Saturday, October 20, 2012
Final Exam (1981)
You know, from 1980 to 1989 290 slashers was made and released, and I guess we're only talking the production in the
. I'm sure half of them was produced in 1981! Anyway, that's a lot of movies considering
it's basically one or two stories over and over again - well, to be honest,
just one story and then a couple of small variation: kids (teenagers, young
adults, call it what you want - they smell!) at a place of some kind (school,
camp... yeah, school and camp - oh, and an island) gets killed by either a
crazy, random madman or someone close to them like a whodunit. I've seen many
of these, but maybe more have my focus been on non-American slashers and that
have lead me to India, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan etc, not as physical person
but as the viewer of movies from these countries. Final Exam is, and this might
come as a shock to you all, a "good ol' Americana hack 'n' slash moving
picture" and not a second is wasted on making it a bit original or having
something new to say. United
What can I say? Not much, as you might understand, but surprisingly enough this is one of the slowest and un-goriest slashers I've seen who also works. Not saying it's some kind of lost masterpiece and to recommend it to you is to throw pearls to the swine, it's a half-mediocre thriller with no gore and no nudity. How about that? Even if I LOVE gore and... well, some nudity, the most important thing to make a movie work is the rhythm. Even the actors could be crap and the script be written on the back of a matchbox, if the rhythm is there the audience will be there. Final Exam has it, it moves along in a very slow pace but still gives us a few interesting scenes here and there. The killer shows up at the beginning, kills a horny couple in a car and then stays away from the story until the last half hour or so. After that it's a kill ever fifth minute and that keeps up the tension. The murders are also quite well set up, even if most of them is off screen.
What makes it stand out? Well, it has partly to do with stupidity and here there's a big spoiler warning - mark the black text down below to read:
* There's something that looks like a school-shooting in the beginning, something that could be done then - it's impossible now with a new shooting each week. Anyway, the stupid part is that it's fake, a very gross and tasteless student prank which is so well done that there's no chance in hell they would be able to stay in that school afterwards. But that problem just disappears..
So, now you can read again. It's also interesting that the first kill is actually at another school and a another "mass murder", which means in slasher-language that this could be a sequel if it was the second part in a franchise, the killer just changes school... like in every slasher, but in-between sequels! The third interesting thing is that one of the characters is written like "the gay best friend", which in a teen-slasher is extremely unique. It could be my imagination, but I can see a closet case even in complete darkness.
So, nothing special really, but I had a lot of fun with my iPhone when I wasn't watching the "story" but also didn't miss any story when the movie got my attention again. That's both a sign of a very bad storyteller and a damn good one. If you're an extreme slasher fan this could be something, but for you others: stay with The Burning and My Bloody Valentine instead.