Another October with a bad showing for horror movies. Maybe the 90s were in a horror genre drought. Thinking back, the horror movies of the 90s were few and far between. In the 80s studios were cranking out horror movies.
In October 1997 we get one horror movie and one supernatural thriller. The rest are a mixed bag of drama and sci-fi.
Let’s take a look at what hit the screens in October 1997.
Movies from October 1997
Kiss the Girls
Kiss the Girls is adapted from a James Patterson novel of the same name. I’ve never read a Patterson novel. Watching this movie doesn’t make me want to pick one up either.
The saving grave for this movie is the acting. Morgan Freeman plays the lead role of Detective Alex Cross and he is always great on screen. Ashley Judd and Cary Elwes round out the main cast.
Young woman begin missing in Durham, North Carolina and Dectective Alex Cross begins an investigation when his niece is one of the missing girls. Local detective Nick Raskin (Elwes) helps in the investigation and soon another woman, Dr. Kate (Judd) is kidnapped.
Kate escapes, the investigation leads to L.A., then they come back to Durham, there’s a plot twist and it ends with the bad guy getting caught.
Overall it’s OK. The actors, not the story, make it worth watching.
Kiss the Girls was successful at the box office making over $60 million on a $27 million budget. That was enough for the studio to order a sequel, 2001s Along Came a Spider. Morgan Freeman reprises the role of Alex Cross. The plot of the sequel was similar to Kiss the Girls.
In 2012 the franchise was rebooted with Taylor Perry playing Alex Cross. The reboot bombed.
You can watch Kiss the Girls on HBO Max.
Seven Years in Tibet
Starring Brad Pitt and based on the true story of Heinrich Harrer an Austrian mountaineer.
In 1939 Harrer leaves his pregnant wife to join his friend on an expedition to climb on of the highest mountains in India. World War II breaks out while they are in India and they are arrested as enemy nationals. India was controlled by Britain at the time and the men were from Austria.
They escape prison and flee to nearby Tibet where they are befriended by a couple of high ranking officials. Harrer’s wife divorced him when he was in prison, telling him he would never see his son. Harrer remains in Tibet and becomes the tutor to the Dalai Lama. Political turmoil erupts as China invades and Harrer remains a steadfast supporter of Tibet and the Dalai Lama.
It’s an interesting story that could have been told better. The movie is slow and drags in some places. The cinematography is beautiful, although most of the movie was shot in Argentina not Tibet because China. John Williams composed the score and it is as wonderful as you’d expect from Williams.
Reviews were mixed but mostly positive and the movie was a success at the box office making over $132 million. I only saw it once in the theater and haven’t seen it since.
Like all book to movie comparisons, ‘they’ say the book is better.
Director Jean-Jacques Annaud, Brad Pitt and co-star David Thewlis were banned from entering China for making the movie. China later rescinded the ban and Pitt visited China in 2014 and 2016. Maybe Angelina Jolie put in a good word for him…
You can watch Seven Years in Tibet on Netflix.
A movie about porn stars where sex isn’t the main theme, bold move Cotton. The fact the movie is about the adult entertainment industry excludes a large portion of the movie going audience. I wasn’t one of them however.
The movie is less interested in the sex part of the industry and more interested in the behind the scenes and everyday life of the stars. Most of the cast is indifferent to the sex, it’s just part of the job.
The casting is great in this movie. Led by Mark (don’t call me Marky Mark) Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly and William H. Macy.
Eddie AKA Dirk Diggler (Wahlberg) gets his big break in the industry from film producer Jack (Reynolds). Turns out Diggler has an exceptional body part that is perfect for adult films.
The movie chronicles Digglers rise to fame and his eventual fall. While his story is good, it’s the supporting cast that make this movie great. Don Cheadle’s character, Buck Swope is more interested in opening his own stereo equipment store than being an adult film actor.
Rollergirl, played magnificently by Heather Graham is a lost soul who probably ended up in the business through false promises.
Boogie Nights is a great movie. Don’t let the subject (adult movies) dissuade you. The characters and movie making process is the main idea. The sexuality of the adult films is presented in a matter-of-fact way. The movie never veers off into the adult movie realm.
Of course this movie isn’t for everyone. My mom would never watch it and I’m OK with that.
Critics loved Boogie Nights. Siskel and Ebert gave it their famed ‘Two Thumbs Up’ rating.
The movie did OK at the box office making over $44 million. The problem wasn’t audiences didn’t like it, they didn’t have the opportunity to see it. When Boogie Nights opened it was only playing on two screens…in the entire country! After a month it expanded to 900 screens. It gained it’s popularity from some word of mouth and the Home Video market.
Boogie Nights was nominated for three Academy Awards; Best Supporting Actor (Burt Reynolds), Best Supporting Actress (Julianne Moore) and Best Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen. It lost all three to Robin Williams (Good Will Hunting), Kim Basinger (L.A. Confidential) and Matt Damon/Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting), respectively.
