Zombie High (1987)


Directed by: Ron Link

Written by: Tim Doyle, Aziz Ghazal & Elizabeth Passarell


Virginia Madsen .... Andrea
Richard Cox .... Philo
James Wilder .... Barry
Sherilyn Fenn .... Suzi
Paul Feig .... Emerson
Kay E. Kuter .... Dean Eisner
Scott Coffey .... Felner
Paul Williams .... Ignatius
Henry Sutton .... Bell
Walter Addison .... Chief Hillis
Christopher Peters .... Phillip

Release Date: Theatrical: October 2, 1987





A woman named Andrea (Virginia Madsen) goes to an all-male boarding school to try and get a scholarship as she distances herself from her boyfriend Barry (James Wilder) in order to devote more time to her new environment as he starts to pester her and get obnoxious due to this knowing that something isn't right at that school.
Andrea also finds out that over the courses the students there have lost their individuality, and approach their activities in a lifeless and automatic manner as one of the teachers named Philo (Richard Cox) who takes an interest in Andrea has a deep dark secret about himself as well as the other schoolboard members that no one knows about and their evil plans at the campus.


In the movie we have lots of goofy comedy in which this seems to tease you in the beginning wondering if this is a plain comedy after all and wondering if it's actually a zombie flick like the title suggests here. There's some good flirtatious moments with a student nerd like Emerson hitting on the beautiful women or crazy stuff at the cafeteria too.
Also a nice focus with the lead characters Andrea and Philo having a conversation as well as almost making out with one another while trying some sort of an object they try out with which seems to get your attention looking well focused when we spot this scene happening here.
The story starts to become more serious and drawing alot of mysterious elements especially with a moment on a camera spying along a staircase and going into the room with Andrea sleeping and suddenly she's trapped in a room and is about to be dissected which looked perfectly twisted only to realise that she's having a nightmare which is a nice key to the story and making you cringe that something creepy will happen into the story after all and making you want to watch for more to find more spooky moments ready to occur later on.
Perfect dysfunctional moment with a failing student named Felner getting attitudish towards one of his teacher along with nice intereactions between him and Andrea when she tries to talk to him in a cafeteria which looked well focused while this moment is happening here.
A perfect mysterious moment with Felner outside and a group of people walking towards him in each direction trying to trap him which really looked spooky and well shot with the people's pale looks and what their plans are with him as there's good close up shots on him being dragged into a stretcher while surgery is about to happen with him as this was another nice pointer looking perfectly twisted here.
Nice timing with Barry getting aggressive towards Philo and swinging a punch at him which looked very fast paced while we watch this and a bit intense too. A nice dysfunctional moment into the plot here that often works well while we see on what will happen later on in the story.
A strong mysterious moment with Felner acting strange towards Andrea when she speaks to him like someone took over his mind as this was a nice pleaser to the story making you wonder as to what happened to him since in the surgery room that he was trapped in.
There's a nice setting on a band playing performing soul music which adds a nice touch to an 80's flick such as this one and we see the people dancing stiffly which is supposed to look twisted and it does but it also looked rather silly than mysterious to what we've seen on what the students turned out to be with all that's happening here.
Things looked pretty corny when Philo tells Andrea whom he is and him being immoral for centuries as this doesn't look strongly driven in like it was supposed to have been but nicely written in at the same time here and his warning on what's going to happen.
Some near good suspenseful moments with Barry on his motorbike trying to dodge the people from ganging up on him which keeps you watching as to wonder whether or not he will get away from them and having a sinking feeling that he won't succeed here.
A nice camera shot looking up on some people looking down on Andrea about to do some dissecting which looked zany and psychological imagining if you were trapped and something deadly is about to happen to you as well.
Nice energetic moments with Andrea trying to struggle against Barry in a cellar and dumping wine bottle racks over him as well as neat shocking moments with some of the people running down to the cellar having the life sucked out of them which added nice horror special effects to the story and looked good and shocking too.
A nice strong setting with Andrea once again on the dissecting table as well as Dean Eisner getting aggressive with her acting insane adding more interesting touches to the plot here.
There's a good touching and sad moment with Andrea talking to Philo when he is nearly dying which drew in perfectly serious for this moment which makes you feel sad yourself for a good one out of the rest who's the hero in the story of the film as this looked well shot and well focused too.
There's a great fun near ending with Andrea and Barry when they put in a music tape to save the world from others being turned into these unhuman life wandering the town and the school.
Bottom line is that this is a weird movie and hard to follow as well plus it's twisted. Offering the odd fun touches like mentioned but no award winning story by any means. Can be fun to watch with a group of friends if you're in the mood for it. But if you are looking for a real good sotry this isn't it at all.

