Synopsis: Someone is killing the high school track team. But who?!?
1. I had the most amazing babysitter in 1981. While I tried to be cool with my best Fonzie impression, she would tell me about the latest horror film she saw. She would show me the add in the paper and my imagination created the "Most Amazing Movie" in my head. She told me about The Howling and Happy Birthday To Me, and became my prototypical cool girl. During this blood soaked slasher cycle of '81, on the weekend before Friday the 13th Part 2 was released, Graduation Day hit the screens.
2. So many good movies came out this year, check out the riches below:
- January - Scanners (the poster is on my phone case)
- March - The Funhouse
- April - The Howling, The Hand, Friday the 13th Part 2
- May - Happy Birthday To Me, Outland
- June - Clash of the Titans, Dragon Slayer
- July - Escape From New York (the greatest), Wolfen
- August - Student Bodies, Deadly Blessing, American Werewolf in London
- October - Halloween 2, Looker
- November - Time Bandits, Dead and Buried, Roadgames (Jamie Lee Curtis horror)
- December - Ghost Story, Neighbors, Sharky's Machine
|I had this pic hanging in my cube for years.|
2. Star Christopher George jumped from one low budget slasher to the next in the 70s and 80s until his death in 1983. Former western and Mission: Impossible star, he was THE face of adult authority in these movies. He played the same hard as nails asshole in all of them. There must have been some massive alimony agreement somewhere to inspire his muse. The man was not afraid of slashers, and not afraid to cash a check.
|Graduation Day 1981|
|Blonde Girl 1.|
|Blonde Girl Switch Out, Linnea.|
|Back to Girl 1. We will reshoot NOTHING!|
4. The killer wears sweats in this. Maybe appropriate considering he's picking off members of the track team one by one, but obviously a sign of deep depression.
|I wasn't going to get out of bed today, but whatever.|
Or like this...
In my remake, he would have to chase them down with some sort of bone grinder muscle car.
Put on the front of this...
The movie writes itself.
6. I have to mention the crazy flash cuts in this that are super fun and would never be allowed in a movie today. I heard on the Hysteria Lives Podcast an interview with the editor who said the director hated them, but he had to use them because the director didn't know what he was doing and wasn't giving him the footage needed to construct the scenes. Sounds like a constructive collaboration! In the end, they give the movie a distinct character. The best example of this takes place during the...
7. ROLLER DISCO!!!!
At the roller disco we get to see awesome band "Felony" jam out some totally rad new wave tunes.
|in my game.|
The scene is amazing. So much feathered hair. So many nylon jackets. The remake demands that the meat grinder mobile busts in through the double exit doors and spin donuts in the rink, swallowing up skaters and creating so much gory havoc. That band needs to get eaten up.
8. This movie played on UHF 36 here in Atlanta ALOT. I needed to watch it again because certain scenes were etched in my head as being really gruesome. Now they are pretty silly. But that's what makes them cool.
The highlight is a sword in a football, tossed at the quarterback.
|Acting, you're doing it right.|
And the pole vaulter landing on a bed of spikes. In broad daylight. During school hours.
|Concept Art by Patrick Tatopoulos|
10. What sucks is that now I'm a grown up and I feel bad when I see these kids taken out before they have experienced anything but systematic conditioning under a state ran institution. They are prisoners, being told what to think and do, and that is all they have known. I started thinking about how in the remake (I made my own movie up while watching this), the school should be this fascist totalitarian institution, and the track team is this nationalist symbol of genetic superiority. Like the Nazis and the '36 Olympics. Until the Minotaur driving a Muscle Car Meat Grinder shows up and dismantles the system. Maybe he is a Nazi experiment. The system created him, and now he's going to tear that system DOWN! Graduation Day 5000!!!
Bonus: Denise Cheshire...
This actress went on to play the title role in the best baseball monkey movie ever made...
|She was destined for such greatness.|
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