|Index||8 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The teen revenge genre was at its height in the mid 1980s. We had
classics like The Karate Kid, trash like Quiet Cool and The New Kids,
and some that kind of fell in between like this one. Bullies is no
classic, merely an honest exploitation flick with some decent acting
and nice locations. The film takes itself too seriously though, and
that's where most of the trouble lies. Think of this film as the
Canadian equivalent of the movies James Spader was making at the time.
(New Kids/Tuff Turf).
The plot has some age-old clichés and the overall storyline is quite predictable. The script does take some detours here and there that are a little unexpected. The story centers around a teen aged boy, his mother, and stepfather who move into an apparently peaceful mountain town in rural British Columbia with the intent of running the local general store. Quickly they learn that a dangerous family has the town under its thumb and will strike out violently at anyone who disrespects them. The local sheriff is of course helpless to do anything, and the town folk have been basically beaten into submission by this family known as the Cullens. The Cullens apparently sold some land to a ski resort and now simply brood over the town. Maybe they make some additional cash from selling moonshine. I saw some sheep on their property, too. Nobody makes them pay for anything, so it really doesn't matter where they get their income I suppose.
The Cullens consist of a dad, three ornery sons, and a pretty daughter who is the only nice one of the bunch. They hardly even let her out, and woe is the man who should be caught looking at her! Of course the young hero of the story and the girl fall in love, further antagonizing the men-folk of the family. One of the brothers has a thing for the kid's mother, and his stepfather is kind of mild-mannered and certainly is no match for the Cullens. This is a sort of great angst for the young lad who'd rather spend his time with a cool old Indian who lives nearby. The Indian and the lad kind of have a Daniel/Mr. Miyagi relationship, and the old timer even teaches him how to throw a spear. This will come in handy once things get really violent. The story is just one escalating act of violence and retribution after another. Many of the scenes show ugly acts of brutality directed against women or helpless men. By the third act you'll be itching to see the Cullens get what's coming to them.
The acting is really good. Better than the script probably deserves. Jonathan Crombie as the boy does quite well. He kind of looks like Levi Johnston who impregnated Bristol Palin. Olivia d'Abo is tough and gorgeous as Becky Cullen. She is a real trooper for swimming in what had to be a very cold river. And thankfully she was wearing a white tee shirt at the time! The guy who plays the Cullen's dad looks like the Toe Cutter from Mad Max. And listen closely when Janet Laine Green speaks. If her voice sounds familiar, then you must have some pre-school kids who watch Little Bear. She is the voice of Mother Bear on that show! Give this film a shot. It isn't quite as bad as many will tell you. 6 of 10 stars.
Around the same time as Sean Cunningham's similar in vein "The New Kids", came director Paul Lynch (the original "Prom Night", ''Humongous'' and ''Cross Country'' to his name) with his Canadian produced mean-spirited, brutal and intense small rural town revenge / vigilante thriller. Quite grippingly bold, dangerously impulsive and competently made, making it just as good if not better than Cunningham's feature. It won't win any awards for its simple, routine plot, but it's pulled off with such exploding ticker and vigorous verve in really exploiting its primitive thirst for violence and control. There's no holding back, but what really makes this one work are the villains of the piece. The Cullen family (well the father and three sons) are a really hateful bunch of intimidating psychos that will always get their own way, until the city folks the Morris family arrive on the scene. While passive at first to the Cullen's strangle hold over the town, the Morris' soon begin to question the Cullen's on-going harassment until one unpleasantly scarring incident occurs that really tips the once mild-mannered father over the edge and the fear is turned around for a bloody confrontation. This is when it opens up to a thrilling last half, which is excitingly electrifying and dark. Bill Croft crafts a dominating presence as the father Ben Cullen. Bernie Coulson, Adrien Dorval and William Nunn are solid as sadistically nutty sons. Then you have the drop dead gorgeous Olivia d'Abo as the unlucky sister, who numerously finds herself at the wrong side of her father and brother's aggression. The Morris' are likeably played by Stephen Hunter (who mightily grows in the role), Janet-Laine Green and Jonathan Crombie as the tough, determined lad Matt. Dehl Berti is appealingly good as somewhat a mentor figure for Crombie's character. Especially those talks of the spiritual side of his people and you can't go pass the spearing skills he taught him that did come in rather handy outside of just fishing. The relationship and lessons formed between the characters (mainly between Crombie and Berti and Crombie and Hunter) might be old-hat, but remain thoughtful in its character drawings to make the gruelling situations even more stirring. It's emotionally driven by its characters, which are helped by the convincing performances when everything erupts. Lynch's grounded style keeps it edgy and well-paced in a technically sound production, blending the dynamics of its atmospheric score and picturesque mountainous backdrop. The latter having many stunning background shots.
