The cover of the DVD contains a quotation saying this film sets a new "sterling" standard for independent film. I have to agree with this assessment. "Summer School" is not the best independent horror film you'll ever see, but given their budget you should be impressed with the lengths they were able to go. Much of the filming is on a production value level of the professionals (I especially was moved by the 1970s feel of the hillbilly scene). And if you've seen some of the poor excuses for horror films I have, this one is breath of fresh air.
What comes across as the film's weakness is also its strength. Each segment is written and directed separately (despite the upkeep of continuity), something I was not aware of until the end credits. This has the drawback that some of the scenes are clearly better than others (the vampire and hillbilly scene were great, the cult and spider scenes not as much). But it gives you the advantage that not liking one may mean that only a few minutes later you'll become interested again.
Generally speaking, the film gets better as it goes. Now, that may be because I was drinking some quality Scotch, but I don't think so. As well as the hillbilly and vampire scenes, there's an amusing Nazi scene (where I believe the killer -- played by Ty Richardson -- says "O Tannenbaum" as a taunt). And towards the end, things really heat up. I won't talk about that because it may give things away, but believe me it gets harder and harder to discern what is real and what isn't. You'll be second and triple-guessing yourself.
The talent was varied. For much of the film, I found the main actor decent but nothing special (although he grew on me as the film increased in intensity). His two friends Steve and Dennis (Tony D. Czech and Lance Hendrickson) were on opposite ends of the acting spectrum -- one coming across as a poor man's Jack Black and the other fitting his bad boy image to a tee. And the main actress playing Lindsey (Amy Cocchiarella)... I liked her. She had a charisma about her, and if she continues to wear the types of outfit she had in the vampire segment, I'm pretty sure she could be a budding scream queen if she wished to be.
To my knowledge, this film has not yet been picked up for distribution, and that is a travesty. I encourage horror fans -- especially those who support and promote independent cinema -- to obtain a copy of this film, which I believe you can do through the Random Creatureface website. Plenty of distributors exist and there's no reason this film cannot be picked up if it gets a good buzz. (See, for example, the film "Livelihood" which recently acquired distribution after a long and hard-fought online buzz campaign.)