Saturday, March 13, 2010

Monster Crap Inductee: Deadly Friend (1986)

Monster Crap Inductee: Deadly Friend

This Movie Was Just Better Off Dead


Well, after the week long break that needed to happen as I was exhausted as hell after the Thankskilling induction. But at least I was rewarded for that by actually getting a message from the director who was happy with my induction. Honestly, that is the first time that has happened and knowing what I normally do in my inductions, that should not be a surprise at all. Anyway, let’s move on to this week’s induction and unfortunately, I will not be as glowing about this movie as I was for Thankskilling.

Wes Craven is one of those interesting directors who is not John Carpenter in that he has most of his movies being good, while at the same time not be Tobe Hooper, who for every good movie he has made, has made 10 shitty ones. Wes Craven is actually a 50/50 horror director, who has really been able to adapt to the times with The Hills Have Eyes, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Serpent And The Rainbow, & in the 90s, Scream. The problem is that he has also made movies that suck as well. Half of the time, they are under the terms of “what the hell was he thinking” like Vampire In Brooklyn & Cursed. Other times however, he has had really good ideas that just failed in execution like Red Eye & Swamp Thing.

This movie is the really later in that it is a bad film, but it was a really good idea that was just executed badly. Deadly Friend is of course as advertised, Wes Craven’s attempt to modernize the story of Frankenstein. It involves the idea of bringing someone to life, and adding the cybernetic aspect that was of that time. To star in this movie, Wes would get Matthew Laborteax, who was and is still best known as….

Albert Ingalls from Little House On The Prairie

The other star of the film would be Kristy Swanson and other than a role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, she didn’t have much experience acting at that time. I would like to really emphasize “At That Time”, because I’m sure most of you actually know who Kristy Swanson is while having no clue who the other guy is. It also had Anne Ramsey, who you may not know the name, but you would know the face because she played the villain….

Mama Fratelli from The Goonies

Honestly, if you don’t know what The Goonies is…..just stop reading this induction right now and watch that movie because until you have seen that movie, I will keep asking you “What The Hell Is Wrong With You”. Hell, I have made a Goonies mention in the past and if you can find that, well……

You Get Nothing!!!

Now why did this film fail? We are about to find out.

Before we actually get to the opening credits, I will say this about the DVD menu screen. You know that dress that she is wearing….

In This Movie, She Never Wears It…..Yet In Both This And The Back Of The DVD Cover, They Have Her In That Dress. This Means That There Are Some Deleted Scenes Out There, And We Have Never Been Able To See Them. Nice To Know That The People Who Released This DVD Actually Watched The Movie.

We begin at a parking lot and some guy is breaking into a van. He looks through a purse that was conveniently left in the truck until he hears a voice. It is a robot voice that says “BB”. Our thief is of course curious by this and of course, he immediately gets the robot’s feelings on the situation.

Get Away From The Car, Mother Fucker.

Just as effective in protecting your car and your valuables as a Big Black Guy Named Ben. Oh yeah, besides the arm….how do we know this is a robot.

This Robot Sees In Pixels.

BB attempts to strangle the guy, but sees a mom and her kid coming and decides to let the guy go. The guy runs away and the robot closes the door, erasing any evidence seen by the naked eye of an incident happening. The mom and her teenage son enter the van and the guy says hello to BB. The thief looks on and asks….

Thief: What The Hell Was That?

We then get the opening credits. You know, can we for once get the opening credits before anything in the movie happens for once. I know that it is a way to get you into the movie and all, but I would like some mystery. Oh well, at least it isn’t as bad as 10,000 BC.

They Actually Used Different Colors For The Title; I Will Give The Film That As It Is Unique.

While we get the rest of the cast and crew for the film, we see Bib looking out of the side of the car while it drives away.

Sad Thing Is This Reminds Me Of The Opening To Manos: The Hands Of Fate. That Is Not A Good Thing.

