Student Bodies (1981) Blu-ray

1748310hSo, let’s begin…after getting re-acquainted with this flick I wondered how much of an influence this had on Wes Craven’s Scream (1996) and the more slapstick Scary Movie franchise (2000-2013)? The ending reveal shows us there were two killers, just like there was in Scream, but this particular movie feels more in line with the Airplane! and Naked Gun movies, which would thus put it more in line with the Scary Movie films.

Student Bodies is a straight up spoof of slasher flicks starting right off with a riff on Halloween (1978). Babysitter on Halloween is left alone and put in the easy position to be menaced and then killed by a slasher. Let’s not forget the boyfriend who shows up to scare the chick and then rush somewhere with her to screw her brains out. They are then both killed by aforementioned slasher as they screw or right after. Here they are both killed before they even get to screw. A fate worse than death some might say.

The “slasher” in this flick is called, The Breather, for he breathes heavy (over the top heavy, which is part of the gag) where ever he goes and when ever he menaces a chick on the phone. He wears menacing galoshes all the time and kills with the most absurd of weapons. For instance in the beginning when he’s considering a table full of possible death tools  he chooses and straightens out a paperclip, and paperclips the chick to death. She’s found with straightened paper clips sticking out all over her face. Other weapons used throughout the flick include a chalkboard eraser, an eggplant and a wooden horse head bookend.

He favors teenage couples as they’re about to have sex (standard M.O. for slashers from the 80s); killing the couple, and then bagging the dude in a hefty trash bag, leaving said dead bagged dude right next to the now dead chick he was about to bang.

Our heroes are Toby Badger (Kristin Riter) and her boyfriend, Hardy (Matt Goldsby). She’s a virgin who’s been conditioned to view sex as dirty but thinks about having it at times anyway, and Hardy is the boyfriend who probably wants to bang her badly but doesn’t nag her about it, figuring it all happen in good time anyway. Their currently sexually active classmates are getting bumped off right and left by what’s presented to the viewer as the obvious suspect, Malvert the janitor, played by an individual credited as The Stick. He’s painfully lanky, double-jointed and looks odd and talented in such a way to be more at home in a circus. The real killers are the principal and another teacher. He kills the chicks and she kills the dudes.

The movie is rife with site gags, running POV commentary by The Breather, occasional on screen disclaimers like “door unlocked” with an arrow pointing to the lock on the door, and a tally of how many people have been offed so far. Most everything I found at least chuckle-worthy to a degree.

One particular scene I thought was funny was when the movie just stops dead and cuts to this executive seated behind a desk. He says, “Ladies and gentlemen, in order to get an R rating today a motion picture must contain full frontal nudity, graphic violence or an explicit reference to the sex act. Since this film has none of those, and since research has proven R-rated films are by far the most popular with the movie going public, the producers of this motion picture have asked me to take this opportunity to say . . . fuck you!” 

I found one of the many endings interesting. The Wizard Of Oz (1939) one where Toby wakes up and finds the whole movie was a dream and everyone in her life played a small 180-degree role of their character in it. Well, afterwards when she and Hardy are out in the woods planning to have sex it’s suddenly revealed he’s the killer, but that makes no sense. It was a dream. And even Toby knows this. I couldn’t help but think was this a slight foreshadowing to A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985), where Freddy’s comes out of his dream world and into ours by possessing a kid and shedding his skin later on for the big party death scene?

Legend Films released Student Bodies back in 2008 on DVD only, and then released it on blu for the first time in 2011 as a double feature with Jekyll And Hyde…Together Again (1982). Come this August 25th Olive Films re-releases it separate DVD and blu-ray editions!

Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 1.78:1 high definition widescreen—2.0 English DTS-HD Master Audio—No subtitles.

Aside from a couple of scenes, for the most part, the blu-ray looks pretty good and I’m going to recommend it.

There are no extras on the DVD or the blu-ray, not even a trailer.

Student Bodies is one of those “memory movies” I had totally forgotten about until I saw Olive Films was putting it out on blu-ray. I was twelve when it hit theaters but have no memory of when I saw it on cable. I just know I did but I guess it never made that much of an impression since when I saw it last night I remembered only a couple of scenes. In short it has some amusing moments, and is a bit hard to get through at times, but since it comes from an era I favor fondly (the 80s) I will be adding it to my collection.

Looking into the films DVD release history I didn’t know it had come out before or even on blu-ray and where the double feature is concerned paired with another movie I had totally forgotten about until now.


About Shawn Francis

Movie collector and horror writer.
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