Tuesday, September 3, 2013

REVIEW: Bad Kids Go to Hell (2012)

In observance of the beginning of a new school year, and all the peril and mayhem that comes with that, I have decided to review Bad Kids Go to Hell, because, well, it’s about kids in a school. Appropriate, right?

Director: Matthew Spradlin
Starring: Judd Nelson, Ben Browder, Amanda Alch

Well, I for one think this is quite a landmark. I mean really, how much less integrity could you have? How much less dignity could a movie possibly have at all? I need brain bleach after this. I need therapy now. Are you happy, movie? Is this the goal you wished to accomplish?

Sigh…at times like this, I just have to take a long hard look at the world and what kind of good can possibly come from a society that has people who would spawn films such as Bad Kids Go to Hell. Sure we’ve created medical and technological miracles, and evolved as a species in ways we never thought possible even 30 years ago. But when movies like Bad Kids Go to Hell exist, it just doesn’t seem worth it in the long run.

But talking about it won’t do it justice. Only looking at it again will. And since I’m in the mood to lose another piece of my soul to the despair of the many crimes against humanity this film contains, let’s just get it over with and dive into this fucker. This is Bad Kids Go to Hell.

We start off with the worst game of Clue ever:

It was the pretentious kid in the library with the ax!

You dumbasses, you’re not supposed to make it THIS OBVIOUS for the police who the killer is! That takes all the fun out of it! How are they supposed to hand the case off to a bunch of pretentious people with color-coded clothes to their names now?

Then we switch to something much more edifying: some douchebag on his cell phone driving around talking about things that have no relevance to the movie, are not interesting and are not funny in any way. This is our main character Matt, played by some kid who looks kind of like that guy from Deadgirl. Based on that, I’m giving the movie an F-- grade. Go sit and face the back wall, movie; you’re getting a bad progress report on this one!

We then see a bunch of other unlikable jackasses who are clearly not the right age group to be in a prep school arriving for Saturday morning detention. I love how the principal guy has this voice over where he explains that the kids in detention aren’t BAD kids, they’re just STRESSED OUT, and as such, he’s surprised they don’t all kill each other. Are we on the same planet, or did this guy just get his principal’s license from a back ally drug dealer?

You know what he's actually looking at in that book? The director's PlayGirl collection.

So, yeah, we get a bunch of unlikable douchenozzles as main characters all gathered in a library. Before you make a Breakfast Club joke, the movie does it for you. This one “popular cheerleader” type girl gives a big speech which I will quote for you verbatim here, so you can all bask in the wonderfully poetic dialogue this movie calls home:

“Hold it! God damn it! Alright. New kids? Let’s get one thing perfectly clear. We are in detention. Yeah, this is not a “love-in. This is not a hippy commune like that sad, filthy flaming turd known as…Burning Man. And this is not the fucking feel good 80s movie of the year, where for 7 hours we put aside our diffs and through commiserating about our mutually dysfunctional family lives, or how lonely or alienated we each feel, we find some common ground, and end up as BFFs. So let us understand, there is no ‘us.’  There is no ‘we.’ I don’t do ‘we.’ I just do ‘me.’”

Holy goddamn Christ on a cracker, who is this character? Shit. Could she have gone on any longer? I just don’t get who would find this rant enjoyable. It’s not setting up any character besides extreme headache-inducing annoyance, and the actress isn’t even delivering it with that much conviction or anything. She mostly just looks confused, like all of them do. Probably wondering what the hell they did to get involved in this wretched nightmare.

But hey, the movie has scenes of characters in the bathroom comparing how much they don’t talk to their parents! Because that makes sense, right? Really something to brag about, right? I actually suspect the people who made this had no idea what constituted normal human conversation, because honestly most of the things they talk about in the movie are along the same lines – who cares who talks to their parents the least? That’s really a point of concern?

That’s just the girls though. For the guys we get to see that the one black athlete dude of the group likes to sit on the toilet and say to himself “Here comes the Kraken” when he’s taking a shit. And yes, we get to hear the sound effects of the shit hitting the water and everything.

Money was spent putting this moment on film. Just let that sink in a little.

