FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Jun 27, 2007

Kiss my soul goodbye

In my humble opinion, it's a sad, sad fact of life that Marilyn Burns appeared in only six films before leaving Hollywood behind- and her role in one of those films was but a wee cameo. Sadder still, however, is the fact that only two of those films, Helter Skelter and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, are any good. Sure, one could argue the cheesy merits of both Future-Kill and Eaten Alive, and in their own ways they're kinda fun, but still...not great. After watching Kiss Daddy Goodbye (1981), I can now say that I've officially made my way through the entire Marilyn Burns oeuvre and wow, did I save the worst for last.

That's right folks, this film is worse than Eaten Alive. Speaking of which, Dark Sky Films just announced the forthcoming 2-disc Special Edition of Eaten Alive, hitting shelves in September. Yesiree, if any film in the world deserves the ol' 2-disc spit shine deluxe treatment, it's Eaten Alive!

Sigh. Fine. Okay, so we all know that I'll check out and/or pick up the DVD when it's released...but I'm telling you, I won't like it! So there! In your face! But back to the film at hand, Kiss Your Brain Cells Daddy Goodbye...

There's these two kids, right? And they, like, have psychic powers and shit, and their dad is all "Don't use your powers outside of the home! Men in white coats will come and take you away and lock you up and stick needles in your heads!". The kids are all, "Oh no!" and so they have these, like, "conversations", you know? Where they totally talk with their brains instead of their mouths. That is so fucking cool! I mean, when the kids are, like, staring at each other for a few minutes and there's nothing else going on and the kids are all stare stare stare, it was...well, you might not believe it but it was, like, only the most totally fucking exciting thing I've ever seen in a movie and, like, my shirt exploded because I was totally Hulking out with excitement and the little scraps of my shirt caught on fire as they fell to the living room floor because the air was like electric with excitement, you know? Like what Ben Franklin talked about that one time with the kite.

Okay, so the dad is like "You kids need to like do the chores and shit" only he doesn't swear, and the kids are like "Uh huh." So they start doing the chores, right? And then...oh my God...and then these, like, skanky bikers show up out of nowhere and come rolling up the driveway on their...umm, bikes. There's the fat leader of the bikers who's all tough and I was like "Oh my stars and garters...I totally know him from somewhere..." and then I recognized him as the fat leader of the bikers in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and I was like "Yes! That's where I know him from!" and then I thought to myself "I hope you find your bike, man!" which is a line from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure but it was another biker who said it, it wasn't the fat leader of the bikers and did you know that when the bikers want to beat up Pee-Wee in the bar, you know, the private club of the Satan's Helpers, and that one guy says "I say we hang him! And then we kill him!" and that biker lady is all like "I say you let me have him first!" did you know that that's Elvira, Mistress of the Macabre? It is. And by the way my favorite character in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is Amazing Larry.

Okay anyway, the bikers show up and this one suuuuuuper skanky chick is like "Whee!" and she takes off her shirt and it's like "Ugh, please, put it back on!" 'cause she was...umm...unattractive. So she's like "Whee!" and she and this other guy get in the hot tub that belongs to the dude with the two weirdo kids. The dad is totally having none of that, though, and goes outside and says "Git off my land!" or something and the bikers are all "No!" and they fight and the dad gets shot. The kids are watching it all from the house and they're like "Should we help?" and then they're like "No, dad said not to use our powers in front of people!" and I'm like "Okay, your dad is getting killed and you kids are just sitting there, that's so retarded."

So the bikers leave and the kids bring the dad's body into the house using their special mind powers and I was soooooo hoping that they'd show the dad floating along like a hovercraft but that is too high budget or something because they totally didn't and I was like "Aww, man." Once they get the dad in the house, the kids fucking bust out the tempera paints or some shit and they paint these symbols on their dad's face and it's pretty stupid and not scary or creepy. It's like A Clockwork Orange meets the symbol for pi meets dumb. See?

Oh yeah, the face paint, like, brings their dad back to life. So, umm, I guess the kids were too stupid to help their father, but they totally know some ancient Egyptian bring someone back to life magic spell. I was like "Whaaaaaaat?"

