Nov 23, 2010

Massacre at Central High

Massacre at Central High is the film quoted as "predicting punk and Columbine." Undoubtedly, these allegations are stupid as the pretension of stating that a vengeful rampage would have never existed had someone the gall to create a tempestuous attack perpetrated a dear student, and punk? The only crime this film is guilty of is predicting a lack of vision in the future of cinema based around school shootings. Besides from this inane assessment, Rene Daalder, a protege of Russ Meyer, created a film unheard of for its time. The idyllic walls lined with lockers are being governed by the "in" crowd, a group of four "jock" ruffians whose tactics of terror include severe degradation and rape. These instances of rough-housing go virtually unacted upon and have prompted the staff of students to quietly walk in fear with their tails in between their legs. That is, until the new kid arrives at Central High, name of David. David not only shares a friendly history with one of the "country club" tyrants but is owed a due equal to repose in this blistering high school environment. Soon after, David makes sure to white-knight himself to the graduating class and Mark's girl, Theresa. The unfolding of several key events lead to inciting a homeroom war that would later be heavily "borrowed" from Heathers, a teenage girl's fantasy of attitude and angst delivered with soppy-crevice young-adultisms. 

The prior position of counseling is scrapped however, as David suffers a crippling blow-back from the bullies which lead to the designated title reflecting horror elements, which this film is surprisingly (and thankfully) void of. Rather than to honor of acknowledge his speakings of peace and equal mindedness, David turns to murder to exorcise the frustration and pain from his very veins, corrupting the last half of the film into a slasher-esque marathon of righteous suffering and violent sentiments to those who have wronged him or deemed unworthy of life. David's rage is arguably permitted however. Dutch filmmaker Rene Daalder spent line after line with intermittent scenes building upon David's ritualistic jog, releasing the stress necessary to retain a calm, collected attitude and foresight. When even the simplest relief is taken from a man, it's no surprise to witness an out-lash of explosive fury and mercilessness. What follows is quirky tomfoolery with sports equipment and a general misanthropy.

Strangely enough, the Italians got a hold of the initial print and edited pornographic inserts, amping up the hair, sweat, rape, and teenage promiscuity to a disturbing level. The result is known as Sexy Jeans - shock value? postmortem. The flavoring of hatefucking only really benefits to the attempted rape which is now transformed into a successful raping of both Mary and Jane. It's true that violence speaks much more when documented unflinchingly and if you're watching this film in the first place, chances are you slide into this category. Without the XXX material, the basic teenage relationships are centered around the blossoming womanhood, not that of a 12 year old girl but the transition from innocent cherub to swindling harlot. As evidenced by this strange idea known as reality and the cinema to which it reflects, romance is as silly and tumultuous as born in a school setting. The questionable freebie persona of the average experimenting lady is demonstrated in Massacre at Central High with bell-bottoms, buggies, and buggery. 

An interesting addition to Daalder's undiscovered masterpiece of aggression within education is that the campus is run entirely by the students, from the library to the student lounge. Adults do not have a role until the very final scene at the annual dance and even then, their oblivious nature to the plight of education and the rise of violent crimes is staggeringly accurate still to this day. Supervision is acceptable to a point for the mind retains malleability up until your first social experiences with troublemakers and misfits. This problem leads to David's madness and his transformation into an "evil" archetype is shocking enough for the once affable eccentric. Witnessing the infectious symptoms of power turn even the warm, cynical bookworm Arthur has David even more keen to the idea of systematically slaughtering the scheming studentkind. For this, allusions to Columbine will no doubt surface. Despite the media stacking such titles as Neo-Nazis, Violent gamers, and metalheads onto the duo of Eric & Dylan, Massacre at Central High represents a justifiable (to an extent) quest of retaliation that one might expect a sided Dutch diva to preach. 

Also known as the Blackboard Massacre, what sets this film apart from other bully/revenge/exploitation films is the teasing of genres it so wildly commits. First an engaging portrait of life in the 70s only to switch to a completely anarchic environment of execution, Massacre at Central High establishes itself as the prime contender for best school rampage film. Disregard entirely the residual comedy of Heathers and push aside the retrogression of van Sant's Elephant in favor for this underrated thriller worthy of global recognition, not just from the wops. David is once sympathetic and then a hero. Altered to a prophet of pain and freer of the quasi-oligarchy that existed in the sterile halls, David becomes cold and unmoving - unstoppable. The love for Theresa alone helps create a wholly complex finale with emotion enough to elevate this above the schlock of cult DVD. No doubt will this classic be misunderstood as the sensitivities of the dying West skyrocket. 



jervaise brooke hamster said...

This movie is total bollocks, its essentially a film for faggots and does not deserve the cult following that it supposedly has.

Jerkin' My Bald-Hamster said...

"Bullocks" is a piece of garbage word simply because it is used by British pansy Momma-boy fag-sticks.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Please dont accuse me of being British or a faggot, i am neither of those hideous, loathsome, horrifying things and never will be thankfully.