Return to Horror High (1987)
Directed by Bill Froehlich
Cast: Scott Jacoby, Lori Lethin, Vince Edwards, Alex Rocco, Brendan Hughes, Philip McKeon, Richard Brestoff, Al Fann, Panchito Gomez, Michael Eric Kramer, Pepper Martin, Maureen McCormick, Marvin McIntyre, Remy O'Neill, Andy Romano, George Clooney.
1987 95 minutes
Rated: (for violence, gore, profanity, sex, nudity).
Reviewed by Dustin Putman, November 10, 1998.
"Return to Horror High," wants to be a couple different types of movies at once. The film tells the story of a low-budget horror movie being filmed at the closed-down Crippen High, a school where a group of serial murders took place five years before. But what the cast and crew don't know is that a real killer, maybe the same one that was never apprehended, is going into action again.
On one level, "Return to Horror High" is a slasher movie, and it is at this level that it works the best on. Watching the film, which was made in 1987, I couldn't help but take notice that the killer's costume was almost identital to that of the Ghostface in, "Scream," and "Scream 2."
On another level, the film wants to be a slapstick comedy, and there are many hints of this throughout. Unfortunately, most of these jokes fall flat. And the last thing the film wants to be is a "behind-the-scenes" look at an exploitation film being made. The only problem is that, while much of it is supposed to be from the movie itself being made, no cameras are shown filming it, thus making it far more confusing than it had to be. And to top it all off, the "twist" ending makes very little to no sense whatsoever, and so we are basically left with feeling as if we wasted our time. There are story developments that are beyond ludicrous, and plot holes you could drive a winnebago through. If you see the film, or have seen it, you'll know what I mean.
The premise of "Return to Horror High," is admittedly pretty crafty, and I liked the atmosphere of the school, which is where the whole thing takes place. But Director Froehlich, judging from this movie, is an incompetent director, except for being able to film the seldom suspeneful scene. Well, come to think of it, there is only one scene that is actually scary, and it has to do with two actors being locked in a room as the killer tries to break in. But other than that two-minute distraction, "Return to Horror High," is certainly no great shake. Note: Look for George Clooney in a supporting role as one of the actors on the film. And strangely enough, he is the first character to get the ax...literally.
© 1998 by Dustin Putman