So, last night I was flipping through my Netflix Instant Watch queue and wanted to watch a short horror movie, so I settled on the 90-ish minute Graduation Day (1981). After I was a few minutes in I realized the movie sounded a bit familiar thanks to a post I read over at
Horror Movie A Day (the best horror site around as far as I’m concerned). Now, sometimes, like in the case of Troll 1 and 2, which I’ll get to shortly), I check out a movie because HMAD’s BC watched it and wrote about it. Other times, like this one, it’s just a coincidence, though we both watched it on Netflix.
Anyway, though our opinions of Netflix on Xbox differ (I only have a problem about 10% of the time), our opinion of the movie is pretty similar: it’s not great. Check out his review for a good assessment of things. Okay, done? There’s a few ridiculous things I’d like to add. First off, there is a roughly 7 minute scene which is based around a band playing a song at a roller rink or some such. The scene isn’t all that interesting, but it seemed like this performance garnered more of the budget than the rest of the flick as there’s lights and people moving all around. I wonder if they thought being in Graduation Day would be their big break?
There was one other cool kill in the movie (though completely ridiculous). This dude on the football team (though what he’s doing in pads in June is beyond me) is walking through the same woods that a bunch of kids have already been killed in and after running into Vanna White and some other girl who tosses his ball into the woods, he comes across the killer who puts a sword through the ball and then throws a perfect spiral into his torso. Hey, it’s creative, if not physically impossible.
And speaking of Vanna, her role really sucks in this flick. Like BC says, she’s one of two annoying girls that doesn’t do anything important except facilitating the football guy’s death. The funny thing is that the other girl gets more face time on camera. So, while we can hear Vanna’s distinct voice, you rarely get to see her face, which is the fun part of watching these horror movies with young stars.
Okay, one last ridiculous thing about Graduation Day. The girl who dies in the beginning has an older sister int he military. I’m not sure which branch because I wasn’t really paying attention. We do know she was in Guam though for whatever reason. Anyway, this woman who has been trained by the greatest fighting force on the face of the planet has a hard time not getting killed by some douchey teenager with a knife. She at least uses some hand-to-hand techniques when he tries attacking her under the bleachers (where he’s keeping all his victims in various poses), but both parties move so slow I thought the Netflix was flickering. Nope, just bad choreography. I was really hoping that she would really jack this dork up (who looks a lot like Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers). When will we get a movie where the “victim” really knows how to handle themselves? I want a Leatherface vs. Rambo-type movie.
Oh jeez, I forgot, there’s actually one more ridiculous moment I want to mention. It’s kind of spoilery, but I don’t recommend you actually seeing this movie unless you’re a completist slasher fan. Anyway, there’s a fake scare at the end where the dead girl’s sister is in bed before going back to the military and she imagines the killer has come back and is going to stab her in her bed. But wait, he’s dead right? Right, but instead of this just being a dream sequence, it turns out that it’s her step dad (I think he’s her step dad, again, I wasn’t paying attention. He’s at least the guy nailing her mom) yelling crazy stuff at her and holding an empty bottle. It reminded me of that scene from the Simpsons where they’re in the witness protection program and Homer keeps busting into Bart’s room with a knife and then later a hockey mask and chainsaw. This guy definitely belongs in horror’s crazy old guy hall of fame.