Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cutting Class

Watched January 5, 2015

1988 (the VHS tape I have said '88 but IMDB says '89)
Starring: Jill Schoelen, Donovan Leitch, Brad Pitt, Roddy McDowall

I wouldn't say that I loved Jill Schoelen's performance in Popcorn so much that I sought out her other work. It's happenstance that at a hippy thrift store in Petaluma, in a basement pile of VHS tapes that I found Cutting Class; another horror movie that she made before Popcorn. This also happens to be an early Brad Pitt movie, but that isn't saying much.

Paula (Jill Schoelen) is a high school student who is dating Dwight (Brad Pitt.) Their relationship is pretty weird, he's very possessive and wants to go all the way, but she's not ready. He's huge dick who drinks a lot, but she still likes him for some unknown reason. Brad's old friend Brian (Donovan Leitch) is let out of a mental institution, he was put there for cutting the brakes on his dad's car which lead to his dad's death, but he was proven insane and sent to the institution. Now he is deemed fit to reenter society and is back in high school.

Paula's dad, William (Martin Mull) just happens to be the State Prosecutor who put Brian away in the mental institution. He heads out for a week long solo duck hunting trip. Not long after getting to the lake, he is shot by an arrow.

Brian begins stalking Paula, he just happens to show up wherever she is, at first it seems harmless. Paula is a model for the life drawing class, even though she seems really uncomfortable in her leotard. Brian randomly shows up and the art teacher forces him to pose with Paula. Later that day the art teacher is pulling large ceramic pieces out of a huge kiln, when he is pushed in and burned alive. 

 At the big basketball game, Dwight is playing while Paula and her best friend, Colleen (Brenda James) are cheerleaders. Sitting in the bleacher, Colleen slipped under to make out with her boyfriend. As she jumps down, she sees her boyfriends throat being slit then she is attacked. No one can hear her screams over the cheering of the game. Paula is worried that she can't find Colleen but she doesn't do that much about it.

Brian continues to act super weird, even though there is no proof that he is anything more than a creep. But his behavior is weird enough to get him suspended by the vice principal. Not long after we see the Vice Principal attacked and she is killed by having her face smashed into a copier, with the pages showing her slow demise. Dwight is suspicious of Brian so he chases after him through the school, but Brian escapes.

 Later that night, Paula is washing her hair at home when Brian shows up like a total creep. Paula is convinced that Brian is about to kill her but instead he shows a photocopy of Dwight's special class ring on the hand that is pressing the Vice Principals head down and killing her on the copier. Paula falls asleep as Brian watches, which continues Brian's creep status. In the morning, she gets a call from Dwight and she is worried that he is about to kill again. It's Saturday, so the school is empty but Paula's finds the math teacher. They are chased through the school and end up in a classroom where there is a word math problem, which determines which door to escape from. It doesn't matter because Brian kills the math teacher. It was Brian all along, Dwight shows up to help Paula escape and they continue being chased through the school. They end up in shop class and all the power tools are turned on. Dwight's head in in a vice and he is about to get a drill into the skull when Paula confuses Brian enough to hit him with a hammer, killing him. 

Paula and Dwight head home, they don't seem that freaked out but then Dwight almost runs into Paula's dad. The arrow didn't kill him, he's been walking home the whole time. Paula's dad then says the titular line of the movie.

This is a weird time with horror movies in that they are so self aware. This movie tries to be funny as well as serious but it gets a little lost along the way. Brian is a good creep, and it does seem like Dwight is the killer, but then the weird kid is the real weird killer like we suspected all along. There is a weird janitor character who hates Dwight the whole time. He ends up mopping up a bunch of blood and popcorn after the basketball game, but he doesn't tell anyone. I don't think they ever find the art teacher in the kiln. Brian kills because he's nuts and that's why Paula's dad was so adamant about keeping him in the mental institution.

I did like when all the parent's held up photocopies of the Vice Principals death. I liked Martin Mull as the dad but he's only in it for about five minutes. Brad Pitt plays a total jock dick, I don't know why Paula is with him at all. All the teachers are total pervs, as Paula bends over a lot for the Principal, Mr Dante (Roddy McDowall.) This is pretty whatever of a movie, not scary or funny enough.

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