Rating: * out of 4
Cast: Matthew Laborteaux, Kristy Swanson, Michael Sharrett, Anne Twomey, and Anne Ramsey.
Writer: Bruce Joel Rubin
Director: Wes Craven
Craven’s post-Nightmare resume is made up of movies he would disown and in each case it is due to studio interference. Deadly Friend is no different and in fact it would be this film that would cost him the directing gigs for both Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and Beetlejuice. This was set to be his first studio picture and one to showcase his ability to make non-horror movies. He and screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin (who would go on to write Ghost and Jacob’s Ladder) set out to make a PG movie that was to be a tender, albeit macabre, love story with a soaring sci-fi edge and twinges of humor similar to John Carpenter’s Starman. Unfortunately after a poor test screening, made up of mostly fans of Craven’s work, the studio bastardized Craven’s cut of the movie and studio president Mark Canton insisted and amping up the gore and horror to cater to Craven’s audience. Many scenes were cut, the central plot was re-worked to eliminate most of the romance, and as many as eight scenes were said to be re-shot or added to turn it into a straight horror film.