Thanks to Scream Factory, plenty of old 80s horror movies are being brought to light on Blu-ray and DVD. For the most part, this is a good thing, however not all of these are classic films that deserve high praise. Final Exam is one of those movies, one that doesn’t offer anything we haven’t already seen a dozen times before. A film that does more to copy Halloween than offer anything new.
Release: June 5th, 1981
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: A psycho killer shows up on college campus to slash up pretty co-eds and dumb jocks.
Tatlock’s Quick ‘n Dirty Recap: Final exams are coming up and it just so happens that a killer is on the loose, going from college to college, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. There are only a few students left at the campus and the killer has his pick of the litter, as he systematically kills them off one by one.
Tatlock’s Opinion: The biggest problem with Final Exam is that it’s boring. It doesn’t try to do anything new that we haven’t seen already, which makes it feel stale and familiar. The movie came out in 1981, a year after Friday the 13th and three years after Halloween, with the latter being the movie it copies the most from, even all the way down to mimicking some of that classic Carpenter soundtrack.
The movie tries to hide the identity of the killer for a little while, but come the end when he is revealed, it lands with a big wet plop. He’s a bland, emotionless dude, with no motive and no reasoning behind his mayhem, which I suppose is meant to make things scarier, as having no reason for murder can be pretty damn frightening, but when the guy looks like your average man in a green jacket, it ain’t that scary.
Speaking of murders, the movie offers up a few here and there, but nothing special is dished out, save for one that involves a weight lifting machine. More often than not, the kills happen in the dark and all you see is a little bit of pink blood (I guess they couldn’t afford red blood) appearing on the knife, as Mr. Bland keeps on stabbing.
Because the movie takes place on a college campus, during the 80s, I was expecting some hijinks and nudity a plenty, but instead I got a few lame pranks (one of which would probably not fly today) and one boob. Yes folks, one measly boob is all your getting in this 80s slasher. I mean, come on man! This is an 80s slasher film, taking place on a college campus, with babes a plenty and all you give me is one boob! Colour me very, very disappointed.
Verdict: Final Exam is your run of the mill slasher film, that copies everything that came before it and doesn’t give you anything new to test out. With only one boob and a few uninspired kills, Final Exam fails it’s exam with a final score of: