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School Killer - Nos van a Matar a Todos

School Killer
El Vigilante

Spain 2001
produced by
José Luis Berlanga, Mariví de Villanueva for Sociedad Audiovisual Dos Orillas/TVE, canal+, ICAA
directed by Carlos Gil
starring Carlos Fuentes, Zoe Berriatúa, Olivia Molina, Carmen Morales, Elena Candorcio, Kwenya Carreira, Paul Naschy, Itziar Miranda, Manuela Velasco, Aitor Beltrán, Antonio Hueso, Antonio Arenas, Sergi Mateu, Ana Vega
written by Tino Blanco, Mercedes Holgueras, music by David San José, special effects by Raúl Romanillos

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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For a night of partying, Ramón (Carlos Fuentes) takes his friends - Jordi (Zoe Berriatúa), Maria (Olivia Molina), Sandra (Carmen Morales), Pam (Elena Candorcio) and Larry (Kwenya Carreira) - to an abandoned school building in th emiddle of nowhere, where his now deceased father ahd a similar party 27 years ago. However, things get strange almost immediately when lights go on and off in the house although there is no power supply, phones start ringing though the line is cut, a bunch of kids seem to be partying in another part of the house but whenever Ramón and friends want to find them they are gone, a spooky caretaker (Paul Naschy) roams the hallways, and then they bump into a girl covered in blood but somehow lose her again.

Soon they decide the best thing to do is to stay together all the time, and when headstrong Sandra seperates from the others anyhow, she is soon found horribly mutilated ...

Now it's Ramón's turn to thell his friends the whole truth, his dad (Antonio Arenas) did not just come here to party all these years ago, it was also the night when his friends were slaughtered and horribly mutilated by the school's caretaker - yup, the very same Ramón and friends saw roaming the hallways - before he managed to kill th ecaretaker and throw him into the school's well - in that respect it's not quite clear why Ramón was hell-bent on spending a night here with his friends as well, but nevermind.

Anyways, after they hear this story, Pam and Larry flee in panic - and both fall victim to the killer - while the other three try to figure out what's actually happening, and esoteric girl Pam comes up with explanation after explanation - until early the next  morning they learn the truth ... they have all six been slaughtered the night before and are already in their afterlife ...

 

By and large, School Killer is of course your typical teen slasher, and also a typical second generation slasher that's full of references to older movies of its kind. Also, Paul Naschy plays his role - maybe one of his worst, most one-dimensional roles - as the typical slasher villain, a typical over-the-top baddie with no depth to him. That all said, School Killer is also unusually atmospheric for a movie of its ilk, instead of merely banking on its gore scenes (which are there, of course), the film succeeds in evoking a feel of unease throughout, and adds a layer of mystery to its rather predictable story, equipping a plot that's rather linear by (genre-)definition with a few twists and surprises one wouldn't expect. In that respect, it's sad to say that the ending is an underwhelming let-down, but other than thatit's a very enjoyable piece of horror cinema.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD