Wretched excess, thy name is ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL FOREVER! A happily remembered cult classic, ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL was a high-spirited, anarchic, hilarious exercise in education-bashing. The sequel it has spawned is overbearing, anti-everything, and offensively unfunny.
In the hallowed halls of Rock 'n' Roll High School, built on the charred remains of the original Vince Lombardi High, rebellion is brewing. Although the students only run amok on Rock 'n' Roll High School Day, the school board decides to institute stronger discipline in the form of Dr. Vadar
(Mary Woronov), who does not believe in sparing the rod. One racially balanced quintet of teens will not kow-tow to new rigid policies. Ever enterprising, these renegades, when they are not wreaking havoc at school, spend their time rigging radio contests to win concert tickets or answering For
Sale ads in order to ridicule people in their homes.
When several yuppie students object to letting the rock 'n' roll teen-leader, Jesse Davis (Corey Feldman), and his band, the Eradicators, play at an Honor Society Dance, the devil-may-care adolescents retaliate with a food fight. Wise to their ways, Dr. Vadar separates the tight-knit group by
shifting their class schedules. Temporarily refraining from practical jokes, Jesse falls for a school instructor who teaches classical music by using football metaphors, and his best pal Mag Sludge (Evan Richards) even becomes smitten with a teen witch named Tabatha (Brynn Horrocks).
Turning the high school into a maximum security fortress, Vadar refuses to allow the Eradicators to play at the upcoming prom, slices up their winning concert tickets with her prosthetic hand, and gives them detention. Teaming up with the school's resident smoothie, Eigelbauer (Michael Cerveris),
whose style has been cramped by Vadar, the teens devise a revenge plan involving videotaping several of their enemies in compromising positions. While Eigelbauer schemes to keep Dr. Vadar occupied, Jesse and his crew experience a set-back when the yuppie students led by Whitney (Andrea Paige
Wilson) frame the rebel teens for vandalism. Will permanent detention stop the Eradicators?
On prom night, Eigelbauer shanghais the musicians hired by Whitney. Crashing the prom, the Eradicators not only play music, they also play embarrassing videos of the yuppies and Dr. Vadar on wall-to-wall TV screens. Enraged by the public humiliation, Vadar wrecks the prom and then plows her car
into a chem lab which blows up Rock 'n' Roll High School again.
In this sequel that betrays one's goodwill for its predecessor, neither the comedy nor the music is up to snuff. Following in the tiny footsteps of Mason Reese and Gary Coleman, Corey Feldman is yet another child star who has not matured gracefully. Sporting long hair that makes him resemble the
lead in a high school production of Jesus Christ Superstar, Feldman hogs the spotlight as he leads rebel forces against conformity with diminishing returns. In the original film, the filmmakers poked fun at the pomposity of the administration and faculty--this gave the students something to fight
against. Here, the kids seem like refugees from a mental ward; consequently our sympathies don't rest with any of the characters.
Although the kids have a memorable opponent in the person of Dr. Vadar, the talented actress playing her, Mary Woronov, is given almost no material to work with. What we're left with is a series of practical jokes, e.g. toilet flushing to cause property damage, stealing the clothes from a necking
couple in a car, punctuated by dreadful renditions of rock 'n' roll tunes by Feldman's band. Is every film star a rock performer wannabee? To watch the Eradicators crucify hits like "Tutti Frutti" and "I'm Walkin'" is to experience true pain. Since Feldman and company are tone deaf and soulless,
one understands why the honor students didn't want them ruining their dances.
Maybe if the gags were fresher or if the young cast had more sparkle, this lame comedy would have zipped by more painlessly, but it manages to muster up freneticism instead of excitement. The film moves along all right but look at the torn-up, worn-out comedy ground it covers. Does anyone think
spitting out food is funny, that putting a guard dog out of commission by feeding it spicy food is hilarious or that remarks about serving horsemeat at the school cafeteria are witty? As the idiotic jokes assault the viewer, allowing only the occasional respite of a bit of exposition, the viewer
is worn down. Lifeless musical performances and ancient gags don't add up to a good education in comedy. Rent the first ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL. Don't matriculate here. (Violence, profanity, adult situations.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1991
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Wretched excess, thy name is ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL FOREVER! A happily remembered cult classic, ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL was a high-spirited, anarchic, hilarious exercise in education-bashing. The sequel it has spawned is overbearing, anti-everything,… (more)