I love Bad Boy Bubby!”– Quentin Tarantino
Never go full retard”– Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder, 2008.
Just because Tarantino says he loves this flick, it does not make it any, err, good. Just because David Stratton of The Movie Show thinks that “this is one of the finest and most original of all Australian films that I’ve seen. I really think it’s a milestone in Australian cinema“; doesn’t make it rise form the gutter, where the horribly made and the demented film belongs. It’s alright to be demented (ha), dementia is just as fine a subject matter to make a film on than any other. However, it’s an entirely different thing to be this deranged, be conscious of that peculiarity, and also the fact that the kind of deranged being expanded upon will only sicken the audience and add nothing, not one thing that could contribute to the broad artistic spectrum. Bad Boy Bubby is sick, it is vile, sickening, nausea-inducing, over the top, overacted, deceleration of the thinking process, an impediment, and a slap on the face of the audience, their intelligence and sensibilities. The film by Rolf de Heer is an insult to many, parading all over the place in that stupid gas mask and his mother’s underwear, Nicholas Hope is hopeless, irritating and very easy to hate. This pilgrim did not find any traces of aesthetic merit in Bubby, nor did this sinnerman find it even remotely funny, or twisted. A Clockwork Orange, 1971 is fucking twisted and one does not even need to watch the whole film to let the film affect the viewer with its cruel, uncaring visuals and vicious ethos. On the other hand, Bubby is plain old bad. So much so that this mountain man can only feel hate towards the filmmakers, Hope included and also Claire Benito as the mother. The characters squeeze their way around the dingy living quarters and move in there like bloody insects, fucking, eating, shitting as they bump into each other, making things even more revolting, if that is possible. This is a film made in extremely bad taste and Rolf de Heer is privy to that, and so is actor Nicholas Hope, aware that this film is nothing but an ugly, campy, and poorly acted attempt at nihilism by way of comedy of the unassumed. It is stunningly misguided, aggressively bad psychological folly.
It’s not merely bad; it’s unpleasant in a hostile way with a clumsy plot, misplaced satire, unbelievable coincidences, plus the leaden pace trample Hope and the other actors’ weird but awfully not so amusing (in their misgivings) performances. Everything about Bubby sucks. Everything. The over-the-top music, the unbelievable stingy, and stinky sets, with the paint peeling off the wall, where faulty sewage causes the walls to have brownish stains that slink to the bottom; sets that seem to be shrinking throughout the film, making it hard to breathe, the terrible dialogue, the hammy acting, the ineffectual, impotent narrative, the beginning, the middle and especially the end. The concoction is not just toxic, it is poisonous enough to kill a horse.
Bubby is a flat-out mess, with massive narrative sinkholes, leading to moments of outstanding disbelief with muddled writing and shockingly chaotic mise en scène that’s accompanied by nonsense philosophizing, violated conditioning, farcical screenplay, and scenes of incest that serve no purpose but to give director Rolf de Heer a hard-on, to use it on Nicholas Hope and Carmel Johnson as Angel and the mum with triple H sized sagging boobies, right down to her knees, the ugly dog, motherfucker.
Director Heer has learned from better films that directors sometimes tilt their cameras but he has not learned why they do so. The washed-out, diffused look of the film only adds to the misery of the keen viewer, without any artistic merit (now that’s a mouthful for Veer) or a secondary purpose, that of, perhaps, redemption. No. Redemption is a nonexisting word where this film breathes, isolated from the others, stupid and dumb and delighted to have executed what Veer and the rat brained Hope think is an art film. A masturbatory attempt at trying to create a dystopia in the confines of a room, until Bubby gets the fuck out. Such donkeys. All they succeed is in trying to create a sense of utter dismissal and loathing for the film.
The film belongs in the category of “it’s so bad that I had to turn it off/walkout”, however, the filmmakers are intentionally oblivious and in trying to stroke themselves however they want, pat themselves wherever they want, they become completely switched off to reality. Just like how Bubby is shown to be in the terrible film where logic is left behind and Bubby laughs for the second time – the first time was when the mother raped him with the help of her boyfriend (if anything, this only magnifies the Western values gone to the dogs). What rubbish.