So yeah, most of the movie is just what I’ve already described. Unlikable characters spouting off pretentious dialogue that will make you wish their parents had thought twice about doing it in the back of your grandpa’s old jeep. I mean this shit is BAD. All the dialogue is just them bitching and whining at one another. It’s all very antagonistic and unpleasant to listen to. People argue in real life, yes, but there has to be other dimensions to it besides that. We have to have reasons to care and specific characters with which we empathize. With this, they start out unlikable and never, at any point, do we see any dimensions to their characters or any sign that they are actually human at all. It’s all just a lot of screaming at each other and snide remarks for no reason whatsoever. I realize this is supposed to be “funny,” but funny doesn’t excuse this wretched, banal slop. If this is a horror comedy, then horror comedy is dead.

Well, I guess there are a few parts that deviate from that horrible formula. I stopped paying attention for a bit, since I knew I wasn’t really missing anything, and then all of the sudden…

Yeah, cause no teachers or staff would notice this in two seconds and stop it, right?

Yeah, it turns into a flashback of a topless dance party with this one nerdy redheaded girl in a classroom. I’d make a Girls Gone Wild joke, but the movie does that for us a little bit later anyway. Y’know, for such a shitty movie, this really is stealing all the predictable jokes there were to make about it. There’s also some crap about how the main character Matt got white paint on his pants and then it looked like he was jerking off, or something. I dunno. Tip: if this is the closest thing you have to a storyline, you might as well pack your bags and go back to working the checkout line at Walmart.

Because, really, the movie has no real story. What is it supposed to be about? I have no Earthly clue. It’s confusing as hell. I guess there’s some stuff about the library being haunted. And apparently all of them have video evidence against them for some sorts of minor bad things they did to get in detention, or something like that; I have no clue really. The way the story in this movie is told, it’s like a five year old trying to tell you a story at Thanksgiving – incoherent, jumbled and without much explanation for most of what’s happening. Except the five year old’s story wouldn’t be this banal and pointlessly vulgar. And, you know, THIS was made by a team of writers and green-lighted by at least a semi-professional studio!

I guess what happens next is one of them steals that red headed chick’s inhaler. She gets mad because apparently she was “stressed out” and that was why she did a strip-tease dance in that flashback. Then she dies because she didn’t have her inhaler. Yes, really – the movie just made a joke out of someone dying of an asthma attack. Far from being tasteful or the least bit funny, this just comes off like groan-worthy crap. Please, movie, give us more reasons to be so endeared to these characters!

The rest of the movie pretty much just veers between aimless scenes of them running around inside the library babbling about some ghost thing…apparently it’s supposed to be “gripping” as to whether or not the killings in this movie are supernatural or not. As if anyone actually stayed awake long enough to care, pfft.

There’s also some more flashbacks, like this one about how Matt got into some kind of Looney Tunes-esque encounter which ended in a wheelchair-bound kid losing control of his chair and crashing. I’d describe it in more detail, but…honestly, is it even worth it?

That is not a humorous face. That is a horrific image that will forever be implanted in my memory as an unpleasant scar of the movie...thanks a lot, Bad Kids; thanks a lot.

The most amazing part of it all is what the movie considers a good enough joke to repeat more than once: everyone, including the goddamned principle, calls the wheelchair kid “retarded.” He talks normally and doesn’t act in any way different from the other characters, but because he’s in a wheelchair, people think he’s retarded.

That is just so far beyond my comprehension – how anyone with a functioning IQ enough to stick with a movie script long enough to finish it could possibly think this was a good joke is faaaaar beyond my understanding. It’s just insane to astronomical proportions. It’s more tasteless than a GG Allin concert played next to a funeral procession.

Honestly, I can’t even begin to dissect each and every bad thing about the following hour of the film – I’d go insane, you wouldn’t read it, it would just be a mess. It’s all the same shit anyway. They bicker and argue, and I’d rather just put a gun to my head and pull the trigger than listen to any more of it.

I do like this one part where they go into a room and see this scary Ghostbusters face that Matt says “is just the storm screwing with the lights.” Yeah, because THIS…

…is usually what happens when bad weather messes with your lights, right? Please tell me what narcotics you’re taking. I understand this movie is hard enough to get through sober, but I want to make sure never to partake in whatever it is you’re doing, Matt. Then the face turns into Abraham Lincoln and starts spouting gibberish.

Four score and seven years ago, this movie still sucked.

I just don’t know. I just don’t get what kind of brain mash could have come up with this. Did this school really have a space in their budget for ‘giant phantasmagoric green Abe Lincoln head’?

