After a long and isolated life together with his mother, Bubby is about to meet the world. His mind is like a child's, he can't speak properly, he repeatedly has sex with his mother and he has lived his entire life thinking that poison is in the air outside of his home. One day there's a man knocking on the door - his father. His father is back after 35 years and is shocked to find he has a son. But when he notices what a weirdo Bubby is he quickly becomes aggressive and abusive towards him. Now Bubby decides to suffocate his parents and escape out in the real world.
In the recent year or so the interest for "Bad Boy Bubby" has been raised to the roof, which I think is because of DVD releases. And that's the case for me too - I heard people starting to talk about it and ultimately seeing Njutafilms releasing it. I'm often one to note film but it takes me a while to actually check them out. I like to seek out films from other sources first before I go to films I hear about from word of mouth. It's just less fun when a title is force fed onto you. But clearly I had to check "Bad Boy Bubby", it just seemed too damn good to skip much longer. To be fair, I probably would've waited a bit longer if it wasn't for the review copy I received.
The movie follows 35-or-so years old Bubby who still lives home with his mom. She hasn't raised him very good and he still can't speak. Well, he can speak - as long as he copies what he hears. But he doesn't really understand what he is saying or hearing in most cases. Not only that, but he has sex with his mother which starts an interest in larger women (and larger breasts). He is also not allowed to leave home, and to make sure he doesn't his mother has told him poison is in the air (so she wears a gas mask when she leaves for work). Bubby finally leaves home a while after his father stumbles into their lives after leaving 35 years ago. His father can't take Bubby's behavior and becomes aggressive towards him, and the mother starts to act the same. Bubby kills his parents and leaves.
This is only within the first part of the movie, so there's plenty going on and quite frankly it never settles down for very long until it moves to the next part of his adventure. This is one thing I really liked with the movie - instead of having an outcast freak quickly ending up with someone who can teach him stuff, it takes Bubby a very long time to adapt and find someone to be with. It feels really planned out and detailed because of this and part of the charm of the movie is Bubby's meetings.
It never sticks with one mindset. It goes from dramatic to comedic through-out the entire movie, but also into gross, perverse and crazy. The character is filled with lust but has no idea how to communicate (but somehow he manages to get sex fairly early on) - or at least it seems like he wants sex. In reality we don't really know as he is just copying things he heard and saw at home. But I still feel that because he is 35 years old and has grown up having sex with his mother, he has urges and has connected the words to them.
Bubby's connecting of words is actually a pretty big part of the movie and I loved to see where he would later use something he heard. Whenever he hears the word "money" he shows his money. And whenever he sees money he says "Well, if that's all there is... we're stuffed.". The entire speech problem along with his early life style reminds me of the much more recent film "Dogtooth", and honestly does it just as brilliant as that one did. But much more bizarre.
It's impossible to review "Bad Boy Bubby" without mentioning the acting. Nicholas Hope as Bubby is perfection - his looks, his voice, his charm, his acting. There's not a moment in the movie where it feels like acting, you really get involved with the character and more importantly evolve with him. Claire Benito as the mother is also excellent, even though she's only in the first part of the movie the portrayal of her is important for the rest of the movie as well. The final character that is a very big part of the movie is Angel, the girl Bubby ultimately falls for. Carmel Johnson plays her great, but she doesn't stick out as much with the acting mostly because she's sane.
"Bad Boy Bubby" is a wacko Australian film. It's funny, sad, perverse and in a league of its own. Watching an outsider trying to adapt is often interesting, but it has never been like this before. Even though "Bad Boy Bubby" at times feels like a classic 80's comedy, it switches into extremely dark drama and perversion often enough to kick us back to reality. There's no reason anyone should skip this movie. Even the most easily offended people should watch it - but you will be offended.