Camp Motion Pictures // 1990 // 72 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 23rd, 2007
A crappy movie gets a double-dip. Lucky you.
Ghoul School hit the DVD rack in 2004, but someone thought it was a good idea to drag it into the public spotlight once more with a "super bloody splatter university edition." The movie is set in a high school, not a university, but it's not like the film itself makes a shred of sense anyway.
Ghoul School tells the epic story of two high school students who look like they're 30 and their battle with a flesh-eating swim team. What could possibly make a swim team crave flesh? I asked myself that very same question and was shocked to find out that the answer is stupid. Two bungling criminals screwing around in the school's basement accidentally send toxic gas into the water supply, poisoning the swimming pool. Inexplicably, the swimmers turn into ghouls and proceed to run through the hallways, murdering anyone they cross paths with and chewing on their limbs.
Why must we deal with this film again? Before I tread any further, I'll hit you with the capsule review right off the bat: this movie is terrible, but, if there's enough alcohol on the premises, it may provide an evening of laughter at its expense for you and your favorite inebriated pals. It's funny because the brains behind Ghoul School take the thing seriously, and the sheer inadequacy of the film to even partially deliver a serious horror experience should yield a Jim Beam-soaked chortle or too.
There's plenty to berate in this film, from the incoherent swearing that passes as acting to the hacksaw editing that cuts dialogue off in mid-utterance. Each new frame brings shame to all those involved with the project, but potential derision-fueled bliss to those who watch it. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with the school's basketball team, featuring five blatantly uncoordinated 35-year-old men with spectacular mullets running a lay-up line that would be heckled at the Special Olympics. Then you've got the Ratt tribute band that fake play their instruments to an awful, awful metal song in a never-ending sequence. At least they have the courtesy be killed.
Unfortunately, we can't say the same for Steve and Jeff, the irritating-beyond-comprehension two main characters. One's a "nerd," complete with slicked hair, think, black glasses and a crooked mouth and the other is a jackass. They consume the runtime with painful dialogue exchanges, usually peppered with f-bombs, and futilely attempt to generate humor. If only they were offed early on. It didn't even have to be ghouls. Hit by a plow truck would have been perfectly fine.
Finally, there's the gore, hyped as "super bloody" in the title. Well, yes, there is a lot of meat and fluid, and the ghouls make a big mess when they're killing people, but the effects are so transparently cheap and the anatomy so out of whack (since when are legs and arms held together by eels?), the fun is cheapened. I'll still give the filmmakers due for not holding back on the sinew, but raiding the neighborhood butcher shop isn't enough to distract from what is ultimately a waste of 72 minutes.
This release distinguishes itself from this predecessor with the extras. The full frame transfer still sucks in all its VHS-quality glory and the 2.0 stereo sound is shallow and tinny. The bonuses include three feature commentaries, which are, frankly three too many, the 1990 making-of featurette, a DVD cover shoot segment, the 1988 fundraising promo that looked a lot cooler than the finished product and the following student films: "Say No to Drugs," "A Halloween Tale," "Halloween Takeover" and "Dead Weight." Never heard of them? There's a reason.
I've seen much worse than Ghoul School, but I have no clue why it merited a double dip.
The accused is expelled.
Review content copyright © 2007 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Camp Motion Pictures
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 72 Minutes
Release Year: 1990
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Three Commentary Tracks
* Fundraising Promo
* Making-of Feature
* DVD Cover Photo Shoot
* Student Films
* DVD Verdict review of GHOUL SCHOOL