Vanity Fear

A Pretentious A**hole's Guide to B-Movie Bullsh*t

Rejected By Rod(!): Part Fifteen - Pandemonium

Not everything I've written for FLICK ATTACK has made it to the show. Mr. Lott insists that these rapidly aging reviews will be posted eventually, but until then I'm just going to assume that they have been:

Exciting news! This latest Rejected By Rod post features the series' first actual honest-to-goodness rejection! This past weekend I got this message from Rod through the electronic mail:

"The Rapture" will be running this week on FA. However, I did run across one of your reviews from the pool I actually do hafta reject, and that's "Pandemonium." Not because it's badly written (it ain't, of course), but because it's more about referring to a previous review you wrote rather than the movie. I tried to work around it, but couldn't figure out how without it being maybe 1/4 of its length. Sorry!

Why does Rod hate meta-reviews? I don't know! Go to Flick Attack and ask him! It doesn't matter to me, since all it means is switching the usual (?) to a (!)!

Rejected By Rod(!)



As many perks as there are to being a big fat know-it-all, there is also at least one major drawback. Sometimes—albeit rarely—evidence is produced that at some point you said or wrote something that was actually *gulp* wrong. I say this because back in January of 2011 I wrote the following in my review of a terrible film called National Lampoon’s Class Reunion: “…there is nothing worse than a bad slasher movie parody and…no such thing as a good slasher movie parody.”

It’s a statement I made with some confidence, thinking at the time of such terrible films as Student Bodies, Slaughter High and Pandemonium, all of which I had seen before reviewing Class Reunion. Thing is, though, it had been a looooong time since I last saw Pandemonium and I was judging it on the basis of the retarded opinion of a pretentious 16 year-old asshole.

For that reason I decided to take another look at it 19 years later, as a much older, wiser and more relaxed 35 year-old asshole. Turns out I really liked it. Quite a lot, actually. Which means the statement I quoted up above simply isn’t true—there is at least one good slasher movie parody (two if you count Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, which you probably should).

So, mea culpa.

The last film of Alice Sweet Alice helmer Alfred Sole (he went on to become a production designer), Pandemonium possesses the same anarchic sweetness as Rock and Roll High School, which isn’t a coincidence since both films share Richard Whitley in their screenwriting credits.

Set at a summer cheerleader camp (six years before Cheerleader Camp) held on a college campus where every cheerleader has been murdered for the past 20 years, the film largely eschews character and plot for a series of sometimes sophisticated, sometimes scatological, but mostly funny jokes.

The cast includes a blond Judge Reinhold, a Sissy Spacek-imitating Carol Kane, Jimmy Olson from Superman, Tom Smothers as a Mountie(!), Tab Hunter (once again mocking his 60s All-American image), pretty much everyone who appeared in the original stage version of The Pee Wee Herman Show (even Phil Hartman), and a genuinely adorable actress named Teri Landrum, whose appeal is much bigger than her six meager credits on IMDb would suggest.

So, yeah, I was wrong that one time. Don’t get used to it.