I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) / I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)


A Jabootu Nugget by Jason MacIsaac

Its father was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Its mother was Psycho. It was tutored by Halloween. It is the Slasher Movie.

The Slasher Movie had a devastating impact on “horror” movies. For one thing, it almost destroyed the genre entirely. In fact, staunch horror movie lovers would tell you that Slashers aren’t really horror films at all. They took away a creeping dread and fear of the unknown and the malignant. Instead, they substituted buckets of gore and cheap scares, mainly consisting of some guy suddenly leaping out of somewhere while the soundtrack was cranked 3000 decibels, over and over again.

Halloween, of course, started the trend. It was made on a shoestring with a largely unknown cast. The exception was Donald Pleasance, the talented character actor. Unfortunately, his clout was dying out by the time he starred in this flick. (In fact, he himself was only offered the part after horror icon Christopher Lee had turned it down.) Sadly, like so many other good actors before him, Pleasance’s films in the years before his death were a parade of embarrassments—including the increasingly desultory slate of Halloween sequels.

Meanwhile, John Carpenter’s direction was mysterious and skillful. He would rarely provide us a good look at killer Michael Myers, or “The Shape,” as he is listed in the credits. Of course, such subtleties were lost in the avalanche of Slashers that followed. All they noted was a formula that could be imitated, a formula that made money. Slashers were by no means new when Halloween came along, but it was the first one to achieve such heavy box office success. Not only that, a few mainstream critics gave their approval. Apparently, Roger Ebert even went so far as to compare it to Psycho.

Watching Halloween today is bound to provoke a mixed reaction, depending on your point of reference. Young Slasher fans probably won’t think much of it, because it doesn’t have the buckets of gore or elaborate deaths that are the mainstay of Slashers now. Latter-day film fans will probably be able to examine it in a historical context, and appreciate it to that extent. Long time horror movie fans will probably grudgingly acknowledge that there was some style in it after all, especially compared to all the clones that came after.

Personally, seeing Halloween again for the first time in a long time, I thought it was closer to a traditional horror movie than the slasher template that we know today. Ken noted in his nugget on The Lost World that it’s amazing how Jaws, although it created the cliché for every “Monster on the loose, let’s close the park, no let’s not” movie to follow, still remains today refreshingly original and three-dimensional. Although it too was imitated to death, Halloween offers intriguingly different elements that make the film work on a whole other level.


  • The police cooperate with Dr. Loomis, the raving lunatic who warns everyone about the danger they’re in. It’s true they don’t appreciate the situation fully, but they do listen and they do assist him. In future Slasher movies, it took forever to get authorities involved, if they showed up at all. And even if they did, the lone dopey deputy usually got hacked up. As for the lunatic’s warning, nobody ever pays any appreciable attention until it’s too late.

  • Initially, killer Michael Myers is given no real motivation for his rampage. (He would in the sequels, although said motivation became increasingly bizarre with each one). His seemingly random attacks and the fact that you rarely get a good look at him afford him a kind of otherworldly quality. All Slashers henceforth would usually throw in some kind of twisted-revenge-for-past-wrongs plot. It is implied that sexual activity somehow drives Myers into his homicidal impulses (his first victim is his sister when he was a little boy, who had just had a little tryst with her boyfriend). This popularized the whole “Whomsoever shall have sex will be butchered, but the virginal shall be spared” tradition of Slasher movies. Incidentally, Carpenter and co-writer Debra Hill still deny that they were deliberately playing on the whole “sex means death” thing.

  • Myers walks in full view of people in the neighborhood, but doesn’t attack them. It’s Halloween, so he doesn’t look out of place wandering around the way he is. Since we don’t know what he’s motivated by, it’s unnerving to watch him strolling around, not knowing what he’ll do.

  • Myers uses modern equipment, such as a car. Most Slashers won’t allow the killer to use anything but his legs to get around on.

  • There’s actually little gore or bloodletting in Halloween. Its scariest moments are in little, seemingly inconsequential things. For me the creepiest moment is when Myers simply stares thoughtfully at a recently dispatched victim. You wonder with a chill what he’s thinking. Another occurs during a struggle with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). Laurie pulls Myers’ mask away briefly. Though we don’t get a good look, we can see that there is an ordinary-looking human beneath. Myers pulls the mask down again, and then resumes his attack. To me, this is far more unnerving than the unmasking scenes that would follow in the clones, which would usually reveal a some kind of deformed killer realized with a ton of latex.

