Monster Chiller Horror Theatre: Deadly Companion (1980, directed by George Bloomfield)

Deadly Companion starts with John Candy sitting in a mental institution and snorting cocaine while happily talking to his roommate, Michael Taylor (Michael Sarrazin).  Michael has been in the institution ever since the night that he walked in on his estranged wife being murdered.  Because of the shock, he can’t remember anything that he saw that night.  When his girlfriend Paula (Susan Clark) comes to pick Michael up, Michael leaves the institution determined to get to the truth about his wife’s murder.  Once Michael leaves, John Candy disappears from the movie.

Michael suspects that his wife was killed by her lover, Lawrence Miles (Anthony Perkins) but there is more to that night than Michael is remembering.  Deadly Companion is a typical low-budget shot-in-Toronto thriller from the early 80s, with familiar Canadian character actors like Michael Ironside, Al Waxman, Kenneth Welsh, and Maury Chaykin all playing small roles.  Michael Sarrazin is a dull lead but Anthony Perkins gets to do what he did best at the end of his career and plays a thoroughly sarcastic bastard who gets the only good lines in the film.

What’s interesting about Deadly Companion isn’t the predictable plot and it’s certainly not Michael Sarrazin.  Instead, what’s strange is that several cast members of SCTV show up in tiny supporting roles, though none of them get as much of a chance to make as big an impression as John Candy.  Deadly Companion is a serious thriller that just happens to feature Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, and Dave Thomas.  It’s strange to see Michael Sarrazin trying to figure out who killed his wife while Eugene Levy loiters in the background.  It leaves you waiting for a punchline that never comes.

The SCTV people are in the film because it was directed by George Bloomfield, who also directed several episodes of SCTV.  Since this film was made before SCTV really broke into the American marketplace, it was probably assumed that no one outside of Canada would ever find the presence of John Candy in a dramatic murder mystery distracting.  Of course, when Deadly Companion was later released on VHS in the late 80s, Candy and the SCTV crew were all given top billing.

Film Review: Kidz in the Wood (1996, dir. Neal Israel)


I don’t know how I come across these things. This was a Disney Channel movie that was filmed in 1994, but aired in 1996 starring Dave Thomas. It also has Candace Cameron before the Bure. The quality is low because somebody filmed this off their TV. Luckily they did a great job. It looks decent and sounded just fine.

Dave Thomas plays a teacher who works at every troubled school from every 90s movie ever. You know this immediately because of the gang stereotypes that walk over.


That’s the big problem with this movie: stereotypes. They are all over this thing. That, and Dave Thomas whipping a Native American. The drug trip is a little weird too.

We meet some of our other main characters such as one played by David Lascher who you might recognize from Hey Dude and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. He’s busy sexually harassing a blonde.


Here’s Candace!


Ah, 90s! She is a bit of a nymphomaniac in this. I am quite sure that at one point she asks if an egg frying on her tongue will turn on a guy. She’ll turn on a dime too once she gets a talking to by a female teacher who gives her horrible advice.

Next we get a guy who is a hypochondriac played by Alfonso Ribeiro.


Bill Clinton then rears his head.


Dave Thomas makes an attempt to connect with his students about history. This includes trying to get the students to remember Robert E. Lee because they have seen The Crow (1994) with Brandon Lee.

Next we meet the 90s strong female stereotype named Ms. Duffy.


Two actors from Stargate SG-1 are in here too, but what it comes down to is that Dave Thomas wants to take his kids on an Oregon Trail type trip. When I was a kid we just had a computer game that did it for us. The principal tells Ms. Duffy (Julia Duffy) to go with them and record Dave Thomas screwing up so they can fire him despite his tenure. There we have our movie.

At the end of the day, these three are the best part of the movie other than the Native American they travel with during part of the film.


They will say every single 90s saying you can imagine. I’m shocked they missed “that’s the way I like it” or “homie don’t play that.”

It’s off to the woods for these kidz. But first we get the mandatory hanging the kid out of the bus window bit.


In my day, we just held up signs for truckers driving past that said “honk if you’re horny.”

They arrive and we meet the hippest Native American I have ever seen in a movie.


This guy is awesome. He is played by Byron Chief-Moon.

Then we are off on the trail where Dave Thomas promptly gets himself flung off the wagon.


During this whole thing we are getting a voiceover narration from Thomas because he has ancestors that are tied to this whole thing. It will barely have anything to do with anything. Then Dave Thomas whips the Indian.


Now Dave Thomas decides it is time to eat a berry. That berry is a hallucinogen, which immediately sends him on a drug trip.



He even starts seeing everyone as if they were in old times. This includes the Indian.


This is immediately followed by morons on the wagon.


This was made for television.


Throughout the remainder of the film, the three gang guys think they are going to escape and go to Vegas.


Around the campfire, Ms. Duffy wants to sing something by Snoop Snoopy Dog.


She seems to think all rap is about guns and violence when she attempts to rap herself. I’d love to say that kind of thinking is only from the 80s and 90s, but I heard this same nonsense in a “documentary” called The Mask You Live In from 2015 that is currently on Netflix. But enough about propaganda.

Oh, and Candace Cameron is thinking about sex.


She even gets into Hey Dude’s sleeping bag before he gets there.

vlcsnap-2016-09-04-16h33m41s359The next day Dave Thomas whips the Indian again.


Then one more time for good measure before he realizes he doesn’t need the whip.


After one of the wagons goes over in the water, the Indian goes on ahead where they are going to meet up eventually. This is done so that the teachers and the kids have their time to resolve their issues together.

Then Ms. Duffy gives Candace Cameron a sex talk. It amounts to stop being slutty and play hard to get instead. I’m pretty sure she actually uses the word “slutty”. Not exactly the right speech to give this girl. Maybe a simple, he’s obviously not interested, so you might want to move on would have done it. She can explore her sexuality as she pleases. She isn’t putting her or anyone else’s lives in danger.

Since all these people are idiots, they soon get themselves attacked by bees. That means it is time to put horse poop on Ms. Duffy.


Even a skunk doesn’t want anything to do with her.

As all this goes on you get the typical stuff you would expect as the kids start coming around, the teachers start to like each other, and the three gang guys get scared by a bear.


This leads right where you expect it to go.


That’s right. The teachers fly off a cliff leaving the kids to think they are dead. I mean dead dead. They have no reason to believe they are alive. Here’s the cliff to drive home the point.


Of course they caught a tree. I have to give Kidz in the Wood this.


I actually believe that Dave Thomas and Julia Duffy are out in nature rather than Robert Redford and Nick Nolte in A Walk In The Woods (2015).

In the midst of all of this, the gang members found a map to hidden treasure, which they promptly light on fire with a magnifying glass.


I mean a real fire.


Eventually they all get back together and it all works out for the best. The kids return to class, pass, and graduate.


Despite some of the inappropriate material and stereotypes, this was actually a reasonably enjoyable one of these kinds of movies. I’d recommend it.

Thank you to whomever this is that filmed their TV.