Rush Week (1989) poster

Rush Week (1989)


USA. 1989.


Director – Bob Bralver, Screenplay – Michael W. Leighton & Russell V. Manzatt, Producer – Michael W. Leighton, Photography – Jeff Mart, Music – The Hamiltons, Special Effects – Buckets O’Blood, Production Design – R. Clifford Searcy. Production Company – A Leighton & Hilpert Production.


Pamela Ludwig (Toni Daniels), Dean Hamilton (Jeff Jacobs), Roy Thinnes (Dean Russell Grail), John Donovan (Arnold Krangen), Don Grant (Byron Rogers), Courtney Gebhart (Jonelle Watson), Todd Eric Andrews (Harvan), Gregg Allman (Cosmo Kincaid), David Denney (Greg Ochs), Toni Lee (Alma Gifford), Laura Burkett (Rebecca Winters), Kathleen Kinmont (Julie Ann McGuffin)


Toni Daniels, a student newly arrived at Tambers College, joins the campus newspaper where she is assigned to cover Rush Week, the student fraternity recruiting week. Instead, she becomes intrigued by and starts to investigate the murder of several girls. All have disappeared after posing naked for a cafeteria cook who moonlights as a nudie photographer using a disused Science building lab.

Rush Week comes along about six years too late to be part of the great 1980-3 slasher cycle it clearly sets out to imitate. It is not too bad as the run of slasher films went, although as a film is merely proficient and displays no particular skill or style. (On the other hand, as the slasher cycle went, that in itself could be a rare enough occurrence to elevate a film’s status).

Noticeably, Rush Week has a plot, or at least some semblance of one, which does a passable job of being able to swing suspicion onto just about every male supporting character. It has a couple of competent leads in the foxy Pamela Ludwig and in convincingly handsome Dean Hamilton (who, for once, is a character played against type in these films – the party animal who doesn’t get topped for his crimes).

Despite such pluses, Rush Week is routine. These only provide a face job on a derivative and unimaginative formula. It is still an exploitation film that sets up good-looking unclad women for titillation then kills them off; its humour still takes a delight in the sophomoric crassness of Lemon Popsicle (1978), Porkys (1982) et al; and above all it is entirely dependent on the cliches of Friday the 13th (1980) and its numerous imitators.

Former stuntman turned director Bob Bralver next went onto to direct the very silly psycho hitchhiker film Midnight Ride (1990).

Trailer here

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