The 80s slasher film gets an affectionate (the uncharitable would say derivative) tribute with this semi-professional feeling little low budget picture from director Brian C. Weed (one suspects a marine-themed pseudonym here, although imdb gives him a list of credits so for all I know I may well be wrong).
It’s the annual Homecoming dance at Winston High. Billy Corbin tries to rape his Lynn Lowry-lookalike girlfriend and gets locked in a cupboard and burned to death as a result. Three years later the classmates involved are all seniors and it’s time for the dance to take place again. This time, however, someone dressed in a fireman’s outfit and a mask is bumping them off by piercing them with a wooden stake. Is it one of the pupils? Is it the dodgy principal? Or the insane mother of Billy who’s locked in the local state mental facility? What’s that head doing in a toilet? Why is there a gratuitous shower scene for no reason featuring a girl whose only reason to be in this film is to be topless for a couple of seconds? What on earth is RADA-trained Jim Tavare, he of the stand-up act with the double bass, doing playing a janitor character more suited to the likes of Michael Berryman?
Oh yes, BLOODY HOMECOMING is very much in the tradition of so many of the slasher movies that made the VHS rental industry of the 1980s such a lucrative business to invest in. Anyone who is a fan of movies like PROM NIGHT, MY BLOODY VALENTINE, HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME will spot the outright steals from these pictures, almost all of which have been remade in glossier, drearier versions for the twenty first century generation.
As mentioned above, BLOODY HOMECOMING feels at best a semi-professional effort. The acting is all cheerfully amateur, and the direction feels for the most part as if it could have been tightened up quite a bit. The film is lacking the certain special something to make it a good slasher film. That said the traditional ending - unmasking, victim reveals, etc, is all well done, and I came away from this feeling my time hadn’t been entirely wasted. If the idea of a film made by a group of enthusiastic amateurs in the style of old slasher movies fills you with anticipation you’ll probably have a good time with it.
Image Entertainment presents BLOODY HOMECOMING in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Extras are zero apart from audio options of either stereo 2.0 or Dolby Digital 5.1 - there isn’t even a menu page or scene selection. However, it is nice to see Image, a label that has released a lot of interesting stuff in the US over the years, starting up an arm in the UK.
Image Entertainment are releasing BLOODY HOMECOMING on DVD on 10th March 2014