The ghouls disassemble the swim coaches for easier transport and storage.
At school, Jeff and Steve quietly read Fangoria while the rest of the class executes a barely contained riot, as is standard practice for all high school classes. The principal comes on the intercom and announces that the winner of the Battle of the Bands is the "Bloodsucking Ghouls," who will perform at the school dance the next night. This obvious foreshadowing can only lead to some sort of confusion between the name of the band and the actual bloodsucking ghouls responsible for the film's creative title. Strangely though, this never actually happens, which means that the director is either purposely skirting convention, or he's too stupid to even comprehend the most basic cliches.
While the principal is reading the announcements, the scene cuts to the street outside, where two punks ride up on their motorcycle. They talk about something that they plan to steal from the janitor, who is probably weeping quietly in the basement. One of them overhears the principal's announcements, which are for some reason broadcast over loudspeakers outside the school. "I hate that fucking principal, he screwed me over," he laments. "I want to fucking kill him." Again such obvious foreshadowing can only mean that neither of the hoodlums will ever actually run into the principal or have any sort of showdown with him later on. Oh "Ghoul School," can't you do anything right? The bell rings and the students all run out of the school screaming, as any normal student body does on Friday afternoon. The two hoodlums go in, shoving down some random kids along the way, to drive home just how wild and dangerous they truly are.
The movie cuts to an old man sitting at a desk in front of an enormous wall of stacked papers. He blankly gazes into space for several seconds before a secretary comes in and hands him a phone, telling him that "Principal Kaplan" is on the line. They hold a mercifully brief conversation where it is revealed that the mysterious old man had spoken at some sort of school assembly that morning, and the principal liked it so much he wanted the old man to come give another one. The old man flips through an invisible calendar. "Oh, sorry, next Monday's no good for me, I have an appointment with, uh, Zsa Zsa, can't disappoint Zsa Zsa." The phone drifts away from his ear as he studiously reads the cue cards helpfully placed offscreen. "No, Tuesday's worse, I'm flying to, uh, Vegas, to, uh, catch Wayne Newton's act." Thus relieved of having to speak at another mystery assembly about some unknown subject, he hangs up, and before the movie can drag itself away from the old man's radiant presence, Jackie "The Joke Man" Martling randomly comes in and sits down next to him and starts telling stupid jokes for a couple of minutes. Here's a small sample of the unparalleled wit he brings:
It's probably not even worth mentioning that this has absolutely nothing to do with the movie but I think as some sort of executive producer the Joke Man demanded screen time for his filthy jokes. As if that wasn't enough punishment for the poor student filmmaker attempting to secure funding, an obscene amount of Joke Man merchandise pops up throughout the entire movie, from the "I Stumped The Joke Man" tee shirt that Steve wears, to Joke Man posters slathered all over every bare surface, to Joke Line stickers inexplicably placed inside air ducts. Rumor has it that Jackie Martling had to leave the Howard Stern show after his involvement in this project was discovered, though that can be neither confirmed nor denied.
It's awfully rude to interrupt someone while they're eating.
Finally the movie gets back to the action, and there's another long shot of the school facade, only this time overlaid by pathetic screams and some gunshots. Down in the basement the two criminals have the janitor tied up and are apparently looking for some sort of buried treasure. One searches the dark recesses of the school's underbelly while the other vaguely waves a gun around, occasionally prodding the janitor's gunshot wounds and demanding to know where "it" is. Whatever it is, the janitor boldly refuses to give up its location. Given that the scene at the beginning showed him compulsively protecting a deck of playing cards, it's only reasonable to assume that is the loot worth losing his life to protect. I guess they could be pornographic playing cards which constituted the tiny sum of joy that the janitor was able to get from his miserable existence. After all, one has to remember that 1990 was pre-world-wide-web and pictures of naked women were a privilege, not a right.
Whatever the booty, the men are unable to find it, and after putting the janitor out of his misery they proceed into some sort of secret underground lair. One of them presses a big red button on a wall, which releases some sort of hideous gas, making the men fall down very, very slowly. It literally takes twenty seconds for the two of them to lie down as they strike various melodramatic poses depicting their slowly accumulating suffering and trauma. After they finally hit the ground, the movie shows a couple minutes of random pipes trailing all over the walls, finally ending on a water fountain, which spontaneously turns on, then cutting to a bathroom sink which spontaneously turns on, and finally a hose feeding into the school's swimming pool.
Whatever hideous poison gas lies in the depths of the high school obviously somehow has infected the water supply, because suddenly the entire swim team is painted blue and are hungering for human flesh. The first victims are the swim coaches, who are quickly dismembered. I can honestly say that "Ghoul School" is the first and only movie I have ever seen where someone's abdominal skin is peeled off like an instant-win sticker on a fast food soda cup. However, the zombies's only prize is soft rubbery intestine, which actually is a pretty neat prize, for a zombie.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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