So Marilyn Burns plays this woman from the Board of Education who drives a Porsche and I'm thinking "Umm, I thought teachers made like $9000 a year? Where did she get the money for the fancy sports car? She must be a whore!" and she kind of is but I'll tell you about that in a minute. So Marilyn Burns plays this woman from the Board of Education who drives a Porsche and she visits the weirdo twins once a month or something because their dad is homeschooling them. She gets to the house and is all "Where's your dad?" and the kids go "Umm, he's busy" so she's like, "Okay". And her Porsche breaks down so she has to get a ride from the new deputy in town, played by Fabian. Yes, that Fabian who was one of those teen idols back in the day and Amanda said he was on Laverne and Shirley one time but I don't remember that episode. In fact, I don't really remember any episodes of Laverne and Shirley. I mean, I remember the opening bit and I remember, like, Squiggy biting his hand or whatever and that they lived in a basement or something but if you were like "Stacie, tell me the story from one episode of Laverne and Shirley" I'd be like "Sorry, can't do it" and it would be true.

Oh, and so I don't know what Fabian was like when he was on Laverne and Shirley, obvs, but in this movie he can't act worth shit, so my hopes aren't high that his appearance on L & S was any better, although it might have been if he was playing himself though sometimes people can't even play themselves very well, you know? Like when the Sonny and Cher were on Scooby-Doo...frankly I found Sonny's performance a little stilted. But I loved him in Airplane II, so whatevs.

Anyway, Marilyn Burns gets a ride from Fabian and they have dinner and then she's like "I have some (wink wink) evidence for you to (nudge nudge) inspect further!" or something and he's like "Okay" and then Marilyn Burns gets another ride from Fabian if you know what I mean. Thank god they don't show anything because I was sooooooo not ready for it, but if you've ever wondered what Fabian's chest hair was like, then Kiss Daddy Goodbye is the movie for you.

See? The woman from the Board of Education who drives a Porsche is totally a whore!

Oh, I'm only kidding. It's not like he paid her.

Okay, the kids are at home playing Pong with their minds, and man...I thought the whole telekinesis bit was exciting, but put that together with the excitement of Pong and it was was like..."If this gets any more exciting, I cannot be held accountable for what I might do!" and "Please, I need a cold compress!". But luckily, before I had a terrible spell of the vapors the scene was over. Even looking at a screen shot gets my heart racing, though! Finally, I know what all those hack critics mean when they call something a "pulse-pounding, non-stop white-knuckle thrill ride for the ages"...they totally mean Mind Pong.

So A Clockwork Daddy ends up killing the bikers and stuff. There's one part where the skanky biker woman and her boyfriend are on the beach making out and of course the skank takes her top off again and again I was like "Aaaah!" because I was so hoping that I'd seen The Skanky Twins for the one and only time I ever would in my life but no, there they were. Oh and so the dad, like, worms his way under the sand and chokes the biker couple to death and no I'm not even kidding about the worming under the sand part, it really happens and I was so laughing.

Eventually Deputy Fabian is like "Hmm, I think something is weird here with all these deaths" and Marilyn Burns is like "Yeah, me too" so they go up to the house again and the kids are like "Dad's busy" but then the last of the bikers show up to kill the kids because they think the kids are, like, eyewitnesses from when they killed the dad and the kids do their mind thing and they make the fat leader of the bikers from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure almost choke himself to death and Marilyn Burns is like "Nooooo! Stoppppp!" and so they do.

But then instead of being all grateful and like "I'm sorry" the biker is like "I'm outta here!" and he takes off but Deputy Fabian chases him down and they get into this wicked wicked fight that is just action-packed like you might see in a John Woo wait, I don't mean a John Woo movie, I mean Cocoon. Anyway, the biker dies and the kids go to live with Marilyn Burns or something, the end.