The acting is good as lead actress Virginia Madsen (Andrea) can seem to pull off her role in good taste as she shows a nice girl type of behavior as well as coming across as convincingly serious by what she does. She also seemed to concentrate fairly well while getting into a conversation or trying to help someone else. She also does a nice job having some nice upsetting reactions on stuff. She does a good job acting a bit drugged in certain spots making this come to life. Also was great by trying to struggle against her onscreen foe's adding more nice energy to this.
Richard Cox (Philo) was a real attanetion grabber as he was probably the best out of the cast here just adding a perfect seriousness into his role and offering a believeable mysterious behavior into his personality. Plus adds a good weird charm into what he does just approaching someone quite strongly. Plus shows off a good stern attitude whenever he had to act like this. Does a good job acting fast about stuff for the suspenseful moments and getting serious with what he has to stress while doing this. During the end of his performance he really was an attention grabber while acting weak and slowly dying letting out his emotions when speaking. He deserves a gold star for his performance here.
James Wilder (Barry) brought on some terrific dynamic energy as someone whom is a bit obnoxious and aggressive in which he had the perfect looks and appeal to be like this too. Also was perfectly fast acting with his blocking like punching someone or struggling against others while speeding away on his bike offering some great adrenaline. Plus was great acting heroic while trying to save someone and acting at full speed while trying to find a solution on stuff too. He brings that all in marvellously.
Sherilyn Fenn (Suzi) added a nice outgoing type of behavior as well as showing off a good sarcastic attitude. Seemed to show off some good spunk into what she does here and comes off perfectly onto the camera with her charming type of charisma that she offered here. Had the beautiful looks too which was another nice plus to her part of the film.
Paul Feig (Emerson) really showed it off portraying a nerd which he had the right looks for this as well as showing off a perfect hype to his attitude really jumping into the scene and getting in your face acting overly eager to get a date which he made this believeably energetic as well as making sure that his part was memorable onto the screen here. He proved to be a worthy character actor and a natural ham to top it off as well.
Kay E. Kuter (Dean Eisner) lived to play a grouchy and serious headmaster of the campus in which he studied this part in a good fashion here delivering his lines powerfully with every word he spoke. Plus does a nice job acting obnoxious too which made his presence convincingly unpleasant too. He also shows a great evilness to his part later on and coming across as a mad scientist of some type drawing this in terrifically too. Yes he had the perfect key role to the story and not letting an ounce of energy down here.
Scott Coffey (Felner) does his part nicely as a troubled and closed minded student in the film showing a perfect bluntness along with his spitting aggressions. Seemed to know how to take the bull by the horns with this as he was a real attention grabber by having a negative personality with whatever he does here. Also does a good job acting a bit intimidated when an evil plan surrounds him. Plus shows off a nice strange behavior later on which he knew on how to come across a eerie and mysterious.

Bodies start shrivelling up into skeletal corpses.
A bloodied head is revealed.

The music was nicely put together as we hear some icy piano playing for many of the dark scene's with the situations when something creepy is going to happen as well as some nice deep synthesizer playing too which really grabs your attention too adding great horror touches. Also some decent guitar twanging and fast piano playing for certain chase scene's which suited these moments too. More good adventureous music too having a good feel to this film during it's time here. All of this was put together by Daniel May

There's lots of nice soundtrack scores having a great 80's hard rock tunes to the story by the artists Kent Richards, Tymm Rocco, Bobby Gabriele. But the one that stands out the most is a stomping track for the closing credits titled "Kiss My Butt" as this has a Beastie Boys type of theme to it in fact cloning that band with the aggressive vocalising and some great guitar riffs too making everything sound uplifting to a happy ending that happened here.