The Paperboy (1994)

Canada may seem like our polite neighbor to the north, but they really export some amazingly bonkers movies. Under the surface, they’re boiling with films that challenge convention and embrace the weird. Take this movie, which starts with its 12-year-old antagonist, paperboy Johnny McFarley smothering an old woman with a plastic bag.

After that stunning open, we meet Melissa (Alexandra Paul, the virgin Connie Swail from Dragnet), a teacher who returns home to learn that her mother — yep, the old woman — is dead. She takes her daughter Cammie home with her for the funeral, where Johnny is way too excited to see her. He ingratiates himself into the funeral proceedings and then hides a baby monitor in a vent so he can keep up on what Melissa is doing. Yep. Our paperboy is in love.

What he can’t deal with is the fact that she has a boyfriend, Brian (William Katt). But he’s willing to do whatever it takes to win her over, from turning busybodies into paraplegics to killing his own father with a golf putter and giving another old lady a heart attack by faking the death of her dog. He even smacks Brian with a baseball bat and leaves him inside a burning boat.

Yes, this is a child who goes from sweet and approachable to pure menace in seconds. How dare you go on a date when he wanted to make you some barbecue, Melissa!

This is a sort of remake of 1992’s Mikey by way of another Canadian movie where all someone wants is a happy family, 1987’s The Stepfather.

Sadly, this is a movie that’s near impossible to find, as it’s never been released on DVD. You can, however, find it at the VHSPS.

BONUS: You can listen to us discuss this movie on our podcast.

2 thoughts on “The Paperboy (1994)”

  1. I’ve only seen this as a Lifetime “damsel in distress” flick. This was an American theatrical feature? I took this as just another Canadian movie that gets uncerimonious dumped into the U.S cable market. What would U.S cable do without Canada! If you look at the end credits on Lifetime flicks (even Hallmark) you’ll see mapleleafs and Candians references for their film board.

    Katt (Carrie) did quite of few of these direct-to-video, low-budget pot-boilers with unhinged antagonists. I always remember Distant Cousins (Desperate Motive), in particular, as being one of the better VHS Rentals.

    This needed just a tweak-more crazy, like talking bear, ala The Pit. (THE PIT RULES) to push it over the top. Can’t help but evoke Bad Ronald with Scott Jacoby from 1974. Scared me to shite as a kid. And, that takes us back to his brother in the Applegates flick….

    Like

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