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Rex Buster (2007)

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Rex Buster is the King of Sunset High, a private high school in the suburbs of Los Angeles. His girlfriend, Jennifer, hides her pain of their loveless relationship by playing along with his... See full summary »

Director:

Amaro Shake

Writer:

Nicolas Shake
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Cast

Cast overview:
Nicolas Shake ... Rex Buster
Eric Lee Hobbs Eric Lee Hobbs ... Tom Spencer
Jade Tailor ... Jennifer
Jake Terrell ... Nick
Michel Dozois Michel Dozois ... Mike
Giancarlo Gadd Giancarlo Gadd ... Jay
Wendy Norton ... Lynn
Ary Katz Ary Katz ... Chase
Sam R. Ross Sam R. Ross ... Teacher
Larry Gold Larry Gold ... Principal
Alexandra Cheyney Alexandra Cheyney ... Secretary
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Storyline

Rex Buster is the King of Sunset High, a private high school in the suburbs of Los Angeles. His girlfriend, Jennifer, hides her pain of their loveless relationship by playing along with his games. Admired by his three cronies Nick, Mike and Jay, Rex arrives to school on the first day of his senior year with a new "retro rocker" style. In English class, Rex notices a scantily dressed girl, Lynn, which he ends up hooking up with in the janitors closet with shortly after. At lunch he brags that she is still there waiting for him to his friends, who praise him, but Jennifer and her crew of hot girls arrive. Tom Spencer, an awkward student, accidentally bumps into the schools star athlete, Chase, and is humiliated in front of Rex. After school Rex decides to get so beers, but not before Jay persuades him to take "happy pills". On his way back encounters a sullen Tom. The two end up having a beer discussing the truth of their outside persona. Rex offers Tom a happy pill which in turn causes... Written by Anonymous

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Plot Keywords:

drugs | teenager | retro rock | sex | See All (4) »

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Genres:

Short | Comedy | Drama

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Details

Official Sites:

MySpace site | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 August 2007 (USA) See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Trivia

Shot in a 48 hour span. Two 12 hour days. See more »

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User Reviews

 
From King of the School to King of his Destiny
24 May 2008 | by nicolasshakeSee all my reviews

It is so common nowadays to find many dime a dozen films and TV shows centered around high school that have no real substance or meaning. It is truly rare to find one that taps into that "angst" that you can relate to even years later. A few have done that for me, The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, Dazed and Confused, the short run "Freaks and Geeks" and now Rex Buster.

What I loved about Rex was that it reminded me of a time when I was younger when I DID think the world revolved around me, and during that moment of clarity, no matter how painful it is when you realize it doesn't ..only then can you discover the true path to happiness and to live sincerely and true to yourself. Many choose to forget these years due to it being a painful time in their history, or to lock away the memories and nostalgia into a dusty trunk never to be explored again. For me, it is a pleasure and necessary to revisit those years because those lessons and experiences are just as significant now in my thirties as they were then. It still hurts to be betrayed by friends, it is still confusing and frustrating to know we are going along with the majority to fit in even if our belief system and true identity conflicts with the status quo. And most importantly, to me, it is so crucial to remember who we were during those years... that youth and spirit is the core of who we are today.

Having been in my critical preteen and early teen years when heavy metal and rock was more than popular music, it was a way of life; I equated rock and metal music with liberation. So in that metaphorical sense, I was elated to see this element applied to the central theme in Rex Buster. Being the only ones in their high school to dress like classic rockers, they not only are spending their last year in school in much more than "mediocre fashion", they are trailblazing a road less traveled in this world of cookie cutter rich kids. Complementing the visuals perfectly, is Seth Freeman's rocking score. Written especially for Rex Buster,it captures that "release" rock music provides for youth angst while combining that "retro rock" feel with a fresh new promise that the future of rock will persevere through the muck of the sadly decaying soul of pop music today.

The style and set up is from the first frame reminiscent of what I grew up with. That confidence and voice over narration promise what is on screen will dominate your senses until the credits roll. What the film makers have to say is important and they have your attention 100% because their message is both important and entertaining. This confidence exudes from Nic Shake's performance as Rex. From the way he steps out of the car and slides his sunglasses on to his full circle heart- felt redemption, his character interpretation and dialogue delivery is encompassing and intriguing. He will be "remembered forever", because he won't allow you to forget. The cinematography even further supports the music and performances. In one of the most memorable shots, Rex walks up dominating the frame and offers "mints" to his friend from first grade who is now the bottom of the social totem pole. He is a force to reckoned with and not one to say no to. The camera is angled as a POV shot as one who is an untouchable would see Rex. It is also set up in a slight slow-mo as a precursor of things to come from this encounter.

Another component of good film is bringing to the audience experiences they might not have ever realized existed. For me, it was the inside of privileged kids' high school. Crime, violence, drugs and identity crises exist even high up on the socioeconomic ladder. These problems have risen from impoverished neighborhoods and have infiltrated even the most distinguished institutions. Money can NOT buy you happiness especially if you are 17 or 18. What you need no matter what race, sex or financial status is real support and love from friends and family. Rex has neither which is why no matter how many dollars he has is lost and lonely. This issue of absent parenting was prevalent in the '80s, a time when in many films and sitcoms, divorce was a topic devastating to youths. I am reminded of Blair Warner from "The Facts of Life" who was an heiress with millions of dollars but was sadly let down again and again by her parents who thought money was a good substitution for their absence. Many times she would have traded in her bonds just to have one real heart to heart conversation with her father. We are eluded to the fact that Rex and his father have not even spoken since his mother died. Even though he is in a crises at school with his friend in trouble and facing severe discipline, his main concern is the interlude that will take place with his absent father.

How can all of this be done in only a mere 14 minutes? What it does do is whet your appetite for more which is what I do believe is the intention of Twin Scorpion Productions. I cannot wait to see Rex Buster as a full length feature or TV series. It brings back the basics and would be a breath of fresh air in this market infiltration of "reality" TV and superficial "spring break" style school films coming out of Hollywood. Rex Buster satisfies your craving for nostalgia and desire to see the future of film journey in a meaningful direction.

Alexandra Nakelski Short Film Programmer of Method Independent Film Festival Film and Media Analyst


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