Friday, September 23, 2016

'Big Bad' Theatrical: Scooby-Doo for 21st Century


Big Bad

Indican Pictures lives up to its name regarding the midnight shows (starting September 23, 2016) of the 2016 horror-comedy film "Big Bad" ahead of September 26, 2016 VOD and DVD releases. This "teens-in-peril" film provides an even stronger "Buffy the Vampire the Slayer" "Scooby-Doo" vibe than "Buffy" itself.

Writer/Director Opie Cooper gets "Bad" off to a good start by simultaneously spoofing the accelerated pace of modern life and the horror flick cliche of starting a movie with a monster attack of several years ago. Copper opens with scenes of the small-town teens who make up the majority of the cast preparing for a party in an open field on a full moon night. A radio DJ provides exposition regarding that blow-out and the high school fundraiser that is to occur the following night. That charity event has students locked in an old jail until someone bails them out.

The first party centers around a very likable everyteen fresh off a breakup with a girlfriend who uses loving him like a brother as an excuse to stop dating. The fun keeps coming with this excuse providing awesome humor throughout these early scenes.

The exposition during this period also introduces the urban legend (old wives' tale?) of the ghost of the insane prisoner who allegedly uses the woods around the jail as a feeding ground.

Things soon look up for our sad boy when he meets the smart and sassy girl of his wet dreams. Sadness once again descends when the titular creature, which resembles a "Scooby" creature and a monster from early "Buffy" seasons, commits pre-coitus interruptus. 

The film then shifts to dorky second-string basketball player Donny manipulating his way into the fundraiser to be close to cheerleader/former girlfriend Chase. The basis of that break-up is Chase trading up. Nice girl Crystal rounds out this trio. 

Creepy science teacher Mr. Howelll (who sadly has no connection to the "Gilligan's Island" character of the same name) is along to watch after the kids. Co-writer Danny Dauphin does well in that role.

The monster once again rears his ugly head soon after Donny and the girls are locked in their cells. Said big bad chasing the survivors through the jailhouse not long after that creates hope for Donny to dress in a costume to confuse it and for the awesome chase music that is integral to every "Scooby" series and film to start playing.

Along the way, the gang encounters a sheriff who is equally parts Scooby dedicated and Buffy cynical and quirky. Discovering whether the big bad eats the sheriff but does not eat the deputy requires watching the movie.

The nature of the creature and the ultimate resolution provide nice twists. We also get healthy doses of teen drama that pop up even as the monster is bearing down on the millennials. 

All of this adds to a good film for a Friday night viewing of B movies or a tween girl slumber party, Like "Scooby" and "Buffy," the goofy fun greatly outweighs the horror.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Bad" is welcome to email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.