Student Bodies (DVD)

Student Bodies DVD review (click for larger image)Reviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring Kristen Riter, Matt Goldsby, Richard Brando, Joe Flood

Directed by Mickey Rose

Distributed by Legend Films and Paramount Home Entertainment

The box for this film makes a dubious claim: The World’s First Horror Comedy. Um, no. Although this came many years before Scary Movie, I cannot help but call bullshit. What about Young Frankenstein? Hell, how about Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein? Something about that line just irritated me a bit. And upon watching Student Bodies again, I realized why it bothered me so — Because it’s nowhere near as good as either of those flicks.

Student Bodies is a send-up of every slasher movie out at the time. A killer known as “The Breather” played by Richard Belzer (under the name Richard Brando) is stalking a young virgin girl and killing her friends along the way in all manner of ludicrous ways such as death by paper clip, eggplant, garbage bag, and of course, horse-head bookend. Since said virgin finds every body, she is eventually labeled by her classmates as the killer. Good thing her boyfriend is out to help her prove her innocence as a means to finally get some.

Student Bodies DVD review (click for larger image)The humor here is on the level of such greats as Airplane but mostly without the wit and talent of a formidable cast with the presence and smarts to sell the many silly set-ups and sight gags. There are a couple of truly fun and even somewhat inspired moments, but unfortunately most of the jokes that are hurled at you in rapid-fire succession fall flat. Miserably flat. The odd thing is that when this movie came out (I think I was about ten years old at the time), I thought it was hilarious. The years have not been kind to Student Bodies. Not kind at all. Then again, maybe I’ve matured. Oh, who am I kidding? Me? Mature? Now that’s funny!

From a supplemental standpoint, just like the film itself, there’s nothing to see here. Honestly? I’m almost thankful. I don’t think I could have taken much more.

Sometimes when you revisit things you remember loving from your childhood, those memories end up getting tainted. Was there really a time that I actually loved this flick? I do believe there was. Then again, I also used to like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and now I cringe every time I see Prince Adam decked out in lavender and pink. It’s no wonder why “fabulous secret powers were revealed to him when he held aloft his magic sword!”

Watch at your own risk.

Special Features

  • This flick was never really that special to begin with!


    2 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    0 out of 5

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  • Steve Barton

    You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

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    • Keith Singleton

      Hi, I played Charlie in the opening of the movie. Michael Ritchie was a prominent member of the Producer’s Guild and Director’s Guild; he directed the biggest comedies with the biggest stars. He knew going in this was non-union and that he would have to use a pseudonym; standard industry practice. It was not a decision made after the fact, like so many think. Also, it was the very first spoof ever made of slasher films, not horror films. At the time, slasher films were considered modern horror, so Paramount wasn’t stretching the truth. Paramount executives showed up in the driveway on the first day of shooting. I got to meet them and the picture was sold that night. One has to ‘get off’ on the right foot with this movie and I appreciate that so many hold it dear to their hearts. I’m in comedy heaven thanks to so many of you. Here’s a little known fact. When the killer is pulling his feet out of the boots on the stairs, it didn’t work with a guy so we used the script supervisor, a chick. Heh! It is true that Mickey Rose directed right along with Michael, they were both taking turns directing me. I was impressed with how they let me ad-lib my lines and encouraged me to “take control” like I did in my comedy act (which I was cast from.) “What’s that chickeny taste?” was an ad-lib. (The actual line written was “Yuck, what’s that?”) All in all, a trip down memory lane, if not mammaries.

    • hanahbr

      I frequently found myself going to a friend’s house in an effort to sneak a peek at Student Bodies, and at the time I was disappointed with what I saw, erroneously thinking it was supposed to be a straightforward slasher flick (hey, gimmie a break: I was 9, and blond). Having only seen bits of the film (damn those parents coming home)–and now realizing it’s a parody–I gleefully popped this baby in with a fresh outlook and different expectations.

    • tm8732

      This is the worst movie I have ever seen.

      There was not one second of it that was funny in any way.

      I do enjoy all sorts of movies… low budget, normal releases, horror of all kinds, even spoofs, etc… but this one was just plain stupid.

    • elric300

      I liked this movie. Haven’t seen it in a million years, but it’s got some great stuff. The scene with the killer making it up the stairs was priceless.

      “You don’t need your family. You don’t need your friends. As long as you have, a horsehead bookend.”

    • DeadBodyMan187

      FINALLY on DVD. A real classic. Truly hilarious from start to finish. I need a copy. Thanks, Legend Films!

    • ivelnoslo

      I saw a YouTube clip featuring the meowing dog.

      As a result, I am going to blind buy this movie.

      Also, my humor veers towards the juvenile even at 32 years of age.

      If you want to see a horror comedy that hasn’t aged well and is truly awful, just try to watch National Lampoon’s Class Reunion again. Ugh!!!

    • Mr. Dark

      So…horsehead bookends don’t get you hot?

      What about funerals?

      Mr. Dark
      Part-Time Dread Central Gaming Guy
      Full-Time Freelance Smartass

    • Uncle Creepy

      The Mandatory R Rating Scene and anything having to do with Malvert are the ONLY things about this flick that I liked. They were the “fun and somewhat inspired moments” I referred to. I love Airplane. I love Kentucky Fried Movie. I have no problem with juvenile humor, but this just seemed so very stale.

    • Mr. Dark

      Can’t remember the time I disagreed with a review more. I mean, wow, we’re really on the opposite side of things here, and normally I’m right with you, man. Student Bodies is one of my all-time favorite movies, and probably one of three of my all-time favorite comedies, up there with Blazing Saddles and Ghostbusters.

      ‘First horror comedy’ or not, what they’re pointing out is that the Wayans and subsequent Scary Movie writers owe Mickey Rose and Co some serious royalties. It was the first of it’s kind, and was WAY before it’s time. About 20 years or so, unfortunately for the filmmakers and the people who paid for it.

      I still watch this, and it still holds up. You either enjoy that Airplane/Scary Movie humor or you don’t, and this is primo vintage stuff right up there with Kentucky Fried Movie.

      Is it juvenile? Sure, so were the slasher movies in those days. This skewers them with laser precision. Ridiculous selection of weapons, strange choices of dates to commit crimes, obsession with teens who have sex, etc. On top of the satire, there’s some downright solid humor that stands on it’s own. ‘Don’t call me daddy anymore.’ ‘Sometimes Malvert pees red!’

      The ‘mandatory R-rating scene’ is one of the single funniest and savviest pieces of film satire ever, in my opinion. In that one, short ‘what the hell?’ scene they manage to encapsulate everything right and wrong about that era of horror cinema.

      What most people don’t realize is who Mickey Rose is. Mickey Rose co-wrote all of the early (AKA the actually funny) Woody Allen movies. Sleeper, What’s Up Tiger Lilly, etc. This was his one solo venture.

      It was shot in Tulsa for about $25. From what I understand, it was mostly funded by a local car dealer or something like that. Considering what they had to work with (and a terrible patched-on ending shot at the last moment because they ran out of money to finish the movie) you still have a fantastic lost slice of seventies satirical humor that didn’t involve John Landis or Mel Brooks.


      Mr. Dark
      Part-Time Dread Central Gaming Guy
      Full-Time Freelance Smartass

    • Terminal

      The First Horror Comedy, says the box.

      HAH! RIGHT!