Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Jason Hawkins
Cast: Alexander Fraser, Alicia Rose, Daren Ackerman, Adrienne King
Writer/director Jason Hawkins sets out to deliver a jarring tale of bullying, hideous closet skeletons and a little outside of the law justice with his inspired indie effort, All American Bully. It’s a bare bones production that relies on character development and personal angst more than outright gore or jump scares. Reality is the most frightening thing a man can face, and All American Bully is all about reality.
Outcasts Devon and Becky are working at taking their friendship to a different level, but local bully John Brooks does everything he can to thwart any happiness these two may experience. The true question is why. Is John just a heartess ass, or does he have genuine motive. And if he does have a motive for his behavior, could it be related to the friendship he once shared with Devon as a child? The answers barrell towards the viewer as we build to an unforgiving and surprisingy jarring finale.
That’s what you get from me, as there will be no significant spoilers dropped in this specific review. What will be noted is Hawkins’ ambition. He sets out to tell a tale that really does utilize a wide scope, but he’s savvy enough to know that fiscal limitations can lead to an indie feature unraveling. So he keeps it controlled, keeps it about three primary characters and keeps the interest alive as a result.
There’s obviously some social commentary on display, but Hawkins avoids taking the preachy route, instead choosing to introduce minor conficts to adequately fill out the story. And the story is handled pretty well by the green cast which includes Alexander Fraser (as Devon), Alicia Rose (as Becky) and Daren Ackerman (who plays John). There are a few moments that feel a litte rough around the edges, but the cast is determined enough to exert enough energy to keep the boat afloat.
And then, of course, we’ve got an appearance from the awesome Adrienne King. This has been a huge selling point behind the film, as King is of course quite the recognizable name being one of the most famous scream queens of our age (in case you’ve been living under a rock, she’s the original survivor girl from Friday the 13th). This particular role – that of Principal Kane – calls for a much more intense and angry delivery. It’s a far cry from her role as Alice in Friday, but it is nice to see her rise to and topple a very different and challenging character.
All American Bully is a beak film that commands attention and a sympathetic response from viewers. There may not be much in the way of money here, but the flick is loaded with spirit and more than a look!