Friday, May 30, 2014

Final Exam Blu-Ray Review

At Lanier College, the semester is almost over.  Exam week is coming to a close when some upper-classmen play a prank by staging a phony terrorist attack.  But the next moment of excitement at the school won’t be a prank.  And it’s something a lot more final than an exam.  Students are falling prey to a knife-wielding maniac stalking the school, bent on making sure that for some, school is out… forever!

Film (2 out of 5 stars)
On a dark night, a couple is parked near a pond, making out; when the girl begins getting nervous that they might not be alone.  Her boyfriend brushes it off saying it’s just his football buddies playing a trick on them.  Moments later the couple is attacked and murdered.  The next day, at a nearby college campus nearby, students are preparing for their final exams.  The gossip around campus is about the two students murdered and the talk is about how since one of the murdered teens was the starting quarterback for a rival college; the Lanier College team might have a chance to win next season.

Later, as the students are taking their exams, masked men burst out of a van and begin a shooting rampage, killing various students before taking the bodies and driving away.  As the witnesses panic, some have noticed a sticker on the back of the van – it was a fraternity prank in order to help some of the members cheat on chemistry final.  One student (Radish) has called the police and when the sheriff arrives, he is none too happy to find out it was a prank.  At the same time, a man in a similar van is lurking around the campus, watching the students as they prepare for the end of the semester.

As the students go about their studying and partying, people begin disappearing and Radish senses something weird going on.  He urges Courtney, the girl he likes, to lock the doors to her dorm room and off he goes.  When he finds the bodies of two fraternity brothers, he rushes back to warn Courtney, but she’s not in her room.  Courtney returns to her room and finds Radish and runs for help.  Who is this killer and why is he on campus?

Final Exam is another in the 1980s vault of cheesy horror movies.  I enjoyed the story and watching the overacting of the actors.  It kept me entertained for the whole 90 minutes and I enjoyed watching it.  The actors all seemed young and it looked like most of them were filming their first movie.  They did a good job with their characters, even with the typical fraternity boy antics.
Video (2 out of 5 stars)
Final Exam is presented in 1080p high-definition widescreen and the transfer is good.  There are a few crackles in the film, but they seemed to fix themselves and for the most part it looks good.  The film is fairly dark and much of the time the picture blended too much with the black in the background and it was hard to see.  When there were shadows, they seemed over exaggerated and unrealistic.  It was a difficult movie to see at some parts, but otherwise, it was good.
Audio (2 out of 5 stars)
The DTS-HD master audio mono presentation was adequate.  I had to adjust the volume a couple of times for screams and background, but overall, the sound level was clear and I could hear all the dialogue.  I noticed once or twice the track off from the lips of the actors, but it wasn’t for very long or very often.
Extras (1 ½ out of 5 stars)
I was disappointed in the special features.  I had hoped there’d have been a bit more about the making of the film.  Interviews are nice, but can get boring.
  • Interviews with Cast Members: Joel S. Rice (Radish), Cecile Bagdadi (Courtney) and Sherry Willis-Burch (Janet) – Each of the cast members sit down and answer questions about how they got involved with the movie, what it was like being in the movie and where they are now.
  • Theatrical Trailer – The official trailer for the film.
  • Under the “Audio” tab:  Audio commentary with cast members Joel S. Ric, Cecile Bagdadi and Sherry Willis-Burch
Summary (2 out of 5 stars)
Final Exam is a typical 80s slasher flick, complete with screaming co-eds, obnoxious fraternity boys, and the token nerd. I wonder if I had been old enough during the early 80s, if I would have watched a movie like this and would have enjoyed it. It may not be a movie I will watch over and over again, but there is at least another viewing in my future. If you want to have a 80s slasher horror movie night, definitely add this into the queue.

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