Like an After-School Special meets "Mommie Dearest"
Possible spoilers follow. Weird, weird movie. I saw this on Canadian TV in the 90s at some point, and only now was I able to finally find the name of it by typing in some key words into google. This movie is really one of a kind, part Lifetime Movie, part oddball character study, with lots of moments of intrigue and psychotic discomfort thrown in. If you are fan of cinematic strangeness, I'd seek it out, because the tone of the whole picture is quite off-kilter.
It follows a teen who really loves his lovable dad. Dad is a wacky inventor wannabe. His main invention involves these bent pieces of wire, whose purpose I do not recall. And the kid follows in the dad's footsteps of fantasy. Except, wait. The dad also has an extremely irrational and abusive side to him as well. He is prone to mad violence and the effect in the film is as if Mike Brady suddenly started beating Carol and the kids. Way unexpected. The kid copes by befriending a pretty teacher at school who takes an interest in him. Alas, he freaks out on her and makes a grab at her breasts in another "who'da thunk it?" scene, nudity included.
It's an odd mix of quirky and serious themes, and I am surprised it is not more well-known as a kind of film to both enjoy for its uniqueness and gently mock for its camp value.
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