"85 mins of SHEER TERROR Who Dunnit"
directed by: Herb Freed Suspicion points in many directions. At Anne. At coach Michaels, who was fired as a
result of Laura's death. And at the campus policeman (Virgil Frye) whois disliked for his
over-zealous drug investigations. In spite of the murders, graduation day takes place as
planned, and is followed by a campus party with exciting musical group 'Felony'. The
mystery of 'whodunnit' isn't resolved until the very end of the film." choice dialogue:
starring: Christopher George, Patch Makenzie, Virgil Frye, Linnea Quigley
(back of video blurb):
"Star of her college track team, Laura Ramstead is making one final appearance before graduation. Urged on by the screaming and cheering teenage crowd, and by her coach (Christopher George), Laura bursts through to win her event. As pandemonium breaks loose, Laura slumps to the ground - dead. Her boyfriend (E. Danny Murphy) cannot reconcile himself to her death, even during the months that follow. The day before graduation Laura's sister Anne (Patch Mackenzie) returns to the college to accept a special award in the memory of the dead athlete. She sees a friend of Laura's out jogging and follows her. Soon afterwards the girl is found murdered in the woods - the first in a series of grisly, gruesome murders. Each of the young victims is a member of the track team.
Suspicion points in many directions. At Anne. At coach Michaels, who was fired as a result of Laura's death. And at the campus policeman (Virgil Frye) whois disliked for his over-zealous drug investigations. In spite of the murders, graduation day takes place as planned, and is followed by a campus party with exciting musical group 'Felony'. The mystery of 'whodunnit' isn't resolved until the very end of the film."
Arguably the most cheestastic of all the early 80's slashers. GRADUATION DAY starts off with young track star Laura collapsing and dying of a blood clot just after winning of her race. This tragic scene is dramatically 'improved' with a groovy disco score and a mixture of slo-mo and quick cuts to evoke the mounting pandemonium as the crowd realises what is happening (ie. lots of shots of teens gurning). Cue the arrival of the hooded killer who starts to kill the track team off one...by...one. To tie in with the sports theme you see the killer time each one of the murders with a stop watch, timing it so their death takes exactly as long as Laura's and then crossing their face off the team photo with lipstick. Red herrings abound. Just who is cutting down the young athletes in their prime?
You are just spoilt for cheesy moments in this flick. Just a few are...the piano teacher dressed like Vegas era Elvis crooning abombinations to adoring female students...the graduation party itself where breakdancing and roller boogie is the order of the day and the soundtrack provided by the truly appalling New Romantic/Rawk group 'Felony' ...the two teen girls who give the worst but funniest John Walter's like performance EVER!...the Kung-Foo fighting final girl...and last ,but certainly not least, the scene where Linnea Quigley flees the killer (who is dressed in fencing gear!) and all of her sudden...her blouse bursts open! Giving us yet more daft T&A that is peppered generously throughout the film.
There is one darkly effective scene in the movie, where it is revealed the killer has dug up Laura's putrefying body and dressed it in her graduation robes. Laura's sister is then almost forced to kiss the blackened lips. There is also an enjoyable if very hokey cheap shot semi-twist ending and the whole thing is pretty gory in cheapskate kind of way. However one character says towards the end of the film "Did you ever see anything so awful in your life?", which neatly sums it up! GRADUATION DAYonly gets the exaulted position of two stars, purely because it goes way off the 'cheese-o-meter'. Cut yourself a slice of camembert and sit back and enjoy!
BODYCOUNT 9 female:4 / male:5
1: Laura collapses and dies after winning the race
2: Female teen jogger has her throat slit
3: Female teen gymnast gets a sword tracheotomy whilst shaving her legs in a sink!
4: Teen male American Football player impaled on a flying football with a javelin spike attached.
5: Male teen decapitated with a sword.
6: Female teen decapitated with a sword
7: Male teen Pole-Volter impaled on bed of spikes hidden under landing mat
8: Middle aged man shot dead
9: Male teen impaled on the body of the Pole-Volter!