If you are old enough to have lived through the 80s or are a fan of films from that era, then Grant McCord’s (first feature film) Teenage Badass will be something you revel in. It will remind you of something like Spinal Tap. Full of quirks and silliness. Totally a trip guided by nostalgia.
2006 is the year. Stylo and the Murder Dogs is the band. After getting rid of theirs an indie band is looking for a new drummer. Teenager Brad (Mcabe Gregg – appeared in episodes of Grown-ish and Shameless), who has dreamed of his big musical break for years, jumps at the chance. He and his single mom Rae (Julie Ann Emery – from television’s Preacher) struggle to make rent, etc., but Brad has never given up on his rock star dreams. It appears that now is his time.
After stumbling initially, Brad becomes the drummer for a band fronted by lead singer and songwriter Kirk Stylo (Evan Ultra – first film). The band is on the cusp of their big break as they are going to play on the local news show.
That goes really well and the town is abuzz with talk about the hot band. They also are given a chance to record with well known local producer, Jordan (Kevin Corrigan – True Romance, The Departed).
Just as they are on the edge of a huge break Murphy’s Law rears its ugly head. Meaning everything that could go wrong does. The biggest problem is Kirk and his huge ego.
As you start watching the film you will think that this is going to be an utter waste of time. That there is no way you will enjoy it. Just has the look of a bad low budget film. Yet as the minutes tick by you will find yourself falling under its spell. Smiling and even chuckling as you watch. Being entertained.
It teleports you to your teenage years. With all its heightened emotions, big dreams and craziness. Plus most of us can relate to that I want to be a big rock star dream. The money, the men/women, stardom and seemingly glamourous lifestyle is appealing. Very few actually attain it, but most dream of it. So that part of the film is highly relatable.
Besides the emotions involved the film is filled with some genuinely good music and fun performance scenes.