Tuesday, September 20, 2011

High School Movie Club - Cutting Class (1989)

Back in High School, every Friday night I would get together with a group of friends and watch movies. It was probably the most fun I had during my High School years. I just thought it would be an interesting new addition to show all of you the films I was introduced to when I was young. These films helped pave the way to my horror loving days now. So we will start off with one of the first movie night horror films, Cutting Class.

Cutting Class (1989) Dir. by Rospo Pallenberg

High school student Paula Carson's affections are being sought after by two of her classmates: Dwight, the "bad boy", and Brian, a disturbed young man who has just been released from a mental hospital where he was committed following the suspicious death of his father. Soon after being released, more murders start happening. Is Brian back to his old tricks, or is Dwight just trying to eliminate the competition? Written by Jean-Marc Rocher on IMDB.com

Yes, I am ok with admitting that this film was chosen by a female person within our movie club. It wasn't a sexist club! The local video store had quite a cheesy collection of old horror films to choose from, so it made film night a blast, and the only rule to our film club was, "Keep it Cheesy", and I don't think we every broke that rule. This film falls right in line.

Have you ever heard of Director Rospo Pallenberg? No? (cricket sounds)... That's because this is the only film he ever directed, and it isn't SOOO bad that no one would ever hire him again. I mean, Uwe Boll is still making movies, but for some reason this guy never touched it again. It looks like he got the job because of some mediocre writing he did in the late 70's/early 80's.

The movie starts off slow, even for a who dun it flick. The movie really focuses on Brian, played by Donovan Leitch, or as you may remember him, Paul from The Blob remake. He does a pretty good job playing the semi-creepy, mysterious guy just released from a mental hospital. Then it is followed by everyone being in love with Paula, played by Jill Schoelen of The Stepfather. This love parallelogram includes Paul, The Principle, The Basketball Star (the before-mentioned Brad Pitt), and Paula. Mr. Dante is played by legendary actor Roddy McDowell (Fright Night, Planet of the Apes). There are some very cheesy kill scenes and some horrible script writing from Steve Slavkin, who would go on to be one of the Writer/Creators of Salute Your Shorts. In the end it is a pretty clever who done it that just gets a bad wrap. It wasn't until Brad Pitt became acting gold, two years later with Thelma and Louise that this movie started to get looked at again before it fell off the planet for good. I still say give it a watch if you haven't. The film is a BLAST to watch in a large group.

Entertainment Value: 6/10 Claw Hammer shots to the head
Cinematic Value: 3/10 Claw Hammer shots to the head

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