Bob Bralver’s ‘Rush Week’ (1989): Vinegar Syndrome 2K Restoration Blu-Ray Review

When I was still in school, I couldn’t wait to go to college. I thought that was where the cool shit would finally start to happen in my life. Everyone would be beautiful with perfect skin… they would all get along… only women who wanted to be treated as sex objects would be treated as sex objects… Revenge Of The Nerds meets Animal House. Everyone fits their one note stereotype to a T, and political correctness has not been invented yet. The hair is big and the lipstick is candy apple red. why did I think this way? Because of movies like Bob Bralver’s Rush Week (1989).

Known for his stunt work in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Darkman (1990), Road House (1989), Bob Bralver directed this insane slasher cliché, bringing everything from lei-wearing partiers to scantily clad women running in high heels. There’s even a The Hills Have Eyes 2 poster that perverts can look through Michael Berryman’s eyes and watch their friends have sex with a prostitute. There’s basically everything an ’80s college wannabe could hope for.

Rush Week 1989
Isn’t this what every Friday night in the ’80s looked like?

The best thing about Rush Week? Gregg freaking Allman plays a hippie college newspaper editor who spends his time stoned, meditating and wearing the most beautiful blouse I’ve ever seen on a ’70s Southern rock band icon ever in my life.

Gregg Allman, Rush Week
Gregg Allman and his tight yet flowy blouse in ‘Rush Week’

From the Vinegar Syndrome Rush Week page:

This special limited edition embossed slipcover (designed by Earl Kess) is limited to 4,000 units and is only available here at VinegarSyndrome.com!

Toni Daniels is an ambitious young journalist working for her college newspaper. Tired of covering the same boring stories as her peers, Toni becomes intrigued by the recent disappearances of several female students and believes that they may be linked to an on-campus murder that happened the previous year during the college’s raucous Rush Week. Despite being certain that something terrible has been happening on campus, no one she talks to is willing to admit that the disappearances are cause for concern. Undeterred, Tori decides to investigate the mystery on her own, but before long finds herself becoming embroiled in a twist filled saga of deeply buried, and bloody secrets which attract the attention of a sadistic killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth…

One of the last films to emerge out of the 1980s slasher heyday, acclaimed stuntman Bob Bralver’s (Roadhouse, Darkman) feature filmmaking debut, Rush Week, is a stylish and suspenseful mix of classic whodunit storytelling and slice n’ dice sensibilities. Starring Pamela Ludwig (Pale Blood), Dean Hamilton (TV’s 21 Jump Street), and Roy Thinnes (TV’s The X-Files), Vinegar Syndrome brings this slasher sleeper to its long overdue Blu-ray debut, newly restored in 2K!

rush Week 1989, Courtney Gebhart
Courtney Gebhart does some modeling with a creepy photographer in ‘Rush Week’

Directed by: Bob Bralver

Starring: Pamela Ludwig, Dean Hamilton, Courtney Gebhart, Roy Thinnes

1989 / 96 min / 1.85:1 / English Mono

Additional info:

• Region A Blu-ray
• Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 35mm interpositive
• Commentary track with The Hysteria Continues!
Still Dean Hamilton – an interview with actor Dean Hamilton
So 80s – an interview with actress Courtney Gebhart
• Reversible cover artwork
• English SDH subtitles

Rush Week 1989, Pamela Ludwig, Dean Hamilton
Dean Hamilton and Pamela Ludwig in ‘Rush Week’

This 2K release has some gorgeous color. The blues and reds are striking, and the contrast and lighting are perfect. The sound is clear, clean, and crisp. For fans of Rush Week, this restoration is absolutely worth the price. Plus, there’s the hilarious commentary and even interviews with Courtney Gebhart and Dean Hamilton.

Michael Berryman, Rush Week 1989, Hills Have Eyes
Michael Berryman makes a cameo appearance in Rush Week as the Peeping Tom’s twitching eye in ‘Rush Week’

Rush Week is rather generic slasher slasher fair. I was surprised by the killer twist and final showdown—mostly because it didn’t make any sense—and the weapon of choice looked like something you’d see at the Spirit Halloween discount section. But I will say that this film is the epitome of college student desire in the ’80s. It’s awesome for the nostalgic value alone. Coincidentally, the film celebrated the 25th anniversary of its US release this year on February 13, 2021, which is also pretty cool.

Rush Week 1989
The killer stalks his co-ed prey in ‘Rush Week’

Grab a copy of this Vinegar Syndrome release here!

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for some slasherific ‘8ps fun, you can’t go wrong with the 2k restoration Blu-ray release of Rush Week.

About Tracy Allen

As the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of PopHorror.com, Tracy has learned a lot about independent horror films and the people who love them. Now an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes, she hopes the masses will follow her reviews back to PopHorror and learn more about the creativity and uniqueness of indie horror movies.

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