A bus load of partying 80’s teens get sliced and diced by a demented goon in this homage to the “Slasher ” films of the 80s.
Anyone who was raised on the ‘Friday the 13th” series will appreciate this flick but shame on your folks for not showing you something whole some like ‘Bambi.” Uh, bad example. Anyway this one gets right down to brass tacks by introducing us to 8 adolescents who appear to have stumbled in from the cliché corner of 80s cinema.
First up are the young ladies who include a wholesome non-party type, a fashion conscious cheerleader with tons of sex appeal and zero brains, the cool best friend, and the hard partying outcast. The men are also direct from 80’s casting and include the savvy nerd, the jock who digs vapid cheerleaders, the token African American friend, and the secondary jock who reads poetry and has a soft spot for the smart girl.
These assorted cutouts band together and steal a school bus which they use to flee a boring Fall dance so they can escape to the smart girls’ isolated family cabin. Wouldn’t you know it that the bus runs out of gas stranding our victims, uh characters, near the Joad house. John Steinbeck fans will feel cheated by the house as it bears no relation to ‘The Grapes of Wrath” family but slasher fans will dig that it is isolated and rocks both a barn and a deep and foreboding basement.
The house also comes equipped with a hulking Urban legend named ‘Junior Joad.” This cat enjoys dressing like a deranged cross between Old MacDonald and Leatherface’s lost cousin. He also has some serious wild life skills which means lots of bear traps, great stalking in the dark abilities, and a nasty habit of devouring his victims like they were carved out of ‘beefaroni’.
The flick really takes off when Joad appears and he doesn’t disappoint. His motto seems to be never dispose of two victims in the same fashion so there are plenty of gory set pieces. Meanwhile the equally scary school principal homes in on the situation and is more than ready to employ the skills he learned in Vietnam .
This is one of those rare homage’s that actually works. The people involved obviously loved the 80’s and have great fun recreating that style of terror . The movie is chock full of references for keen viewers. The male characters are all named after horror directors while the women are labeled after “final girl ” actresses from all of the major franchise films of the hair decade.
Fun stuff that doesn’t skimp on the gore and even promises a sequel like every other 80s effort.
Best Lines: ” I will be home Sunday before ‘60 Minutes’. “
” I’ve got chunks of guys like you in my stool.”
” I don’t want to be eaten by a cannonball.”
Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.