“Bad Kids” Movie Poster Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

Hello fellow lovers of Under-Belly and all things Gross and Hideous! I’ll admit I’m looking forward to reviewing this movie for you today, not because the movie was great, but because it gives me the opportunity to differentiate between good movies and enjoyable movies.

In any art medium or genre, there are creators of two kinds. The first kind of creator I call “the Bleeder.” Bleeders approach their work with seriousness and sobriety and their work reflects their attitude. Folks who write literary fiction, for example, tend to be Bleeders. In his approach to “Sinister,” C. Robert Cargill was a Bleeder.

On the other hand, we have the creator whom I’ve dubbed “the Gum-Chewer.” Gum-Chewers approach their projects with the purpose of having fun and transmitting fun to the audience. A Gum-Chewer’s number one goal is to entertain themselves and those with whom they share their art.

In the vampire sub-genre, “Nosferatu” is a Bleeder story while “Twilight” is a Gum-Chewer story (and poo-flavored, in my opinion). In the zombie sub-genre, “Walking Dead” is a Bleeder while “Return of the Living Dead” is a Gum-Chewer (“BRAINS!” I had to say it…) In the mutant sub-genre, “Wrong Turn” is a Bleeder while “Detour” is a Gum-Chewer of the fruitiest flavor.

You see what I’m getting at.

Most artists bounce back and forth between being a Bleeder and being a Gum-Chewer. For example, my first novel, “At the Seams,” is a Bleeder (check out my Wattpad page if you’re curious; the link is on the about page of this blog) while my current baby, “Descendent” is completely minty. What I’m saying is, there’s something to appreciate in both Bleeder stories and Gum-Chewer stories. Indie Gum-Chewers are typically better than their Hollywood counterparts, but I tend to believe commercialism ruins art in general, so are you really surprised?

Bad Kids Go to Hell,” 2012, is undoubtedly a Gum-Chewer story. This film was directed by Matthew Spradlin and was written by the same and Barry Wernick. The story is kind of winding, complete with a totally unbelievable twist ending (which you already know I can’t stand) so I’ll do my best not to ruin anything for you, in case you decide to watch it. And I do recommend it, if you have a sense of humor, because this movie was a blast to watch.

First, a quick synopsis: “Bad Kids” is about six prep school students (whom you will hate from the get-go, since they’re all obviously disgusting in various ways) who get trapped in an apparently haunted library one stormy day while serving detention. While trying to find a way out, these lovely folks spend the hours divulging each other’s dirtiest secrets. DON’T let this description turn you off! You will have so much fun hating these guys–and you will feel gleefully satisfied when they start dying off (because don’t characters in these movies always die off?).

Normally, I tell you specifics about all the elements I like in a film. Since “Bad Kids” was noticeably lacking several of the critical story elements I require for a good review, I will just sum this all up and tell you that, if you can’t put away your inner-critic for a couple hours, don’t bother watching this. If you’re a grown-up with a funny bone and have taught yourself how to take off your writer hat, you will probably enjoy this bit of fluff.

I enjoyed this movie because of the characters. Although they were all gross and I secretly hoped every one of them would die, the characters are definitely not cookie-cutter. In fact, they might flat out surprise you by the end of the film. But don’t expect the storyline to make a lot of sense and definitely expect to roll your eyes at the big reveal in the last minute or two of the film. None of it makes much sense. But the film is primarily character-driven and the actors do a remarkable job keeping the audience engaged. Enjoy the Goth Girl. She’ll make you cringe and laugh at the same time. And I have a soft spot for Judd Nelson, so I loved him as the pompous and narcissistic Headmaster. One more word about the characters in this film–I adored that there were no clear protagonists. I believe that within the best and brightest people live little monsters who are looking for a way out. I enjoy art that reflects the true and natural ugliness possessed by all representatives of humanity.

Best line in the movie: “I’m NOT retarded!”

In conclusion, if you’re hungry for something substantive and meaningful, avoid “Bad Kids.” It’s all cake with black frosting and it will leave you feeling jilted. If you want to turn off the clamor in that brain of yours for a bit, however, “Bad Kids” may be just what you need.

Enjoy this bit of Tutti-Frutti Under-Belly, everyone! And don’t forget about my upcoming interview with Malcolm Deegan, which I will be posting in the Cover Your Eyes and Pickled Feet Fiction sections of this blog on Monday, July 22nd!

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  1. […] “Bad Kids Go to Hell” is Terrible but Still Watch-Worthy (morselsformonsters.wordpress.com) […]

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