Years after a gruesome slaughter took place in the local high school, rocking the small town of Crippen, a film crew has descended on the sleepy hamlet to make a movie about the mutilations – taking over the very location the killings took place in to film their low budget horror flick.
With on-set arguments, artistic tantrums and special effect set backs, the cast and crew are oblivious of the spooky goings on all around them. And one by one they are dispatched by an unknown, unseen killer.
Who is this psycho? Why are they reaping havoc? And can the doomed filmmakers and actors work out what is going on before their movie turns into a real-life remake of the mass murders?
Full of 80’s music, 80’s hair and 80’s style, Return to Horror High is a camp comedy horror, most notable for being the first film role for a certain movie megastar named George Clooney.
In his role as the lead actor, life imitates art as he walks off the set after being offered a role in a TV series which he hopes will propel him to stardom. Luckily for George this is where the similarities to his future career end as he is nastily murdered after only 13 minutes of screen time.
There is more going for this cult classic however than as a simple piece of Clooney fan history. Return to Horror High is an altogether entertaining piece of 80’s horror with enough originality to keep an audience interested.
Telling the story of the fatal film shoots final flurry in flashbacks, there is a constant warping of reality and fiction as the postmodern picture plays with its audience in the same way as Smash Cut and Scream, constantly referring to the movie making process.
As the frustrated director, writer and lead actress all ask for artistic integrity and intellectual content, the movie’s slimy producer Harry (excellent played by Alex Rocco) tries to amp up the gore, nudity and sex. All in an effort to sell the picture, knowing exactly what the fictional and real audience wants from its horror films and trying to deliver.
Reasonably well directed and acted, sadly the movie does not really deliver on the scares or frights, and goes for laughs rather than screams in most scenes. The constant squeaking noise that permeates the soundtrack is ominous, and the gothic climax which reveals the true killer is well done, although these creepy moments are very fleeting.
Return to Horror High is well worth a watch for its postmodern plotline and camp comedy. Also if you love George Clooney you get to see his earliest performance. And if you hate him you get to see him die horribly, so everyone’s a winner.
Return to Horror High is on The Horror Channel Saturday 5th February as part of there High School Saturday’s.