Cool Cat Saves the Kids
Cool Cat Saves the Kids is a 2015 children's anti-bullying movie written and directed by Derek Savage, based on his children's book series titled Cool Cat and is the fourth film in the series, this being the first feature-length one. It serves as a standalone sequel, and is comprised of three previous Cool Cat short films (Cool Cat Stops Bullying and Cool Cat in the Hollywood Christmas Parade, both released in 2012, and Cool Cat Finds a Gun, released in 2013). The film has become infamous for its lack of quality due to its low budget, and is often grouped together along with other notoriously awful movies such as The Room and Birdemic: Shock and Terror. Since its release, it has been grouped with some of the worst kids' films of all time; however, it has also gained a cult following. It was recut later in 2015 in response to a review by Adam Johnston (a.k.a. YourMovieSucks), and was rereleased again in 2018 as Cool Cat: Kids Superhero with more alterations, including new scenes, a different opening, and several mistakes from the original cut have been corrected. However, the filler scenes remained, some recorded dialogue wasn't properly dubbed, all of the newly-shot scenes are pointless, and overall the bare minimum effort was put in to make the film more watchable.
A bright orange cat named Cool Cat is the "Coolest Cat in the World", and a blonde-haired bully named Butch hates him for it. When Butch tries to bully Cool Cat and his friends, Cool Cat must stick up for himself and stop him.
Why It Sucks
- Very poor grasp on the original source material despite both being made by the same guy.
- The plot is very inconsistent, confusing, almost non-existent and has little to no continuity. Because of this, there are some scenes that feel very out of place, particularly the "gun safety" scene. This is because the movie is actually three different short films awkwardly stitched together.
- Unlikable characters that are practically impossible to root for.
- Cool Cat is a very creepy, annoying, immature, idiotic, irresponsible and hypocritical titular protagonist. Despite his supposed role of teaching kids how to deal with bullies, Cool Cat lacks the proper characterization needed to fulfill such a role, as he cries when Butch the Bully destroys his sandcastle and runs across the street without looking both ways, despite saying earlier that you must look both ways before crossing the street.
- Maria is a very bland and uninteresting character who is only there to be Cool Cat's friend and take advice from him.
- Butch is a very uninteresting, unsympathetic and one-dimensional antagonist. At one point, he yells out: "I love being the bully!" and constantly mentions that he is a bully in almost every scene he's in, even though it is obvious that he's a bully. He is also a stereotype of bullies as he has no character development whatsoever. The film also gives no specific reason or backstory as to why Butch is a bully (such as if he is insecure or was bullied himself in the past). Instead, he seems to just be a bully for the sake of it. In the infamous "gun safety" scene, Butch finds a gun and decides to bring it to school with him in order to extort kids out of the lunch money (in a kids movie, by the way). He then says: "Boy, it'll be fat time for me!" As several reviewers have pointed out, nobody in real life talks like that.
- Cool Cat's costume, while not too bad in particular, can look unintentionally creepy during certain scenes or when viewed from certain angles. It even looks like a wolf at most times. An especially notable issue is Cool Cat not having eyelids when he sleeps, despite him having eyelids when Butch ruins his sandcastle.
- Speaking of the scene where Cool Cat is sleeping, since his eyes are wide open when he is tossing and turning in bed, it makes it looks like he's having a seizure.
- Amateurish and shoddy camera work. There are times where you can clearly see the cameraman's shadow or reflection off the glass doors.
- Terrible editing, as there are several scenes where mistakes are left in.
- Atrocious acting, especially from Jason Johnson (who provides the worst acting for a mascot in existence) as Cool Cat, Connor Dean as Butch the Bully and even Derek Savage himself as Daddy Derek.
- Savage's overly enthusiastic acting in particular sometimes makes it seem like he is sarcastically mocking Cool Cat, especially when he says: "Wow! $100?! That's a lot of money!".
- Erik Estrada's hilariously over-the-top delivery for some of his lines, particularly when his character shouts "Did you see that? That kid kicked sand in Cool Cat's face!" after Butch kicks Cool Cat's sandcastle. This performance eventually became a meme.
- On a similar note, Estrada seemed a bit tipsy when filming the movie, judging by his facial expression and line delivery, though Jason Johnson confirmed that this wasn’t the case, indicating that Estrada knew how hokey the script was.
- Poor attempts at (intentional) comedy.
- The police officer is portrayed by a well-known former p*rn star named Steve Crest, a casting decision that is both baffling and inappropriate considering that this movie is targeted towards children. P*rn stars will sometimes star in films rated R or at least PG-13, so having a p*rn star appear in a kids film makes no sense.
- Horrendous soundtrack, with the songs being very dreadful and repetitive stock music.
- They only had enough money for one cat suit, meaning that they had to use the same one for both Cool Cat and Momma Cat. This is especially obvious in the scene where Cool Cat and Momma Cat are "in the same room". In said scene, when Cool Cat and Daddy Derek come back from Hollywood, in the middle, a column of tiles are noticeably shorter than the rest. This is because they were filming at two different times and putting those two scenes together.
