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“Star Time” is a film that speaks to the television generation, the latchkey kids who didn’t have an in-the-flesh babysitter.

Star Time

After his favorite TV show is canceled, Henry Pinkle becomes a mask-wearing, hatchet-wielding serial killer at the behest of an imaginary friend. Let’s dig into 1992’s STAR TIME, directed by Alexander Cassini!

As I See It

Before Happy Death Day and The Hills Run Red, Henry Pinkle was the original “Baby-faced killer”.

Touching on the darker side of the human psyche that was the focus of Ben Stiller’s brilliant The Cable Guy, which had an overzealous TV addict (Jim Carrey) wire his way into a man’s (Matthew Broderick) life because he’s lonely and needs friends, Henry Pinkle creates his own imaginary friend — Sam Bones — based on a TV personality, that mentors him into some dark actions.

Star Time isn’t necessarily “the Cable Guy of Horror”. It instinctively lacks charm.

It’s what some would call an art-house flick, which is a nice little package to put a film in when it touches on dark parts of human behavior and the mental victimhood of a middle-class generation that could never achieve anything more than mundanity.

It’s an unsettling commentary on the lack of human interaction and validation so many have grown up with. Imagine a world where that was amplified!? (Read sarcasm.)

As the credits roll and Sam Bones tells Henry he’s a winner, you can’t help but feel sorry for the loser.

Let the scrambled images and static wash over you as you recall your childhood of pop culture ingestion.

Famous Faces

John P. Ryan (Sam Bones) starred in Larry Cohen’s It’s Alive.

Michael St. Gerard (Henry Pinkle) is an Elvis doppelganger. I’m not the only one who thinks so. In addition to appearing in John Waters’ musical Hairspray as Link Larkin, he played “The King” four times, including in Jim McBride’s Jerry Lee Lewis biopic Great Balls of Fire!

Of Gratuitous Nature

The erotic channel surfing, which resembled a scene from David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, had me exploring my own past. It’s astonishing now to think about how much I learned about life from watching films and television. Things turned out fine for me, and I was able to parlay that “experience” into real-life, empirical knowledge, but it’s not a plunge off a tall building to think not everyone is equipped to process things in a socially acceptable way.

That’s not speaking to the dangers of watching TV, playing video games, or reading horror or illicit fiction. That’s more of a condemnation of our inability to be honest about mental wellness.

Heartthrob

Cassini does not have a long resume, and it’s startling. Sure, this wasn’t going to have producers gushing at his profitability, but someone, somewhere, had to see the worth in a writer/director who was trying to make something of substance.

Ripe for a Remake

Thematically, it can be a great starting point for an updated story in the age of ultimate detachment.

Spawns

No progeny to report.

Where to Watch

Vinegar Syndrome provided a director’s cut Blu-Ray, which had never seen the light of day before, with a new 2k scan from the original 35mm camera negative. It includes a short film from director Alexander Cassini called The Great Performance. You can stream Star Time on Tubi, Night Flight, Fandor, Screambox, and Plex.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 3.5


THE DAILY DIG
The Daily Dig brings you hidden genre gems from the 1960s-00s you may have not yet discovered. You’ll get a brief rundown of everything you need to know, including where to watch each title for yourself. Come back each day, Mon-Fri, for new featured titles. CLICK HERE FOR A TIMELINE OF DAILY DIG COVERAGE.

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