SPLATTER UNIVERSITY (LIVE SCORE by Chris Burke)
dir. Richard W. Haines, 1984
78 min, USA
FRIDAY, MAY 24 – 7:30 PM and 10 PM
(This event is $10.)
Original score remixed and performed live by composer Chris Burke, aka glomag.
“You know it seems to me if you are going to kill someone you [should] at least know them real well.” — The morbid but sensible landlord Mrs. Bloom
Before making his mark with CLASS OF NUKE ‘EM HIGH, Richard Haines began work on his very first film in 1981, at age 24. The end result, after running out of time and money, is a straightforward, traditional horror movie that’s only an hour. Putting it aside for a year and then padding it out with some “Porky’s-type humor” (at the distributor’s request and to his dismay), Haines gets the original runtime up to a feature-length, distribution-friendly 78 minutes.
The end result is what feels like two films in one, a traditional horror and college party flick; the sudden switches back & forth in tone are both in conflict and complement each other sublimely. New instructor Julie Parker (an earnest and believable Forbes Riley) unravels a murder mystery while her students waste their youth away in a seemingly unrelated subplot–until they themselves are wasted.
Nearly 40 years later, Richard Haines’s directorial debut has finally been released on Blu-ray, courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome. And the literal rough edges of their newly-restored print is one of two reasons why Spectacle is proud to present what can be considered the ultimate version of SPLATTER UNIVERSITY; the look & feel of dirty & grainy of decades old 16 mm footage that’s been modernized to conform to HD only accentuates the off-kilter feeling.
The second reason is the remastered and revamped 80’s synth score by the film’s original composer, Chris Burke (THE TOXIC AVENGER, BLUE VENGEANCE, THE REFRIGERATOR). Someone over at somethingawful.com described it best as “Optimus Prime passing a kidney stone with his motor oil.” Hear it performed live at our very special screening, one that will also include a panel with Chris and other special guests.
One can find more synth horror goodness from Chris Burke at glomag.bandcamp.com.