Getting Schooled (2017) Movie Review

Like most people of my generation, I grew up watching John Hughes movies… Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles, Weird Science. I fucking love them. My favorite is The Breakfast Club. Imagine my surprise when I saw the trailer for Getting Schooled, a indie horror comedy that looked like Breakfast Club meets a slasher. I knew I had to see this. Today I finally got to check it out. Read on to see what I thought.

Getting Schooled was directed by Chuck Norfolk from a script he wrote with Steven Scott Norfolk and Tim Norfolk, who previously worked together on Haunted Trailer (2014). The film stars Mayra Leal (Machete 2010), Tom Long (Conjoined 2013), Roland Ruiz (Machete 2010), Jake Byrd (Haunted Trailer 2014), Susan Ly (Haunted Trailer 2014), Morgan Tyler (Abaddon 2018), Ron Jeremy (Werewolves in Heat 2015), Nick W. Nicholson (Fetish Factory 2017), and Paula Marcenaro Solinger (Blood Sombrero 2016).

Outcast Julie Moore enters her high school library for Saturday detention and meets princess Hillary Miller, 19-year-old bad boy Rusty Boone, Julie’s secret jock boyfriend Mike Swank and brainy Sheldon Hinson. The group gets acquainted as Mr. Roker squeals up in a wheelchair. During this orientation, Mr. Roker pulls down a projector screen and is hit on the head. Knocked unconscious, he awakens later talking gibberish about war, accuses the students of trying to kill him and attacks them one by one.

Getting Schooled has one of the best openings I have ever seen, especially in an indie film. Imagine the dance scene from Breakfast Club. Now imagine the scene ending with someone’s face being caved in with the radio. This perfectly sums up the movie. It starts out pretty light and fun before turning dark, serious and twisted. We are quickly introduced to our 5 stereotypes, who, like the character in The Breakfast Club, are not quite what they appear and all have something to hide.

Once the teacher gets bonked on the head and loses his shit, they have to try to use their various hidden skills to help each other survive, which is easier said than done considering their teacher was in Black Ops and sees them as the enemy he fought in Nam. Kills include a screw driver to the throat, hands cut off with a cut board, a saw through the stomach, a face caved in with a boombox, guttings, broom handles through the neck, and a decapitation via dance decorations. In regards to the deaths, the order in which the main characters died shocked me.

At the start of the film, I hated most of the characters but they grew on me over time. When they started to die, I genuinely felt bad as they hadn’t done anything to deserve it. The one character I hated for the entire film was Mr. Roker, who was played by the talented Tom Long. He starts out as a hard ass teacher and once he gets hit on his head, it gets worse from there. At times, it seemed like he was really reliving his experience in Vietnam, killing the teens in an effort to keep them from killing him. At other times, he seemed to get it together more, referring to The Principal and Janitor by their titles, yet still killing them unprovoked.

He appeared to enjoy killing the teens, sadistically tainting and insulting them as he stalked and killed them. The acting was pretty good all around with the standout for me being Mayra Leal. Before this film, I had only seen her in one other film, Machete, where she briefly played a nude femme fatale in the opening sequence and really wasn’t given much to work with. Her role as Julie gives her a lot more meat to chew on and allows her to show her range going from teenage outcast to grieving the loss of her friends to a kick ass heroine.

Final Thoughts

Getting Schooled starts out as a fairly typical horror comedy before becoming nasty, dark and mean-spirited, which may turn off viewers expecting a standard horror comedy. If you are the type that doesn’t mind a pitch black sense of humor with your horror, then I recommend you give Getting Schooled a chance.

About Charlie Cargile

Central Illinois based film journalist. Lover of cinema of all varieties but in love with films with an independent spirit. Elder Emo. Cat Dad. Metalhead.

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