While figuring out math equations, the mom tries to get him to give directions using the map. They come to a very nice house which we find out is where they are moving to. We get a quick transition to someone opening their blinds and closing them quickly when our teenage kid thinks he sees someone. The mom looks in amazement at the place they will be living in now while we are finally introduced to BB.

I Have To Say For The 80s, That Is A Very Good Robot.

Anyway, I should get to the fact that our teenage kid is Paul Conway and he is a genius. His mother’s name is Jeanne. Also I should add that BB sounds like a gremlin from the Gremlins movies. I should add that the guy who does BB’s voice is Charles Fleischer, who played Dr. King in A Nightmare On Elm Street. Anyway, the local paperboy comes by and we are introduced to Tom “Slime” Toomey.

The two become friends quick and when asked about going to high school, Paul reveals that he is actually going to college as he has a scholarship from Poly Tech. He reveals that he also made the robot with a basic program and allows B.B. to figure the rest out on its own. BB even helps Tom up as Tom tells Paul that he guesses he will see him around. Child prodigy, everyone!!!!!

Back inside, Jeanne and Paul celebrate their new house with wine given to them by the doctor at the college. BB has super strength as he tosses the piano by so he can recharge his battery.

We move to the college where Paul meets with Dr. Johanson and we see that Paul is an expert on brain activity. Dr. Johanson shows him the lab that they will be working at. We them see what BB can do at home when he…..

Mows The Lawn!!! Damn It, I Want This Robot Because The M.S. Limits Me From Doing Much Outdoor Work.

Paul looks in the outdoor shack while BB sees Samantha Pringle and goes to talk to her in his robot ways. Paul introduces himself as well and we see immediately that there is an attraction between these two.

To Be Fair, Kristy Swanson Could Do That To A Lot Of People.

We also since a hint of some domestic abuse as she covers up a burn mark. We then meet her dad….

Yeah, This Guy Looks Like A Nice Guy.

Even BB sees problems with him as he growls. Samantha then leaves immediately to go into the house.

Paul and BB decide to go paper routing with Tom as we are introduced to the crazy person who was looking out the window early on.

Her name is Elvira Parker and she has a gate that is locked so you know she is extremely paranoid about the outdoor world. She is extremely scared by BB and chases them away. Tom jokes earlier on about how he will one day figure out the lock and deliver the paper to her by door. Paul mentions that BB could figure out that lock, but at this point, we don’t see it.

We also find out that Tom’s dad is a security guard at the hospital so he has all these keys to get in the place. We are then introduced to another asshole in this film on a bike named Carl.

Carl makes a joke about BB and intimidates Paul so BB decides to grab him…..

By The Balls!!!!

Paul threatens Carl’s goons that if Carl wants to see his balls not crushed, they will leave. Carl sends his goons away and BB finally releases him. Carl runs away and swears revenge.

At night, Paul gets a visitor in the form of Samantha, who brought some ice cream sandwiches. Jeanne is introduced to her, but of course Samantha’s father rears his ugly head and tells Sam to apologize for bothering them. The evil dad takes her back to his house while the two talk about how they don’t like that guy.

Samantha has a nightmare about her father trying to sexually abuse her and her stabbing him. He laughs as blood flies all over her.

We move to the next day where Paul is lecturing a college class on brain activity. That transitions to Paul, BB, Samantha, and Tom playing basketball. BB screws up and the ball is thrown into Elvira’s yard. They attempt to get it back, but Elvira comes out and puts the ball into her house by saying “My Property, My House, My Ball”. She thinks she can do that, but of course…..she may want to remember that someone could call the cops saying she is stealing others. But being this movie and the fact that they don’t think about that… never happens. But of course something better happens with that basketball later on.

We then transition back to the college where Sam makes a discovery that by hitting certain nerves, he can get certain parts of the human body to move even though the human is dead. This of course causes Dr. Johanson to jump back.

