Most people know Wes Craven for his horror movies "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Scream", and while he has had some other ones I really enjoy (especially "The Serpent and the Rainbow"), there's one movie of his that nobody ever seems to mention: Deadly Friend. This is a movie about a teenager by the name of Paul Conway who has Doogie Howser-esque brains and builds a lovable robot named "BB" that he and his friends enjoy. For you voice acting fans, I should mention that BB is voiced by the one and only Charles Fleischer.
On Halloween, Paul, BB, and his friends Tom and Samantha go up to the house owned by a mean old lady and decide to play a classic game of ring 'n run. Once BB the robot brilliantly figures out the combination to the locked fence in a matter of seconds, Samantha Pringle is enlisted to do the doorbell ringing honors. And yes, in case you're wondering, that is Kristy "Buffy" Swanson playing the role of Samantha.
What they don't realize is that she has an alarm system setup and when the doorbell rings, it's immediately triggered as all the lights turn on. Samantha runs away, but trips and her friends come to her aid and then hide behind some bushes. Sadly, BB tries to follow them and rolls right into the yard where the old lady, Elvira Parker (played by the late Anne Ramsey - aka: Mama Fratelli), is waiting with a shotgun. She yells at BB the robot to move away, but it keeps moving towards her.
Elvira then gets fed up and starts firing away and BB is sadly blown to bits. She's pretty ruthless about it too. Even when BB is clearly disabled, she still reloads her shotgun to make its head explode. Of course, you realize, this means war.
You see how Samantha is sneaking up behind Elvira and terrorizing her there? Doesn't seem like something a normal teenage girl would do, right? Yeah, well about that... you see, Samantha was thrown down a staircase by her abusive father and the doctors thought she didn't have long to live. So, with Tom's assistance, Paul steals her body from the hospital and takes her home, where they perform brain surgery on her and implant the artificial intelligence chip from BB the robot in her skull. It's like a modern day Frankenstein, only they're using robot parts inside of a teenage girl.
Amazingly, Samantha is brought back to life and it turns out she now has superhuman strength. Oh and she's completely homicidal too...
Samantha picks up a basketball that Elvira confiscated earlier in the film and throws it at her so hard that it makes her head literally explode. It's one of those moments that just comes from out of nowhere in the film and you're left there with your mouth gaping wide open as you wonder, "Did that actually just happen!?"
Yes, yes it did. I guess it's a bit easier to understand why Mama Fratelli once said, "Kids suck."
As Elvira's headless body comically stumbles around the room while spurting out blood, Samantha almost cracks a smile as if to suggest she's impressed by her own incredible strength. Forget about Buffy... this is clearly the finest performance of Kristy Swanson's career. Wanna know what's even better than that?
The last shot we see of Elvira suggests that Samantha has some kind of robotic "Predator" vision. Hell, if the world looked like this to you, wouldn't you throw basketballs at everything too? I know I would.
In closing, this is an unsung Wes Craven horror flick that everybody should seek out. It's a corny horror flick with some ridiculous moments and I've yet to grow tired of it... probably because it features a robot named BB and that's pretty great. BB may not be awesome as Johnny #5, but he sure as hell wins in the theme song department if you stick around and listen to music as the end credits roll.
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