Monday, October 6, 2008
Silly Slasher Motives #1
Boo Hoo Hoo! 'The coach pushed sweetheart too hard during the big track meet and was solely responsible for the heart attack that lead to her sudden death. She fell limp right on the track, but the coach was just screaming at her to run faster just a second before her death. The only logical thing to do is don a fencing outfit and kill the whole track team, the coach, or whoever else steps in my way.. All his yelling at her by the coach.... all his screaming...she just couldn't catch a break...and now, look at her. She's dead. My trusty stopwatch will keep the correct time as I hold it in one hand and kill with the other. I'll set up some good murder scenes so the audience won't get too bored in between all the bullshit. I'll replace the mat under the pole vaulter with sharp spikes. I'll tweak a football, placing a sharp steel rod on one end, and throw it at my victim in a glorious Dan Marino-like pass, piercing the receiver's poor chest. He should keep his eye on the ball, that's for sure.'
The above could very well have been the diary of poor distraught 'Kevin' ( E. Danny Murphy) From Graduation Day.(1981). The overbearing coach (Chris George) likes to be on top. He hates losing. He pushes his star track runner Laura (Ruth Llorens) a little harder than the rest which ends up in Laura having a heart attack after pushing herself too hard. In the final reveal, Kevin gives that glorious final speech involving the reason why he chose to do what he did. He places the blame on an overbearing coach and clamoring fans.The final girl (which is a tough bitch from the Navy- Laura's sister Anne) stands there and listens attentively, waiting for that moment to escape.
Graduation Day. What to make of it? To be totally honest, it's not one of my favorites, but I do like it a little better with each viewing. During the skating rink scene, the band (Felony) seem to play the same song for at least five or six minutes. The lead singer's voice got more irritating than Ozzy Osbourne's after listening to his vocals for hours at a time, but only Felony can make you feel this way after five minutes. That's a feat all in itself. I can usually give any song the benefit of a doubt, but I doubt Felony will care either way.
While an all out revenge slasher in the same ball park as The Dorm That Dripped Blood, Friday the 13th, Blood Hook, and Class Reunion Massacre, Graduation Day can incidentally fall into the 'desperation murder' scenario as well. Kevin is one distraught mofo. In his demented mind, everyone had to die. Someone had to be punished for the death of his high school sweetheart. It's made clear that they were even going to become married after the graduation. Since everyone was going unpunished, Kevin brought it upon himself to play judge, jury, and executioner. I'd say he did a pretty good job of it. Nevertheless, this little revenge slasher flick has a lot of fans, but I'm just not in that category. The motive wasn't a legitimate reason to murder six or eight people when you think about it. Sure, the coach pushed the kids a little too hard. He certainly didn't anticipate his star runner keeling over from a heart attack during her senior year in high school. What coach doesn't push his players to the limit? Graduation Day is basically a haven for showing off creative death sequences. There's certainly a few odd-ball death's, but it's nothing that hasn't been outdone by other low-budget horror films.
Kevin: He's an odd duck.He's a teenager who resembles a forty year old street bum-alcoholic - Kevin Badger, the cause for so many creative kills and much murderous mayhem, but was it worth it just because your girlfriend had a heart attack? So, this is your silly motive #1.: Boyfriend kills the whole track team (including the coach) because his girlfriend had a heart attack.
Posted by Mick O'Brien