Lovers Lane (1999) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Warning: heavy-duty spoilers.

Yup, that's really the title - Lovers Lane, with no apostrophes.

Sometimes a movie comes along that is just so dazzlingly original that it defies our senses to keep up. Run, Lola, Run was such a film. Here, too, is such a film. The plot says it all.

13 years ago, a madman with one of those pirate hook hands killed two adulterous lovers at Lovers Lane on Valentine's Day. Now, he has escaped from the insane asylum and intends to kill the children of the original couple, also on Valentine's Day.

How did they think of that stuff? Killing the adulterous, sexually promiscuous teens? The insane guy escaping the asylum and coming back for the victim's relatives? The hook hand? The holiday theme? Whoa!


Diedre Kilgore is topless in the opening scene.

Sarah Lancaster's character does a later topless scene, but it looks like it was done with a double, and it's too dark to see anything well.

I regret to report to you that the execution of the story is even worse than the summary. It's dark. It's confusing. It's sometimes inaudible. Not that it would be any better if you could see it or hear it. The hook dude's powers kept changing from "regular insane guy" to "supernatural force guy", or at least it seemed that way for a while, until we found out that there were tons of hook dudes. The madman's psychologist (the guy who played Les Nessman on WKRP) and the psychologist's daughter were also insane, and were committing hook copycat murders to complete their own personal vendettas. And I think there were two more hook dudes that I never figured out at all. At one point, there were so many people walking around with hook hands that it looked like open auditions for Peter Pan. After a while there were more hook dudes than potential victims, so the spare hook dudes and dudesses were hiring out for deep-sea fishing expeditions.

This may have been intended to be a straight-faced genre parody. The difference between this and the Scream series is that it didn't constantly tell you it was kidding. You had to figure it out on your own. I'm pretty sure that was the intention. For example, the opening scene seems to have been acted poorly on purpose, and the pure camp of it could not have been unintentional. The sheriff's four year old daughter was in the car, came out tearlessly, and coolly placed a Valentine's present on her mother's mutilated corpse. The final scene seems to have added the dozens of hook dudes as a surrealist parody of the genre. Some other details provide clues of the humorous intent.'

  • Anna Faris, from Scary Movie, is in this film as the high school's only cheerleader. Not only is she the only one, but she never removes her cheerleading outfit at any time in the film, in or out of school!
  • The kids all hang out at XXX Root Beer.
  • The back room of the convenience store is bigger than Pennsylvania Station.
  • In the opening scene, when the sheriff sees his dead wife, one of the other policemen looks at the mutilated corpse and, well within earshot of the sheriff, says flippantly "whoa - that had to hurt!".
  • Les Nessman (who now looks exactly like Red Buttons) comes to the school for a meeting with the principal, and he marches into her office with an attack dog, probably just before giving her the Buckeye hog reports.
  • There really is a hog in the film later, at a crucial point, and it appears completely out of nowhere, with no apparent justification, then disappears as quickly.
  • At one point, the high school principal punches out one of her female students.

I just can't believe all of that was meant to be taken seriously.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Full-screen format

  • no meaningful features - it includes a trailer - even though the film seems not to have had a theatrical release

In all fairness, I have to report that nobody else but me seemed to think the film was meant as a genre send-up, but I don't see how you could interpret it any other way. It doesn't seem to me that a film could be this dumb and this derivative and not be aware of it.

As the film ends, we see the two remaining teens being driven to safety, and the door of the vehicle is pulled closed by - what else - a hook! Heaven knows which member of the Hook family this was, but I think I may have heard a ticking clock as well.

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews on line


The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 2.8/10. Video Graveyard voters score it 1.5/10
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C if you view it as intentionally bad and watch it with laughs in mind. If you view it as a straight genre picture, it has to be an F. You can't see what's going on. You can't hear what's going on. The adult actors are all incompetent (the kids aren't too bad). The plot is confusing and surreal, and the opening scene, if not meant to be bad for humorous value, is just plain bad, period. (An execrable 2.8 at IMDb)

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