Ask any horror fan "of a certain age" to quote some lines from the infamously unadored horror spoof Student Bodies and you'll no doubt get a dozen different responses: "I'm gonna kill the kid with the gum!" // "Did you hang up?" // "No, I just said click", and, of course, "Horsehead bookends!!"
Now, Student Bodies is noteworthy for a variety of strange reasons: It was written and semi-directed by one Mickey Rose, a former writing partner of Woody Allen's who vanished from the movie biz right around 1981. (The year Student Bodies was released, oddly enough.) One of my favorite comedy directors (the late Michael Ritchie) had his name taken off the film and replaced with the Alan Smithee moniker. The flick died a quick death at the box office -- perhaps because the now-cemented conventions, cliches, and tropes of the slasher genre weren't quite stale enough back in 1981. But Student Bodies wanted to be the slasher fan's answer to Airplane! -- and this was about twenty years before Scary Movie hit the scene. One can plainly see how a prestige studio like Paramount would be ambivalent about releasing such a sketchy flick onto DVD -- but that seems like pure short-sightedness to me. Student Bodies has enjoyed a strong cult following since the mid-'80s, and I'm certain it'd sell better on DVD than, say, Saturday the 14th. (Another broad horror-comedy from 1981.) Knowing Paramount's digital m.o., their Student Bodies DVD would no doubt be a handsomely widescreen -- but annoying bare-bones -- affair.
So I told you all that so I could tell you this: After pretty much giving up on EVER seeing Student Bodies on DVD ... it's finally coming! And in only a few weeks! According to the awesome DVDDrive-In.com, an outfit called Legend Films has licensed a stack of Paramount's "cultier" titles for DVD release -- and Student Bodies is one of 'em! Woohoo! Click here for (gasp!) the DVD cover art!
And it gets better! In addition to the broadly stupid but undeniably funny Student Bodies, Legend will also be unleashing the 1982 crap classic Jekyll & Hyde ... Together Again!!!(Yeah, like you don't remember the "swollen boobs" photo from the back of the VHS case.) Want more back-catalog craziness? How about DVDs for the William Castle comedy (?!?!) The Busy Body (1967), Freddie Francis' The Deadly Bees (1967), Hammer Films' The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959), the Saul Bass killer ant flick called Phase IV (1974, and yes I said Saul Bass), Shirley MacLaine and Perry King in The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972), Roger Christian's kinda creepy The Sender (1982), Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in Freddie Francis' The Skull (1965), and a British sci-fi piece I've never seen called Zero Population Growth (1972)! According to DVDDI.com, "some of these titles will be available for sale at the Legend Films website as of April 1st, and they will be available for retail everywhere else in June and July in separate batches." No word yet on extra goodies. I remain slightly hopeful...
This is great news all around, provided you love campy, crappy and / or obscure genre movies as much as I do. So with that in mind, I'll offer up a few chestnuts from Paramount's pantry that Legend might want to lease for batch number two. (Hey cool! Mike Nelson works for Legend Films. Mike, give me a call. I'll waive my consultation fee!) So with Student Bodies and Jekyll & Hyde ... Together Again finally hitting DVD, can we now hold out hope for Tony Danza in Going Ape!? Perhaps the flick-clip matinee classic It Came From Hollywood?? The Steve Guttenberg in 3-D spy "comedy" The Man Who Wasn't There? Maybe the Rachel Ward slasher flick Night School? Oooh, the Ryan O'Neal / John Hurt gay cop comedy Partners? (Dang I completely forgot about that one.) OK, now I'm getting greedy. Just release Michael Mann's Nazi horror flick The Keep already and I'll stop whining.