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BACK TO SCHOOL for all the Boils and Ghouls

Updated on August 21, 2013


Hello there friends, fiends, and fans!! J.B.Damned here again. I just wanted to take a moment to introduce my style of writing when it comes to my articles on films. I do not want to give a FULL ON review which is like other "film reviews". I will only do this for films that I find monumental. Most of my film articles are written in a manner to explain some of the film, my personal thoughts on the film, and leave it up to the reader to become the viewer of the films on which I write about. I hope this is understood and appreciated. You will not find many spoilers when it comes to my articles so feel free to browse all off them.

1. Horror High (1974) "PG"

  • Directed by Larry N. Stouffer
  • Written by J.D. Feigelson
  • Runtime : 85 Minutes

Youngstown, Ohio born Larry Stouffer took on this $67,000 low-budget film as director after his first film, "Sands of Ecstasy", was released in 1968. At the time, Larry was living in Marshall, Texas where he had a job with the Jamieson Film Company. Although he never made it huge as a director, he went on to make most of his earnings in the oil industry. When "Horror High" went to a select few theatres around the country it garnered little box office success and Larry never seen much money from the box office sales of the film. Mr. Stouffer went on to found the Screenwriting Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico which convenes yearly in May.

The Story of Vernon Potts

Many kids face being bullied at school and this has been an issue with schools everywhere for decades. Vernon Potts faced much adversity when it came to the school "jocks" bullying him in Physical Education class. He just wanted to be left alone and to concentrate on his chemistry class project. Putting so much effort forth into his love of chemistry, he nearly flunked out of every other core subject needed to graduate. Chemistry was Vernon's life and nothing would stand in the way.

"Mr. Mumps" is Vernon's guinea pig for his project and was one of his only friends besides the girl that is dating his arch nemesis and that he has a crush on. She is one of the only females in school that is so much as just kind to him. This and science are the only things that he looks forward to on a daily basis.

Let's face it, it sucks to be bullied and bully do suck. Mr. potts can not take the bullying much longer and when he gets caught sneaking into the chem lab at night through the window by the custodian, he hits a breaking point. All of his bullies MUST pay. I do not want to reveal to much so that you readers out there can go ahead and watch the film and gather the information for yourself. The only thing I am going to say is this is a very loose "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" remake of the storyline. I sincerely believe that if you have not watched this film, you will enjoy it. It is a very fun watch and it is for all ages in my opinion.

"Horror High" Entrance Exam

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2. Return to Horror High (1987) "R"

  • Directed by Bill Froelich
  • Written by Bill Froelich, Mark Lisson, Dana Escalante, and Greg H. Sims
  • Runtime : 95 Minutes

Bill Froelich made his directorial debut with Return to Horror High. That might explain all of the police officers and "television series"-like, "cop drama" scenes which are similar to what we now know Bill Froelich for these days. He does work primarily for television before and after Return to Horror High. He is known for his abilities to direct, write, produce, or edit screenplays for television series such as : Hart to Hart (1983), The New Mike Hammer (1984), Scarecrow and Mrs. King (1984-1985), MacGgyver (1986-1987), A Fine Roance (1989), Freddy's Nightmares (1989-1990), Street Justice (1992), Time Trax (1993), Silk Stalkings (1994), Pointman (1995), The Outer Limits (1998), Poltergeist: The Legacy (1996), and The Sentinel (1999). As far as working on more film projects, he has produced, written, or directed If Things Were Different (Tv Movie - 1980), Hart to Hart: Till Death Do Us Hart (TV Movie - 1996) and Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992). Bill Froelich is one of the progenitors in the "police drama", "action" and even "horror" television market and for that we thank you sir. Without his efforts in this area it is my belief that we would not have shows such as Criminal Minds, CSI, Law & Order, and horror related television series.

Return to Horror High is a fun yet very campy film. It has plenty of blood, guts, breasts, and a tinge of "Police Academy" humor thrown in for good measure. George Clooney plays the role of an actor, playing the role as a cop. Maureen McCormick gives the viewer a delight as playing an actual police officer investigating the killings going on at the high school. She is tasked with body part retrieval and does a "bloody" good job at it. Vince Edwards, the ├╝ber cop, who is an actual Police Officer which is offered the role in the film inside of the film, as an actor playing a cop. He was only there to be an onset witness to the actual events which occurred in the Horror High. If you do not know by now I will save you some trouble when understanding my humor in approaching this film that it is set during a film crew shooting inside of the school of the original murders in the first installation. They are working to document the murders and try not to expose too much of their female actors breasts in the meantime. Not only does the "director" in the film have to contend with a slasher taking out people left and right but he must also fend off his overtly creepy typical sleazebag film producer.

