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Zombie High
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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

It was a student film

5/10
Author: golfgirlgolf from United States
24 October 2006

If you read the biography of Aziz Ghazal (writer/director) you'll glean that a lot of the work and equipment on this low budget film was provided by and done by USC film students.

Editors put in temporary music (they could not afford to pay royalties for) but fell in love with it and insisted on sound-a-likes instead of original music. The songwriters Richards & Rocco, did a brilliant job of being musical chameleons at the behest of their employers. (Of note, the first two words of the seminal track "Kiss My Butt" are "Kiss It" - not "kick it" as another reviewer opined.

The film wasn't ever intended to be campy but came out that way due to the poor production values, bad writing and acting.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Not bad.

Author: brandon sites (bigpappa1@spinfinder.com) from usa
26 June 2000

Virgina Madsen ( looking a bit too old for her role ) stars as a student at a prep school who discovers that the staff is stealing brain tissue from the students and using it to keep their youth. The idea is nothing new, but the film is given decent treatment and remains entertaining for most of its running time. The ending feels rushed though, but it is nice to see a zombie film with only mild violence that manages to scare and entertain these days. Rating: 6 out of 10.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not exactly ripe for rediscovery.

4/10
Author: Scott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden) from Canada
5 February 2016

The lovely and appealing Virginia Madsen stars here as Andrea, a young woman who wins a scholarship to a snooty prep school, which has only recently begun accepting female students. Her boyfriend Barry (James Wilder) has his misgivings about this institute of higher learning right from the start, but she tries to make a go of things. She eventually discovers that there is a sinister plot being engineered by the faculty, who are turning their students into emotionless automatons.

The student film "Zombie High" is hard to completely dislike, but overall it misses the mark. An odd, awkward horror comedy, it's nothing more than a minor variation on the old "Stepford Wives" theme. Its attempts to be irreverent are sometimes amusing, but more often than not, they fall flat. It's got a few action sequences, but nothing terribly impressive. The makeup effects are basically adequate. There's an omnipresent rock soundtrack to sort of make things interesting.

The performances are better than the material deserves. Also starring are Richard Cox ("Cruising") as a nice guy professor, Kay E. Kuter ('Green Acres', "The Last Starfighter"), who gives the best performance in the movie as the diabolical Dean Eisner, future film director Paul Feig ("Bridesmaids"), who has his moments as the aggressive, amorous Emerson, the extremely foxy Sherilyn Fenn, Scott Coffey ("Satisfaction") and Clare Carey ('Coach', "Waxwork").

At least "Zombie High" manages some poignancy in its final act. It needs to get a demerit, though, for including one of the worst closing credits rock songs that this viewer has ever heard.

Four out of 10.

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What a prom!!!!....

5/10
Author: FlashCallahan from Leicester, United Kingdom
21 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Andrea goes to a previously all-male boarding school on a scholarship.

She begins to separate herself from her boyfriend in order to devote more time to her new environment, and the director of the Ghostbusters reboot.

Over a course of time she notices that more and more students have lost their individuality, and approach their activities in a lifeless and automatic manner.

Eventually a diabolical plot fostered by the faculty begins to emerge........

The first thing you need to know about Zombie High is the fact that the film features not one Zombie. It's about the undead, and if it were called Vampire High, it would have suited the film better.

And to be honest, it's not a very good film. We get to spend the entirety of the film following Virginia Madsen being stalked by one of her lecturers, and then having her jealous boyfriend come and go, just to give her a hard time about her faithfulness to him.

Paul Feig pops up as a styles/screech type character, but he soon just becomes an afterthought.

But there are a few moments that redeem the film, even if they are amusing for the wrong reasons. The prom scene is laugh out loud funny, and the look on the singers face is priceless when he sees the way the guests are dancing.

And the final five minutes where the tutors are desperate for the serum, and they run down to the basement where Andrea is and the next thing you know, they are all wearing really bad Halloween masks.

So it's not a wonder that this film is long forgotten, but them again, these cheesy eighties horror films always have some redeeming factors

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Slightly Disappointing

4/10
Author: Uriah43 from Amarillo, Texas
13 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie begins with a young 18-year old high school student named "Andrea" (Virginia Madsen) being dropped off at a prestigious prep school known as "Ettinger Academy" by her boyfriend "Barry" (James Wilder). And while Barry isn't too happy with the idea, Andrea is ecstatic at the opportunity that's been presented to her. Unfortunately, things aren't quite what they appear to be as there is definitely something odd with her fellow students. Now, although the movie title might cause some people to expect a film about brain dead sub-humans who feast upon human flesh, I should probably warn viewers that the "zombies" in this movie aren't the typical "Romero" type who have come into being due to a virus. Neither was there any black magic or voodoo involved in the creation of these "zombies". Such things weren't needed when there was something much more practical—medical science. At any rate, rather than disclose any more of the movie and risk spoiling the film for those who haven't seen it I will just say that I found it to be slightly disappointing for several reasons. First, although it had a decent cast I don't think any of the actors were given a script which worked to their advantage. Likewise, the comedy was flat and the horror was non-existent. Additionally, even though Sherilynn Fenn (as "Suzi") fit the part of a high school student I can't honestly say the same for Virginia Madsen. Put quite bluntly, she was a bit too mature for the role. That said, all things considered I rate the movie as slightly below average.

