Available now on DVD, Amazon Prime and other streaming outlets is the family romantic comedy Teenage Ghost Punk, which almost defies a proper explanation. Having seen the weirdest of the weird and everything in between, this may truly be the strangest motion picture that I have seen simply because it is so hard to pinpoint. It features a host of obscure characters and drawn out dialogue that would fit into a Kevin Smith film, yet it’s a teenage romantic comedy ghost story that is reminiscent of movies like Raising the Bar, and the dozens of athletic themed pictures geared towards young girls. Add on top of that a punk rock ghost, a satirical take on the Insidious ghost hunters and medium, and it ends up being a mash up of Goosebumps, Warm Bodies, SLC Punk, Casper, and the live-action Scooby Doo.
Written and directed by Mike Cramer, Teenage Ghost Punk is about the recently divorced Carol (Adrian Dawn), who moves from Michigan with her sixteen year old daughter Amanda (Grace Madigan) and twelve year old son (Noah Kitsos) to an old Victorian house just outside of Chicago. Amanda soon discovers that a punk rock ghost named Billy (Jack Cramer) lives in their house and they develop a romantic relationship. In many ways, it follows the typical tropes and drama of a PG-rated teen picture. Issues such as divorce, moving away, loss, and death are touched upon, but never hit a tone that is going to draw tears. It’s mostly a light hearted affair, a feel good type of story with lots of attempts at humor and comedic situations. The atypical things are what makes this stand out amongst the rest of these PG flicks, which includes the wacky characters Cramer has created, the dialogue he wrote, and the use of punk rock music.
All of the actors do a commendable job and deliver good performances. There are essentially four core actors, Adrian Dawn, Grace Madigan, Noah Kitsos, and Jack Cramer. All four were excellent and believable in their roles; it appeared that each would have been capable of taking the dramatic element up a notch if asked to. The rest of the cast were great at bringing their characters to life, whether they were portraying normal or completely madcap personas.
While Cramer and his crew do attempt to keep the picture looking interesting with varying camera angles and locations, it doesn’t look particularly impressive. The interior lighting only looks decent during the scenes where candles were used. It bears resemblance to most of the productions that it is similar to, which are these lower budgeted PG films. It does have wonderful locations around Illinois, including a Victorian house, a high school, and a large office building. What may actually be the high point is the music, a mixture of bands showing off some original punk music. Several of the bands feature Jack Cramer on the lead vocals, with Raging Spectors performing on screen. It may not be as visceral and defiant as true punk rock music, but it does open the door for the audience to further explore the roots of punk rock.
|Am I punk rock enough for ya!|
Teenage Ghost Punk is admittedly not my cup of tea, but I am not the intended audience. Speaking as the parent of a daughter who does watch this type of movie, I believe that this appeals to girls between the ages of ten to fourteen. Therefore, my rating is based upon how someone of that age would score this.
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