55 user 46 critic

Massacre at Central High (1976)

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.


Rene Daalder (as Renee Daalder)


Rene Daalder (as Renee Daalder)





Complete credited cast:
Derrel Maury ... David
Andrew Stevens ... Mark
Robert Carradine ... Spoony
Kimberly Beck ... Theresa
Ray Underwood ... Bruce
Steve Bond ... Craig
Rex Steven Sikes ... Rodney (as Steve Sikes)
Lani O'Grady ... Jane
Damon Douglas Damon Douglas ... Paul
Dennis Kort Dennis Kort ... Arthur
Cheryl Smith ... Mary (as Rainbeaux Smith)
Jeffrey Winner Jeffrey Winner ... Oscar
Tom Logan ... Harvey (as Thomas Logan)


David is the new kid at Central High. The only person he knows is Mark, who runs with the local toughs led by Bruce. Mark and David share a bond from years before when David came to Mark's aid when Mark was being beaten by school bullies. 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 Bruce's gang, David orchestrates a plan that causes an attrition problem among 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


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


Drama | Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The exterior of the high school "Central High" in the film is the Carnegie Hall building at Pomona College located in Claremont, CA. See more »


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 »


[Theresa is talking to her boyfriend Mark about his best friend David]
Theresa: He's a good friend of yours, Mark. The best. There's a moment before the accident that we were on the beach, talking and feeling close. We went skinny-dipping. I wanted to make love and I think he did too. But he wouldn't, because of you.
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Alternate Versions

Realvision released the Italian version on video in the 80s under the title Sexy Jeans. Hardcore footage has been inserted into the film whenever a sex scene takes place. These include: The school classroom rape. The beach scene between Theresa and Mark The naked canyon sequence with Spoony, Jane and Mary See more »


Referenced in Best of the Worst: The Wheel of the Worst (2013) See more »


Music by Tommy Leonetti
Lyrics by Jill Williams
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User Reviews

Surprisingly thought provoking!
8 December 2003 | by Snake-666See all my reviews

After falling foul of a group of bullies at his new high school, promising young athlete David (Derrel Maury) is attacked and severely injured. His near-crippling leg injury leaves him angry, deranged and thirsty for revenge on those who would bully others.

This entertaining and thought-out horror movie is an interesting addition to the horror genre. Unlike many other similar films, ‘Massacre at Central High' spends a relatively large amount of time building up the plot and developing the central characters. It is through this intelligent characterisation that the viewer is positively encouraged to feel contempt for the gang of bullies. In some ways the actual acts of bullying and violence towards other students committed by the central gang are reminiscent of ‘Carrie' (1976), albeit on a much larger scale. Rather than have the torment revolving around one character, the entire school is subjected to often horrific acts and thus they live in fear of the gang that runs the school. While one could easily question the situations that the students continually find themselves in (such as where are the teachers?), the movie raises some questions about how far a group of people will go before someone steps in to halt their actions. In fact, the gang is convincingly portrayed as taking their violence and brutality further each time and even revelling in the new `experiences' that they create for themselves. Although the film is fairly entertaining even when taken at face value, there does seem to be underlying storylines throughout and while the film does indeed suffer somewhat from implausible situations, there is still a lot of enjoyment and thought provoking material that can be found within it.

Unfortunately, there are two main problems with the film. First of all the acting is of a generally low standard. While the performances are by and large tolerable for this type of movie, the limited talents of most of the performers can be somewhat sidetracking, and when an important point is to be made it maybe does not have the impact that it could have were a more talented actor have been involved. However, considering the obvious low-budget of this movie and the apparent effort that was put in by the entire cast, these lapses are forgivable. The second problem with the movie is that it seems to get sidetracked somewhat around two thirds of the way through and the storyline seems to branch off a little too far. While the second part of the story does have merit and tries to be as thought provoking as the earlier story, the movie fails to mesh together all that well. The slow pacing of the second part of the film becomes something of a distraction rather than being an advantage as it was in the first part. Also, the second part of the film turns the character of David into an almost typical slasher villain whereas in the earlier scenes of the film one felt compassion for him and supported his actions, just as one may support the actions of Doc. Collingwood in ‘Last House on the Left' (1972). Although the reason for David's later actions are explained (albeit completely obvious) there is a lack of further character development where an insight into David's deranged mind would have been something of a refinement.

Nonetheless, ‘Massacre at Central High' is still a generally well thought out movie and certainly an enjoyable enough watch. The grainy picture is, in some ways, a perfect addition to the movie although probably accidental. Fans of other revenge-style horror movies should probably enjoy this and it is recommended for those who like a nice, often subtle subtext to their films rather than just straight-forward and rather unimaginative horror. There are flaws with the film but most of those can be overlooked, even when the story seems to be bordering on the completely ridiculous or senseless. Entertaining, thought provoking and with well developed characters – recommended! My rating for ‘Massacre at Central High' – 7/10.

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Release Date:

10 November 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Massacre at Central High See more »


Box Office


$400,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Evan See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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