Thanks to Video Junkie head honcho Tom, I soon found myself with a copy. About 20 minutes in, I had to stop and email Tom to make him aware of this film’s greatness. Not only had he seen it before (several times!) but he said he was waiting to revisit it, knowing full well that I was soon going to be send him a WTF email. Damn, am I that predictable or is this film really that whack? I’d say a bit of both. Obviously I wouldn’t advise you to read this review if you haven’t seen the film and rush right out to find a copy. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, keep reading.
Stargrove! Flying like he’s never flown.
Stargrove! Running to a danger zone.
Stargrove! Are you gonna stand alone?
“You will never find a more wreteched hive of scum and villainy...hey, damn it, who let the Valley Girl in?”
After some baddies try to kill Lance by blowing up his motorcycle at the club, he realizes he is up to his neck in this sequined-cloak and dagger business with Ranger and opts to use his certain set of skills (pommel horse, still rings, horizontal bar!) to save the day.
If you’ve made it this far, first let me congratulate you. Second, let me say one more time, Gene Simmons in drag! Yes, if NEVER TOO YOUNG TO DIE has any place in film history, it is for the mind bending visual of the Kiss demon dolled up to the max and giving a performance dialed up to 11. Let’s be honest: Simmons is not a good looking dude, so he makes an even uglier dudette. Sporting a huge wig, Simmons as Ragner comes off looking like Vanessa del Rio after a hard day at work. When Simmons cackles and bugs out his eyes, he comes off looking like Karen Black after a regular day at work.
Simmons made quite an impression in his first non-Kiss acting performance as the villain in RUNAWAY (1984) as he and his tiny robots chased down Tom Selleck. Unfortunately, he blew all of that credit (and more) with his second villainous outing. It is the kind of performance so bad that today it would kill a career or at least send one into hiding for a few years. Back then it hardly effected Simmons because either no one saw it or they just summed it up to “oh, that wacky Gene!” Regardless, he bounced back nicely with his third main villain role in the Rutger Hauer action flick WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE (1987).
in CADDYSHACK (1980), “You’ll get Lazenby and like it!” Then we have the casting of singer, Prince pet and Playboy centerfold Vanity. She is easy on the eyes, hard on the ears as her acting is really, really rough. The same could be said for lead Stamos as he seems to have all the charisma of a cup of Greek yogurt. Then again, he was a hunk for the ladies to ogle. Their chemistry is nil, which makes a building seduction scene between Lance and Deeja doubly hilarious. While standing around antsy like he has to pee, Lance strokes a Perrier bottle and voraciously chomps into an apple as she splashes water all over herself with a hose dangling inches from her mouth. The gang is so ridiculous that even Hong Kong or Italian film crews would look at them and go, “No, not very realistic, too silly.” Nowhere is the OMG intent-versus-realization divide bigger than in the finale where Lance gets the better of Ragner by telling him how beautiful he thinks he/she is. Cinema has always been entranced by the James Bond, Jr. kind of storyline, where the kid helps out his spy pop (a great example would be the previous year’s TARGET with Gene Hackman and Matt Dillon). Unfortunately, this ain’t it. Regardless, highly recommended for its schlock value.