This year, I (as in Alicia Lutes, the person writing this here article) had the extreme pleasure and honor to be on the jury for the 6th annual No Budget Film Festival. A collection of shorts shown over the course of several hours, there was a literal—and veritable!—smorgasbord of well-crafted (on the cheap!) creative nuttery. To say it was hard to pick a Grand Jury winner is an understatement, but after careful consideration our favorite emerged: Teenage Wasteland. And we’re premiering it—EXCLUSIVELY because we here at Nerdist love a sweet, sweet ‘sclu, y’know?—right here on the site right MEOW!
Written and directed—over the course of 20 years—by Todd Berger, with writing (and acting) help from his buddy Michael Messonnier, Teenage Wasteland charms with its initial footage, shot by the boys in 1994. Using this silly (I mean hey: they travel via eating Tootsie Rolls) time-travel story as a jump-off point, Berger appears 20 years in the future—in 2014—where his IRL wife, Helena Wei, shows him the hideous aftermath of an errant bottle rocket. Chaos and victory ensues, but it’s best if you just watch it for yourself. Will he turn back time and save the world? Are there enough Tootsie Rolls out there to make a return trip? Like we said: it’s best just to watch.
Oh, and fun fact? Berger’s actually the screenwriter behind that upcoming, live-action Where’s Waldo? film that’s been gestating for a bit over at MGM since 2011.
What do you think of Teenage Wasteland? Let us know in the comments below.
Alicia Lutes is the Associate Editor of The Nerdist. Find her traveling through all of time and space on Twitter (@alicialutes).