Film review of ‘Bad Boy Bubby’ Dark, witty, revealing, shocking, extraordinary, and plain fun… take these words to heart if you ever decide to watch this film if you haven’t already. And if you already have, watch it again. For a low budget film shot in Australia in 1993, and controversial in several countries at the time due to its confrontational portrayal of abuse, nudity and incest, and mental illness, Bad Boy Bubby is filled with stunning performance from the film’s crazy haired man-child protagonist “Bubby”, played by Nicholas Hope.
Perhaps there are more good reasons than bad to have large expenses for movies nowadays, and more often than not the films with least money invested turn a small audience. But only a few exceptions in cinematography can lead such poor investments into high value yields, and a couple of those exceptions are a great storyline and realism in acting. The film’s picaresque plot follows Bubby as he emerges into the unknown world beyond the Freudian prison in which his mother has isolated him well into his adulthood.
This stranger in a strange land, always mimicking the violence, hostility and menace of those around him, eventually discovers the joys of music and pizza, the hypocrisies of religion, and the possibilities of a loving family – and so at last becomes his own person, himself now mimicked by others. Being a black comedy, albeit more dark than comical, there isn’t much need for extravagant costumes or special effects. Instead, the audience is to be captured through the lost and mysterious mindset the characters provide, especially the morbid scenes of ill-treatment the protagonist innocently performs throughout the story.
The realism given in some occasions could even make you question if it was indeed a capture of real emotion. Ultimately there is no reason to not recommend this film to anyone, so long as they have a strong but open mind to sinister humor. Shot by several different cinematographers to capture its protagonist’s constant sense of disoriented wonder, this dark satire wraps itself in a quirkily beautiful aesthetic that keeps us watching even when the material is at its most repellent or alarming. It is a rich and at times very funny glimpse into the corrupting, contradictory nature of modern life. A definite must see.