Monday, October 31, 2016

Class Reunion Massacre (Aka The Redeemer)

 Class Reunion Massacre (Redeemer: Son of Satan!) Directed By Constantine S. Gochis (which seems made up) 1976.

80's horror fans are constantly battling over this debate, who started the first slasher! Is it Mario Bava, in my estimation it is, he's been plagiarized by Sean Cunningham that's for sure! This prophetic movie has a lot of the Friday the 13th themes of Catholic ultra conservative vengeance against all teens that were unfortunate to have gone to this dumb school and subsequent reunion. Terror Train, another one of my fav slashers also stole from this flick, used the same various disguises angle to confuse the audience. The Redeemer is an odd duck to say the least and has a day job as a minister, some people are able to leave their work at home but not this wacko. He’s out donning various dollar store masks and murdering sinners, my memory is fuzzy but wasn’t that the same subplot as Master of Disguise with Dana Carvey?

It's mildly fascinating how the writer and director never went onto anything else, maybe they were run out of town trying to sue the shit out of the Voorhees lawyers who knows? History was obviously against them and their little known slasher wasn’t referenced in Wes Craven’s Scream at all, some film nerds don’t dig deep enough.

The music is seriously trippy, like Saucer Full of Secrets era Floyd or Bobby Beausoleil's Lucifer Rising, Death Waltz or Waxworks records should release this on colored vinyl. When the slayings get rolling they play these ear shrieking synth tones that sound like the Screen Gems theme if the composer sat on the keys and blasted out a bunch of Atari noises!

we all got chubbies for school spirit!

I've read a lot of reviews of this film and most critics are baffled by the ending, I'm not even sure if I understand what's going on either. Stick with it though, it's surreal and very bizarre just don’t look for closure. The symbolism of two thumbs on one hand and the mutant child returning to the watery hellish depths, what does it mean? I think it's just there to confuse people. Greg Goodsell told me that it started off in another direction.
An overly long shot on a pristine lake is the first image we see, a strange boy emerges from it, hmmm sounds familiar right---did every slasher rip this movie off or what?
A second thumb erupts from the boy’s hand, man he could use some of that Handi-off that removes unwanted digits.

Everything has that spooky glare that reminds me of the harrowing "Sister Christian" video by Night Ranger (well maybe only I thought it was scary).

An unseen killer ices the school janitor than gets all hand crafty and creates a death mask.
A dick head preacher delivers a threatening sermon while someone else sets up all the traps for the Morse academy students to fall into.

There's something very ominous about this slasher flick that draws you in and got an unfair blow off in the Horror Handbook as “nuthin special”. The hidden creeper’s hand targets all kids for their sins (one is gluttony) and they show a fat guy at a shake shack. You hear that tubby, eating popcorn in the theater watching this, you're next! One sin is even lesbianism, man how out of date, get with the times psycho!
All the characters talk about how exciting their class reunion is gonna be, I mean really, if you're stoked about returning to high school you deserve all the punishment you get!

Nick Rivers totally elated to not be trapped in high school

There's two white guys with fros who have that smarmy unlikeability that Jeff from Pink Lady and Jeff fame has.
Just like the killer in Terror Train, he keeps changing his face to fool everyone than sneaks up on them when they least expect it.
One spooky disguise he wears look like the unwanted spawn of Danny Devito and Artemis from Sunny.
He even shows up as the grim reaper as promised on the Trans world entertainment big box cover. The only actor who worked again was Jeannetta Arnette and she ended up on Head of the Class but avoided the slimy grasp of Howard Hessman.

Troll Toll.... What you Say??

There is one scene that I almost didn’t believe really happened, it involves a puppet and a blow torch. The redeemer has one disguise where he just wears and oversized novelty mustache and seems to have evil animatronic pals like Dr. Phibes, who as we all know delves out Hebrew justice not Christian style, that’s just too out there man! This was released by Code Red apparently but as most collectors know that means it’s either a total rip off or out of print. There’s always Youtube though, go out of your way to check it out. 2 big thumbs up!

Randy from Pee Wees playhouse as Bob Ginty in The Exterminator 3.

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