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“ZOMBIE HIGH” (Blu-ray Review)

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The one thing this writer will always give to specialty distributor Scream Factory is that they have an inherent penchant for finding the most odd and obscure cult titles from throughout horror history. Whether it’s the weird and wild BLOOD AND LACE or the effortlessly bizarre DEADLY EYES, Scream Factory has given fans of vintage viscera no matter how underrated or lowly in the horror pantheon. Yet few Scream Factory releases are as strange as a whole as ZOMBIE HIGH, a horror comedy that’s as conceptually confused as it is fascinating as both entertainment and as a launchpad for many of today’s top hollywood talents.

For those unfamiliar, ZOMBIE HIGH follows a woman who is accepted on a scholarship to a formerly all-male boarding school, catching the attention of one of her teachers while drifting away from her “Bad Boy” boyfriend. However, her freshman class soon all begins to become dull, lifeless beings while the menacing faculty draws in on the woman. Soon, she learns the nefarious truth behind the transformations and finds she may be the only one who can stop it all from reaching its sinister apex.

zombie-high

While the film isn’t necessarily good, largely because the film never quite knows what it wants to be despite a few amusing sequences and some impressive production design, ZOMBIE HIGH does have a particularly interesting legacy behind it considering the platform it provided for several heavyhitters in the entertainment industry. Featuring early roles for Virginia Madsen (post-DUNE yet pre-CANDYMAN), Sherilyn Fenn (pre-TWIN PEAKS), and actor-turned-director Paul Feig, ZOMBIE HIGH also was one of the first productions for indie producer Cassian Elwes, director Jay Roach (who served as a camera operator) and tv writing maverick Tim Doyle. In fact, in an ironic twist, the film’s actual director Ron Link fell into obscurity soon after the film, with ZOMBIE HIGH remaining his sole cinematic credit to date.

Luckily, Scream Factory gives ZOMBIE HIGH a fairly good transfer, which is saying something considering the film’s notably soft cinematography. The video transfer has great clarity and depth while sporting the organic grain of the film, and is paired with a 2.0 audio transfer that is clear yet simple in range. Unfortunately, ZOMBIE HIGH is a barebones release with almost no extras, save for a single theatrical trailer, making this a release for the curious and die-hards fans only.

About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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