Breaking Belding & Better Reach Screech

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Breaking Belding is something I normally wouldn’t touch on this blog: basically an eight minute tribute to both Saved by the Bell and Breaking Bad, a mash up of the two series in an attempt to make you laugh. I didn’t laugh once during it, and I normally wouldn’t hold that against it being that it’s a well-intentioned fan film. After all, I’m not a huge fan of Breaking Bad, so maybe there’s something here that I’m not seeing.

But then I realized who was playing Screech in it:

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Yes, Dustin Diamond appears in this strange little film, meaning that it qualifies for the odds and ends of the post-The New Class era. I’m becoming convinced that Dustin Diamond will appear in just about anything that’s thrown at him to keep himself in the spotlight. If this was Dennis Haskins, I would say he was just being a nice guy. But, after having endured the horror that was Behind the Bell, I’m convinced that this is just Dustin Diamond keeping his ego alive that someone gives a shit about him.

Directed in 2013 by Sandeep Parikh, a guy I’ve never heard of but who’s apparently been in a bunch of shit I’ve also never heard of, and distributed by website The NerdistBreaking Belding recreates one of the scenes from the first episode of Breaking Bad. Whereas, in Breaking Bad, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman were in a RV in the desert making a batch of cocaine, Mr. Belding and Zack Morris are creating the world’s most pure batch of caffeine pills called Zack Attack. Like I said, I won’t fault them on the implausibility of this shit given it is just a loving fan film.

Basically, Max shows up and wants to arrest them but is distracting by Screech acting like a dumb ass. Then Lisa and Tori show up, guns a blazing, to try and steal the caffeine pills, but Slater blows them up before they can. Zack Morris uses a time out to save Mr. Belding and himself before the explosion and pulls Mr. Belding’s pants off in the process, driving off into the sunset. Yeah, it’s as weird as it sounds.

The whole cast is here, and I don’t get most of the Breaking Bad references. Max is a DEA agent who does magic. Screech is a lawyer. Kelly od’ed on caffeine pills. Jessie is an addict who takes Zack Attack. Slater is in a wheelchair for reasons I didn’t fully grasp. And Lisa and Tori are drug buyers. Like I said, I don’t get it, but I guess I’m not truly the target audience for this one, although there are in-jokes, like Zack Morris talking about delivering Little Zack and Jessie recreating the infamous freak-out scene from “Jessie’s Song.” And, of course, Zack Morris using a time out.

Other than Dustin Diamond, there are no actors of note in this, which is to be expected from a fan film. Some of the actors cast, though, are actually right on. Brendan Bradley as Zack Morris and Alicia Marie as Lisa are right on. Others not so much. Brian Palermo as Mr. Belding was pretty bad and wearing an obvious bald wig while I never would have guessed Todd Stashwick was playing Max if they hadn’t referenced him by name as the actor looked nothing like Max. I guess you can’t expect too much out of a fan film, but they had the budget to bring in Dustin Diamond so I have to expect at least a little better out of them.

And, I have to admit, Dustin Diamond isn’t annoying as shit in this as he doesn’t try to do some horrible The New Class high-pitched voice. He does come off as the douche he is playing a sleazy lawyer, which may be just as well. In any case, for once he isn’t the worst thing about something related to Saved by the Bell.

To promote the short film, there were also two commercials created for the fake spin-off, Better Reach Screech.

The first is Dustin Diamond advertising he’ll sue anyone, anytime and shit, which is quite ironic considering the pariah Dustin Diamond has made of himself.

The other basically just gives different examples of things you can sue for.

Like I say, these are definitely not my thing so don’t let me dissuade you if they sound interesting. If you enjoy both Saved by the Bell and Breaking Bad, you may want to check it out, and it’s only eight minutes of your life. The worst that will happen is you’ll have to watch Dustin Diamond briefly again.

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