|Is the coach killing off the track team? Christopher George|
Laura, a pretty young runner on a high school track team, drops dead due to a blood clot and everyone somehow blames the pushy, hard-edged coach, George Michaels (Christopher George). This includes Laura's sister, a Navy ensign named Anne (the strangely-named Patch Mackenzie). Well, someone is sure pissed off about Laura's death because the other members of her team start being killed off the day before their graduation. Suspects and other persons of interest include Anne's nasty stepfather, Ronald (Hal Bokar); the obnoxious principal (Michael Pataki); Laura's sensitive boyfriend, Kevin (E. Danny Murphy); Officer McGregor (Virgil Frye); "Blondie," the Principal's assistant (E. J. Peaker); Inspector Halliday (Carmen Angenziano); and the weird Mr. Roberts (Richard Balin). Although there is some attempt to create a few interesting characters and a minor kind of sub-text, Graduation Day is a depressing and unpleasant movie with mostly unlikable characters; even the cops could care less about the teens' disappearances. The murder scenes are handled without any special flair, and the pace is too slow to create any suspense. The actors are professional enough, with special mention to Patrick Wright as a sleazy truck driver and Linnea Quigley as the "sluttish" gal who has sex with a professor. "Graduation Day Blues" is sung by a guy who seems to be doing an Elvis Presley voice impersonation. Herb Freed was also responsible for Haunts, which was slightly better than this. Remade in 2015.
Verdict: Minor-league slasher film. **.