The Redeemer (aka Class Reunion Massacre)

Discussion in 'Slashers' started by Cujo108, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. Cujo108

    Cujo108 Guest

    This interesting little curiosity from the 70s happens to be one of my absolute favorite slasher films. Its also an extremely eerie picture. For the uninitiated, its about a mysterious morality killer who tricks a group of "undesirables" into attending a fake high school reunion, only to pick them off once they get there. If you think this sounds a bit like Slaughter High, you'd be right, though this came first, and for my money, its the better film. Its religous subtext alone makes it more intriguing overall. Once the 80s slasher boom arrived, it was retitled Class Reunion Massacre to help it better cash in on the craze on home video.

    The six so-called degenerates include a lawyer, a gay actor, a lesbian, a rich snob, a cute girl who takes pride in her appearance, and a cocky former football jock with a tendency to pig out every time he gets the opportunity. Despite negative comments about the acting at IMDB and in a horror reference guide of mine, the acting in this film is just fine as far as I'm concerned. The six main characters are perfectly believable in their roles, and all of them but the glutton wind up being quite likable. The Redeemer himself comes off as a little over the top at times (the scene in the auditorium for instance), but this actually works in the character's favor, as it really makes him seem like an absolute lunatic.

    Indeed, the Redeemer is a very creepy individual. Throughout the film, he dons many different costumes (as Terror Train's killer did a few years later), each one representing an aspect of each victim's life. These costumes are quite creepy, and really add to the film's effectiveness. Perhaps the creepiest scene in the entire movie is when the lesbian is yelling for a man to let them out of the school, and that man turns out to be the Redeemer dressed up as the Grim Reaper. He proceeds to pound on the bars with his scythe, toying with her, and it always sends a chill up my spine.

    This film also has a weird surreal feeling to it that I love. The above mentioned sequence is all the creepier because it comes off as rather dreamy in a way. The film's opening and closing sequences, as well as the moody score, reinforce this feeling tenfold. This film also has an unnerving atmosphere, and I wouldn't hesitate to call it one of the most atmospheric slashers in existence. The eerie school, the rural area surrounding it, and the surreal feeling all add up to give this film atmosphere out the wazoo.

    The Redeemer is a bleak, dread inducing slasher that never has been regarded all that highly. Personally, I think its easily one of the best films of its genre. There really isn't very much gore in this movie, but it more than makes up for that with an interesting premise, a surreal tone, a very creepy killer, likable characters, and a unique utilization of religous themes. This one is well worth rediscovering.

    That said, I was browsing the used DVD section of Half Priced Books a few weeks back, and I came across this film on a cheapo double feature DVD. I decided to buy it, and while it is certainly not a disc to write home about, at least I have it to watch whenever I want. I would kill to get a great release of this film, though I fear that'll never happen, as Program Power, the shitty company that aquired the rights, went under before putting together the release, and I have no idea what has become of the rights. Hopefully one day, someone like BU or Synapse will get ahold of this one.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2005
  2. onebyone

    onebyone Guest

    Can you scan or give us more info on the cheapo double feature disc you found? Please, please, please. Danke.
     
  3. Cujo108

    Cujo108 Guest

    I don't have a scanner, but its coupled with the ghostly appliance nonsense, Carnage, and the case says its from East West DVD, or www.eastwestdvd.com anyway. It is listed at DVDAficionado if you want to take a look there.
     
  4. onebyone

    onebyone Guest

    Thanks for the tip. I remember loving this movie, but I haven't seen it in ages and ages. I am going to try to find one asap.
     
  5. sumo8675309

    sumo8675309 Active Member

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    i found 3 copy's of the dvd on ebay searching under class reunion massacre for roughly $5 each including shipping
     
  6. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    Cool, I must try to get this one!
     
  7. Big Bobby D

    Big Bobby D Guest

    This may be a cool movie, but like someone said, it sounds a lot like Slaughter High, which I did not like (but I haven't seen it in years, so my opinon could possibly change) Who is this east west dvd company? Are they a foreign company or a bootleg like company? Because I saw on their site they had double feature dvds with movies like Demons 2 and The Driller Killer on them, and I know other companies here in the states own the rights to those. If I ever saw the double feature with The Driller Killer and Drive-In Massacre I'd probably have to get it even though I wanna get Cult Epics' 2 disc of The Driller Killer.
     
  8. booper71

    booper71 Lord of the Thighs.

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    i will get this, plus the one with Final Terror on it.
    Some of their titles I never knew were public domain yet!
     
  9. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    I hated Class Reunion Massacre, but I do agree Cujo, it was mighty creepy. The ending made no sense though. :eek2:

    I believe the company that put out the double-feature is a Canadian company, booper... hence why they have Demons 2 and Driller Killer. Still, they seem to be the Canadian counterpart to Diamond, because it seems no effort is put into their releases.
     
  10. ArrowBeach

    ArrowBeach Active Member

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    Apperently, the east west dvd is NOT a legit release. And FINAL TERROR and REDEEMER are not in the public dormain.I heard that there is a legit DVD in the works, from a new cult label who is yet to make a official announcement of their launch, that's all I can say at the moment as the head of the new label told me not to say anything else, and don't want to get in trouble. :eek1: .
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2005
  11. Hellbilly

    Hellbilly Active Member

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    Thanks for the headsup :) I hope it won't take too long for them to put it out on DVD.

    Even though I watched The Redeemer once (a zillion years ago), but I can't barely remember anything about it. Time to refresh my memory so, bring on the disc!
     
  12. Cujo108

    Cujo108 Guest

    The ending is definitely bizarre, and when I first saw the film a few years back, it did leave me sorta dumbfounded. Still, with another viewing a few days later, I did develop an interpretation of it.

    My take is that the boy, Christopher, came from Heaven (or Hell?) to appoint the task of Redeemer to the priest. At the end, because the priest had completed his task, the second thumb that he was given to signify his role as Redeemer returns to Christopher, and he now goes back to wherever it was he came from, as his task too is complete.

    Perhaps I'm way off though. ;)
     
  13. Subversive

    Subversive Guest

    The whole film does has indeed a dreamlike quality. Very bizarre film. Not your normal slasher, with a very hard hitting religeous/conservative messege..
     
  14. WesReviews

    WesReviews Active Member

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    I love, LOVE this film. I have the cheapo double feature DVD, as well as the old Continental huge cardboard box VHS version. If another edition comes out by a new cult label, I will be the first to purchase it. Great, spooky slasher!
     
  15. pogotheklown

    pogotheklown Guest

    Just echoing the thoughts of many of you...It was a very strange movie with an even stranger ending. It is a nice change of pace from your more typical slasher films...

    I have a pretty poor quality dvd of this...wouldn't mind seeing it in better picture quality...
     
  16. Cujo108

    Cujo108 Guest

    A local video store that had this for rent had it on their for sale rack today. While I have the East West double feature, and I'm hoping Code Red's disc comes out soon, I still picked this up, because I love the big box with the Reaper in his graduation cap. It looks great, and it holds a ton of nostalgia from when I first rented this back in the day. Can't go wrong with that for only 2 bucks. I think I'm going to try and track down an original poster of the film soon.
     
  17. Vortex

    Vortex Member

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    Good review. I really liked this one too though I wasnt expecting I would.
     
  18. CrazyFatEthel

    CrazyFatEthel New Member

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    Anybody know wren Code Red is releasing this?
     
  19. fceurich39

    fceurich39 Well-Known Member

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  20. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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