Judging by the amount of 25th anniversaries popping up, 1991 was a pretty good time for cult film fans
We’ve had Terminator 2, Hot Shots! and, erm… Highlander 2 will also be celebrating a quarter of a century in existence this year.
But now, it’s the turn of the second, most excellent movie in the Bill & Ted franchise, Bogus Journey.
A classic comedy about music, friendship, and playing Twister with Death. Here’s 25 things you (probably) didn’t know about the fun cult favourite.
1. It originally had a much more offensive title
Well, for American audiences at least: the original title was Bill & Ted Go To Hell, but this was changed because of objections to the use of the word “hell”. Sensitive much?
2. It featured real bands
The band playing before the Wyld Stallyns at the Battle of the Bands are weirdo funk-rockers Primus. They play arguably their most famous song, ‘Tommy the Cat’.
3. Even a future nu-metal star makes an appearance
There are also cameos from Jim Martin of Faith No More, and a 13-year old Brad Delson, who would go on to become the lead guitarist with Linkin Park.
4. It didn’t take that long to shoot
Despite all of the afterlife-hopping shenanigans, the shoot for Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey was actually pretty short, amounting to only around 12 weeks.
5. There was a strange design scheme for the film
While not apparent to most viewers, eagle-eyed fans will be able to spot that the overall design of the film was based on circles, domes and spheres. You can see this circular theme running through the Heaven and Hell sets.
6. The location used for the Bill & Ted University became another famous institution
The Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys, Los Angeles was used to represent the Bill & Ted University.
It would later be used to represent another future university, namely Starfleet Academy, in a couple of episodes of the Star Trek TV series, Voyager.
7. And that’s not the only Star Trek connection…
The location where evil Bill & Ted try to kill the real Bill & Ted is the same location in which James T. Kirk is standing in the Star Trek scene shown on a TV earlier in the movie.
8. It heavily references an arthouse classic
The titular duo playing a game with Death to win back their lives is a reference to the classic Ingmar Bergman film, The Seventh Seal, in which a knight plays chess with Death for his life.
9. A legendary guitarist provided most of the ‘licks’
Legendary guitar shred hero Steve Vai contributed pretty much all of the guitar licks which are played throughout the film when Bill & Ted play air guitar.
He also contributed to ‘The Reaper Rap’, the song heard during the end credits.
10. The writers liked to reference themselves a lot
The chant to get rid of evil that Missy and the “New Age Dudes” say, which sends Bill & Ted to Hell is, “Ed and Chris will rule the world” said backwards. Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson are the writers of the film.
11. They even named characters after themselves
‘De Nomolos’, an evil character from the future, has a pretty legit sounding bad guy name. Eagle eyes readers will be able to spot that it’s actually the name of writer Ed Solomon spelled backwards.
12. And they inserted themselves into the film as much as they could
Boy, Soloman and Matheson liked to put their stamp on things. When Bill and Ted attend a séance at Missy’s, you can see the pair as the only other men attending the séance.
Chris Matheson wears a white shirt, while Ed Soloman can be seen in a pair of glasses.
13. There was a Marvel Comics spin-off
Marvel released a comic book adaptation of the movie, with artist Evan Dorkin working from the original script, which included many of the deleted scenes.
The comic became so popular, a spin-off series – Bill & Ted’s Excellent Comic Book – ran for 12 issues and featured original stories.
14. The comics feature some interesting deviations from the movie
Being based on the film’s original scripts, before the final revisions that made it to the big screen were made, the comic spin-off has a few notable differences
One major deviation sees The Evil Robot clones killing Bill and Ted at the Battle of the Bands, and the boys invoking their wins against Death to get resurrected.
15. It references romantic classic A Matter of Life And Death
In a scene where Bill & Ted are addressing God, there are two statues at the base of the staircase.
One is a statue of Michael Powell and the other is of David Niven, an homage to Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s afterlife classic A Matter of Life and Death.
16. It’s chock full of pop culture Easter Eggs
Some of the harder to spot references include Hawaii 5-0 (as Ted’s father is taking De Nomolos away, Death says “Book em, Danno,” made famous in the show), and the band Poison (when Ted attempts to get into Heaven by proving himself he quotes the lyrics of ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’, by the heavy metal band).
17. There’s a ‘terrifying’ deleted scene
Well, terrifying for most slacker dudes anyway. A deleted scene shows the Evil Robots using devices to conjure up Bill & Ted’s’ Personal Hells again, including the gross Grandmother and the demonic Easter Bunny.
Bill gives his Granny a kiss on the cheek, and Ted calls his brother and apologizes for stealing his Easter candy to thwart the threat.
18. It features some nifty CGI
You wouldn’t expect the layabout comedy to have employed the (relatively expensive at the time) art of computer generated imagery, and certainly not in such a banal way, but the scene at The Circle K shop wasn’t actually filmed at a Circle K.
It was instead filmed at a 7/11, with the Circle K logo and sky behind it being computer generated.
19. The original’s director wanted nothing to do with it
Stephen Herek, who sat in the director’s chair for 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, turned down an offer to return, saying the sequel was “almost a parody of a movie that was already a parody”
20. But the new director makes an appearance
Peter Hewitt appears as a smoker credited as Max Magenta. If you have trouble spotting him, he’s the guy Death says “I’ll see you soon” to.
21. Megadeth originally wrote a song for the film
Back when it was to be known as Bill & Ted Go To Hell, Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine wrote a title track of sorts for the film. It appeared on the band’s 1995 EP Hidden Treasures.
22. It won over some staunch critics
Noted movie critic Roger Ebert was won over almost instantly by the film, despite never having seen the first instalment.
He said: “It’s the kind of movie where you start out snickering in spite of yourself, and end up actually admiring the originality that went into creating this hallucinatory slapstick.”
23. There’s an amazing looking video game version
OK, so it’s not a video game version of the film as such, but Bill & Ted’s Excellent Video Game Adventure – released for the NES in 1991 – is set in the same universe, and was brought out to tie in with the film.
24. Rumour has it there’s already been a third movie…
Urban legend dictates that the script for 1996’s Biodome was actually written as the third film in the Bill & Ted franchise.
Alex Winter laid this rumor to rest in a 2011 interview, when he said:
“Total urban legend as far as I know. No one involved in that movie had anything to do with Bill & Ted. So unless they were just going to try and reboot the franchise with that concept and different actors, I can’t see a connection.”
25. There may actually be a proper sequel… eventually
Since 2010, talk has been circulating about a possible “three-quel” in the series. In April 2011 it was confirmed that a draft script was complete, but it went pretty quiet after that.
Then Alex Winter appeared on The Nerdist in 2015 podcast and said the “three-quel” was very close to happening, however, there is still no solid date for filming or release however.