Adamantium Bullet

31 Days Of Horror: PULSE

For the next 31 days, we here at Adamantium Bullet will be reviewing one horror film a day leading up to Halloween. Each film will be horrific, terrifying, chilling, pulse-pounding, or flat-out awful. All will be endured in honor of the season. Expect SPOILERS. Welcome to Adamantium Bullet’s “All 80s” edition of 31 DAYS OF HORROR.

In this episode, J Bryant and AngieBee discuss the 1988 sci-fi shocker PULSE starring Cliff De Young, Joey Lawrence, Roxanne Hart, Matthew Lawrence, and Tim Russ.

In today's world of modern conveniences, everything we rely on is run by electricity. But what happens if the power we take for granted turns against us? Old man Holger (Charles Tyner) knows. He claims electricity is a living presence, whose voice can only be silenced by getting rid of anything that can hear it. Bill Rockland (Cliff De Young), however, refuses to believe him. It must have been an accident when an electric spark ruptured the gas pipe that nearly killed Bill's son (Joey Lawrence). And it's surely a coincidence when his wife (Roxanne Hart) is severely scalded by their electric water heater. But when his own power tools attack him and an electrical fire turns their home into a blazing inferno, Bill realizes Holger may have been right after all, and perhaps the time has come to finally pull the plug.

One old man and it’s off-screen! What’s up with that, PULSE? Don’t you know how to horror? One off-screen kill is not acceptable!

See BODY COUNT or don’t. Off-screen means nothing on-screen.

A teeny, tiny, tantalizing bit of PG-13 skin is visible during Ellen’s (Roxanne Hart) shower scene.

From a pure 31 DAYS OF HORROR standpoint, the SIGNATURE MOMENT has got to be Ellen’s shower scene. It’s the closest thing PULSE has to a legit kill scene even though it doesn’t feature a kill. From a filmmaking standpoint, the SIGNATURE MOMENTS have got to be the multiple macro close-ups of everyday appliances that writer/director Paul Golding peppers throughout the pic. We could’ve just watched a plotless hour long loop of those shots and been perfectly content. And from a screenwriting standpoint, the core idea of PULSE – an unexplained malevolent spark manifests itself in everyday appliances and begins killing people – was fascinating and unique.

The multiple scenes of Bill (Cliff De Young) smoking in front of his young son (Joey Lawrence) and wife were terrible. Secondhand smoke kills, jerk! If you want a more legit IDIOT MOMENT then I guess the multiple scenes of Bill completely dismissing his son and wife’s concerns and worries about what is happening in their little neighborhood will have to count for that.

Cliff De Young and Joey Lawrence play father and son respectively in PULSE. One of the other kids in the film, one not related to Cliff De Young’s character, is played by Matthew Lawrence, Joey’s younger brother. Joey and Matthew clearly look like brothers. There is no doubt that they are brothers in real life. No attempt is made in PULSE by the filmmakers to make them NOT look like brothers. Yet they are NOT playing brothers. They are playing two unrelated kids who just happen to live in the same neighborhood as each other, and also happen to resemble each other in appearance, which is weird. Makes me wonder if the reason Cliff De Young’s character got divorced was because he was cheating and the reason he moved to this neighborhood with his new wife was because one of his old girlfriends that he knocked up while he was with his first wife was living there and he wanted to be around his son. That’s probably not what the filmmakers intended, but it’s definitely what crossed our minds every time Joey and Matthew shared a scene.

When Joey Lawrence came in to read for the lead role, his parents suggested to writer/director Paul Golding that he should consider casting Lawrence's younger brother Matthew Lawrence in the smaller part of neighbor Stevie. Matthew was cast as Stevie after he nailed Stevie's curbside speech at his audition. (IMDB)

Posted by AngieBee

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