Monday, 2 September 2013

5 More Schools of Terror!

**Please note that there may be spoilers throughout the blog**

  I thought I'd revisit the School horror genre because there are so many great and enjoyable titles out there.  Also, I've been on vacation as well and seem to feel the same nervous energy and dread that most of the students are experiencing right now.  So, I thought I'd give us both a break and find some fun easy horrors to check out, so nobody goes berserk in the hall of whatever educational centre you have chosen to attend. So put down your pencils and pens because you don't have to take any notes on these titles.

Here are 5 More Terrifying School Movies: 

5. Graduation Day (1981) - Graduation day is coming soon and the track team has one more meet before the school year comes to a close.  Laura, the team's favourite runner bursts out of the pack and crosses the finish line to claim victory for their school.  Unfortunately, she drops dead right after crossing the finish line.  The team is devastated and blame Coach Michaels for pushing her too hard to win.  He learns shortly after the meet that this will be his last year at the school.
  Shortly after the funeral, Laura's sister, Anne returns home to collect the trophy and prize money from Laura's school?  She goes to the school to meet Laura's friends and she seems to hit it off with Laura's old boyfriend, Kevin.  She goes back to his house with him and collects some of Laura's medal and pictures.
  The next day, a number of parents with kids on the track team are calling the principal because their kids are missing.  All of a sudden, bodies are popping up and the track team is dwindling in numbers.  Can anyone find the killer before there is no one left to compete next year?
  This is a Troma movie, so it's pretty low budget and fun.  The story is alright but there are parts of the film where you wished they would focused more on, like Anna and the killer,  and some stuff the could have definitely cut, some of the school principal scenes and the prevy music teacher.  There are some good recognizable people in this like Christopher George (City of the Living Dead, Pieces) who plays Coach Michaels, Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead, Creepozoids) and Vanna White (Looker, Wheel of Fortune).  Yes, Vanna White is in this.  Anyhoo, there are some interesting death scenes with people being picked off with a fencing sword, which you don't really see that often.  The ending is actually really creepy and is the main reason to watch this, that and Vanna White.  So, if you get bored from hitting the books, pop this in and you can see why being on the track team isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

4. Slaughter High (1986) - The hottest girl in school, Carol lures nerdy kid, Marty into the girls locker room for a little action.  Marty can't believe his luck, gets into a shower stall and strips down for what should be the most exciting time of his young adult life.  Unfortunately, this was all a prank and while Marty was stripping down, a bunch of Carol's cool friends came in with a video camera.  They pull open the shower curtain and Marty is humiliated.  It doesn't end there, the guys carry naked Marty to the toilet and give him a swirly, luckily the Coach catches them and gives the gang a detention in the gym.  Marty picks up his clothes and what's left of his dignity and goes back to science class to work on his project.
  During detention, the kids can't believe what a jerk Marty is for getting them in trouble, so they decide to play another prank on him.  They get a joint and lace it with poison and send it up to him.  Second worst prank ever.  Marty smokes the joint and starts hacking up a lung and knocking things over, like his Bunsen burner.  This causes a fire and Marty starts to panic!  He tries putting the fire out and accidentally bumps the shelf that has the open bottle of sulfuric acid is stored on the edge and it comes crashing down on him.  The school calls the fire department and they pull the mangled body of Marty out of the science room.  Fortunately, he is still alive but he will never be the same.  The gang feels bad, but not that bad cuz Marty still got them detention. Fucking jerk!
  5 years later, the gang returns to the school for the 5 year reunion.  When they get there, they are excited to see each other and reminisce over old times.  By night fall, the doors to the school are still not open and no one else from the school has arrived but this clique of friends.  So instead of going home, the gang decides to break into the school and party!  Luckily when they get in, they find a specific room set up just for them and it's catered with food and beer.  They finally think that this is strange but then they don't care, they want to party!!!!!  However, after a few beers and a few friends go missing the gang gets worried.  The search for their missing friends and find them dead.  They try and get out of the school but now they are trapped inside the school with a madman.  Has Marty returned to get revenge on the bullies that did him wrong so many years ago?  You bet your ass he has.
  This movie is almost the exact same film as the "The Redeemer: Son of Satan!", only that one is a little better.  After the Marty's hazing and accident, the film really goes downhill when it comes to reasoning and plausibility.  With that said, it is somewhat enjoyable and good for a laugh.  These characters do some of the stupidest things, I've ever scene. Like, taking a bath, alone, in a deserted school after seeing your friend die I front of you or knowing that there is a killer on the loose and going to have sex with your husband's best friend, while he works on a car, so you all can escape.  It's just silly.  The twist at the end is pretty good but it sure takes a long time to get there.  I don't know how they convinced Caroline Munro (Maniac, Captain Kronos) who plays Carol to be in this but that is some good work as a producer.  Also, Henry Manfredini inserts some of his music that can heard in "Friday the 13th" to claim a scoring credit on this film.  All together, the film has it's own charm and the laugh it gives you may save you from going mental on an exam later on.

