Blu-ray Review: Zombie High



Parents send their kids to pricey academic institutions so their children can be molding into a ideal student. They pay a fortune to turn their kids into Harvard graduates or USC film students like Francis Ford Coppola. How many parent believe if they send their troubled punk kid to a miracle working private high school, junior will be ready for John Hopkins Med school. Zombie High is a film that explores that subject of transforming pupils. A young woman wins a prized scholarship for an elite prep school, but learns quickly the price to her free education.

Andrea (Sideways‘ Virginia Madsen) is part of the first girls accepted to Ettinger. She has big dreams for herself that she wouldn’t be getting at her old school. Even more exciting is her dreamy roommate Suzi (Twin Peaks‘ Sherilyn Fenn). They also have Mary Beth (Clare Carey) crammed into the spacious dorm room. Her old boyfriend Barry (James Wilder) isn’t happy that she’s leaving him to be the new girl at a formerly all boys boarding school. She finds herself the object of attention a teacher who might want to educate her after class. There’s also the school’s version of Jon Cryer in Paul Feig (the man who is now directing the female version of Ghostbusters) looking to be cool with the new girls. But there is something wrong with quite a few classmates. Overnight they seem to lose their personalities and embrace the academic preppy life. This includes Mary Beth. She slowly comes to understand that Ettinger transforms the minds of its students with more than reading the classics of Western civilization. Can she avoid that fate and collect a diploma?

Zombie High takes us back to the time when to be called a zombie just merely meant you had no will. Today we call them “sheeple.” So don’t be shocked if you don’t see a bunch of decaying undead bodies shuffling around the corridors looking for English 101. The only thing undead and decaying is served in the cafeteria. The film does follow the legend of Rock N Roll High School by reminding us that classical music is dangerous although no mice explore in the high school of zombies.

Zombie High is worth sitting through the end credits to spot future famous names. The low budget film was shot on the USC campus with plenty of film studios working as crew. Jay Roach who would direct the Austin Powers flicks was just the camera operator. The guy doing the casting is Eric DaRe who would join Fenn on Twin Peaks. The cast and crew elevate Zombie High to Zombie Junior College.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The 1080p transfer brings out the ’80s nature of the fun. Both Madsen and Fenn glow in the higher resolution. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio Mono with what must be the original mix. The sound editor had no problem letting the songs stomp all over the actors’ lines. The film is subtitled so you don’t have to miss a line.

DVD with all the stuff from the Blu-ray in a lower resolution.

Trailer (1:05) promises to let us know why the teachers never die at Zombie High.

Zombie High is the ’80s high school horror comedy that refuses to die.

Scream Factory presents Zombie High. Directed by: Ron Link. Screenplay by: Tim Doyle, Aziz Ghazal & Elizabeth Passerelli. Starring: Virginia Madsen, James Wilder, Sherilyn Fenn, Paul Feig & Kay E. Kuter. Rated: R. Running Time: 97 minutes. Released: December 15, 2015.

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