Hell High

Hell High

Director: Douglas Grossman

Cast: Christopher Stryker, Maureen Mooney, Christopher Cousins

     
 

This routine slasher-thriller deviates slightly from the standard formula by way of a fairly intelligent script which explores the murderer's motivation in far more detail than other films of the subgenre. The central character is high-school science teacher Ms. Storm (Maureen Mooney), a mild-mannered woman plagued by barely-repressed psychological traumas, who… See more details below

Overview

This routine slasher-thriller deviates slightly from the standard formula by way of a fairly intelligent script which explores the murderer's motivation in far more detail than other films of the subgenre. The central character is high-school science teacher Ms. Storm (Maureen Mooney), a mild-mannered woman plagued by barely-repressed psychological traumas, who finally snaps after falling victim to a sadistic prank perpetrated by one of her students. Believed dead, Storm comes after the pranksters with homicidal intent. Though Mooney's well-portrayed transformation from victim to murderer provides an interesting role-reversal against slasher convention, the story still falters in the overall execution, bogged down considerably by some lackluster performances and very little actual suspense. Still, it's considerably better than Demented, an earlier, wholly unsubtle treatment of the same theme.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Hell High is a unique and curious (but still not very good) example of the slasher genre. The filmmakers must be given credit for unique ideas: the killer is a female, there is no sexual bias to the killings and the story concept is unusually complex and involved. Unfortunately, Hell High falls flat despite its ambitions due to flat-footed realization on all fronts. The script lets its many interesting conceits down by making all the characters unsympathetic, indulging in many lapses of logic and failing to give the plotting a sense of urgency. These problems carry over to Douglas Grossman's direction: he occasionally show flashes of style but his pacing is erratic at best, particularly during the film's second half, and he lacks the kind of macabre flair that this material demands. In terms of performances, the standouts are Maureen Mooney and Christopher Stryker: Mooney hams it up in a ludicrous soap-opera style as the batty anti-heroine and Stryker offers an unintentionally campy version of a method-style performance as her main teen tormentor. Neither is terribly convincing but at least they offer some personality, which is more than can be said for the rest of the humdrum performances. In short, Hell High has some interest to hardcore horror buffs as a curio but few others are likely to be interested.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/13/2004
UPC:
0631595041194
Original Release:
1987
Rating:
R
Source:
Shriek Show
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:24:00

Special Features

Introduction and comedy commentary with Joe Bob Briggs; Commentary and interview with director Douglas Grossman; Interview with writer Leo Evans; Original theatrical trailer and TV spots

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Christopher Stryker Dickens
Maureen Mooney Brooke Storm
Christopher Cousins Jon Jon
Millie Prezioso Queenie
Jason Brill Smiler
Kathy Rossetter Actor
J.R. Horne Actor
Daniel Beer Actor
Karen Russell Actor
Webster Whinery Actor

Technical Credits
Douglas Grossman Director,Co-producer,Screenwriter
William Bilowit Art Director
Joan Brockschmidt Art Director
Leo Evans Screenwriter
Steven Fierberg Cinematographer
Christopher Hyans-Hart Score Composer
Rich Macar Score Composer
Greg Sheldon Editor
Claire Simpson Editor
Claire Simpson-Crozier Editor
David Steinman Co-producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Guilty Memories [6:22]
2. 18 Yrs. [7:05]
3. Deviant Bonds [7:08]
4. Pre-Games [9:41]
5. Teenage Antics [2:10]
6. Swamp's Inspiration [7:55]
7. Mud Slingers [4:11]
8. Breakdown [6:50]
9. Criminally Vulgar [6:45]
10. Panic No Remorse [3:06]
11. Bloody Awakening [4:50]
12. Teen Panic Mayhem [7:31]
13. Murderess Stalks [2:53]
14. Post Traumatic Teen [3:23]

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