Main cast: Barbara Crampton (Lena O’Neill), Michael Paré (Detective Marc Fox), Kayleigh Gilbert (Tess Stern), Rae Dawn Chong (Dory Rider), Chaz Bono (Ken Stern), Monte Markham (Dr Hetch), Alexa Maris (Gia Fontaine), and Bob Bancroft (Dr Ince)
Director: Julian Richards
Reborn is marketed as the “Carrie for the Z Generation” and of course my crap detector goes immediately on alert as I roll up my eyes at such hyperbole. Still, it does have Barbara Crampton the genre legend, Michael Paré who still looks hot at his age and will act in anything, and Rae Dawn Chong who is a genre staple, so maybe it’s not too bad?
We first meet creepy lab technician Ken Stern, who is busy taking photographs of naked cadavers in the morgue, when a freak lightning hits the place and touches the body of a stillborn. This contact gives the baby a lease of life. Instead of notifying the doctors, Ken for some reason brings home the baby, Tess, and keeps her captive at his home until she is sixteen. Tess wants to see the world outside and find her mother, but Ken will prefer to try to rape her instead. Our young lady can manipulate electricity thanks to her brush with lightning, however, so she fries Ken’s earpiece and one half of his face. Nice.
The movie doesn’t bother to hide the fact that Tess’s mother is aging actress Lena O’Neill, who is trying hard to remain sanguine as younger actresses are showing up by the busload to upstage her these days. Her shrink suggests that she may want to visit the grave of her stillborn baby in order to lay some of her inner demons to rest, so she begins looking for her baby’s grave even as Tess makes her way to Lena.
Unlike Carrie, Tess isn’t a very sympathetic character. Okay, she’s not sympathetic at all. She has no qualms about killing anyone in her path for even looking at her a little funny, and she turns on people in a blink of the eye. This young lady doesn’t like it when her demands and wants are not immediately met, and people die when she gets angry. Lena may be a more sympathetic character on paper, but Barbara Crampton is just chewing scenery for the most part and her face isn’t the most expressive, probably because of all the stuff injected into her face. Kayleigh Gilbert is far more expressive, but her character is so one note that there isn’t much she can do here.
Actually, there isn’t much this movie can do to entertain me. It’s short, not even half an hour long, but it has very little to offer. The death scenes are lame, there is no build up of tension, the pacing is middling, and the main cast all look like they are here because of the money and they can’t wait to flee the set in order to get drunk and forget the humiliation of how age and gravity have turned formerly gorgeous actors who look good naked into people who… act in badly constructed films like Reborn.
Still, Michael Paré is still nice to look at, so maybe it’s not that much of a loss. He keeps his clothes on, though.