Girlfriend from Hell (1989)

Rating:

USA. 1989.

Crew

Director/Screenplay – Daniel M. Peterson, Producers – Daniel M. Peterson & Alberto Lensi, Photography – Gerry Lively, Music – Michael Rapp, Special Effects Supervisor – John Eggett, Production Design – Regina Argentine. Production Company – Alberto Lensi/Queens Cross Productions/August Entertainment

Cast

Dana Ashbrook (Chaser), Liane Curtis (Maggie), Lezlie Deane (Diane), Anthony Barrile (Carl), Ken Abraham (Rocco), Hilary Morse (Alice), James Daughton (David), Bara Kaite Coughlin (Freda), Brad Zutaut (Teddy)


Plot

The wimpish Carl is set up on a date with the socially maladroit Maggie. This becomes a disaster. Maggie is suddenly possessed by The Devil who transforms her into someone eye-openingly sexually aggressive. She uses her powers to cause devastation, decimate Carl’s friends, then seduce and suck out Carl’s soul. At the same time, a character named Chaser also arrives. Chaser is someone who lived a life of debauchery and died young but has been resurrected by God (because he invented the condom) to become a chaser of devils. However, Chaser has also fallen in love with the devil that is now possessing Maggie.


This cheap comedy lacks much to distinguish it. It has a mental age that seems to be down around the single digits. It has a surprisingly smutty sense of humour, which occasionally comes across with a reasonable degree of liveliness. It varies between the very silly – uzi and rocket launcher toting nuns – and the mildly amusing – a scene where Liane Curtis walks down the street, maliciously causing a woman to slap her boyfriend and a baby to attack its mother in the background. The credits are very tongue-in-cheek – the cast are listed ‘in order of their agents demands’, God is credited for special thanks, Heaven is listed as one of the locations and the final credit dedicates the film ‘with love to Girlfriends from Hell everywhere’.

There are some bad performances – in particular, from James Karen and Ken Abraham as the party animal Rocco. As the Devil chaser, Dana Ashbrook, a notoriously bad over-actor at the best of times, goes way beyond his usual histrionics and emerges as obnoxious. (There does seem something fundamentally wrong when the side of God is represented by a rampant womaniser who spends most of the film trying to convince other men’s women to commit adultery with him and who ends up defeating The Devil with subterfuge, outright lies and false promises). On the other hand, Liane Curtis makes an amusing swap from complete wallflower to aggressive super-bitch – abusing Christians, blowing her nose on someone’s sweater and coming after her victims with challenges like “I’m coming to get you – so get really scared.”

Underlying the film one senses is an attitude toward women not far removed from Dana Ashbrook’s character – the dialogue makes observations like “As it happens, when you treat a so-called tough woman like shit, she fell in love with me.” There is also the underlying association that for a woman sexual liberation and aggressiveness and becoming a party animal is equal to possession by The Devil.

Director Daniel M. Peterson has made a number of other films of no particular distinction or notice. His only other genre effort was Vampire Knights (1988).


Full film available online here:-


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