During the Middle Ages redheaded children were often burnt at the stake. These old timey knights and other castle people knew the potential of evil gingers. Unfortunately we live in a day and age where you can no longer destroy evil until after something happens. I wish Minority Report was real. We should be allowed to kill historically evil people before they strike. It’s the only thing we can do to stop something like the movie Problem Child from becoming a reality.
Problem Child is about John Ritter and real-life wife Amy Yasbeck adopting an evil redheaded child named Junior played by Michael Oliver. I think they only adopted Junior because he had red hair and Amy Yasbeck had it too. They wanted to fool everyone into thinking Amy Yasbeck’s character did not have a dried up uterus. Still wanting a son despite being married to a woman who lived too close to Three Mile Island, John Ritter turns to an adoption agent named Igor Peabody played by the only man who is disgusting enough to fit this name, Gilbert Gottfried.
Somehow the adoption agency fools the wannabe father and reluctant mother into thinking Junior is not an evil son of a bitch. It doesn’t take long once he gets home that they discover he’s like the other redheads in the world. Immediately Junior starts lighting fire, throwing cats into washing machines, and causing other mayhem I didn’t really care to see. John Ritter remains in denial that his new son is Satan. It’s the classic scene at a little league field where he realizes Junior is indeed the spawn of something cruel.
John Ritter’s father is a big business owner and sponsors a little league team which is how Junior gets onto the team without having to jump through all those hoops like sleeping with the league commissioner. I guess that’s the only hoop you have to jump through. Junior goes up to bat and after accidentally hitting his step-grandpa’s car with the bat, he is instructed to hold onto it. Junior takes this a little too literal. After getting a hit, he runs around the bases with the bat in his hand hitting all of the players with the bat. It’s probably not as funny as I remember it, except when he hits the catcher in the balls. That will always make me laugh.
Now convinced his son is evil, John Ritter tries to get rid of Junior. He’s a nice guy and overhears Junior asking God for an apology. Meanwhile he’s been writing letters to a prisoner played by Michael Richards. I’m not sure why he’s locked up exactly, but he probably didn’t get along too well with any of the homeboys.
Junior’s next big adventure happens at a neighbor’s birthday party. The birthday girl is really mean to him. It didn’t help that this was a costume party and Junior showed up dressed as Satan while the birthday girl was a ballerina. After he feels like everyone hates him, Junior goes about ruining the birthday completely like cutting off girl’s hair and throwing the presents in the pool. If you have an underground pool I have trouble feeling bad whenever anything happens to you. Growing up in my house if we wanted to cool off we put ice cubes down our pants. “Pools are for people who cannot afford ice trays” my father would say trying to make us sound wealthy as he begged the repo man to leave our TV.
Things get really bad for the family when Michael Richards gets out of prison and visits. He kidnaps Junior and Amy Yasbeck after Amy Yasbeck has convinced herself she’s in love with the serial killing Kramer. A final chase takes place at a circus. I won’t tell you how it ends because then you would never watch it. Then again, I told you about much of the other parts of the film so following that logic you would rent it then skip right to the last 20 minutes. Don’t do that. Don’t be lazy.
Problem Child was a nice film with a few good laughs. Robert Deniro’s character in Cape Fear really liked it. The famous smoking in the theater laughing scene takes place in a theater showing Problem Child. So I guess the target audience for this film might be recent parolees out for vengeance on the cop who put them away.