5.5/10
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68 user 61 critic

Deadly Friend (1986)

After his friend is killed by her abusive father, the new kid in town attempts to save her by implanting robotic microchips into her brain.

Director:

Wes Craven

Writers:

Diana Henstell (novel), Bruce Joel Rubin (screenplay)
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Labyorteaux ... Paul Conway (as Matthew Laborteaux)
Kristy Swanson ... Samantha Pringle
Michael Sharrett ... Tom 'Slime' Toomey
Anne Twomey Anne Twomey ... Jeannie Conway
Anne Ramsey ... Elvira Parker
Richard Marcus ... Harry Pringle
Russ Marin Russ Marin ... Dr. Johanson
Lee Paul Lee Paul ... Sergeant Volchek
Andrew Roperto Andrew Roperto ... Carl
Charles Fleischer ... BB (voice)
Robin Nuyen ... Thief
Frank Cavestani Frank Cavestani ... Angry Resident
Merritt Olsen Merritt Olsen ... CAT Scan Technician
William H. Faeth William H. Faeth ... Doctor in Sam's Room (as William H. Faeth M.D.)
Joel Hile ... Deputy
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Storyline

Paul Conway and his mother Jeannie Conway travel to a new town where Paul will join the local university invited by Dr. Johanson. They bring the robot BB that was developed by Paul, who is a genius in robotic. Paul befriends the paperboy Tom Toomey and has a crush on his next door neighbor Samantha Pringle, whose abusive alcoholic father Harry Pringle frequently hurts her. One day, Paul, Sam, Tom and BB are playing basketball and the ball fall in the field of their paranoid grumpy neighbor Elvira Parker that does not give it back to the teenagers. In Halloween, Tom convinces Paul to let BB open the padlock of the entrance to her house. However, there is an alarm system and Elvira blows up BB with her shotgun. Then Harry pushes her daughter down the stairs and the doctors let her brain-dead connected to the life support. However Paul convinces Tom to go to the hospital to rescue Sam and then he implants BB's chip into her brain resurrecting Samantha. But will she come back to life ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She can't live without you. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Friend See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$8,988,731
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros.,Pan Arts,Layton See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While filming the movie and having problems with the studio-forced re-shoots, Wes Craven and his ex-wife Mimi were going through a messy divorce, and he even faced a $30 million lawsuit in court with a person who claimed not only to have written A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), but that Craven stole the story. On top of all that, he was removed from two major projects: Beetlejuice (1988), and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), both of which were also distributed by Warner Bros. See more »

Goofs

Elvira Parker's padlock to her gate is facing the incorrect way. See more »

Quotes

Neighbor: Old man Pringle and Mrs. Parker, both dead. His face was burned off.
Paul Conway: Elvira Parker?
Neighbor: Yeah, I heard somebody say she called the police. Said she saw Sam in her bedroom window. From what I hear, Elvira's head's all over the walls in there.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original Australian Video Version has all scenes that were cut for R rating in US totally uncut. These scenes are: Sam's father being stabbed with the broken flower vase and blood spurting out of the broken end all over Sam, Sam putting her father in the cellar furnace is uncut, Elvira Parker's death scene is totally uncut, Sam's father's burnt head coming through the bed is also uncut. See more »

Connections

Featured in Phelous & the Movies: Deadly Phriend (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Your typical mid/late 80's comic horror flick from Wes Craven
4 November 2002 | by Bogey ManSee all my reviews

DEADLY FRIEND is written by Bruce Joel Rubin who has also written films like Deep Impact (Mimi Leder, 1998) and Ghost (Jerry Zucker, 1990). DEADLY FRIEND is directed by Wes Craven, the horror maestro behind films like A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) and the 90's boxoffice hit Scream (1996). Craven has done many mediocre or even bad films and especially in the 1980's. Fortunately DEADLY FRIEND isn't among the worst ones.

The film stars Matthew Laborteaux as teenager Paul, who moves to a new town with his mother. Paul has a self made artificial intelligence robot called BB and he spends a lot of time with BB and even talks about its structure and other elements in the school for students. Soon he meets the neighbor Samantha played by Kristy Swanson. Samantha is abused by his father and BB is abused by their angry old lady neighbor who indeed looks like a nightmare on your street. Soon something happens to BB and something happens to Samantha and what our teen genius develops is something we've seen at least in Frank Henenlotter's trash classic Frankenhooker (1990) among many other more or less serious "Frankenstein themed" horror films.

DEADLY FRIEND is little like Craven's other late 80's film, Shocker (1989). Both films try to be teen drama, horror and comedy at the same time, and it is of course pretty difficult to achieve a totally satisfying result with so many ingredients. DEADLY FRIEND is surprisingly restrained and drama oriented and Samantha really becomes pretty sympathetic girl and the two central boys as well. They're not over-the-top smiling and beautiful adolescents one can find from any of those disgusting Hollywood produced teen horrors/slashers that spawned after the success of Scream. In DEADLY FRIEND, the teenagers are pretty natural and realistic and so they're easy to feel sympathy for.

Craven has the talent to keep his tongue in cheek while directing these films (just remember the outrageous finale in Shocker!) and that helps a lot. He doesn't take himself too seriously and if he does, it happens very rarely. DEADLY FRIEND makes me smile a lot, but it's all intentional and I don't smile because I feel ashamed or sorry for the makers, which is the case when a film really takes itself too seriously and becomes laughable. The outrageousness in DEADLY FRIEND is taken as far as possible in a Warner production like this when the infamous and often heard among horror fans "basketball murder" comes and I must say it feels quite gruesome in an otherwise "lame" and harmless film like this. The gore in that brief but memorable scene is close to that of Tom Savini's in films like Maniac (William Lustig, 1980) and The Prowler aka Rosemary's Killer (Joseph Zito, 1982). I kind of doubt would this film get an R rating nowadays.

The main problem in DEADLY FRIEND is that it is too straightforward and has huge holes and easy solutions in its plot and screenplay. When writer Rubin decides they're going to do something, it just happens and there are no problems at all, as if they were completely alone in the city, the hospital and so on. Also the Samantha's father is totally unnecessary as a character. He is there completely in vain, and the violence he commits towards his daughter without any motive or explanation feels quite tasteless and unnecessary in a film like this. Samantha's fate could have been arranged without the character of her father and definitely ten times more satisfyingly and with a more noteworthy result and final film.

The "shock epilogue" we could expect from Craven is this time very effective and really has to be seen to be believed. It is as shocking and surprising as the ending in Elm Street, but I would say it is even more gruesome and even surreal this time. The effects required for that ending are handled fine as well as throughout the whole film. The BB robot is quite nice and never irritating. The result which comes after Paul's operation on BB and Samantha is very close to that of Henenlotter's Frankenhooker and they both are equally demented!

DEADLY FRIEND isn't as great and noteworthy horror comedy as it very well could have been in the hands of this director, but still I prefer this over Shocker, for instance, but this is far away from the masterpieces (Elm Street, Serpent etc.) of the director. I give DEADLY FRIEND 4/10 and will watch out those basketballs for sure.


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