Stylized text of movie "Never Too Young To Die". The section "To Die" is written like its in blood. Bottom left is chyron with "Go With The Heat Podcast, Episode number 155"

A Deeper Look: Never Too Young To Die

For over one hundred fifty episodes I’ve been hosting, producing and managing a podcast. In our last episode we broke down the movie “Never Too Young To Die” and I need to talk about the scene when they rescue someone from a giant oven.

A little background. Back in 2017 I launched the Go With The Heat podcast and we went through episode by episode the entire run of Miami Vice. When we ran out of episodes of Vice to talk about, we pivoted to action movies and never looked back. This was an easy transition as we’ve always been in love with cheesey, so-bad-their-good action movies. In fact, we’ve been watching them as a group since 2013 through our own system of Plex and a chat app.

In our breakdown’s of movies, there are always a few scenes where I’d love to spend some extra time geeking out on a few details. But, if we did that the show would be twice as long as it is now and be impossible to edit. Instead, I’m going to separate these thoughts out into their own medium and then I can take as much space and time as I please.

Never Too Young To Die

If you’re not acquainted with this movie, it stars John Stamos, Vanity, and Gene Simmons. That should be all you need to sit down and watch it. Believe it or not, this isn’t a musical. Which is weird cause the first thing I thought of when I heard John Stamos was his first music video and how they aired it right after an episode of Full House. I won’t lie, I watched Full House and was excited for the music video. Also, I think I was like 10.

This movie is definitely in the trash movie category. From the moment you see Gene Simmons come on screen as Ragnar you know this movie is going to be both fun and make zero sense. The icing on this turd cake is that Simmons plays two characters (well, actually one character that’s two people) with Ragnar being the one with that makes more sense than the other. Carruthers, secretly Ragnar in wax museum makeup, is supposed to be a super-spy that is at least well-respected by the spy community and may well be in charge of the whole thing.

Gene Simmons as Carruthers. Aviator style sunglasses with auburn color hair and fake beard.

Gene Simmons as Velvet Von Ragnar. Large black permed hair with Mad Max style dystopian jacket and full make-up.

Its a serious question. The real story I want to know isn’t who Velvet Von Ragnar is and why they want to poison the water supply for S.L.O., but how they were able to work their way through the ranks at this spy agency without ever being discovered. That is years worth of work, while also running a terrorist organization. The surprise was never that Ragnar was also Carruthers. The real shock was realizing it wasn’t much of a spy agency and Mr. Stargrove (dad) had the observation skills of a fence post.

I guess its not that surprising considering at the beginning of the movie Carruthers attempts to murder Stargrove, but fails and has to run off. Mr. Stargrove, after he and his partner survive the attack, decide to press on without once considering there might be more traps. I guess there’s only one way to test out your bulletproof umbrella.

Stargrove's dad in the dam with his partner hiding behind a bulletproof umbrella. You can clearly see their feet.

The oven scene

Lets catch up to this moment. Danja (Vanity) and baby Stargrove (Stamos) are captured by Ragnar’s turdballs after they failed to escape a high speed chase through the desert. The goons split them up. Baby Stargrove knows where the RAM-K disk is and they’re going to torture him until he gives up the location. This way Ragnar can poison the water supply and his terrorist campaign will be complete.

However, Danja is taken to some sort of factory to be burned alive. Ragnar has no use for her and just needs to get her out of the picture. Stargrove finally channels his inner Gymkata and karates his way out and runs off to save Danja. Before he gets there he picks up his best friend who also happened to make a homemade grenade launcher.

The friend is my favorite character in this scene. First, his attire. He’s every bit the Robin to Stargrove’s Batman including the red and green colors. Second is his gun. With a 50% failure rate, he’s able to take out at least a couple waves of goons, which is not bad for something he made last minute out of parts he found in his dorm.

Friend with green pants, yellow and red jacket holding his homemade grenade launcher. Angry but satisfied look on his face.

Last is his total unapologetic glee in murdering people. At the beginning of the movie Stargrove doesn’t even know his dad is a secret agent, let alone the friend. But, when the moment arrives he is more than willing to kill for his friends dads co-worker. Which will come up again before the end of the movie.

The friend and Stargrove come charging in just as the goons have tied Danja inside a gigantic kiln and have started the melting process. Danja can’t do anything but lay and wait for Stargrove to rescue her. Meanwhile the men are storming through the factory and to build the suspense, the movie keeps showing this temperature dial. The dial is my second favorite character in this scene. The dial doesn’t do anything except increase with the temperature. There are three zones – white, yellow, and red.

As Danja is stuck in the oven longer, the dial creeps closer and closer to the red zone. This insinuates that the white zone is safe for humans, the yellow starting to be a little steamy and red is surefire death. The problem is, I don’t think that what that dial was originally created to measure. In fact, the gauge says right on it the temperature is the number multiplied by 100.

Oven temperature dial. Dial reads in center "Temp X 100". 1 through five in white. 5 through 7 in yellow. 7 through 10 and 0 in red.

Unless Danja is made of an unfinished ceramic or a soft metal that needs melting for recycling, I don’t think the yellow zone at 500 – 700 degrees Fahrenheit is still safe for humans. It would be like having a human safe temperature zone reading on a lava tasting competition. Any temperature the dial reads is gonna be a bad time.

The final aspect of this scene I truly enjoy is the final moments before they speed off to Carruthers. The entire movie is a mix between Miami Vice, Mad Max, and The Warriors. Of course they escape on a motorcycle and a dune buggy stolen from the goons. All fits the theme of the movie except this guy standing in the corner.

Back of the factory. Trash piled up with Mad Max style dune buggy driving away. In far left side, a man in jeans and a white t-shirt and had just standing and watching.

You only see him for a flash. Just long enough for you to think, “Was that a person standing in the corner?” The movie moves on as if nothing happens. Yet you and I know there’s totally a stage hand or stunt coordinator accidentally standing in the shot and they missed it in filming and editing. Or did they?

These types of movies have such tiny budgets the editing process is often clearly rushed. My thought is that during filming they missed he was standing there. Then, in editing the realized it and tried to cut it as short as possible. Surely no one will notice…

Final thoughts

This is exactly why I love these kinds of movies. From the beginning you know its going to be fun, both in a good and bad way. Good because there’s going to be action and explosions. Bad because there’s going to be subplots that go nowhere and editing mistakes that stand out like an air horn at a preschool.

If you enjoyed this deeper look at this movie, send me an email or leave a comment and let me know. If people like this kind of thing I’ll keep writing more for each movie we publish on the podcast. Give the podcast a listen here, or on any of the podcast apps out there.

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