So, here’s the thing about Lisa, a horror-thriller from 1990 that shows up occasionally on This TV.
It’s got a great title.
Seriously, this film has got one of the greatest titles of all time. I would almost say that you really don’t even have to pay attention to the movie because the title itself is so perfect that the plot doesn’t even matter. The only thing that would make this title even better would be if they had added a “Marie” to the end of it but oh well. You can’t have everything.
This is a movie about a girl named Lisa and, speaking as a girl named Lisa, I have to say that it’s incredibly true to life. Lisa (Staci Keanan) is a smart and amazingly talented 14 years old and not alllowed to date by her incredibly overprotective mother, Katherine (Cheyl Holland). So, instead of dating, Lisa spends her time stalking a serial killer. See, Katherine thought she was protecting her daughter but instead, she’s only inspired her to take an even greater risk. That’s why you need to let the Lisas in your life do what they want.
Admittedly, Lisa doesn’t know that Richard (D.W. Moffett) is a serial killer. She doesn’t even know that he owns a successful restaurant. All she knows is that he looks like a model and he drives a nice car and it’s fun to follow him around Venice Beach. When she jots down his license plate numbers, she hacks the DMV to get his name, address, and phone number. Soon, Lisa is calling him up and having flirtatious conversations with him.
It’s all good fun, except for the fact that Richard is also known as The Candelight Killer and he’s got a thing about calling people and leaving them messages right before he kills them. It’s all very ritualized. For instance, it’s very important that his victims be in the process of listening to his message when he kills them. To be honest, though, that sounds like he’s taking a lot of risks. I mean, what if someone came home and didn’t immediately check their messages? Would Richard just have to hide behind the drapes for hours until the did? Of course, Richard would be even more out of luck if this movie were made today because who has an answering machine anymore?
Anyway, Richard is obsessed with discovering who is stalking him and Katherine is obsessed with keeping Lisa out of danger and Lisa just wants to actually be allowed to full celebrate having the greatest name ever. Did you know, for instance, that Lisa may have started out as a shortened form of Elizabeth but that it became so popular on its own that it was one of the most popular names in both the United States and the United Kingdom for several decades? And, even though it’s no longer in the top ten as far as names are concerned, being named Lisa is still one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed upon anyone? Lisa means God’s Promise by the way. And….
What? Oh yeah, the movie.
Well, anyway, it all leads to pretty much what you’re expecting it to lead to. Plotwise, the movie may be predictable but the Staci Keanan, Cheryl Ladd, and D.W. Moffett all gives good performances and director Gary Sherman keeps the action moving at a steady pace. It’s dumb but entertaining, kinda like cinematic junk food. Plus, it has a great title. What more do you need?