Thursday, August 30, 2012

Splatter University (1984)

The 80's brought us several things to be nostalgic about. A time in which the zombie concept still felt somewhat fresh. A time that gave us the rise of Thrash Metal, Hip Hop and bands such as The Smiths and New Order. A time where everyone was into the Rubik's cube for some odd reason. Then there's things that most aren't nostalgic for. Things like "Splatter University."

The plot is nothing new: someone escapes an insane asylum,  kills of a professor (here at a Catholic school), and the next semester, decides to go on a killing spree. Can new professor Julie Parker (Francine Forbes, who went on to do a lot of infomercial work) stop him before it's too late?

Nothing about "Splatter University" works. The kills are often bloody, but are mostly standard stabbings. The acting is bad. The droning synthesizer score is your typical "Bad horror movie from the 80's" music. The whole thing is riddled with plot holes, lazy writing, bad attempts at humor and painful writing. The direction is flat and lifeless. There's even a bad twist at the end. In short, it's typical of the kind of bad mid 80's slasher movies that polluted video shelves in a time where the genre was showing signs of wear, only somehow worse than usual.

Most of this has to do with the fact that the movie gives you no reason whatsoever to care about anything on display. Sure, there's gore, but you saw better in "Friday the 13th Par IV" and "Maniac." Most of the victims are women, yet none of the male characters seem to give a shit. They just treat it all like it's a minor inconvenience and move on as if nothing happened. In fact, nobody here is likable at all. It all feels like something made by people who had no interest in pleasing their intended audience, and like the movie at hand, seems to view them in a less than satisfactory manner.

I'm sure that some will find something to enjoy in this, but not me. This is the definition of bottom of the barrel bullshit, and offers nothing redeeming or fun. It's just plain bad.

Rating: 0/10

Director Richard W. Haines went on the serve as co-director for a much better movie in "Class of Nuke 'Em High." He then directed the not available on DVD "Alien Space Avenger", as well as the forgotten by everyone "Head Games" (Seriously, does anybody know something about this movie other than its premise?) and "What Really Frightens You?" He was also an editor for "The Toxic Avenger", and an assistant editor for "Mother's Day" and "Igor and the Lunatics.

Co-Writer John Elias Michalakis went on to direct "I Was a Teenage Zombie." He also was a sound editor for "The Toxic Avenger." He has since quit directing and is now a monk.

Fellow co-writer Mijan Peter Illich also co-produced this film. He was also an executive producer of "I Was a Teenage Zombie" and a producer for "Flesh Eating Mothers."

I'm not sure, but I think Troma distributed this in theaters (Lloyd Kaufman even served as a creative consultant.) It was released on DVD by Elite Entertainment, but the rights have probably expired. Also, like many titles Elite released in the past, it has gone out of print, but unlike "House on Sorority Row" or "Re-Animator", it hasn't found a new distributor. Not that it's worth seeking.

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