13 Goregirl-friendly School-themed Horror Films
It is back to school time! Back to pencils, back to books, back to teacher’s dirty looks! In honour of higher learning here are 13 school-themed horror films that’ll teach ya a lesson but good…
LA RESIDENCIA (1969)
Directed By: Narciso Ibáñez Serrador
La Residencia takes place in a French boarding school for troubled girls. Naughtiness is definitely of the PG variety but its beautiful Hammer-inspired sets and costumes and its wacky Gialloesque plot stole my heart. Despite the PG-ness La Residencia does have a few meaty scenes to admire. I absolutely loved La Residencia’s wackadoodle reveal! It has a great cast of horror regulars including Cristina Galbó, Maribel Martín, Mary Maude and especially Lilli Palmer who plays Headmistress Fourneau with such graceful severity.
HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW (1983)
Directed By: Mark Rosman
The House on Sorority Row takes place in…you guessed it…a sorority house. Seven sorority sisters pull a prank on their house mother that goes terribly wrong. It isn’t long before the septet of sisters begins getting picked off one by one. A relatively typical slasher but I found the plot meatier, the filming more stylish, and the acting better than many of its peers. It does have some minor pacing issues and isn’t as graphic as others but worry not, there are a few gory surprises to discover and it has a great finale.
STACY: ATTACK OF THE SCHOOLGIRL ZOMBIES (2001)
Directed By: Naoyuki Tomomatsu
Stacy: Attack of the Schoolgirl Zombies takes place everywhere. The school tie-in being simply the film is called Stacy: Attack of the Schoolgirl Zombies and there are copious Japanese schoolgirls aged 15 – 17 dressed in schoolgirl uniforms. Girls are experiencing a euphoric happiness before dying and becoming zombies. Experts call it “Near Death Happiness”. There is only one way to eliminate the deathly-adorable menace and that is a “repeat kill” which involves chopping her up into 160ish odd pieces! It is also a love story. A gory horror-comedy of the first order, but it also has a message. Seriously.
NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (1986)
Directed By: Fred Dekker
Night of the Creeps takes place in and around the campus of Corman University. A horror comedy that smooshes together the alien, slasher and zombie genres into one big delicious ball of entertaining! Alien slugs jumping from zombie heads…how can you not love that? The opening flashback scene is a brilliant beginning and there is plenty of action and laughs right up to the finale. The two leads played by Jason Lively and Steve Marshall are likable enough but the highlight here is the great Tom Atkins who gives a top notch performance as Detective Ray Cameron. Pledge week is a real bitch in this seriously fun campy classic from the 80s!
Directed By: Sergio Martino
Torso takes place on a college campus where two women and a man have been murdered; strangled to death by a black and red scarf. A female student recognizes the scarf and along with a group of friends becomes the target of the killer. Officially, a chunky section of the film takes place off campus in the beautiful Italian countryside. Visually Torso is a lovely polished film and is directed by one of my very favourite Giallo masters Sergio Martino. Torso has nudity, gore, a great soundtrack, a balaclava-wearing killer and an exciting and suspenseful finale.
BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974)
Directed By: Bob Clark
Black Christmas takes place in a sorority house during Christmas vacation. The sorority sisters are disturbed by a series of creepy threatening phone calls which inevitably result in their deaths. Black Christmas is a well made suspenseful slasher that has some great moments of intensity and a bit of humour and commentary thrown in for good measure. I was especially impressed by the point of view shots of the killer from various cramped spaces. The performances are decent from a solid cast including Margot Kidder, Olivia Hussey, John Saxon and Art Hindle. It wins extra points for being filmed in Canada!
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE? (1972)
Directed By: Massimo Dallamano
What Have You Done to Solange? takes place at St. Mary’s Catholic College for Girls. Gymnastics teacher Enrico Rosseni is having an affair with one of his students. The two are frolicking in a nearby park when they learn a student of the college has been murdered nearby. Soon other girls in the school are turning up dead and the frisky teacher is looking like a suspect. An intriguing puzzle and a well laid out plot that makes for a plausible and extremely satisfying reveal. What Have You Done to Solange? is visually pleasing and packed full of lost innocence and sexuality; it also has a fantastic soundtrack!