  • Yep, they do the Killer Isn’t Dead thing at the end, but the way it’s done leaves a much bigger impression that the usual “jump-out-of-the-shadows” thing that all the imitators would do. Loomis fills Myers with enough bullets to bring anybody down, and The Shape falls over a rail. Loomis checks on Strode, then looks over the rail. All he sees is a Michael-shaped impression on the ground, but no Myers. The end. It further gives the impression that Myers wasn’t merely a psycho, but some kind of Angel of Death.

Such nuances were lost on the imitators. All that was required was an isolated bunch of horny teens, some guy in a menacing mask, a variety of edged weapons, and lots and lots of fake blood (and intestines, severed heads, dismembered limbs…). And as we know, Slashers flooded the market. It got so bad that the Halloween series eventually began imitating the series that got their start imitating it, such as Friday the 13th.

Halloween was not cloned over and over merely because it was successful. (At the time, it held the record for the highest proportional returns to production budget, a record since smashed by The Blair Witch Project). Titanic was insanely successful, so why don’t you see a hundred clones of that movie? Answer: Titanic cost $200 million to make, whereas Halloween cost 48 cents and still did great business. Why make a Poltergeist clone, which requires a big budget and names like Steven Spielberg and expensive special effects when you can put together a cast of unknowns and just hack them up over a holiday weekend for pocket change?

That’s why Slasher movies caught on–even when they started to lose their popularity, they were still cheap to make. The emerging direct-to-video market also helped here, because there was additional money to be made from young teen girls renting Slashers for slumber parties. (Some geniuses, noting this trend, actually made one called The Slumber Party Massacre. Oddly, they included self-described feminists including author Rita Mae Brown, who wrote the screenplay, and director Amy Jones. Their film proved to be as breasts-‘n-gore motivated as any other in the field.)

Through the 80s and 90s, Slashers were about the only kind of scary movie being produced. Very little was being done in the way of traditional haunted houses, vampires, werewolves, and other traditional mainstays of horror. Fortunately, though, the occasional exception was often a good one–something like Poltergeist. I also recommend the very disturbing Jacob’s Ladder, which scared the bejeezus out of me when I first saw it in the theater. Still, towards the end of the 90s, with people only making the occasional Slasher, with the formula run threadbare, it looked like the end of scary movies.

Ironically, all that turned around with the release of Scream. This movie was a Slasher flick, and yet at the same time it was a spoof of Slasher movies (if an affectionate one). Characters in Scream had actually seen Slasher movies and knew all the clichés. At one point in the movie, one character stands up and describes the “rules” of Slasher movies, and practically narrates Scream in the process.

Scream made horror fashionable and profitable again. As a result, the guys with money are now willing to back anything that they’re told is going to be “scary, like Scream.” This has unfortunately led to things like the remakes of The Haunting and Psycho, but there have also been better efforts, such as The Sixth Sense. The extraordinary success of that movie and The Blair Witch Project means that more horror movies are going to get made. Some, perhaps even the majority, will undoubtedly be mediocre clones. But there is hope that somebody will back something original, well made, and scary.

But let’s talk about the mediocre clones. Scream has its imitators already, and just as the more artistic elements of Halloween were forgotten, they’re already ignoring the new conventions that Scream set. The most of famous of these is I Know What You Did Last Summer and its sequel, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.

The plot of the ‘original’: Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Ray Bronson (Freddy Prinze Jr), Barry Cox (Ryan Phillippe) and Helen Shivers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) are four kids who are celebrating their last Fourth of July weekend together before preparing to pursue their dreams as young adults. After a night of sex, drinking and partying (big slasher movie no-nos) they accidentally run down a man on a dark road. Rather than own up to what they did, they decide to toss the body into the ocean and cover up the crime. . Some (namely Julie), are more reluctant than others, but all go along. At the last moment, the body springs to life before going under water, making it murder. The four swear never to mention the incident. The dirty secret they share poisons their friendship, and so they go their separate ways.

A year later, Julie returns home from college. She is now feeling tremendously guilty about the incident and it’s taking her toll on her life. No sooner does she arrive home than she starts receives a note proclaiming “I know what you did last summer.” Soon, a mysterious figure in a rain slicker is stalking her friends, and then killing them.

The original Summer flick was adapted from a script by Kevin Williamson, who also wrote Scream. Williamson wrote the script for Summer first, before he had written his Slasher-lampooning series (Williamson alleges that he’d always intended Scream to be a trilogy). Scream however, was produced first. It didn’t matter that Summer suffered from all the cliches that Scream made fun of. All the suited-types cared about was finding a hot property, and for a time Kevin Williamson merely had to sneeze on a piece of paper to get something produced, explaining the existence of Teaching Mrs. Tingle and the TV series Wasteland.

