As The Campus begins, an archaeology expedition unleashes Satan (realized in damn fine practical glory) from his underground prison. Well apparently the leader of that lil’ expidition made a deal with ol’ Scratch, and after he dies, his estranged daughter Morgan is left hangin’ in the breeze to make good on the balance of the deal. How does this affect her everyday life? For starters she’s menaced by dudes in bizarre masks who make odd clicking sounds and try to murder here every damn second. They actually succeed and ol’ Morgy is brought back to life…only to die and come back time and again with each resurrection taking another piece of her essence. Can Morgan end the curse and square off with the Devil before she completely forfeits her soul?
The Campus is one hell of a fun time in the ol’ horror biz! It’s loaded with practical effects (including monster suits and gallons o’ gooey gore), great occult overtones, and a heroine that can take care of herself, refreshingly enough. The vibe is definitely reminiscent of an ’80’s fright flick, with an almost old school Italian vibe at times (I got some great Fulci/Manhattan Baby vibes from this one, as well as some visual flair that conjures the spirit of Argento’s Suspiria) and an excellent synth score (itself akin to the works of Goblin) to accentuate that atmosphere. The film is it’s own thing for sure, but these homage elements are both welcome and well done as this piece of the horror biz isn’t often referenced by today’s monster movie makers and is a rich source of inspiration to mine.
On the downside, some of Morgan’s hard ass tough girl speak was a bit too forced and contrived…believe me, her actions speak louder than any bravado she could spit out. Also, there are some dodgy as hell flame effects in this, which is a shame considering the strength of the make-up and splatter. Minor quibbles for sure, and overall they do not detract from the viewing experience.
The Campus is a fantastic modern descendant of the arty, occult drenched Italian horror pictures of the late ’70’s and ’80’s…it’s a gore soaked, demon filled, nightmare ride with a great female protagonist and should not be missed!
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