Just the other day, I wrote up a review for Jared Lee Masters’ first horror film, SLINK (here). It was a bit of a rough transition into horror for the director, who up until that movie had focused on retro-exploitation sex comedies. But there was potential, and TEACHERS DAY realizes that potential to its fullest. It takes the cheesy comedy from Frolic Pictures’ repertoire and adds it to a properly bloody slasher throwback.
When a high school teacher is fired, he snaps and stalks down a group of his former students. That group just so happens to consist mostly of sex-crazed females at a slumber party. There are the games of truth or dare, the unexplained underwear dance parties, group showers, and even the pair of bumbling peeping toms who desperately want in on the action. It’s the classic slasher formula, and the exploitative approach that Masters takes fits right in.
TEACHERS DAY contains a majority of the same cast from SLINK, and the acting isn’t any better, but this time the dialogue compliments the somewhat awkward acting and makes for some very funny exchanges. Whether it’s written right into the conversations, or just as a result of the sheer absurdity of several scenes, there is a charm to this film that has to be experienced to be understood. It’s also the type of humor that is self-aware, and not afraid to poke fun at itself or the people involved. For example, the opening credits consist of names written on pieces of notebook paper, and when it comes around to director Jared Lee Masters, the girls commenting on the credits mention that they are grossed out because he asked one of them to the prom.
There’s some decent special effects here. The kills are great, quite varied, and there’s even one that I had never seen in a slasher before. It’s not a gory slasher by any means, but when it’s called for, there’s no skimping on the red stuff. When, for example, the killer uses an electric carving knife, it’s an appropriately bloody sight.
After an all-too-serious story combined with awkwardly placed sexploitation in SLINK, Masters found the balance between horror and goofy humor in TEACHERS DAY, and that’s what makes it such an entertaining watch. It’s reminiscent of a less-ridiculous STUDENT BODIES, the 1981 slasher that predates the SCARY MOVIE series by two decades, but contains a similar sense of humor. This one balances the comedy well, not trying to beat the viewer over the head with juvenile jokes, but providing the right mix of irony, farce, and dry humor. Slasher fans, make sure to give TEACHERS DAY a shot. This low-budget exploitation may not be a masterpiece, but it is one hell of an entertaining throwback with plenty of charm and, as expected from Frolic Pictures, a generous helping of sleaze.