Summer was flawed and forgettable. Somebody once took me to task though for saying I Still Know What You Did Last Summer wasn’t Jabootu worthy. I stand by that opinion. Now, let me explain my reasoning.

Most importantly, compared to the lame-o things that came out in the wake of Halloween, these movies aren’t nearly as bad, believe me. If you grew up during the 80s Slasher boom, you survived a lot of drek that isn’t comparable to what’s being produced now. There are three key differences between Slasher movies of today and yesteryear.

Modern Slashers have a bit of a budget. No, you don’t see anyone coughing up 20 million or whatever to slice and dice Adam Sandler (oh wow, do I have a great idea for a movie!), but you do see modern Slashers splurging a little to get Neve Campbells and Jennifer Love Hewitts, who, acting ability aside, are relatively known actresses with successful projects. Original Slashers usually required nothing more out of their actresses than the willingness to remove their tops. The production values are also reasonably solid in the new wave of Slashers, whereas the majority of originals were cheap, cheap, cheap.

Modern Slashers are trendy. Look at all the Scream fansites. Much time and effort was recently spent speculating as to which hot young actresses would have the honor of being carved up to kick off Scream 3. The only ‘celebrities’ that original Slashers could afford were unknowns and older actors and actresses near the end of their careers (poor Donald Pleasance…not to mention Leslie Nielsen, Glenn Ford, Hal Holbrook…). Starlets getting axed in Slasher movies now is an in-joke, a way to prove you’re with it. Back then it was career suicide, or something you hid later in your career, like that photospread you did for Penthouse. Do you see Kevin Bacon going around advertising that he was in Friday the 13th?

Scream popularized movies where the characters had actually seen Slasher movies and could make hip, self-referencing remarks (there are a number of movies that had similar ideas to Scream that came earlier, but never really caught on). Because of this self-referencing, it’s hard to take the “horror” seriously. Do you lie in bed at night worrying that the Ghostface killer will get you? Of course not. You spend as much time snickering at Scream as you do jumping at it, and the filmmakers are well aware of that. Older Slashers were presented in a totally serious, straightforward manner.

Regarding point #3: I’m not saying that Scream isn’t a clever lampoon of Slashers (it is). But you can’t get lost in the illusion during the film, never mind have it stay with you afterwards. The Exorcist didn’t just gross people out, it made even the skeptics think, if only for a minute, that the Devil was very real, and had the ability to reach out and destroy their lives if they weren’t careful. Good horror makes you lie in your bed awake wondering what that noise was that you’ve ignored a hundred times before. It stays with you. How many campers are now thinking dubiously about their next excursion into the woods, thanks to Blair Witch? Probably quite a few.

These three factors dampen the Jabootu-value of I Still Know…. That is not to imply by any means that it’s a good movie. In fact, let’s get it on record. It sucks. It’s an idiotic movie. But it isn’t really the pits, and most of the faults it has we’ve seen a hundred times before. It’s just a lazy movie, created to get the cash out of bored teenagers. That acting isn’t great, but compared to the performances we’ve seen in other flicks on this site, let me put it this way: Brandy is no Madonna.

As for Jennifer Love Hewitt, she’s often been called a bad actress. Still, I can’t really make fun of her acting skills because she is one of those actresses who manages to sound a lot smarter when she’s reciting a writer’s lines (even a bad writer’s lines) than when she’s speaking in real life. Don’t believe me? Check out just about any interview she’s done and wonder why zillions were spent on putting the Hubble telescope into deep space when NASA can talk to Jennifer Love Hewitt for free. Her lines in both Summer flicks sound like Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in comparison to the stuff she comes up with on her own. Incidentally, another actress I find suffers from the same syndrome also appears in the first Summer, and that’s Anne Heche. Maybe it’s just me, but every time I hear that actress interviewed, she too acts like a complete space cadet. It makes you wonder what Ellen sees in her.

Anyway, compared to the original wave of Slashers, with their complete lack of a budget and casts of unknowns who stayed unknowns for good reasons, there is no comparison for sheer badness. I will prove this very soon, as I am now combing the Slasher library for one that is truly Jabootu worthy. I shall find it, of this I am confident. But in the meanwhile, let’s take a look at just what’s so wrong with the I Know movies.

