Rewind Review: 2012’s ‘Bad Kids Go to Hell’

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Veronica: “We’re in detention and this is not the feel good 80’s movie of the year.”

 Bad Kids Go to Hell is a Black-Comedy/Horror movie written and directed by Matthew Spradlin and based on his graphic novel series of the same name.  Low on gore and suspense but big on irreverence and violence, this is a film that will appeal to cinema fans inside and outside of Horror circles.

Check out my review after the jump.

Official Synopsis:  On a stormy Saturday afternoon, six students from Crestview Academy begin to meet horrible fates as they serve out their detentions. Is a fellow student to blame, or perhaps Crestview’s alleged ghosts are behind the terrible acts?

Bad Kids Go to Hell, how art thou like The Breakfast Club?  Let me count the way:  6 kids spend a Saturday in detention.  We’ve got the criminal (Matt), the basket-case (Veronica), the princes (Tricia), the jock (Craig), and a couple brains/nerds (Megan & Tarek).  The film takes place in a library that’s basically a replica of the one at Shermer High.  We’ve got an administrator with questionable ethics and a shady janitor.  To be fair, the film knows it’s biting The BC, even stating as much in the film’s 1st Act.  But just when I’m ready to quit drawing parallels, Bad Kids Go to Hell introduces us to Headmaster Nash, played by none other that BC alum Judd Nelson (see pic below).  Now that’s some fantastic irony!

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But Bad Kids Go to Hell isn’t a rehash of The Breakfast Club, it’s a perversion (and a hilarious one at that).  If you’re looking for coming of age drama or bittersweet nostalgia, you won’t find it here.  We have a few cool kids and a few assholes, all ridiculously selfish and self-deprecating, but they aren’t just up against high school stereotypes and pressures to excel.  This afternoon quickly becomes a life and death struggle.  The library, you see, was built on land stolen from Native Americans so, you know, chances are pretty high that the place is haunted.

When semi-Goth Veronica borrows a page from The Craft by suggesting a séance, all hell breaks loose.  But are the events that follow actually supernatural or is there a more rational explanation?  At this point, Bad Kids Go to Hell is like a grown-up, live-action Scooby-Doo mystery (minus the talking dog).  The ending is vaguely reminiscent of Scream, but a couple final twists set it apart (and even hint at a sequel).

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This film is definitely sexist and probably racist (which may be problematic for some) but it’s all in good fun.  Also, those with the worst behavior are the first to be dispatched so, you know, that’s karma!  Surprisingly, Bad Kids Go to Hell gets a bit serious in the 3rd Act (at which point it also drags), but manages a return to irreverence for the mad-cap finale.

One of the most memorable scenes in the film is when nerdy Megan (vixen Amanda Alch) spontaneously busts into a strip tease in the middle of class.  I read on IMDB that she wore pasties during filming, which is prudent for a young actress with her entire career ahead of her.  This attempt at modesty, however, was undone when the actress had her nipples plotted electronically and added to her boobs in post production.  What?  So she didn’t want to show her nips during filming, but doesn’t mind displaying them for the world on celluloid?  Think of all the money they must have spent on CGI nipples when she could have saved everyone a load of effort by just shooting topless in the first place!  Sheesh!

Anyway, Bad Kids Go to Hell is a great High School Horror Comedy on par with the likes of Idle Hands, President’s Day, and Detention.  Another good one for a group watch (along with some drinks and Scooby Snacks).

3.5 out of 5 Skull Heads.

Trailer: HERE

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Directed by Matthew Spradlin
Produced by Barry Wernick,
Brad Keller
Written by Matthew Spradlin,
Barry Wernick
Starring Cameron Deane Stewart,
Augie Duke,
Ali Faulkner,
Roger Edwards,
Amanda Alch,
Marc Donato,
Ben Browder,
Judd Nelson
Music by Brian Flores
Cinematography David H. Blood
Editing by Justin Wilson[disambiguation needed]
Studio BKGTH Productions,
Bad Kids,
Spiderwood Studios
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About Saucy Josh

I write a blog for intelligent Horror movie aficionados called Blood and Guts for Grown Ups: https://bloodandgutsforgrownups.wordpress.com/ View all posts by Saucy Josh

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