Well this must be the pinnacle of bad 80s slasher flicks. We have every cliché in the book in this film and it does not hesitate to steal ideas from wherever it can. You can sum up this movie by mixing elements of any typical holiday slasher with Revenge of the Nerds, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Carrie, and stolen bits from Alien, all in a run down High School setting!
This is the standard formula here folks, only in a High School …a very poor one at that. We have our “something bad happened” a long time ago, causing the motivation; we have 30 somethings in High School, we have our “kids” doing drugs and having sex just before they split up to die. We have our slutty girl, our joker who’s not funny, and pranks gone wrong. And of course, the virgin Final Girl is present along with one of the most stereotypical older black guy portrayals that I’ve seen in a long time.
Well we open up in one poor ass high school as each locker seems to have been donated from a different thrift store. Poor Marty – he’s our residential nerd in slasher-training. He gets his first lesson when the hot girl of the school lures him in the girl’s locker room. She persuades him to get undressed when the jocks and 30-something clique prank him. They grab his naked ass and repeatedly dunk his head in the toilet. They get caught by a coach that looks to be the same age.
The gag doesn’t let up when two jocks offer Marty a joint as a peace offering. He smokes it up in the chem lab, the last place you’d think a nerd should be smoking pot. It makes him sick so he leaves to go upchuck. This has not been Marty’s day as it’s his birthday, on April Fool’s Day –too bad that name was already taken. Anyway, while he’s puking elsewhere, one of the jocks sneaks in and spikes one of his beakers with something.
Marty gets back, places a jar of acid on the top of a very unstable shelf along with a ton of other bottles and beakers that have no lids to speak of. Naturally, the spiked chemical starts popping and before you know it, everything’s on fire and the jar of acid falls over and spills into Marty’s face. The kids come running in time to see Marty burn up and get hauled off in an ambulance.
Years later everyone gets invited back to the High School for a little reunion, only no one knows who sent the invitations. They return to a dilapidated school, totally empty, and about to be demolished. Gradually, one-by-one, they all die in the most ridiculous fashion: death by poison beer, death while performing lawn mower maintenance (in school?!), death by bathtub (in school?), death by bed-hooked-up-to car battery (you know, for when you have the urge to get it on in a run down school where your friend was just murdered). One of the goofiest deaths is when Marty grabs the stereotypical black man and uses his new found super human strength to pick him up one-handed and hang his head on a coat rack.
The ending is rather strange, almost unorthodox for a slasher, yet it’s still ripping elements off of other movies in the final sequence. It all comes down to Final Girl ™ and the killer, Marty. He finally gets her and tosses his mask. He celebrates that he finally got one over on them but then all the dead students start chasing him like zombies until we get the Bat s**t Ending™ where Marty wakes up in the hospital having just recovered from the initial burns –it was all a dream! Of course. Marty does some craziness by stabbing the doctor in the eye before the last shot of him ripping off his face bandages.
Things I’ve learned:
• High Schools in the 80s had lawn mower repair shops, bath tubs, and a bed for those handy need-it-right now urges.
• Suffering severe 3rd degree burns turns you into a psycho killer, which in turn, gives you super human strength
• High Schools in the 80s have students who study well into their 30s and 40s.
• High School chem. Labs have very lax safety guidelines
• Nerds sure had it rough in the 80s
• April Fool’s Day is over at 12 Noon
Things that make you go “wtf?”
• 80s girl logic – she deduces that since they got caught pranking Marty that it must be his fault
• The constant repeating thrash metal theme song
• The constant repeating theme for bumbling good times during the day
• The over long Carrie-type beginning
• The bat s**t ending