review for Graduation Day on AllMovie

Graduation Day (1981)
by Jeremy Wheeler review

1981 was a banner year for slasher horror films, which Graduation Day was just one of a hundred in its day. While it doesn't really offer anything creative as far as kills and gore are concerned, it should be noted just how stuffed this flick is with red herrings as to the killer's possible identity. From beginning until the wickedly ridiculous end, the filmmakers assault you with as many whodunit hints as they can, though don't be surprised if you're not stifling a yawn when the big reveal occurs. Director Herb Freed does pull off some stylish panache in the editing room toward the beginning and again at the climax, but drops the ball with the rest of the scenes, opting instead to shoot and arrange them like a boring after-school special. More notable for the few early star appearances and music numbers than any horror-tinged moment (the ten-minute song at the roller disco is priceless), Graduation Day needed more time in the school of horror before it could truly make the grade.