A year later after Bubby, in 1994 another similar ‘man-child comes of age’ film hit the cinemas and bagged loads of Oscars, including Best Picture. The 1994 film was shot with an entirely different ideology and with an affectionate recognition of life in all its forms, and it won hearts. I feel almost ashamed to even think of that film, while documenting my (seething) thoughts after watching the shit-fest, which is Bubby.
That was that, Forrest Gump and his “Box of Chocolates”. Forgive me for mentioning two of the most revered films in an article for this twaddle.
This is Bad Boy Bubby with shit sticking to his clothes and trying a hand at self-discovery. For fuck’s sake!
And it took director Heer, almost all of the Eighties, taking notes on index cards before finally watching actor (?) Nicholas Hope in a short film and approaching him to play stupid itself, in 1991. A decade to come up with this atrocity? Goodness, holy dairy shit and piss as a cure for pandemic. Holy bullshit. Plus using real people with a very real and debilitating condition (cerebral palsy) and exploiting that, in addition to animal cruelty is just not acceptable – art film or not masturbating while sniffing mama’s undies or not. Bitch. And then Bubby goes ahead and starts cussing God out (again) without any purpose or a linear (or non-linear) addition to this excrement of a film.
This is a fucking experiment gone horribly wrong, but Heer thinks that by sewing binaural microphones into the wig worn by leading actor Nicholas Hope, one above each ear would give the soundtrack a unique sound that closely resembled what the character would actually be hearing. Well, guess what, it doesn’t do any of that pretentious shit, instead, whatever is said is very hard to listen to (not that I was paying too much attention to the film; my eyes were on the wristwatch). Critics say the film has to say stuff about excess, well, with thirty-one individual directors of photography to shoot different scenes, I suppose we get the point. But no, that was done so it would allow an individual visual slant on everything Bubby sees for the first time, like those sagging boobs. Visual slant or not, thirty-one DOP not allowed to talk amongst each other or not; everything just falls flat, like Bubby as he stumbles out of the stupid apartment and out into the world. Australia doesn’t have the death penalty or someone would have charged him for bestiality and assault to the senses with the intention of murder by now, with motives that the courts would happily accommodate and show him to the gallows. I mean this film lead to the boycott of Australian products by the animal rights group and then Rolf de Heer (who the fuck let him handle the camera) went ahead and lied; stating that the ‘cat scenes‘ were carefully filmed and that a veterinarian and animal cruelty inspector were present on set. Well, that doesn’t do away with the fact that there was extreme animal abuse during filming and the filmmakers did end up killing a cat. Shrink-wrapping a feline is not entertainment. Bastards.
Bubby starts off as a rotten, disgusting, repelling cockroach film where it is impossible for the keen viewers to convince themselves that a man and his mother would actually survive like that, in that ramshackle, godforsaken hole for some thirty odd years? Thirty-eight, if the poster or anything associated with the feature is to be believed. Alright, if we move beyond the kitsch treatment and performances, the dreary lighting and poor camera-work (mirror reflection shots?) and the overbearing and disgusting Bubby (Nicholas Hope) get in the way of any appreciation of this abhorrent film. Don’t get me wrong, Salo or 120 days of Sodom, 1975 is a favorite (for reasons I dare not state in this year of the Lord, 2020 – however I will when I’m ready), if you think the degeneracy and the decadence of Bubby got the better of me, think again. That was Pasolini this is some Heer guy with a camera and a few degenerates who wanna get famous by making people sick. OK, I say, A Serbian Film did exactly that but even that film has some redemption by the end, even if it comes at the expense of the viewer’s sanity. This Bubby film is just hollow as a spinal tap gone wrong and twice as tedious and abhorring and without a hint of salvation.
It ends by showing Bubby spreading his vile dumbness onto all of Adelaide, and then Australia, living the fucking (wet and filthy and crusted with unwashed blood of a) dream all along, only in his size 52 head, and ugly as fuck.
If there’s a more retarded film out there I’ll watch it just to not hate the Brit born Australian, Nicholas Hope, this much.
I don’t feel like watching a film ever, after this unholy outing. But I will, I must, if I want to get rid of the images stuck to my head like leeches.
Don’t bother with this one. Trust me and stay far away from this pretentious white-trash.
If you still feel like you would want to watch what the fuss is all about, please go ahead and stream it on DIRECTV, Tubi, Amazon Prime and Netflix