Phoebe Cates stars in this bizarre comedy that wants to be the kind of stylish comic fable the likes of Tim Burton's Beetlejuice and Pee-wee's Big Adventure but ends up looking like a shabby burlesque about schizophrenia.
Cates is Elizabeth, who has recently separated from her philandering husband Charles (Tim Matheson) and moved back home with her harridan mother Polly (Marsha Mason). Back in her old little-girl haunts, she regresses into childhood and recalls her imaginary childhood friend Drop Dead Fred (Rik Mayall), a nasty, ill-tempered sociopath.
As a child, Elizabeth created mayhem with her imaginary pal, but Polly locked him up tight in a jack-in-the-box. But now, Elizabeth mistakenly liberates him from the jack-in-the-box, and the newly freed Drop Dead Fred proceeds to wreak more havoc than the Id Monster from Forbidden Planet -- taking vengeance upon all the people who have made Elizabeth miserable -- and then some.