Twice Dead is twice dumb but also twice the fun.
The fine and upstanding Cates family have recently inherited a mansion and are eager to move in. The only problem is that the mansion is already inhabited! Not only has a gang of street punks declared that the mansion belongs to them but the house is also home to the ghost of Tyler Walker (Jonathan Chapin). A great actor, Tyler committed suicide after being swindled out of his possessions by the love of his life, Myrna. After the Cates family plays an elaborate practical joke on the street gang (and the joke simply has to be seen to believed), the gang declares that they will take revenge. Because the Cates’s daughter, Robin (Jill Whitlow), is dead ringer for Myrna, Tyler’s ghost decides to help take out the street punks. Death by shotgun, dirt bike, and dumb waiter follows.
The two Cates children are played by Jill Whitlow and Tom Bresnahan. Whitlow and Bresnahan ended up dating after they finished shooting the film and their obvious chemistry brings an apparently unintended subtext to all of their sibling interactions in Twice Dead. Jill Whitlow also appeared in Night of the Creeps and, with her ability to be both sexy and wholesome at the same time, was one of the first crushes of many an 80s and 90s child.
A mix between The Amityville Horror and Death Wish 3, Twice Dead was one of the many horror films to come out of Roger Corman’s Concorde Pictures in the 80s. It’s dumb but it has both Jill Whitlow and enough of a sense of humor to be entertaining. The street punks, who all have names like Crip, Silk, Stony, and Candy, are all annoying so you don’t mind seeing them get killed in various ways. Todd Bridges proves that the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum by playing a Petie, a friendly guy who likes to hang out at the library, while the amazing Charlie Spradling, who appeared in several films like this back in the day, plays a member of the gang. Sadly, neither one of them comes to a good end.