Final Exam (1981)

You remember that interview where Vanilla Ice tried to explain why he didn’t steal Queen/David Bowie’s “Under Pressure?”

I’d like to hear whoever did the music for this movie to explain how they added a “da na na” to the theme from Halloween. Then again, there’s plenty more that this movie owes to that film.

A killer with a kitchen knife is on the prowl, killing off college kids. And he’s on the way to Lanier College during finals.

Meanwhile, a fraternity stages a mass shooting to help their members pass a chemistry test. How does this plan work? Who comes up with such a plan?

While students prepare for the end of the year, the killer is hiding among them. We have Courtney, who is the Final Girl, of course. Her roommate is Lisa, who is all into the hot professor. Well, not really hot. He’s a professor, though.

For some reason, all of the pledges can’t dare anyone. But Gary is in love with Janet and pins her, so he gets punished by being tied up to a tree, his underwear filled with ice and then sprayed with shaving cream. What? Where did this ritual come from? Who goes through with this? Even the rest of the town, like the security guard, follow these rules. What is the deal with this school?

Well, he’s tied up and the killer gets him. Then it gets his girlfriend, too. While that’s going on, Wildman, a frat guy, is looking for pain pills when he gets killed by a Universal weight machine. His friend Mark tries to find him and he gets killed.

Then we have Radish, who isn’t gay in the movie but would totally be a proud out character if this was made after 1981. He’s constantly looking for killers and has a great poster collection of old films. All his knowledge of murder doesn’t help, as he’s instantly killed.

Lisa tries to model for her boyfriend in the nude, but she gets killed, too. And now we’re down to one and the killer even catches an arrow and stabs the coach with it when he tries to save Courtney. But then he falls into a hole and she stabs him to death. That’s it. That’s the fight he puts up.

Written and directed by Jimmy Huston (My Best Friend Is a Vampire), this is pretty much Halloween with a killer who was too lazy to get a mask (he was also the fight coordinator for the film).

That said, I wasn’t bored, I laughed out loud at many of the things that Radish did and said, and I enjoyed the arrow catching scene. If you want to see it for yourself, Shout! Factory has released it on blu-ray and you can also watch it for free on Amazon Prime. You’ll be filled with questions. Like, how much chaffing did the short shorts of the 80’s cause?

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