Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Deadly Friend: An Autopsy

A few months ago, I published an article on Wes Craven's 1986 film Deadly Friend in an online horror journal.  As far as I can tell, the issue in which my article appeared is no longer available for order.  A few people have asked about it, so I've decided to post the full article here.


  1. Hey Joe -

    Your article really made my day. I can't thank you enough for sharing this.
    I'd like to ask your permission to share it with the supporters of my petition. I think all the fans who are longing for a Director's cut need to read this (btw, I noticed that you mentioned in your article about "die hard fans who've been pushing Warner for a DC release". was that a reference to us? or there are more people out there fighting for this? i loved that you acknowledged it anyway).

    Regarding the article, I fully agree with Diana Henstell. The fact they changed Paul's character and removed his conflict made his actions in the film kind of senseless. A remake (if made by the right people) would be very exciting. Now that we're in remake era, who knows. It'd be great if Cary Fukunaga decided to take a look at the book after he's done with It ;)

    You mentioned about several ending options Bruce Joel Rubin created, but did he said which ending was actually shot for the Director's cut?
    And about the final confrontation in the last act, in the DC, Sam came downstairs, killed Tom and then ran away (like in the book) to be chased by cops, and eventually killed herself in a way of protecting Paul? So Sam killing the biker and jumping from the window to get Tom were the reshoots right?
    The biker character was pretty pointless and cliche. You mentioned that the character was added to the story as a demand from the studio. Did Rubin ever mentioned why? There's a promotional still of a deleted scene of the biker talking to Paul and Sam in Halloween night, before Elvira shoots down BeeBee, but I assumed it was pretty much the same stuff happening again (the biker tormenting Paul).
    I'm sorry about making so many questions, you're the first person (that I have access to) that had so much access to the movie's production stages, hope this is not too much :)

    Again, thanks so much for everything.

    1. Igor -

      Feel free to share the article with anyone who might be interested. And, yes, you are the "die hard fan" that I was referencing.

      From what I could tell, producer Bob Sherman invented the biker character in response to studio head Mark Canton's request for them to "toughen up" the first act.

      I think they shot the alternate ending where Sam appears to Paul in his bedroom. That would account for the image in the upper left corner on the back of the "Twisted Terror" DVD.

      Bring on the remake!

    2. Anonymous6/09/2015

      Hello Joe. I am in the process of collecting as much stuff for this film as I possibly can. Lobby cards, soundtracks, press kits, etc for a bluray project I am working on. My idea is to pieces together a sort of "special features" disc with as much stuff as I can find. eg: trailer, tv spots, Original soundtrack, stills gallery, etc. Something I can put with my DVD of this film and (hopefully) one day with an official bluray release. I was wondering if I could include your Autopsy piece on my disc. Please let me know

    3. Anonymous - Feel free to reach out if/when you get to an official release, and I will be happy to grant permission for you to include the essay.

    4. Anonymous9/23/2015

      Joe, I am the one working on the "special features" disc for Deadly Friend. Could you give provide me with an email address for me to contact you regarding your Essay.


  2. I'd like to see a director's cut released someday; personally, I think the doomed love story and the horror elements can work well together with the addition of the scenes described in the article. I was fine with the horror elements, but I did wish the film spent more time on Paul and Sam's relationship.