Savage’s physical development may startle auds more than his acting. Bobby Tennyson is a big man on his high school campus, the star of the wrestling team and very into his muscles.
The cherub has grown up to be a tough guy with a maniacal glint in his eye; he even drives a pickup.
His girlfriend Stacy (Candace Cameron) chastises her mother (Michelle Phillips) for tolerating an abusive boyfriend, but mistakes Bobby’s beatings as expressions of love.
Stacy inspects her bruises while Bobby pumps more iron. By the time she gets clued-in with the help of her best friend Nicki (Heather McComb), it’s too late.
An anti-climactic courtroom scene is merely an excuse to have a judge (Sally Jessy Raphael) lecture youngsters on the signs of abuse and the cost of silence.
Writer Steven Loring doesn’t try to get inside Bobby’s head. His one-dimensionality calls into question his popularity, which is used to explain the failure of peers to come forward. He’s just a bully, and a boring and fairly stupid one at that.
Savage is menacing, thanks to his physical size, and has his eerie moments, but mainly comes off as a wide-eyed zombie. Cameron is realistic as the gullible and willful teen. The highest acting marks go to Heather McComb, who’s able to take up the emotional slack in the script and performances.
Director Noel Nosseck makes obvious choices. But, given the vidpic’s structure, he’s able to inject a surprising amount of urgency into the last half-hour. Tech work is fine across the board.