SUICIDE CLUB (2001)
Directed By: Shion Sono
Suicide Club takes place in numerous locations that do include a high school. This is really a borderline choice for this list but I’m quite fond of this movie and it does begin with 54 Japanese schoolgirls joining hands and throwing themselves in front of a train! Suicide Club is full of commentary on popular culture, youth, family, love and suicide amoung other themes. Although the music makes me a bit nuts it is very clever how key plot elements are sung rather than spoken. It also has some great gore and some wonderfully strange and surreal moments.
THE LOVES ONES (2009)
Directed By: Sean Byrne
The Loved Ones takes place at both the local high school and the home of Lola Stone. Lola is broken-hearted after Brent declines her invitation to the prom. Lola’s daddy makes everything right again by kidnapping Brent and bringing him back to their home for a prom night he will never forget. Lola is one of the most wonderfully eccentric and utterly mad female characters I’ve seen in a horror movie for a while. Brent is a very empathetic character and I rooted for his survival. I even enjoyed the gore-less subplot involving Brent’s best friend and his goth date. An all around entertaining flick that is well-executed, funny, gory and intense.
Directed By: Juan Piquer Simón
Pieces takes place on a college campus somewhere in Boston where women are being gruesomely murdered. Pieces is gory fun from its insane flashback opening scene right through to its nutty finale. It has a ton of unintentional laughs, a crazy plot and some spotty acting and it is absolutely one of my favourite 80s slashers! Just look at the gooey mess in the picture I included. It also has one of my very favourite bits of bad acting of all time which I also included for your enjoyment. Who is this lousy bastard and why does he keep a piece of each woman?!!
CLASS OF NUKE ‘EM HIGH (1986)
Directed By: Richard W. Haines & Lloyd Kaufman
Class of Nuke ‘Em High takes place at Tromaville High School, which is conveniently located next to a nuclear power plant. Needless to say nuclear nuttiness ensues! Classic Troma full of odd-ball characters, bodily fluids, off color humor and gratuitous gore. There is nigh a serious moment in Class of Nuke ‘Em High along with a ton of over-the-top shenanigans, bizarre twists, plenty o’action and one of the looniest endings ever. No one makes a film quite like Troma makes a film. If you are unfamiliar with Troma I recommend checking out their Wikipedia page here.
Directed By: Dario Argento
Suspira takes place in a prestigious dance academy in Freiburg Germany. The plot revolves around Suzy a new student at the academy. After a fainting spell Suzy, who had planned to live off campus with another student is involuntarily moved into a dormitory room. Peculiar incidents occur including murder most fowl and Suzy learns the school is run by a coven of witches. Suspiria without a doubt is one of the most beautifully and inventively filmed horror entries of all time. Not to mention its impressively staged death scenes, its excellent cast or its epic soundtrack. Suspiria is a bonafide masterpiece of the macabre.
Directed By: Brian De Palma
Carrie takes place at Bates High School a week before prom. Carrie’s life is a living hell; she is abused at home by a fanatically religious mother and terrorized at school. Several students are caught mocking and taunting Carrie in the shower and are given a week’s long detention. One of the girls takes pity on Carrie and asks her boyfriend to take Carrie to the prom. Meanwhile a cruel prank is being planned for Carrie’s special night. Carrie’s iconic prom massacre is simply the result of one young woman’s nightmarish existence. Well…that and some serious telekinetic powers! The films best asset is Sissy Spacek’s stellar performance in the titular role. And Piper Laurie kicks some serious bad ass as Carrie’s hideous mother. A great looking film with perfect atmosphere and beautifully executed scenes of intensity not to mention a top notch soundtrack.