Hell High!

Where the students are DYING to graduate!

HELL HIGH (1989)

A sexually repressed biology teacher named Brooke Storm (Maureen Mooney) is tormented by memories of the violent impalement death of two sexually frustrated greaser teens that she accidentally unleashed during her tender youthful years as a pink party dress sporting Jon Benet lookalike. All grown up but mentally disturbed, Ms. Storm begins to crack when one of her very worst students – a nasty punk named Dickens (Christopher Striker – RIP) begins harassing her. The tension reaches a breaking point when Ms. Storm snaps and slaps the Dickens out of Dickens in class. Humiliated, Dickens vows revenge on the teacher.

The incouragable sociopath Dickens is never far away from his loyal followers – Smiler and Queenie. Smiler (Jason Brill) is the token obnoxious giggling fat fuck moron, and Queenie (Millie Prezioso) is a slut with attitude and a taste for the colorful fashions of Cindy Lauper. The gang becomes a fearsome foursome when Dickens befriends a pretty boy pussy named Jon Jon (Christopher Cousins) who recently quit the school’s football team because he couldn’t take the pain. Dickens shares his trusty bottle of Jack Daniels with Jon Jon after school and then the two fast friends bond some more while following Ms. Storm home from school. Jon Jon starts whining about how he doesn’t like “the stink of it,” which prompts Dickens to respond with the classic line “You don’t like the stink of nothing. Besides, there’s nothing after high school. There’s only more stink.”

The boys follow Ms. Storm back to her isolated home near a swamp and get their jollies peeping at her in the shower. Much to the lads (and the viewers) shock and delight, the closeted and conservative looking Ms. Storm actually has a smoking hot body, and she seems to get a big kick out of groping her soapy breasts in the shower (Do girls really do that?!?)! The next day, the pack of misfits attend a football game at the school. This allows Dickens a chance to approach an injured player on the sidelines and threaten to “open up” his leg wound with a huge oversized knife! Then the gang hop into Dickens’ car and drive onto the football field so Jon Jon can intercept the ball mid-throw and ruin the game for his former team mates.

Later that night the kids decide to go to Ms. Storm’s house for a little fun. The pack of hooligans head into the swamp to gather up as much slime as they can in garbage bags and then proceed to vandalize her house. They throw the slime all over the house, dump a bucketful on Ms. Storm’s face, jump up and down on the roof, and break a window in the front door. Their festivities are briefly interrupted by the high school’s lesbian swim coach, who unexpectedly shows up at the house to visit Ms. Storm. Unbelievably, the coach doesn’t seem the least bit concerned to find her friend babbling hysterically and covered in slime. The broken window doesn’t faze her either. Instead of doing something crazy like calling the police, she gives Ms. Storm an incredibly fast acting quaalude, tucks her into bed, and leaves!

This gives Dickens and the gang the perfect opportunity to break into her home. The mean spirited pranks turn sinister when both Dickens and Queenie take turns molesting the drugged and delirious teacher. Fortunately for Ms. Storm, Dicken’s concept of “nailing this bitch” consists solely of pawing at her breasts and scrunching up her nightgown a bit. Some in-fighting between the kids gives Ms. Storm a window of opportunity to escape, which she attempts to do by swiftly defenestrating herself! The gang is shocked and horrified, but express more fear for their futures than remorse for their deeds. Jon Jon even mutters “There goes my future.”

But unfortunately for everyone involved, Ms. Storm isn’t dead. The now battered and bloody biology teacher finally snaps and goes berserk. Her demented night of vengeance is best summed up by the European title of the film – “Raging Fury!” The gory highlights include heads being bashed with rocks (very brutal!), pencils shoved into temples, multiple bloody impalements, throat slitting, and human dissection experiments for homework. This teacher is tough, and her final exam will be murder. Don’t go down to the swamp tonight…

HELL HIGH is a semi-obscure low budget horror flick from the dying days of the 80′s slasher craze, and exactly the type of flick I had in mind when I started doing these PFTC reviews. Sadly, “Hell High” didn’t exactly set the box office on fire, only raking in a meager $187,920. For some reason this film received terrible reviews, mostly from critics who apparently didn’t even watch the movie before reviewing it. I say that because comparisons to “Carrie” and “Prom Night” are beyond me. Perhaps the title is misleading, because this is hardly your run of the mill high school slash ‘em up. Most of the film takes place off campus, the body count is too low to qualify this one as a real slasher, and the flick plays out more in the sleazy revenge-themed tradition of clas-sicks like “I Spit On Your Grave” and“Class Of 1984.” 

There are a couple of very nice T&A shots for perverts to enjoy, the highlight being Ms. Storm’s extended shower masturbation scene. Hats off to director Douglas Grossman for fine use of top quality stunt breasts in that one. Lead actress Maureen Mooney was pregnant during the filming, and actually looked fairly disgusting in the nude – as you can very quickly see as she gets out of the shower. This flick isn’t exactly a wall to wall blackboard bloodbath in the same league as “Massacre At Central High” or “Slaughter High,” but the semi-frequent violent scenes are always satisfyingly vicious. I already mentioned the especially brutal head-bashing sequence, the multiple bloody impalements, and the sight of the teacher’s pencil slamming to the fat fuck’s temple will also make the grade for gorehounds.

I also thought the acting in this film was better than you’ll often find in your average low budget horror flick. Maureen Mooney does a great job in the multi-layered leading role, as does Christopher Striker as her arch nemesis. There’s some really great chemistry between the two, you really get the feeling that they genuinely despise each other. (Sadly, Striker passed away from AIDS shortly after the film finished shooting and didn’t live to see its release.) “Hell High” is also notable for featuring one of the very best male screams in all of horror history, provided by Jon Jon himself – Christopher Cousins. Your eardrums will also be assaulted by some hideously catchy original pop music provided by Johnny Vance. The toe tapping theme song “I’ll Trust In You” will haunt your dreams for weeks after seeing this one.

I have fond memories of first seeing this clas-sick flick back in 1990 on Joe Bob Briggs’ “Drive In Saturday Night” show on The Movie Channel. The fine folks at Shriek Show helped bring back those memories by releasing a fantastic dvd of HELL HIGH that includes goodies like a directors commentary track, interviews, trailers & TV spots, and best of all – a hilarious commentary track with none other than Joe Bob Briggs himself! Like all of Joe Bob’s books and commentary tracks – this one is hilarious and incredibly informative. (I am not ashamed to admit that I stole literally everything from his commentary track for this review!) I’m a huge fan of this one and highly recommend a purchase.


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