At that night, Jeannie and Paul are busy making a jack-o-lantern when they get a knock on the door with Samantha,

With A Bloody Nose

This concerns Jeannie, but Samantha says she gets bloody noses all the time. Jeannie doesn’t believe her and asks Samantha if she has ever thought about telling someone else about her father doing this. She then says that he is her father and while she may want to roll over his face with a truck, he is still her father. I may be giving crap about this movie, but as well all know…..that is how kids are really like when they have abusive parents. That is why a lot of domestic abuse is not reported in this country so I will say the following. If you are an adult and you are abusing either a spouse or a child, karma is going to strike your ass and when it does…..I will be laughing. And if you are the abused, please tell someone who can deal with that asshole.

It is now Halloween and of course Paul, Samantha, and Tom go trick or treating together while they are being followed by BB. They decide to do a joke where BB unlocks the gate and they scare Elvira by ringing her doorbell. BB unlocks the gate, but Tom and Paul won’t ring the doorbell out of fear. Samantha decides to do it and then there is an alarm system that scares the three who hide in her yard.

Elvira comes out and sees only BB at the gate. She draws her shotgun and despite Paul’s protests, BB charges at Elvira. Elvira responds by shooting BB with the shotgun several times, thus destroying it.

Elvira has a grin on her face while closing the door as Paul cries over BB’s demise.

The next day, Dr. Johanson gives a lesson while Paul still mourns over his fallen robot friend. Back at home, Paul, Samantha, and Jeannie mourn over BB while having what looks like a big dinner. They say grace and Jeannie makes the comment that she hopes that Samantha’s father doesn’t wake up tonight from his drunken stupor. Of course we move next door where her father has woken up from his sleep to drink a beer. When Samantha and Paul go outside, they kiss so you since they are in love. But Samantha goes home and finds out that her father is awake. She goes upstairs and her father attacks. Her father throws her down the stairs and she is unconscious.

The Conways are woken up by an ambulance next door and they see Samantha being taken to the hospital. We then hear her father lie about her falling down the stairs because she left her stuff on them.

At the hospital, everyone gets the bad news that Samantha is brain dead thanks to cerebral hemorrhaging. They have her on life support, but tomorrow night they will take her off of it. Paul mourns over this while coming up with an idea on how to save Samantha. He tells Tom about his idea and when Tom immediately refuses, he uses the fact that if it wasn’t for him….BB would still be alive. After that, Tom reluctantly agrees.

The plan is they drug Jeannie so they can leave for the hospital. Tom will steal his father’s keys so they can get in and Paul will use BB’s brain to revive Sam. The first two go well, but the third fails because they take her off of life support early, thanks in part to Samantha’s father wanting to get this over with. Paul steals her body and goes to the laboratory. He puts BB’s brain into Samantha, using very graphic effects.

The two see Samantha moving and Tom faints. The two drive back to Paul’s house and hide Samantha in the outdoor shack. The two go inside and it almost seems like Paul may have given his mother an overdose. But thankfully she awakes and she leaves not knowing anything happened. Tom goes home, really feeling that Paul betrayed their friendship with this.

Paul goes to check on Samantha B……

Yes, I Know There Is A Samantha Bee On Comedy Central’s The Daily Show (Love That Show), I’m Just Combining Names Since This Samantha Has The Brain Of BB.

Anyway, Paul turns the brain on and oh yes…..

Samantha B Awakes.

Paul tries to get Samantha B to sit up, but being this is a new body… isn’t that easy. Paul comes inside to hear the cops pulling up to Samantha’s house. They tell the father that Samantha’s body has disappeared and reporters are wondering if Samantha just walked away. Paul goes to bed that night, but is awaken by the sound of broken glass. Paul goes to check on Samantha B and sees that she is looking out the window in a creepy manner.

Oh Yeah, That Is Very Creepy

Samantha B looks out the window at her father taking out the trash and since it is one of those windows that you can see both ways, Paul decides to hide her before the father can look at the window himself. Paul decides to turn Samantha B off because she has a murderous look to her while looking at the father.

