Summer School (1987)

Wondering why Summer School is still funny 33 years later and a lot of these Police Academy-style movies are dated? It was directed by Carl Reiner, who knows funny.

It was written by Jeff Franklin, who was also behind Just One of the Guys and created Full House and its Netflix spin-off Fuller House, which he was removed from after #metoo complaints. Oddly enough, he owned 10050 Cielo Drive, which he demolished and replaced with a new house before listing it for sale in 2019.

Phys Ed teacher Freddy Shoop (Mark Harmon) just wants school to be over so that he can go to Hawaii, but when Mr. Dearadorian (Reiner) retires, he gets stuck teaching summer school.

He’s left with the worst kids in school for the best time of being a teacher, which would be summer vacation. There’s Pam (a pre-Melrose Place Courtney Thorne-Smith), male exotic dancer Larry (Ken Olandt, syndicated series Super Force); Kevin the jock (Patrick Labyorteaux brother to Matthew), pregnant Rhonda (Shawnee Smith, The Blob), Alan the nerd (Richard Steven Horvitz, the voice of Alpha 5 in Power Rangers), Jerome (Duane Davis, who was in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master), exchange student Anna-Maria (Fabiana Udenio, Alotta Fagina from Austin Powers), Denise (Kelly Jo Minter, Maria from The Lost Boys) and horror film lovers Dave (Gary Riley, Charlie from Stand by Me) and Chainsaw, who is played by Dean Cameron, who this horror-obsessed fan knows was Ralph in Bad Dreams and Ralph the vampire in Rockula.

Will Freddy get Robin the history teacher (Kirstie Alley) to fall for him? Will the kids all graduate? Will there be an extended viewing of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Will hijinks, as I always say, ensue?

Of course.

This is the only Danny Elfman soundtrack that has never been released. There’s also E.G. Daily’s “Mind Over Matter,” which was originally a Debbie Harry song that she recorded and had some success with.

Ah man. More people should know about this movie. Here’s hoping that my little write-up convinces you to give it a chance.

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