I’d never heard of Murder University before it arrived in my mailbox. It is possible that I saw the DVD at the store, but I’m sure I would have just glanced over it like I do many indie horror outings that I have never heard of. With that being said, I am so happy to have gotten this movie to review. Indie horror can be very hit or miss, but this film starts off strong and just runs with it.
A small New England college is plagued with a series of murders that resemble those that happened twenty years earlier. A recent lone survivor, Josh (played by Jamie Dufault), teams up with a former cop, a survivor from twenty years ago, and his daughter Meg (played by Samantha Acampora).
Murder University opens with a group of kids hanging out, getting naked, and having sex. We get some nice breast shots, but we also get the crazy, throwback ‘80s tone with scene as well. The dialogue is witty, the characters are crazy, and then they die, fast and bloody. Then the film jumps to current day where we meet Josh. His father has recently died, and he’s just going through the motions when he finds himself captured and tormented by some guys in devil masks.
Not only is the dialogue great in Murder University, but the characters are completely likable. The chemistry between Josh and Meg is excellent, and they seem very playful together. The first film that came to mind while I was watching this was Scream. It’s so self aware of the fact that it’s a B-movie that it just adds to its charm. Unlike Scream, though, Murder University never takes itself seriously, and has fun with everything it does.
Not only that, but we also get a fair amount of naked women. They range from hot blondes, to a wet T-shirt contest, all the way to some chubby girls, which is great because the one character only likes chubby girls, and I thought that was a fun, little touch. The film also offers a huge body count, so much so that I can’t even tell you how high it is, but just that it’s up there. People die left and right, and the killer, at one point, just runs around killing anyone who gets in his way.
The gore is pretty good. There are lots of decapitated heads, and some ripped open stomachs. I don’t think any CGI was used, and the blood has a perfect color to it. There’s one scene near the end where I felt sorry for the person smothered in blood and how sticky they must have been.
Murder University is also nicely shot. It has a very quick pace, and the 90-minutes just fly by. Richard Griffin directs, and a quick glance at IMDb shows that he’s done a fair amount of movies. He definitely knows what he’s doing here. During the commentary track he says that he really wanted to do a true horror film, and make it a throwback to the ‘80s, which is when he grew up. His love of the genre shines through in this picture.
Murder University is easily one of the best indie horror films I’ve watched in ages, and it’s a shame that more people haven’t seen it. If you have access to the film, and enjoy horror, do yourself a favor and check this one out.
The film sounds great. Everything is clear, and the mix levels are fine between dialogue and music.
The film is presented in 16:9 widescreen. It filled my screen, and looks great for a DVD.
There’s one deleted scene. It is humorous, but it’s very obvious why it was deleted, as it just doesn’t fit within the final film.
The DVD also offers two commentary tracks. I ended up listening to the writer/director commentary because I figured it would flesh out the film a bit more. Overall, it is a fun commentary that’s filled with tidbits on who is who in the film, connections on how they picked the actors, and information on how certain scenes were written and filmed. The second commentary track has two actors and the writer.
This DVD was released by Wild Eye Releasing on October 15, 2013. Murder University (2012) was written by Lenny Schwartz and directed by Richard Griffin. The film is 96 minutes in length, and is not rated. Cinefessions was provided a DVD copy of the film for review from Wild Eye Releasing.
Chris was raised on horror films, which gave him a deep love for the genre, especially its most quirky and offbeat titles (like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). This love quickly turned into an obsession for cinema in 1997, when he decided he needed to see every major theatrical release. Video games (JRPGs), reading (anything but fantasy), and reality television (Survivor) are just some of his other passions. He’s been with Cinefessions since 2013, and has been writing reviews all over the internet for the past twelve years.
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