Ghoul School

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The halls of high schools have become battlegrounds, places where violence of all kinds can erupt at a moment’s notice. These days, teens have been known to bring guns, knives, and whatever other weapons they can find to class, then use them to torment, mangle, and yes, even kill other students and teachers. But even with all of that madness, no news reports inform the viewers about cannibalism in our schools, at least until now. After a mishap dumped a toxic chemical into a school’s water supply, the kids became sicker than ever before. Not just coughs, sneezes, and sick stomachs either, more like all out death and destruction. The students have turned into the undead, walking the hallways in search of fresh brains. Although most of the teens there don’t use their brains, they would like to keep them, so action has to be taken. After all, once the school has been eaten through, the zombies will look elsewhere. A few students at the school happen to be horror movie nuts, which means they have a lot of solutions to the problem. If cinema has been honest, then they think they can devise a plan to end the zombies’ reign of terror. But movies are just movies, so their success is not promised in the least. Can these geeks somehow hatch a plot to take down the zombies, or will they become the next victims?

I’ve seen countless low rent horror movies, but Ghoul School could be the cheapest one I’ve ever laid eyes on. The production runs on fumes in all areas, as if there was ten bucks to cover all of the costs. Tempe and E.I. worked on this one and of course, both have gone on to become strong labels, so its fun to see earlier works. I’d say Tempe’s influence is more obvious, since E.I. is better known for softcore lesbian hijinks. Ghoul School is not a good movie, it has flaws around every corner and is as amateur as films can be. But does that mean the entertainment value is also low? In this case, yes and no. I love horror movies that are so bad, you can’t help but laugh, but Ghoul School tries too hard to be that kind of picture. So while some camp elements are present, the filmmakers pushed too much to be campish at times, which backfires. So the movie is inconsistent, but it does hit the mark in numerous scenes. If you’ve heard of Ghoul School and don’t know why, its probably because the movie was discussed often on Howard Stern’s radio show, thanks to the cameo by Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling. Even with that grand publicity however, Ghoul School remains a low profile genre picture. But if you’re a horror movie nut, then dust of Ghoul School at your local video store for a rental.

Video: How does it look?

Ghoul School is presented in full frame, as intended. This project was shot on film, so it looks better than video based projects, but there are still some built in flaws. Aside from the obvious flaws inherent with the medium, the transfer looks decent. Colors are rich, but don’t have the same sharpness of a polished film, but still, the colors look very good. Black level varies greatly, although correct most of the time. Usually the image is very bright, so not many shadow areas occur. A passable transfer for the materials.

Audio: How does it sound?

This movie has some good potential for atmospheric audio, but those chances are passed by with this mix. The elements are all presented, but this track just lacks the overall power it should wield. But as far as this basic effort goes, there’s no serious issues to contend with. The music comes off as a little dated, but no real problems with clarity in that respect. Sound effects are clean & distinct, while dialogue is crisp and always easy to understand. It isn’t flashy or dynamic, but it gets the job done and that’s what counts.

Supplements: What are the extras?

As always, Tempe has loaded this disc with bonus features, including not one, but two audio commentary tracks. The first with director Timothy O’Rawe, who discusses the trials and tribulations of his low budget shoot, while the second is with cinematographer Michael Raso, who shares some great stories of his own. A reel of Jackie Martling’s punchlines is also included, as well as a featurette on makeup design. This disc also includes a teaser showreel, a collection of O’Rawe’s short films, and two of the film’s trailers.

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