zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....huh? Whazzat? Where am I? Where are my pants? What the-?
Oh! Ahem...it's you, dear reader. Hi. Sorry, I must've dozed off for a while there during tonight's feature presentation, the 1981 slasher Graduation Day. Maybe that's why it says on the video box "You won't want to see this alone!": you need someone to jab you in the ribs when you fall asleep.
Talk about your pieces of crap. Wow. This movie is a prime example of the rush to put out slasher upon slasher after the success of Friday the 13th. Strictly dullsville, daddy-o. I will say, however, that I never expected to see the names Linnea Quigley and Vanna White roll by in the same credits. Yes, the B-Movie Boob Queen and America's Letter-Turnin' Sweetheart, on the silver screen together at last. Personally, I'd rather see them as an antagonistic buddy-cop duo, but even pairing them under those circumstances has the eerie ring of a Nostradamus doomsday prediction.
High school track superstar Laura (Ruth Ann Llorens) keels over dead at the finish line after a record-breaking race. Over the next couple of days, the rest of the track team ends up murdered one by one, leading up to...Graduation Day. Who could be killing these young athletes? Could it be...
...Laura's sister Anne (Patch Mackenzie), home from the Navy for the graduation ceremonies?
...the lecherous principal (Michael Pataki), who cuts up his apple with a deadly switchblade?
...Laura's track coach (Christopher George), who screams at his athletes AND who got fired after Laura's death?
...the creepy dope-smoking cop (Virgil Frye)?
...or Laura's boyfriend Kevin (E. Danny Murphy), who just can't seem to get over Laura's death?
HINT: It's the boyfriend. He blamed the coach and the track team, feeling that their pushing Laura so very hard to acheive is what lead to her fatal blood clot on that sad, sad day. He makes them all pay, then goes home to Laura's corpse, which he's dressed in cap and gown and plopped in a rocking chair.
This is one of those movies that you just want to END, and it NEVER SEEMS TO. The killer comes back 3 times too many, the red herrings are so poorly laid on as to be ludicrous (everyone in town owns a stopwatch?), the deaths are just laughable...although I will say that Kevin does employ what I believe to be the single greatest weapon in the history of the slasher: the football with a sword attached. It's thrown with such gusto that only the football itself stops it from passing completely through the victim.
So, there's three things I took away from Graduation Day that I will cherish forever and ever: the football with a sword attached, a fervent desire to change my name to "Patch Mackenzie", and a fantastic pickup line: "Do you like snakes? I call this my little cobra.". Without those three magic beans, I'd give this movie 2 stars- but with 'em, it's elevated to 2-and-three-quarters bloody mortar boards*!
*NOTE: film contains no bloody mortar boards