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Decent, Not Wonderful

6/10
Author: gavin6942 from United States
4 June 2013

A woman goes to previously all-male boarding school on a scholarship. She begins to separate herself from her boyfriend in order to devote more time to her new environment. Over a course of time she notices that more and more students have lost their individuality, and approach their activities in a lifeless and automatic manner.

The most notable thing about this film is the pairing of two cult actresses: Sherilyn Fenn ("Twin Peaks") and Virginia Madsen ("Candyman"), as well as producing legend Cassian Elwes. Beyond that, the movie is largely forgettable.

Honestly, I think the worst part of the movie is the title. There is little inspiration that could have made such a bland title, and the film deserves better. Indeed, the first half exudes the 1980s horror sensibility and many fans of that era will like this one. It goes a bit downhill later on, but overall could have acquired a bit of a cult following with a better name and maybe a minor tweaking of the script.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Taken for what it is, it's an absolute lost gem

7/10
Author: Mr_Ectoplasma from New York, NY
21 December 2015

"Zombie High" has a too-mature Virginia Madsen attending a remote prep school to the chagrin of her bad-boy boyfriend; "So when did you become an expert on prep schools?" she asks over the opening credits. But once she goes to hit the books, it becomes all too apparent that something is off with the student body and the administration, who seem a bit too primped and erudite for their own good.

I had never heard of this film until Scream Factory resurrected it and put it out on Blu-ray for the first time this past week, and I'm glad it got to see the light of day, as it appears to have slipped through the cracks into '80s video hell. It apparently was a student film put together by a group of USC enrollees at the university's film & television department, but the production values don't really show—in fact, it is a rather glossy picture that looks like any other late eighties teen movie. It appears to be knocked quite a bit for the cheese factor, which I also find odd given that most, if not all, films in this vein liven up the kitsch.

The film is essentially an eighties teen retelling of "The Stepford Wives," and the title is a bit misleading when taken literally—there are no zombies here in the George Romero sense of the word, and while the crux of the entire film is cribbed from the wives of Stepford, it still manages to be a somewhat sharp and witty satire on the stuffy world of New England boarding schools. Sure, it's contrived, but what late eighties horror flick isn't? The script is quirky and the pacing is well done; the subplot between Madsen's character and the vampy, suave teacher comes off as a bit half-baked by the end of it, but he is essentially the through-line that ties the events of the picture together.

The acting here is really good, especially given that it is mostly delivered from film students and newcomers. Virginia Madsen is always a pleasure to watch, and possesses an old Hollywood look and performance style that seems to elevate any projects she's involved in; her role here as a young woman oppressed by forces around her precedes her not so dissimilar performance in "Candyman" a few years later. Cult icon Sherilyn Fenn, who we all know and love as Audrey from "Twin Peaks" also has a small role in the film as Madsen's roommate and peer; Paul Feig and Scott Coffey also have memorable supporting parts.

Overall, "Zombie High" is a quirky eighties horror flick with tinges of teen comedy steeped in rather straightforward yet witty-enough satire. On one hand, I can understand some of the gripes people have with the film, but on the other, this is the type of movie that demands to be taken on its own terms, and in the world of late eighties thrillers (ala "Heathers"), this modest, somewhat silly horror-satire hits its marks—as a student film, I'd give it an A+. 7/10.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

What's with the title!?

3/10
Author: thatgayguymatt from United States
23 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Not a high school but some preppy college and no zombies (unless you count the old men who played the college's staff) but lobotomized students.

I only picked this up cause a favorite actress of mine Clare Carey is in it. Sadly she has a small part and plays her character using a very annoying accent.

Not much happens until the last 15 minutes of the film when our leading lady Virginia Madsen tries to escape and outsmarts the college staff and finds herself trapped under the school grounds or something.

No gore, no nudity, no real body count, there are one of two decent looking rotten corpses but that's it. Very similar to Disturbing Behavior.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

road movie set in school

7/10
Author: blacklobster from United Kingdom
9 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yes they are real zombies and the term "high school" isn't used all over the world so it isn't a stupid title. A good film where.SPOILER WARNING- the parts of the brain removed to be consumed by the teachers is replaced with a crystal that needs to be played 50's music by radio from the campus in order for for their brains to function.

Ex-students reach the higher echelons of society such as Judges and politicians although this is a minor part of the story.

There is a good scene at the school dance where the students can't dance because they are zombies. The Frankenstein ball.

Why do people think that you can't mix comedy with horror? Maybe there are too many horrors that take themselves too seriously.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

you want a movie that's completely out there, here it is.

5/10
Author: triple8 from Conn
26 November 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ohh I need to see this again! My buddy and I were reminising about bad movies that make good watching because their so bad their fun to pick on, which is how I thought to review this "movie". If you are indeed reading and maybe looking for a movie like that congratulations! You've found your pick in Zombie High!

I saw this a long time ago but really remember how ridiculous it was with the zombieized students and chaotic goings ons. Although, this is not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, it's worth seeing for the pure entertainment factor(and really did not bore me at all-surprisingly not boring)which is at least one good thing I can say about it. This is pure camp but it's fun and funny and I need to find it so I can watch it again. If comedic camp is your thing you've found it here.

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