Everyone knew that kid. They took at swing at a teacher. They lit wrestling mats on fire. They openly jerked off in the locker room. These kids terrified me. A homebrew meth lab of anger you backed away in fear to keep your eyebrows from burning off. What happens to those kids? Either they become the best rapper in your suburb who sells mixtapes in the Taco Bell drive-thru line or successful hedge fund managers. Regardless, you avoid eye contact.
What if they became something more?
Refocused to do good.
What if they became a vigilante?
Menace, a short film written and directed by Dennis Doucette, answers that question. Doucette reimagined Hank Ketcham’s cutesy annoyance Dennis the Menace as a violent 90’s comic book. The hooliganism poster boy’s overalls are still red but now covered in blood. The plot is simple. Dennis the Menace, played by Doucette, growls his way through manhandling his mirror image. A troublemaker gone bad. With an very fake wig, Doucette winks at the audience. He let’s them know he understands the inherent silliness of a gritty reboot of childhood properties. Menace doesn’t rely on the concept’s kitsch to carry the weight. Doucette made a comprehensive and kinetic fight scene, which feels like a complete product. A slick looking 3 minutes that fully commits to it’s purpose. The writer/director told me of his goal for the short film.
“I really prepared for Menace and wanted something that felt 100% finished. That encompassed everything from concept, script, costumes, soundtrack, location, and story boards”
As you can see below he does it. Also it’s a fuck ton of fun. Stick around for the after credits scene.
*Full Disclosure: I’m close friends with Dennis Doucette and helped with filming. I didn’t do much. My role can be summed as talking tripod. My opinion may be biased and I don’t care.*