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Massacre at Central High (1976)

6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,100 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 32 critic

A high school transfer student, pushed to the edge by a trio of brutal bullies, resorts to murder to reclaim the school from oppression, and later turns against the students wanting to fill the vacuum of their oppressors.

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(as Renee Daalder)

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Title: Massacre at Central High (1976)

Massacre at Central High (1976) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
David
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Mark
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Spoony
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Theresa
Ray Underwood ...
Bruce
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Craig
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Rodney (as Steve Sikes)
Lani O'Grady ...
Jane
Damon Douglas ...
Paul
Dennis Kort ...
Arthur
Cheryl Smith ...
Mary (as Rainbeaux Smith)
...
Oscar
...
Harvey (as Thomas Logan)
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Storyline

David is the new kid at Central High. The only person he knows is Mark, who runs with the local toughs led by Craig. David keeps his distance, preferring not to join the "club." He tries to convince the other students not to be pushed around, and intervenes once too often on their behalf. When he directly becomes a victim of Craig and the boys, David orchestrates a plan that causes an attrition problem amongst the members of the clique. Mark worries for his safety, even though he and David were once friends. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You'd better get those kids the hell out of there! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

September 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Massacre at Central High  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first feature starring role for both Andrew Stevens and Kimberly Beck. See more »

Goofs

Sand on Mark's chest is visible in long shots but vanishes in medium shots while he is on the beach talking to Teresa, right after he has argued with Paul. See more »

Quotes

Paul: What are YOU gonna do, sit there and die?
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Connections

Spoofed in Heathers (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Crossroads
Lyrics by Jill Williams
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Thought-provoking exploitation from the Golden Age
2 May 2001 | by (northeastern PA) – See all my reviews

The title might suggest a cheap hybrid of Carrie and Death Wish, but Massacre at Central High is not your typical drive-in movie. Granted it's filled with violence, blood, and nudity, and the revenge angle is quite powerful, but its examination of high-school politics is the element that really gets your brain working.

We've all experienced it--the Jerk Jock gets transferred to another school, and right away someone fills his position as King of the Cretins. Those at the top of the social structure exercise their ultimately negligible powers in order to make themselves feel bigger and better than everyone else. It is this tradition that Massacre at Central High pierces with a razor-sharp skewer.

Unfortunately, the picture is very hard to find in this age of sickening political correctness. A typical knee-jerk reaction would be to say that films like this glorify school violence--currently a big concern. But, as always, that sort of viewpoint is formulated without really looking at the message of the project. Yes, it's violent. Yes, it deals with a teenager killing other teenagers. But ultimately, what does this accomplish? No matter how many are killed, they're immediately replaced. Violence does not solve the problem. THIS is the point, and it's stated with a subtle brilliance that really hits home.

Of course, this underground classic also benefits from a terrific exploitation cast and an imaginative approach to the material. The scratchy, grainy color cinematography has a low-budget beauty that not everyone can appreciate. The melding of professional and amateurish elements results in a genuinely tense, scary experience...but one with much more to offer than your typical psycho epic.


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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