NEVER TOO YOUNG TO DIE
Never Too Young to Die is a film of excesses and the most shining excess among these is former Kiss bassist/frontman Gene Simmons who had a brief acting career around this period. Simmons spends the entire film strutting about in gold chintz lingerie and studded leather, obscenely waggling his infamous 7 tongue, and, in one hilariously scene, getting to strut about on stage in something resembling a leftover Cher costume and an eight-foot tall iridescent pink wig. It is a performance of shrieking, eye-rolling camp posturings. The funniest scene surely comes at the films climax where Gene Simmons manages to turn hero John Stamos in mid-attack by convincing him he is a poor, helpless female; where Stamoss rejoinder is to momentarily dissuade Simmons by appealing to his vanity, whereupon Stamos stabs Simmons with his/her deadly fingernail as he/she comes in for a kiss. Every moment of the film is delirious entertainment.
The film has an amazing cast line-up. The young well-muscled hero is John Stamos, who found his fame shortly after as the lead in tvs Full House (1987-95), although has not done a huge amount since. (Indeed, John Stamos is better known as the Stamos formerly attached to the hyphen in his ex-wife Rebecca Romijn-Stamoss name). The lead actress is former Prince protege Vanity who had a brief cultish career in the 1980s with films such as the bizarre softcore Tanyas Island (1980), the disco/martial arts film The Last Dragon (1985), Action Jackson (1988) and a handful of other roles, before she spurned the excesses of her Hollywood career and became a Christian evangelist. This is surely one of Vanitys finest screen moments. She spends much of the film in a decorous state of undress and her crowning moment of glory is a surprisingly erotic five-minute scene where she undresses and seduces John Stamos (all of which incredulously takes place before the eyes of supposedly watching military). John Stamoss spy father was played by George Lazenby, who was once Sean Connerys replacement as James Bond in On Her Majestys Secret Service (1969) and has since eked out a meagre career in various action and Hong Kong martial arts films. There is also a minor appearance from Robert Englund, who was caught just between the point of his cult fame as Freddy Krueger in the A Nightmare on Elm Street films, who turns up here as Gene Simmons mad scientist.
Disappointingly, director Gil Bettman has never made anything else with the exception of a minor serial killer film Night Vision (1997). One of the great disappointments is that Never Too Young to Die has only had a sporadic release on VHS but never on DVD and is no longer available. Someone should bring it back out of mothballs.
Full film available online here:-