Horror High (1974)


Oddly enough, this is NOT a prequel to Return to Horror High (1987) reviewed here a little less than a year ago. Instead, it’s a high school variation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde about a chemistry nerd that invents a potion releasing his inner maniac (who for some reason walks pigeon-toed).

While I cannot recommend Horror High (a.k.a. Twisted Brain—what’s wrong with that title?) owing to its excruciatingly laborious pace, sports fans may want to check it out to see some pro football stars (“Mean” Joe Greene, Craig Morton, D.D. Lewis, Billy Truax) from a bygone era filling out the cast as assorted cops and jocks.

Vernon Potts (Pat Cardi) is a perpetually bullied four-eyed Poindexter who transforms into a somewhat hairier and nastier version of himself when he’s forced to drink his own formula by a crazy janitor bent on revenge after Vernon’s guinea pig, Mr. Mumps, kills the custodian’s cat.

It sounds complicated, but it’s mostly tedious beyond belief. Seriously, there is a scene in which Vernon phones his father, a wheeler-dealer businessman of some kind who is never at home, that leads to an interminable sequence of his dad arguing with his new wife/girlfriend that ends (finally!) with the two of them going for a drive!

My question for director Larry Stouffer and writer J.D. Feigelson: WHY WASN’T THIS SCENE CUT DOWN OR EVEN REMOVED COMPLETELY? IT HAS NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH ANYTHING GOING ON IN THE REST OF THE MOVIE AND IS NEVER REFERRED TO AGAIN! Even as padding goes it’s staggeringly and mind-numbingly egregious.

Our boy Vernon eventually gets around to slaying his tormentors—and pitching woo to cute girl Robin (Rosie Holotik)—before Lieutenant Bozeman (Austin Stoker) deduces that the spindly kid is a part-time killer caveman.

But oh, the tedium, the endless tedium! Horror High pushed me to my absolute limits; I’ve never been more tempted to fast-forward through a movie in my life. I really deserve a plaque. Or at least a comfy pillow.


Author: oldsharky

Sensible writer/editor with sparkling credentials who would happily work for you at a reasonable rate. I moonlight as a bass player, beer enthusiast, Trail Blazers fan, dog fancier, and horror movie fanatic. Sometimes I think about daily events too much and require a little help to clarify and process the deluge of information.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: