There is a sub-genre of film call psychedelic that are, much like the sub-genre of music, is way 'out' there. The kind of material that clearly one would enjoy while tripping on LSD, psilocybin laced mushrooms or PCP.


Some of these films included Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" (a film he claimed he was quite sober on), "Pink Floyd The Wall", "Yellow Submarine" and very recently "Across the Universe". I'm going to go out there and toss in "The Fall" and "The Science of Sleep".


These were all films that are best enjoyed with a nice juicy hallucinogen of some sort; a sober mind will only get befuddled.

At the end of the film, you may wonder what the hell it was about and - sure enough - there will be some crackpot ready to explain it to you. The films are easily identified by the numerous jump cuts and several sub-plots that serve only to compound your headache.


However some actually work, once you've figured it out and become cult favorites. "Detention" may well be one of those films, but I didn't get it.


It centers around two teens Riley Jones (Shanley Caswell) and Clapton Davis (Josh Hutcherson). In a swift move by the studio, Hutcherson was quickly given top billing because of the success of his other film "The Hunger Games" - they hope people will flock to see this previously shelved work. Anyway, Clapton is very popular with the student body because of his gregarious personality and his negative infinity grade point average - he is deemed as cool. He is smitten with the popular girl Ione (Spencer Locke) who puts out frequently.


Along with a few other teens, they are somewhat shocked when the schools most popular girl Taylor Fisher (Alison Wood) is hacked to death after an opening monologue describing what a bitch she was. Bitch in this since is used as an acronym for popular girls.

It seems there is now a serial killer on the loose in the school quietly, but knowingly, killing the students in the guise of a film slasher character - Cinderhella. Now they must solve the problem before the slasher goes back in time - using the time traveling school mascot bear - to erase the entire student body.


As a foil to their plans, the school principle (Dane Cook) has it in for them and the school tough jock is dogging Clapton because he too has a thing for Ione. There are also a body transference, homosexual scenes, a loose breast scene, the tough black jock football coach and other typical cliches tossed into the mix.


There is enough scen jumping and back tracking to confuse anyone, probably even the director Joseph Kahn who also co-wrote the story. In a sense he can be forgiven since this is his first feature film; he made his name as one of the top music video directors in the music video business. My guess is his directing "Detention" is the result of some sleazy backroom deal brokered buy porn star Brook Haven (who also happens to be in the film).


But if there is a narrative hidden underneath the jump cuts and high energy chaos, I'll be damned if I noticed it... or maybe I did and the headache I developed watching it has me confused.


"Detention" is a mess - I think. But it might actually have some deep existential meaning that I missed because I hadn't dropped any acid prior to seeing it.   -- GEOFF BURTON