Return to Horror High (1987)

return to horror high

“Nobody hits one of the Trolls!”

The Scoop: 1987 R, directed by Bill Froehlich and starring Richard Brestoff, George Clooney, and Vince Edwards

Tagline: Killer to the left… Killer to the right… Stand up… Sit down… FRIGHT! FRIGHT! FRIGHT!

Summary Capsule: That tagline left me a little scared, to tell the truth. It was intense! Anyway, another tale of mass murder in a high school, as we try to figure out what’s reality and what is not.

Justin’s Rating: It’s no Scream, but it’s interesting.

Justin’s Review: There are just four, and only four things you ever need know about Return to Horror High. Ready? Got a pen and paper? Good.

1. A very young George Clooney is in this. For about three minutes. Then a very young George Clooney is murdered. I didn’t weep very much at that. [spoiler back there, somewhere, probably should avoid it]

2. Even though the title suggests that this is a sequel, you have nobody to blame but yourself for assuming so. It’s not, plebeian. Shows how much you learned at Horror High.

3. The single most creative death is that a biology teacher is pinned and dissected alive. He manages to die without screaming that much, which is sort of impressive with all the nails and whatnot.

4. The killer — a black-robed mystery figure who wears a ghost-like mask — looks not just a bit like the killer from Scream. Hm. And here we thought Kevin Williamson was being creative.

Other than those slight points of interest, this tour is all about taking you to the scene of a ho-hum horror/slasher/mystery/comedy and letting your interest wander more than the footage will allow. It’s a messy film that tries so hard to be creative that it becomes creatively pathetic.

Why? Well, it opens with a couple of disinterested cops coming to the scene of a massacre at a high school, where they’re told what happened in a flashback. In the flashback, we have a bunch of filmmakers who are creating a movie in this school about murders that happened there a while ago. From then on, the actual movie will flash from scene to scene in an attempt to disorient you greatly — is this the flashback? The movie that they’re making? The events that happened a really long time ago? The cops? Mommy?

I greatly lost interest in this movie from about minute 15 on. Because of the all of the movie-within-a-movie setups, there’s no real reason to feel tense over the events, because chances are they didn’t really happen in the greater movie anyway. Because of all of the “comedy”, the impact of the death scenes is lessened to a mild whimper. Because of all of the lack of acting talent, you really don’t care one whit about the characters. And because of the silly string plot twists and loops, you’re not rewarded in paying attention to figure out the greater scheme. You’re just annoyed.

Class dismissed. We all fail.

I can't get enough Clooney in my daily diet. Can you? I didn't think so. Ahhhh.
I can’t get enough Clooney in my daily diet. Can you? I didn’t think so. Ahhhh.


  • Wow… not just a bit of a “Blair Witch” vibe going on with the opening scroll, huh?
  • “Crippen” is just a horrible, horrible made up name
  • He says “Where are they?” and he’s standing TWO STEPS from the bodies. What a cop.
  • The cops don’t seem that upset or worried about the massacre
  • It’s mother-lovin’ George Clooney!
  • No exploding [breast] shot? Aw. Why not?
  • The director looks like Steve Guttenberg
  • Love the enormous fog bank in this high school
  • It’s a cleanly killer!
  • Worst. Cops. Ever.
  • Special Homemade Pus. Yum.
  • That’s certainly one way to convince a girl to go on a date with you
  • Marcia Brady is a bit disturbing with the gore fetish
  • Dissections are tasty
  • It’s proto-Ghostface!
  • Is It Worth Staying Through End Credits? There’s a couple very small jokes in the credits, but largely… no.

Groovy Quotes

Quarterback: Nobody hits one of the Trolls!

If you liked this movie, try these:


  1. Um, ‘Crippen’ isn’t a made up name; Dr HH Crippen was executed in 1910 for the murder of his wife. The case was a major sensation at the time, especially since Crippen was the first killer to be caught through the use of wireless communication – and also because the murder was discovered when his wife’s torso (minus the head and arms) was found under the floorboards of their house.
    Having said that, even at the time there was some controversy whether the corpse was that of Cora Crippen at all, and recent re-examination of the forensic evidence appears to back up the theory; meaning that the poor guy (whose surname became a slang term for a wife-killer even into the Thirties) might very well have been innocent of anything more severe than having an affair.

  2. I remember watching this one waaaaaaaay back, and pretty much deciding I never needed to watch it again. I could see what the movie tried to do and failing miserably over and over. Not scary enough to be horror, not funny enough to be comedy. By the look of the review, you felt the same way!

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