Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cemetery High (1987)

...aka: Hack 'em High

Directed by:
Gorman Bechard

This is one of those films I'm almost embarrassed to admit I actually got some enjoyment out of. After being raped and/or assaulted, high school grads Kate (Debi Thibeault), Michelle (Lisa Schmidt), Dianne (Simone) and Kathy (Karen Nielsen) turn vigilante and aspire to wipe out all "scum-sucking assholes" in their town. Slobs, bikers, barflies, wannabe rapists, anyone who hits on them with a bad come-on line and, in one case, a guy who's just harmlessly walking down the street, are all immediately wasted. And other ladies in their hometown (and all across America!) prove to be quite impressionable, as they begin to do the same. Each time violence or nudity is shown, the warning gimmicks "gore gong" and "hooter honk" (a horn) are sounded. It's fun at first, but runs itself into the ground pretty quickly. The girls tell each other it's time to get naked, whine when they get blood on their shoes and fight over who gets to kill who. The mock documentary approach (also used in Bechard's PSYCHOS IN LOVE) where characters talk directly to the camera, is fun and used pretty well.
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Yeah OK, so this is desperate, stupid, senseless filmmaking and the cheap comic gags are often irritating, but it did make me laugh out loud several times, which is more than I can say for the entire Adam Sandler oeuvre. I was quite shocked to see this get a DVD release, too, as I was quite sure this rare video would just gradually disappear into oblivion. The director's next was the sci-fi comedy GALACTIC GIGOLO, which featured much of the same cast. Carmine Capobianco (who starred in PSYCHOS IN LOVE) co-wrote the script with the director and has a cameo here. Also with Ruth Collins (as a late edition to the "Scumbusters" who provides some topless-ness) and Frank Stewart as a coroner.
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The director claims that uncredited executive producer Charles Band butchered this film in post production (apparently it was originally to be called Assault of the Killer Bimbos - a title that was later used for an unrelated 1988 comedy), and claims the same fate befell his sci-fi comedy GALACTIC GIGOLO.

★★

1 comment:

spookyx3 said...

the appropriately sleazy ambiance works for it, and some of the stupid jokes hit. nobody seems to like CEMETERY HIGH all that much; even the director supposedly disowned it (my guess is that the "gore gong" and "hooter honk" gimmicks were added later). tough to overlook references to "faggot fuckheads" and whatnot, but i can't really hate a movie whose opening production company credit identifies it as "A GENERIC FILM".

(nothing says "wasted life" like my being able to identify most of those out-of-focus porn tapes in the video store scene . . . )

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