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Horrible Films for Horrible People: The Paperboy (1994)

Welcome to Horrible Films for Horrible People, a segment where Wicked Horror’s Zena Dixon revisits outrageous films that should be watched by no one. This week, we have set our sights on the 1994 Canadian horror-thriller, The Paperboy. Most likely you’ve never heard of it but…I don’t mind.

As you may have already gathered this film deals with a criminally sick kid. Why did this kid annoy me? Just look at his face! It’s Johnny McFarley. Don’t you mysteriously smell corn chips and bologna when looking at face? Maybe that’s just me. There are so many ridiculous things about this flick. It introduces us to single mother Melissa Thorpe and her daughter Cammie. As a kid I was annoyed with the name Cammie…don’t ask me why, it just rubbed me the wrong way. I suppose that was the first strike against it. Anyway, Melissa finds out that her mother has passed away so she and Cammie have to go to the funeral as well  as spend their summer vacation in Melissa’s mom’s house.

Moving on Melissa meets a 12 year old boy named Johnny McFarley who lives next door. Johnny also happens to be the neighborhood paperboy. At first Johnny seems like a nice lad who just wants to make friends and wants people to like him. But as time goes on, Johnny’s behavior starts to get more outrageous and questionable. One thing that really boiled my blood was when Johnny decided to enter Melissa’s mother’s home without permission so he could peel apples so she could make him an apply pie. Not only is that breaking and entering, it’s also gross.

Melissa begins to hear of Johnny’s felonious extracurricular activities from other people in the neighborhood but it doesn’t get through her thick skull that Johnny isn’t right until later in the film. He’s disturbed, dangerous and going through puberty. The thing that really pissed me off is that Johnny runs around killing people for the whole film and his victims are actually scared of him. I wouldn’t be scared of Johnny, I would be annoyed. I especially hated that the camera constantly zoomed in on his greasy face. Like why?! It didn’t help that he was whining all the time either. He was such a corny child, I could smell the corn chips and dirt on him. There were even a couple of times where he would have tantrums and even cry because Melissa wasn’t doing what he wanted. It was hilarious but it also made me really angry.

So, this one should definitely be skipped. You will be so aggravated with Johnny that you won’t be able to enjoy anything about the movie and let’s not forget Melissa’s daughter Cammie’s teeth. The Paperboy is a horrible movie about a pitiful kid who is going through intense puberty. No matter what white t shirt he puts on, it is instantly coated in sweat stains. Avoid this trash at all costs. You’re welcome.


Director(s): Douglas Jackson
Writer(s): David E. Peckinpah
Stars: Marc Marut, Alexandra Paul
Year: 1994
Studio/ Production Co: Allegro Films
Budget: $2 Million Estimated
Language: English
Length: 97 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Thriller

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Written by Zena Dixon
In addition to contributing to Wicked Horror, Zena Dixon has been writing about all things creepy and horrific at Real Queen of Horror for over three years. She has also contributed to iHorror and Bloody Disgusting. She has always loved horror films and someday hopes to be known for writing and directing her own feature-length horror pictures.
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