FRIENDS TIL THE END (1997)

I’ve dipped my fingers into the made for TV Lifetime cinematic universe and reemerged with a tale of what happens when you push Shannon Daugherty to her mental limit. The answer? A single emotional girl debating a career change (aka any College Girl USA).

Its about to get real in here, so strap in.

Once upon a time, roughly mid-90s, there was a princess of a sorority named Shannen Doherty. Born of pasty white cheekbones, raven hair and a kickin’ band where she dates one of the London twins (Jeremy I want to say) who also plays the bass (they always do).

She unknowingly has a blonde psychotic stalker who has done everything in her power to infiltrate Shannen’s life and then ruin it.  Had Shannen been paying attention, she would have remembered that talent show she competed in when she was seven and beat out that girl as well as everyone else. Since she didn’t keep tabs on it, her life is about to get amazingly complicated.

From there, Blonde Stalker (didn’t bother to remember her name) sneakily joins Shannen’s band, turns Shannen’s sorority friends against her, gets her kicked out of the band and seduces Shannen’s boyfriend.

Why is it called Friends Til the End? Because someone must die. (Spoiler alert: its the blonde crazy girl)

Shannen has a charmed life (pun intended)…

Espescially this girl. This girl who’s name I don’t remember. Not that it matters because her whole goal in this movie is to Single White Female Shannen Doherty. We’ve all been there.

Look at how much she cares. She just wants all things for all people.

Here’s the thing – and this is a Lifetime Cinematic Universe rule. Pretty white girls get stalkers. If you make a new friend and things are really going good – she’s probably planning your murder .

Its always the mousy unspectacular ones…

The one thing you should know about this movie is that Shannen Doherty sings. She sings a lot. She has a band and she wears tiny 90s dresses. Some of them have fruit. Some are made of crushed velvet. All of them took me back to a simpler time when we all thought that was okay.

I know what you’re thinking – but does she have chunky Mary Janes on?

Rest easy, gentle reader. She does.

I’ll say this…should you watch this movie, which you absolutely should (its on YouTube…for FREE), there’s some catchy songs. Like hummable, stuck in your head songs. And had this been the year 1997, I would have gotten the gumption to walk to WalMart or order the Friends Til the End Band’s (not their real name) from BMG as part of my 12 CDs for one cent offer. Sadly, its 2014 and none of those words make sense and I’m forced to move on with my life anyway. Had things been a little bit different,  Apple would have been sneakily putting the Shannen Doherty Experience (again, not the band’s real name) into our iTunes without asking and Bono would’ve been hosting Scare Tactics or doing commercials for Education Connection.

Some movies get college life and some just don’t. Maybe my college experience was unusual, but so many things that happened in this movie I had no recollection of. For example, the women in the sorority house were just genuinely NICE.

It started to feel a little bit more like home when Blonde Stalker overheard Brittany telling Shannen a secret and totally told everyone behind Brittany’s back that Brittany was super super fake and then Blondie blamed Shannen and everyone totally believed it.

Brittany totally thought she was pregnant by the way but it turns out she just can’t do math. Which is a far more dangerous rumor. Then again, I may have had a different college experience than most.

Blonde Stalker knows Rule #1 of gaining your sympathy back – when confronted with something you may or may not have done (ie spilled a friend’s confidential secret, gotten caught going through your personal stuff, killed a guy in an alley) start to act like you are in deep deep pain – either physical or emotional. Its girl catnip.

This is as good a time as any to talk about the acting styles of Shannen Doherty. Actually, she has one style. And its this –

Shannen processes new information onscreen like no one else in the business.

“Shannen, you just learned that your career won’t skyrocket due to badmouthing everyone on Charmed. You’re reaction?”

“…….”

End scene

Speaking of the 90s, you will never see anything that sums up the 90s experience than this screenshot.  Its a music video shoot for one. Jeremy London’s jacket for two…

In case you weren’t sure, Shannen Doherty is pure and blameless. She deserved none of this. See how she flourished in a nest of loving nurturement? You’d think that but then take into account she brought Blonde Stalker friend home, the friend who had no family and then rubbed her face in it.

Blonde Stalker is truly in her element behind a mic and just singing her heart out. Which makes one wonder – if she had just gotten to this point, embraced the friendship and made room for a Shannen, things would be so much different. For example we might all be downloading that one really catchy song of theirs from iTunes.

Sadly, no. Instead, we get this face…

Which I’m not going to lie. This was my face for the whole movie.

