Six people are trapped within the confines of their old high school during their 10th high school reunion with a psychotic, masked preacher who kills them off for their sinful lives they have made for themselves.
Six former classmates receive invitations one day to a high school reunion. When they arrive at their alma mater, however, they find that not only are they the only ones to have receved letters, the invitations were actually sent by a deranged preacher intending to murder them all as punishment for their wicked ways. Will any of them escape from the remote schoolhouse alive, or will they all meet their final judgement?Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
The restaurant where Terry eats his lunch is a real 1950s style diner called Wright's Dairy Rite in Staunton, Virginia. See more »
At the very end of the film, Christopher walks back into the lake and submerges. Once submerged, the scene cuts to a much more broad picture of the lake in which the credits start to roll. If you look very closely at the right side of the picture, you can see a person walking along a path that is on the right edge of the lake. It is clearly Christopher because he has the same blue shirt and maroon pants on. See more »
This offbeat little curiosity happens to be one of my absolute favorite slasher films. In fact, only 1974's "Black Christmas" (which is also my pick for best of the horror genre in general) beats it. Released mere months before Carpenter's "Halloween" would kick start the core slasher movement, it's an extremely eerie picture. There's a sense of the foreboding here that is more prevalent than you'd expect. It focuses on a mysterious morality killer who tricks a group of "undesirables" into attending a fake high school reunion, only to begin picking them off once they arrive. If you think this sounds a bit like "Slaughter High", you'd be right. This came first and is the infinitely better of the two. It's religious subtext alone makes it far more intriguing than that popular, but ultimately quite bland effort.
The six so-called degenerates include a lawyer, a gay actor, a lesbian, a cute girl who takes pride in her appearance, a rich snob and a cocky former football jock with gluttonous tendencies. Despite negative comments about the acting on this site and in a horror reference guide of mine, the six main characters are perfectly believable people. In fact, all but the glutton wind up being rather likable, particularly Cindy, played with a free-spirited innocence by the lovely Jeannetta Arnette. The Redeemer himself comes off as over the top at times, which actually works in the character's favor, really making him seem like an absolute lunatic. His Shakespearean rant in the auditorium is a highlight. Props to T.G. Finkbinder for going all in with the role and, in turn, bringing to life one of the most memorable psychos on film.
Indeed, the Redeemer is a very creepy individual. Throughout, he dons many different costumes (as "Terror Train"'s killer did a few years later), each one representing an aspect specific to his victims' lives. It's an unsettling touch that really adds to the overall tone. Perhaps the creepiest scene in the entire movie is when one of the girls is yelling for someone in the distance to let her out of the locked down school. Said individual turns out to be the Redeemer, dressed as the Grim Reaper, who proceeds to pound on the barred window with his scythe.
This film is an exercise in the surreal, the above mentioned sequence being positively nightmarish in execution. The film's ambiguous opening and closing segments revolving around a sinister child reinforce this feeling tenfold. The school itself is an atmospheric setting, imprisoning our characters like a tomb. The rural area surrounding it certainly lends to the feeling of hopeless isolation.
Having originally seen this via the big box "Class Reunion Massacre" VHS at my local video store, I was instantly taken with it. Not easy to forget, it's a bleak, dread-inducing slasher with a unique utilization of religious themes and well worth rediscovering. It should be regarded much more highly. It truly is one of a kind.
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