Published on September 24th, 2019 | by Neil Jordan0
Greetings & Salutations Fellow Movie Fanatics!
It’s not often I see a film that is so good in my opinion, I actually look forward to writing about it and letting you folks know what’s what. In all honesty though, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m the last person to see it. Quite frankly, I’m surprised that I have not heard or read anything about this movie already. How they managed to put everything together and create a film like this where the runtime is just a 1 hour and 49 minutes is beyond my comprehension. Yes, I said JUST and 1 and 49 minutes. Now that might seem a tad long on the tooth as far as movies go but once you watch it, I think you’ll understand my perception of it. I don’t think my review will do the movie justice but I want to tell you folks about in the hopes that you’ll immediately seek out a means of watching it.
‘Groupers’ is a dramatic comedy film written/directed by Anderson Cowan and stars Nicole Dambro, Jesse Pudles, Cameron Duckett, Peter Mayer-Klepchick, Max Reed III, Brian Loakimedes, Terrance Wentz, Travis Stanberry, Marqus Bobesich, Edward Jackson, Kaleb Rich-Harris, Mike Carano, Robin S. Roth, Laurence Scott Murphy, and Travis Lee Elder.
Orin (Pudles) is a high school student who is dealing with what has become unfortunately an all too common occurrence in schools and colleges today. He is a young person who faces ridicule and bullying because he is gay. The source of the majority of this harassment are two of his fellow students, best friends Brad (Mayer-Klepchick) and Dylan (Duckett). Fast forward to a night when Brad and Dylan decide roll with their over-inflated egos make the rounds at a bar or two and engage in some underage drinking and attempt to impress a fellow female patron or two. Just as the two jocks are beginning to get plastered they’re approached by Meg (Dambro). It doesn’t take much convincing at this point, Meg invites them to come with her and somehow they manage to follow her out of the back of the bar where they are more or less thrown into the back of a van (they pretty much threw themselves in the van). Already this is turning into something that sound like a ‘scary urban legend kind of movie’ right? Not even fully grasping the situation they’re in, Brad and Dylan get psyched up at the supposed prospect of engaging in unnatural activities when fumes engulf the inside of the van and the two jocks are knocked out cold. Several hours later, Brad and Dylan regain consciousness to find themselves restrained at the bottom of an empty pool. Meg, the girl from the bar, is actually a grad student and explains that the two of them are now part of a social experiment and implies that their lives depend on participating in the experiment regardless of the results. What follows is a downward spiral of lies, revenge, more than one close call with death, and an unforeseen series unforeseen guests that turn the tables on the participants in the experiment but each other as well.
The as the film progresses, it becomes vendetta driven. The seriously comedic aspects don’t start until at least a third of the way in unless you count the idiotic behavior of Brad and Dylan. At that point, the humor is driven by the unforeseen circumstances that Meg could not possibly have anticipated nor would anyone who appeared to prepare for this so thoroughly. The fact is the experiment should have progressed as she planned regardless of the outcome. All in all, this is one of the best films I’ve seen all year. I’d actually go so far as to say it’s in the top 5 and will remain there I can guarantee that. The film is similar to that of movies like ‘Pulp Fiction’ in the sense that it progresses backwards in relation to certain events and then jumps back into the present. It is NOT difficult to follow though. The premise of the film is one of the most original I’ve seen in a while. Note how the cast managed to make such an awesome film considering most of it takes place in a derelict house with an empty pool. Nothing is overshadowed in the film either. You have a movie that manages to encompass serious subject matter one minute and the next minute you can’t help but laugh and again neither overshadows the other. The cast? Absolutely awesome! They should be absolutely proud of this film and what they’ve accomplished with it. They should certainly consider ‘getting the band back together’ for other projects too. I’d go so far as to say the film deserves a theater release for sure. Nicole Dambro ‘Meg’ is most certainly a talent movie viewers should look out for. Her character’s presence commands such attention from the other characters while she herself commands the attention of the audience. The film has drugs and alcohol plus questionable dialogue and language plus some nudity so definitely NOT one for young folks. As I mention earlier, it’s a bit long on the tooth timewise at 1 hour and 49 minutes but it’s SO worth it. Just make sure you get drinks and snacks prior to the movie. I’m going to go ahead and rate this one 5 out of 5 stars. Give some real thought to seeing ‘Groupers’ . Trust me on this one