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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

'All American Bully' DVD: 'After-School Special' style Film Pulpier Than Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

Product Details
The 2011 teen-drama "All American Bully" is wonderful summer camp that (ala the original "Sharknado") is so bad that it is good. The fact that "Friday the 13th" actress Adrienne King is promoted as a primary draw despite having a small supporting role is very consistent with this. King plays ant-Belding hard-nosed high school principal Debbie Kane, who unloads her personal baggage all over students and faculty who innocently run afoul of her.

Thanks to the wonderful purveyors of C-movies of this nature Wild Eye Releasing, which includes "Raiders of the Lost Shark" in its catalog, you can enjoy all the bad acting and ridiculous developments of "Bully" from the comfort of your own home. The DVD extras include cast interviews,

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the "Bully" trailer terrifically makes the aforementioned point regarding the fun of "Bully." The campy dramatic background music is only one aspect of this.

"Bully" centers around whipped emo boy Devon, who lives with his well-meaning but frustrated father. This quiet lad spends virtually all of his free time in his basement lair either alone or with quasi-goth gal pal Becky and enthusiastically geeky Garrett. Seeing the 20-somethings who portray this trio engage is what they consider typical teen behavior that is par for the course for these guilty pleasure films contributes to the entertaining unintentional humor.

Devon both being shy and geeky and having an (easily guessed) secret history with slightly older delinquent John Brooks already places the former on the radar of the latter. A forced encounter escalates the strained relations between the one-time BFFs. The video recording (and subsequent uploading) of the beat-down and other humiliation that Devon suffers during the reunion escalates the conflict.

Becky, who has a not-so-secret crush on Devon, does her own coercing regarding getting him to co-operate with an apt revenge scheme. This plot teaches Becky that figuratively poking the bear might provoke the bear to literally poke back.

Throwing in (ultimately overwhelming) personal trauma for John elevates the camp level. This aspect of the story is unexpected but is another source of wonderful unintentional humor. Only having John use a G.I. Joe as a visual add would have improved this plot line.

All of this makes "Bully" a great choice when you are in the mood to mercilessly mock more serious productions regarding the related real problems of bullying and effectively using the Internet as a weapon. The same sensibility makes the Amy Sedaris sitcom "Strangers With Candy" an uber-awesome alternative to the ABC "After-School Specials" of the '70s and '80s.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Bully" is welcome to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.