Graduation Day

July 25, 2010 at 6:11 am (3 Heads, Graduation Day) (, , , , , )

Graduation Day – 1981 – United States

I almost can’t be bothered with this review. As I watch a movie, I keep a pen to jot interesting details, often writing pages. Graduation Day is so tedious and redundant, I got two lines: “Narcotics officer hides joint in revolver chamber.” “Rock band with double guitar at roller rink.” These are Graduation Day’s noteworthy moments, and as cool as double guitars are, Graduation Day is pretty long.

Distributed by Troma (God damn/bless ‘em), Graduation Day amounts to a lazy mess of slasher clichés and futile humor. After a lengthy, fast paced montage of (sincerely) exciting high school track and field footage to funky music, a girl runner falls dead in dramatic slo-mo—Graduation Day’s last engaging moment. For the remainder, a murderer in fencing garb stalks the track team, timing himself on a stopwatch as he kills. Is it the fanatical track coach? The mourning boyfriend? Meanwhile, arbitrary subplots about stoners and horny teachers start and are never resolved.

Graduation Day has little going for it. Beyond the excellent opening montage (film students take note), extended point-of-view shots and subliminal cuts add style. There are interesting (ridiculous) murders: A football with sword through it is thrown to impale. A pole-vaulter leaps on spikes. And, historically significant, Vanna White plays a dumb chatty girl.

Those are modest points against Graduation Day’s staggering flaws: *There are no likable characters, nor are they developed. *Cliches abound as the killer stalks and kills in woods and locker rooms. *Awful, unbelievable dialogue. *Unfunny humor of unclear intent. *Slow pacing, crawling through aimless babbling dialogue and boring subplots.

Slasher flicks are always rife with clichés. Despite this, some triumph with irrepressible wit, energy, intensity, or inadvertent hilarity. Graduation Day fails on all accounts—a half-hearted amalgamation of teen horror mush.

Rating: 3/10 Shrunken Heads. I can easily think of 10 more entertaining teen slasher flicks. The Prowler, that’s one. Watch that and forget this flaccid yawnfest


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