10 years after playing a cruel prank on a fellow student at an end of senior year party, a band of classmates return to their old high school for a class reunion. Of course, the now crazy dude, who has a paper bag over his head and wears a schoolgirl’s uniform, is waiting for them, ready to kill them one by one. Also, rock legend Chuck Berry pops in for a few songs. Think of it as an eighties Scary Movie, with less gross out scenes.
This pretty much forms the basis for Class Reunion, a 1982 horror spoof released under the National Lampoon brand. Now I know what you’re thinking, but while National Lampoon now rhymes with “absolute crap”, back when it started it actually usually meant fun, with talent such as talent such as John Landis & John Belushi (Animal House), Harold Ramis & John Hughes (Vacation), etc, often involved.
Class Reunion is actually John Hughes’ first produced script. The movie is directed by Michael Miller (Silent Rage) and stars a bunch of people you wouldn’t know, the most recognizable face probably being Michael Lerner (Godzilla), in a supporting role. Trailer and review after the jump.
Class Reunion isn’t very good, to put it bluntly. It’s extremely zany, incredibly stupid and completely random, all of which is fine really. The movie mostly parodies slasher films such as Prom Night and Halloween, but it also tries its funny bones on The Exorcist, Dracula, and others. Its problem is that it isn’t that funny…in fact most of it is quite unfunny. The cast & crew attempt to recreate the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker style of humor (Airplane!), but unfortunately, it never really hits home.
Still, Class Reunion isn’t a complete throwaway. While I didn’t laugh that much, I got plenty of smiles, and I kept shaking my head in amazement at how crazy the movie was. And at least, the humor here is sincere, which is a lot more than you can say for the dudes who’ve now taken over the spoof genre in the US (*cough*Jason Friedberg*cough*Aaron Seltzer*cough*).
But actually the most hilarious thing about this movie is that it understands suspense a whole lot better than the recent Prom Night remake, which has a somewhat similar plot progression and purports to be a genuine horror movie. Also, there’s that Chuck Berry cameo. If you must see a zany eighties comedy with a killer, I’d strongly recommend you check out Jonathan Lynn’s masterful Clue instead (known in other parts of the world as Cluedo), based on the popular board game. It doesn’t spoof slashers, but it’s hilarious.