Color, 2013, 73m.
Directed by Jared Lee Masters
Starring Savvy Matlow, Danika Galindo, Nikole Howell, Lindsay Lamb, Andrew Phillips, Nick Sinise, Bruce Kade, Abby Summers, Lonne Gardner, Simone Wasserman, Dawna Lee Heising, LeJon
Frolic Pictures / WS (1.78:1) (16:9)
Who's in the mood for a little slasher fun? After school, students Devon (Howell) and Jess (Matlow) corner their very Canadian "hot history teacher," Mr. Anderson (Kade), to respectively get him to accept an online friend request and retrieve a confiscated beanie. He accepts the friend request but gets in hot water right away, losing his job and his temper -- snapping his boss's neck and stabbing a secretary with some scissors in the process. Meanwhile Devon's decided to throw a slumber party despite the fact that her last one went down in flames when one of the guests died from an apparent suicidal overdose. Devon's mom (Heising) is too distracted by a really weird suitor (LeJon) to pay attention to the growing number of girls in the house, who are busy taking showers, gossiping, scoring drugs, dancing in their skivvies, and talking to the cops about the maniacal teacher on the loose. Death by mailbox, clock radio, and garden hose are just a few of the nasty treats in store for this sleepover as the psycho urges each victim to join his class and "learn the horrors of history."
It's become an indie rage lately to make a throwback tribute to '80s slasher films (think Bloody Homecoming, Among Friends, Babysitter Massacre, etc.), but Teachers' Day finds a nifty new twist by making it a cheeky comedy in which the actual nature of the movie itself is always in question. The opening credits are an especially nice touch, with names literally unfolding on passed notes in class while giggly girls' voiceovers talk about each cast and crew member. Asides to the camera and a bizarre murder attack that turns into a slap fight add to the fun, and while there isn't actual blood on display here (apart from one bit involving an electric carving knife), the spirit is definitely right with an abundance of creative kills and skimpy underwear. Director Jared Masters (Slink) manages to assemble another game cast on a minimal budget including some familiar faces from his previous film, and this time the scene stealer is newcomer Andrew Phillips, who gets the funniest lines as the lone jackass guy at the party. Short and sweet, it's an energetic and often wildly creative spin on the classic body count formula. If you thought the slasher movie was dead (again), watch out for this one.
As usual, Frolic Pictures is self-distributing this film, and while an official DVD release hasn't quite made it out the door yet, the disc they've prepared is a winner complete with a brief trailer, two chatty deleted scenes, a "Fruit on My Belly" music video for the goofy rap song from the end credits, over eight minutes of interviews with the principal cast members sitting in a shady backyard, and three minutes of behind the scenes footage done in split screen format with actors talking about the shoot while we see the production in action, a pretty nifty way of presenting this in a different style. It's about time someone came up with a different holiday as a backdrop for a psycho killer, and this one fits the bill perfectly.
Reviewed on December 29, 2013.