Let’s stick with 1981 for today’s Sham Shocktober movie. It was a great year for slasher movies, seeing the release of classics like My Bloody Valentine, The Prowler, Hell Night and The Burning... but was it a great year for slasher spoofs?
Remember when Scream hit it big in 1996? Soon after, there was the run of copycat movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legend, swiftly followed by the franchise sequels Scream 2 and 3, and finally the parodies: Scary Movie, which was funny when it stuck to actually spoofing slashers, and Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th, which wasn’t funny when it spoofed anything.
The same pattern of clones, sequels and spoofs emerged in the original slasher cycle post-Halloween, with Student Bodies first out of the gate. I’ve never seen it but the very fact that it’s associated with 80s slasher movies and comes authentically from the era, means I’m inescapably intrigued. Plus, it recently came out on DVD.
Trouble is, I’ve had my fingers burned in the past by early 80s slasher spoofs – specifically, I’m looking at you, Wacko, with your amusing opening followed by a tedious decline into nothingness (seriously, did that movie actually end, or just stop when the director clocked 80 minutes on his stopwatch?). Then again, 1982’s spoof Pandemonium is a joy – as you’d expect from anything that managed to collect together Edie McClurg, Carol Kane, Paul Reubens, Eileen Brennan and Judge Reinhold. But what about Student Bodies? It certainly has the best title, but is it any good? And should I splash out on that DVD?
Not sure about that tagline, though: “At Last, The World’s First Comedy Horror Movie”... Didn’t they see Exorcist II?