Tens Things (and a whole lot more) I Hated About
I Know What You Did Last Summer

  • While perhaps not the direct fault of the filmmakers, the video version is padded with the most advertising I’ve seen on a cassette in a very long time. It had the trailer for the next movie, coming attractions for other movies on their way into theater at the time, coming soon to video trailers, direct to video coming attractions, a plug for the sound track, and even for the novels of Lois Duncan! It gave me Coming Attractions Amnesia, which normally occurs only in theaters (the affliction by which, after watching a dozen previews, five commercials, and about a half-dozen bits of hype for the sound system of your theater, you forget which movie you’re actually about to watch.

  • Opening credits feature a helicopter fly-in over water to South Port, the town where the movie takes place. Yep, the originality is coming on strong already. Prominent use of soundtrack, too (grunge remake of old classic). In fact, I’m pretty sure the soundtrack of both movies received equal billing as the performers.

  • Yes, thanks for the “Dawson’s Beach” reference, Kevin.

  • Ray tells a story and identifies it as an urban legend. While trying to tell it, his friends chip in different details about the gory finale that contradict his own. Ray has apparently heard about urban legends, but not enough to realize that they all have different spins and variations on them. His bit about them all containing “a grain of truth” is enough to give them a long pause. Wimps. Better not tell them the one about the munchkin who hung himself in The Wizard of Oz.

  • The foursome are supposed to be just out of high school. Hmmm…some are a little too old, but the age gap isn’t as bad as most movies featuring “high school kids.” At the time of the movie’s release, Hewitt was the youngest at 18, Phillipe the oldest at 23.

  • When they hit the guy that will eventually come after them, they do so hard enough to splatter blood on a person who was hanging out the sunroof. It’s hard to see how the killer would have survived, but if he lived, he should be very little threat to stalk and slash them as a quadriplegic. Barry apparently was actually hit by the body as it went over, and yet he didn’t get his spine snapped in half either.

  • We learn that Ray lacks family connections and wealth. Thus he goes along with the cover-up because he doesn’t think they’ll have any chance if the police arrest him. It’s sort of implied that Ray is afraid because of his disadvantaged position, and that he is less guilty because of it. (As opposed to Rich Guy Sweater-Wearing Barry, who might be able to buy his way out of trouble.) While his fear may be genuine, money doesn’t buy you any moral advantage, and neither does poverty.

  • Having taken their victim to a nearby dock, the foursome try to toss him over the dock. However, he springs back to life before they throw him in. Barry dives in to retrieve a crown (don’t ask) he snatched off Helen’s head. Before pulling it away, the killer’s eyes pop open. And yet they are quite surprised to discover later that he isn’t dead. Duh.

  • Upon receiving her note from the killer, Julie observes that there is no postmark or return address. All it has is her name and address. The killer can’t have mailed it without postage, so he must he just popped by and dropped it off. Why did he put her full address on it? Needed a reminder in front of him?

  • Julie is surprised to see that Helen has returned from New York, and is now working in the family department store. We learn her plans did not work out. I’m sure struggling actresses in the trenches will be heartbroken to know that Helen tried for less than a year to become a big star, and failed. Why she went to New York as opposed to Hollywood is never addressed.

  • Meeting Ray a year later, he looks like Calvin Klein material, not someone who has worked as a fisherman for “nearly a year.”

  • The killer steals Barry’s car and chases him down the street with it. Naturally Barry runs down the street, as opposed to finding cover off to the side.

  • Now that Barry’s been the victim of a little hit and run of his own, there’s still no police involvement, despite property damage.

  • At one point Helen’s father appears to be watching a baseball game that must be a good 15 years old, perhaps more.

  • Helen escapes a night at work by telling her bitchy older sister, who runs the store where she works, that the outgoing “Miss Croaker Queen” (again, don’t ask) has to ride in the parade. Miraculously, this works.

  • No one seems big on locking doors (especially when they know someone is stalking them), permitting the killer to waltz right in and cut Helen’s hair. She must be a sound sleeper.

  • I’m told that the killer, all decked out in his fishing hat and wet weather slicker, bares a startling resemblance to the “Gorton’s Fisherman,” who is on a brand of seafood in the States. I guess that this made a lot of US audiences feel about as threatened as if they were being stalked by the Pillsbury Doughboy or Colonel Sanders (maybe it was a bizarre product placement).

