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Splatter University Review – 1984


Language: English
Original Aspect Ratio: Shot on 16mm – 1:85:1
Directed by: Richard W. Haines
Cast: Forbes Riley, Ric Randig, Dick Biel

By now, I think we all know that the majority of slasher films that came out in the 80’s were by no means original. The well of original ideas had been bone dry by the time all these cash-in slasher films came out. But for me, and I’ll be forward and say for most slasher fans as well, that there is usually some redeeming factor and that’s the reason that we watch these films. It could be from some specific kill scene that stuck with us far after the movie had ended. It could be our familiarity with an actor or actress and that’s why we sit through a mediocre film. Perhaps it’s because nostalgia hits us and we just like the film – just because we remember it fondly growing up. I can safely say that Splatter University doesn’t have any of these redeeming factors.

I attempted to scrounge up a little bit of information on the film. I didn’t want to just outright bash the film without doing my homework. It was the first film of director Richard W. Haines, whose next film would be infinitely better Class of Nuke ’em High (even though it was co-directed by Lloyd Kaufman). So right off the bat, we have an inexperience filmmaker. The film was made for only $25k in 1982, so we’re already talking super low budget. Everything in this film is bad. I’m not even going to talk about the acting since we know that’s a given for this type of film. The plot is your typical “lunatic escapes the asylum and goes on a killing spree”. Let’s not even worry about that either. Let’s just talk about the sheer enjoyment factor of the film. No, I can’t because there is none. This film was shoddily put together with cliche scenes taken from more popular films and done in such an amateur fashion that it’s not even “so bad it’s good”. The editing is rough, smooth scene transitions aren’t anywhere to be found and you know who the bad guy is within the first five minutes of the film.

You’re probably asking yourself, if I found anything to like in the film. Maybe there was a cool kill scene or some nudity in it or SOMETHING. Nope. The kill scenes are boring and uninspired and the only nudity in the film comes from a magazine. Do yourself a favor and just skip this one. Even slasher fans shouldn’t even bother, it’s a complete waste of time. It’s a shame because it has such an amazing title.

DVD Release
Splatter University was distributed by Elite Entertainment in 2004. The film is presented in anamorphic 1.85:1 and is a pretty mix bag. Certain scenes are crisp and clear while others are murky and soft. I’m not sure if this was due to different sources or just amateur film-making but Haines himself has said this is the best it will ever look. The print is apparently from a low contrast 16mm print directly off the camera negative. Audio ranges from serviceable to muddy.

Sadly, the only extras for the films are two trailers. I would have liked a director commentary just to see what he had to say about it though. It would have been interesting.

  • Trailer 1 (1:42)- This is too good of a trailer for this movie. Presented in anamorphic widescreen.
  • Trailer 2 (0:26) – Presented in anamorphic widescreen.


Splatter University is a bottom of the barrel slasher film. Just do yourself the favor and skip it. The DVD looks to be Out of Print and let’s keep it that way.


0 out of 5