Movie Review: Kenneth Hughes’ oddly confusing ‘Bad Dog and Superhero’.
Kenneth Hughes appears to have a knack for telling odd stories in the most unique and unorthodox ways. Bad Dog and Superhero is a typical example. The title alone is an attention grabber. But in the end, it details an oddly confusing tale about comradeship, bravado, and music.
The film is about two buddies seeking to do good in the world. Counted out by many they seek to be a beacon of hope for others like them.
Christian Hoff and Kenneth Hughes are at the center of this film ass Bad Dog and Superhero. And those are the only names they are known by throughout the film. There are no additional details about them, no backstories, or dialogue to reveal more about them or how they are related.
The pair look like escapees from a nut house or just a pair of carefree kids in adult bodies. They are mostly engaging each other in conversations about their intentions to save the world. They are confident that like Jesus they would be misunderstood before their time. And rightfully so, the film feels like it is before its time.
Superhero spots a bright red hairstyle and dons a towel for a cape around his neck. He drags his counterpart Bad Dog who is mostly seen with an acoustic guitar around by a leash. And together they indulge in all kinds of shenanigans that make you eager to know what exactly motivates their actions.
The two decide to break into an abandoned apartment of a friend and make it their home. They then manage to convince the parents of the owner of the apartment that their son is recovering from addiction to drugs. They also help fight off some miscreants who persistently choose to harass a homeless lady leaving in a tent on a rooftop.
Generally, they seem like carefree go happy guys who feel they can serve a high purpose than merely just existing. And they try their best to do that. When the two are not up to some craziness, they are performing at a bar to a sometimes-hostile audience. The songs Bad Dog performs also add something to the film. You are forced to question Bad Dog’s musical talent at some points. But he strums the guitar well enough and you can’t help but be awed by his rendition of Carmina Burana’s Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi.
Some of the dialogue used seems nuts, but when you think deeper into them, you are left trying to figure out exactly what message the writer/director is trying to convey. Perhaps, those could be his views on society.
What’s also confusing about the film is the random bits of complete awkward silence that is used to score the film. The kind that is so sudden and unexpected that you start to check to make sure everything is okay with the device you are watching the film on. But after it has happened a couple more times, you notice it is part of the stylistic choices Kenneth Hughes chose to complete this film with.
The visuals are also mostly grainy and gritty like they were shot on a super 8. But there is still some beauty to it. The entire film looks crude and unrefined yet artsy to some degree. However, it works for the story being told. It’s not like Superhero has some superhuman powers that would have required some extra special or visual effects to make-believe. But the makers did a good enough job at making the fight scene convincing enough.
There is also a character that occasionally appears to give out some wise quotes. But it’s not clear exactly who she is and how she is significant to the story. Although she is not well introduced, her quotes appear to add some layers of depth to the happenings in this film.
If Bad Dog and Superhero was an experiment, the results would be inconclusive for me. It’s difficult to put this film in any other genre besides comedy. It is all the craziness that makes it entertaining and a comedy worth sitting through. Besides that, there are not any clear or specific themes that you can exactly pinpoint. I would rate it 4/10.
Dispensing justice in their crude ways, Bad Dog and Superhero seek to remind us that good can be found in the cracks and crevices overlooked by many.
It is not a film that you would want to see over and over again… but it serves enough to keep you occupied, attentive and entertained if you have an appetite for something daring and experimental.
You too can check out Bad Dog and Superhero as it is available for streaming on Amazon.