You’re so proud: The kids are getting independent, picking out their own clothes, even their own videos. But be forewarned: A little over-the-shoulder guidance in the video store can prevent some unhappy surprises at home. Often, the movie on a cassette isn’t quite as kid-oriented as the title or the packaging implies. Take the innocent-sounding The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, which turns out to be the tale of a teen with a taste for human flesh. For some other eye-openers, read on.
Title Sounds Like: Something to watch in Dr. Denton’s, clinging to a stuffed animal.
Cover Looks Like: A bad Hirschfeld caricature of three people playing tug-of-war.
What It Really Is: Two con men go to great lengths to bilk a naive, gorgeous woman.
Title Sounds Like: A boy and his pet parakeet.
Cover Looks Like: With a little ingenuity and a lot of Elmer’s glue a boy really flies.
What It Really Is: The story of a schizophrenic who pursues his desire to be a bird.
A BOY AND HIS DOG
Title Sounds Like: Old Yeller II
Cover Looks Like: A happy face within a cloud.
What It Really Is: A telepathic canine helps a young punk forage for food and women.
THE HANDMAID’S TALE
Title Sounds Like: Something penned by the Brothers Grimm.
Cover Looks Like: Natasha Richardson, pretty in red.
What It Really Is: Two parts Stepford Wives, one part Hitler’s master plan.
THE LOST BOYS
Title Sounds Like: Peter Pan’s old gang got their own feature.
Cover Looks Like: Teenagers looking cool in black and white.
What It Really Is: The Crips and the Bloods have nothing on this gang: They’re vampires.
A TIGER’S TALE
Title Sounds Like: A National Geographic documentary filmed on location.
Cover Looks Like: Ann-Margret as a heavenly creature.
What It Really Is: A high school senior gets involved with his girlfriend’s mother.
Title Sounds Like: Gidget gets a corsage.
Cover Looks Like: Jamie Lee Curtis, photogenic in close-up.
What It Really Is: A slasher film, and the school halls are flowing with blood.