  • The killer’s choice of victims for stalking and killing doesn’t make sense. Initially, he does things like sneak into their homes to taunt them that he was nearby and could have done something to them. Only after tormenting them a little does he actually kill them. This I can live with–it is believable that a sadistic killer might want to torment them before their deaths. However, he attacks and kills immediately someone who has absolutely nothing to do with the whole incident, and was in no way interfering with his plans. This body later turns up in Julie’s car (see below). Did he kill this person just for the sake of freaking out Julie? That’s a stretch. He also kills two other people that aren’t involved, but they were preventing his access to the victims, so this can be accepted.

  • Actually, the killer’s victims do make sense according to traditional Slasher movie morality. Their deaths are practically pre-ordained the moment you meet them. Mr. Innocent Bystander is a bit of a jerkweed, so he gets it. So does the bitch sister. Arrogant rich guy Barry. Helen seems to like sex for its own sake (Ray and Julie do it, but they have a kind of “pure romantic” love), so Helen gets it too. The Dopey Cop also gets the hook.

  • Suspecting foul play, Julie checks her trunk in the middle of a suburban area, in the middle of broad daylight. Inside is the corpse of Mr. Complete Innocent Bystander, covered with seaweed and crabs. Julie closes the trunk and runs away. A few minutes later, she returns with friends, only the trunk is now completely empty. Some have said she was only hallucinating. If so, why did the killer bother with Mr. CIB to begin with? The idea that he would kill someone and leave the corpse for Julie to find, just to torment her, at least provides him with a grain of motivation. Meanwhile, if the corpse really was there, how did he dispose of the body, the crabs, the smell in the trunk–all in a few minutes in the middle of a suburban area in broad daylight? This guy should work for the mob.

  • The killer, not a supernatural one, either, continues to leave gory messes, and then cleans them up in seconds. During one scene, he attacks Barry on a balcony with a hook, and only Helen Shivers notices. (There are only about a bazillion people right underneath the balcony, but whatever, moving on.) About thirty seconds later, Helen is up there with a cop, looking at what should be the crime scene. Since the killer has just attacked somebody with a fishing gaff, the place should be covered in blood. However, only one little stain (which isn’t noticed) has been left, no body in sight.

  • Believing the killer to be a person named “Billy Blue” (long story), Julie formulates a plan to catch him. Ray, meanwhile, favors coming clean to the police like they should have done in the first place. Julie seems to have adopted a more mercenary attitude than before, saying “I don’t wanna do what’s right. I wanna do what’s smart.” Well, okay, but how is catching him the smart thing to do? If they do that, they’ll probably have to come clean anyway, unless she just wants to kill him.

  • Spotting a man in a rain slicker during the parade, Barry catches up to him and tackles him. It turns out to be a stammering old man. Barry curses and resumes looking. Question: how does he know for sure this isn’t the killer? He’s dressed exactly like the man who attacked him earlier…

  • Missy Egan, sister of David Egan, our hit and runners’ supposed victim, keeps her brother’s suicide note nearby so that she can show it to strangers. (This despite needing to hide it from the insurance company.) Julie, seeing the message “I will never forget last summer” recognizes the same handwriting in the threatening note she received. Missy apparently didn’t notice that the handwriting in the “suicide note” didn’t match her brother’s. She also tells Julie to “get out of my house,” despite the fact that Julie isn’t actually in it.

  • The killer uses the Vorhees Unreality Engine â„¢ to anticipate that Helen will be taken home by police car. So he sets up a roadblock on the town’s streets in order to divert Deputy Dufus down an alley where he can be killed, leaving Helen at the killer’s mercy.

  • Being struck by a hook in the stomach is instantly fatal to Deputy Doofus, and causes a gusher of blood to escape from his mouth.

  • The scene where Helen is racing towards the department store in order to evade the killer is lifted nearly frame by frame out of a similar scene in Halloween.

  • The killer is naturally able to keep pace with Helen, who is running for dear life, even though he’s lazily strolling along.

  • Does Helen’s sister Elsa (She Wolf of the SS) really need keys to lock and unlock the department store doors–from the inside?

  • Helen abandons a phone call to the police to go hunting for her sister. In the dark. Without turning the lights on.

  • The killer somehow manages to turn off what little lighting there is while hiding under a plastic sheet about five feet away from Helen.

  • Helen runs through several public areas (and at one point stops a few yards from a big crowd and safety), but refrains from screaming her lungs out.

  • In order to make some inquiries about their hit and run victim, Julie’s boyfriend Ray visited Missy using the name of his boat (“Billy Blue”) as an alias. In a coastal town where fishing is the major industry. Brilliant, Ray.

  • Ray owns a boat, period. He’s established as being from a lower income family. Where did he get the boat? They ain’t cheap.

