The Heavenly Kid (1985)

It’s getting hotter outside and nights quieter before the storm of libations and BBQ’s. Nothing beats the impatience of summer like an easy and fun movie to meditate with and laugh a little. I mean it’s been a stressful few months since November and we can all use a little laughter and light heartedness.
The Heavenly Kid is directed by Cary Medoway and stars Lewis Smith (Buckaroo Bonzai, The Final Terror), Jason Gedrick (Iron Eagle), Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle) and Richard Mulligan (SOAP, Empty Nest).  Another actor that you will recognize is Mark Metcalf, who is best known as the father in “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and the teacher in “I Wanna Rock” music videos by Twisted Sister. Other Mark Metcalf films include: One Crazy Summer (1986) and Animal House (1978).

Distributed by Orion Pictures and released on July 26, 1985. Heavenly Kid is the story of a young (or something like it) greaser who dies after a tragic game of Chicken and is stranded in limbo awaiting final judgement for his life of delinquency. After a long train ride and a few years wandering the streets of the after life’s skid row, he is assigned his final test by his supervisor Rafferty (Mulligan).

His assignment is the mentoring of a young promising teen named Lenny Barnes. Lenny is an introverted, shy teenage with no hope of a social life and not an ounce of self-respect or confidence.  Therefore, it’s an uphill battle for our hero angel Bobby Fontana (Lewis).

The film follows the same routine coming of age comedy and morality tale that still replicates itself in teen dramas today. Kid learns self-respect, Kid becomes a prick, Kid learns humility and Happily Ever After-life.

Is the film good? Meh, it’s just okay. Well-acted? Good enough for a CW remake, at least. The directing is lazy and a lot of the performances are done without any real emotion; with a lot of the actors just standing around during supposed high drama scenes. The plot does feel shoved down your throat instead of progressing at a natural pace. The biggest question to arise from the story is – how can teenagers in the nineteen-fifties conceive a child that will still be in High School when Bobby arrives on earth? Delayed pregnancy perhaps?

The soundtrack is full of charming but justifiably forgettable tracks from Joe Lynn Turner from Rainbow, Jon Fiore, Joni Paladin, Howard Hewett from Shalamar, Debra Laws and Mickey Thomas from Jefferson Starship.

The Heavenly Kid earned only 3.8 million dollars at the box office with a budget of who cares.
Take your feet off and relax your hats and recline your backs in their robotron positions. Here is 1986’s The Heavenly Kid from Orion Pictures. Be cool, Be chill and whatever you do – Don’t take that finger off the rewind button.

Sam HaiNe