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A modern teenage Frankenstein meets Weird Science, Short Circuit and Re-Animator…all of which featured creations behaving badly
on November 11, 2014
The 80s loved robots… The Terminator (1984), Short Circuit (1986), Chopping Mall (1986), *Batteries Not Included (1987), Short Circuit II (1988)… and here's another one! This playful creation-gone-wrong film by a young Wes Craven brings back a wonderful 80s nostalgia to this lifetime horror lover. Just enough zany gore, silly scenarios and a wack-tastic ending to overcome a severely limited budget.
A teenager on a university scholarship studying the human brain, young inventor Paul (Matthew Labyorteaux) creates artificial intelligence.
We meet Paul's cute neighbor Samantha (Kristy Swanson; Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Swamp Shark) and her uber-creepy sweaty abusive dad (Richard Marcus; Enemy Mine, Tremors, The Being), his creepy old neighbor Elvira (the mean old villainess from The Goonies), and some local punks who get their man-parts squeezed by a protective BB. Speaking of which, BB is super cute but he seems to take note to those who have wronged him.
Paul's robot "BB" is nothing short of absolutely adorable and he sounds like Disney's Stitch or a Star Wars Jawa. At one point when he was meeting the teenage neighbor boy I think he said "Houtini." BB is always getting upgraded and, as a result, smarter. Meanwhile Paul is making decades of scientific progress in mere weeks, already developing the circuitry to jump-start the nervous system of a cadaver.
When a prank-gone-wrong results in creepy Elvira shotgun-blasting BB to robot Heaven, Paul loses his robo-bestie. Worse yet, the very night of his first kiss with Samantha, a domestic dispute with her father sends her to the hospital with a fatal injury. So naturally Paul steals Samantha's body, surgically implants BB's "spare brain" (a motherboard, basically) into Samantha, and then Weird Science meets Re-Animator as he reanimates BB-Sam complete with remote control. Why there is no button to turn his Cyborg-girlfriend into a sex droid is beyond me. I guess as a teenage neuro-robotics prodigy he gets plenty of play already.
Let's just say that the remote control doesn't work out as effectively as Paul would like, because BB-Sam goes on a killing spree to snuff out everyone who ever wronged BB or Samantha. This in mind, maybe it's a blessing that he didn't go the sex droid route. Although it would have made for a great death scene! LOL.
Director Wes Craven (Scream 4, Deadly Blessing, Cursed) was playful with his low budget-limited few moments of gore. A violent dream sequence has Samantha killing her father and then being doused by his blood as if pouring from a spout. We also witness the exquisitely goretastic use of a basketball for a detonation-like decapitation. Not to mention the unreasonably stupid but equally super-fun gory surprise ending.
The basketball scene and the ending alone are worth owning this movie, but it offers a lot of 80s horror nostalgia and a story that works in its own zany way. I really enjoyed it.