One of the highlights of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival was Assassination of a High School President, a dark-comedy Noir set in a high school. The film earned praise for being a sort of Brick-meets-Election mashup, featuring a strong comedic performance by Bruce Willis as the school’s militaristic principal.
Screen Rant recently gave you a (belated) first look at Assassination of a High School President, while we kept eager fingers crossed that the film – whose owners, the Yari Group, filed for bankruptcy soon after it wrapped – would be able to clear all legal red tape in favor of a proper release.
Well, Assassination of a High School President has snagged a release date but I wouldn’t call it proper: the film is going straight to DVD this fall.
Here is the official synopsis released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment:
Sophomore newspaper reporter Bobby Funke (Reece Daniel Thompson) is assigned to write a cover story on popular class president and top athlete, Paul. After a stack of SAT tests is stolen from the office of hard-as-nails Principal Kirkpatrick (Bruce Willis), Funke publishes an expose that names Paul as the prime suspect and suddenly, Bobby is BMOC. But when Paul’s girlfriend, sexy senior Francesca (Mischa Barton), makes a move on Bobby and even his former bullies play nice, Funke begins to doubt the star jock’s guilt and everyone else’s motives. When his investigation uncovers a campus-wide conspiracy that threatens to take down students and teachers alike, Funke must decide to tell the truth or enjoy his new stud status.
I like how the film seems to mix a Noir-style mystery with high school politics, all while retaining a sly sense of humor about itself. I heard the rumblings about this film all the way from Sundance last year, and I’m glad that at least I’ll finally be able to see it – even IF it won’t be in the big-screen way I would’ve liked.
Oh well, DVD is the new womb of the cult-classics, so like Brick and/or Election before it, maybe Assassination of a High School President will end up getting that rare second chance at cinematic life in the privacy of people’s homes.
Finally, the important news: Assassination of a High School President will be released on DVD October 6, 2009. It stars Reece Daniel Thompson, Mischa Barton, Bruce Willis, Michael Rapaport, Zoë Kravitz, and Luke Grimes. It was written by first-timers Kevin Jakubowski and Tim Calpin and helmed by Brett Simon.
Just for kicks (and because I know you probably haven’t seen it), here’s another look at the trailer: