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Bad Reputation (2007)

-Reviewed by B-Movie Man Nic Brown

The basic plot of the newly released to DVD film “Bad Reputation” is not a particularly new one. A young

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woman is brutally assaulted and then seeks revenge on her attackers. However, just because the foundation is familiar, doesn’t mean that “Bad Reputation” doesn’t cover new ground. In fact it is how the film works within this framework that makes it so original.

Michelle Rosen (Angelique Hennessy) is a smart, hard working, but painfully shy young woman who comes to the attention of Aaron (Jerad Anderson) a jock and member of the most popular clique in school. At first Aaron is charming and quickly endears himself to Michelle. She is thrilled when he invites her to his house for a party.

Michelle is excited about the party and about seeing Aaron again, unfortunately for her Aaron’s intentions are not so obvious. Aaron and his friends drug Michelle and then gang rape her while she is helpless. Too drugged to fight back, but still painfully aware of what is happening to her Michelle endures the assault and eventually passes out. Only to be found by the girl friends of her assailants. Rather than taking pity, these girls blame Michelle and decide to humiliate her publicly for being a “slut”. The persecution Michelle must endure does not end there. The girls use their popularity to merciless effect in their campaign to ruin Michelle and soon she has the “Bad Reputation” of the title.

Hounded relentlessly at school, Michelle can find no help from the faculty, who, like the students, believe what they have heard. Even Michelle’s mother has no sympathy for her, saying that whatever happened she brought on herself. It would be enough to destroy most people, but instead it changes Michelle. The change is that she no longer wants to be left alone, she wants revenge. To this end she embraces her new reputation and the freedom and power that it gives her. Michelle uses her sexuality as the bait for the trap that waits for the people who wronged her.

“Bad Reputation” is a well made film. Angelique Hennessy shines in her role as Michelle the victim turned avenger. Angelique takes her character through such dramatic changes that one would almost think it is two separate characters she’s playing instead of one. Writer/director Jim Hemphill does her skills justice with his story and really brings out the most in the whole cast. He plays on may clichés from the genre during the film with references to teen movies, shows and other horror films. “Bad Reputation” not only deals with the rape/revenge story line, it also presents some interesting ideas. One question the audience must consider is how guilty are you if you simply stand and watch something terrible happen to someone, but make no move to stop it? Another is the power of words, repeatedly in the film, we see how rumor and accusation are powerful weapons and how easily they can shape someone’s world. “Bad Reputation” is a good film, especially when one considers the way similar elements have been taken to extremes by many recent films for no purpose other than to shock the audience. Check out “Bad Reputation” and let’s hope we see more of the talented Angelique Hennessy in the future.

Click Here to read B-Movie Man's interview with Angelique Hennessy!




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