Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 14th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1981
Director: Herb Freed
Writers: Anne Marisse, Herb Freed, David Baughn
Cast: Christopher George, Patch Mackenzie, E. Danny Murphy, E.J. Peaker, Michael Pataki, Virgil Frye, Hal Bokar, Denise Cheshire, Bill Hufsey, Linnea Quigley, Karen Abbott, Vanna White
BluRay released: September 9th, 2014
Approximate running time: 96 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.98
Graduation Day was released during what is arguably the most prolific year in regard to the slasher film genre and it was actually one of the more successful slasher films at the box office. The film was directed by Herb Freed whose other notable films include Beyond Evil and Tom Boy.
Content wise, has all the ingredients that one would expect and want out when watching a slasher film. Unfortunately the narrative is fairly predictable, even when compared to other slasher films. And nowhere is this more evident than in regards to the identity of this film’s killer Along the way there are many painfully obvious attempts of midsection that are ineffective as they call attention to themselves.
Fortunately once the killers’ modus operandi is set in stone things move along briskly enough that there is rarely a dull moment. And most importantly when it comes to the death scenes each victim gets knocked off in different way that is always creative.
Without a doubt the most durable area of this film is its cast who are all very enjoyable in their respective roles, with this film’s standout performance coming from Patch Mackenzie (Death Dimension) who portrays Anne Ramstead the older sister of the young girl who died during a track meet. Also cast features several recognizable faces like Christopher George (City of the Living Dead, Pieces), Michael Pataki (Dead & Buried, Sweet 16), Linnea Quigley (Savage Streets, Night of the Demons) and Vanna White (‘Wheel of Fortune’). Overall though there a few things that this film does not do well. The end result is a highly entertaining film that ultimately gives its audiences what its want.
Graduation Day comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. For this release a brand new 4k transfer has been created and the end result is a solid transfer that is easily the best this film has looked in a very long time. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, details look sharp and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. The audio is in great shape as dialog is always clear, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (2 minutes 4 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), four interviews, the first one with actress Patch Mackenzie (8 minutes 48 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), director Herb Freed (12 minutes 22 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), producer David Baughn (11 minutes 34 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen) and editor Martin Jay Sadoff (7 minutes 20 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen) and two audio commentaries, the first one with David Baughn and the second one with The Hysteria Continues.
Topics discussed in the interview include how each person got involved with this film and their thoughts on the cast and crew and the final product. Other topics they discuss include how they got into the film industry and various other projects they have worked on. The audio commentary with David Baughn is more focused on Graduation Day then his interview. And he does a great job covering all the basis as he discusses cast and crew, locations and some of the difficulties that arose throughout the making of this film. The other commentary is a satisfying mix of facts about the film, critical review of the film and humor.
Also included with this combo release is a DVD counterpart to the Blu-Ray. Overall Graduation Day gets an exceptional release from Vinegar Syndrome.