Stupid Teenagers Must Die
A “film” by Jeff C. Smith
Review by Kenneth Holm
Dorkgasm Senior Staff Writer
God, where do I even begin? I went into Stupid Teenagers Must Die
with lowered expectations. Unfortunately, I should have lowered them a bit more. The story begins thusly: Years ago, a psychotic killer who went by the inventive moniker “Murder McGee” killed his entire family in his modest, two-level home. Fast-forward to the 80’s, and a group of stupid teens (hence the title) decide to have a séance to bring his spirit back to the land of the living. Wow, that’s pretty fucking stupid of them.
Michael (Matthew Blashaw) and Tiffany (Lindsay Gareth) are fooling around in the haunted house’s living room, when Lindsay announces that she has to leave. She charges Michael with distributing the spooky decorations and various props needed for the séance and leaves. While Michael is cleaning off some foam headstones, he hears a noise inside the house. Being the stupid teenager the title promises us he is Michael decides to go investigate. This ends badly, of course, with Michael taking one for the team. One in the chest, as it was. The next night, teens Kane (Jovan Meredith) and Julie (Ashley Schneider) are driving to the site of the multiple murders for the séance. These stupid teenagers attempting to bring back a killer are friends of Julie’s, and Kane has to tag along as the obligatory boyfriend. They attempt a little recreational foreplay upon arrival, but Ryan (Will Duetsch), the preppy, vaguely gay member of the group interrupts them. You know, come to think of it, this film is all about horror movie archetypes, with Kane playing the skeptical African-American, Julie playing the well meaning, but ultimately killer fodder, girlfriend, and Ryan playing the excessively nerdy preppie. Once we get into the actual séance, we meet the other stereotypes Archie (a thuggish greaser played by Devin Marble), Madeline (a foolishly overgothed Renee Dorian), the aptly named Geeks 1 & 2 (played by Cory Assink in a passable Matthew Lillard impression and Jonathen Brett), and the two lipstick lesbians Sissy and Jamie (Jamie Carson and Christina DeRosa respectively).
This being a low-budget horror movie, you just know things will go wrong. Jokes go awry, planning goes out the window, and the real spirit comes back to exact his (cue spooky music) REVENGE FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE! Hey, that could be the sequel’s title! Remember, I thought of it first. Getting into the technical aspects, this movie seems to have limited production values. It’s shot on what seems to be Mom’s camcorder, and the first scene is so muddy and dark it’s hard to tell what’s going on. The script is laughable, with dialogue so wooden it could double as George Washington’s dentures. The only actors I enjoyed were Jovan Meredith, who brought some fun and well-needed toughness to the movie, and Cory Assink, who’s over-the-top acting actually helped everyone around him. There is a healthy dose of nudity in the film, which does not hurt anything, but it really doesn’t help, either. Most of the characters invite their own slaughter, and I was happy when they died. By the time each character got theirs, they had become so annoying I wanted to kill them myself. At one point, the spirit of “Murder McGee” begins to possess the stupid teenagers. The best the filmmakers could come up with to denote that a character had been possessed was with gothy black circles around their eyes. The ending was absolutely unbelievable, with an Ouija board becoming a valuable plot point. Of course, there will be no happy ending, as everyone has to die for this to make any sense. In the end, though, I just stopped caring.
Looking back days later, perhaps the film was supposed to look like shit and have crappy actors. Maybe this is homage to all the previous 80’s slasher films. Sorry, guys, but Scream
did it better. Perhaps if the movie were more tongue-in-cheek and less pseudo-serious, I would have liked it more. That said, the DVD has director and audience reaction commentary, so I think I will pick it up after all. If nothing else, it will provide drunken amusement and an interesting time at the next party. I would recommend this if only as an exercise for other budding filmmakers to see what missteps to avoid when making their first movie.