Thursday, September 8, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: College Movies


When I first set foot on a college campus, as a student, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I had an idea, or at least I thought I did. I went to a historically black college, henceforth known as an HBCU and was an avid viewer of the TV series A Different World which is set at one such school (the fictional Hillman University). Needless to say, real college was almost nothing like A Different World. A little while later, I started dating the soon-to-be Mrs. Dell who went to another HBCU. When I started hanging around that campus, I saw that it was completely different from the school I attended. On either campus, there were some scary times. Yup, that's your hint for what's coming.

What's coming is another edition of Thursday Movie Picks hosted by Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves. The topic this week: College Movies, duh. It's a great topic. Cinematic history is filled with thoughtful examinations of young men and women in pursuit of a higher education. Of course, I won't be discussing any of them. That's what your blog is for. My blog? Well, not so much. I tend to use this space for films with slightly less lofty ambitions. So, take a look at the countdown at the top of this page. I've got 31 Days of Horror coming up. If I learned anything from the most recent Olympics, you have to warm up before starting a major activity. Consider this the blogging version of stretching before a race.


Pieces
(1983)
A killer is loose on campus! Some guy...or gal...is running around with a chainsaw and chopping up co-eds into, say the title with me, pieces. Aside from gore and gratuitous nudity, this movie does nothing well. For starters, whoever wrote this has no clue how police investigations work. I mean that quite literally. The undercover cop sent in to work the case is also a well-known pro-tennis champ. So yeah, imagine Serena Williams just showing up to track down a killer. After one of the kills, the still bloody murder weapon is left at the scene and it never occurs to anyone to get prints off the damn thing. However, the movie does end with possibly the most iconic moment in slasher flick history. All in all, it's so bad it's awesome!

Splatter University
(1984)
A killer is loose on campus! Some guy...or gal...is running around with a really long knife, stabbing the crap out of co-eds and making their blood, say it with me, splatter. This movie doesn't do gore or nudity well. A bunch of dummies take the blade to the gut while fake blood gushes all over the place while no one gets naked. The writer(s) here have apparently never been to college. The entire thing is written as if it were set at a high school, not an institution of higher learning. That's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how poorly the writers did their jobs. Luckily, the unintentional humor factor is sky high rendering the entire thing so bad it's awesome!

Sorority House Massacre
(1986)
&
Sorority House Massacre II
(1990)
A killer is loose on campus! Some guy...or gal...is running around with a hunting knife, stabbing the crap out of co-eds and committing a massacre! Twice! Okay, so this series does gore pretty well. It also does gratuitous nudity, the second one is particularly good at that. Other than that, it's pretty standard zero budget slasher fare. The first just rips off John Carpenter's Halloween, wholesale while the second puts their girls in a sorority house they just bought for cheap because there were a bunch of murders there the year before. Naturally, they're staying the first night despite not having any electricity. So yeah, time to all take turns in the shower then pull out the ouija board. Um...yeah, great idea. You know what, I'll just end this by saying the producer of both these flicks is none other than Roger Corman. Knowing that, it should go without saying they're both so bad they're awesome!



18 comments:

  1. Ah, Sorority House Massacre and its sequel. Oh, those were fun films. Boobies and gore, what more could a teenage boy in the 1990s could ask for?

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  2. I don't think it will surprise you Dell knowing that I'm not a splatter horror fan that I haven't seen any of these pieces of dubious cinematic achievement. I've seen plenty of Roger Corman films though, mostly his 50's drive-in stuff and his work with Boris Karloff and Vincent Price so I can imagine the level of skill involved in those last two!

    I went for a mix of comedy and drama this week, no blood-letting except perhaps the verbal kind:

    Back to School (1986)-When business tycoon Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) discovers his second wife is cheating on him he gives her the boot and decides to visit his son Jason (Keith Gordon) at college. Discovering that the stories Jason has been feeding him about his success both in school and on the swim team aren’t true and he’s considering dropping out Thornton decides to enroll and offer support. Problem is Jason is a misfit with one oddball friend Derek (a purple haired Robert Downey Jr.) and Thornton the gregarious, party hardy type who sees studying as an inconvenience which he foists off on his employees until one of his professors catches on and threatens him with expulsion. Thornton’s under the gun but everyone including the sultry classics professor he’s fallen for (Sally Kellerman) pitch in to help. What distinguishes this from other college comedies is that Dangerfield’s character is so darn likable.

    The Paper Chase (1973)-James Hart (Timothy Bottoms), first-year law student at Harvard Law School feels the pressure of keeping up with all of his studies, especially when he engenders the enmity of contracts professor Kingsfield, the toughest teacher in the school (an Oscar winning John Houseman). Things don’t get any easier when he starts dating Kingsfield’s daughter (Lindsay Wagner).

    The Sterile Cuckoo (1969)-On a bus heading to their different but nearby colleges uptight Jerry meets the free spirited but insecure Pookie Adams (Liza Minnelli) and they become friends. When Pookie shows up on Jerry’s campus they become more intimately involved but her increasingly neurotic behavior puts a strain on their relationship. Billed as a comedy but really a mediation of loneliness and the struggles to mature. Liza is compelling, sad and raw.

    Groovylicious Time Warp-The Strawberry Statement (1970)-At a San Francisco college in the 60’s during the time of campus unrest and the counterculture, student Simon (Bruce Davison) is content to view all the upheaval from the sidelines until he meets the committed Linda. Becoming aware of the things they are protesting he becomes a leader and foments violent action during a sit-in leading to a confrontation with the police. Very much a document of its time with dialogue to match this tied for the Jury Prize at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival.

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    1. I've seen Back to School at least half a dozen times. It cracks me up every time. The Triple Lindy is so ridiculous I can't help but laugh. Haven't seen the others, but Groovylicious Time Warp-The Strawberry Statement might be the greatest title I've ever heard. I'm inclined to see it just for that.

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  3. I love your theme within a theme here, and now I want to see all of them. I love campy gore.

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    1. Thanks. Nothing like a silly, yet gruesome murder, I suppose.

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  4. OH, Dell, you do NOT disappoint me this week! I was hoping for some deliciously bad classics and these all sound FANTASTIC!

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    1. If fantastic and deliciously bad mean the same thing, then yeah!

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  5. Its already a warm up for Halloween!!! Actually, I've already seen Christmas things around, makes me a bit sick. Good idea with the theme within a theme - it looks like the moodboard of movies the creators of Scream Queens had before making the show. I can't wantch horror unless its a comedy or very very tame, just too many vivd dreams after to worry about.

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    1. Christmas? Wow. I've seen some Thanksgiving stuff, but not Christmas.

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  6. OMG PIECES! I almost forgot about that movie! It's so ridiculous/amazing!!!!

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  7. Thumbs up for the theme within a theme!

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  8. I thought I commented here. Obviously I haven't seen any of these but, even though I don't like slasher films and get scared very easily, when they are bad movies like this, I get a kick out of them.

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    1. Yup, these are pretty bad/great so you might get a kick out of them.

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  9. I haven't seen any of these. I regret it. Seriously.

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    1. No need to regret it. Just see them. Now.

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