Deadly Friend (1986)
Director: Wes Craven
Teen genius Paul (Laborteaux) moves in a new neighborhood with his robot "BB" and his lovely mama (Twoney). He quickly falls in luv with his neighbor, tomboy blonde Samantha (Swanson) but faster than you can say "After School Special On Acid" "BB" the robot gets shot to pieces by a crazy woman (the dead Ramsey) and Samantha, the crush of his life gets accidentally killed by her abusive, booze guzzling daddy. Then shit goes real bad!
This movie is based on a great book called "Friends" by Diane Henstell. It’s a beautiful horror love story. The movie adaptation has lots of problems and I wont blame Wes Craven for all of them, I’ll blame Warner Brothers. The studio wanting to capitalize on the success of "Elm Street" had the screenwriter write in 6 extra bloody scenes to insert into the movie and the ending (stupidest cap off ever seen in a film) was the idea of Mark Tapin president off Warner Brothers. So what we’re left with is a love story beyond the grave trying to survive amidst irrelevant dream sequences, dumb yet still fun) murders (woman gets her head blown away with a…basketball?!?) and a asinine false ending.
Apart from the studio bullcrap the film is filled with way too many one dimensional characters. You got the crazy old woman, the evil punks (who look like they’re 30 or something) and the abusive father. But i didn't mind that so much, as they were there to serve a purpose, to be fodder once teh flick kicked into undead vigilante mode. Also the movie never explains how having a CPU chip in your head gives you superhuman strength…still don't get that one. On a positive note "BB" the robot is darn cute and funny, Wes Craven's genius surfaced during some key horror scenes, the love story was very poignant, the supporting cast is solid, Kristy Swanson (my first movie crush) shines in it and yes Matthew Laborteaux comes through as well. Their chemistry together makes the movie happen!
This movie didn’t need the gore…it’s not about that. But we still get it cause the studios think we can’t watch a good horror movie without some blood in it. Bloody dream sequences and a head blows up by basketball impact. Red and stupid.
Matthew Laborteaux (Paul) is very believable as the boy genius going the Dr Frankenstein way. We as an audience are always on his side. Michael Sharrett (Tom) delivers more than the conscience of the film, he also brings the comic relief, seeing him pass out when things get bloody is darn funny. Anne Twoney (Jeannie) brings caring and sweetness to the part of the mom (wish she was my mommy). Anne Ramsey (Elvira) and Richard Marcus (Harry) don't have much to do but make faces at the camera and look evil. When I first saw this flick I fell in love with Kristy Swanson (Samantha). Today I see why. Swanson gives a vulnerable, innocent, compassionate performance. You feel for her and still care about her when she’s dead/alive.
T & A
The robot’s behind is firm and shiny.
We get kool robot POV shots, interesting lighting and nifty slow motion and a couple of nifty living dead girl hero moments.
I appreciated the score, it supports the action perfectly.
A date flick for horror fans! Yup, gorehounds have hearts too, and this re-take on the "Frankenstein" tale with teens, a robot and a love twist was welcomed by my open arms. Bummer that the studio interference insults our intelligence and lessens the movie. Check it out for Kristy Swanson, Matthew Laborteaux, BB the robot, a fine supporting cast, a handful of potent horror shots and the sour side; to witness what happens when studios think they’re filmmakers. With that, this one comes with sentimental value for me, so I still dig it more than I should. With all of its faults, I am a BIG TIME sucker for this movie...
This movie was written by Bruce Joel Rubin the man behind Ghost and Jacob’s Ladder. He’s not happy with the way the flick turned out either.