Dig the crazy "once in a lifetime cast" populating this obnoxious late 80s supernatural teen horror opus: Allen Garfield (THE CONVERSATION, BUSTING), Elliot Gould (M*A*S*H*, BUSTING), Richard "Shaft" Roundtree, Michael J. Pollard (DIRTY LITTLE BILLY, "Star Trek"), Shannon Tweed, Henry Gibson, and 90s porn sensation Teri Wiegel? To hell with the movie! the casting work alone makes watching this crap almost worthwhile.
Which is as lousy of a teen horror movie as they come, though I have to admit it does have a couple of interesting things to offer. Allen Garfield plays a history teacher at a high school for 20 year olds who just happens to be a practicing satanist. With the help of his apparently retarded brother Michael J. Pollard, Garfield has been leading a double life murdering hookers for Satan when he isn't giving his pretty boy students a hard time for being late to class.
The pretty boy is played by Derek Rydall who fellow aficionados of 80s teen horror will recognize (or, not) as the freak at the center of ERIC'S REVENGE: PHANTOM OF THE MALL, which also had a somewhat bizarre, once in a blue moon cast (Paulie Shore, Morgan Fairchild, Brinke Stevens, and Ken DAWN OF THE DEAD Foree). Rydell is a stunt performer turned would be leading hunk and now a writer ("The Power Rangers") which is helpful because he got to do all of his own stuntwork, though I am not sure if Allen Garfield was that spry.
Back to the movie, Rydell's pretty boy hunk Billy is blessed with a hot mom, a hot gal-pal best friend, and a new hot blond neighbor who is apparently a hooker turning tricks right in her own home. She also doesn't mind if young Billy watches her at work through her windows, gives him cans of beer and flashes her cleavage at him whenever she gets a chance. What a place! In fact everybody in this movie is either gorgeous, well dressed, comfortably rich or all of the above. Even Elliot Gould as the burnt out washed up cop who used to be Billy's dad's partner back when he was on the force. His place has Japanese wicker furniture, a polished hardwood floor and yet he still mopes around in a funny hat just like in BUSTING looking all burnt out & washed up, which Elliot Gould is of course very good at.
Where was I. Oh yes, the neighbor finds herself being murdered for a satanic ritual while Billy watches, he decides to climb up onto her roof to get some pictures to better remember the moment by, and realizes his history teacher is really a disciple of Lucifer. The film then becomes a "Nobody believes me!" game where Billy tries to convince Shaft that his history teacher murdered the hot blond next door.
You'd think someone might listen to the kid -- he even has pictures, mind you -- but no, he and his spunky cute girlfriend have to play Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boy to try and get evidence nailing the guy and end up being chased by Michael J. Pollard in D-Day's Deathmobile from ANIMAL HOUSE. Their solution to get away? THROW A WATERMELON THROUGH THE FRONT WINDSHIELD, which isn't as surprising as the realization that people grow watermelons in Los Angeles in random urban lots.
Meanwhile (there are a LOT of meanwhiles in this movie) Michael J. Pollard also has porn starlet Teri Wiegel chained up down in their basement, and she gets to display her naked breasts for the camera before being slaughtered as a ritual prize for Satan. Yet amazingly this is done in a manner that is surprisingly un-sleazy, which is about the only thing I would fault the movie for: It's not sleazy enough, and ultimately too stupid to actually take seriously.
And yet it has a certain something: Allen Garfield is one of cinema's great overlooked villain actors, his crazed bugging expert gave me nightmares after seeing THE CONVERSATION for about the hundredth time, and what's funny is that the movie actually has no problem with his high school teacher being a satanic pervert. It's just like belonging to the Rotary Club or something, and the weird part is that nobody seems to care even when it should be pretty obvious that the guy has some major judgment issues as he plays bizarre, legally problematic head games with his students. While wearing a pink tie. Right.
You'd think somebody would have said something to the school board about him, but there's a sort of white-bread suburbanite conspiracy going on in the movie's fictional community where everybody does their best to fit in, not rock the boat, and just shrug it off as one of those things. Which is what might work best about the film: Any community that has hookers wandering the streets, satanists butchering them and hot blonds moving in next door who don't mind being ogled by their horny neighbors can't be all that boring of a place to live, I guess.
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