The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

IT CAME FROM THE THRIFT STORE: MIKEY (1992) **



Most fans of 80’s TV will tell you that Brian Bonsall’s appearance as Andy on Family Ties was the precise moment when that show jumped the shark. Because of that, there was generally a lot of animosity directed towards that poor kid in the ensuing years. Recently, Bonsall’s had several run-ins with the law and has basically become another poster boy for how NOT to be a child star.

If anybody bothered to watch Mikey when it first came out, they would’ve recognized the warning signs right away. Bonsall stars as the title character and believe me, this is one messed up kid. First he drowns his sister, then he electrocutes his mom in the tub, and finally he beats his father to death with a baseball bat. He was obviously buying himself a one-way ticket to Dana Platoville.

No one believes Mikey could’ve possibly been the one to murder his entire family so the authorities foolishly let him move in with a new family. At first everything seems pretty normal. But when Mikey starts drawing pictures of turkeys killing Pilgrims for Thanksgiving we know it’s only a matter of time before he’s dumping electronics into Jacuzzis again.

Well… The Bad Seed it is not. Mikey came out the year before The Good Son, but it doesn’t work on the same primal level as that film does. The Good Son (sorta) worked because it was the beloved child star Macaulay Culkin doing the killing, so it made the kills that much more shocking. With Mikey, it’s just the brat that ruined Family Ties, so we could really care less.

There’s a subplot in the film about Mikey filming his murders that totally doesn’t work. I think the filmmakers thought it would be disturbing to have a kid filming the people he murdered. However, since we’ve seen the whole killer-with-a-camera shit done so many times, it fails to do anything for the audience.

Mikey pretty much goes through the motions of a typical early 90’s From Hell movie. It hits all the notes you’d expect from the subgenre without any of the style, atmosphere, pacing, gore, unintentional laughs, interesting subplots, good acting, suspense, human interest, or surprising plot twists that would make it worthwhile. Mikey’s mom does show off her goods in the tub and the hot gal next store does wear a wet t-shirt rather well, so it’s not a total loss or anything.

Overall, the film isn’t bad taste enough for it to be genuinely disturbing, nor is it blatantly stupid enough to be good for a laugh. Because of that, it just sorts falls somewhere in the middle and just sits there for 90 minutes daring you to feel one way or the other about it. It’s enough to make you want to send the movie to its room without supper.

Still, the flick does have the best tagline for a Thrift Store movie I’ve seen in a long time: “Remember… Jason and Freddie (sic) were kids once too!”

Bonsall gets the best line of the movie when his mom catches him watching one of his homemade murder movies. She asks him what he’s watching and he replies: “Mikey’s Funniest Home Videos!”

I bet you’re wondering what we’ve got in store for next week. Well, I’ve got two words for you: Patrick Swayze. I’ve also got two more words for you: Post Apocalypse. And here’s another two words: Steel Dawn! How do you like those post-apocalyptic apples?

Tags: .it came from the thrift store, horror, m
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