Horror-comedies have been around ever nce Abbott & Costello happened upon Frankenstein and have thrived in our society for a long time, constantly growing and changing. For an example of this, compare Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein
to Scary Movie. See the difference? Most horror fans know the 1980s were a high point for slasher films, so it was only natural for them to parody it. The first slasher parody arrived into cinemas in 1981 and entitled Student Bodies. The National Lampoon group, responble for such clascs as Animal House, took a stab (pun not intended) at it in 1982 and made Class Reunion. While Student Bodies was more based on slasher stereotypes, this movie played as just a horror-comedy. Arm yourself well, because you're invited to the...
Class Reunion 1982 Review
The movie opens up with your typical prank gone wrong scenario. Bob (the always great Gerrit Graham), the class predent of his high school, tells outcast Walter that Meredith, the class babe, is waiting for him in a car. Bob says she's very modest, so he gives Walter a paper bag to wear over his head and says she's doing the same. While in the car, "Meredith" gives Walter a handjob when suddenly, several headlights of other cars go on and they all start honking. Walter takes the bag off the woman he thinks is Meredith and starts screaming.
We then cut to ten years later with the reunion of Lizzie Borden High's Class of 1982. Everyone's back and having a great time until a doctor from a mental institution tells all of them that Walter has escaped and is at the class reunion. They discover the doors are locked and they are trapped. They group together and start hunting for Walter, but Walter's also hunting for them...
Being that this is a slasher parody and comes from the National Lampoon group, as well as being written by the most famous director of the 80s, John Hughes, I expected something a lot funnier. It does have it's moments, but most of it falls flat. Walter himself is a parody of Leatherface (wearing a paper bag on his head with lipstick on it), and he even wields a chainsaw at one point. The performances are all quite good, especially Gerrit Graham as the egocentric Bob, and Blackie Dammett as Walter. The great Chuck Berry even makes a cameo as he performs some of his songs.
Overall, I felt Class Reunion was a decent film. Even if most of the jokes fail miserably, it still has enough good jokes, good performances, and an entertaining plot to get you through an hour and a half. In fact, the 1986 slasher Slaughter High seems to have directly lifted the plot from this film into its own.
It's not nearly as funny as Animal House, but it's a lot more entertaining than some of the parody movies today (with the exception of Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, of course).