This film is sure to please for those of you who can appreciate a bit of humor thrown into their slasher flicks. It is a great "who-done-it" type of movie because you are kept kind of confused throughout the film as to who the possible killer could be. If I were to give you much more details on the film it would take away from it. The cult following it has gained is due to the fact that the writing and directing is not the greatest. That fact works out for them on this film because, like I mentioned prior, it keeps you a little confused. Be warned of the content though my younger fiends as to there is a lot of blood, guts, and breasts in this classic 80's cheesy campy horror flick. Have Fun and don't forget to pay attention to you can take the Horror School Quiz at the end of each movie and then be able to pass the class and get your diploma.


"Return to Horror High" Placement Exam

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3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) "PG-13"

  • Directed by Fran Rubel Kazui
  • Written by Joss Whedon
  • Runtime : 86 Minutes

A Word about the Writer and Director.

We all have become familiar with Joss Whedon over the years. Not many of you are familiar with Fran Rubel Kazui, so let us start with this fine director turned more producer. Some of the titles that she has produced include Orgazmo, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series), Angel (TV series), and a few others. She was even featured in a deleted scene of Orgazmo. She has good taste in what she likes and thank you to Fran Rubel Kazui for bringing us horror related television to network TV!

Joss Whedon, probably one of the most well known people from this film other than the cast. He has wrote NUMEROUS titles including but not limited to : The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series), Angel (TV series), Toy Story, and not to mention the episodes of "Roseanne". As a director Joss has shown what he can do with such titles as : Thor, The Office (TV series), and Serenity. My favorite film that has come from Mr. Whedon was THE CABIN IN WOODS which he produced. Keep an eye out on this VERY diverse creator. Much thanks and praise to the mainstream when it comes to Joss Whedon.

Buffy and What the Film Means to me...

Ahh. Buffy Summers. A name I could never forget. Growing up in Ohio a little ways south of Detroit and being young, in school, and having a school crush all the while having a new found LOVE for horror films, monsters, and the macabre, this film remains one of the childhood memories of mine. I later went on to enjoy the television show, say what you will, but the show is great if you watch it from Season 1, episode 1, to the end. Without Buffy Summers in the lives of many horror fans that grew up in the 90's out there, we wouldn't have such a great appreciation to this day of horror in general. Being one of the first "acceptable" horror films of the time it started an entire new generation into the world of dark mysterious things. Horror possibly would not come as far into the mainstream as it is now. Being referred to as "cheesy" in the eyes of many, It also made it ok to have such "B movie" characters, scripts, films, and other things involved with the "B MOVIE" subgenre into light and it was accepted. The humor aspect of the film was something that broke ground in a new way when it came to horror in the mainstream. To be a serious film that people took "seriously" and having the dimwitted Buffy character rise up to become a full fledged heroine that fights evil in her school, was something kind of new at the times. Not to mention PEEWEE HERMAN one of the main villains and evil vampires. The film showed that not only could people come together regardless of high school demographics or "cliques", a not so bright cheerleader could become one of the most bad ass evil stomping vampire staking female characters of ALL time. This is a must watch film for those of you who have not seen it. A perfect "horror" film to watch after al the homework and daily drama is gone. Teen angst at its finest gave way to good way of dealing with teenage life by fighting evil monsters!

4. Scream (1996) "R"

  • Directed by Wes Craven
  • Written by Kevin Williamson
  • Runtime : 111 Minutes

Wes Craven or Less Craven, you Decide!

Wes Craven is best known for the invention of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. 30 films directed, 30 films written, and 24 films produced, it is like Hollywood has created a film making monster of great fear and dedication. Last House on the Left, starring the great and late David Hess(R.I.P.) is Wes Cravens first notable film. Last House on the Left put into gear the monster which he has became in the horror world. Everything following the first film were only attempts at making such a great film and he has thus far, made good on that challenge. I recommend that you watch everything that Wes Craven has created so you can answer my question. Keep going into the horror world or should we have "less Craven"? I think personally the answer will always be, MORE CRAVEN!

Everybody, SCREEEAAM!

We follow a group of friends around their school as these ghastly murders keep plaguing them. One by one they are brought out to be the next victim in the story. But who is doing this to them? "Who will be next?" is the better question. With the entire town on edge about the depletion of their teenager population, the media and police are working together to figure these violent crimes out and get to the bottom of what is going on. The killer remains at large throughout the entire movie until we get to act 3, where the story violently spirals down into a pit of confusion amongst the kids who finally find out who the killer really is.

