Friday, 4 January 2013

Murder University (2012)

Directed by Richard Griffin

Written by Lenny Schwartz

Stars: Jamie Dufault, Michael Thurber, Samantha Acampora, Nat Sylva 

Due to a very annoying mess up with mail and a long delay thanks to the holidays I had a rather long wait to finally see Scorpio Releasing’s 80s homage Murder University. I am pleased to say it was well worth the wait and I had a great time watching this hilarious splatter-fest.  It has a high body count, colourful characters, great practical effects and a brilliant soundtrack/score.  It also looks like a theatrical release which is never an easy feat on a low budget but somehow these guys have managed to pull it off.

The overall plot of the film features young Josh Greene, a shy freshman at college trying to find his way while surviving bullies, mean teachers and a rather dubious roommate.  To add his problems a series of cult related murders are taking place on campus and he is about to find himself hideously caught up in the bloodshed.  Speaking of bloodshed, there is an awful a lot of slicing, dicing, hacking and decapitating to feast your eyes on and gore hounds should be most impressed.

The opening to the film really raised my eyebrows – in a really good way. I loved how it both adhered to and stuck both fingers up at viewer’s expectations as to how the scene might play out. Think your usual slasher movie opening kill(s) with a nice mean and unexpected little twist. There are plenty of fun little oddities peppered throughout the movie also and that’s something I really found impressive about Murder University – there’s a lot to be said for making a movie which is mostly loyal to the best of the 80s stalk and slash films but also putting a bit of your own spin on it.

One thing I didn't like (although the scene does exactly what I imagine it set out to do) was the shock killing of one character who I can’t mention for spoiler purposes. Maybe I am too sensitive but I didn't want things to turn out that way – although points for taking me completely by surprise!

Aside from a few weaker performances from supporting cast members, the key cast all do a great job. Leads Jamie Dufault and Samantha Acampora, as Josh and Meg respectively, play their parts brilliantly and have genuine on screen chemistry. Jamie in particular is impressive throughout especially in his final scenes. Michael Thurber is great fun as the determined and volatile Detective Forrester and I really enjoyed Nick Apostolides (Loco Larry) and Lee Rush (Mrs Greene)  in their roles. 

I really look forward to future work from director Richard Griffin and writer Lenny Schwartz - they clearly made a great team here. All in all Murder University is a well-acted, impressively shot/directed, hilarious and ultimately FUN movie which you would be foolish not to check out once it gets a wide DVD release. For more details on this head on other to MU central HERE and find out more! 

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