And now the end is near and so I face my final curtain. We’ve reached the 8th and final–as of time of writing–Beethoven movie. We started with one family, shifted to their cousins in Beethoven’s 3rd, swapped over to a different cousin in Beethoven’s 5th, rebooted the entire franchise in Beethoven’s Big Break, and had a pointless Christmas side story of dubious canonicity in Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure. Does this overly long franchise end on a bang instead of a whimper? Why would you ever seriously ask that question. Of course it doesn’t.
We’re back with Eddie, but things in the filmmaking world are not going well. Beethoven has lost his love of acting, leading to him and Eddie being fired from Spydog 3. They had a really bad dog-themed parody of Johnny Rivers’ “Secret Agent Man,” so no big loss. Driving back home in a shitty rental the two are stranded in the tiny town of O’Malley’s Cove, a place on the verge of being bought up by the sinister Fritz Bruchschnauser, played by… wait, is that really Mr. Jeffrey Combs? From Reanimator and The Frightners? Okay, sure, he’s a sinister real estate mogul with a bad German accent. Why not. The town is facing hard times but finding the supposed legendary buried treasure sure would help out. This story is believed wholeheartedly by a kid named Sam, but not so much by his mom Anne (Kristy Swanson, AKA the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer). They’re the new potential family since Eddie’s son is in college now and the girlfriend he got in Beethoven’s Big Break is never mentioned, so I’m going to assume she died. Some hijinks happen and eventually the treasure is found by Sam, but Bruchschnauser steals it. Beethoven manages to knock the villain into the water right as the cops show up. But stealing from a child is not why the cops show up to arrest him. Oh no, this movie had to pull some bizarre bullshit out of its ass right at the end. See, Jeffrey Combs isn’t the real Fritz Bruchschnauser. That’s actually Udo Kier, gay vampire icon and my boyfriend. Turns out Combs is some dude named Howard Belch, because all the names in this movie were picked by a 5-year-old. How long has he been impersonating Bruchschnauser? Does the real Bruchschnauser plan on buying out O’Malley’s Cove, or was that all Belch’s plan? All of “Bruchschnauser’s” assistant/lackeys didn’t seem shocked to find out their boss was a fraud, so how much did they know? Why would the movie choose this insane way to wrap up the climax? Regardless of all this, Eddie stays in the town with Annie and Sam, making his own films with Beethoven. The end, both to the movie and to the franchise as a whole.
Look, I’ve watched some absolute dog shit–pun kind of intended–because an actor I liked was in it. Billy Zane and Ron Perlman were in The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption, Bill Moseley was in Home Sick, and Stephen Geoffreys was in Sick Girl (after he quit gay porn). I’m not opposed to sitting through a bad movie to see Jeffrey Combs AND Udo Kier, but not like this. Kier is barely in this, which is an absolute crime. Combs is in it more, but that painfully fake German accent takes away from the wholething. You ruined it, movie! You got two horror legends–three if you count Swanson–in one film and it’s a fucking lackluster Beethoven sequel. Nobody I’ve talked to even knew there was an eighth film! Most of them weren’t aware of anything past the first or second!
I have no real way to segue to this, but let’s close out these movies with a confession. My friends and I thought for ages that the final film was actually titled Beethoven’s Treasure Trail, which has… different connotations. The actual title does make some sense–tale versus tail, ha ha–but half the excitement was waiting to see a movie with innuendo in the title. Oh well. At least I have The Midnight Meat Train and Snatch.
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