  • The killer, when revealed, is a character we have not been introduced to. This after we’ve gone through the whole rigmarole of Julie trying to determine who their victim was through some snooping. It’s a little like constructing an Agatha Christie-style whodunit and then revealing at the end that the killer was an escaped mental patient from a nearby asylum.

  • The killer, Ben Willis, is without a doubt a moron. Here’s what happens: He goes out and murders his daughter’s fiancé David Egan, believing him responsible for his daughter’s death in car accident last July 4th. While disposing of the corpse, he is struck by Julie’s entourage. Thinking Willis dead, they throw him in the water to disguise what happened. The authorities find the body of David Egan–Julie and friends believe that this is the man they struck and killed. Willis has somehow managed to survive and presumably swim to safety. A year later, Willis decides to risk getting caught trying to stalk and kill them. Why? Initially they believe that they struck and killed the victim of Benny’s crime–the perfect cover for a murderer. Okay, Willis may not realize that. All the same, they’re obviously being quiet because they think they’re guilty of something. Why stalk them and draw police attention to the incident?

  • Ray plays the Heroes Death Battle Exemptionâ„¢ card to remain alive after being knocked cold by Ben Willis (in the guise of a friendly fisherman). Willis had no reason not to kill him, then finish off Julie, isolated on his boat.

  • Despite staring at a shrine devoted to Willis’ victims and their movements, Julie doesn’t run from the boat immediately. In fact, she might even be unaware that her helpful fisherman is the killer.

  • Running from Willis on his boat, Julie doesn’t seem to look at the option of jumping over the side and swimming. It has been not established that she can’t swim. Even if she couldn’t, faced with a choice of possibly drowning or definitely being gutted…

  • Julie goes through a traditional Slasher movie “Last Girl finds the bodies of previously dispatched victims” sequence. The interior of the boat looks somewhat large compared to the outside shot.

  • It’s implied that because they’ve figured out that Ben Willis was a murderer, their guilt over the hit and run cover-up was unnecessary. That’s a little like saying it’s okay for me to murder someone in cold blood because we determined after the fact that he robbed banks. They still committed a crime, and then covered it up. They’re still guilty.

  • The movie flash-forwards to an utterly typical and pointless “The Killer Isn’t Dead” shock. Which isn’t shocking, since only the killer’s hand clutching a hook is recovered.


And now…

Tens Things (and a whole lot more) I Hated About
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

  • Well, it’s not often the idiocy begins right in the title. The second movie takes place a year after the first, making the time when they hit Ben Willis two summers ago. Of course, since the end of the first movie flash-forwards a year for its “The Killer Isn’t Dead” moment, it’s possible that the second movie takes place an additional year after this, making the hit and run three years ago. True, “I Still Know What You Did Three Summers Ago” is a lame title, but what was wrong with one of the working titles—”I Still Know”?

  • So, what did happen at the end of the first movie? Was the killer-isn’t-dead moment just a dream sequence? A throwaway line implies it was a dream.

  • The movie begins with a dream sequence. Yep, that’s original. Julie is a confession booth telling a priest that she killed someone, but it was an accident. (What about the part about dumping the body, Julie? Was that an accident too?) Julie wakes up shrieking in the middle of a class. The teacher ends up treating this like a little joke, as if she’d just nodded off and woke up with a mild start. The class also giggles. Only Will Benson expresses any concern for what is obviously real duress.

  • To her credit, suspecting someone in her apartment (wow, what a palace for a college student), Julie actually flips on a light! However, it immediately burns out. Then she runs around the place without trying to turn on any more lights.

  • Karla (Brandy Norwood), who has been briefed on Julie’s past (well, mostly, see below), thinks nothing of sneaking around, knowing that Julie is still troubled by what she experienced.

  • Julie keeps seeing Ben Willis, slicker and all, at a dance club. (By the way, I’ll bet absolutely none of the songs played at the club appear on the soundtrack. Nope. Not a one.) If she’s hallucinating, why does the audience see the shadow of Willis, only to have it disappear when she turns to face it?

  • One of the people we meet near the beginning marches up and says “Hi there, I’m the killer.” Okay, he does not do that. But he does the next best thing. He’s kind and thoughtful towards Julie. That alone is a dead giveaway. Anybody who’s kind and does nothing to indicate that he might be a killer is always the killer. But we also learn his name is “Will Benson.” Later, during the “shock” revelation scene, he draws attention to his name–“Ben’s son.” Thanks, we got it well over sixty minutes ago, Willy. The only surprise that comes from the revelation is that, yes, apparently the filmmakers thought we were that stupid. Most people with a brain were thinking “They can’t really be that obvious, can they? Oh.”

