Plot: Julie (Forbes Riley) is the new teacher on campus, but while she’s excited to get to work, she notices some odd vibes at the school. As it turns out, the educator she replaced was murdered and that is just part of the story, as years earlier, a deranged mental patient went on a sadistic rampage in the area. But Julie just tries to do her best and she even takes an interest in a fellow teacher, though she is warned off, as some suspect he might be the killer. Meanwhile, more and more people keep getting knocked off, but no one seems to think much about the campus’ dwindling population. Who is the maniac loose on school grounds and can anyone stop them before the entire campus is soaked in blood?
Entertainment Value: This might not be one of the best slashers from the 80s, but there’s a reason Splatter University has persevered with genre fans, as it is a fun, brisk watch. The narrative is all over the place, thanks in part to sections filmed years after the original shoot, but there’s unintentional humor as a result, as well as just a general what the hell kind of vibe. I also love all the continuity errors, which fit right in with the rest of the b movie elements in this movie. The performances are quite humorous, with most opting for either wooden and stilted or ridiculously over the top, with little middle ground to be found. I think the shifty story, outlandish performances, and overall cheese combine quite well, provided you have a taste for this kind of stuff. The movie might have its issues, but it is never dull and remains memorable, if just to laugh about some of the sillier moments. A run time of under 80 minutes help as well, as the movie gets in and gets out with little filler and no slow stretches. If you want a serious, polished horror experience, then you will likely be put off here, but those who appreciate wacky, off the wall 80s horror should find some fun.
No actual nudity in this one, just a brief look inside an adult magazine, which earns no points on our scale. The level of bloodshed might not live up to the use of splatter in the title, but there is some red stuff here. The killer is an equal opportunity trauma inducer, taking at aim at both women’s breasts and men’s penises, with crimson soaked results. A good stab to the dick livens up any party, if you ask me. Another highlight is a solid throat slash and some other splashy stab wounds are on showcase, as well as some assorted minor, but still red tinged assaults. The dialogue is terrible and hilarious, with the bad script made even better by the strange performances, which make the lines even more awkward or stilted. This can lead to even basic interactions getting a laugh, which is good news to me. Not a lot of big laughs or quotable exchanges, but a steady flow of humorous lines, so there’s that. The insanity scale doesn’t move too much, as the movie is more wacky than off the deep end. But the b movie elements add some points and the wackiness is consistent.
The Disc: The movie hits Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome with a new 2k restoration sourced from the original camera negative. The print shows some debris and other issues, but this is head and shoulders above other versions I’ve seen, with a much cleaner, sharper presence. I found colors to be natural and consistent, while contrast is the same, no detail loss or overly softness black levels. The detail level is rock solid overall and again, a welcome improvement over other releases. I’d put this as the definitive visual treatment of Splatter University. The extras include director Richard W. Haines providing his audio comments on the production, an interview with the film’s composer Christopher Burke, script gallery, radio spots, a tv spot, and the film’s theatrical trailer. A second audio commentary features the members of a podcast.
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