Horror High is a 1973 [released 1974] American horror film directed by Larry N. Stouffer (assistant director on Keep My Grave Open) from a screenplay by J.D. Feigelson as ‘Jack Fowler’ (Dark Night of the Scarecrow, Cry for the Strangers, Chiller).
The film is also known as Kiss the Teacher… Goodbye! and Twisted Brain. The off-kilter musical score by Don Hulette is distinctive. It was distributed by Crown International Pictures. Return to Horror High (1987) has no connection and is not a sequel.
Horror High stars Pat Cardi, Austin Stoker (Abby, Assault on Precinct 13, Uninvited), Rosie Holotik (Encounter with the Unknown, Don’t Look in the Basement), John Niland, and Jeff Alexander (Zontar: The Thing from Venus, Curse of the Swamp Creature and The House of Seven Corpses).
“Though it’s kind of a monster movie, it really ought to be considered more of a proto-slasher due to the way Vernon dispatches of his victims. Not only is it fairly graphic for the era, but it’s also quite creative in its use of various implements of death, such as paper cutter blades and sulphuric acid (which is housed in a huge barrel right in the middle of a classroom!).” Oh, the Horror!
‘ …foreshadows Harry Kaufman’s The Toxic Avenger (1984) in many important ways such as: featuring a bullied nerd gets who superpowers (like hairy forearms) and then runs murderously amok plus, just like many Troma features, this movie was made on a shoe-string budget but was able to engineer some gory and realistic practical effects such as face melting.’ Sleaze Blender
‘Make no mistake, Horror High is total 70s doom. The music score is an eerie prog-rock sounding thing; it’s more Alice Cooper than Goblin, and it’s not nearly as prevalent as it should have been in the finished product. There’s even a spooky, folky ballad theme song, a hallmark of the 70s Doom genre! And woooo… it even has Vernon’s name in it.’ Groovy Doom
‘The gore is passable if rudimentary, but plentiful and in some instances, brutal and shocking. Fingers and heads are sliced off, faces are melted with acid and chest is crushed into pulp are among the bloody bits. In addition, the film frequently features odd camera angles and unusual lighting for added spooky effect.’ Cool Ass Cinema
‘ … an odd mix of intended camp and borderline disturbing displays, Horror High is practically mesmerising and essential 1970s drive-in horror. The overall acting is pretty bad (it’s fun to watch non-actor Niland as the bullish coach and decipher whether he’s plain awful or naturally brilliant) except for former child-star Cardi (who holds the film up quite well and ads pathos to the character) and the always great Stoker, who was such a recognisable fixture in 1970s cult movies…’ George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In
‘If not a lost masterpiece, Horror High delivers enough sleaze, violence and sensitive science geek meanderings to make for an enjoyable watch. It probably helps if you’re predisposed to like low budget seventies cheapies, but even looking at it objectively with that factor removed from the equation, it’s hard to imagine anyone not at least appreciating the entertainment factor this quirky dime store production provides in spades.’ DVD Talk
Also released as:
Cérebro Diabólico (Brazil)
L’ange merrier (France)
Horror gimi (Hungary)
Die Teufelsbestie (Germany)