Review: Hell High
Blu-ray: Hell High (1989)
Released at the tail end of the 1980’s horror movie “slasher” obsession, Hell High spins things a little differently to keep you interested. Just don’t go into this expecting the usual “killer on the loose and high body count” excesses brought to you by the likes of the Friday the 13th and Halloween movies.
Beginning with a young girl accidentally causing the death of 2 horny teenagers, we jump forward in time to find that she has now grown up and is high school teacher Miss Brooke Storm (Maureen Mooney) and is in charge of an unruly class.
Some of this class are a gang of trouble makers led by Dickens (Christopher Stryker); a young man whose “hijinks” are decidedly cruel and which can’t even be tempered by Jon-Jon (Christopher Cousins); the high school football hero who has quit the team and has more of a stronger moral compass than the rest of the gang.
When Dickens decides to play a prank on Miss Storm things go horribly wrong, with the tables being drastically turned and the ensuing blood splattering coming from very unexpected places.
Hell High is a slow burner with much of the slim 84 minute running time being taken with getting to know the characters…and some nude scenes…I never knew that female high school teachers took so long soaping their breasts in the shower!
The final 20 minutes is where the action kicks in and the blood begins to get thrown around, and while none of the kills are of the inventiveness of what has gone before during that truly “Decade of Decadence” of horror movies, they are quite satisfying.
At 84 minutes it doesn’t outstay its welcome and it is once again great to see another lesser known movie get the Arrow Films treatment of presenting it with great picture and sound, all accompanied by an impressive set of special features that will keep you entertained and informed for a long time.
- Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative approved by cinematographer Steven Fierberg
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Original uncompressed stereo audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Brand new audio commentary with director/producer/co-writer Douglas Grossman and cinematographer Steven Fierberg
- Archival audio commentary with director/producer/co-writer Douglas Grossman
- Archival introduction and audio commentary with film critic Joe Bob Briggs
- School’s Out! – a newly-filmed interview with director/producer/co-writer Douglas Grossman
- A Beautiful Nightmare – a newly-filmed interview with cinematographer Steven Fierberg
- Jon-Jon’s Journey – a newly-filmed interview with actor Christopher Cousins
- The More the Better – a newly-filmed interview with actress Maureen Mooney
- Music is Not Sound – a newly-filmed interview with composers Rich Macar and Christopher Hyams-Hart
- Back to Schools: The Locations of Hell High – a tour of the original Hell High filming sites with author/filmmaker Michael Gingold
- Archival video interviews with director/producer/co-writer Douglas Grossman and co-writer Leo Evans
- Deleted Scene
- Alternate Opening Titles
- Trailers and TV Spots
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Ralf Krause
- FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring liner notes by Michael Gingold, including an exclusive interview with stunt coordinator/actor Webster Whinery
Release Date: 18TH July 2022.
Review by Dave from a disc kindly supplied by Arrow Films via Fetch Publicity.