The slogan says it all, The Awesome 80s Are Back! Now, for those of you who might have missed the first video revolution, it was an amazing time, I imagine that it was sort of like 43rd street when the grind-house theatres were in their glory days…only this happened everywhere. Video stores popped up on every corner and everyone who was anyone was out buying a VCR, and, because of the sudden surge in demand for movies, practically anything filmed was released on VHS. Well, thanks to Camp Motion Pictures we all have the chance to relive these glory days again, and I, for one, think that’s totally tubular!
Ghoul School is typical of the straight to video movies of the day, the effects aren’t that great, the story and acting are a bit below par, but it’s a little slice of 80s movie heaven. Ghoul School takes place at a high school (naturally), when two thieves hear that a janitor has a stash of money hidden in the school they decide to take it, but, during their search of the basement of the school, they accidentally release something into the water. It seems that the school doesn’t use city water, it uses a spring that happens to be located under the school, and when the water is contaminated it infects not only the crooks, but also the swim team that happens to be practicing at the time and anyone else who happens to come into contact with the water. And, when the water infects you, you become a flesh-eating ghoul! Now, it’s up to two students, who happen to be horror junkies to save their friends and the rock band that’s practicing in the school for the big dance and escape with their flesh intact!
Ghoul School is a real gem if you happen to be a Howard Stern fan, with a brief appearance by Jackie ‘The Joke Man’ Martling and his then-wife Nancy Sirianni, this is something that any Stern fan of the time was sure to have heard about. Besides having a small part in the movie, characters are seen wearing Joke Man T Shirts and Joke Man stickers are everywhere. Even local New York TV talk show host Joe Franklin plays a small part in this horror farce. Played more for humor than horror, Ghoul School is a small gem mined from the video ages. I’m giving Ghoul School two out of four cigars, it’s a great glimpse into what you probably would have rented in any video store in the 80s, but it’s also a reminder of how far we’ve come in independent cinema, you can check it out for yourself at the Camp Motion Pictures web site. So, until next time, when I’ll once again comb my hair back into that ‘flock of seagulls’ style that I love so much, remember that the best movies are bad movies.