Monday, December 26, 2016
But despite all of those positive features, GRADUATION DAY is a graduation dud. A high-school track star dies of a blood clot just after breasting the tape in a big meet. The rest of her team gets killed off in various creative and bloody ways just before graduation. Director Herb Freed (TOMBOY) assembles a handful of red herrings, including the girl's Navy ensign sister (Patch McKenzie), her asshole track coach (George), her boyfriend (E. Danny Murphy), and the asshole principal (Pataki). Carmen Argenziano (THE HOT BOX) shows up late in the game as an investigating cop ("You look Lebanese.").
Freed, who also wrote the film with his wife Anne Marisse (HAUNTS), occasionally shows a flair for the material — one chase-and-kill sequence crosscut with rock band Felony playing the energetic “Gangster Rock” borders on greatness — but the killer, who dresses in a fencing mask and gray sweatsuit, is not menacing, and the murders lack suspense. Death by javelin football is pretty good though. George usually put in a solid effort in even the worst junk (PIECES), but he looks tired and annoyed here.