The next day, Paul gets called out by his mother because the sleeping bag he used for Samantha B to sleep in is outside on the ground. Paul explains he was just trying to test it out and Jeannie tells him that until he is rich, try not to ruin the expensive sleeping bag. Paul goes into the shack after Jeannie leaves and sees that Samantha B is gone. Paul goes to look for Samantha B, but we all know where she is and of course we immediately go to the house next door which houses her father.

The father hears something and decides to investigate. He sees that the side door has been left open and there is smoke coming from downstairs. The father asks who is there as we see that the downstairs furnace had been lit. He even sees a bottle of bourbon on the stairs. He goes to pick up the bottle, but a hand grabs him and forces him to fall down the stairs. As he gets up, the person who forced him down the stairs finally reveals herself.

Nobody Expects Samantha B!!!!

The father is shocked by this and even brings up the fact that she is supposed to be dead. Samantha B slowly walks towards him and of course, the father tries to revert to his abusive ways by swinging for her at her with a shovel. Samantha B catches it and throws it back.

Umm….I Think She Is A Bit Stronger Than The Last Time You Saw Her.

The father tries to apologize and say what happened to her was an accident, but he doesn’t help his case by trying to slap her. Samantha B catches the hand and breaks it. Sam B then forces the father into the furnace which burns him.

She picks him up and chokes so hard that she breaks his neck.

Paul is still looking for Samantha B and notices smoke coming out of the house next door. He goes to the basement and sees what happened to the abusive father.

Safe To Assume He Got What Was Coming To Him….

Paul sees that Samantha B is responsible for all of this and because he doesn’t want anything to be known, he hides the body behind some of the unfinished wall. Paul then brings Samantha B back to his room and decides to hide her in his room.

We then go to the house where Elvira lives and not only is she a crazy old lady; she is a crazy old cat lady. She hears some noise and of course thinking it is some kids, she decides to look out. What she sees terrifies her.

Elvira immediately calls the police and tells them that the dead girl is across the street. Of course, being that she is a crazy old lady…..the police laugh and take their time addressing her concerns. It is “A Boy Who Cried Wolf” situation. She has probably called them a few times on some of her paranoid problems that when there is an action problem, they will be in no hurry to address it.

While Elvira is concerned, Samantha B decides to once again unlock her gate. Elvira looks out her window and sees that her gate has been opened. This and the fact that she hears a backdoor open concerns her, but what even further concerns her is…..the basketball from earlier starts bouncing into view. Sorry, I have to stop her because this is an extreme rip-off a scene for the movie called “The Changeling”. No, not the movie with Angelina Jolie, but the 1980s ghost story.

Yeah, That Creepy Ass Scene

This really freaks Elvira out. Much so that she draws out her rifle. She hears the door close, but of course it was only a trick to give her a false sense of security. She goes back in the room and tries to put the basketball somewhere when Samantha B shows up. Sam decides to kill off Elvira by throwing the basketball so hard that it crushes her head into tiny little pieces.

Finish Her!!!!!

Samantha B Wins…….Fatality!!

Samantha B of course has one reaction to what she has done.


That night, Paul sleeps and has a nightmare.

Uh-Oh……Something Is Under The Covers.

The certain thing goes towards Paul and Paul finally decides to see what is under the covers.

I Guess The Father Has Become Freddy Krueger In This Movie.

Seriously, the guy is in the two nightmares that are in this film and they are by two different people. Paul wakes up and decides to go downstairs. He goes to get a glass of milk and of course, Sam B shows up to scare him, which forces him to drop the glass of milk. The glass breaks and that wakes up Jeannie. Paul hides Sam B outside so the mother doesn’t see her. Paul then puts Samantha B in the attic and then hears the sirens. Jeannie and Paul wonder what is going on and an officer tells them that both the abusive father and Elvira have been brutally murdered. Tom hears all of this and faints. After being helped up, he immediately leaves but not before giving Paul a look of shock.

