Deadly Friend (1986)

Deadly Friend (1986)

Taglines: If you’re not afraid of the unknown...

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.

Deadly Friend is an American 1986 science fiction horror film directed by Wes Craven. It is based on the novel Friend by Diana Henstell, which was adapted for the screen by Bruce Joel Rubin. Originally, the film was a sci-fi thriller without any graphic scenes, with a bigger focus on plot and character development, and a dark love story centering around the two main characters, which were not typical aspects of Craven’s previous films. After Craven’s original cut was shown to a test audience by Warner Bros., the audience criticized the lack of graphic, bloody violence and gore that Craven’s other films included.

Deadly Friend (1986) - Kristy Swanson

About the Story

Teenage science genius Paul Conway (Matthew Laborteaux) and his single mother Jeannie (Anne Twomey) move into their new house in the town of Welling. He soon becomes friends with newspaper delivery boy Tom Toomey (Michael Sharrett). Living next door to Paul is the beautiful Samantha Pringle (Kristy Swanson) and her abusive, alcoholic father Harry (Richard Marcus).

Paul built a robot named BB (Charles Fleischer), which occasionally displays autonomous behavior, such as being protective of Paul. Paul, Jeannie, and BB meet Paul’s professor, Dr. Johanson (Russ Marin), at Polytech, a prestigious university Paul has a scholarship at. Dr. Johanson gives them a tour of the new laboratory Paul will have access to.

While Tom helps Paul teach BB how to deliver newspapers, they stop at the house of reclusive harridan Elvira Parker (Anne Ramsey), who threatens the boys with a double-barreled shotgun and expresses instant dislike for BB. Walking away, the three encounter a motorcycle gang led by bully Carl (Andrew Roperto). When Carl intimidates Paul by pushing him into garbage, BB assaults him by grabbing his crotch. The gang rides away with Carl vowing revenge.

Deadly Friend (1986)

Paul, Samantha, Tom, and BB begin to develop a close friendship, much to Harry’s annoyance. One day, while playing basketball, BB accidentally tosses the ball onto Elvira’s porch. She stomps out of her house and takes the ball, refusing to give it back, with BB taking note of Elvira’s hostile attitude. On Halloween night, Samantha comes over with a bloody nose (presumably from her father’s abuse) and asks for ice. Samantha goes out with Paul, Tom, and BB. Tom decides to pull a prank on Elvira. BB unlocks her gate and Samantha rings her doorbell. When alarms go off, they hide in a shrubbery nearby. When Elvira sees BB standing near her porch, she shoots him with her shotgun without hesitation, destroying him. Paul is devastated by the loss of his robotic friend.

On Thanksgiving Day, Samantha joins Paul and Jeannie for dinner. Afterwards, Paul and Samantha share their first kiss. Samantha returns home late at night, outraging her father. He punches her and pushes her down the stairs. At Polytech’s hospital, Paul learns that Samantha is now brain-dead and will also be on life support for 24 hours, after which the plug will be pulled.

As BB’s microchip can interface with the human brain, Paul decides to use it to revive Samantha. The boys enter the hospital using the key taken from Tom’s father, who works as a security guard there. After Tom deactivates the power from the basement, Paul takes Samantha to his lab. He inserts the microchip into Samantha’s brain and takes her back to his house, hiding her in the shed. After he activates the microchip, Samantha “wakes up”, but her mannerisms are completely mechanical, suggesting BB is in control of her body.

Deadly Friend Movie Poster (1986)

Deadly Friend (1986)

Directed by: Wes Craven
Starring: Matthew Labyorteaux, Kristy Swanson, Michael Sharrett, Anne Twomey, Anne Ramsey, Richard Marcus, Russ Marin, Frank Cavestani
Screenplay by: Bruce Joel Rubin
Production Design by: John Loggia, Daniel A. Lomino
Cinematography by: Philip H. Lathrop
Film Editing by: Michael Eliot
Set Decoration by: Edward J. McDonald
Music by: Charles Bernstein
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: October 10, 1986