‘Today’s lesson, survive!’
Getting Schooled is a 2016 American comedy horror film directed by Chuck Norfolk (Haunted Trailer) from a screenplay co-written with Steven Scott Norfolk and Tim Norfolk. It stars Mayra Leal, Tom Long, Roland Ruiz, Jake Byrd and, in a cameo role, Ron Jeremy.
In 1983, a group of high school students stuck in a day of detention, have to run for their lives when a teacher in a wheelchair turns out to be an ex-black ops soldier having a murderous flashback.
The wily pack of misfits must fight to the death as they are trapped inside the school with the torture-obsessed psycho…
God help us. What is this 1980s obsession? It’s bad enough when filmmakers with a modicum of talent feel the need to recreate the decade from Hell in their movies, but at least they can sometimes come up with something entertaining in their need to recreate the films that they grew up on.
Chuck Norfolk clearly had neither the ability or the resources to manage this, and Getting Schooled is simply awful – 84 minutes of bad acting (when Ron Jeremy is the best actor in a film, you know you’re in trouble) and basic production values that relies on audience nostalgia to get them through. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine even the most devoted fan of Flock of Seagulls haircuts and ankle socks getting much from this amateur hour effort.
Essentially, this is The Breakfast Club reinvented as a slasher, which on paper sounds okay – violent death would’ve certainly made The Breakfast Club less annoying. A collection of Eighties movie stereotypes – the jock, the misfit, the nerdy girl, the blonde – gather in a classroom for Saturday morning detention with wheelchair-bound teacher Mr Roker. When the teacher is hit in the head by accident, he suffers flashbacks to his days as a black ops soldier, which in turn makes him a psycho killer who starts to pick off the students, one by one.
While the idea of a wheelchair-bound killer is an amusing one (harder to out-run him), Getting Schooled begins badly and just gets increasingly worse. The violence is clumsy and unimpressive, the soundtrack ghastly and the acting… well, let’s just say that it’s unlikely that anyone will be getting more work on the back of this. Things get especially bad when the film has characters experiencing emotional moments, something that grinds the story to a halt and which any real fan of 1980s slasher films would know played no part in those films.
If you like 1980s movies, then there are enough of the real thing to keep you happy. And if you don’t, this will just annoy you. Either way, it’s a pointless and misguided exercise in tedium.
David Flint, MOVIES and MANIA
“Actually, the premise of the movie is almost a carbon copy of The Breakfast Club, and fans will no doubt spot allusions to many other John Hughes movies in this one, and also Vietnam and army movies of the era get their fair nod. And it’s all made possible by the right eye for yesteryear’s style and (bad synthie pop) music, and also a reliance on yesterday’s morals, mirrored in some intentionally stilted mono- and dialogues.” [re]Search My Trash
“All in all I thought it was a very clever film. Lots of jokes and jabs at 80s films and even a few references to Apocalypse Now.” Jonathan A Moody, Horror News
“Getting Schooled attempts valiantly to adhere to 80’s fidelity. The music is upbeat synth pop that feels appropriate (but it’s way too overused) and the costuming seems authentic other than the fresh off the rack quality it has. Some of the kills even harken back to the great slasher flicks of a bygone era. Regardless, past the fun mashup of genres, this plot is threadbare even by low budget horror standards.” Tennessee Horror
Getting Schooled was released by Midnight Releasing/Brain Damage Films on the February 7, 2017, via Amazon and most other VOD platforms.