The Buttercream Gang
|The Buttercream Gang|
|Directed by||Bruce Neibaur|
|Produced by||Don A. Judd|
|Screenplay by||Forrest S. Baker III|
|Music by||Kurt Bestor|
|Edited by||Stephen L. Johnson|
|Distributed by||Feature Films for Families|
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The Buttercream Gang is a 1992 direct-to-video coming-of-age drama written by Forrest S. Baker III and directed by Bruce Neibaur. It centers around a group of four boys who make up a gang dedicated to community service. The conflict arises when Pete (Michael D. Weatherred), the oldest of the four, leaves for Chicago and adopts the influence of an inner-city gang. Scott (Jason Johnson), Lanny (Jason Glenn), and Eldon (Brandon Blaser) must learn how to unconditionally love their friend in spite of his change in values.
The film was distributed by Feature Films for Families and was followed by a sequel in 1993 called The Buttercream Gang in Secret of Treasure Mountain.
Scott, Lanny, and Eldon hide in a tree fort, waiting to surprise Pete with a going away celebration for his move to Chicago to live with his aunt Maria. As his last act as president of the Buttercream Gang, Pete nominates Scott to be the new president. Lanny and Eldon concur. As the four leave the tree house to see Pete off, Pete holds Scott back to encourage him to have fun. Following Pete’s departure, Scott attempts to keep in touch through writing letters. Through the course of their correspondence, Pete grows progressively distant as he develops a new identity in a criminal gang called The Blades, eventually leading to his arrest and expulsion from school. After receiving a letter from his school, Pete’s aunt (Teri-Lisa Mulligan) confronts him on his change in behavior and informs him that she’s sending back to Elk Ridge.
One day, the Buttercreamers stop by Pete’s house after hearing of his plans to return. When they enter, they find Pete alone in the kitchen dressed unusually. He dodges all their questions of concern by inviting them to Graff’s. While at the store, Pete steals treats to give to the Buttercreamers. They invite him to mow Jenkins’ lawn with them, but he makes up an excuse. Later, Scott confesses that he’s still concerned about Pete, but Lanny and Eldon defend him.
Scott, still upset, approaches Margaret about her report on Chicago gangs. She begrudgingly agrees to retrieve it with him from school. Later, Scott’s dad finds him reading the report and asks him about his thoughts on Pete. Scott tells him about the stealing incident. Scott’s father advises him to return the treats and tell Graff what happened, but also confront Pete before making an accusation. He also warns him that gangs are dangerous.
Following the discussion, Scott returns to his bedroom to find Pete in his bed. He thanks Scott for not turning him in to Graff and promises to apologize and pay for the treats. Pete admits he acquired bad habits from his gang and Scott has been a good influence on him. Scott’s little sister, having overheard Scott and Pete’s interaction, confides in Margaret about her concern. Margaret advises her to stalk Pete with some friends and gain proof of Pete’s criminal behavior. Scott’s little sister assembles her friends in the tree house and establishes the Buttercreamettes. A montage follows of Pete forming a new gang and participating in misconduct while the Buttercreamers continue to do good deeds. The Buttercreamettes watch as the deviation unfolds.
Divided on their feelings toward Pete, Scott concedes to Lanny and Eldon that if Pete continues his truancy, he will be discharged from the gang. Margaret approaches the tree house to report what the Buttercreamettes have been observing and implores Scott to take action against Pete. Before leaving, Margaret reveals that Scott must take her to the dance in return for the report she lent him.
While delivering newspapers, Scott spies Pete and his gang bullying Margaret. He intervenes, knocking one of the gang members off his bike. He informs Pete of his responsibilities to the Buttercream Gang. Pete gladly quits, saying that his newfound gang is enough for him. Later at the dance, Pete and his gang throw a firecracker onto the dance floor that lands right at Scott and Margaret’s feet during a slow dance. Scott sees Pete and his gang fleeing the scene and pursues them. Lanny and Eldon follow. Pete challenges Scott to a fight at Swanson’s Field the next day.
The next day, convicted by a Sunday morning sermon on loving enemies, the Buttercreamers meet Pete’s gang at the field holding a white flag. Privately, Scott challenges Pete to spend a day with him. The two enjoy a day of fishing, swimming, and skipping stones. While Scott is very satisfied by their time together, Pete argues that their relationship isn’t as strong due to his change in values. Scott leaves, furious that Pete is stubborn about not being close again. The next day, at the championship baseball game, Pete heckles Scott and Scott gets angry at him. After the game, Scott’s coach tells Pete about Gandhi and his ethic of non-violence.
The next day, Pete and his gang jump Scott in retaliation for yelling at Pete at the game. When Lanny and Eldon find Scott, there’s blood on his face. Scott asks them to take his newspaper route for him, so he can meet privately with Pete again. Pete taunts Scott to fight, but Scott, inspired by Gandhi, refuses.
While talking to his parents, Scott confesses he is discouraged by the futility of his relationship with Pete. Scott’s dad tells him a story about a man named Scott Paulson who gave his life for his fellow soldiers who bullied him for his faith. He reveals that Scott was named after him and advises Scott to love Pete unconditionally, not for any desired results. At the grocery store, Scott tells Graff about Pete’s stealing habits. Graff reveals that he has known about Pete’s behavior but has overlooked it and plans to give treats to Pete as gifts so that they can’t be stolen. Inspired by Graff and his dad’s advice, Scott finds Pete and offers him his personal bike as a gift. Pete continues to be confounded by the town citizens’ fearless generosity, but he doesn’t reciprocate.
While redelivering newspapers that Pete stole, Scott and Margaret are alerted that someone broke into Pete’s home. Margaret and the Buttercreamers spy through the house window and see Pete being threatened by someone in front of Pete’s dad. As the man exits the house holding Pete, the Buttercreamers pounce on him. The man flees the scene, shoving Pete to the ground. Angrily, Pete reveals that he hired the man in order to get money from his dad to return to Chicago. Panicking, Pete runs to Graff’s to rob the store for money, but Graff obligingly hands him money out of goodwill. Enraged, Pete throws the money and proceeds to destroy as much store property as he can in an attempt to be arrested. Realizing, after an intense intervention by Scott, that he can't extract any hatred from his friends, Pete runs away and is never seen again.
Later, Margaret finds out that Pete is in Chicago living with an old gang member. Scott writes Pete letters but they aren’t answered. One day the following year, many of the members of the town meet Scott at his home to read him a letter from Pete’s aunt. Although they all have grave expressions, it turns out that Pete has started a new chapter of the Buttercream Gang in Chicago. The movie ends with Margaret insisting on being initiated as a Buttercreamer and the four of them rushing to help the widow Jenkins stand up again.
- Jason Johnson as Scott Carpenter
- Michael D. Weatherred as Pete Turner
- Jason Glenn as Lanny
- Brandon Blaser as Eldon Flowers
- Stephanie Dees as Margaret Miller
- Ivan Crosland as Mr. Graff
- Scott Wilkinson as Reverend Willde
- Otto J. Mileti III as Mr. Carpenter (Scott's dad)
- Kathryn Little as Mrs. Carpenter (Scott's Mom)
- Miranda Brook Chivers as Regina Carpenter
- Leo Ware as Mr. Turner (Pete's grandfather)
- Hazel Cox as Mrs. Jenkins
- Jack Pinette as Pete's Gang - Boy #1
- Ryan Radebaugh as Pete's Gang - Boy #2
- Teri-Lisa Mulligan as Aunt Maria
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