GHOUL SCHOOL: SUPER BLOODY SPLATTER UNIVERSITY EDITION (DVD) Image

The 1990 film “Ghoul School,” which has been released in a special edition before, never earned fame because it was a “good” or “bad” movie. It garnered press due to special appearances from Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling and that bloat Joe Franklin. The story, which involves chemicals in the school’s water supply that turn the swim team and a few others into blue-faced ghouls, was never treated as anything but a joke … and not a very funny one.

Granted, a poor storyline, horrible editing, plot holes, bad acting and horrible special effects can be entertaining in the right light. When that’s the case, comparisons to a Troma film can’t help but be made. At least Troma pays a little attention to details, though, which could’ve only helped this movie.

The question begs to be answered: Why do another special edition of a film that isn’t really all that great? Why do a DVD full of commentaries and nifty little featurettes for a movie where the audience is limited at best? The answer is quite simple: The film deserves it. Almost every film does, especially ones that few people will see. Films, no matter their artistic or entertainment merit, are labors of love, and anyone willing to seek out the less-than-perfect projects will want to see what made them what they are. It’s a lesson for audiences and a validation of the work that went into making the movie. Even the bombs deserve that, and while I wouldn’t classify the film as a total loss, I would say it’s nearly impossible to take it seriously on almost any level. (Obviously the movie isn’t meant to be a “serious” horror movie, but even films in the more lighthearted vein have to work on some level or another. Witness Troma’s films and Low Budget Pictures’ work. “Ghoul School” is like an outcast from those studios.) That doesn’t mean there isn’t any fun to be had, but it seems forced and misfires far too often.

This “Super Bloody Splatter University Edition” isn’t a must-own for anyone but die-hard fans of the film (and your enjoyment of the extras on the DVD will be in direct relation to your enjoyment of the film), but it is worth watching at least once just to experience it. For wannabe low budget horror directors, this could be a great springboard for what-to-do and what-not-to-do (more of the latter than anything else) when making your own movie. For the rest of the viewing world who couldn’t care less one way or another, you aren’t missing anything.

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