Oh yes. An 80’s set horror film with flair. This is an excellent example of cheesy, fast paced, lots of nudity, hilariously awesome effects, and a ridiculous story done well. From the intro- which feels a bit rushed, to the climactic and gory end (gory being the understatement), “Murder University” is awesome!
Being a horror nerd, I love the tropes that the 80’s horror films introduced us to- sex+alcohol= death. This movie has that times ten. I truly feel that the filmmakers behind the camera understood the hilarity of the genre they chose as well as the aspect of making a good slasher film. The film starts off with your stereotypical handful of horny teens- the jock, the nerd, the cheerleader (one can assume), and the smart one. They wander the somewhat abandoned halls of Murder U, and give the exposition of the “Greensboro Devils”. In a fun twist, the male characters get killed off (in albeit typical ways) and then it is revealed that it was the girls who killed them- I know, right? But then the “Devils” swoop in and start hacking heads. Then kicks off the awesome credit sequence with the theme song- “Murder U”. (I love it when the movies have a theme song with the title of the movie in it!)
We are introduced to an Elijah Wood stand in look-a-like as the protagonist, Josh (played by the adorable Jamie Dufalt). He’s sweet, cute, and nerdy- just what we expect in the “virgin”. Still grieving from his father’s demise, he heads off to college at his father’s alma mater and quickly ends up the outcast. A variance of other stereotypes are brought in to play against Josh, including the wannabe porn director roommate, the sweet and overbearing mother (who frequents the campus gay strip club? Who does that?), and the mean teacher. Of course, a handful of the characters get killed in fun ways by the “Greensboro Devils”- PRACTICAL EFFECTS! YAY! I do have to say there is one hilariously overacted character- the one of Juicy K. Thunder (played by an eccentric Aaron Peaslee)- who I really wanted to see have a cool death, but I will spoil it by saying- nope.
Of course, the males in the audience will love the fact that within the first five minutes of the film, a girl takes her shirt off and the 80’s trope of boobs and blood is satiated. For the lady horror fans, the guys are cute, and there are a few scenes where you have shirtless (and pantless) guys, but no full frontal- which is probably for the best.
I definitely enjoyed the overall feeling of the film- the satirical vibe of sort of taking the story seriously, but not too seriously. The blood is overtly fake, the actors overact their deaths (especially in the intro), and the scalping scene is bearable only for the fact that it is an obvious toupe and the knife is not even touching the scalp!
As far as the cinematography and lighting, I was impressed with what director Richard Griffin and his team were able to pull off with the $20,000 budget. Stock shots of a flyover of a brightly lit city tucked in add production value, but detract from the story, which purely takes place on the college campus. The score did an excellent job of keeping the film interesting but not distracting, and of course the 80’s style rock songs harken back effortlessly. In the director’s commentary, Griffin talks about the variance in the locations and how that adds production value to the film, and its so true. The audience never gets bored with the constant motion in the film- which slows down from the slightly rushed intro once Josh and his story kick in.
As in the lingo of the 80’s, its a totally rad movie and you should totally scope it out!
“Murder University”, which was film in 2012 by Scorpio Film Releasing is being released this year and you can check out more information on their Facebook page here.