Deadly Love (1987)

Originally published in Bleeding Skull! A 1980s Trash-Horror Odyssey.

What is deadly love?

Deadly love is carving a loved one’s name in your palm. Deadly love is defending your girlfriend with “I’m gonna give you ten seconds to get out of here ‘fore I start wailin’ on your head with this shovel!” Deadly love is forcing yourself on someone sexually while wearing a That’s Incredible! t-shirt. What is Deadly Love? I dare you to find out.

The theme song is called “Forever Together.” It repeats itself exactly eleven times. Speaking of repetition, Deadly Love is an 84 minute film comprised of 50 minutes of recycled footage. It may have been shot-on-video somewhere outside of Hollywood, then transferred to film stock for home video release. The actors might not be real humans. If the facts sound questionable, I apologize. Triple overlapping soundtracks, puke-inducing zooms, and four mongoloids in a Jeep Cherokee tend to cloud my senses.

An undead killer in full Harley Davidson regalia will protect his beloved Annie at all costs, be it in 1965 (mullets, Reeboks, drum machine) or 1987 (mullets, Spuds McKenzie, beer). Twenty years after the tragic death of her true love, Buddy, Annie commits suicide in the bathtub. The guys in the Jeep should have minded their own business. When Annie’s niece inherits the family estate, they’re in for a big dose of deadly love. Is Buddy really back from the grave? Should the cameraman zoom again? Will the That’s Incredible! fat guy score with a girl? Perhaps “The Encyclopedia Of Ancient And Forbidden Knowledge By Zoltar” could shed some light. Unfortunately, I have no idea what it’s doing in this movie, either.

Director Michael O’Rourke made one film after Deadly Love (Moon Stalker) before moving on to screenplay work (Hellgate), but he didn’t need to. This film is enough to ensure the legacy of eight people. A gore-soaked double ending, endless footage reiterations, actors apparently in the throes of enemas — this is true SOV beauty. True beauty leads to love. May it always be deadly.

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