Sunday, October 14, 2007

Deadly Friend

As mentioned before when I was reviewing The Hand, this is the other weak entry in the Twisted Terror Collection, though in fairness to it it’s at least not dull like The Hand was. One of a number of forgettable 80s horror movies directed by Wes Craven, this one has a young brilliant college age scientist that’s learned how to make a robot with a brain “almost as complex as a human’s”, and so feels it’s a natural move to insert the robot brain into his girlfriend’s after she’s knocked down the stairs and killed by her abusive father.

I know what you must be thinking, but no, this does not turn out perfectly well for everyone. I’ve gotta say, though, while this is indeed a bad movie, it’s at least an entertainingly bad one. The entire time the robot is still bumping around, flinging pianos around to find outlets to charge itself up in, we get a parade of people who are needlessly villainous to the point where they almost function as cartoon characters just so that when shit starts to go down later on we’ll have a steady stream of bodies. Craven even went so far as to throw in Anne Ramsey, a mere year after her stint as Mama Fratelli in The Goonies, because if you’re going to go over the top anyway then why not just shoot for the moon, right?

There are some other nice touches, such as the completely ridiculous way Kristy Swanson wields her hands when attacking so she’ll better imitate the two fingers of that dumb robot. In the end, though, the film really doesn’t manage to take things to the next level, outside of a few isolated moments. While it isn’t boring, it doesn’t manage to get beyond mere “entertainingly bad” and into “brilliantly bad” like some of Craven’s other movies like Shocker or The People Under the Stairs managed. Still, it’s certainly watchable enough, but it’s not going to wow you like some of the other films in this collection.

Rating: **

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