Friday, January 7, 2011

Massacre at Central High

Massacre at Central High (1976)
Dir:Rene Daalder
Starring: Robert Carradine (Revenge of the Nerds/ The Pom Pom Girls)

David is a new student at Central High where the bullies run the campus, Lucky for David he meets up with an old friend Mark from a prior school they attended and he is in with the cool crowd. David does not exactly warm up to the idea of being part of the group of bullies and immediately begins standing up for the loners and nerds. This does not sit well with Mark as he alerts David that things will be different at this school and he doesn't want to see a repeat of what happened at their last school, Leading us to believe that David has a violent past.One day after school lets out some of the bullies decide to rape a few hippie girls because they believe they are lesbians. At this point David makes the save beating up all the group and making new enemies in the process.
After the fight the bullies decide to find David and jump him after they find his jeep parked near a beach, But Mark says he wil just talk to him and try to convince him to join them since he is strong and a good person to have on their side. Upon finding Dave, Mark see's him skinny dipping with His girlfriend Theresa. Once he returns he does not try and stop the pack of ruffians but he does say he wants no part of it.
The next day the bullies find David repairing a car of one of the nerds that the bullies wrecked for fun and when they cannot verbally get a rise out of David  the gang releases the jack dropping the car on Davids legs leaving him crippled.In the hospital he refuses all visitors and Theressa admits to the nude swim and that she tried to make out with david but he declined due to his loyalty to Mark.
A few days later David returns to campus now crippled and suddenly bodies start to turn up, First in a hang gliding accident and then one of the bullies dives into a emptied swimming pool after hours to his death.
 Mark immediately knows this is the work of David due to their history.But after the first killings things seem to be getting better on campus as the kids are not getting bullied as much.To get their minds off of the things going on Mark and Paul decide to take a trip to the beach and in a brief moment that Paul leaves he gets locked in his van after being knocked out and David pushes his van off a cliff, Killing off the last of the bully group.
After the bullies have been taken care of the other students start to change and become snobs and asses to their fellow co-eds, This of course disappoints young David as his work seems all for nothing, But have no fear he plans on taking everyone out now and the traps start hitting the former nerds and victims .

After a few back to back murders the kids scramble from the campus and Spoony (Robert Carradine) and his two hippie girls head to the mountains to hide out until things die down, but one of the girls finds a suspicious bundle of dynamite right before an explosion causes an avalanche sending some giant rubble down on their tent killing all three.
After more of the students turn up dead a fellow classmate of Davids finds his house and tells him that he approves of what David is doing but he must take out Mark. While David prepares one last attack on the campus Mark and Theressa show up in attempt to stop him but David manages to lock them in his house and heads to the campus. The big plan is to blow the school up during the Alumni Prom. At the Prom David sits in wait for the grand finale when Theressa and Mark show up to make the save and apparently David is in love with Theressa and will not blow the school up with her in it. So David rushes to defuse the bomb but cannot so he removes it from the campus just in time.
Going into this film I was expecting a typical early slasher film and I was surprised that is not exactly what I got with this one.The gore in this film is really tame especially by todays standards but I did like the premise of this film and the characters throughout were all entertaining. I also enjoyed the twist of the nerds becoming what they once hated after the bullies were out of the picture providing us with a story of human nature and just how awful some people can be without even noticing it.This film will no doubt disappoint those looking for a high body count and gore score but the story is entertaining and there is allot of fun to be had watching this one.I look at this film as kind of a Revenge of the Nerds meets Death Wish with a dash of Last house on the Left if that makes any sense and most may disagree with those comparisons. I don't see this as a film that will get repeat watches but I am glad that I checked it out because after the last two trash films I sat through this was a welcomed change of pace. I mean I do prefer the stereotypical stalk and slash and horror films but this one makes the grade just for being something completely different. A film like this would never fly in todays day and age post columbine Massacre days and with all the violent attacks taking place in a high school due to kids fighting back against bullies but this film was made during simpler times and It does have a story to tell unlike most exploitation films of this period.
Overall:6 out of 10


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