Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz!
I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Bootleggers” with a minor in “Sleeveless Shirts”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!
From September of 2013, it’s the long lost speech for Kazaam!
Max is a troubled kid from the projects who’s mistrust of others stems from his father’s disappearance, but when he uncovers a magic boom box in an abandoned building he unleashes a genie! Kazaam, the rhyming genie of the Beat Box is in the same boat, having not been able to make friends during his thousand-year imprisonment. In order to stay free from his prison Kazaam must grant Max his three wishes, but all Max really wants is to find his father. Can Kazaam grant Max’s desire, or will Max’s wish backfire when he discovers his father’s dark past and shady dealings with music bootleggers?
Kazaam, starring Shaquille O’Neal as the titular character, Francis Capra as Max, and Marchall Manesh as Malik, the conniving owner of a local nightclub, was released in July of 1996, just a few months before the November release of Michael Jordan’s Space Jam. The director, Paul Michael Glaser, who’s son Jake plays one of Max’s friends in the movie, is mostly known for directing episodes of TV series like Starsky and Hutch and Miami Vice. Personally I have a hard tim blaming the god-awful-ness of Kazaam to Glaser alone, especially since Kazaam was his last feature film as director before he went back to TV and minor acting roles. There’s nothing I respect more in a Supercult director than knowing when to throw in the towel…even if the alternative would’ve given us more horribly awesome films to watch!
Kazaam was actually Shaq’s second big screen appearance. His first was in 1994 in the film Blue Chips, about a college basketball coach who’s on-court temper is ruining recruitment for the team, is forced to break the rules in order to get the players he needs to stay competitive. Shaq was actually pretty good in the film, but his judgment and choice of material does not reflect his acting skills. After Kazaam he would star in “Steel” in 1997, based on the DC comic book character by the same name, which has a 12% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Beyond that he has steered away from starring roles and kept to brief cameos and 4th-wall breaking glances into the camera.
Despite Shaq’s character painfully breaking into rhyme at every opportunity, Shaquille O’Neal actually has a fairly decent rap career, having released 2 albums prior to Kazaam and then also had two songs on the Kazaam Soundtrack.
Beyond that there’s not much to say about this phoned-in celebrity tie-in film. Kazaam’s trivia page on IMDB has only two entries one of which reads:
“Shaquille O’Neal, the genie in this movie, is well known for a long and outstanding basketball career.”
Roger Ebert writes,”“Kazaam” is a textbook example of a filmed deal, in which adults assemble a package that reflects their own interests and try to sell it to kids. How else to explain a children’s movie where the villains are trying to steal a bootleg recording so they can sell pirated copies of it? What do kids know, or care, about that?”
Kazaam received overwhelmingly bad reviews from critics and wasn’t even able to break even on it’s modest 20 million dollar budget at the box office. It has a less than magical 6% on Rotten tomatoes and a 2.6 on IMDB. Parents and critics thought it was a little too gritty and violent than it’s PG rating suggested and it is generally considered to be one of the worst movies ever made.
Here at Supercult we like to think that it’s our job to provide you with the best of the best…of the worst, and nothing epitomizes that mission quite like tonight’s feature.
Get ready to open up an especially magical can of Shaq-Fu!
The Supercult Show proudly presents, Kazaam!