Thursday, June 10, 2010
RETURN TO HORROR HIGH (1987) - as long as I can continue to remember the horrors, I'll continue to skip the reunions
I fucking hated high school. Not that I went to a bad high school or anything. It’s just that the unrepentant stench of formalism, both in micro and macro terms, held pall over the entire affair. I’m supposed to regurgitate a series of binary propositions under the guise of enlightenment? I have something you can shine a light on…GO FUCK YOURSELF. I know I’m required to play along, but the game of life is too precious to waste on such reductionist drivel. Boy...was that a mistake.
Regardless, some maniac (i.e. unrestrained by an outdated moral system) went haywire at some high school, hacking off limbs with reckless abandon. A film crew returns to the school (circa modern day 1987) to film the story, and the headache inducing synth pummelling begins. Marcia Brady, playing a female piglet (p.s. she gets naked in Moonshine County Express…please don’t tell Ben Stiller I said that), is examining a murder scene on the high school grounds, but she can’t tell how many victims there are because it’s just a mass of body parts.
Well, the movie shoot begins, and George Clooney, of all people, plays an actor playing a cop, and Moe Green from The Godfather is a sleazebag producer who asks his assistant for a "local bimbo". The director is a pretentious schmoe that thinks he is an "artist" (whatever the fuck dems is) who is angered about having to do an "exploding tit shot", preferring "subtlety" (whatever the fuck that is). George leaves for a part in a sitcom that is a cross between Miami Vice and Moonlighting ("Vicelighting", maybe), and the director threatens to sue him. George responds with "it takes money to do that" (smartass…though he’s 100% correct), and high tails it down the creepy hallway, only to end up getting killed (figures).
A real cop takes George’s place in the film, and the school janitor also plays himself, hoping to use this opportunity as a springboard into "pussy films". Filming begins with a quarterback feeling up a cheerleader (in other words, business as usual), whom he calls "pussy on wheels". Rejected, yet undeterred by the concept of shame, he immediately starts hitting on Lori Lethin (star of Bloody Birthday and The Prey, in a terrible wig), but suffers defeat yet again (his quarterback rating is plummeting it seems). Nevertheless, he follows her into the girl’s locker room undeterred, at least catching a glimpse of some teenage tits (or so the cinematic illusion suggests). Lori finally agrees to a date with Mr. Quarterback when he threatens to throw a naked girl out of the locker room. They head up to lover’s lane (every town seems to have one of these, yet I can never find one), and she remains unimpressed (after all, chicks don’t know shit about football), but he insists on sex because he paid for dinner (and that’s how the system works). He then decides to strategically rape her while uttering "I'm gonna nail one between the uprights". I understand that athletics are merely a metaphor for sexual inadequacy, but literalizing it to this degree takes the fun out of it.
At this point, Lori (the actress, not the cheerleader chick), goes into a tirade about how slasher movies are exploitative towards women, and calls the quarterback's schlong a "schlort" (I think that’s yiddish for “an unreasonably confident putz that’s ready for action”). As a retort, the producer suggests that breasts sell tickets, and insists that all Lori needs is "six inches behind the barn" (I got six inches, but, alas, no barn). In a moment of brilliant satire, the producer tells the screenwriter to write an uplifting scene that contains a message of hope, but to set it in the girl's locker room. Ironically, I didn’t take it as satire, and hope to be uplifted by such supple mammaries before life cruelly deems such seemingly simple pleasures as verboten territory. Back to the realm of “entertainment”, where some guy gets dragged underneath a sand pit, and the quarterback gets his leg caught in a noose and, resultingly, is chopped up by a rather complicated fan blade contraption. If this pussy was more in tune with reading coverages, as opposed to becoming the big man on campus, maybe he wouldn’t have stepped into the obvious.
The director complains further about the overuse of blood, preferring to explore the psychological ramifications of the story (forgetting that psychic damage can manifest itself in physical form). He nevertheless continues filming, showcasing a sleazy teacher that picks on the resident nerd, and also sleazes up against a new student, played by Lori Lethin in her second role (or third role actually, if we’re counting the meta-verse). Some other girl sleeps with the teacher for an improved grade (who can blame him, really, considering the arbitrary nature of his existence) . The fake cop (played by a real life police officer; real within the film, that is) shows up, but interrupts the scene because he is uncertain of his motivation (fucking pork Nazis can’t even do what they’re told).
Quickly moving on to other plot machinations, the bio teacher becomes a suspect in the film within a film by sanctioning frog dissections, even forcing the nerd to dig in, despite his proclamations that he is "sensitive" and “loves animals”. Resultingly, the teacher is karmically dissected by the maniac, his heart ripped out for the purposes of “scientific research”. Douche.
Lori and the cop finally get to hiding the sausage, but the janitor pops in and decapitates her… oh wait, it was all a dream (except for the part about her getting laid). However, they find blood everywhere, and suspect that it is actual real life blood, and not some make believe movie shit. They then find the severed heads of both the director and producer, and suspicions begin to elevate. Soon after, they locate the mummified remains of many a former victim, and reality smacks them in the face, despite the movie within a movie within a movie within a movie aesthetic.
I won’t reveal the surprise ending, except to say that it surprises within its ability to provide layered non-closure to a meta-exercise. This segues into the revelation that a character is writing a sequel to the very fucking movie you are watching. Henry Jaglom would be proud. Disgusted…beaten into a self-reflexive pulp, yes...but proud.