• Teacher’s Day



    Released by: Frolic Pictures
    Released in: 2013.
    Director: Jared Masters
    Cast: Nikole Howell, Savannah Matlow, Danika Galindo, Lindsay Lamb, Dawna Lee Heising
    Year: 2013

    The Movie:

    The latest feature from director Jared Masters tells the story of two high school students, Devon (Nikole Howell) and Jess (Savannah Matlow) who head to the room of their senior year history teacher, Mr. Anderson (Bruce Kade) to deal with a little problem. See, during class he confiscated a hat and they want it back, and on top of that, they’re upset that he hasn’t accepted their friend request! When he relents and accepts the request, those above him feel he’s broken professional protocol and he’s fired on the spot. He doesn’t take too kindly to this news, and reacts by killing both the principal who fired him and an innocent secretary, guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Meanwhile, Devon is gathering her friends together for a sleepover. She talks to her mom (Dawna Lee Heising) about it and sets about making plans, but there is one minor caveat: the last time she had a sleepover, one of her friends overdosed and died. Obviously they’d like to avoid anyone dying this time around, but with Anderson now on a killing spree, that might be tough to avoid. You’d think mom would be paying attention to how many teenage girls are running around her house in their underwear (much to the delight of some booze swilling peepers just outside the window), but a hunky guy named Steve (LeJon) is keeping her far too distracted for that to be a possibility. The cops are soon on the case, but with Anderson’s psychotic rage reaching a fever pitch, it might be a case of too little too late…

    Working with a lot of the same people who helped him make Slink last year, Masters has crafted a pretty solid homage to eighties slashers like Slumber Party Massacre and its ilk, but updated many of the stereotypical conventions inherent in films like that for the modern age (the whole friend request thing being the best example). Though the film was obviously made on a modest budget, for the most part it works and it works well. At just short of seventy-five minutes in length the movie never overstays its welcome. There’s no padding here, just solid storytelling, a good sense of humor and some nicely shot scenes of beautiful young women parading about in various skimpy outfits.

    Of course, what with this being a slasher and all, there need to be a few decent kill scenes and those are covered too. There’s definitely some inspired creativity behind the murder set pieces here and in the interests of avoiding spoilers, let it suffice to say that Anderson has a knack for making the most unusual of objects into instruments of death! The murders never get too gory, but instead serve to add further fuel to the sense of humor that is evident from the opening credits sequence (done as a sort of in-class note passing montage – clever!).

    The cast are all into it – Kade is big enough and intimidating enough to work as the central antagonist while Howell and Matlow both play goofy teenage girls rather well. The rest of the nubile young ladies recruited to play the sleepover party attendees look just as lovely as the two principal actresses while Dawna Lee Heising, fast becoming a regular in Masters’ films, is fun to watch as the oblivious mother. Clever camera work, a fun soundtrack (including a ridiculous rap number) and a knowing sense of self awareness that thankfully never lays it on too thick help to ensure that this one is a lot of fun to watch.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Teacher’s Day was shot on digital video and is presented on DVD in 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen. Colors look good, detail is pretty decent too. Skin tones look lifelike and accurate and while some scenes look a little soft and some minor compression artifacts pop up, by and large this is a nice transfer of a low budget feature.

    The English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track on the disc is well balanced and clear. Dialogue is easy to understand and there are no problems to report with any hiss or distortion. The score also sounds pretty solid here.

    The self made DVD-R screener sent for review surprisingly contains a few extras, the best of which is an eight minute collection of cast and crew interviews in which those involved in the production talk about their experiences working on the picture and tell some amusing stories from the set. We also get a quick three minute behind the scenes piece that shows off what it was like on set, done split screen style with some interviews providing contest. On top of that we get a music video for the rap song used in the picture, two deleted scenes and a quick trailer for the feature.

    The Final Word:

    Teacher’s Day is a solid slice of indy horror comedy. Though there are times where the low budget is obvious, Masters’ film has got enough style and enough quirk to it that it turns out to be a lot of fun. A tasty slice of cinematic cheesecake loaded up with pretty girls, a few impressively off the wall kills and some surprisingly effective humor.