This is a must watch film when it is time to go back to school. The horror trivia in SCREAM also gives its own lesson into horror knowledge and is one of my favorite parts of the film almost. If you have not watched this, WHAT AE YOU WAITING FOR?? A modern classic is exactly what this film is. It has opened the doorway to many parodies and "rip offs". In addition, it is not your average "5 friends go into the woods...only 1 survives" story. The script for this film is amazing and the twists and turns throughout is a visual roller coaster ride that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Even if you have watched this before, now is a good time to watch it again. Such a great film that everytime you watch it, you notice something new or different that you haven't previously noticed.

"Scream" Horror Film Survival Class Exam

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5. Re-Animator (1985) "Unrated"

  • Directed by Stuart Gordon
  • Written by H.P. Lovecraft, Stuart Gordon, Dennis Paoli, and William Norris
  • Runtime : 95 Minutes

Jeffrey Combs, Stuart Gordon, & H.P. Lovecraft...a Tale of Magic.

H.P. Lovecraft is best known for the Cthulhu Mythos but this early tale of disastrous consequences from bringing the dead back to life has laid the ground work for most horror films that will EVER be created. If you have not read any of Lovecraft's stories, that is your homework assignment here at HORROR ON THE BORDER School of the Macabre. I know you will become as much of a fan as I am.

What can I say about Jeffery Combs that could possibly be said without disgracing the most notorious and great horror actors of all time besides the likes of Bruce Campbell, Robert Englund, and the Universal Monster classics that gave life to werewolves, vampires, reanimated corpses, mummies, and other creatures of Universal Studios black lagoon of horror. An honorable mention goes to Vincent Price as well when it comes to horror actors. Mr. Combs has an apparent love for H.P.Lovecraft as you can tell from his many titles that he has acted in. Usually his films, or even voice acting for cartoons, always have an H.P. Lovecraft reference strewn in somewhere. Be sure to watch anything that has Jeffery Combs and sit back and just enjoy horror acting at its creepiest.

Stuart Gordon has 19 titles under his directors belt but al of them are worthy of note. I can name a few here but I can not name them all without going into depth. I will save that for a different article. Other than the reanimator Mr. Gordon's work in directing film include : The Pit and The Pendulum, From Beyond, Dolls, Dagon (H.P. Lovecraft Tale), and the great Full Moon Pictures, Castle Freak.

Homework here is to watch as much as you can from the names listed and be very attentive to finding and reading ANYTHING from H.P. Lovecraft. I will leave the rest up to you guys to figure out on your own. I only want to plant the seed of horror and terror into your mind. It is up to you to water the seed and allow the growth of horror from within.

Dr. Herbert West and Beyond

If you are as much of a fan of H.P. Lovecraft as I am then you can appreciate this title. Jeffrey Combs brought this movie to life, not to mention bringing the dead back to life. The film is a lot different to H.P. Lovecraft's story of Dr. Herbert West as that it brings a multidimensional look to the tale and adds a little more excitement and modernization to the years old story. Stuart Gordon accomplished so much with this film. The special effects are not CGI and are all hand crafted talented makeup effects, which I can ALWAYS appreciate. We follow a medical school student from The Miskatonic University through his trials and tribulations of reanimation of the human body after death. The "glow stick" like substance he uses to inject into the corpses to make them shake, rattle, and roll has been a staple in my mind when thinking of life being reanimated after death. I wander how many times I can use te term reanimated or variants of the word in this portion of the article. Let's see!

Not only does Dr. West bring his friend along with him for the ride but they do not fully succeed. Failure is not an option and persistence is rule. He does not please hardly anyone except for himself in his adventure to become the mad scientist doctor to be known for his abilities to reanimate dead flesh. Some of the monsters he creates along the way sort of bare resemblance to the original tale of reanimation. West's experiments often go awry and have lasting consequences. If the other scientific community does not like what he is doing, why don't they just become part of his reanimation experiments? Being chased by all the failed experiments, Herbert West must stay on the run and keep moving his laboratory into various locations so that he is not found by authorities or the HEAD of the medical board at The Miskatonic University. This film is not for the faint of "heart" but it is a MUST see film. Without this film from Stuart Gordon and without the acting done by Mr. Combs, I would not be the person I am today. This film reanimated me into a horror loving monster and any other film has never been able to compete with it since. GO WATCH IT!

"Re-Animator" Bio-Chem Exam

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Horror School - Film Tryout List

(click column header to sort results)
Village of the Damned
I Know What You Did Last Summer
The Craft
Final Destination
The Faculty
Disturbing Behavior
Jennifer's Body
The Rage : Carrie 2
Cherry Falls
When a Stranger Calls
Halloween H20
Urban Legend
Prom Night
Night of the Demons
Dance of the Dead
Massacre at Central High
Nightmare on Elm Street
Slaughter High
Cheerleader Camp

The Student Voice


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