Halloweenathon 2023 · Horrorthon365 · Microreview · Wendy

Halloweenathon 2023: Rock’N’ Roll Highschool (1979) Isn’t a Horror Movie, but it’s Perfect for Halloween Season

On the twenty-eighth day of Halloween: ROCK’N’ROLL HIGH SCHOOL (1979)

My friend Wendy introduced me to Rock’N’Roll High School (1979) not long before she died on October 28, 2000 and this year is the first time I’ve been able to rewatch it for 23 years.

Y’all. This movie is absolutely legendary.

It follows Riff Randell (PJ Soles), a badass songwriter obsessed with The Ramones as she goes head to head with the fascist new principal Mrs Togar (Mary Woronoff) of Vince Lombardi High School who would like to ban music — and fun, while she’s at it.

With a story by Joe Dante (who codirected the film), Rock’N’Roll High School might not be a horror movie even by my occasional stretches of logic. But it’s clearly inspired by horror films, and especially classics like Freaks and Frankenstein. It’s an exercise in the surreal, with moments of magical realism bordering on science fiction. Like, Doctor Who-inspired rooms that are bigger on the inside, such as Eaglebauer’s (Clint Howard) toilet stall/office. The apocalyptic ending has been echoed in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and so many other high school horrors. This might be one of the most influential films you’ve never seen.

While Rock’N’Roll High School might not be a horror movie, it’s absolutely a Halloween movie. It has a bitchin’ soundtrack, not just with The Ramones music. Bodacious fashions. Quirky characters. And so much more. If you had enough people, a Rock’N’Roll High School-themed party would be so eclectic and a smash of fun. Next year is the 45th anniversary of the movie so you have a whole year to plan.

✨Marky Ramone/5 stars. Highly recommend this movie. Like, seriously, it’s available for free on so many platforms. Just watch it.✨