Sunday, March 28, 2010
DEADLY FRIEND (1986)
I finally caught up with Wes Craven’s 1986 horror film DEADLY FRIEND recently and was stunned. I had heard for years that it was …. Well….I actually hadn’t heard that much about it. Other than chuckles over some scene that involved a basketball most veterans of the film just referred to it as a typical 80s misfire from Craven and moved on. That may be why it took so long for me to watch the damned thing.
Let me say right up front that it is a terrible movie. Awful, in fact. In a career that has produced such crappy movies as CURSED, SHOCKER, VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN, THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS and THE HILLS HAVE EYES PART 2 I would have to go to the mat for this on being the worst. Well- HILLS HAVE EYES 2 is probably worse technically but this thing really sucks. It has everything I learned to hate about movies in the 1980s. It has a cute and unbelievably advanced robot played as a ‘cute’ character; it has the obvious (for the 80s) child abuse subplot; it has the teenage scientific genius (known as Wesley Crusher syndrome); it has the quirky/crazy neighbor character who might just go too far and it has the hot girl (literally) next door that is way out of the main character’s romantic league. It’s a rolling cliché machine in movie form and for the first 20 minutes or so I could kind of enjoy it for the ‘trip down crappy movie memory lane’ that it is. But then the big stupid stuff starts to happen and it became completely terrible and sadly entertaining in the wrong ways. If you never watch this movie (and I’m suggesting you don’t) you should at least see the much talked about basketball scene. It’s the pinnacle of the film’s unintentional humor and shows perfectly what is so wrong-headed about the entire affair. Completely physically impossible and poorly done to boot it is a moment of guilty movie madness. Insane and ridiculous.
So, I don’t recommend this film to any but the most masochistic of horror movie aficionados and I’m sure you know who you are. It’s the kind of film that makes me regret my desire to see nearly every horror movie made. Almost.