#31in31 2018: “Cutting Class”

“Boy’s locker room? Smells like something died in here!”

Story: Brian spent five years in a mental hospital after being accused of killing his father. When he starts high school with the kids he used to know, everything goes smoothly and absolutely nobody gets killed. Sike! But what’s really happening, and why?

Scares: Not many, but some decent suspense as you try to figure out who’s doing what.

Splat factor: Mild. Halloween-esque at most.

Closing scene “shocker”?: Nope, but the last scene is a gas. Don’t check out before the end credits roll.

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: original.

Trick or Treat?: A decent but relatively little known slasher whodunit from 1989 that looks and feels more like one from 1979. Relatively low body count, low gore score, and the good ol’ marginalization of the mentally ill trope.

If you’ve heard of this movie at all, it’s probably because it stars a baby Brad Pitt as top jock Dwight, two years before he’d break out in Thelma and Louise. His quirky tics are in full effect, which plays nicely with the “who’s the real killer” mystery. Donovan Leitch Jr. plays returning teen Brian with enough intense weirdness to let the cheap seats get their money’s worth. Screenwriter Steve Slavkin gives lots of fun dialogue, including my favorite straight from the disillusioned janitor; “I’m the custodian your fucking destiny!” Epic, y’all.

Bonus points for casting Roddy McDowell as principal and pantsu officianado, and Martin Mull in a hilarious turn as Mr. Carson, the Final Girl’s dad.

Fun but lightweight. If you’re into 80s horror, this should be in your queue, for the giggle value alone.

Score: 3 out of 5 pumpkins. I should rank it lower, but I can’t help myself. It’s good 80s fun.

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