THE WEIRD KIDZ
This raunchy hand-drawn animated feature set in the 80s features three twelve-year-old “Dug,” his two buddies, Mel and Fatt, older brother Wyatt, and his brother’s girlfriend, Mary. On their way to an overnight camping trip, a gas station owner tells Dug to be careful of “The Night Child”, a creature that allegedly tore her brother to pieces years ago. But this BHFF 2022 creature feature has a second act you won’t see coming.
The character Mary is a badass feminist horror icon. Did I yell, ‘Hell, Yeah,” at the screen every time she surprised me with her choices? You know it. Horror legend Angela Bettis voices Duana, the gas station owner. That was quite the treat. Ella Coltrane is Wyatt. Walking a fine line between loathsome, cliche, and redemptive, it’s a memorable turn. The best voice performances come from Glen Bolton and Brian Ceely as Mel and Fatt. They stand out way above the rest with pitch-perfect tone and timing.
The era jokes and visual cues are kickass. Wyatt says, “Penis wrinkles,” a phrase I know from my first feature film in theaters, E.T. High five for the obscure homage. Also, the fact that I can remember the lyrics to, “Hey Girl,” days later, says a lot.
There’s an overall snappiness that’s missing from The Weird Kidz. Even if the runtime currently stands at an hour and fifteen minutes, it feels much longer. It might benefit from some editing and a few 80s metal tracks. Writer-director Zach Passero does an excellent job flipping the script on the classic monster. The work is there, and Gen X will thank you.