Return to Horror High (1987)

R | 95 mins | Horror, Comedy | 9 January 1987

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HISTORY

Return to Horror High marked the theatrical film debut for writers Bill Froehlich and Mark Lisson, the 31 Oct 1986 HR reported. Froehlich, who directed the film, and Lisson, who produced, had a long history of television work, having served as supervising producers for several years on the detective series Scarecrow and Mrs. King (CBS, 1983 – 1987) and MacGyver (ABC, 1985 – 1992), as well as several made-for-television movies.
       Return to Horror High also gave television actors George Clooney, Phillip McKeon, and Lori Lethin their first starring roles in a feature film.
       Principal photography began on 3 May 1986 in Los Angeles, CA, according to the 27 Jun 1986 DV production chart. However, the 1 Jul 1986 HR stated that principal photography began 5 May 1986. The 4 Jun 1986 HR anticipated the completion of filming in early Jun 1986.
       Return to Horror High opened in limited release on 9 Jan 1987, the 21 Jan 1987 DV reported. According to the 8 Apr 1987 DV, the picture went into wider release on 3 Apr 1987.
       The film opens with the following statement: “In 1982, a series of brutal murders rocked Crippen High School. The killer was never apprehended. Three months ago, Cosmic Pictures went to the town of Crippen to film the story of what actually happened – making the movie in the very halls of the now abandoned school. They were not alone.”
       End credits conclude with the following statement: “The End . . . or is ... More Less

Return to Horror High marked the theatrical film debut for writers Bill Froehlich and Mark Lisson, the 31 Oct 1986 HR reported. Froehlich, who directed the film, and Lisson, who produced, had a long history of television work, having served as supervising producers for several years on the detective series Scarecrow and Mrs. King (CBS, 1983 – 1987) and MacGyver (ABC, 1985 – 1992), as well as several made-for-television movies.
       Return to Horror High also gave television actors George Clooney, Phillip McKeon, and Lori Lethin their first starring roles in a feature film.
       Principal photography began on 3 May 1986 in Los Angeles, CA, according to the 27 Jun 1986 DV production chart. However, the 1 Jul 1986 HR stated that principal photography began 5 May 1986. The 4 Jun 1986 HR anticipated the completion of filming in early Jun 1986.
       Return to Horror High opened in limited release on 9 Jan 1987, the 21 Jan 1987 DV reported. According to the 8 Apr 1987 DV, the picture went into wider release on 3 Apr 1987.
       The film opens with the following statement: “In 1982, a series of brutal murders rocked Crippen High School. The killer was never apprehended. Three months ago, Cosmic Pictures went to the town of Crippen to film the story of what actually happened – making the movie in the very halls of the now abandoned school. They were not alone.”
       End credits conclude with the following statement: “The End . . . or is it??”


