A woman goes to a previously all-male boarding school on a scholarship. She begins to separate herself from her boyfriend in order to devote more time to her new environment. Over a course of time she notices that more and more students have lost their individuality, and approach their activities in a lifeless and automatic manner. Eventually a diabolical plot fostered by the faculty begins to emerge.
Director: Ron Link
Writers: Tim Doyle, Aziz Ghazal
Stars: Virginia Madsen, Paul Feig and Sherilyn Fenn
For you Virginia Madsen fans out there (myself included), here is a pretty unfamiliar film that starred Virginia Madsen as a student in a school where things seem a little strange.
This movie is not bad for an 80’s school-based horror film, but the name is rather misleading. The reference to zombies is not actually of the undead variety. In this instance, they are referencing kids who have had their mind taken over. Also, for all intents and purposes, this film looks to be referring to a college setting, not a high school. If you notice that the film was filmed in 1987, you can see that they were trying to capture two very popular audiences at the time. Zombie movies were extremely popular and movies depicting horrors in high schools were also popular at the time.
There are a few reasons why this film is not included in too many 80s collections or you never hear it mentioned alongside of Re-Animator, Silver Bullet, Night of the Creep and other 80s gems. This movie does have poor production values and is not altogether very entertaining either. Rumor actually has it that much of the film was handled for free by USC students. That would explain the poor production values.
In addition to the poor production, much of the acting is rather questionable, but that was kind of the norm for 80s horror. Also, the first half of the film is quite dull.
With all of that being said, I will say that I am glad that I revisited this film. For those of you that want to check it out yourself, it is streaming on Netflix. No, I do not own the DVD, nor do I even know if Zombie High is still in print. While all of the previously mentioned items hold true, I will say the film did keep me tuned in for the full running time of the film, and while I cannot say that I thoroughly enjoyed it, I can see revisiting it again at some point in the future. Of course, that point in the future will not be soon, but I will look upon this film again a few years down the line just for the hell of it. I am a fan of Virginia Madsen, so I have no problems watching her on screen. I would still recommend other films of hers though.