When sitting down to view Cameron Washington’s comedy “High School
Ripped Me a New One” I obviously feared the worst. With a title like that and a DVD cover that screams “WE DID THIS ON NO BUDGET!” I was prepared to groan alot and laugh very little. Yet I was pleasantly surprised at just how well made a film this is…considering there was clearly no budget. While I can’t say I laughed hysterically, Washington’s film is really pretty affable and fun. Plus, comedy is extremely subjective and just because I didn’t find the film all that funny, I’m sure many people will.
The story is pretty basic. High School losers Andrew and David try to overcome their inherent loserness in time to find a prom date. As David works late one night, some mobsters rob his store and in a panic, leave the money in David’s car. The guys find the money and away they go on a series of wacky adventures.
What impressed me most about the film is that Washington doesn’t go crazy with camera angles or insane, pointless shots. He keeps it simple and lets the cohesive script do the legwork. While Amacker and Washington are pretty goofy, they keep the mugging to a minimum. Where alot of true “indie” comedies go awry is that they resort to lame “we think it’s funny” humor. That or they go crazy with handheld camera, lame subjective point of view and just general bullshit that is not only stupid, it’s distracting. That’s not the case here. Washington is a solid filmmaker who knows how to direct a film. “High School Ripped Me a New One,” lame title or not, is a nice first effort and I think we’ll hear more from Washington in the future.