Student Bodies (1981)

Article 2020 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-25-2006
Posting Date: 2-22-2007
Directed by Mickey Rose and Michael Ritchie
Featuring Kristen Riter, Matthew Goldsby, Richard Brando

A killer known as The Breather is on the loose knocking off homecoming queen candidates and their boyfriends.

I’ve barely touched upon the slasher genre in my series so far, and here I am already covering a parody of the genre. Since this movie was written and partially directed by a collaborator with Woody Allen on some of his earlier films, it’s no surprise that the movie has some good moments and ideas; I like the on-screen body-count, the highlighted emphasis on plot points, the scene where the killer chooses his weapon from a roll-top desk, and the bizarre emphasis on horse-head bookends, to name a few. But for every good gag, there’s a plethora of bad ones, pointless ones, and crude ones that miss the mark. For a parody of an extremely bloody and skin-filled genre, there’s a surpising scarcity of blood and nudity, so much so that the movie has to go out of its way to get its R rating (one of the funnier scenes of the movie). It even manages to sneak in some parodies of CARNIVAL OF SOULS and THE WIZARD OF OZ in the mix, and if you’ve seen CARRIE, you’ll see the final gag coming. All in all, it’s pretty dumb, but at least its opening “This is based on a true story” explanation is honest.



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