BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Deadly Friend: Collector’s Edition (1986) - Blu-ray Review

Deadly Friend: Collector’s Edition

This is a movie about the girl next door . . . turned into a robot in a life-saving operation by the teenage genius who lives on her block.  Still with me?  You should be as Deadly Friend, directed by Wes Craven, is a forgotten gem of 80’s horror schlock as it successfully combines horror elements with a cheesy grin on its way to a teenage version of Bride of Frankenstein because the girl-turned-robot starts killing all those out to do her harm.

Just what has this boy created?!  

"Fun, ridiculous, and gory as hell"


Deadly Friend, as originally conceived, is Craven’s attempt to get away from the horror genre circa 1986.  The fans of A Nightmare on Elm Street and the studio wouldn’t let him, so - sometime during the making of the movie - DEADLY was added and out came the gore, complete with a stunning sequence in which a nosy neighbor gets her head popped in with a basketball.  SPLAT!

Newly remastered by Scream Factory, Deadly Friend begins with a jolt as a car thief is thwarted by a mechanical round robot named BB (voiced by Charles Fleischer) while Paul (Matthew Labyorteaux, Barbarians At The Gate) and his single mother Jeannie (Anne Twomey) are in a convenience store getting supplies for their trip to their new home.  BB easily scares off the thief, but he also captures all of our attention as he plays basketball with Paul and Tom (Michael Sharrett) and, naturally, charms the pants off of his new neighborhood.  

Well, everyone that is except for Elvira Parker (Anne Ramsey, The Goonies), who threatens to blow BB away with her shotgun!  Deadly Friend: Collector’s Edition

Paul, being the young prodigy that he is, buries his head in his studies  and, while he might be awkward, he’s turning heads at the university with his take on technology, so when his hot neighbor, Samantha (Kristy Swanson, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), starts paying attention to him and to his specially-built robot, he finds himself spending more and more time with her.  

Eventually, Elvira does blow the hell out of BB and it is a glorious scene of destruction which leaves Paul, Tom, and Samantha speechless.  How could she?!  

Grieving, Paul turns to Dr. Johanson (Russ Marin) and buries his head in his studies.  Over Thanksgiving, he also buries his face in Samantha’s lips and the two start a relationship together.  But all is not well with her.  Her alcoholic father Harry (Richard Marcus) is abusive and a bit of a pervert, so when Sam winds up dead, it is no surprise to us.  

It is; however, a complete shock to Paul who takes matters into his own hands and brings her back to life . . . with DEADLY consequences.  This is when the horror aspect takes over as Samantha, all robotic like, starts stiffly killing the bad guys on the block: her father, Elvira, and so on.

Fun, ridiculous, and gory as hell, Deadly Friend (filmed on Universal’s lot where The Burbs was) is a trip back in time to when Craven tried to pull a John Carpenter.  Yet, his Starman found its way in the hands of his fans who wanted more blood and more guts! 

Hey Sam!  Nice shot!

3/5 beers

 

Deadly Friend: Collector’s Edition

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- October 12, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

From director Wes Craven (A Nightmare On Elm Street, Scream) comes a terrifying tale of technology gone haywire! Lonely teenage genius Paul (Matthew Labyorteaux, Barbarians At The Gate), a specialist in brain research, has two best friends: his remarkable robot ... and the beautiful girl next door (Kristy Swanson, Buffy The Vampire Slayer). When tragedy strikes both of his friends, he desperately tries to save them by pushing technology beyond its mortal limits into a terrifying new realm. Like a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein, Paul discovers too late that he has created a rampaging monster!

Video:

Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 35mm original camera negative and framed in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, this release from Scream Factory is literally as good as it gets for Deadly Friend.  An awful amount of love went into putting this release together and it shows. The crisp transfer is well-lit, so details are impeccable.  It looks quite warm in the color department.  Reds are the dominant colors.  Black levels are solid, though.  The film looks crisp and colors are bold, with special gooey attention paid to the creature feature aspect of the special makeup effects.  It’s unlike any other version of the movie released thus far; focused and detailed. 

Audio:

An English mono track provides the chills and spills in this estate.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

If the new HD 2K scan of the film from the original interpositive is not enough for you to pick this title up, know that there is a new interview with Kristy Swanson, a new interview with screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin, a new interview with the film’s composer, and a new interview with Lance Anderson, the special makeup effects artist on the shoot.

  • NEW Hey Sam, Nice Shot – An Interview With Actress Kristy Swanson
  • NEW Written In Blood – An Interview With Screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin
  • NEW Robots, Ramsey And Revenge – An Interview With Special Makeup Effects Artist Lance Anderson
  • NEW Samantha’s Symphony – An Interview With Composer Charles Bernstein
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (In English, Spanish, And German)
  • Original TV Spots

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3.5/5 stars


Film Details

Deadly Friend: Collector’s Edition

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
91 mins
Director
: Wes Craven
Writer:
Bruce Joel Rubin
Cast:
Matthew Labyorteaux; Kristy Swanson; Michael Sharrett
Genre
: Drama | Horror
Tagline:
She can't live without you.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I want out. I mean it... I'm gonna' throw up."
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 10, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 10, 1986.
Synopsis: After his friend is killed by her abusive father, the new kid in town attempts to save her by implanting a robotic microchip into her brain.

Art

Deadly Friend: Collector’s Edition

 

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