Review: Mike Cramer’s Teenage Ghost Punk

With a title like Teenage Ghost Punk, who isn’t going to want to watch this new feature film? It’s fun, well produced, well acted, and has a ton of rock and roll knowledge, but I think the best way I can start off this review is by saying I wouldn’t classify it as a horror film. Not at all. I can’t even slap a horror-comedy label on it while it’s literally made up mostly of teen drama and comedy with the slightest bit of supernatural elements thrown in to give the story an enchanting feel. Teenage Ghost Punk is basically Little Monsters meets Foot Loose and that’s far from a horror flick. This, of course, isn’t meant to bash the movie at all – I actually quite enjoyed my viewing. But I’d like to be honest with my readers so they know exactly what they’re getting into.

The second feature film from writer, producer, director Mike Cramer, Teenage Ghost Punk follows a high school senior as she and her younger brother are uprooted by their mother and moved to a small town following the parent’s new job opportunity. It isn’t long after moving into their home that they begin to suspect something strange is going on – they hear voices, objects move on their own, standard haunting occurrences. While their mother is away, the kids hire a psychic medium and an unruly group of young ghost hunters to investigate the home, and the group of thrill seekers discover that the home is haunted by the ghost of a 17-year-old punk rocker. Grace Madigan, Noah Kitsos, Adria Dawn, Jack Cramer, Aleksandar Vasic, Courtney Blomquist and Jake Shadrake star in Teenage Ghost Punk!

First of all, April Tuna isn’t old enough to be a mother to two teenagers while she’s still in high school. This, obviously, is a reference to Adria Dawn’s recurring role on television show Popular from 1999 to 2001. What’s cool is Adria has performed in a few horror films since her days as April Tuna – Beneath Loch Ness, Dead Above Ground, Uncle John – and Teenage Ghost Punk will end up being the vehicle that makes me dive into her career post-WB11. She was, honestly, one of the only reasons I checked out this feature and I believe she was the perfect casting choice to play the teens’ mother. Even though I’ve spotlighted Ms. Dawn here, I’d like to say that all of the actors in Teenage Ghost Punk did a fantastic job as well. There is one big problem, though. There are so many characters that all of the actors don’t get a chance to shine and it actually lead for a semi-convoluted story.

The comedy found in Teenage Ghost Punk is put out there in a variety of ways. There’s a lot of dry humor mixed with savage digs, silly gags, and massive helpings of irony. I think my favorite comedic device was poking fun at all the ghost hunting shows where it’s clear they’re making stuff up or they hear the wind blow and freak out, claiming it to be a ghost attacking them. The jokes are funny, just as laughable as some of the ghost effects, and they make you have a “that was stupid” kind of laugh. I think Teenage Ghost Punk would definitely be marketed best to high school aged kids or college students who can legally enjoy the movie with a beer, a joint, and a group of friends. I don’t think this one would suit anyone else, except maybe movie fans who are really into punk rock music. Teenage Ghost Punk‘s obvious love of rock music and the technique and history behind the genre of music is also endearing and that may interest viewers as well.

A teenage love story filled with themes, Teenage Ghost Punk was a fun ride, a wild party, but it wasn’t a horror film. Those themes include not judging a book by its cover and the new debate between old music, new music and how one listens to it. Being that it was an independently produced movie, I have no criticisms of it from a production standpoint. It was rock solid. Had it contained actual horror elements or supernatural aspects that were on scary side, I could have rated it much higher. But since this is a horror website, so my score stands. Final Score: 5 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)