Filmmakers try to make a slasher movie in an abandoned high school where a series of real murders happened, but maybe the killer's back 'cause the film crew start disappearing without so much as a kill scene. Or possibly not. Maybe it's all part of the shitty fake movie.

hey cool
Maybe a nostalgia hit if you liked it as a stupid kid in the 80s
but YUCK
Fail comedy, and did anyone even die?

Seeing this again was a strange journey for me. Not the movie itself - farcical comedy, G rated kills, tiresome plot gimmick, don't watch it - but rather the fact that I once loved this sort of thing. I must have first seen it on TV in the mid 90s when I was still in the experimentation stage of horror addiction and thought a comedic horror movie was wonderfully novel. I recall being delighted by its gags and absurd plot twists and probably would have described it as "over the top fun" had twentysomething me scrawled an embarrasingly poor review of the product. I was exactly the intended audience.

A quarter century later not so much. I saw it on prime and figured I'd reconnect with my old friend, although I had it partially confused with some other movie about a high school reunion where a picked-on kid comes back and kills everyone. What movie was that? Anyway I was grinding my teeth to get through this now. Felt like watching a sitcom. I had an almost identical experience watching Terrorvision again and I don't want to write this review twice with a few words changed so there you go.

So what happened? Have I become a Scrooge-like old fogy who rattles his cane at youthful fun and hyjinx? Have I forgotten I was ever a young man in love and full of dreams, as I sit here alone scowling and harrumphing over a bowl of gruel?

No, I think I've just gotten smarter, more self-aware, and like way better movies now. There are reasons other than societal programming that not many grownups still play jacks and wear propeller beanies. It's just not that fun. Or more accurately it's only fun if you're a kid. You know, dumb. I use charts and dice with my toy soldiers now.

But this all makes me ponder the whole question of what makes anything subjective "good". Most would agree that Moby Dick is better literature than some pulp romance novel; I should rephrase that to say most smart people would agree, and I guess that's the crux of it. Most regular people would probably rather read trash, so how can we say one is good and the other bad? What we're really saying is that good art is the kind smart people like. Sounds horribly elitist but isn't that what it comes down to? Is that not the simplest way to describe one who appreciates subtlety, depth and nuance?

Look I'm just laying some coffee-house intellectual claptrap on you here so I don't have to talk about Return to Horror High. I'm not actually saying I'm smarter than anyone who likes this movie. There are many strange receptors in the brain and I still like lots of movies that display questionable cinematography. And besides, I liked it once in a previous century so the movie and I both got our money's worth out of each other.

I guess I should say something about the damn thing if this is a "review". It's constantly pulling the gag of showing you a scene and then somebody yells "cut" - it was only part of the fake movie! There's even a dream sequence inside one of them so you get both "cut" and then she wakes up, so not even the fake movie was pretend happening. Mildly annoying once but by the third or fourth time I'm imagining the camera turning to me as I flip the movie off, 'cause oh my god the real movie is just a movie too. Wouldn't that be clever?