Zombie High (1987/Blu-ray + DVD/Scream! Factory) Review

Nowadays with a title like Zombie High you'd be surely getting an over-the-top horror comedy or crappy show playing on the Disney channel. In the case of this 1987 film you get a straight forward horror film. I must warn you that if you watch the trailer for this film it will mislead you into thinking it's a horror comedy.This is also another one of those titles I ran across a few years ago and never got to see it due to it not being easily available. Thankfully for Shout! Factory/Scream Factory this film is now available for all to see along with many more awesome once hard-to-find titles.  Lets cut into this corpse and see if it was worth the long wait!

Virginia Madsen (Candyman, Sideways) and Richard Cox (Cruising) star in this humorous thriller about the bizarre happenings that occur in a prestigious boarding school. It seems to Andrea Miller (Madsen) that the upperclassmen act like robots. They're the perfect students – dedicated, involved and loyal. Their clothes are perfectly pressed and their hair is perfectly styled. It seems that the teachers have something to do with this ingratiating behavior. And when Andrea, the new kid at school, sees her friends turning into clones, she starts to suspect the worst.
Now I am not sure if this film was truly meant to have humor in it or not. There are from time to time parts that are kinda funny, but they don't seem like their supposed to be. Either way in the end I did end up liking this film. It basically takes the classic zombie premise and adds a little twist to it. The twist being that in order to make them a "zombie" they put crystal in the part of the brain they harvest from the students. Yes I did say harvest from them, basically they need the brain matter to make a serum  to make the teachers and staff live forever. Sorry if this spoils anything for you, but it is revealed soon than it should of in the film. In alot of ways this film can be quite bizarre in the way that a film like "Halloween 3: Season of the Witch" was. It has an odd premise wrapped around what could typically be an average film.
The acting in this film for the most part is pretty average to quite bad, but in the case of our lead actress Virginia Madsen she actually stands out above the rest and delivers a great performance. I have seen her many times in Candyman before and she proves that she is a very strong actress. Honestly if it was not for her I don't think I could of made it through this film much less watch it more than once. Now I do like the character of Andrea's boyfriend who seems to flip his lid in a very over-the-top way alot in this film which did give me a few laughs. Aside from them the other cast member who stood to me was that of the head master of the school was simply creepy and diabolical which made for a great villain.
Overall this was a slightly above average horror film that luckily has been saved from obscurity by Scream Factory. Is this film worth a watch? Yes! Is it an amazing film? No! The only downfall to this release is that there are no retrospectives, commentaries, or any other substantial special features with this release. I would of loved a little more to this release. Now as far as the video and audio quality go it is leaps and bounds above a vhs copy you will find and simply is satisfying for such an obscure film. In the end I think you should pick this film up and sit back and watch it with some friends and let the riffing begin!

-Daniel Lee

Director: Ron Link
Lead Actor/Actress: Victoria Madsen
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Blu-ray Release Year: 2015
Theatrical Release Year: 1987
Time Length: 91 mins.
Rating: R
Region Code: A
Release Company: Shout! Factory
Website: www.shoutfactory.com