It seems to me that perhaps the incessant violence in this film is what saves it, and what ruins it. I have to confess, the first scene of senseless violence got my attention in a big way, but after a while it began to get rather repetitive. There were just too many beatings, and there was too much intimidation for the film to be enjoyable. Was it interesting? For the most part, yes. Unfortunately, anyone who has seen a film before would know that this family would eventually be put in their place, so the interest was only maintained by waiting to see who would be attacked next.
A family (A teenage boy, his mother and a stepdad), sick of city life,
decides to move to the mountains to get away from it all and have a
fresh start. However, their idyll is shattered by three brothers and
their domineering father, who don't take kindly to newcomers on their
patch. While having objects thrown through their window and being
threatened in the street is just the start, the youth decides to make
things even worse by having a relationship with the terrible trio's
sister. With the law unwilling to do anything about it and the violence
escalating rapidly, the lad decides to take matters into his own
Veering wildly between hilarity and nastiness, this is one of the oddest exploitation movies ever made. At first, you can have a chuckle at some of the hammy acting and ludicrous dialogue given to the characters, especially the overwrought bad guys. But then, you get completely unnecessary scenes like a mother being raped while her son is forced to watch, or the thug's sister getting herself beaten up by her siblings for daring to sleep with our young hero. In fact, the whole view of women in the movie, which seems to be that they're pathetic creatures who scream a lot and can't defend themselves, is pretty despicable. But of course, there's the obligatory nude scene, which this time involves a young lady diving into a pool bra-less under a very thin T-shirt. Who cares about plot consistency when you have some willing young starlets ready to shed her togs. Right?!
The climax centres on the teenager, who up until now hasn't been able to sneeze without jumping, suddenly morphing into a Rambo clone and blowing off his assailants left, right and centre to save his stepfather who is being held hostage by the gang. It's completely implausible but hey, so is everything else in this film.. so at least you can't accuse it of not being consistent. So, rather than attempting to find logic in a place where the word doesn't exist, check out the IMDb pages for Janet Laine Green, Dehl Berti, Stephen Hunter, Jonathan Crombie.. etc. Notice a pattern emerging here? Their careers all hit dead ends. Why? Sit through this, and all will become clear. Remember kids, if you want to get ahead in this business, hire a decent agent and ALWAYS read the scripts they offer you. Please.. 3/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a really good movie and again I probably liked it more than most people. If you read my review for disturbing behavior you know I like a real good group or individual who is the villain and the cullians certainly are that. They are evil individual but when you get them together they are even worse. This movie shows what money can do to people maybe in a non-realistic way but it still did. If you like action and drama rolled into one then this movie is for you. I guarantee as you watch the movie you will not be able to wait until the cullens get whats coming to them and I am not going to reveal if they do or not you are just going to have to watch it. Great actors and a Great simple plot that is easy to follow. This movie is another favorite of mine so that is why in my opinion it deserves a 9/10
The Cullen boys are a nasty bunch. They take whatever they want from the
local shops, dance with whoever they like at the local bar, beat their
sister and blame it on one of the local boys. If anyone stands up to
they know they're in for a taste of Cullen family attention, which is
There are a few good scenes of intimidation, especially the treatment of Vern the mechanic, but somehow, they're just not made out to be as scary as they should be. Pity, because the actors were good at being bad when they were allowed to be.
this movie really contain a lot of brutal action... i really like this
movie indeed... it has a lot of action, and the story line goes well.
this is one of the better grade b movies i have seen! come on guys...
this is not a stupid movie. give this movie a chance. it deserves to be
rated 6 and above in IMDb list. what can i say about this movie?? the
actors are unknown, but still, they perform well in this movie! the
story line is pretty good too! i'm giving this movie a chance! so i'm
giving it 10/10..
try to watch this movie.. i really recommend this movie to everyone... every movie should be given a chance... as a conclusion, this a GOOD MOVIE!!! BRAVO !!!
Olivia D'Abo in a wet T-shirt is the only thing this movie has going for it. Other than that, this Canadian production about a man taking out a vicious band of hillbillies is not worth anybody's time. The writing is bad, the acting is poor and the direction is sub-standard.
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