Horror High (1974)


Directed by: Larry N. Stouffer

Written by:
 J.D. Feigelson


.... Vernon Potts
.... Lieutenant Bozeman
.... Robin Jones
.... Coach McCall
.... Roger Davis
.... Miss Grindstaff
.... Mr. Griggs

Release Date: Theatrical: March, 1974



A nerdy whiz kid Vernon Potts (Pat Cardi) is being tormented in school by his teachers and peers and is more interested in his science experiments than his schooling as he found a formula that he uses to transform him into a violent powerful monster in which he goes on a killing spree with the people at his school that wronged him.


Nice opening with Vernon Potts riding his bike to school while reading something as this shows off that he is a typical whiz nerd but not overly nerdy either.
While after class we have him dealing with the bitter Miss Grindstaff coming down on him as well as cutting his notes he worked hard on with a paper cutter which stood out well while watching this that he isn't liked at the school as well as having a feeling that she will get what's coming to her in the end.
Then when going to gym class he spots his redneck Coach McCall wrist wrestling with another teacher which looked very different for a highschool horror flick along with him not being nice to this poor kid. The situations here looked pretty cheesy to watch.
Then he gets tormented by school buliies which looked very in your face to watch lead by the nasty Roger Davis as this looked fairly natural on mean kids towards a defenseless one and I got into this scene failry well.
What grew really intense is when he is in a geometry class at night and spots as to what happened there and it isn't pretty along with the janitor Mr. Griggs lashing out at him and being evil as well as vengeful in which we spot many disturbing situations going on here. Plus there's pressuring psychological moments when he forces him to drink something that could kill him. Certainly makes you watch and wonder if he will do so and then the horror breaks loose which looked fairly entertaining to watch.
The next day looked even more shocking is when one of his classmates opens something up in the class and sees as to what is in there which looked horrifying and well put into the story.
Then Vernon helps out Robin Jones with her homework as she is the nice girl of the head bully Roger Davis and while we watch them having a discussion you get a good feeling that she will come on to him and try to kiss him that it's going that way big time. This seemed to fit in nicely.
Vernon has to deal with the bitter Miss Grindstaff as she told him he could fail his grad year and so fourth which was nicely focused and so fourth along with him later on drinking a potion to make him powerful and crazy while trying to attack her as this looked nicely intense as well as her trying to get away from him and there's a camera shot on her hands holding the cutting paper which isn't a smart idea while trying to save her life from him since it leaves a clue as to what he will do to her.
Coach McCall has a discussion with Vernon as it looked like he was trying to help him out in his school year as it came across that he wasn't such a bad guy after all only to try and blackmail him as this brought back the negativity which I got the feeling that he will be Vernon's next victim for revenge. It seemed impressive.
Coach McCall is entering the school at night with cheesy sounds of thunder as this is often a tradition for a horror flick when something deadly is about to happen and the settings looked perfectly dark and he does get his just desserts big time at the end of this scene and it looked quite violent to watch even if it sometimes looked too dark to see on what's going on.
Suddenly the police are on him and he is in the school trying to escape from them as well as a nice strong discussion when he tells Robin as to what he is doing and why which was nicely put in along with him attacking Roger which served this prick right. Then there's a sad ending of course that involves Vernon.
Bottom line is this is an obscure film that has a topic in the school on a subject of Jekyll & Hyde as the story also pays a tribute on that. It was okay for what it was and the story was plain and simple without it being too complicated. However, when Vernon changes we briefly see his bloodied looks but not too much which was a disappointment. The film was also known as Twisted Brain

The acting is quite dated but not overly terrible as (Vernon Potts) seemed to do his role as a science geek in which he had the right looks and presence for this type of character and not looking overly nerdy. He seemed to do well by acting hyper and anxious during certain situations as well as doing a passable job acting wild when he changes. He was stiff with his characteristics but he was okay.
(Lieutenant Bozeman) is the best out of the whole cast in which he seemed to do greatly with his seriousness as a detective in the film. He brought alot out to his questionings on other as well as getting into the action.
(Robin Jones) just couldn't cut it at all as she was very stiff with her lines as well she was phony when she had to utter some sobs. Sorry she just didn't have the talent for the role as well her looks didn't suit her role either.
(Coach McCall) had the stocky masculine and brawny looks for a gym teacher which he came across well by acting unpleasant but of course was just a line reader and had a difficult time getting into his character but does come across well by acting like a macho type of bully teacher.
(Roger Davis) had the perfect jock brawny looks and appeal to play a school bully and seems to do a fine job with his nasty sarcasm as he proved that he was unpleasant but of course was stiff like the rest of the cast.
(Miss Grindstaff) seemed to know her stuff as a bitter closed minded teacher in which she shows an emotionless type of attitude and pulled off her part well as someone you wouldn't want to be around. Was okay with her scared attitude too near the end of her performance.
(Mr. Griggs) had the most effective supporting role as a cold janitor in which he was great acting vicious and manipulative as well as forceful. Knew on how to act haywire and violent too. He was an evil force of nature.

Fingers are chopped off by a paper cutter and a brief clip on the person's head as well.
Bloody gunshot.

Don Hulette really left a nice low budget impression with what he does for each scene as he has eerie and schreechy synthesizer music and creepy tones to it all which reminds me of some similar music I heard in Madman. Also has some nice disco flavored type of music in other spots as it was suitable for a film of it's time.

During the opening and closing credits we hear the song "Vernon's Theme" Written and Performed by Jerry Coward in which it has a somewhat sad like vocalising to the story and had a nice touch to the film mainly during the ending.