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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In Stepford, No one dreams of Jeannie

   If you have seen The Stepford Children, consider yourself lucky. This is one of many television films that fell through the cracks and never made it to DVD. You can find it online if you look though.

  We meet the Harding family, Steven is a former resident of Stepford and moving back for a simpler life. He's accompanied by wife, Laura, and his two stereotypically '80s punk teenagers. Laura is played by the fabulous Barbara Eden.

  Steven joins the fabled Men's Association who in addition to Stepfording their wives are tuning their teenagers to perfection. Steven fits in perfectly unlike his wife and kids. Laura is stunned by how vanilla her new town is, and ruffles feathers demanding changes.

  The teens, David and Mary, stick out like sore thumbs at their perfect high school. David doesn't care, he has met Lois another wild teen whose mother has just drank the Stepford Kool-Aid. Mary however starts to question her individuality after suffering a series of humiliations at school. The trio attempt to loosen up their fellow students by blaring rock music at a school dance. The devil's music whips them into a frenzy and causes the teens to be arrested.

  The Stepford men descend on Lois who calls David for help. They attempt to leave town but Lois is severely injured in a motorcycle accident. David sneaks into her hospital room and realizes that she is a robot. Laura begins to investigate the crash but they cops are unresponsive.

   David meets the new and improved Lois and confides in his mother. They go to visit her parents and Laura notes the changes in Lois' mother. Laura returns home unaware that Steven has upgraded Mary in her absence.
   Unnerved by her daughter's sudden change, Laura furthers her investigation. She learns that her hubby's first wife had died suddenly. She digs up her grave and uncovers a smashed up robot. She races home to learn that the Men's Association is looking for David. Mary 2.0 attempts to stab her mother but Laura manages to short circuit her and escapes.

   The men are furious that David managed to escape. Mary breaks in and finds her real daughter but their escape is thwarted by the men. However, David shows up in the nick of time and they flee Stepford.

     The films only real problem was how slow the movie progressed. It seemed like the saved the real action for the last 15 minutes of the film. It also ended  really abruptly, it's kind of jarring. Barbara Eden is pretty awesome and the storyline was decent. It didn't try to rip off too much from it's predecessor, The Stepford Wives which I appreciated.   All in all, the film is okay. Not the best in the world but it's watchable.