Never Too Young to Die (1986): 8 out of 10: Never Too Young to Die is one of the most eighties films you will ever see. The film stars John Stamos who joins forces with his father’s partner Vanity after daddy is killed trying to prevent a hermaphrodite, played by Gene Simmons, from poisoning the town’s water supply.
The Good: Vanity and Gene Simmons. Vanity is simply ethereal in Never Too Young to Die. There doesn’t seem to be a shot where she isn’t effortlessly beautiful. She also shows decent action and acting chops. She is not Meryl Streep mind you but compared to say Denise Richards in The World Is Not Enough she is a cut above as the action hero’s girlfriend.
Gene Simmons is the other gem. Channeling both Tim Curry’s Dr. Frank-N-Furter and The Joker. He takes what could have easily been an offensive and problematic bad guy and makes him/her so over the top offensive and problematic it becomes a delightful tour de force.
The Bad: Well, the rest of the movie. George Lazenby (That guy who keeps Timothy Dalton from being the world’s worst Bond) is kinda just there, and while John Stamos isn’t awful by any means he can hardly hold his own against Vanity and Gene Simmons. (Yeah, let that thought roll around in your head a minute.)
Gene Simmons’s minions look like they wandered off the Death Wish 3 set or perhaps a post-apocalyptic Full Moon feature. They are entertaining enough but so out of place in the universe as is the army chasing them. Gil Bettman’s direction is a simple point and shoot affair with some strange choices. He shoots a sex scene that clearly calls for an Emmanuelle style soft focus lingering in the same fast cut back and forth as he shoots the action scenes.
In Conclusion: This is not a good movie. This, however, is an incredible eighties film. Vanity and Simmons simply elevate the already insane base material to a new level. It may not be defensible, but it is sure entertaining.