Kiss Daddy Goodbye (1981)

This is why I have insomnia. Because I try to sleep, but then I start worrying about being able to pay the bills and what will I do next and how am I going to take care of my wife and then I realize, “Hey! Fabian made a movie with Marilyn Burns from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Marvin Miller, who was the voice of Robbie the Robot…”

And now I’m awake.

Otherwise known as Revenge of the Zombie, this movie was directed by Patrick Regan, who also wrote the lost slasher movie — seriously, someone help me find it, The Farmer. This is his only directing credit, though he did second unit on a bunch of movies, like The Phantom.

It starts his kids — Nell and Patrick — as Beth and Michael Nicholas, psychic kids who have been homeschooled by their dad, Guy. He runs afoul of some bikers, who kill him, so the kids keep him alive Weekend At Bernie’s style so that the Board of Education employee Nora Dennis (Burns) doesn’t put them in an orphanage. Also — Fabian plays a local sheriff, outdoing his work in Disco Fever

Chester Grimes plays the leader of the bikers and if you wanted a biker in the 1980’s, you called Chester. From CHiPs to Electra Glide in BlueThe Rockford FilesPee-wee’s Big AdventureBosom BuddiesThe Garbage Pail Kids Movie and Dragnet, there he is.

And look out! There’s Robert Dryer, who if you watched lots of movies like I do at 4 AM, you’d recognize as Jake from Savage Streets, the titular character in The Borrower and Lord Barak from The Sisterhood.

Is that Jon Cedar from The Manitou as a shady land owner? Yes it is.

Kids that raise dad from the dead, so that he can kill bikers and bury himself in the sand, while Fabian and Sally Hardesty make eyes at one another. Yeah! This movie makes no sense, so I advise you to see it as I did: on a VHS tape uploaded to YouTube with obtrusive Spanish subtitles. Trust me — it makes it all so much better.

We included a second look at Kiss Daddy Goodbye as part of our weekly “Drive-In Friday” featurette with a “Musician Slashers Night.”

2 thoughts on “Kiss Daddy Goodbye (1981)

  1. Watch in a two-fer with Blood Song starring the other ’50s teen idol crooner-actor, Frankie Avalon.

    (Honorable mention to John Ashley and his “Blood Island” pics from the ’70s.)


  2. I just rewatched film last night. I remember seeing a heavily edited version in the 80s on the Elvira show. Saw when I saw a kid and movie freaked me out. Kids are creepier than the zombie!


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