‘High School,’ filmed at Howell’s Parker building, set to open June 1 (w/videos)
“High School,” the stoner comedy filmed in large part at what is now Parker Middle School in Howell, is opening at theaters across the country on June 1. The film stars Academy Award winner Adrien Brody; Colin Hanks, of “Band of Brothers” fame; and Michael Chiklis, who won several awards for his lead role in “The Shield.”
The film received a big thumbs up and loads of laughs at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It also spawned many a celebrity sighting in and around downtown Howell during its filming in 2008, when the state’s Film Tax Credit was in full bloom and Hollywood was flocking to Michigan.
So, what’s this high school stoner comedy all about?
Here’s the synopsis from YouTube: “The day after soon-to-be valedictorian Henry Burke (Matt Bush) takes a hit of the chronic for the first time, his school principal (Michael Chiklis) institutes a zero tolerance drug policy and administers a mandatory drug test for all students. Henry has two options: fail and lose his college scholarship, or team up with his stoner friend Breaux (Sean Marquette) to beat the system. They steal a high powered ganja from law student-turned-drug-dealer Psycho Ed (Adrien Brody) and spike the school’s bake sale brownies, getting the whole school–faculty included–completely stoned out of their minds. But with the student body getting higher and higher with every brownie, and a pissed-off Psycho Ed on their tails for stealing his stash, they must find a way to keep their half-baked plan from going up in smoke.”
Sounds like a fun stoner comedy.
Lucky me for living near all the action; during filming, I got to see the crews hard at work around areas I passed every day.
The Barnard Street house used in the film as the home of Psycho Ed, the paranoid, deranged drug dealer played by Adrien Brody, was the home of the late Elizabeth Parker, a former Howell City Council member. A staged car crash was filmed near my son’s former pre-school.
And there were movie star sightings everywhere.
I swear Colin Hanks once paid for my regular latte at Uptown Coffeehouse, the caffeinated center-of-life-as-we-know-it in downtown Howell. Maybe it was just someone who looked a lot like him practicing a random-act-of-kindness or pay-it-forward thing, but I am sticking with the Colin Hanks story.
So the movie, which alarmed some locals during filming because of its drug theme, is set to once again invade Howell on June 1.
To whet your appetite (or give you the munchies!), here is a trailer for the film. See how many local landmarks you can spot.
And here’s a video of a question-and-answer session after the movie enjoyed a triumphant midnight screening at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival:
High schoolers under 17 will have to see this R-rated movie in the company of a parent or guardian.