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Monday, March 5, 2012

Zombie High (1987)

Zombie High is the only film Ron Link directed.  This is a bit of a surprise because there are much worse directors who have a long list of credits attached to their names. This does not mean that Zombie High is the Night of the Living Dead of the 80's.  Far from it.  But it's not nearly as bad as it's 3.7 rating on IMDB.  
Here's the good stuff:  Zombie High stars Virginia Madsen [Candyman, The Haunting in Connecticut] who gives a nice performance as our typical 1980's self-empowered heroine, Andrea, who discovers that something is amiss in her new school.  She can save the day and still have time for big hair and a keen fashion sense.  The rest of the cast is relatively unknown but does a solid job with the material they have to work with.  
Futhermore, the special effects and make up not terrible.  They are a bit cartoonish but I think this was intentional.  They add to the humor of the movie rather than the horror but that' O.K.  I had a good time watching them so no complaints here.
The bad news is that this story has been done many times over and much better.  Zombie High is predictable every step of the day.  There are really no surprises and it left me feeling like I've seen every character in this movie a thousand times over.  If you're looking for a better example of the sub-genre of the "evil teachers experimenting on their students and turning them into mindless zombies" try Disturbing Behavior (1998).
The other bad news is that this film has more in common with the Haitian voodoo mind control zombies than it does the modern zombie genre.  I prefer the latter and was expecting some flesh munching and shambling but there is none to be found here.  This was disappointing to say the least.
So, there are better movies you could watch on a rainy Saturday afternoon but there are certainly worse ones as well.  Zombie High is just adequate.  I don't feel the need to ever watch it again but I don't feel like it was a complete waste of my time either.
For more info check out the episode's entry in IMDB.

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