The Heavenly Kid
|The Heavenly Kid|
DVD Cover of The Heavenly Kid
|Directed by||Cary Medoway|
|Produced by||Mort Engelberg|
|Written by||Cary Medoway
|Music by||Kennard Ramsey
|Cinematography||Steven B. Poster|
|Edited by||Christopher Greenbury|
|Distributed by||Orion Pictures Corporation|
|Release dates||July 26, 1985|
|Running time||90 min.|
USAlocation Atlanta, GA area
In the early 1960s, Bobby Fantana (Lewis Smith), a young greaser-type rebel, challenges Joe Barnes (Mark Metcalf) to a game of chicken for making a pass at his girlfriend Emily (Jane Kaczmarek). Bobby wins the race easily when Joe dives out of his car, but Bobby is unable to get out of the car in time due to his bracelet getting caught on the gearshift (a homage to Rebel Without A Cause). He dies as his car plummets over the cliff into a fiery wreck.
Bobby awakens to find himself on a surreal trip aboard a speeding train vessel. The train stops at a station housing a huge escalator going up into a bright white light, which one of the attendants refers to as "Uptown". Bobby is denied entry, and his new spirit guide Rafferty (Richard Mulligan) appears and explains that he isn't considered ready yet and needs to carry out an assignment in order to earn his ticket Uptown. After many years in limbo Bobby is finally given his assignment - he is to return to Earth and act as a guardian angel and friend for nerdy Lenny Barnes (Jason Gedrick), a promising high school student who is constantly picked on in school, particularly by school bullies Fred Gallo (Stephen Gregory) and Bill McIntyre (Beau Dremann). However, Bobby is instructed that he is only allowed to reveal himself to Lenny and nobody else.
Bobby helps Lenny by giving him a makeover, assisting him in dealing with Fred and Bill, and helping him win the affection of the hottest girl in school, Sharon (Anne Sawyer). However, Bobby eventually realizes that the new lifestyle Lenny is leading is not noble, as it causes him to rebel against everyone, including his parents. Bobby soon realizes that Lenny's mother is Emily, his former girlfriend, and is married to Joe, the man he died racing against. Bobby breaks the Uptown rules and reveals himself to Emily to confess his love for her, and Emily informs him that he is actually Lenny's father.
In a scene reminiscent of the opening sequence, Lenny is challenged to a chicken race at the local quarry by Fred, Sharon's former boyfriend. Having been told by Rafferty that Lenny will die just as Bobby did earlier, Bobby offers to trade his own chance to move Uptown (essentially, his own immortal soul) to save Lenny's life. Much like Bobby's car race, the race ends with Lenny and Bobby flying over the edge of a cliff, and the car exploding in a fiery wreck. However, Bobby prevents Lenny from dying, and they climb up the cliff together. Bobby helps Lenny see the error of his ways as Lenny reunites with his long-time friend Melissa (Nancy Valen), who was in love with him and by his side even during his "nerdy years".
After bidding an emotional goodbye to Lenny, during which he tells him that they will always be best friends, Bobby offers himself to Rafferty to fulfill his end of the bargain by accepting a ride "Downtown" (essentially, to hell). However, Rafferty explains that this will not be happening. Bobby incredulously asks why, since he had made a deal to trade his own soul for Lenny's second chance at life. Rafferty explains to Bobby that he had learned to love and value someone more than himself, and that is how one earned a ticket Uptown. Lenny and his girlfriend then watch Bobby and Rafferty fly into the sky on a motorbike, while the movie ends with Bobby going on the escalator to Uptown.
The soundtrack consists of 10 songs featured in the movie. It was taken out-of-print almost as quickly as it became available due to manufacturing defects on the LP: during the tracks Animal Attraction and Crusin' Tonight there are several mis-aligned grooves that transferred to all copies of the LP which caused major skips and poor quality sound. The Promotional copy of this record has these defects as well.
- Joe Lynn Turner - "Heartless"
- Jon Fiore - "The Heavenly Kid (Out On the Edge)"
- Jamie Bond - "Heart of Love"
- Howard Hewett - "Obsession"
- Debra Laws - "Crusin' Tonight"
- Jamie Bond - "Animal Attraction"
- Mickey Thomas - "Two Minute Love"
- The George Duke Band - "So Mean to Me"
- George Duke - "Hamburgers"
- Neko-Meka - "When the Children Make the Mighty Fall"
- Shandi Sinnamon - "So Far Away"*
- Chris Farren - "Dream Machine"*
- Stuffy Shmitt - "I Need The Touch"*
- Jerry Lee Lewis - "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On"*
- Song is featured in the movie but not on the soundtrack album.
Notes and references
- "Seventh Annual Youth in Film Awards" by Young Artist Foundation, http://www.youngartistawards.org/, July 7, 2006, retrieved July 7, 2006