  • The capital of Brazil is Brasilia. By winning a trip by answering the question “What is the capital of Brazil?” with “Rio de Janero,” this was supposed to be the big clue that it was all a set-up. This perhaps might have been more effective if the movie wasn’t already so idiotic that its title doesn’t make sense. It’s too easy to pass off as a mistake by the filmmakers. It’s also established that Julie is taking political science, a discipline that usually requires some geo-political knowledge. Apparently Julie really is doing badly in her classes.

  • Julie’s roommate Karla wins the fake contest. The killer’s plan hinges on the idea that she will actually take Julie on vacation with her, as well as “Ben’s son.” Does Willis know Karla so well that he can anticipate this?

  • If I hear any more “delighted like little girls” squealing from Norwood and Hewitt, I really will have precious little alternative but to go on a murderous rampage.

  • All the emotional issues that were settled at the end of the first movie (well, not really, but you know what I mean)–the guilt of the cover-up, the breaking up with Ray–are of course reset for this movie so we can work through them all again.

  • After initially turning down Julie’s offer of a vacation, Ray’s friend convinces him to show up unannounced with an engagement ring. Smart idea. He doesn’t know when she’s leaving, so he could get down there and find her long gone.

  • Ben Willis uses the VUEâ„¢ to anticipate what route Ray and his pal will drive down from their hometown to Julie’s college in order to ambush them.

  • While being chased by Willis, who is trying to run him down with a truck, Ray runs down the road. And not up a steep wooded hill where the truck could not possibly follow.

  • Karla keeps urging Julie to dump Ray and have a good time, i.e. pick up another man. She also repeatedly tries to set her up with Will. I think she’s supposed to be the feisty “You go, girl” type. (God, I hate that phrase.) However troubled their relationship might be, Karla’s urging that Julie cheat on him doesn’t really make her a likeable character.

  • In order to isolate the victims at what should be a packed tourist trap, it’s established that its big tourist season has ended. On the Fourth of July weekend. They try to justify this by saying that this is when “storm season” begins. Sure. I’m surprised that a resort that must close its doors during the height of summer is in business at all.

  • Along the same lines, why hasn’t the hotel shut its doors completely to tourists? Why isn’t just a custodial staff there? Why are all the facilities still available to exactly four guests?

  • Although supposedly arriving on the last day of the season, there are no lines of people waiting to leave.

  • The local drug dealer (a white guy who tries to speak jive, probably modeled after Gary Oldman’s far superior character in True Romance) continues to hang out on the island even though his clientele is about to be reduced to four people who’ve already turned him down.

  • While Ray recovers at a hospital, a cop dismisses his story. Even though he could easily check on the name Ben Willis, which Ray gives him. Ray escapes from the hospital to go after Julie, but before he determines whether the authorities will help him or not. By the way, I think doctors move a little quicker than a stroll when patients flatline.

  • The words “I still know blah blah blah” appear on a kareoke machine while Julie sings (shudder). Either she can’t hallucinate the correct dates, or Ben Wilson needs to keep track of dates better. If it wasn’t a hallucination, the monitor it appears on faces Julie’s friends. He was taking an awful chance of them seeing it.

  • Every time someone is being stalked, especially during the false alarms, things unwind in an aggravatingly slow manner.

  • Once again, Benny leaves a body dripping blood for Julie to find. She freaks and goes to get help. Naturally, upon return the ol’ Advanced Vorhees Unreality Engineâ„¢ has struck again, removing the body with nary an incriminating blood stain in sight.

  • Why kill the drug dealer? The other victims were in his way, or had access to boats, but what threat did he pose? Answer: none. They just wanted a larger pool of victims. Of course, he did violate Slasher movie morality, so…

  • A pawnbroker in what looks like a rough part of town happily gives Ray a gun, ammo, and $300 for a ring he claims is worth about $250.

  • Despite it being storm season, the hotel’s facilities are not sealed up with storm shutters.

  • Karla works out in a gym while Julie is on a tanning bed in the next room. Hearing a noise, she eventually discovers a body in another adjoining room. Willis then apparently locks her in. (Although we don’t see this, and Karla’s screams can’t be heard in the scene immediately following). I guess the filmmakers didn’t want to reduce the breast count, because everyone else Willis had isolated got their ticket punched pronto.

