Earn a Higher Degree in Terror!

Where the school colors are blood red!

SPLATTER UNIVERSITY (1984)

SPLATTER UNIVERSITY starts off with a bang inside an insane asylum where a dangerous paranoid schizophrenic named William Grayham is discovered missing. An orderly goes looking for him and gets stabbed in the dick for his efforts. The maniac (we never see his face) then slips into the orderly’s bloodstained uniform and escapes. We then flash forward three years later to the campus of St. Trinians College. A pretty young sociology teacher is grading papers in her classroom and a killer whom we assume is William Grayham shows up to stab her in the tits.

A new teacher named Julie Parker (Francine Forbes) soon arrives on campus as a replacement. The head of the university – Father Jansen (Dick Biel), welcomes Julie to the faculty, but also warns her about the supposed “curse” on her classroom and the murder that recently occurred there. He then assures her that the murder was an isolated incident. Julie is shocked to discover that a violent death had taken place in her new classroom, but she is strapped for cash and decides to accept the job anyway. As Julie struggles to make a connection with her brain dead students she eventually develops a relationship with a handsome teacher named Mark Hammond.

It doesn’t take long before the killer strikes again. Various dimwitted students and teachers are slashed in the forehead, stabbed in the back, disemboweled on the toilet, and have their throats slit. When her best friend is found mutilated in a stationary cupboard, Julie finally decides that it’s time to pack up and leave town. As she attempts to break off her relationship with Mark and give her notice to Father Jansen she gets closer to the psycho killer than ever before. As the madman’s secret identity is finally revealed, the teacher becomes the student and earns a higher degree in terror!

Incredibly, four different writers are responsible for creating this flick. Co-writer and director Richard W. Haines was apparently warming up for his more well known slice of school savagery – “The Class Of Nuke ‘Em High.” “Splatter University” was originally a Troma production, and Lloyd Kaufman gets a credit as a “creative consultant.” As you might expect, this is a very cheesy horror flick with a lot of dumb humor. Some folks will bust a gut laughing at the wacky hijinks including booger eating mental patients and beer swilling college cretins and others will simply find this to be stupid as hell. I fall somewhere in the middle. I think this flick is actually a lot better than most people give it credit for, but it is still not meant to be taken too seriously. It’s obvious that this flick was intended to be a joke, so the key to enjoying it is to have a drink or seven and just go along for the ride.

Slasher fans should certainly enjoy the classroom carnage. The uncut version of this flick features some nice bloody stabbings and sliced up corpses. One of the film’s clas-sick taglines was “Where the school colors are blood red!” and the film more than makes good on that promise. There is no shortage of blood and violence. There’s also quite a few tense moments leading up to the climax of the film. While a lot of fans and critics seem to dismiss this one as being pure schlock, I think the serious horror elements are there and that they are convincingly effective. The mystery of the killer’s identity is sort of a joke, but perhaps I find wheelchair bound priests that spy on people and tremble uncontrollably to be overly suspicious. I blame my Catholic upbringing.

Special attention must be given to actress Denise Texeira, who plays a smoking hot freckle faced ginger chick cleverly named Denise. Denise sports a thick “New Joisey” accent, fifteen pounds of poofed up red hair, and rocks a pair of tiger print panties OVER her black tights! I fucking love her! Speaking of smoking hot ginger chicks, lead actress Francine Forbes is also pretty damn easy on the eyes. She has a great smile and a likable quality about her. It’s not surprising she later went on to become a staple of annoying infomercials. She now goes by the name Forbes Riley, and you can currently catch her hawking Jack Lalane juicers and comfort shoe inserts. I wish she had done more horror flicks over the years, but I was happy to see she once made an appearance on “Boy Meets World” as a reporter.

This flick also has a really cool punk rock connection. George Seminara appears in the film as a character named Tony. George went on to appear in a couple other flicks, but is better known as a producer and director. He directed The Ramones home videos “Lifestyles Of The Ramones” and “It’s Alive 1974 – 1996,” as well as an excellent documentary/concert called“Live In New York” featuring Agnostic Front, Sick Of It All, and Gorilla Biscuits! It’s too bad The Ramones or Agnostic Front didn’t contribute to the “Splatter University” soundtrack. The crap music in this flick is credited to Chris Burke, and I’m not entirely sure that he isn’t the same Chris“Corky” Burke who stole America’s heart as a lovable teenage retard on“Life Goes On.” 

Elite Entertainment released SPLATTER UNIVERSITY on dvd. The only bonus feature is a pair of theatrical trailers, but at least the film is presented uncut and uncensored. I would love to see a special edition dvd release with a Francine Forbes commentary track and a “where is she now” piece on Denise Texeira, but I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for that one! This flick always makes me laugh, even with repeat viewings, and I highly recommend it to all slasher fans and survivors of the gloriously awful Eighties.

KEEP THE BLOOD FLOWING!!!

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