More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
27 Jun 1986.
---
Daily Variety
14 Jan 1987.
---
Daily Variety
21 Jan 1987.
---
Daily Variety
8 Apr 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jun 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Oct 1986
p. 16, 36.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 1987
p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
6 Apr 1987
p. 6.
Variety
21 Jan 1987
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
New World Pictures in association with Balcor Film Investors presents
A Greg H. Simms Production
A Froehlich/Lisson Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3d asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d unit cam
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Key grip
Key grip
Best boy
Best boy
Still photog
Still photog
Cam and lighting equip supplied by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Prop master/set dresser
Propman
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Asst ward
MUSIC
Mus comp
SOUND
Loc sd mixer
Loc sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Re-rec services
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Post prod sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Spec eff makeup
Spec eff makeup
Spec eff makeup
Spec eff makeup crew foreman
1st asst
Addl crew
Addl crew
Addl crew
Makeup
Asst makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod coord
Prod secy
Prod accountant
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Extras casting
Extras casting
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod runner
Prod runner
Prod runner
Set security
Craft service
Completion guarantor
Completion guarantor
Insurance
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Dailes
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Greet The Teacher,” performed by Pleasant Company, written by Larry Weir, produced by Tom Weir and Larry Weir, published by St. Cecilia Music/Fourteen Ninety-Two Music/Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./BMI
“Man For Me,” performed by Wendy Fraser, written by Stacy Widelitz and Wendy Fraser, published by Strawberry Fork Music Co./BMI
“Scary Movies,” performed by Pleasant Company, written by Larry Weir, produced by Tom Weir and Larry Weir, published by St. Cecilia Music/Fourteen Ninety-Two Music/Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./BMI
+
SONGS
“Greet The Teacher,” performed by Pleasant Company, written by Larry Weir, produced by Tom Weir and Larry Weir, published by St. Cecilia Music/Fourteen Ninety-Two Music/Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./BMI
“Man For Me,” performed by Wendy Fraser, written by Stacy Widelitz and Wendy Fraser, published by Strawberry Fork Music Co./BMI
“Scary Movies,” performed by Pleasant Company, written by Larry Weir, produced by Tom Weir and Larry Weir, published by St. Cecilia Music/Fourteen Ninety-Two Music/Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./BMI
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
9 January 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 3 April 1987
Production Date:
began 3 May or 5 May--early June 1986
Copyright Claimant:
New World Pictures & Balcor Film Investors
Copyright Date:
20 January 1987
Copyright Number:
PA326936
Physical Properties:
Sound
Duration(in mins):
95
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1982, at Crippen High School, a serial killer escapes justice following a murderous rampage. Five years later, Cosmic Pictures comes to town to make a film about the Crippen High murders in the abandoned school where they occurred. However, shortly after filming begins, police are called to the scene to investigate another massacre. Officers estimate seven or eight people have been killed, but cannot be sure because the murderer dismembered the corpses and scattered the body parts. Police Chief Deyner interrogates the only survivor, Arthur Lyman, who wrote the screenplay and was a student at the school at the time of the original murders. Lyman expresses his resentment of sleazy producer Harry Sleerik, who cut costs by deferring salaries and boarding the cast and crew at the school. Arthur relates his knowledge of the murders to the chief. The first victim is Oliver, an actor who quit the production to star in a television show. As he leaves the school, Oliver is murdered by a man wearing a white mask, a black hooded robe, and yellow gloves. Police officer and technical advisor Steven Blake, a former Crippen student, replaces Oliver. He befriends lead actress, Callie Cassidy, and tells her that while he was a student, he dated a girl named Kathy Johnson, unaware that she was the daughter of the school principal. They fell in love, but she never returned after summer vacation. Amos, the school janitor, and Principal Kastleman also serve as technical advisors. Two more crewmembers are murdered and the cast fear that the killer has returned. When Steven inquires about Kathy’s whereabouts, ... +


In 1982, at Crippen High School, a serial killer escapes justice following a murderous rampage. Five years later, Cosmic Pictures comes to town to make a film about the Crippen High murders in the abandoned school where they occurred. However, shortly after filming begins, police are called to the scene to investigate another massacre. Officers estimate seven or eight people have been killed, but cannot be sure because the murderer dismembered the corpses and scattered the body parts. Police Chief Deyner interrogates the only survivor, Arthur Lyman, who wrote the screenplay and was a student at the school at the time of the original murders. Lyman expresses his resentment of sleazy producer Harry Sleerik, who cut costs by deferring salaries and boarding the cast and crew at the school. Arthur relates his knowledge of the murders to the chief. The first victim is Oliver, an actor who quit the production to star in a television show. As he leaves the school, Oliver is murdered by a man wearing a white mask, a black hooded robe, and yellow gloves. Police officer and technical advisor Steven Blake, a former Crippen student, replaces Oliver. He befriends lead actress, Callie Cassidy, and tells her that while he was a student, he dated a girl named Kathy Johnson, unaware that she was the daughter of the school principal. They fell in love, but she never returned after summer vacation. Amos, the school janitor, and Principal Kastleman also serve as technical advisors. Two more crewmembers are murdered and the cast fear that the killer has returned. When Steven inquires about Kathy’s whereabouts, Kastleman claims she is in graduate school. After making love in one of the classrooms, Steven and Callie discover blood in the hallway and follow it to the men’s restroom. Continuing their investigation, Steven and Callie find a number severed heads, as well as a secret passageway to the basement, which contains a room filled with human skeletons. Amos attacks Steven, and as they struggle, Steven removes the janitor’s mask, revealing him to be the principal. Kastleman accuses Steven of impregnating his daughter, who gave herself an abortion. The principal hints that he murdered Kathy, as well as the other students, and hid their bodies in the basement. He attacks Steven and Callie, and they impale him on a javelin. As Arthur finishes his story, Police Chief Deyner orders his men to the basement. Once they are gone, Lyman yells, “All clear.” The many corpses on the lawn suddenly come to life, revealing that the recent murders were part of a stunt to generate publicity for the film. Harry Sleerik confesses that he did not think the plan would work until Callie and Steven discovered that Kastleman was the real killer. Meanwhile, in the basement, Kastleman springs to life and lunges at the officers before he is felled by gunfire. When police discover the bodies missing, they assume “some sicko” took them. Arthur Lyman sits at his typewriter, and begins typing his latest screenplay Return to Horror High, which he intends as a sequel. Kastelman enters, dripping blood on the pages, and Arthur addresses him as “Dad.” +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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