February 14, 2006

Before Scary Movie, there was Student Bodies.

I certainly don’t mean to imply that Student Bodies invented the horror spoof – or even perfected it…both honors that belong to Mel Brooks. But it definitely holds a special place in my heart – because it’s just SO FUCKING GOOFY. The rubber chicken? The horsehead bookends? The body count? Malvert?

The key to the movie is Malvert. Without Malvert, the movie is nothing. Or to be more precise, without Malvert’s bizarre double joints and red pee – the movie is nothing. That dude is barely human. Using an actor solely for his or her disgusting and abhorrent physical appearance is wrong – but effective. How else can you explain Pamela Anderson’s career longevity?

Another thing that stands out about Student Bodies is the ridiculous amount of product placement throughout the film. Dr. Pepper and Kentucky Fried Chicken figure largely in almost every scene. These days, product placement of that magnitude would cost millions – back in the 80s, it probably cost free soda and chicken for the duration of the shoot.

Around the same time that Student Bodies was released, a similarly themed spoof called Pandemonium was also released. Having remembered watching Pandemonium repeatedly as kid, but not remembering the name, I was under the impression that I had seen Student Bodies as a kid instead, until I saw a bit of Pandemonium on cable a few years ago. I then realized that I *did* see Student Bodies for the first time in college. The total lack of memory was NOT because I was stoned – I really had never seen the movie at all. I’m hoping to catch Pandemonium again in full, as to do a full comparison. The obvious difference is that Student Bodies has a cast of unknowns and Pandemonium was full of B-List Celebrities like as Tom Smothers and Eileen Brennan. I’m not quite sure how that translates to quality – in all likelihood, it doesn’t.

Year – 1981
Rating – R
Runtime – 86 minutes
Genre – Horror Spoof
Director(s) – Mickey Rose
Writer(s) – Mickey Rose
Actor(s) – Kristen Riter, Matthew Goldsby, Richard Brando, Joe Flood, The Stick
BOB Rating – Four BOBs
Favorite Quote – "I'm talking to you through a rubber chicken" - The Breather (Richard Brando)