Bad Kids Go to Hell: Film Review
Cameron Deane Stewart
Delinquent teens in detention are murdered one by one in this campy horror take on "The Breakfast Club."
The presence of a deadpan Judd Nelson as a goateed private school headmaster is the main selling point of Bad Kids Go to Hell, Matthew Spradlin’s comic horror film about six kids in detention who wind up mostly dead instead of baring their souls. Based on the director’s graphic novel, this bloody exercise in camp quickly wears out is welcome, though its copious doses of nudity and gore, as well as its undeniably catchy title, should help it stand out on video shelves.
In this blatant riff on The Breakfast Club, six teens—at least they’re supposed to be teens, even if the actors playing them are well past drinking age—are confined to a school library on a stormy Saturday by a nasty guidance counselor (Jeffrey Schmidt). Since the school was apparently built on sacred Native American ground, it isn’t long before they’re ticked off one by one in a serious of gruesome “accidents.”
Not that most of them don’t deserve it, since they’re a motley, predictably diverse group that includes a goth chick, natch (Augie Harmon); a callow womanizer (Roger Edwards) who--in an example of the screenplay’s level of sophistication--announces “Release the Kraken” while having a bowel movement; a bitchy preppy (Ali Faukner); a bullied nerd (Marc Donato); a loose girl (Amanda Alch); and the de facto hero (Cameron Deane Stewart), who at the film’s beginning and end is seen with a bloody ax in his hand.
Punctuating the gory mayhem is a series of character revealing flashbacks, including a scene in which one of the girls does a striptease in the middle of a class. No doubt the film’s target audience of male teens will wish for copycat imitations.
Devoid of the sort of wit that makes some horror film parodies guilty pleasures, and all too blatantly revealing its low-budget limitations, Bad Kids Go to Hell sluggishly goes through its paces until it reaches its obligatory twist ending.
Cast: Judd Nelson, Ben Browder, Cameron Deane Stewart, Ali Faulkner, Roger Edwards, Marc Donato, Augie Duke, Amanda Alch, Jeffrey Schmidt, Chanel Ryan.
Director: Matthew Spradlin.
Screenwriters: Barry Wernick Matthew Spradlin.
Producers: Barry Wernick, Brad Keller.
Executive producers: Lori Madrid, James R. Hallam, David Genecov, Carmrin Agin, Tommy G. Warren, Stuart Wernick.
Director of photography: David Blood.
Editor: Justin Wilson.
Production designer: Jason Hammond.
Costume designer: Alyssa Wernick.
Composer: Brian Flores.
Rated R, 91 min.