|Index||6 reviews in total|
Low budget cross between "Porky's" style college high jinks combined with
"Prom Night" style stalk & slash.
Plot involves students who moonlight doing naked photos for the seedy college chef, who then get their come-uppance from an unknown killer. Toni is a trainee journalist ( and by the far the least attractive female on view ), whose coverage of the ongoing Rush Week gets her involved in the killings.
To say the least there is nothing new here, but if you like the formula it is well paced and derivative in an interesting way. The violence is relatively non-graphic and the sex is limited to a few tits n' asses. Film pays homage to its better known predecessors with a "Hills have Eyes" poster and somebody in a Freddy Krueger mask.
It's a B-movie, so obviously you can't expect much of it. Yeah, the effects, what few there are, are awful, and there are a couple of editing problems, but it's actually fairly enjoyable for the most part. Some of the actors do a pretty decent job, especially considering the fairly standard slasher plot they're given to work with. It has a pretty decent soundtrack, which surprised me quite a bit. Basically it's like having the first Friday the 13th movie set at a college with an Animal House backstory going on. For those who enjoy the occasional B-movie, I'd say give this one a shot, it's better than most.
Pamela Ludwig was my main attraction to this movie in the first place. Oh, and also the fact that it was a slasher movie from the 1980's, set at a college. You really have to be patient with this one though. It doesn't really pay off like it should in the end. In my opinion, there needed to be way more deaths and way more murder suspects. I would never consider this movie a favorite unless my house burned down, leaving me to decide between this or Doom Asylum (which no one should EVER see). And I just remembered the fact that this was from 1989, making it fairly decent considering the circumstances but its still no Intruder (which everyone SHOULD see).
Rush Week is another uninteresting slasher from the late 80's. This time our killer dons a cloak, an "old person" mask, and a double edged axe. So it's nothing groundbreaking. It seems like the filmmakers wanted to make Animal House into a slasher movie. Much of the running time consists of college pranks and the typical hijynx that goes along with that. The problem with this movie, other than the glaring predictability, is that the death scenes all occur off-screen. There's plenty of nudity to speak of, but no gore whatsoever. So I guess you could say they got it half right. One very strange aspect of this film is the casting of Gregg Allman in a minor role. He seemed very out of place and very wasted. Also watch for Halloween 4's Kathleen Kinmont and Friday the 13th 5's Dominick Brascia.
Ah, a stereotypical slasher film with all the key ingredients, a college
setting, no real plot to speak of, killer in a mask, wonderfully gratuitous
female nudity....but one element is missing, THE GORE! Only a couple deaths
are gory, the rest are inexplicably offscreen.
Good-looking women in the buff make this worth tracking down, especially for slasher fans.
TRIVIA NOTE: There is no "uncut" version of this movie. The DVD box claims it runs 100 minutes, but the DVD is actually the same as the 96 minute "R" rated release.
MPAA: Rated R for nudity, some violence/gore, and some language.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I read it a lot, but have to argue that saying Halloween was the first
American slasher film is just lazy journalism. Simply check out Black
Christmas, Class Reunion Massacre, Drive-in Massacre, Savage Weekend or
The Town that Dreaded Sundown for pieces that clearly pre-date 1978 and
have many of the relevant trappings. There's no denying however that
John Carpenter's seminal classic was the feature responsible for
moulding and launching the genre and cementing its trademarks, which
set the trend for others to follow. The zillions of imitations that
dominated horror cinema throughout the following decade are as much a
part of eighties nostalgia as spandex or bad hair styles. A retro
eighties party without someone dressing up as Jason or Freddy is no
party at all. Even Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - the great PS2 game,
which heavily parodied that era - referenced the slasher genre in a
satirical way, confirming it's importance as a referential milestone.
There are still about 10-15 slasher movies being released every year, most of them very low budget productions, but the eighties will always be recognised as the golden period. It all started with a bang. In 1980, Night of the Demon, Friday the 13th, Terror Train and To all a Good Night were all released before Summer and a new craze had been launched, which would continue without interruption year after year.
So what does that have to do with Rush Week, I hear you ask? Well this was the last slasher movie to be produced in the golden decade, even though it was released a while later. That makes this an interesting reference point as you can see how much the genre had adapted during that period. If Friday the 13th was the flagship for the launch of ten- years of teen splatter, Bob Bralver's slasher was the swan song.
During rush week, a young journalism student picks up on a story when she notices that young women seem to be disappearing after a seedy meeting with a photographer after hours in the science lab. A killer, dressed in a cape and old-man mask is stalking the dormitory and offing lonesome females. Who could be the masked menace and what are his motives?
OK so we're definitely not breaking new ground here. Set on a college campus, the movie follows the traditional route without ever attempting to add anything audacious to the cycle. I guess the first thing to notice about the difference between this and its nine-year elder brothers is the lack of gore. Whilst Friday the 13th set the template with its gruesome death scenes and investment in special effects, stringent censors and bad media had left many movies with their 'money shots' on cutting room floors before they had reached audiences, so film-maker's were much more prudent with their budgets in latter years. The killer has an authentic double-bladed axe, but the majority of the murders are off-screen and therefore lack any punch.
Bralver seems a director far more interested in Frat jokes and teen fart humour than he does horror and the majority of the runtime is filled with Porky's style character development and a blossoming romance between the leads. The slashings take a back seat quite early in the picture and it made me wonder if they had chucked in a hooded killer to make the flick look more attractive to prospective financiers? There's the chance to guess the cast member that's hiding beneath the mask and cape, but the mystery is also poorly handled and you'll see through the apparent red herrings with relevant ease. There's a smidgen of suspense during the final stalking sequence through the school corridors and some looming tracking shots help to build a nice atmosphere. To be fair, I have to mention that the movie does reference its brethren by casting Dominick Brascia (Friday the 13th 5/Evil Laugh) and Kathleen Kinmont (Halloween 4) in small cameos.
It seems like they had a good budget to play with and the cinematography is crisp and adventurous. The leads carried the film really well and built some nice chemistry during the romance and I really liked Pamela Ludwig as the final girl. It's amazing to think that her film journey quickly stagnated soon after, because she had enough talent to build a career in pictures. Her co-star Dean Hamilton would find his fortune as a producer, working both in Television and Cinema. His biggest investment so far, the awful chick flick Blonde and Blonder (which he also directed), was absolutely ripped to shreds by critics but proved popular enough for a sequel and at the time of writing, he is working on a project with 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' director Joel Zwick.
If the producers had decided to veto the lashings of blood for fear of extreme censorship, they certainly didn't scrimp on the nudity. There are more breasts on display here than feeding time in a maternity ward and I personally would have loved to have studied here at Tambers college as it seems every female student has the body of a Playboy model. In another slightly bizarre twist, hardly any of the developed characters that we meet become victims of the axe clenching madman. It seems women are simply introduced to take of their kit and then scream as the hatchet swings, which means that we feel absolutely zero sympathy for them. That adds ammunition to my suspicions that the slasher elements were a mere sub-plot to allow the story to focus on the romance/dorm ingredients that seemed to certainly be the priority.
So not much of a final farewell from Rush Week for the decade of decadence where the box office was stalked and slashed by masked killers like there would be no tomorrow.
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