3. Class of Nuke'em High (1986) - There is a slight leak from the Troma city's nuclear power plant but no worries because they caught it in time and it won't have any affect on the city (wink).  Unfortunately, the high school is located pretty close and strange things start happening.  Like, the honour students become a gang of viscous drug dealers called the "Cretins", and another kid turns into a maniac, attacks the students, then he throws himself from the second floor of the school and melts on the street, just from drinking from the fountain.  Note to self, stay away from fountain water.
  Luckily, there are still some normal kids at Troma High, if anyone's normal in Troma.  Like Warren and Chrissy, who have been dating for a long time but have never had sex.  Thing change though at a party because their friends get them high from some crazy radioactive weed that they bought off the "Cretins" and after smoking it the two of them end up in bed.  Buuuut, that night after the party both Warren and Chrissy have horrible nightmares that freak the shit right out of them.  On Monday, Chrissy runs to the bathroom and vomits a monster that might have been conceived on the night with Warren.  Now there's a monster at the school, radiation in the hallways and a gang of "Cretins" bullying the students, can anyone escape Troma High?
  The script for this movie is all over the place and if you are looking for some sort of cohesive story, you are in the wrong place.  This is another Troma film and one of my favourites.  I love the world the Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Hertz created on a shoe string budget.  Sure the acting is bad and there really isn't a story but there is a ton of gore, imaginative characters and a lot of good times to be had watching this.  Did I mention gore?  The effects are actually very good for such a cheap film and if you like melting faces and shitty monsters than this could be right for you.  One of the best bad films, you'll ever want to see. 

2. The House on Sorority Row (1983) - It's after graduation and Vicki convinces Katey to stay with some of the other girls in the sorority house until after the weekend.  Vicki tells her that they're going to throw a party at the house to celebrate everybody graduating! Whoo hoo!  Katey reminds Vicki about Mrs. Slater, the sorority's house mother, who usually wants everyone out of the house by June 19th and there is no way that she is going to let them have a party.  Vicki takes in this information and responds with "Fuck her, we're having a party". O K!
  That night, while the girls gather around drinking and talking about their futures, Mrs. Slater busts into their room and tells them that they all must leave the sorority house in the morning.  After Slater leaves, Vicki and the girls decide that they should play a prank on Slater to get her back for all the shit they've had to deal with over these last few years.  So, while getting the party ready the next day, Mrs. Slater storms down to the pool area to throw the girls out and tell them that there will be no party there.  Vicki responds to her by pulling a gun and tells Mrs. Slater that they are having the party or she'll shoot Mrs. Slater.  This may be the worst prank ever.  Katey and some of the other girls try and convince Vicki that she's gone to far and try to remove the gun from her.  The gun accidentally shoots Mrs. Slater in the gut.  The girls panic and thinking that Mrs. Slater is dead, wrap Mrs. Slater up in a tarp, weigh her down with blankets and they toss her in the disgusting swimming pool.  Done and done, now let's get back to the getting ready for the party.  Katey is the only one that thinks they should call the police but the other girls are scared and don't want to ruin there lives with a murder rap, so Katey decides to go along with them. She's a true sorority sister.
  That night everyone is still having a good time, even though they killed their Den mother.  They contain the party inside the house and stop people from using the disgusting swimming pool.  However, during the evening, some of the girls start to go missing.  The Katey and Vicki realize that Mrs. Slater may not be dead and that she may have come back to kill them, for trying to kill her.  Can these new college grads stop Mrs. Slater again from destroying their party and ending their careers before they even begin?
  This was pretty good.  For director Mark Rosman (A Cinderella Story, The Perfect Man), this was a good effort for his first time in the director's chair.  The film looks a lot like it was shot for TV or a made for TV movie, which concerned me until I saw boobs, then I knew it was a feature film.  The acting is fine, Kate McNeil (Monkey Shines, Sudden Death) is good as the lead, Katey although she doesn't seem to have as much screen time as Vikki, played by Eileen Davidson (Going All the Way, every soap on daytime television) until the end of the film.  The story is a little rough around the edges and there are some twists that could have made this film really great but still it's a fun film. There are some good kills and even though the ending is a bit convoluted, it does pay off in the end.   

1. The House That Screamed (aka La Residencia) (1969) - Senora Fourneau runs a boarding school for troubled girls.  Sometimes her methods of punishment, like whipping the girls, are a little harsh but she feels this is the only way that she can keep these girls in line.  She also has a son Luis, who is forbidden to see any of the girls at the school.  She tells her son, that they are all dirty and he deserves a woman like his mother. ummm, o   k
  Unfortunately for Senora Fourneau, she doesn't know that Luis is seeing a number of the girls with secret rendezvous and he has recently taken an interest in the new girl, Teresa.  However, after Teresa's arrival a number of the girls have gone missing and with the help of her gestapo like student assistant, Irene, Senora Fourneau must find them before this puts her school's reputation in jeopardy!
  This was a interesting film from Spain.  Director Narciso Ibanez Serrador (Island of the Damned) creates an fantastic giallo style horror film.  The script is good, although it does wander at times, but there are some very good twists that caught me off guard. Lilli Palmer (Boys of Brazil, De Sade) is excellent as the head mister Senora Fourneau and plays her strong, smart and at times very sadistic.  There aren't a lot of death scenes but the ones that are here are solid and there is some torture stuff, like whippings and some interesting mind games that go on. The ending is great and really brings the film together in a disturbing way.  So, if you're looking for a school film with some international flavour, than this may be it. 

So, don't stress too much about your education and try to enjoy school while you can because once you're done the real nightmare begins. Getting a real job.

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