Just over a decade after the Ramones invaded Vince Lombardi High School, Ronald Reagan High School becomes the new location for this in-name sequel that perhaps may be known for lead Corey Feldman unleashing his inner Michael Jackson in the musical sense.
It is Rock n’ Roll High School day at Ronald Reagan High. Coincidentally, it is the same day that the school board are paying a visit to the school. Deterred by the chaos that has ensued, the school board decides to demote the current principal, Mr. McGree, and find someone who can bring discipline to Reagan High. Enter Doctor Vadar, a no-nonsense lunatic with a metal claw for a hand. She has determined to make the school follow her rules or face a lifetime of detention.
While yuppie couples Whitney and Bob and Margaret and Donovan love Vadar’s new administration, those who are very vocal against the new regime are the Eradicators, who consist of lead singer Jesse, guitarist Stella, keyboardist Jones, drummer Mag, and bassist Namrok. Determined to stop Vadar and her cronies, a series of pranks lead to the Eradicators planning the ultimate revenge when Vadar decides to unleash her plans to turn the entire school to a prison-style detention hall. The plan? Takeover the prom and end not only Vadar but stop the yuppie couples who have had an issue with the band as well. The goal? Bring back Rock n’ Roll High School.
In 1978, Roger Corman’s New World unleashed Rock n’ Roll High School, a tale of a Ramones fanatic who did everything she can with the help of her friends to take down the new no-nonsense administration through the power of music. In some ways, this sounds like a precursor to Footloose in terms of its theme of the banning of music. However, Deborah Brock, the force behind the underrated horror sequel Slumber Party Massacre II, brings a sequel to the 1978 hit with a lower-budgeted but still musically inclined, with Corey Feldman for “star” power and the return of original film villain Mary Woronov playing a new villain.
Feldman does basically three things here. He’s either singing and dancing, playing pranks, or attempting to woo the new good-natured substitute teacher, played by Sarah Buxton. As for his bandmates, they join in on playing the hilarious pranks, with Liane Curtis’ Stella grossing out the yuppie girls with sushi in one scene while the trio of Evan Richards, Patrick Malone, and Steven Ho unleash their own version of “drug testing” in a hilarious manner to gross out Vadar’s two cronies.
Woronov’s Vadar is once again the evil administrator but compared to her Miss Togar in the original 1978 film, Vadar is more ruthless as he plans to make Reagan High her own little “prison” with her as the “warden”. Charles Noland and Michael Monks also bring in the comedy as Ray and Dale, Vadar’s two bumbling cronies. In one scene in the final act, as a distraction, the two get drunk and pull off a funny Star Wars style goofball fight. And their reaction to the “drug test”, for 1990, tame but still hilarious. In some ways, the film can be said to be a reboot with the ally character of Eaglebauer returning, only for Michael Cerveris to be a modern-day nut when compared to the legednary Clint Howard’s original. Or could these two Eaglebauer be brothers? Could somewhat make more sense.
Rock n’ Roll High School Forever has its moments with the pranks, whether they are goofy and let’s face it, it’s Corey Feldman musically unleashing his inner Michael Jackson. But it’s harmless PG-13 style fun without too much of the grossing out, just little.
WFG RATING: B
A Concorde-New Horizons production. Director: Deborah Brock. Producers: Don Daniel and Bruce Stubblefield. Writer: Deborah Brock; based on characters created by Allan Arkush and Joe Dante. Cinematography: James Mathers. Editing: Kevin Tent.
Cast: Corey Feldman, Mary Woronov, Larry Linville, Liane Curtis, Evan Richards, Patrick Malone, Steven Ho, Andrea Paige Wilson, Benjamin Cleaveland, Jason Lively, Lara Lyon, Michael Cerveris, Brynn Horrocks, Charles Noland, Michael Monks.