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The 100




Deadly Friend
(1986)
Reviewed by Nathan Johnston
Rating: 8 Beans

ant a sure-fire recipe for a bad movie? Make its star a child genius. This flick had me wishing its child prodigy lead to be skewered on rusty fishing hooks and used as bait to catch a school of rabid piranhas.

But enough of the well-adjusted thoughts from my mind…

Here we have a movie that was unbelievably made by Wes Craven after he found notoriety with "Nightmare on Elm Street" - which by the way didn't scare me at all when I first saw it at the tender age of 8… 10 years later when I legally allowed to watch however is a different story.

But I stray from the subject at hand…

Getting back on track, here Mr Craven has dished up to us a half-baked tale about a young child genius (grrr) and his robot, B.B. You see, young Paul has moved to a new neighhourhood with dear ol' mum. This is no ordinary neighbourhood though, oh no. This neighbourhood comes complete with not one, but two psycho neighbours, a young street gang that look like rejects from a "Grease" revival convention, the local cops -who are all a few kangaroos short in the top paddock and of course, the object of our young child genius' (grrr) affection: the shy girl next door.

How did this kid ever become a genius (grrr) when he has a mother so stupid that she chose this neighbourhood to move into? Adoption could be the answer, but how could this woman be allowed to adopt a child?

Moving on... our single parent family has moved into their new neighbourhood so Paul can attend college. Within fifteen minutes of arriving, Paul has met the paperboy named Tom and befriended him by asking what he knows about artificial intelligence. He has also got on the wrong side psycho neighbour #1, been singled out by the local gang as a target and developed an obsession with Sam, the girl next door.

I'd say crush or infatuation maybe, but this guy is so hard up for a date you should see what he does. Failing that, I'll do the next best thing and tell you.

Everything is going along hunky-dory for our genius (grrr) Paul, his grades are good, he has a best friend, an understanding, if somewhat stupid mother, and he no longer needs his goddamned robot to fulfil his deviant pleasures seeing he has Sam to fill that role now. Then his world is callously destroyed (no sarcasm there folks… really, honest) when psycho neighbour #1 blows B.B's head off with a shot gun, then psycho #2, who just happens to be Sam's dad, pushes Sam down some stairs and kills her.

As a reaction, Paul proves that he in fact is not a genius - which, to tell you the truth, didn't surprise me in the slightest - by using B.B's computer chip brain and re-aminating Sam with it. Needless to say that not everything goes according to plan… Sam ends up become psycho neighbour #3, and goes on a mad killing spree armed with her trusty basketball in one instance, which she uses to great effect.

This movie just goes to show that all genius'; especially child geniuses are more crazy, sick, twisted and insane than us normal folk.






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