- Daddy Derek being married to Momma Cat is a very bizarre concept and promotes bestiality in a movie targeted towards children. In the original Cool Cat books, Cool Cat's father was a cat, but for some reason, he is a human in this movie. Everybody knows that humans/primates have a different gene pool than cats/felines.
- Laughable and nonsensical dialogue, such as "I just punked her!", "He better not be a bully because I don't like bullies", "Look at me! I'm surfing the web!" and "Oh no, it's the police! We're in trouble! Oh, my mama's gonna whoop me!".
- On that topic, it also uses outdated slangs that haven't been used since the late 1970s to the early 1980s, like the aforementioned "punked", "groovy" and "exquisite".
- Bad dubbing, as if most of the actors were too close to the microphone.
- They restate everything at the end of the movie, which was also when they sort of send the right message.
- Several scenes are nothing but pure filler, such as the Hollywood parade scene and a scene where Cool Cat does nothing, but name cars from various famous movies.
- Grammar mistakes, such as "Kids loves Cool Cat!".
- Some scenes are very illogical.
- In one scene, Cool Cat drives a car, despite being a child, something that not even his actor, Jason Johnson agrees with.
- In another scene, Cool Cat receives a hateful email from Butch while going on the internet. Instead of either ignoring it, deleting it or blocking Butch's email address, Cool Cat replies to the email, which is one of the worst things you can do when confronted with a cyberbully. In fact, it only fuels Butch's anger.
- In the scene where Cool Cat names cars from various famous movies, he refers to them by inaccurate names and also references cars that children wouldn't recognize. Examples include him pointing out the "GMW car" and the "GMW" car instead of referring to their proper names: the DeLorean and the ECTO-1.
- While Cool Cat is supposed to be the hero, there are times throughout the film that make him seem like a bully.
- He constantly puts Butch down by reminding him that he has no friends rather than trying to befriend him.
- Rather than trying to help Butch change his ways, he and his friends mock him.
- He and Maria do not show any sympathy or concern for Butch when the wind blows paint from a spray can into his eyes, and instead says that he deserves it, which is extremely mean-spirited.
- One scene feels like it was patched in just to show off Savage's Van Halen-signed guitar.
- Horrible sound direction.
- There are times where Cool Cat violently shakes his hand and/or leg for no apparent reason, making it look like inappropriate gestures (Johnson said he wanted to add "cat-like mannerisms" to the character). Maria can also be seen pretending she didn't notice during the first time he does this.
- Its 2018 re-release, Cool Cat: Kids Superhero is even worse, which is basically just a reskin of this movie but with even more irrelevant scenes and continuity issues, Cynthia Rothrock voices Momma Cat (and clearly doesn't want to be there), and Maria becomes very mean to the point where she makes Butch look more likable by comparison.
- The film contains a lot of downright harmful messages for kids, such as "bullies have no friends" (which makes no sense since bullies are usually in packs), "it is okay to laugh at someone else's misfortune" (Cool Cat and Maria laugh when Butch gets paint in his eyes), "you should read messages from strangers" (this, however, was fixed in the recut) and "yelling at a bully will make them go away" (even though if you show a bully that they are getting a rise out of you, they will continue to harass you).
After the film came out, several online critics bashed the movie for its poor acting, awful plot and annoying main character. The two most notable such reviews were by I Hate Everything (as part of his "The Search for the Worst" series) and YourMovieSucks. Savage initially took his criticism in stride, but a few weeks after IHE's video was uploaded, Derek Savage had filed copyright claims against IHE for alleged "copyright infringement", even though said the video was a review, which is protected by fair use.
Not long after, Derek Savage then uploaded a video in which he tried to explain the difference between copyright infringement and Fair Use, which was hated immensely. In response, YourMovieSucks uploaded a video refuting Savage's claims.
On November 28th, I Hate Everything uploaded a video detailing the events that had transpired between him and Savage since his last video. According to I Hate Everything, Savage had even impersonated attorneys from a law firm in an attempt to manipulate him into removing several videos from his channel.
The reviews made by I Hate Everything and YourMovieSucks, respectively, have since been re-uploaded by others, notably Bobsheaux and Josiah Clarke. Corey's review was uploaded after the controversy.
- This movie is made of three 22-minute short films: Cool Cat Stops Bullying, released in 2012, Cool Cat in the Hollywood Christmas Parade, also from 2012, and Cool Cat Finds a Gun, released in 2013, with new material to tie them together. This could explain the inconsistency of the movie's plot. Savage has admitted that he did not plan for this to be a feature-length film.
- TheOdd1sOut made a whole video centered on this and Derek Savage, but it got removed from YouTube.
- There are three other Cool Cat films in development, titled Cool Cat Stops a School Shooting, Cool Cat Flips a House, and Cool Cat Fights The Coronavirus. (The latter two are short films made into their own independent movies, by the way.)