Bad Reputation

badreputationBad Reputation  (2007)    Maverick Entertainment Group/Horror    RT: 90 minutes    Rated R (language, graphic violence and gore, graphic prolonged rape sequence, nudity, strong sexual content, drug use, drinking and partying- all involving teens)    Director: Jim Hemphill    Screenplay: Jim Hemphill    Music: Eric Choronzy and Jon Lebec    Cinematography: Forrest Allison    Release date: August 7, 2007 (DVD)    Starring: Angelique Hennessy, Jerad Anderson, Danielle Noble, Mark Kunzman, Kristina Conzen, Dakota Ferreiro, Chris Basler, T.W. Porrill, Elizabeth Kirven, Mimi Marie.     

Rating: fullstar1fullstar1fullstar1star-empty1

 I don't normally review straight-to-DVD movies, but when I read about Bad Reputation on the Cinema Crazed website, I knew that I would be making a rare exception, it sounded like the exact kind of movie that belongs in the "Scary, Gory, Wild ..... I Love It!" category. Essentially, it's The Breakfast Club meets I Spit On Your Grave. I will preface this review by telling you that it's an independently-made movie. From an artistic standpoint, it's strictly amateur night all the way. Acting, editing, cinematography- NOT the stuff of professionals! The narrative isn't perfect either, frankly it takes a little too long to get to the good stuff. Of course, one could make the same argument for I Spit On Your Grave, but the payoff turned out to be well worth waiting for. Can the same thing be said of Bad Reputation? Actually, yes! However, the audience has to watch nearly an hour of an innocent teenage girl's torment before she does something about it. And what is it that Michelle Rosen (Hennessy) goes through that justifies the blood-soaked third act? Just about the worst thing that could happen to any woman. Then it's compounded by the harassment of the other students at school, not to mention her mother's complete lack of sympathy. But I'm getting ahead of myself here, let me start from the beginning.

 bad-reputationHigh school junior Michelle Rosen pretty much keeps to herself, she prefers to sit by herself reading a good book. One of the popular kids, Aaron (Anderson), invites her to a party at his house and she reluctantly accepts his invitation. His girlfriend Heather (Conzen) doesn't like the idea at all, she's convinced that Michelle just wants to hook up with her boyfriend. When Michelle arrives at the party, Aaron slips a roofie in her drink, then he and his pals gang rape her in his bedroom. When she passes out, Heather and her girlfriends drag Michelle outside and humiliate her by tying her to a tree with duct tape and writing "SLUT" on her forehead with lipstick. Of course, she takes pictures with her cell phone. The next day at school, Heather has spread the word that Michelle is a slut who willingly slept with all three guys at the party. It doesn't take long for her new bad reputation to spread around the entire school and she becomes a huge target for harassment by her peers. Her alcoholic mother (Marie) berates her for being a drunken slut. When Michelle reports the harassment to a school counselor, he not only puts the blame on her, he also tries to feel her up. That's when Michelle realizes that if you can't beat them, you might as well join them. She undergoes a complete character makeover and embraces her new slutty image. Only, she has something really sinister on her mind, she's going to make her tormentors pay for everything they did to her.

 In my opinion, that's when Bad Reputation kicks into full tilt boogie awesome mode! Dressed like a total teenage slut, she comes on to Steve (Basler) first and lures him to a secluded spot where she stabs him to death while giving him a hand job. She plants a whole bunch of gay pornography in his car and writes "FAG" on his forehead. Michelle doesn't stop there, she proceeds to cut off his penis and shove it up his behind. We don't actually see this happen, but the squishy sound effects are sufficient enough, we get the idea. She dispatches the other guilty parties in similarly gruesome fashions. One guy gets beaten to death with a school book, somebody gets decapitated, another person is drowned in a toilet full of her own vomit and another poor bastard has his throat cut after Michelle bites off a certain appendage. Yeah, Bad Reputation is a pretty sick movie, but these people deserved what they got! It's always exciting to see a crime victim turn the tables and deliver bloody justice to their assailants. Angelique Hennessy, who bears a striking resemblance to Heather Morris (Brittany from Glee), does a pretty good job in the lead. She's the only one in the movie who might have a strong acting career in her future. She has real screen presence even in the Jason Voorhees-like hockey mask that she wears in the climax of the movie. As for the other actors, it seems like they're just reading their lines. I know that I shouldn't recommend a movie like this. Would any respectable movie critic like this movie? Probably not. But I just love a good violent revenge flick and Bad Reputation more than fits that description! It's no I Spit On Your Grave, but if taken on its own terms, it works.

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