Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dollar Bin Horror Review:Massacre at Central High(1976)

By Eric Polk-
Thank God for the digital age. While it's turning mainstream movies into crap, it's also making lost gems readily available for those who eschew what plays at your local ultraplex. So in preparation for our interview last with with Rex Sikes, I was blessed to have found this cult classic.
David is a new student to Central High, a southern California high school with seemingly no adults, no rules, and no supervision and lots of microphones. He realizes that everyone is under a strict eye from a small group of bullies bent on making things run their way, and their way only. David meets Mark, an old friend who he once helped out of a jam at their previous school in Los Angeles. Mark tells David that the school can be like a country club for him if he becomes friends with Bruce.Craig and Paul (Damon Douglas), the bullies who rule the school student body and who are from wealthy and powerful families.

Aside from Mark, David's only other friend at the school is Theresa, who happens to be Mark's girlfriend. After Theresa and Mark quarrel over David hanging around her, she walks away from him wanting some space. After classes are let out for the day, the bullies spot Spoony's two girlfriends, Mary and Jane, and decide to rape them just for kicks. When Theresa catches them trying to assault the two girls, they spot her and throw her into a vacant classroom.

David sees this and charges into the classroom. He single handedly beats up all three bullies before the rapes are accomplished. While Theresa is grateful to David for saving her, Mary and Jane do not thank him and tell David that he is now a marked man having crossed Craig, Bruce, and Paul. Humiliated by this latest encounter with David over being beaten up by just one person, the bullies approach Mark and tell him that he only has one more chance to talk to David to mind his own business. At nightfall, they drive down the Pacific Coast Highway where they find David's car. Venturing down to the beach to find David, Mark sees him with Theresa skinny dipping in the ocean. Filled with anger and jealousy, Mark goes back to the bullies in Paul's van and lies to them by saying that he tried to talk to David, but he wouldn't listen. The three bullies decide to take matters into their own hands.

Soon, everything at Central High is out of control as fights and arguments break out all over the school as everyone quarrels with one another over territory rights. David, disgusted at the fighting and seeing that the once-oppressed have become the new oppressors, plots to get rid of all the students.

Though you can't classify this film as a slasher, it is rather violent but in a allegorical context. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Nothing changes. The acting is ok though not Academy Award-winning which for a cast of unknowns, is perfectly acceptable. If you haven't seen this film, please find it and check it out. You won't be disappointed!

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