Thursday, 6 May 2010

Ghoul School (1990)

Ghoul School (1990)



In 1990 we finally managed to get Thatcher out of No. 10, Nelson Mandela was at long last freed after 27 years in captivity, we were vogueing and rioting in response to the poll tax and I kind of wanted my hair to look like Tawny Kittaen’s or that bird from The Bangles, not Hoffs the redhead. And Ghoul School was released. Ghoul School is a campy little entry into the zombie cannon that tries its ardent little best to make up for its quite shockingly low production values with some gory special effects, which is a nice thought and I appreciate the effort.

The plot isn’t a complicated one, I had a couple of whiskies and I managed to keep up, a couple of delinquents accidentally unleash a peculiar toxic substance into a high school's water supply while indulging in a spot of late afternoon janitor worrying. Predictably, the first people to happen upon this noxious chemical cocktail are the school swim team, who promptly turn an unhealthy shade of blue and merrily proceed to devour their coaches.

swim star zombies

Our carnivorous little swim stars soon embark on rampage through the rest of school, dining on unfortunate principals and the worst basketball team in the history of the world as they go. Fortunately for this strangely busy after hours school there are a couple of horror-obsessed geeks on hand to assess the situation and take requisite action (yay for horror geeks!) and who appear to be in their thirties and probably shouldn't be hanging around a school, along their way they also manage to add to their rag tag zombie fighting team by picking up the aforementioned rubbish basketball team’s coach, and a curiously elderly metal band called, quite aptly, Blood Sucking Ghouls.

And that’s just about that, everything else runs pretty much as you’d expect, characters run around hallways, squabble and bicker amongst themselves, make wise cracks and kill their fellow students. There are some bits and pieces of nice gore to keep you interested and stop you getting too distracted by the array of 80s hangover hair on display, oh the mullet, and you can also marvel at the inclusion of something laughingly referred to as Jackie ‘The Joke Man’ Martling, whom I believe to be some manner of comedian or radio personality from the era that I don’t understand, but whoever he may be he seems to be doing a fair bit of misjudged product placement throughout the film.

our thirtysomething teenage heroes. Rremember kids: stay in school

We are also given the treat of phenomenal rock band Blood Sucking Ghouls, Blood Sucking Ghouls have been hired to play the school dance where, if it wasn’t for the blessed relief of a potentially apocalyptic zombie onslaught, the entire school would have been subjected to an evening of The Ghouls repertoire which apparently consists of one song over and over which in turn apparently consists of one long monotonous guitar riff over and over. The Ghouls are too cool for lyrics, their guitars speak for them, and their drums to a lesser degree.

 The Blood Sucking Ghouls: real musicians say no to lyrics.

Ghoul School isn’t the worst film in the world, hell, it isn’t even the worst film I’ve watched this week, (that honour categorically goes to Dragonquest. Grrrr, I hate you, Dragonquest). You get some blood, some silliness, some garishly painted zombies and, if you’ve had enough whiskey, some giggles. There are worse things you could do with a Saturday night. And at the princely sum of one English penny I can’t really complain. Good old Amazon. If all else fails you can admire the glorious mullets, make up your own lyrics to Blood Sucking Ghouls’ hit song or just pour yourself another drink. There are also an obscene amount of low budget camp fest trailers on the DVD so you’ll definitely be able to find at least one thing worse.

2 comments:

  1. When you say we were vogueing and rioting in response to the poll tax, do you mean that we were vogueing and also we were rioting in response to the poll tax, or do you mean that we were both (and perhaps even simultaneously) vogueing and rioting in response to the poll tax? Were you vogeuing in response to the poll tax?
    As for Ghoul School, I've never even heard of it before, but you sold it with the bold claim that it isn't the worst film in the world. I'm always a sucker for that kind of salesmanship.
    Until now I thought I saw every horror film that came out around that time. Did you ever see Sleepwalkers? I never understood why that film got such a bad rap. Meaningless plot, gratuitous incest, wizard gore effects and her out of Twin Peaks that worked in the diner. And your man Perlman's in it too.

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  2. I’m STILL vogueing in response to the poll tax!
    I don’t know about you, Matthew, but there aren’t many daily activities I don’t vogue whilst undertaking. And when it comes to rioting, if I’m going to riot I’m damn sure I’m going to look fabulous doing it. Frankly, I think more vogueing would have cheered up the poll tax riots considerably, and made better television.

    I’d totally forgotten about Sleepwalkers! I love Ronnie P! I’m going to have try and find it now so I can watch it at the weekend. Thanks for reminding me! I wouldn't care but I've watched loads Stephen King stuff recently and it still didn't jog my memory. Aw, Desperation, the Ronster's in that too.

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