In the near future I hope to find a standardized test with the following question:
“Scary Movie is to Scream as ___________ is to Halloween*”
The answer would, of course, be Student Bodies – a horror parody most fondly remembered for its on-screen body count. Student Bodies spends most of its time deconstructing the clichés of slasher films into one gags. Promiscuous teenagers fall victim to a mysterious galoshes wearing killer known as “The Breather” – for obvious respiratory reasons. The strange high school staff all become suspects, with the film itself constantly pointing out clues. Only the vestal virgin of the senior class seems interested in solving the case, especially after she becomes the top suspect.
While the film starts of strong, thirty minutes in the parody gives way to pure formula and it is not until a short burst of insanity during a chase in the last 15 minutes of the film that the movie ever gets interesting again. Far more innocent than recent spoof films like Scary Movie, Student Bodies is also a degree smarter. Rather than mimic individual moments from particularly well-known horror films of the era, Student Bodies strikes at the core elements of a horror films. In particular, I enjoyed jokes that call attention to how music is used to manipulate feelings of suspense and fear. That, and how most horror films are made simply because it is one of the safest genres to invest in from an economical stand point.
* The standardized text would probably have to make note of the fact that they are talking about the original Halloween and not Rob Zombie’s remake otherwise some grade grubber will surely argue for partial credit.