Final Exam

Final Exam

Director: Jimmy Huston Cast: Cecile Bagdadi, Joel S. Rice, Ralph Brown

Blu-ray (Color / Wide Screen)

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Since this no-brainer is basically a hybrid of frat-boy comedy and slasher-thriller exploitation which features no slashing, no humor, and fails to exploit anything, it's hard to determine what the producers really had in mind. The plot (it's in there somewhere) has something to do with a campus killer who likes to practice his own variety of hazing during Hell Week, but mainly it involves a lot of brain-dead college losers (played by similarly challenged non-actors) who blabber their way through one pointless dialogue scene after another before the murderer finally decides to bump them off. He could have done away with them before the cameras began rolling and saved everyone a lot of grief. Whatever fit of prudence prevented director Jimmy Huston from showing any scenes of graphic bloodletting (often the only points of interest in other lame entries from this subgenre) also manages to rob the film of whatever cheap thrills it might have been able to provide.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/13/2014
UPC: 0826663149852
Original Release: 1981
Rating: R
Source: Shout Factory
Region Code: A
Presentation: [Wide Screen, Color]
Time: 1:34:00
Sales rank: 22,448

Special Features

Audio commentary with cast members Joel Rice, Cecile Bagdadi and Shery Willis-Burch; Interviews with cast members Joel Rice, Cecile Bagdadi and Sherry Willis-Burch; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cecile Bagdadi Courtney
Joel S. Rice Radish
Ralph Brown Wildman
Deanna Robbins Lisa
Bernard Boch Janet
John Fallon Mark
Terry W. Farren Pledge
Timothy L. Raynor Killer
Sam Kilman Sheriff
Don Hepner Dr. Reynolds
Jerry Rushing Coach

Technical Credits
Jimmy Huston Director,Screenwriter
Carol Bahoric Associate Producer
Darrell Cathcart Cinematographer
John L. Chambliss Executive Producer
Fred H. Dresch Sound/Sound Designer
Todd Durham Associate Producer
Lon J. Kerr Executive Producer
Michael Mahern Executive Producer
Myron Meisel Producer
John O'Connor Editor
Charles Reynolds Asst. Director
Gary Scott Score Composer

Customer Reviews

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Final Exam 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Michael-moviebuff More than 1 year ago
The Allmusic rating is true, Final Exam is a bloodless, boobless slasher, yet it is not a total write off. It has that prime pre-1986 slasher atmosphere that permeates similar movies such as Happy Birthday to Me, The Prowler, and My Bloody Valentine. So for fans of the genre, its worth at least a once through for that reason.
It's other redeeming factor is the character of Radish, what on paper is your standard college nerd slasherbait is elevated by superior acting into a funny, sympathetic character. He is also one of the only characters in a slasher movie to do all the rational things you would do if caught in that scenario, i.e. be on guard, call the police, warn others of the threat, etc.
Another criticism of the film centers on the anonymous nature of the murderous slasher. It is not a spoiler to reveal that the killer in this film is not a character you see anywhere else in the film, he is not connected to any other character, and his motivation is unclear. While some see this as a fault I found this to be a refreshing change of pace from the usual slasher film red herring scenario, or the tedious killer with a backstory that tends to clutter up films like these with standard cliches. The story thread of an anonymous killer with no motive other than the urge to kill is also thoughtfully set up by Radish by his frequent references to psychologically unstable people who, "wake up one morning and decide they would like to kill someone else today." So the filmmakers gave this scenario a grounding, it is not a ramshackle, out of left field plot twist.
While Final Exam is not quite a genre classic like Halloween, Friday the 13th, or Black Christmas, it is head and shoulders over garbage like Don't go into the Woods Alone, and The Forest. If you are a fan of the genre give it a shot.