Never Too Young to Die


“Vanity: the new breed of temptress! Stamos: the new breed of hero!”

When the world (or at least Southern California) is threatened with destruction by a diabolical rock-and-roll hermaphrodite played by Kiss-frontman Gene Simmons in drag, who you gonna call? Well, since the Ghostbusters probably won’t be of much help here, you might as well get a hold of college gymnast/secret agent Lance Stargove, played by big-haired teen hunk John Stamos in all his pre-Full House glory. Can Uncle Jessie save the greater Los Angeles area from certain doom? Is it possible for both Gene Simmons AND Vanity to co-exist in the same movie without the universe imploding? And why did anyone think this hilarious cinematic catastrophe was, at any point, a good idea? Pretending to be a James Bond parody, but in reality a bizarre, presumably drug-inspired mixture of Gymkata, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and an unreleased Duran Duran music video, Never Too Young to Die finds then-budding heartthrob John Stamos (in what was supposed to launch his big screen career as an action star …. ooops) starring as Lance Stargrove, a dimwitted college gymnast who is forced to take on the responsibility of saving the world after his father, international secret agent Drew Stargrove (played by George Lazenby, star of the 007 flick On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) is slain by bad guys. First up on Lance’s “to do” list? Take down the evil Velvet Von Ragner (Simmons), the cross-dressing hermaphroditic leader of a gang of Mad Max-esque punks he calls “The Scumbuckets,” who try and help him achieve his goal of finishing off Los Angeles by contaminating the water supply. Velvet also wows rowdy audiences nightly with his mesmerizing rock-and-roll stage revue at The Incinerator Biker Bar (decked out in feather boas, a lace bra and tiny leather underwear) and destroys his enemies by giving them “the finger” (an obscenely long middle finger nail that cuts like a knife). Luckily, our unprepared hero is able to hook up with the sexy and dangerous Danja Deering (Vanity, proving that as an actress, she’s a mediocre singer), who really knows her way around a rocket launcher and a pair of satin sheets. Overflowing with truly insane action (prepare yourself for the sight of John Stamos biting Gene Simmon’s man-boob in the middle of a fight), random explosions, goofy musical numbers and more bad acting than Stamos would ever face from the Olsen Twins, Never Too Young to Die is a real WTF? ‘80s action flick you need to see ASAP! (Dir. by Gil Bettman, 1986, USA, 92 mins., Rated R) Digital