Thoughts? Feel free to discuss in the comments or on our Facebook page. You can also share your Shannen Doherty impressions with me on Twitter

The Initiation (1984)

This week’s post, I’ve handed over the reigns  to my brilliant partner in crime over at First World Failure, Beth Seaver to do her own exploring. Strap in…

 

 

 

OK, I’ll be honest. I’ve been through sorority initiation and I thought that this movie would just be a fun opportunity to relive the passive aggressive mental abuse minus the tears and secret eating. Sadly, the sense train jumps the track early in this film, and all we can do is survey the wreckage looking for meaning that isn’t really there. Fans of Halloween will be happy to know that The Initiation steals plot points with abandon, whether it makes sense or not. 
We open with a little girl sleeping. She wakes up and walks down the hall to find her mother and a man having sex. Unlike the rest of us (who would still be washing our eyes to this day), this little gal takes a page from the Michael Meyers handbook and…

 

Stabs him! Sure. Then another unnamed man rushes into the room (might want to start examining your lifestyle choices, Mom) and she…

 

Sets him on fire! Can I point out that we’re barely five minutes in and we have no idea what’s going on except we have an angelic young girl with anger issues? Moving on.

 

Our main character Kelly wakes up from her nightmare (Stabby McFirestarter was all a dream, got it), only to be greeted with a new nightmare. It’s time for midnight sorority ceremonies in our underwear!

 

Doesn’t matter how many times you chant, “Delta Rho Chi, never will die” we all know where this is going. 

 

The girl on the left is Meagan. Meagan dislikes everyone because she is 35 and still in a college sorority. Seriously, did someone attend the Luke Perry School of looking like a teenager? We learn that for “Prank Night” the pledges will be breaking in to Kelly’s family’s department store to steal the security guard’s uniform. You may want to write this down because we won’t be revisiting this plot point for about an hour.

 

Thanks to this handy transition, we’re now at a nuthouse. What does this have to do with the rest of the plot? Who knows? For now let’s just go with it.

 

This is our Nurse Ratched – you can tell by the way that she gets mad at this old woman who just wants to rock back and forth silently all day. 

 

This is another patient at this hospital. Obviously a graduate of the Cuba Gooding Jr. School of representing the mentally handicapped on screen with compassion. 

 

And finally something relevant to the plot! The sad groundskeeper/patient who has mysterious burn scars, and an aggressive way with gardening tools. I wonder if he’ll escape the sanatorium like a certain knife wielding killer from a more successful movie franchise. I don’t know, but someone is going to murder a certain bad tempered nurse with a gardening tool first. 

 

These are Kelly’s parents, getting a call that some patients have escaped the mental hospital and wondering out loud if they shouldn’t share certain “secrets” with their daughter. Let’s wait until some more people end up murdered first.  

 

Whoops. Looks like their “secrets” are lurking around the house. Too bad a wealthy department store owner can’t afford a security system. Good thing this gun and stunned expression will ward off any danger. 

 

Now we’re back at college, and Kelly is ready to try and get rid of her nightmares by participating in a “study” run by super hot teaching assistant in his creepy basement/dungeon.

 

His red shirted assistant is there to make sure things stay on the up and up and everyone keeps their tops on.

 

I’m going to question the credentials of the sleep dungeon, because all it does is make Kelly paranoid. You really do get what you pay for. 

 

Nightmares notwithstanding, we’ve made it to Prank Night, and Kelly and her fellow pledges will be stealing this security guard’s uniform. 

 

He’s not a very good guard, because about half the students from the local college and a deranged killer manage to make it inside on his watch. 

 

The guard doesn’t get all the blame. This “department store” is apparently six stories tall and looks like a hotel. Too much ground to cover for one man. 

 

Uh oh, they’re not going to be able to sell those beds if you leave your college hormones all over them!

 

And now they’re dead. As with most horror movies from this era, many people will die before our main character catches on. 

 

I hope this clue is obvious enough for her. She’s the only Kelly in this movie, right?

 

OK, good. We’re all sufficiently scared now. 

 

Finally! The teaching assistant who dates co-eds is getting to the bottom of this! The burn victim/alleged mass killer is actually Kelly’s father. Who she set on fire? In her dream that’s really a repressed memory? 

 

What to do when a killer is stalking a bunch of kids? Make some phone calls. Call the sorority house and Kelly’s mom, but whatever you do don’t contact the authorities.

 

Kelly pushes her burned father off the roof, and professor dream dungeon finally runs in. Hey…why doesn’t Kelly look more enthused?

 

Because it’s not Kelly!!! It’s her twin sister…Terry? This is the part of the movie where the sense train jumps the tracks, and bursts into flames. Did Kelly just push her father off the roof and he’s not even the killer? Why don’t Kelly and Terry have rhyming “twin” names? Why does Terry do all her murders with her father’s gardening tools?

 

Finally! Kelly is safe thanks to dear old Mom, who shoots Terry and quickly becomes very confused. Maybe she also forgot she had two daughters?
Is your mind blown too? You’d think that there was no recovering from a movie like this, but our heroine Kelly (or is it Terry? Who’s dead?) went on to play Princess Vespa in Spaceballs. John Candy in a cat suit makes more sense than any part of this movie.

 

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