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Deadly Friend

The movie poster for Deadly Friend.
Directed by Wes Craven
Produced by Robert L. Crawford
Patrick Kelley
Robert M. Sherman
Written by Novel:
Diana Henstell
Screenplay:
Bruce Joel Rubin
Starring Matthew Laborteaux
Kristy Swanson
Music by Charles Bernstein
Cinematography Philip H. Lathop
Editing by Michael Eliot
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) October 10, 1986
Running time 91 min.
Country  United States
Language English

Deadly Friend is a 1986 science fiction horror film directed by Wes Craven. It is based on the novel entitled Friend by Diana Henstell, which was adapted for the screen by Bruce Joel Rubin.

Contents

Plot summary

Whiz kid Paul Conway and his mother, Jeannie, just moved into a new city and things are great. Paul is studying neurology and artificial intelligence at the local college, and has built a highly functioning robot named BB. Paul makes some new friends; Tom, and a girl named Samantha (Kristy Swanson) who lives next door to the Conways. They have a mean old lady, Elvira Parker, for a neighbor who isn't fond of strangers on her property. On Halloween night as a prank, Paul, Tom and Samantha have BB crack the combination lock on her gate so that one of them can walk up and ring Elvira's doorbell to scare her. Samantha is the one who goes forth to do it and as she rings the doorbell, an alarm sounds and all three take cover beside Elvira's porch. BB reactivates himself and starts coming through the fence and Elvira is wielding her shotgun at him and starts to fire, destroying BB.

Samantha struggles with an abusive father, who ultimately beats her so severely that she is left close to death. The doctors tell Paul that she doesn't have long to live, and together Paul and Tom steal Samantha's body. Paul surgically implants BB's AI chip into Samantha's brain. Samantha is activated by BB's remote control and is alive but later on she goes on a homicidal rampage. She kills people that have been mean. Because she has BB's memories, she is out of control. Fortunately for the police, the job of tracking her down is easy, as she's cornered in the small woodshed where Paul had hidden her. Samantha's natural mind and memories gradually return; when the police endanger Paul, she takes the bullet for him. After Samantha dies in Paul's arms, her body is seen in the morgue, where the coroner has just finished his autopsy and has pulled the sheet over her body. When Paul comes for her body, she changes into a newer, more evil version of BB and kills him.

Cast

  • Matthew Laborteaux ... Paul Conway- the Whiz kid in town
  • Kristy Swanson ... Samantha Pringle- the Deadly Friend
  • Michael Sharrett ... Tom 'Slime' Toomey- Local newspaper boy and Paul's friend
  • Anne Twomey ... Jeannie Conway- Paul's Mommy
  • Richard Marcus ... Harry Pringle- Samantha's father, first one to die
  • Anne Ramsey ... Elvira Parker- Basketball to face.
  • Lee Paul ... Sergeant Volchek- Kills Samantha
  • Charles Fleischer ... BB (voice)- an intelligent robot
  • Russ Marin ... Dr. Johanson- examines Samantha's "seemingly" dead body.
  • Joel Hile ... Deputy- with the Sergeant when he kills Samantha.

Alternate versions of the movie

The original USA VHS release of the movie contained cuts which were implemented by the MPAA in order to prevent an X rating (at the time, 1986, there was no NC-17 rating). These scenes have been restored on the DVD release from the Twisted Terror Collection released by Warner Bros. on Sept. 25th, 2007. These scenes include:

  • In the scene where Samantha is dreaming about her father intruding in her bedroom, Samantha breaks a vase on her nightstand and stabs her father in the stomach with it. In the VHS release all that is shown is blood spurting out on Samantha's bed and close-ups of her father's face laughing and taunting Sam. On the newly released DVD, the scene includes lots of blood spurting out on Sam's face and close ups of Sam's face as she screams and gets coated in blood.
  • In the scene where Sam takes her revenge on her murderous father, Sam trips her father on the stairs leading to the boiler room and burns him inside the boiler. In the VHS release, when Paul comes to conceal the body, the scene is edited to briefly show Paul pulling Sam's father out of the boiler, without showing much of his charred body. In the DVD release, when Paul pulls her father's upper body from the boiler, as he pulls him out and puts him on the ground, a close-up of his charred skeletal face is shown.
  • In the infamous 'basketball' scene, Samantha crushes Elvira's head with a slam from the basketball that Elvira had stolen from the teens earlier in the movie. In the VHS release, when Sam throws the ball at her, Elvira's head explodes on impact and then cuts back to Sam watching in amazement as Elvira's headless body wanders around the living room until it falls down in the floor. In the DVD release, when Sam throws the ball at Elvira's head, more explosion is shown as Elvira's head completely shatters from her shoulders and shows her headless body wander directly from the wall around the living room, spurting blood and then cuts back to Sam watching in amazement as the body comes to rest on the floor.
  • In an earlier version of the movie, Elvira's death was filmed to be less gory than the final shot. Instead of shattering her head with a basketball, Sam smashes Elvira through her front door leaving the upper half of her body hanging outside the door and the lower half still inside. In the same earlier version, in the scene where Paul is dreaming about Sam's father coming up out of his bed, Sam's father comes completely out of the bed and lunges for Paul. In the final cut of the film just his charred head comes out of the bed and exhales smoke. These alternate scenes can be seen in the theatrical trailer found on the new DVD.

See also

External links

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