Before there was Scary Movie, before there was A Haunted House… there was Student Bodies. Mickey Rose’s 1981 spoof manages to touch upon the hallmarks of a slasher film with as much snark as the day is long. This one is a rental from iTunes or Google Play. Well worth the time and money in my opinion. Here are five reasons to rent it this weekend.
|I love this movie.|
This film has an awareness that it’s a cheesefest, and it’s refreshing. It goes for the cliches with relish. Melodramatic acting. Heavy breathing. An aversion to teenagers having sex. There’s even a running tally for the body count. The best part: there is an absolute lack of shame when it comes to everything listed above. The filmmakers know that there’s not a shot in hell of an Oscar, so they go for the next best thing: belly laughs, with a huge side of campy horror. They succeed admirably.
You know what’s great about a horror spoof? The completely stupid ways that people die. In Student Bodies, we’re not talking about fall from a mountain, a whack to the face with a shovel, or a pratfall trip into a wood chipper. Nope; that’s got a shred of realism to it. Student Bodies decides that if it’s going to kill someone, it’s going to be asinine and over-the-top. Go big or go home. Case in point: there is a death by paperclip in this film. You read that correctly. The deaths are ALL like this. It’s glorious.
|Cleanup on aisle one…|
Toby (Kristen Riter) is the stereotypical good girl that is trying to outwit the killer and survive. She’s also completely insufferable. In addition to the audience getting annoyed with her, everyone else does as well. Most of the time, the adults – particularly teachers – in horror films generally regard the heroine as harmless and mildly annoying at best, and try to assure her that everything is alright. In this film, they actively dislike and dismiss her. No one hides an eye roll, and it’s funny because we don’t like her either. We all have that one person we want to tell to go piss up a flag pole. Live vicariously through this film.
Slasher music is an awful lot of fun. When employed seriously, it can add tension and lead to some moments of pure dread for the audience. In this case, though, it’s used to mock the action on screen even further. It’s more drawn out, and it likes to pause, as though it’s taking a melodramatic breath before screaming. Couple that with the ridiculous stuff going on in the plot, and it will make you giggle long before the next gag.
|No time to explain. Just watch.|
No, not me, literally; if you want that information, it’s going to be at least two dates and a plate of nachos (real cheese, none of that Cheez Whiz crap). Merely quoting the film here. That’s one of the running gags: the list of inappropriate things that turn other characters on. I’ve been known to use this list to break up a tense moment, especially on a road trip. If anything else, this provides some good one-liners to quote when the mood needs lightening.