Return to Horror High (1987) Review


I don’t remember much about the original Horror High but luckily Return to Horror High is about a film crew that decides to make a movie about the mass murders that took place at Crippen High back in 1982 (even though the original film came out in 1974). It’s kind of like a dramatic documentary that’s being filmed in the now abandoned high school because they want authenticity.

Thanks for caring, film crew.


The film opens with the local police department (it sure looked like all of them) reporting to the school to find the entire film crew, save the writer, dead and in pieces on the property. He tells us the horrifying(ly ridiculous) story in flashbacks.

7-6-2012 2-28-13 PM
I will literally do ANYTHING to get away from Marsha Brady.

The director of this film is trying to make a movie with meaning, not just blood and gore and nudity (no exploding tits, dammit – yes, he actually says this to the special f/x guy). He is rebuffed by everyone involved at every turn. He goes off on a fantastic rant (and by fantastic I mean boooring) that basically makes fun of every horror movie and how they pander to the audience and blah blah blah.

Soon members of the crew begin to disappear (George Clooney, playing the leading man, is the first victim) but nobody thinks anything of it because on low budget horror films, people take off all the time and things get crazy and covered with fake blood and such. Fortunately, the two leads (in the movie and the documentary), Steve and Callie, take it upon themselves to figure out what’s going on. Because they just KNOW the original killer from years ago has returned. 

Wait, what? At this point I couldn’t figure out which was more boring – the movie or the movie WITHIN the movie. They both suck pretty hard. Luckily for me, Steve and Callie start putting together a list of potential suspects so I could stop paying attention and just wait for the big payoff. And they do find the killer and we get the whole story, though I have lingering questions… Hooray.

Exactly what my bathroom looked like when I finished watching this movie.

But wait! There’s more! After the big finale, there’s another bit of ‘oh, that wasn’t really the end. THIS IS!’ bullshit and at last, it’s finally over.

What the ever loving fuck? This was supposed to be a horror comedy but it ended up containing neither. This wasn’t even tripe. It’s worse than that. Bad puns, not funny, poorly acted, lazy writing. If you guys have to hammer us over the head with your hamfisted approach to tongue-in-cheek humor, and it’s STILL not funny, then you have failed. But not just failed. You have failed spectacularly.

The only believable part for me was the chemistry between Callie and Steve. Decent acting and they were adorable together. Everyone else was terrible. Yes, even George, though his hair was fabulous.

From the opening credit silliness (‘Starring {in pieces}), to the ridiculous wrap up; from the plentiful supply of red herrings to the real killer reveal and motivation. This movie scraped the bottom of the unfunny barrel for the most foul bits of comedy and horror tropes available. Not entertaining. Not funny. Not worth your time.

1 Hatchet (out of 10)

8 thoughts on “Return to Horror High (1987) Review

  1. When I saw the poster image at the top, I thought “Clooney and Marsha Brady, how random but potentially enjoyable!” I was wrong. This movie sounds mega lame! I commend you for watching it so I and other viewers wouldn’t have to. 😉

  2. Ah man, I like this one. I’ve always seen the killer’s mask and the metafictional “movie within a movie” premise as an inspiration for the Scream movies. Return to Horror High is actually its own standalone movie, completely unrelated to Horror High. This confused me for years.

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