  • Liberal use of the Heroes’ Death Battle Exemptionâ„¢ to keep Julie alive. Willis locks Julie in a tanning bed instead of just skewering her. (He even has a plastic tie handy for this purpose.) It defies reason that Julie, already half-convinced that the killer is on the island, would let her guard down like this. And Ben, who’s already had trouble killing her, takes the less efficient route to dispatch her, giving her friends time to come to her rescue.

  • During the above-mentioned scene, Julie’s friends rush over and try to open the tanning bed. No one thinks to turn it off or yank the cord out of the wall.

  • The hotel is in strict compliance with the One Radio Rule. Take a wild guess as to if it gets smashed or not.

  • I’ll say it. Both movies have obviously been designed to showcase the actresses’ breasts as much as possible without showing actual nudity. This is so obvious it prompted Mr. Cranky to retitle this movie “I Still Know What Your Breasts Did Last Summer” and refer to Hewitt’s breasts as though they were a character in the movie throughout the review.

  • We learn that Julie told Karla all about her experience with Ben Willis except for the minor detail that his body was never found. She apparently omitted this just so Karla could have a pointless “You’re supposed to trust me I’m your friend” speech.

  • Tyrell believes Estes is the killer, even though Julie has told him who the killer is. He draws this conclusion from the fact that no one else is left alive on the island. (Oh, except the bartender. Why doesn’t she count?) Upon discovering that Estes practices voodoo, Tyrell seems to think this confirms it. Karla believes it as well.

  • Upon establishing that there is a killer loose, people continue to split up for no good reason. On one occasion, the girls are left behind in the lobby because “It’s safer.”

  • Estes apparently figured out something was up early in the game, so he tried a voodoo ritual to protect them. A word of warning would also have been appreciated, I’m sure.

  • If I’m not mistaken, that’s the grave of Ben’s daughter in the cemetery. Did they really bury her here, hauling her body all the way from South Port, North Carolina?

  • The “What are you waiting for, I’m right here” speech from the first movie was just so good they decided to have Julie do it again in this movie, nearly verbatim. It also gives Hewitt another opportunity to bounce her ample cleavage.

  • Ray doesn’t try to summon help until he’s off the coast of the island. After extended tooling around on the mainland. Naturally, he can’t get through.

  • After the death of Tyrell, the three women are chased by Willis and run through the hotel–and up the stairs. Not out the front door.

  • Trapped on a glass roof, Karla walks on the fragile glass panels instead of rolling and evenly distributing the weight. Despite this instance, Karla doesn’t act as consistently stupid as Sarah Harding in The Lost World, but be fair–she had fewer opportunities. Oh, and when she does fall through, her back isn’t lacerated like it should be.

  • After we see a door that’s chained shut, Karla, cut off on her own, tries it and says “Damn, it’s locked.” Thanks Karla. You’ll keep us posted on another further developments, won’t you?

  • At one point, the killer is closing in on Karla, huddled around the door that is chained shut. (Karla, ever helpful, explains to Nancy and Julie that door is locked.) Julie grabs a fire axe, breaks the window so Karla can escape…and then they run away. Uh, guys, it’s three on one and one of you has an axe…

  • The bodies are all moved from individual locations, even after they are initially discovered, just so we can have another moment of the heroine finding all the bodies.

  • Julie lets Will throw the axe away without protest. Smart.

  • When “Ben’s Son” comes forward, his performance is obviously ripped off from the revelation sequence in Scream.

  • All the victims are telegraphed. Naturally the horny guy gets it. As do the rude hotel staff. A drug dealer. The red herring suspect. Not a single surprise.

  • Ray arrives with his gun, but hesitates as Ben mocks him, telling him he doesn’t have it in him. That’s a foolhardy assessment, seeing as how in the past Ray has fought with him hand to hand and tried to cover up his hit and run death. Just once, I’d love to see a movie scene where someone gets this far into the taunt: “You don’t have it in—” and then is interrupted by a bullet to the head.

  • Ray tries to shoot…nada. Why didn’t Ray’s gun fire? Didn’t he load all the chambers? How does Julie fire eight shots with the same gun minutes later?

  • Although it’s “storm season” and in fact there has been a storm on the island, naturally the weather is all calm and quiet once the killers are “dead.”

  • Another The Killer Isn’t Dead “Surprise” to end the movie. Considering the damage the killer received (8 bullets to the chest) this one is even less likely.

And the scariest thing is that there is talk of making another one of these damn movies.

Maybe that one finally reach Jabootu standards.