HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
1917
Tree House, The
Sputnik
Seducao da Carne
Yes, God, Yes
Five Graves to Cairo
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
   
 
Newest Articles
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
   
 
  Blame An Apple For Teacher
Year: 2017
Director: Quinn Shephard
Stars: Quinn Shephard, Nadia Alexander, Chris Messina, Tate Donovan, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Tessa Albertson, Luke Slattery, Owen Campbell, Sarah Mezzanotte, Larry Mitchell, Marcia DeBonis, Geneva Carr, Elizabeth Howell, Carlyle Owens
Genre: Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Abigail Grey (Quinn Shephard) is horrified to be told she will be starting back at high school again, having been away for much of the previous school year thanks to a nervous breakdown her fellow pupils believe was triggered by caring too much about her English class's set text of Sybil, the multiple personality syndrome autobiography. There's no doubt she is easily led by things around her, and on her return she has affected a limp and gathered a collection of ornaments as she read in The Glass Menagerie. One girl is furious to see Abigail back: she is Melissa Bowman (Nadia Alexander), and she makes up her mind to make her classmate's life sheer hell from now on...

What was most notable about Blame, behind the scenes at least, was that it was constructed and produced by a teenage girl. She had help, mostly from her mother Laurie Shephard, but after writing the film at age fifteen and undergoing a lot of refining in script and performance, Quinn Shephard had the whole thing in the can by the time she was twenty years old. Maybe we should not be so surprised in this world where recording devices are so much a part of young people's lives, therefore it is perhaps more surprising there aren't more teenage filmmakers, but not many would secure distribution and more importantly, a reaction that generally avoided the patronising.

When you watched Blame, there was a nebulous quality to it that was either intentionally enigmatic or the results of the big themes not being as focused as Shephard would have liked, but we got the idea for the most part. This was akin to one of those troublesome teens thrillers that erupted in the nineteen-nineties, when for some reason there was a fear of what a young girl could do to wreak havoc in the lives of law-abiding folk, apparently thanks to being sexually irresistible, or enough to be troubling to those around them anyway, but Shephard was not interested in a do-over of The Crush or Poison Ivy (though to be fair the latter was more nuanced than its trashy reputation, so...).

It had been Arthur Miller's The Crucible that inspired the author, seeing in it more than an excoriation of the scapegoaters and witch hunters of the world, and divining a terror of female sexuality that the patriarchy - and the ultra-conservative women who prop it up - sought to repress by essentially murdering anyone who stepped out of line. No one was murdered in Blame, though like its contemporary Thoroughbreds it would not have been wholly out of place given the emotions running high throughout, but the rivalry for attention, good and bad, between Abigail and Melissa interestingly explored that psychological tenet that any attention is craved by many, no matter how it highlighted them in their social circle (and beyond) the point was that they had been noticed. And if the right person notices them, so much the better.

Abigail, now rid of her Tennessee Williams preoccupation, embraced the villain character from The Crucible, where we're not very sure if she will self-destruct or destroy Melissa through manipulation. Certainly her tormentor is not angling for sympathy, yet we begin to understand her when her background is fleshed out, not that everything in these characters' histories was spelled out for us. This could be a drawback when a vagueness was built into the screenplay, no matter how many drafts it had taken to get that far, but the familiar plotline of a student (Abby) seducing her teacher (Chris Messina as Jeremy Woods) was twisted so that there were no real villains. That could be a deal breaker for many, as Woods was portrayed as just as confused by his emotions as the two girls using him as a battleground which was not how such unhappy relationships played out in real life, according to news reports, but it was provocative to keep you watching even as Shephard eschewed titillation, preferring a watchful sadness. Music by Pierre-Philippe Côté - with songs by the writer-director-star!
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 702 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: