Summer School (1987)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Beach Film, Teen Movie  |   Release Date - Jul 22, 1987 (USA)  |   Run Time - 98 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Derek Armstrong

The minor Carl Reiner laugher Summer School was an odd place for makeup-effects wizard Rick Baker to ply his trade between his more traditional genre gigs, as it centers mostly on low-level high school slacker jokes and soft romantic comedy. In fact, the Fangoria-type gore that punctuates the students' practical jokes is of such better quality than the rest of the production, it makes the film deceptively memorable. Mark Harmon and Kirstie Alley do the standard relationship two-step, with flirting rejections transforming into genuine affection, and the students are mild, two-dimensional delinquents who are easily redeemable. But it's a lot of fun to see them dabble with open wounds and severed body parts, even if it drastically outstretches their resources as backward high school students. If Summer School is ultimately pleasing to watch, it's more for the lightness of tone and geniality of characterization than for having much humor, mature or otherwise. The talents of Baker and Reiner make more of an impression than the script or the performers.