Graduation Day is a misogynistic carpet bomb; a movie where nearly every male role is filled by swathing sleaze balls, shifty eyed lunatics, and coaches that dabble in pedophilia. Graduation Day is a film where nearly every woman is victimized or degraded in some way (well everyone except Linea Quigley who makes an early appearance here as a drugged out bimbo with man meat on the mind), but that’s not enough to cast a bad shadow on the low rent charm and wacked out oddball fun that Graduation Day has to offer. When a movie kicks off with a 70’s groove about how “everyone wants to be a winner” with quick cuts of people going balls out crazy over a track meet and high school athletes making out in the middle of a field you know you’re in for a real doozy.
The story centers around the death of a female track star that was driven to an early heart attack by her overly pushy coach, George Michaels. Damn you to HELL George Michaels! When other kids from the track team begin turning up missing and all dead-like, the movie turns into a giallo straight from the gutter with more red herrings than you can shake a bloody javelin at. Someone takes a dirt nap on a bed of spikes; another student gets a sword/football, wardrobe mix-ups occur (what fashionable pants mister principle), the list of potential murder suspects piles up, and right when you feel like the movie has lost some of its b-grade movie steam it treats you to “Gangster Rock”; a full seven minutes of “Gangster Rock” which is a whole six more minutes than what I had expected. Then comes the disco dancing and roller skating; boy the 70’s sure looked fun.
Herb Freed; you made me a fan of your dirty little misogynist bite of B-rated cinematic bliss. The ending is a literary apology for all the machismo drenched frames from earlier in the film and perfectly encapsulates the absurdity of Graduation Day in one fell swoop. I’m not one to piss in people’s oatmeal, so don’t look at me to spoil the surprise. *Hey look, a Vampirella poster!
*Did my diversion work?