A Movie Review by Robert Long II ©2015
Tagline: Your education will cost an arm and a leg
Starring Samantha Acampora, David Adams Murphy, Dave Almeida, Thib Alqahtani, Nick Apostolides, Elyssa Baldassarri, Timothy Bonavita, Andre Boudreau, Mary DeBerry, Theresa Dern, Jamie Dufault, Jesse Dufault, Nancy Ferrante, Christopher L. Ferreira, Tonya Free, Dana Haley, Ryan Hanley, Ky Hanson, Griffin Hartter, Sean Hartter, Lydea Irwin, Bernard Larrivee Jr, Patrick Keeffe, Kevin Killavey, Tom Lavallee, John Mosetich, Sara Murphy, Erin M. Olson, Jocelyn Padilla, Mary Paolino, Aaron Peaslee, Kyon Piche, Rob Roy, Lee Rush, David Sackal, Anthony Smith, Sean Sullivan, Nathaniel Sylva, Michael Thurber, Rich Tretheway, Daniel Lee White, Geoff White, Van Brockmann
Directed by Richard Griffin
Written by Lenny Schwartz
Produced through Scorpio Film Releasing
Released by Wild Eye Releasing
Internet synopsis: A series of brutal, cult-like murders are taking place at a New England college. Josh Greene, a shy freshman, is the lone survivor of a series of murders that are reminiscent of a similar string of killings some twenty years prior. As he seeks to uncover the secret behind the attacks, he is joined by Detective Forrester, who was instrumental in halting the bloodshed before, and his daughter Meg, who had barely escaped being a victim previously.
This is a fun 1980s throwback slasher that takes place in 1983. 20 years previously a pair of cult-like murders took place at a musical practice. Someone wearing a demon mask killed two lovers after they had practiced singing a number.
Cut to 20 years later and we have four young adults checking out an abandoned building and maybe having some sexy times. Or not, considering they run into three demon masked cultists brandishing axes. Needless to say these four investigators will not be our main characters.
The viewer is introduced to Josh (Jamie Dufault), a likable college freshman who gets a bit picked on from everyone from fellow students to his teachers. None of this is going to matter much to him as he is kidnapped (along with a few other students) by the demon cultist and gets stabbed.
Josh wakes up in the hospital and finds out he survived the attack. He is questioned by a hardened police detective (Michael Thurber). He also meets the detective’s daughter Meg (played by the über hot Samantha Acampora). Sparks fly once they make eye contact.
The rest of the story has the viewer witness the deaths of many more students at the hands of the cultists. The detective and Josh get caught up in all the mayhem on the campus. They also try to discover what is behind the actions of these cult figures, and why they seem to be zeroing in on Josh. The ending is quite surprising.
Great cast! Default is channeling Andrew McCarthy (from his 1980s films) as the shy, likable Josh, and Acampora is feisty, clever and sexy as Meg. Thurber is excellent as the burned-out cop that’s hot on the case.
The graphic violence is very well done. Lots of beheadings and eye-gouging to be seen. There is also some slit throats, groin trauma, scalping, and brain spills. Pretty much all done practical and done well. Good job!
This is a slasher – what about the nudity factor? There is some on display but nothing to really write home about. The viewer does get to see Acampora in the buff so that’s a plus.
Quality-wise I found the picture and sound to be sharp and clear. Great lighting was used throughout it as well. Murder University comes with two informative commentary tracks, a deleted scene, an Easter egg, and some Wild Eye Releasing trailers.
There are a couple things that knock it a few points for me. One being that the low budget shows when there is not a couple of squadrons of cops protecting the campus after the attacks start happening. The other is the tone. The filmmakers seem to lean a little too much towards humor. There are times that someone is being assaulted and quips or funny situations are mixed in – which is a shame. Let the humorous scenes be humorous, and let the tense moments be horrific.
FINAL ANALYSIS: I like MURDER UNIVERSITY and give it a good 7/10. Despite the things I knocked it for, this is a fun slasher made by the fine folks at Scorpio Film Releasing. If you love 1980s slashers give this one a look. Hell, it is even set in the 1980s! You can get your copy HERE.