Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Monday, July 29, 2013


Bad Kids Go To Hell (2012)

I reme
mber first seeing the previews to this movie and groaning. I loved the John Hughes movies of the 80's and although The Breakfast Club was pretty intense for my taste (watching kids be tortured by parents and peers alike is not my idea of fun) a remake sounded just... awful. And it has Judd Nelson in it? Shoot. Me. Now.

Based on the graphic novel of the same name (why not) the premise is hauntingly familiar: a spoiled and privleged group of students (except for one) in an exclusive school are to serve a day of detention. You have the popular girl, the psycho, the jock, the brain.... do I need to continue? Ah, but the movie changes thank goodness. In fact that's this movie's saving grace. It is NOT a gripe session on how the world is unfair no matter what class you belong to. 

And while there's plenty of blood and guts it's not simply a gather-them-together-and-kill-them-one-by-one film either. It's a bit of a whodunit which, while not great or cohesive in a genius fashion, still makes this a better than average teenage movie. Which teenagers should not see - until they're older. Same as The Breakfast Club.

Judd Nelson plays the headmaster of this prep school, sort of mocking himself by being in this could-be, almost-is-but-not-quite movie. His funniest line is when he berates a student for picking on 'the retarded kid' who is actually just a student in a wheelchair. When the kid keeps protesting 'I'm not retarded!' Judd says in his best gushing voice 'Good for you!'

We begin at the end - Matt (Cameron Deane Stewart), the poor kid, is holding a bloody ax as Swat teams burst into the room, finding him alive among a bunch of corpses. He is ordered to surrender and the team can only look at the incredible carnage around them. Then we back up eight hours:

So we've got Matt who shows up even though he doesn't have detention trying to not get kicked out of school, Tarek (Marc Donato of The Final) the school brain, Craig the jock, Megan the uptight girl, Tricia the cheerleader and Veronica the psycho. And like a certain film they don't mention they are given an assignment to write about the history of the school and will only be allowed out for bathroom breaks and lunch. 

And also like a certain film each has parents (or relatives) that either neglect, use or just plain ignore their kids, part of why they're so screwed up. An insulting part was the tagline "Their daddy's money won't save them now." Ahem, excuse me movie makers from the 50's - one of the horrible parents was a woman with political ambitions who appeared to be making plenty of money thank you very much.

The library has recently been remodeled with a Native American theme including statues and paintings. It is state of the art, even having holographic displays. After the psycho girl tries to strike up a conversation, the cheerleader straightens out her the others (and the audience) right away by saying this is not going to be a love-in like Burning Man, or a feel-good 80's movie 'where for seven hours we put aside our diffs and through commiserating about our mutually dysfunctional family lives, or how lonely or alienated we each feel, and we find some common ground, and end up as BFFs'.

So no, it's not going to be like THAT movie. And we're going to find out that at least four of them have spent a lot more time together than the others think. In fact, that will be part of the 'fun'.

Now I'm not going to go into the whole 'who did what to who when and why' because that would make this a novel and my hands still feel like concrete blocks so suffice it to say once it gets down to the nitty gritty, one by one these wonderful example of privileged brats get what's coming to them. As for our poor boy? Oh, his is a fate worse than being killed, and the source of the ending of the rest of his normal life is in the hands of a certain man who's been out looking for revenge on them all for his family's honor. And a load of cash that will be coming his way.

And it turns out that Matt, although just transferring in and not part of this 'clique' is an important part of the whole schmear as well...

This wasn't a brilliant film, but for a slash 'em up teenage film it certainly was different, and the teenagers who are usually exasperating just for being themselves are more sinister, and definitely each deserve what came to them (except the poor kid). Not bad and no ending monologue about how unfair life is - whew.