I like to think that there are two types of directors that make bad movies: genuinely good directors faced with numerous problems and directors who are completely delusional.
More often than not, it’s the delusional ones that create the more entertaining movies, such as Tommy Wiseau and his masterpiece of failure, “The Room,” or anything made by Neil Breen. I swear these sorts of directors have a secret Bad-Movie-Illuminati or something.
Sadly, this week’s movie is one of the times where a delusional man actually just made a bad movie. This week I talk about the dreaded, “Cool Cat Saves the Kids.”
Now this isn’t your standard bad movie; this is the lowest of lows: It’s a bad movie meant for children.
Some people would say this gives the creator Derek Savage an excuse for it being bad because “a kid wouldn’t notice.” Those people are wrong. Even a kid could see how awful this movie is. They would find it just as boring as anyone else, and probably more so, considering they would not be able to laugh at the more intricate failures of this movie.
“Cool Cat” is a series of books written by Savage in an attempt to teach younger kids important life lessons. I have nothing against the books, but I’ve also never had the opportunity to read one. All I know is that the art looks like it was done in MS Paint and if the lessons are anything like in the movie, then maybe I wouldn’t want my kids reading it.
Savage also does exactly the opposite of what any good kids’ author should: being open and visible. A good children’s author is an anonymous figure to keep the illusion of their works alive. Dr. Seuss was a pseudonym so that the magic of his works would be separate from his person.
Mister Savage, or as he calls his self-insert in both the movies and books “Daddy Derek,” is completely in the open about being the creator. He takes a prominent role in the movies, and his face is everywhere as he tries to promote his brand.
It doesn’t help that he dresses like a porn director straight of the ‘80s. If I saw him in public, I would avoid him – and I don’t even have kids. He could look better if he dressed a little more reasonable, but I guess his past as a Play Girl model just can’t escape him.
Now for the movie itself, It’s absolutely awful. It starts out promising with choreographed dance moves from Cool Cat revealing the opening credits. After that, it all goes downhill. We get to see that Cool Cat, a child-sized kitten in the books, is played by a full-grown man in a discount fur suit.
He also completely shreds his vocal cords with every line because he needs to sound just like other kids cartoons. This would be something pretty normal except for the fact that the microphone is outside of the suit, and they aren’t dubbing his audio over. Every line he says sounds muffled and bad.
They also only have one suit, but two characters that need the suit. See, in the book, both of Cool Cat’s parents are also cats, but in the movie, his father is Daddy Derek, and his mom is just the same suit in a dress with felt lips attached to the front. They have several scenes where Cool Cat and his mom need to interact, so to do that, they just film the same shot twice and cut it down the center. Only problem is that someone bumped the camera in between shots, so the cut line is sitting there staring you in the face throughout the whole scene.
But perhaps poor movie-making is something to be expected with a low-budget obscure independent children’s film.
What’s not expected are that the lessons are just plain bad. He teaches you to answer every anonymous text you receive, never tell your parents about your problems when you are getting bullied and to punish the minority children who are being forced into things by the bully.
Yeah, the bully reigns over this pair of Hispanic brothers and constantly tells them what to do. They take no part in anything that he does and constantly try to talk him out of doing them, but in the end, they get punished just like the bully does and get a literal beating from their parents.
Now, the big lesson in this movie is what to do if someone finds a gun. Thankfully, this is handled okay with them immediately contacting the police. But the bully, who brings the gun to school, is only punished with a grounding. This is not something that is to be taken lightly.
One of the other Cool Cat movies tells us the story a bit differently – that is, as if the gun had reached the school. That movie is “Cool Cat Stops a School Shooting: A School Safety Film” and it came out in 2018.
Now, I will give Derek some praise, because after hearing the criticisms to “Cool Cat Saves the Kids,” he re-shot several scenes and fixed some problems, but then released it as an entirely new movie despite nothing fundamentally changing. Apparently, he fixed his horrible lessons to be ones that parents would actually want their kids to learn, but that doesn’t help a whole 3 years of the original.
I rate movies from 10 to -10, with negatives being enjoyment despite bad quality. I give this movie a -3, because it is flawed in everything it tries to accomplish. It’s boring, teaches bad lessons and fails in the most basic parts of movie-making.
This was originally written for The University of Tennessee’s Daily Beacon and edited by Margot McClellan.