Splatter University DVD Review
Reviewed by Peter West
DVD released by Elite Entertainment
Directed by Richard W. Haines
Writing by Michael Cunningham and Richard W. Haines
1984, Region 1 (NTSC), 88 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on October 19th, 2004
Francine Forbes as Julie Parker
Ric Randig as Mark Hammond
Dick Biel as Father Janson/Daniel Grayham
Kathy LaCommare as Cathy Hunter
Laura Gold as Cynthia
Denise Texeira as Denise
Mary Ellen David as Mrs. Bloom
A patient has escaped from a mental hospital, killing a staff member and sneaking out with his clothes. Three years later at St. Trinians College a teacher that is working late is horribly murdered. Enter teacher Julie Parker, who's hired to replace the murdered teacher. After a brief interview with the Father in charge of the school, she's off apartment hunting and happens to rent a apartment which just freed up after the woman living there murdered her husband.
Julie isn't taking over a class of model students, these resemble the "Welcome Back Kotter" class. Julie endears herself to the university hierarchy by discussing abortion on her first day of class. More students and killed and soon Julie starts seeing another teacher at the school named Mark, who just happened to have dated the teacher that was earlier murdered. When another teacher is killed right after warning Julie about Mark, she tries to quit her job at the school. However that's not an easy thing to do at Splatter U, where the school colors are blood red!
The 1980s were the decade of the "slasher" films. Splatter University was released in 1984 smack dab in the middle of it! While not the best slasher movie it is certainly not the worst. The is the first film directed by Richard Haines who also directed the Class of Nukem High, and is a pretty good effort for his first film. While maybe a little short on story, it's certainly long on gore. I first saw Splatter University on an old Vestron VHS tape in the mid-80s. It was terribly cut, this version of the film is as the director intended you to see it with all it's majestic blood red gore.
Splatter University was a real good first effort for Haines, the story though not complex, has some good twists to it. There are the obligatory cheap thrills, but you never know if it's a real one coming. The gore is reminiscent of Herschell Gordon Lewis's films of the '70s, over the top at times, but always good fun! Splatter University is a trip back to the good old days when going to College was hazardous to your heath!
I can only moderately recommend this film for those that are not slasher fans, but those those that are gore hounds, this is right up your alley. Reasonably priced with a list price of $19.95, it won't break the bank either. So if you're game, buy or rent Splatter University and "Earn a Higher Degree in Terror!"
Video and Audio:
"The DVD is the uncut version. The negative was never cut because I wouldn't allow it. The 35mm release prints has shots trimmed. The DVD was mastered from a liquid gate 16mm low contrast print off the original 16mm A&B roll negative. It is as good as it gets regarding this movie." Richard Haines 11/10/2004.
Presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, Elite Entertainment used the best elements possible to bring us Splatter University, as the director intended. While the film has the gritty feel of 16mm, it does not suffer from any print damage over the past 20 years. It's as good as seeing it the first time it was shown!
Splatter University has a Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack. While it's free of hiss and distortion, it does suffer from the bad music of the '80s.
The only extras are two theatrical trailers for the film. Considering Richard Haines involvement in the DVD release, a commentary track would have been a good compliment.