That's why I'll champion the folks at Arrow Video when I can. They'll come across this older, forgotten title and give it a breath of fresh air. They aren't all that detracted by the blemishes of these smaller flicks; in fact, they find a good reason to celebrate when they can, and the company has introduced (and re-introduced) me to a handful of quality B-movies. Hats off to a job well done.
I've received some promotional information regarding their July slate of home video releases, so I'll be putting up some minor blurbs here and there across the MainPage today and beyond. If I'm fortunate enough to secure any of these sets I'm always thrilled to provide vastly greater coverage, such as reviews and whatnot.
The first up in their rotation: Hell High (1989).
It's a curious picture, one I've only sparingly come across in my reading. By all accounts, it's a slasher movie, and I don't give them a lot of coverage much less notice in my entertainment diet. From what I've read, the film was actually shot and released earlier -- IMDB.com reports a German video release in 1987, and there are even indications that it may've screened early (in 1986) under the name Raging Fury. It looks like it hit U.S. screens in '89, and yet alas there's no box office information available under its name on the Box Office Mojo website.
Here's the plot summary as provided by IMDB.com:
"A teacher still haunted by the death of two teens that she accidentally caused as a young girl goes beserk when four teens start harassing her and then attack her in her home."
IMDB.com reports the picture was directed by Douglas Grossman who is also credited on the script along with Leo Evans. Grossman's career consists of a mere two entries (gasp), one of which includes the crafting the story for the 1984 screen comedy Up The Creek, a somewhat bawdy college-set comedy about a perennial loser putting together a team to win a rafting contest. (I have a vague recollection of seeing previews, but this wouldn't have caught my attention on the silver screen.) Hell High is co-scripter Evans sole contributed to filmdom (double gasp!).
As is my custom, I'll copy and paste Arrow Video's press materials below. It looks like this one is hitting the shelves on July 19th.
Amazon: link for purchase
As always, thanks for reading ... and live long and prosper!
New from Arrow Video US
When high school football hero Jon-Jon (Breaking Bad's Christopher Cousins) quits the team, he winds up falling in with a group of outcasts led by the sadistic Dickens (played to unhinged perfection by the late Christopher Stryker).
Hell High - released in some international territories as Raging Fury - was heavily overlooked upon its original release but has since developed a cult following noted for its intelligent script, dark narrative, and unique spin on the typical slasher film formula. Brett Gallman of Oh, the Horror! described the film as "a weird, gangly, messy perversion of '80s slashers." Popular genre critic Outlaw Vern attributed much of the film's charm to "weird little touches" that can't quite be explained but should absolutely be experienced.
- Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative approved by cinematographer Steven Fierberg
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Original uncompressed stereo audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Brand new audio commentary with director/producer/co-writer Douglas Grossman and cinematographer Steven Fierberg
- Archival audio commentary with director/producer/co-writer Douglas Grossman
- Archival introduction and audio commentary with film critic Joe Bob Briggs
- School’s Out! – a newly-filmed interview with director/producer/co-writer Douglas Grossman
- A Beautiful Nightmare – a newly-filmed interview with cinematographer Steven Fierberg
- Jon-Jon’s Journey – a newly-filmed interview with actor Christopher Cousins
- The More the Better – a newly-filmed interview with actress Maureen Mooney
- Music is Not Sound – a newly-filmed interview with composers Rich Macar and Christopher Hyams-Hart
- Back to Schools: The Locations of Hell High – a tour of the original Hell High filming sites with author/filmmaker Michael Gingold
- Archival video interviews with director/producer/co-writer Douglas Grossman and co-writer Leo Evans
- Deleted Scene
- Alternate Opening Titles
- Trailers and TV Spots
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Ralf Krause
- FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring liner notes by Michael Gingold, including an exclusive interview with stunt coordinator/actor Webster Whinery