Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Deadly Love (1987)

Directed by:
Michael O'Rourke

Here's another relic of the 80s when they'd release, well, pretty much anything that would fill up video store shelves. This one was distributed by Complete Entertainment on VHS (there is no DVD release as of this writing) and is from the director of the equally obscure - and equally lousy - campground slasher flick MOON STALKER (1988). The place: Pine Grove, Nevada. The time: 1965. High schooler Annie Butler (Cassie Brown) is in love with bad boy biker Buddy (Mark Oglesby). Her millionaire father isn't too happy about it, but even his threats to send her off to a boarding school in Switzerland if she continues seeing him aren't enough to keep the star-crossed lovers apart. To make matters worse, Clint (Jim Alves), the creepy caretaker on the Butler farm, is also obsessively in love with Annie to the point where he carves her name on his palm with a pocket knife. On the eve when Annie and Buddy plan to run away together, Clint shoots Buddy dead with a shotgun in front of Annie and her father. The father instructs him to hide the motorcycle, bury the body and forget about it.

Twenty-some years later, Annie (hilariously aged via a baaaaad make-up job) still lives on the same farm, still listens to the same 45 of her and Buddy's song and still pines for her dead lover. Her father is dead and neighborhood kids who get bored in their small town "fucking shithole" frequently harass her. Using a magic mirror spell from "The Encylopedia of Ancient and Forbidden Knowledge," Annie has been able to keep in contact with Buddy's ghost all of these years, but that isn't enough to give her the will to keep going so she slits her wrists in the bathtub. Annie's niece Hillie (Eileen Hart), the sole heir of the Butler property, comes to take ownership. Instead of selling it, she decides to move in. She becomes acquainted with friendly local delivery boy Skip (Buddy Reynolds), who was a friend and protector of Annie's, has to deal with the same punks who terrorized her aunt and also has ghostly encounters with the undead biker.

This slow, tedious bore doesn't have enough plot for a feature film so it resorts to constant flashbacks containing footage we've already seen. In fact, some shots are reused five or six times to push this up to feature length (it runs about 80 minutes total). The acting is terrible, the characters are obnoxious, there's not much violence or gore and the film isn't even very exploitative. It's also not even unintentionally funny, aside from supporting actress Brown's post-stroke-like line delivery and the insanely huge curly wig the leading lady is forced to wear. And don't even get me started on the big "surprise twist" at the end or the treacly theme song "Forever" (sung by Becka Ragel) which is repeated about ten times throughout the film.

Some sources claim this was shot-on-video, but it doesn't really look like it. Other sources claim it was shot-on-video then transferred to film before the video release, which sounds more accurate to me. Either way, good luck making it to the end 80s SOV fans.


CavedogRob said...

I just can't get over how many shot on video slasher movies were made in the '80's! It was an epidemic!

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

Ha, I know. I've discovering new ones all of the time. However, there are far more crappy shot-on-video flicks being made these days than there were in the 80s!

Anonymous said...

Pete Drakehere,Where I can find title song Forever?

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

I have no clue Pete! Google doesn't turn anything up and I couldn't find it on Youtube either.

Anonymous said...

Hi,,, This is Jim Alves,,, yep, the crazy caretaker from "Deadly Love".. The original production name, (the name on my old script) was "Last Wish". This was shot on film, as I remember the film being flown to LA each night to be processed, then flown back to view "daylies". Back then, I worked quite a few films,,, then left the movie business to take over a family business, cattle ranching,,, the hat I wore in "Deadly Love" was an old hat of my own ! The title song you are seeking was wrote by the movies sound man ! It was recorded post production, and edited in. During the filming, we used an old Elvis record ! I have a ton of stories of this film, and others I worked on back then ! Thanks, Jim

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

Thanks for the info Jim! Nice to finally get some verification about the shooting format.

Anonymous said...

Jim Alves again, "Clint"... this movie was made for, and paid for, the British market. It was released in England. It still runs on a late night TV show much like our old "Creature Feature" that was shown here in America. It was a fun movie to work on, it actually paid well for its day, and was shot on locations in Washoe Valley, Nevada, Virginia City, Nevada, and, of all places, East L.A. !! Might be fun to re-make, as I am now the age of the "older" Clint that I played in the movie !!

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

Never would have guessed this was financed by the Brits!

Anonymous said...

hey, what happen with that guy Oglesby? and wanna found that song too. The movie is hard to find, my only copy was a vhs, but i have no more, because that thing called fungus.

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