Lifetime Film Review: My Daughter’s Psycho Friend (dir by Michael Feifer)

My Daughter’s Psycho Friend aired in March of 2020 on the Lifetime.  I DVR’d it.  I’m not sure why I didn’t watch it when it aired.  I’d have to go back and look through all my journals to piece together what I was doing on that date in March and, quite frankly, I’m feeling a little bit too rushed to take the time to do that.  I’ve got a lot of movies to watch and review of the next few days and, in the end, it really doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that I DVR’d it and I finally sat down and watched it earlier tonight.

Now, before anything else, I should point out that My Daughter’s Psycho Friend is a brilliant title.  You see a title like that and you automatically have to watch, which makes it all the stranger that it took me so long to get around to it.  It’s not just a good Lifetime title but it’s a good title period.  I think anytime when you include the word “psycho” in the title, you’re going to catch someone’s attention.  Psycho is just such an extreme term.  The full title, “My Daughter’s Psycho Friend,” links it to what I assume would be every parent’s nightmare.  What if your child’s best friend did turn out to be a psycho?  What if they led them astray or, even worse, put them in danger?

Unfortunately, the title isn’t quite accurate.  While Lexi (Avery Kristen Pohl) does invite Sierra (Taylor Blackwell) to hang out with her after Sierra transfers into Lexi’s high school, it’s a bit of a stretch to really call Lexi and Sierra friends.  From the start, Sierra seems to be somewhat weary of Lexi and Lexi seems to know that eventually, she’s going to end up having to frame Sierra for all sorts of misdeeds.  Also, though Sierra does have a mother, she’s really not that important to the plot.  The film pretty much revolves around Sierra.  A more proper title for the film would have been My Psycho Acquaintance.

However, the title does get the psych part right.  Lexi has some definite issues that go far beyond just being a mean girl in high school.  She lives in a nice, big house and she had a glamorous mother (albeit one who makes a big deal about always having to “clean up” after Lexi’s mistakes) and everyone at school wants to be her friend but Lexi still can’t be happy unless she’s playing a cruel joke on someone.  For instance, at one party, Lexi drugs someone’s drink and then has a good laugh as that person stumbles away.  Of course, once he turns up dead in Lexi’s swimming pool, it’s time for a cover up!  And if Sierra is determined to discover the truth about what happened at the party …. well, Lexi’s just going to have to take care of that, as well.

Anyway, this was a typical Lifetime film about teenagers gone wild.  Lexi’s house was nice and Avery Kristen Pohl did a good job playing up the whole psycho part of Lexi’s personality.  If you’re into Lifetime melodrama, you should enjoy this one.

Four Color Apocalypse 2020 Year In Review : Top 10 Original Graphic Novels

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

And so we’ve arrived at the final “best of” list of 2020, the Top 10 Original Graphic Novels, which basically just means full-length original works specifically designed as such, or put perhaps more simply : self-contained graphic novels that weren’t serialized anywhere, in print or online, previously. Let’s not waste any time —

10. Desperate Pleasures By M.S. Harkness (Uncivilized) – Not so much a sequel to Harkness’ earlier Tinderella as a response to it — the party’s over, welcome to the hangover that is adulthood without a road map. Illustrated in a breathtaking array of styles and told in a manner both frank and expressive, this is the contemporary memoir against which all others will be judged for the next few years.

9. The Puerto Rican War By John Vasquez Mejias (Self-Published) – Hey, fair is fair : my Top 10 Single Issues list featured a couple of comics…

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Artwork of the Day: Sea Nymph (by Paul Rader)

Cover by Paul Rader

Sea Nymph was published in 1963 by Midwood Books.  Peggy Swenson was one of the many pseudonyms used by the writer Richard E. Geis.  Gies wrote 15 books as Swenson.  According to the cover, Sea Nymph is about a woman who “wanted to learn skin diving but she learned a warmer sport.”  Water polo, maybe?

The cover is by Paul Rader.  This site has featured a lot of Rader’s work and it will probably feature even more before the year ends.  As usual for paperback covers of the era, the cover hints at more than it shows.   I assume that the hairy arm with the huge hand attached belong to her diving instructor.  The violet tattoo is an interesting choice.

Music Video of the Day: No More Words by Berlin (1984, directed by Evan English and Paul Goldman)

On Friday night, I watched Thank God It’s Friday with Lisa Marie and the Friday Night Flix gang and I’ve been in a Terri Nunn mood ever since.  Before she joined Berlin and became their lead singer, Nunn was an actress.  Along with appearing in a small but important role in Thank God It’s Friday, she was also a finalist for the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars.  According to what I’ve read online (as with all things that I’ve read online, take it with a grain of salt), the casting came down to Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford vs. William Katt, Terri Nunn, and Kurt Russell.  Carrie Fisher got to be Leia but Terri Nunn got musical superstardom.  I’d say it was a fair trade for both of them, though it is tempting to imagine Terri Nunn singing the Life Day song at the end of the Star Wars Holiday Special.

No More Words is one of Berlin’s most enduring songs.  (I know a few people who are still convinced that the song’s title was No More Worlds.)  Produced by Giorgio Moroder and Richie Zito, No More Words was the first single off of Berlin’s 1984 album, Love Life.  It was also the band’s first Top 40 hit in the States.  It was later used in the film Vision Quest and re-released as the B-side of Madonna’s single Crazy For You.

The video pays homage to the 1967 film, Bonnie and Clyde.  Taking place during the Great Depression, it features the band robbing a bank and then fleeing from the cops.  Terri Nunn is dressed-up to resemble Faye Dunaway in the role of Bonnie Parker.  Despite the fact that they appear to be robbing a small town bank in the South, there are Thomas Dewey campaign posters on the buildings.  In the 30s, Dewey was New York’s district attorney so it’s not likely that anyone living in the Dust Bowl would have been campaigning for him.  The video goes on to loosely recreate several scenes from Bonnie and Clyde, though Terri Nunn seems far more conflicted about the violent bank robber life style than Faye Dunaway ever was.

This video was directed by Evan English and Paul Goldman.  While this is Goldman’s only credit as a video director (according to the imbd), Evan English went on to direct the videos for Elvis Costello’s Veronica and Crowded House’s Nails in My Feet.