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Antisocial Behaviour

Image // Unrated // July 29, 2008
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Stephen Hawco | posted October 12, 2008 | E-mail the Author
The Movie

Antisocial Behaviour is an independent, British film that amounts to a home video movie you made at your grandmother's house last summer. If you can find this on DVD to purchase, you'll come to see that it's tantamount to a YouTube video of two nerds swinging baseball bats at each other like lightsabers for 45 minutes. And it looks about that good, too.

The plot is simple. Jakob (David Watkins) is a simple man who lives alone in a suburban area of England. The area outside his small house is a popular hangout for local teens. They amount to what are called hoodies in England; they vandalize and disrupt all day. Jakob tells a couple of them off, and in retaliation, they trash his house while he is at church one Sunday. The police are no help, so Jakob ends up taking things into his own hands. A confrontation with one hoodie accidentally results in the boy's death; after that, Jakob discovers he's good at killing them on purpose. However, he can only get away with murdering teenagers and hiding their bodies in his basement for so long, and eventually his actions come back to haunt him and Debbie (Posy Brewer), the one friend he has in the world.

Antisocial Behaviour starts out as if it might have something to say. Intertitles at the opening explain that antisocial behavior ruins the quality of living for good people and leads to heightened problems. The plot, logically, then shows the cruelty of the hoodies towards the harmless and alone Jakob. This hints towards a revenge movie, a sort of $30 Death Wish, one that asks how far is too far to go to stop some miscreants who aren't actually hurting any people (although they do kill Jakob's fish). However, the horribly uneven plot soon deteriorates into Jakob killing everyone, apparently because he's a Christian (dang, they crazy!). The movie makes no point at all, and antisocial behavior has no statement made about it or its impact on Western society; the movie is about a nuts-o murderer, nothing more.

I must point out that some attempt is made to make this a psychological thriller because many flashbacks to Jakob's past are edited in. They show an early tragedy in his life, and we learn that he has been forced to commit heinous acts before. While this does help explain how he kills so easily, without too much lasting, inner turmoil, it does not help to make a judgement about him or his current actions. And the flashbacks are the very worst part of the movie. They are repetitive, with the same footage being shown multiple times and the same dialogue being used in voice over literally dozens of times.

This is symptomatic of Antisocial Behaviour. A film that should have been 25 minutes and posted exclusively on MySpace is now 1 hour, 25 minutes and (apparently) purchasable on DVD. It is obviously from MiniDV, which looks pretty terrible and doesn't complement the mundane settings. And it was clearly edited on home computer editing software. There are no digital effects, but there are some interesting practical ones. The blood and gore, arguably head man Vinson Pike's motivation for making this movie in the first place, are worthwhile for a couple of the killings, but there is also one point at which a geyser of blood looks like it's V8. The most impressive effect is a burning car in which Jakob destroys two bodies. Pike make sure we see a lot of shots of that; I'm sure it was the single most expensive aspect of the film.

Pike's direction is poor thoughout, but some of that can be excused because of the lack of professional performers. In any case, and none of this should come as a surprise, the stunt work looks unconvincing, the acting is average to bad, the lighting is virtually uncontrolled, and the editing leaves long sections in which nothing happens. The plot is full of holes and sets up the murder scenes, which are suppose to be suspenseful, in a contrived way.

This is the only movie I've ever seen in which we get a close-up of a character's urine entering his toilet and some of the urine actually gets on the lens of the camera. And that's just how you'll feel after watching this DVD: pissed on.


I watched a screener of Antisocial Behaviour. It may vary from a commercial release.

The Video

Because I watched the screener, I can't be sure that the video quality would be the same on a commercial version. Therefore, I can't give this a rating; however, I bet the quality would be about the same. This was, surprisingly, enhanced for widescreen TV's and presented in 16x9. That didn't prevent it from looking absolutely terrible. The image is not clear at all, and artifacts abound. These include low level noise just about everywhere in the background. The motion blur will make you cringe.

The Audio

The audio is English stereo. It's just about on par with the video quality. From what I can tell, every single sound and bit of dialogue was recorded through the mic on the camera. The dialogue is consistently fuzzy. It's often hard enough to understand without the poor mix making the background music drown it out. There were no subtitles.

The Extras

There were none on my screener, and I doubt there would be any on a store bought copy.

Final Thoughts

If you absolutely love films done by the little man with no money, check out Antisocial Behaviour. The problem is that even a movie done this cheaply doesn't need to be this sloppy. I doubt you could possibly want to watch it more than once. Personally, I'll be happy never to pop this disc in again. "Skip it."

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