on B-rate mockbusters (one of their other credits is a blatant “Prometheus” knock-off). They haven’t put out much, but the idea of a company trying to mimic The Asylum is absolutely hilarious to me.

—-

Congo

I saw this thing in theaters as a kid. What a disastrously moronic movie! I haven’t watched it in years, but I have come across some recent B-movie reviews of it that have me very anxious to do a re-watch. I surprisingly haven’t seen many copies of this DVD floating around out there, especially given how big I seem to remember it being. I also completely forgot that Tim Curry was in this, something that I’m not sure is a positive or a negative here.

—-

Night of the Wilding

No trailer on this one. I have absolutely no idea what to expect from this movie, although the only thing that would shock me is if it is a decent watch. Even the IMDb page doesn’t provide much, apart from a handful of reviews. Even the poster has me confused: the synopsis says that he is a defense attorney, yet Estrada is looking distinctively cop-like on the poster. The plot reads like more of a bad lawyer drama than the action movie it seems to be marketed as, so I’m interested in seeing what it is actually like on screen.

—-

The Exterminator

The only thing I know about this movie is what Red Letter Media told me, but when I saw it IRL, I had to pick it up. It sounds like a mostly boring watch, but the cover has me sold regardless. I’m hoping that there is more to get out of it than the Red Letter Media folks give it credit for. Still, I got it for about a buck. Hard to complain over that.

—-

Beeper

I am absolutely giddy about this one. There are so many archaic relics to check out in this trailer, and not just Harvey Keitel. The idea of a beeper-centric suspense story seems ridiculous and incredibly dated now, so there are bound to be a number of laughs hidden in here in hindsight and nostalgia alone. I also like that the beeper is apparently delivered via ninja, or so the trailer would have us believe. It begs the question: why not deliver other things via ninja? Surely there is more they can offer beyond death and beepers. Just from what I’ve seen in the trailer, I’m willing to bet those car chase scenes are a pretty damn sad sight as a cherry on top of it all. I have very high hopes for this one.

—-

Omega Doom

This one interests me more as I learn more about it. Apparently humans are nearly extinct, and our robot conquistadors are trying to hunt down the last of us and take away the what is left of our guns. Apparently Rutger Hauerbot is on the side of the humans for some reason (or so it seems from the trailer), and there is some sort of civil war between the robots heating up. It sounds like there is a potentially interesting plot here, but I have a feeling that it isn’t going to flesh out well. I’m hoping for some solid, mindless, robot-slaying action in here. If I get some hilariously bad special effects in the process, I will be perfectly happy.

—-

The Pandora Project

Can’t find a trailer, which means I am going into this one almost completely blind. I will point out that I did find the above selection on YouTube, which is apparently the film’s main theme. IMDb only has the following insight to the plot:

“A CIA agent has to stop a former associate who has stolen a weapon which kills people without harming buildings, all before he is to get married in a few days.”

Well, thank goodness it doesn’t harm the buildings! It must be a weaponized polar opposite of Roland Emmerich.

—-

Land of College Prophets

Unlike the others here, this is more of a tribute B-movie. There is an interesting sort of underground community that is dedicated to making new B-movies, some with a comedic twist and others seeking to be authentic mimicry. I can recommend a few of them that find a good balance between the two (“Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter” and “Black Dynamite” come to mind), but in general the others I have seen fall too far in one direction or the other to really enthrall me. I get the feeling off the bat that this movie is going to take itself too seriously, but it clearly got positive marks from some B-movie aficionados. I’m mostly surprised that I found this in a casual DVD shop, this seems like a bit of a deep cut to get any kind of wide release.

—-