The Buttercream Gang
is a 1992 direct-to-video movie, distributed by an independent producer known as Feature Films For Families
The titular gang started in the 1800s, when young men would help local Civil War widows do household tasks (such as churning butter - hence the name) and has continued into the present day. At the time of the movie, the club consists of of Scott, Lenny, Eldon, and Pete who carry on the gang's tradition of helping those in need.
Trouble starts, however, when Pete moves to Chicago and becomes a member of a street gang. He moves back home and spends his time shoplifting, picking on kids, graffiting walls with smiley faces, and throwing rocks at bottles on train tracks.
Can Scott, Lanny, and Eldon turn Pete back into a good boy?Gee, we wonder.
The movie mainly focuses on how Scott and Pete's friendship crumbles, and Scott basically going through hell trying to rebuild it. Lenny and Eldon provide some support, but they quickly become disillusioned and are more interested going forward without Pete than in redeeming him. The writers were likely intending to present us with an idealized, cheesy setting and then inject it with a harsh dose of reality. Most people who have seen it, however, would probably say that, whether-or-not the writers succeeded, it still stays cheesy all the way through.
It was followed up by a (once again, Direct-to-Video) sequel, The Buttercream Gang in Secret of Treasure Mountain
, which details Eldon discovering gold in a mountain. While the first movie had a somewhat complicated aesop about bad influences and having to be willing to work hard to maintain a friendship (and to be open to the fact that, despite all your best efforts, you might still fail), the sequel had a more generic "believe in yourself" message.
The aforementioned narm
and cheese typically aren't debated, but it really all tends to fall more into the realm of Narm Charm
for many who grew up with it as kids.
These films contain examples of:
- Being Evil Sucks: Pete talks about how he's not entirely sure exactly how his Face–Heel Turn happened, only that he wishes he could go back to being who he was before it, but considers himself too far gone and incapable of it. He gets better at the very very end of the movie though.
- Big Damn Heroes: Scott coming to Margaret's rescue in the first movie.
- Distaff Counterpart: The Buttercreamettes. A bit of a subversion as the older female members refer to themselves as members of the original gang, as opposed to this newer, girls-only gang
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Pete is absolutely confounded by Scott's non-aggressive attitude whenever he's threatened by physical violence, he's even more confused when the store owner outright offers him money when he tries to rob the store, just so he couldn't say he robbed him, which causes him to resort to outright trashing the store, demanding someone retaliate against him. When no one does, he runs away. He can't understand why someone would Turn the Other Cheek instead of defending themselves or seeking revenge.
- Herald: Scott's little sister who can always tell when someone's in trouble for...some reason.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Scott with Margaret. Eldon is also revealed to have a crush on her.
- Identical Grandson: The three bad guys in the second movie are identical to their ancestors.
- Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: Whether you think it worked, the first movie tried to be a serious drama. The second movie, however, switched genres entirely and became an adventure-comedy.