The next morning, we hear Sam B break open the door from the attic. Jeannie hears some noise and thinks it is Paul, but Paul comes home and Jeannie wonders what is going on upstairs. Sam B looks at a picture of Samantha, Paul, and BB before everything went wrong. Seeing as how BB’s brain is still active, the brain sees that it is in Samantha’s body and the hybrid freaks out. Paul gets a phone call from Tom, in which Tom says he can no longer hide the secret and he is going to the cops. Paul is able to talk Tom into coming over so they can talk this whole thing over.

While at work, Jeannie gets a visit from Dr. Johanson who is concerned by the fact that Paul has not shown up to class in a while and of course, this is news to Jeannie. That night Paul and Tom talk, but Tom is persistent that he can’t keep this a secret anymore. Jeannie comes in and wonders what is going on and before Tom is able to spill the beans, Samantha B jumps out of the attic window and attacks Tom.

Paul gets Samantha B to stop, but Samantha runs after seeing what she has done. Paul follows after her and of course they get to an alleyway where Paul is attacked by Carl. Carl mocks Paul by saying that he doesn’t have any robot to protect him. He then hears the voice of BB, but sees Sam. Samantha uses BB’s voice and attacks Carl. The cops come by and Samantha B has an interesting way of dealing with them.

She Throws Carl At The Cop Car.

Sam B runs again and is eventually cornered by the cops. The minds of BB and Sam get mixed up and Sam B intentionally gets herself killed when she charges at a cop with a gun.

We get the sappy death scene which transitions to the morgue where the morticians are convinced that she is dead. Paul is able to sneak into the morgue and looks over Sam B’s body. Suddenly, a hand grabs Paul’s throat and it is Sam B, who is still alive. Suddenly, Sam’s body breaks apart and it ends with what appears to be the sound of Paul’s neck snapping and Samantha having a more robotic body.

Okay…..what the hell kind of ending is that. It makes no sense in any way to what previously is going on. It is one of those endings that I go scream “bullshit” on. And that is the end of this movie.

Now before you get my final thoughts, let’s talk about the aftermath. Matthew Laborteax (who played Paul Conway, our Dr. Frankenstein) has become a voice actor and he is doing okay for himself these days. Kristy Swanson (who played Samantha, our monster) has gone on to do a lot since this film (like be Buffy The Vampire Slayer in the film version that the TV series was based off of). She actually made some news recently during the Skating With Celebrities when her skating partner left his wife to marry Kristy. They now have one kid together and let’s hope this guy doesn’t leave her for someone else. In sadder news, the guy who played Dr. Johanson (Russ Marin) died 5 years ago of old age. Also bigger sad news, two years later would signify the death of one Anne Ramsey.

Remember when I was talking about them cutting things out and not having deleted scenes on the DVD. Turns out the VHS release was worse as the scene with the basketball decapitation, the burning of the face, and the first nightmare with Samantha stabbing her father. This was all butchered and cut out by those bastards at the MPAA. The fact that those scenes were restored for the DVD release and the fact that even the DVD cover showed a scene that is not at all in the movie, you can guess there are more deleted scenes that we could not see. This is why I am never going to understand why DVD companies are such pricks about giving the buyer some extras. This DVD that I have doesn’t even have a scene selection option, which is the first time I have seen that from a regular DVD. The only thing this DVD has is the theatrical trailer, the main film, and the settings. Bottom line is it is a terrible DVD.

Now onto the film itself. This film is less than satisfactory for me. This would have been satisfactory for me if they included the BS ending. But other problems are that the only actors who do exceptionally well are Kristy Swanson, Anne Ramsey, and the guy who plays the abusive father. Everyone else you just think, they are just going through the motions. Although I will be fair that since the lead actor apparently has autism and a hole in his heart, I could see why he was just going through the motions so he doesn’t hurt himself out there. The robot is really good, especially for the decade it was made. The music is really good as well. Unfortunately, this is why I say this film tried and just somehow failed in execution. They had a really good idea in telling a modern day Frankenstein story, but it just does not work.

And now that this induction is done with, I guess we should wonder what is next. Well, since it is March and since St. Patrick’s Day is this month, there is only one move that may be perfect for the next induction.

Yes, A Movie With A Killer Leprechaun

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