Thursday, June 30, 2011
Graduation Day (1981)
Dir: Herb Freed (Beyond Evil/Tomboy)
Starring: Linnea Quigley (Return Of The Living Dead/Night of The Demons/Creepazoids/Hollywood Chainsaw hookers) , Christopher George (The Exterminator/City of the Living Dead/Enter The Ninja)
Vanna White (Wheel of Fortune)
The film opens when Laura a high school track runner dies while trying to accomplish a 30 second 100 yard dash. As Graduation approaches Laura's older sister Anne returns home from a tour with the Navy to attend her sisters Graduation and collect a few trophies and sentimental pieces before heading back to her duties. We immediately see that Anne's mother lives with her new husband who for some reason has a distaste for Anne that is never explained other than the fact he is a drunk.As the kids at Midvale High prepare for the graduation ceremonies , Members of the Track team start to go missing and we see one young woman getting her throat slit within the few first opening moments of the film by a killer who carries a stop watch with them to time the killings perhaps?. Anne decides to head to the campus to seek answers about her sisters mysterious death. At first she does appear a little creepy as she approaches one girl and freaks her out by talking about how Sally's eyes remind her of her dead sisters. Later Sally see's Anne at the Grad rehearsal and finds out that she was her friends sister, so that blows over quickly. Anne wishes to speak with Laura's Fiance/boyfriend before her premature demise and she gives him a grad present for being so kind to her little sis. For the most part of the first half of the film all we get is introduction to the students and faculty all of which lack any real endearing qualities at all, and truly serve only two purposes . One to be fodder for the body count and two to add to the endless list of red herrings this film will throw at you throughout.
the school stoner slut seduces him into a passing grade before heading into the woods to get high with her equally slutty boyfriend as they talk about whom they have slept with.The two get caught in the act by the campus police Officer Macgregor who sends them on their way to smoke the pot for himself before the young kids are offed by someone stalking them in the distance.Anne decides to head back to the campus to investigate some more and she begins to snoop around the shop class where Coach Michaels also teaches. He finds her being nosy and the two have a discussion where she pretty much flat out accuses him of killing her sister in which he denies because he had high hopes for her and she was one of his best athletes.
Graduation day Could have been called Red Herring the Movie, I mean they made nearly everybody seem like they were the killer but not in a subtle "Maybe it's Them" kind of way. They went way too far out of the way to make you think it was either Anne or Coach Michaels and even latter they try with the principle and his lax attitude towards the students well being. Another thing this film depended on way too much was the dark means scary route and the use of music to create jump scares, If you do that a few times in a film fine, but when most of the entire duration of the film is just that than it loses it's novelty and charm quick.All in all though what got me upset the most was the film is advertised as a grisly slasher flick and it has Linnea Quigley and those are two awesome things, But when your film has little to no nudity and it is a slasher in a high school , in the 80's you kind of expect to see some boobs, especially when Quigley's name is attached to it and my biggest problem with this film is the constant cut away on the death scenes. Now don't get me wrong I do not expect every film to be filled with T & A and I don't require every movie I watch to be Dead Alive or re-Animator but when you are making a slasher film, At least show some of the killings in gruesome or unique fashion. I cannot stand when you see someone get killed off screen and gotta wait the entire movie to see what happened to them afterwards in the end. That is a tactic that the old Friday the 13th series did to death and made it so annoying and just plain not worth the outcome.
In Closing, If you are a huge Slasher fan and have to see every slasher ever made than check this one out but trust me you ain't missing anything if you don't. I mean this one does not even have enough in the cheese factor to make it a worthwhile watch, It could have been great because all the ingredients were there and if it was tweaked just a bit it could have been a really fun movie because it does have it's moments, But as is it is just boring. Troma you have let me down with this one, I was expecting allot more.
Overall: 4.5 out of 10