There’s also some kind of incoherent plot about how the library was very recently built. Even though it looks like a very elaborate and well-put-together library, apparently they just finished building it or something. And apparently the land was stolen from some old Native American guy. So is THAT the motivation for the supposed “ghost” who’s killing everyone?

Well, before we can get to that pressing question, Matt and this one slutty goth chick who’s been the only somewhat tolerable character in this whole thing have a random sex scene. Literally; they talk about some unrelated shit, and then she says she wants to fuck, and so they do, over some of the least appropriate music for a haunted house/library movie you’ll ever hear!

Yeah, the least you could do for such a nonsensical scene is not have any music and at least TRY to keep the mood, but not these bungholes – they just throw in shitty alternative rock like the Hitcher remake was the only movie they ever saw in their lives. What is modern horror’s obsession with playing such stupid music all the time? I mean, it wouldn’t be much better if the music wasn’t there, but come on, it would be a start.

Most of the music in this movie is just inappropriate. It sounds like what would happen if you took a cat, addicted it to cocaine, and then allowed it to run up and down a piano with no coherence or rhythm to it. Half the time it sounds like the soundtrack is having a seizure; I mean what the hell even is any of this? I’m sincerely asking. I’m quite sure at this point that no one was even in charge of this movie. It was just abandoned halfway through the production process once the team woke up from their drug and alcohol-induced coma and realized what a stinker they’d gotten themselves into.

So, yeah, if you’re actually still wondering what happens at the end of this thing – well, I might as well tell you; otherwise this would all be pointless. God forbid. I suppose the story is that all the kids except Matt and the slutty goth chick went and killed that old Native American dude so their parents could buy the land and make a library? I dunno, that’s all I can really gather from this mess.

Why would you even videotape yourself murdering someone? Are you stupid? The casts of I Know What You Did Last Summer, Sorority Row, Prom Night and even Tamara are laughing at you right now.

And are you kidding me? They videotaped the whole fucking murder, showed the body, showed all of their faces and the athlete guy actually said his own name before he turned the camera off? WOW that is…exactly what I’ve come to expect from this movie.

Then we get another super twist as it’s revealed there is no ghost after all. It was just the goth chick and the principal teaming up so they could film everything and make money, or something stupid like that. Have I said the movie is stupid enough yet? Then we get a third twist when the principal kills the goth chick because she poisoned him earlier and gave him diarrhea (…you figure that one out) and then gets his own head cut off by a statue. Why start making sense now? The movie’s almost over, after all!

Whoever decided it was a good idea to do a close-up on this night terror-inducing face needs to remove themselves from the movie business immediately.

Before he dies, though, he throws the ax to Matt, who stupidly catches it and doesn’t just drop it or anything – that would make too much sense. Matt gets framed for all of the murders and it turns out the janitor of the school is actually related to the Native American tribe that was mentioned a few times before, which means absolutely nothing, but for some reason serves as our final twist of the movie, I guess. The movie ends with seizure-inducing blinking lights for the title and more shitty music, because you know, got to assault all of the audience’s senses at once for your final impression on them…ugh.

Good, we got one of them in a mental institution; now for the rest of the people involved in this and the world will be safe again.

I just can’t even begin to express my feelings about this one. Not without several hours’ worth of diatribes containing nothing but blind, wordless rage. I mean this is one of the worst, one of the absolute pits of cinema. I haven’t seen a movie this annoying in a long fuckin’ time. It’s unwatchable – it’s just pure misery and pain put on film. I’d be nicer to this if there was even one bone of good intention in its entire body, but all I can see throughout this whole thing is just the repressed rage and mean spirited spite of a very sad soul. It’s just a wreck.

Everything is annoying, the characters are wretched beyond belief. There are, oddly enough, way too many different plot points attempted to be introduced, all of which fall flat because they’re told in such a haphazard manner, without explaining a thing. The whole picture is oddly reminiscent of a bad acid trip while in the car with a schizophrenic mentally retarded person who won’t stop screaming about alien conspiracy theories and Al Gore. Bad Kids Go to Hell? Bad Movies Go to Hell.

Frankly, I just want to forget about this. It’s a bad, bad film, and my brain pretty much suppressed most of it without me even having to try. Good job, brain! But reviewing it has brought some of the memories back, like a repressed horrific memory from childhood. Isn’t there anything I can do to just forget?

Ahhh, that’s better. Where am I again?

Images in this film are not mine, they are copyright of their original owners.