Splatter University (1984) review

splatter-university

Coming a couple of years after the slasher boom of the early 80s, Splatter University is a low budget gorefest more akin a Friday the 13th sequel than a more suspenseful exercise such as Halloween II (1981).

The film was actually filmed in 1981, but only clocked in at just over an hour, so more footage was shot a year later to beef the running time up to 78 minutes.

Originally titled, ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’, we follow a newly employed Sociology lecturer as students from her new university is picked off one by one in gory fashion.

Although the identity of the killer is quite easy to figure out, Splatter University does offer an interesting twist to its conclusion which can be considered bold at a time when the formula for slashers felt set in stone.

Much like Prom Night, it has the red herring (or is it?) of an escaped mental patient who has a bloodlust, which can only be fulfilled by creatively offing teenagers.

The early scenes in the mental hospital were clearly done adlib, as patients roam quite freely through the halls, with one of the nurses smoking in the corridor and refusing to help to other doctors locate the missing William Graham.

The kills mirror each other a lot, with victims being knifed in the chest and then sometimes coughing up blood. Having said this, one kill does play slightly for laughs, as a student girl is killed in her car before being thrown in the dumpster nearby, with her friends proceeding to throw cans of beer on her dying corpse without noticing her.

Interestingly the actor who was originally meant to play the killer did not turn up for the shoot, with Director Richard W. Haines stepping into the role and chewing the scenery for its fun finale.

Given it was shot at two different times and the crew were clearly working on a minuscule budget, Splatter University is definitely more fun than it has any right to be and comfortably sits amongst its slasher brethren as a fun and gory watch.

Splatter University is available now on Blu Ray from 88 Films.

 

 

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