Monday, January 4, 2016

Graduation Day, Vanna White Screams

Before she turned letters in slinky evening gowns, Vanna White screamed through the 1981 slasher classic, "Graduation Day."  Something about the year 1981!  Princess Di and Prince Charles wed....Major League Baseball went on strike....and slasher films hit the cinema on average of one per week.  In addition to Vanna White, we also have Linnea Quigley as an amorous, sometimes topless, high school teen.  Will these two ladies survive the carnage which will befall many of their classmates?  You'll have to watch this film for that answer.
After being pushed beyond her capabilities by her sadistic coach (Christopher George), Laura (Ruth Ann Llorens) dies during a track meet.  As graduation day approaches, Laura's sister, Anne (Patch Mackenzie) arrives to attend the festivities in her sister's honor.  Anne is a sultry naval officer and looks very nice in her Ensign uniform.  Just after she arrives, Laura's track team mates begin meeting horrible demises.  Paula (Linda Shayne) has her throat cut while jogging, and Sally the gymnast (Denise Cheshire), after a gratuitous locker room scene, has a sword stuck through her neck.  Suspects?  Anne, of course...she is acting strange and the murders began upon her arrival.  The coach...he is sadistic.  Then there is a principal with a knife collection.  Of course, we may even suspect Vanna White, as Doris, as she seems to get around the school quite easily.
As the graduation ceremony approaches, more gruesome murders occur.  There is pole-vault carnage, fencing carnage, and football carnage as attractive athletes are shredded. We are also treated to some interesting music from the band "Felony" (their singing may give some hints to the killer's motive). As Anne roams around the high school and confronts the sadistic coach, we are led to believe one of these two is the psycho killer....but is that too easy?  The ending has some surprises and some weirdness which makes "Graduation Day" a gem from the Golden Era of slasher films.

Patch Mackenzie is terrific as the statuesque naval officer...who may also be a psycho.  Mostly a TV actress (E/R), she pulls off a difficult role.  Will she emerge a hero, or the killer?  Available on YouTube in good quality, enjoy "Graduation Day."  Oh yes.....I for one would like to encourage Vanna White to do another slasher film....her scream was terrific.

1 comment:

  1. One victim could've done more to avoid the fencing épée. Maybe shock at the weapon of choice, rendered her immobile.