If you’ve frequented this site you know that there’s a special place in my heart for bad kid’s movies. A lot of other reviewers toss them aside as targets “too easy” to review, but I’ve found more gems than duds. On the one hand a film like The Incredible Genie proved to actually have something of an “aesthetic” to it while Boys Klub is so pathetically inept that it makes even the dredges of Manos seem like they might actually have company.
Stardust falls somewhere in between the two and when thinking of an adjective to describe, “odd” seems more appropriate than bad or campy. Stardust is about a vacuum cleaner (called Stardust) that comes to life. We’re not talking the “Magic Toaster,” though, this movie is way to weird for that. Instead, Charlie’s dad has developed a top secret biochip which has the ability to bond organic matter with that of machines. The chip winds up on Charlie’s carpet as Charlie vacuums up dog barf. Barf goes in the vacuum. Chip goes in the vacuum. And we thus have a living vacuum.
It’s actually kind of gross: we see the vacuum now has “guts” inside of it which I guess are made from the organic materials of the dog barf. Cute!
As usual with these movies the evil corporation wants to get the chip back meanwhile dad’s in prison, Charlie has to save the day. But Charlie himself is another weird part of the equation. He looks the spitting image of Jonathan Taylor Thomas and plays the same smart-alecky type role JTT had on Home Improvement. The actor survives the film decently, but his best friend, Ricky, is truly terrible. He says his lines almost as slowly as the wheel-chair bound kid on Malcolm in the Middle and gesticulates wildly all the time. Also, Ricky and Charlie are both geniuses and are fluent in German! At age 12? As I said, taken together the movie is odd more than it is bad. If you’re looking for a low-budget version of E.T. but with a barf covered vacuum instead of an alien, this movie might be for you. Actually what the hell am I saying, what other movie would there be that meets those requirements?