Update at June 2008
I came across this feature because it is early Bullock, and have started to wonder what happens when one considers this alongside her maturer work, A Time To Kill of 1996.
First, there is a massive quality difference, Preppie is blatantly low budget.
The acting in A Time is solid and real, to me, but Preppie is maybe misunderstood on that point. Look for very weak acting in Preppie I find that it mostly centres on the victim's family. But a couple of girls show it too, even a Heather. Look closer, whenever any actor here has to show deep grief, and the victim's family is rooted in that, then the feel is weak corn. I should interpret the weak acting as due to the direction that the actors received, it likely does not say that they are bad prostitutes.
Both features had me wanting to switch off. I like nice and easy sort of stories and these are not. I found that A Time started to click, I could follow it and gradually get to like it. Preppie, I switched off and came back to try to do some Heather study and then found it to have some interest further than that.
The centre, for me, is the pictures of justice that are shown. Each story includes several understandings of justice and not much clicks with me as including anything remotely healthy. Are these pictures intentionally scary? If this is a portrayal of how many understand justice then this planet is in big trouble. Time has scarier justice from start to end?
Looking at how I understood justice, to me the idea of individual accountability was marred by questions about free will, free will not being as widespread as all that.
Specialist education as about a potential to be helped, a gentle nursery, towards a fuller free will.
I now look back and discover that education and health in the UK seem more, for me, about leading me astray, towards less and less free will and a decreasing ability re following society's rules.
A belief in the strong individual, about a need for others to Pass The Test, about a dog eat dog world? These two features exploring bits about that.
The killer in Preppie, to me it is so obvious that he is a victim and a disaster too. It is also obvious that when he is was released from jail that he will be liable to never be properly free because of what I interpret as popular belief systems that fuel an ongoing war against fools. His is a world where the good and the bad play murder games regularly and he is just one of many products of that.
Harry Potter and The Worst Witch sequels as other explorations re justice and individual development?
A more positive note. Symbolism. At the start of Preppie it felt possible to view this as a New York fashion show with a feature pasted on as a carrier. Except it is only the hat that the victim wears early on that shines for me. The New Worst Witch series, episode one, from England, has even better hats worn by Millie and Cress. Li-Lo's Get A Clue has no equal.
This links with my comment re Hangmen 1987.