The B-Movie Isle: Never too Young to Die (Shout Factory!)
The B-Movie Isle/Adam take a look at the new Shout Factory release, the delirious and great 1980’s cult action spy extravaganza; Never too Young to Die. A film so awesomely 80’s it will have you wearing Member’s Only and singing “Stargrove!!!” at the top of your lungs.
Any film that within the first three minutes that has Gene Simmons (yes, that Gene) playing a hermaphroditic super villain yelling his Punk Rock Road Warrior inspired minions at the LA Aqueduct AND… John Stamos doing gymnastics whilst a song plays about his character that the chorus is his character’s last name has me SOLD! Never Too Young To Die is the blissfully whack-a-mole 1980’s spy action extravaganza you never realized you’ve been waiting for.
Told in a deathly serious tone, Never Too Young To Die, is the type of B-Movie you dream of finding but rarely do. This is a film that’s truly clueless to how goofy and awkward it is, never blinks even at the strangest and befuddling moments. This is a film that thinks that Vanity (who plays a Spy) should be wearing the gaudiest of leather miniskirts to a colleague’s funeral or that the main reveal of whom the villain is some sort of big shocker. These far left field story choices add to the charm of this film.
You could talk formality of plot with this film and take you through the A-B-C of Velvet von Ragner (Simmons) plays to poison the City (maybe LA) water system with a floppy disc. How only person that can stop him from poisoning the water hole like a Toy Story villain is Lance STARGROVE (Stamos), son of famous spy Drew STARGROVE (played by former James Bond George Lazenby). How the years and years of gymnastics training has prepared Lance to take on von Ragner and his goons who came straight from the set of Warriors of the Wasteland. How Lance’s college roommate becomes his version of Q and creates the wackiest flame thrower that would make any Italian genre director proud. To give more away to you would to ruin a truly deranged great time to be had.
If one need a final reason to see this film it’s this; one of its credited screenwriters is Lorenzo Semple Jr. aka the creator of Batman ’66.
Bonus Points: Never too Young to Die in inspiring a very iconic stunt from The Fast and the Furious.
I’m impressed that a film that time forgot like Never too Young to Die looks as great as it does on Blu-Ray. The transfer is clean and crisp. Having hunted this down on VHS a few years ago, I’m shocked at how good this film looks. Shout Factory has gotten this one right.
Not content with just giving us a great transfer Shout has collected an Audio Commentary, trailer and a little something extra called VHS. The Audio Commentary is a great informative track from Pop Culture Historian Russell Dyball. Now the Extra that’s simply labeled VHS is something that every B-Movie geek is going to love. By selecting this option you’re presented with the film in 1.33 as though you were watching it off a recording that was done off HBO. Shout has pulled out all the stops for this one including an HBO early 80’s style opening logo, bad tracking and mono sound. I’ve watched the film in this feature twice already and it’s not worn out its novelty. It’s a cheekier version of what we got on The Thing special edition with the “TV Version” they included in that. One can only hope that Shout decides to include this on more discs.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a James Bond riff starring the replacement drummer for the Beach Boys when they released Kokomo this is the film for you. It’s the only recommendation you should need. Vastly recommended and rating it STARGROVE!!!!