Writer/ Director Alex Petrovitch – 2016 – 81 Minutes
Bad People is a dark comedy made up of segments that act like sketches taking aim at modern society and containing some twisted and yes, very bad people.
It starts with the independent film favourite; the hitmen, the casual chat and suits, the clear Pulp Fiction inspiration. But it is a deception, what we end up with is a sketch about political correctness that builds to a punchline and gives a taste of what the whole film is about; pure comedy.
We are guided through the film by a pair of newsreaders and their headline updates. One of them is jaded and delves deeper into drug addled on-air depravity as the film continues. The other is more aspirational and professional and tries to keep the news programme on track. The only continuity and repeat use of characters throughout the film are these news anchors and the ongoing sex and drugs scandal involving the mayor and a young wannabe celebrity. These scenes are genuinely funny and greatly improved by the strength of the four main actors involved. The complimentary news anchor comedy duo, the ditsy, self-promoting, fame hungry girl and the doomed mayor who thinks he stands a chance of re-election.
The rest of the segments deliver a selection of headline parodies with strong social commentary on everything from dating apps and relationships to celebrity culture and self-help gurus. The variety of characters and settings keep the film fresh and surprising. No joke goes on for too long, they carry on as long as they need to and then we move on. There is an edginess as we are never sure how far they are willing to go in terms of language, violence, depravity, obscenity, sheer lunacy and parody, until it has already happened. You can never be sure when and how the darkest humour will creep back into the forefront.
This is the kind of independent cinema I really enjoy. A simple concept executed well. A comedy that is funny. The film succeeds because of the characters, the acting, the dialogue and the timing. Not because of big budget effects or familiar bankable actors or an overly complicated, unintelligible plot. Here is a funny and intriguing premise delivered with professional style and quality comedy acting.
Bad People is a twisted, hilarious and very rewatchable attack on modern social issues. And it makes the real TV news look boring.