Monday, August 09, 2010

Johnny Kitties: Celebrating Johnny Depp Film #3--Slow Burn (1986)

[What is Johnny Kitties? See Johnny Kitties: Celebrating Johnny Depp for all the details!]

Slow Burn is a 1986 made-for-TV crime drama starring Eric Roberts and Beverly D'AngeloI assumed Johnny Depp's role in this film was small, since no one ever mentions it in interviews or retrospectives. I couldn't find it in video stores, and it was never on TV, but I did see the video cassette up for auction years ago listed on eBay. Didn’t I need to—at least—see this Johnny Movie, just for the sake of completeness, and isn’t eBay my only option? I explained the situation to one of my friends: "Don't I need to buy it, just because?"

Don’t do it! she advised. So I didn’t.

Last year, though, I reluctantly convinced myself to do so, “for art's sake!” I put in a bid on eBay for $8. While I waited for the auction to end, it occurred to me to check YouTube for Johnny's Slow Burn scenes—and I found them! After watching them, I hoped that someone would outbid me on eBay, but no one did. 

Johnny as Donnie
Here's the story: Private investigator Jacob Asch (Eric Roberts) is hired by Gerald McMurty (Raymond J. Barry) to find McMurty's ex-wife, Laine Fliescher (Beverly D’Angelo) and her teenage son, Donnie (Johnny), who may or may not be his. Asche ends up discovering a drug-related crime, uncovering lies and deceit, and falling for Laine. The important thing is that Donnie is kidnapped for ransom, and—to my great dismay—he is not rescued in time!

Despite being the center of a kidnapping plot, Johnny’s scenes are sparse and his character minor. The Kitties and I could not decide what to highlight (though we all agreed on his extreme cuteness and awesome hair). We opted to share all three scenes, so that—in a fit of obsessive behavior—you are not tempted to purchase this video on eBay.

Johnny Kitties: The Johnny Depp Project: Film #3: Slow Burn (1984) [October 3, 2009]

In the first scene, Laine meets Donnie at his high school, in order to drive him home. She comes bearing the gift of new bright red high tops. Johnny does a good job seeming really excited about these.

In the next scene, Mr. Asch (as they call him) catches up with Donnie as he's leaving school and asks him about his deceased brother, Brian (the son who Mr. McMurty is seeking). Donnie is angry with him for having caused a domestic dispute the night before. Of all three, I like this scene the best, maybe because he has some substantial lines. (And, yes, Eric Roberts really laughs in that musical way.) 

In Johnny's final scene, Donnie’s bloodied body is discovered at the dump. The shock of this grisly sight causes his stepfather to have a heart attack and fall to the ground. Johnny’s Look of Death is much more convincing than Gordon’s, but Gordon was trying to cheer us up since we were all depressed by this horrific turn of events. Ces't la vie! 

Next month, Johnny goes to war with Oliver Stone in Platoon! 

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