I recommend this movie to everyone with the caveat of adult subject matter. There’s nudity and lots of drug use. If that isn’t for you than avoid this movie.
You can watch Boogie Nights on The Roku Channel
The Devil’s Advocate
Hot Shot lawyer Kevin (Keanu Reeves) is courted by a high profile firm in New York City. He accepts and moves to NYC with his wife, Mary Ann (Charlize Theron). Kevin’s new boss is John Milton, played brilliantly by Al Pacino.
Everything goes right for Kevin, he can’t lose, but everything around him is falling apart. Mary Ann keeps seeing the other wives as demons, she has nightmares and accuses Milton of beating and raping her. Kevin commits her to a mental institute and while talking to his mother discovers Milton is his father.
When he confronts Milton he admits to raping Mary Ann and wants Kevin to mate with a co-worker to bring the Anti-Christ into the world. What!?
This is a great movie. The twists are well placed and not obvious. You’ll have to watch it to see the biggest twist in the movie but it’s well worth the time. It’s a supernatural thriller with little gore. It’s more horror for the mind.
Pacino does a great job with the role and seems to enjoy playing Milton.
The Devil’s Advocate was a box office success making over $156 million. It opened in the number two spot, behind the other horror movie for the month.
You can watch The Devil’s Advocate on Tubi
I’m a big fan of Sci-Fi movies. This one falls into the sub-genre of Hard Science Fiction. Meaning there’s a lot of technical science-y stuff going on.
Gattaca stars Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Jude Law.
In the future the world is ruled by eugenics. Everything about a person is predetermined based on their genes. If you want your child to have a better life you must alter their genetics in the womb. Once they are born their future is sealed.
People who were genetically altered are called ‘Valids’ those we are born the old fashion way are called ‘In-Valids.’ The Valids get the best jobs, marry the best people and live a great life, while the In-Valids do all the grunt work.
Vincent (Hawke) was born an In-Valid and wants to change his future. He disguises himself as his friend, Jerome (Law) who was born Valid. Jerome was a star athlete until he was hit by a car an paralyzed.
Vincent continues with the charade with elaborate methods of storing DNA and showering frequently to shed his own DNA. All for the potential of making it onto a space flight.
I enjoyed Gattaca. The genetic altering future isn’t too far off and you could make an argument that it’s already here. Thankfully we aren’t classified as Valids and In-Valids yet. (or are we?)
Unfortunately Gattaca was a box office bomb. It made less than a third of it’s budget.
I Know What You Did Last Summer
The slasher horror revival of the 90s continued with I Know What You Did Last Summer. This movie and the Scream franchise offer a great resurgence of slasher horror that was lacking in the 90s. Both franchises were written by the same man too, Kevin Williamson.
A group of kids are out having fun one night and hit a man on a dark windy road. They decide the best option is to dump his body in the ocean and never talk of it again.
Over the next year they all grow apart and then one day Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) receives a note with one sentence written on it “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”
Julie tracks down her friends that dumped the body and tells them about the note. Then they start getting killed, one by one.
I Know What You Did Last Summer is a throwback to the slasher movies of the 80s. I enjoyed it and will watch it over Scream any day.
The main cast is Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr. And Ryan Phillippe. I wonder why the 90s teen actors never got a cool name like The Brat Pack?
It was a huge hit at the box office too. It opened in the number one spot and stayed on top for three weeks. Getting knocked out by Starship Troopers, another great movie we’ll discuss next month.
I Know What You Did Last Summer raked in $125 million and spawned two sequels. Comically named I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer.
In 2021 Amazon created a TV series called I Know What You Did Last Summer, there are eight episodes which no one watched.
You can watch I Know What You Did Last Summer on Paramount+
Other movies released in October 1997
Here is the rest of the list. There are a few that I need to add to my watch list. Kevin Bacon stars in Telling Lies in America and Switchback stars Dennis Quaid and Danny Glover, both fine actors. Switchback is written by Jeb Stuart who wrote Die Hard, Next of Kin, Another 48 Hrs and the new Vikings: Valhalla series on Netflix.
Red Corner and Most Wanted look good too.
If you watched any of the movies below let me know in the comments, maybe I’ll add them to my list.
Boogie Nights might be the big winner of the month. While it didn’t have a good showing at the box office it has held up over time. Slasher flick I Know What You Did Last Summer is always a good one to watch during the Halloween season.
What are your favorites from October 1997?
Let us know in the comments below. Or tag us on Twitter. The main channel is @TRNSocial and I’m @MileHighSamurai
Next week we’ll look at November 1982.
Until then the balcony is closed.
Check out the previous installments of
1982 Friday Flix | 1987 Friday Flix | 1992 Friday Flix | 1997 Friday Flix
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