Kiss Daddy Goodbye features the most egregious display of nepotism not seen at Final Girl HQ since the likes of Knight Chills; the Weirdo Twins, you see, are the children of writer/director Patrick Regan. Apparently Patrick Regan was completely, blissfully unaware that his kids have less acting talent than Madame without Waylon Flowers. Unfortunately, the viewer is constantly, completely aware of this shortcoming and their performances make Kiss Daddy Goodbye virtually unwatchable. The kids mumble, they don't finish sentences, and Girl Weirdo Twin doesn't even move her mouth when she speaks.

Of course, even it starred Haley Joel Osment from 8 years ago and Dakota Fanning from 6 years ago, the film would still blow blow blow. It's pure ineptness from beginning to end, no question, and it would take me a week to list all the things wrong with it.


In the right hands, the basic premise of Kiss Daddy Goodbye might make for a decent flick. Telekinetic kids who resurrect their dead father to do their bidding? A dead father forced to walk the earth like a zombie and kill like a...zombie? That could be interesting, and this is exactly the kind of horror film that cries out for a remake. Alas, alack, it seems that no one wants to remake garbage that can be vastly improved upon, films with a teeny tiny speck of compelling material buried under the vast mountains of crap. And why should they, when they can simply remake all the classics? I mean, surely they can be improved upon, right?


Anonymous said...

So was the overall suckiness of this fun to witness or not, because it sounds bloody ridiculous? Like, the kids are right out of Village of the Damned (which is hillarious if you've seen the version with Kirstie Alley) Anyway, I saw Fabian in one of those awful adaptations of Agatha Christies' 'Ten Little Indians'(the type of adaptations where they set it on a mountain and have people not die at the end), and the makers of that movie knew he sucked and made sure his character was first to die.

Hmmm...It seems Marilyn Burns has a habit of starring in horror about seriously f-ed up families, eh?

FatalPierce said...

A bad movie from '81, Surely you can't be serious? You do make a good point though. We get all kinds of crazy remakes of already good movies, why not a remake of something with awesome ideas that was executed poorly? I'm going to go ahead and blame the Hollywood fat cats for now.

By the way if anyone is keeping score you totally deserve extra points for the Waylon and Madame reference!

Stacie Ponder said...

As to whether or not it's a good bad film...well, it was watchable but only because 1) I had Amanda with me and 2) Marilyn Burns is in it. If I were alone, I would have struggled to make it all the way through. It's just plain bad, and I neglected to mention that about 45% of the film is taken up with cars driving around the same corner again and again. And the kids were SOOOOOOO bad it was unbelievable.

It's true, even 1981 produced a stinker.

Anonymous said...

Insanely great review, Stacie, even if it proves that you buy crank wholesale from the fat leader of the bikers from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.

Amanda By Night said...

Stacie, you know this was the BEST movie ever.

Except the part about the zombie or the kids or the love relationship or the bikers. But that part at the beginning with the fat guy giving Fabian the low-down was dee-vine!

Oh yeah, and the guy who bought canned vodka was pretty awesome too.

Thanks for the Fabian chest hair shot. I'm in HEAVEN.

I can't believe you don't remember the episode of Laverne and Shirley where they go to an estate sale in a haunted house! Shirley wears this really tiny and super obnoxious bow in the middle of her head...

The review is SO much better than the movie! Thanks! I need that!

Anonymous said...

Dad's mustache is pretty scary...

Anonymous said...

Wow, you must've really hated this um "film" because this review was hilarious and IMO, your best yet. I'm gonna go right now and tell everyone to read your blod...again. :)

Anonymous said...

Stacie...guess what came in the mail today! Here's a hint: it loves a large safty pin and the tagline 'Something Very Unhealthy is Happening at Rhonda's Health Club'

Anonymous said...

Wow! Funny you should mention Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark. The *only* time I saw this movie on TV was in the late-'80s when I was a kid. It was on at 1AM on Elivra's cable show where she runs schlocky thrillers and horror movies and makes sarcastic comments between segments. THIS movie ran during that show! Yeah. You know, she even got Fabian Forte to do a cameo to recreate that famous kissing scene. lol OMG! She made *funny* comments like the kids made their voodoo daddy into their personal chauffeur (true!) and that the climatic chase scene had this '70s solid gold oldies love song instead of suspenseful chase music. lol