Cinemax Friday: School Spirit (1985, directed by Alan Holleb)


Though he’s clearly in his late 30s and doesn’t have much of a personality, Billy Batson (Tom Nolan) was the most popular student at Lavatoire University.  Not only did all of the ladies love him but Billy was also Hogmeister, the king of school’s annual Hog Day.  Everyone at the university loved Billy except for crusty old President Grimshaw (Larry Linville).  Sadly, Billy was killed in a traffic accident that was entirely his fault.  He had gone down to the local roadhouse to use their condom machine and he was so excited afterward that he dropped the condom while driving.  When he reached down to grab it, he took his eyes off the road and one thing led to another.  The lesson?  Safe sex kills.  That’s not a great lesson today and it was an even worse one in the 80s but what are you going to do?

Billy’s dead.

Or is he?

No, don’t worry, he’s dead.  At the hospital, his spirit rises out of his body and he’s greeted by his deceased Uncle Pinky (John Finnegan).  Pinky says that it’s time to go to Heaven but Billy wants just one more day so that he can oversee Hog Day and get laid.  Pinky says no way but then he gets distracted by a comely nurse.  Billy escapes from the hospital and returns to the campus.

Even though he’s dead, Billy still appears in corporeal form and everyone can talk to him.  The only special power that Billy has is that he can wave his hand over his head and turn invisible.  Billy uses his powers once or twice and there’s the expected trip to the girl’s shower but that’s really the extent of School Spirit‘s supernatural angle.  The movie doesn’t really seem to be committed to the idea of Billy being dead.  Also, at no point in the film does Billy Batson say “Shazam!,” and that really is unforgivable.

Billy wants to sleep with snooty Judith Hightower (Elizabeth Foxx) but then he gets distracted by Grimshaw’s wild daughter (Marta Kober) and also by Madeleine Lavatoire (Daniele Arnaud), who is visiting from France.  It doesn’t take long for Billy to realize that Madeleine is the one for him but how can he fall in love with anyone when he’s going to have to go to the afterlife at midnight.  Appropriately, it all ends with a case of deus ex machina.  The ending makes no sense but neither does the rest of the movie so give School Spirit some credit for being consistent.

School Spirit is a stupid movie and, with the exception of Larry Linville and Marta Kober, the cast is a forgettable.  This is the type of comedy that used to show up regularly on late night Cinemax.  What it lacked in laughs, it made up for in boobs and that was really what the majority of its audience was watching for.  People who stayed up late to watch Cinemax were not the most demanding viewers in the world.  Today, the film will mostly appeal to people nostalgic for 80s sex comedies.  Why they would watch School Spirit instead of something like Risky Business, I don’t know.  Maybe they needed a movie to review for a blog.

Tomorrow, I finish off my Police Academy reviews by taking a look at Mission to Moscow!

One response to “Cinemax Friday: School Spirit (1985, directed by Alan Holleb)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 4/27/20 — 5/3/20 | Through the Shattered Lens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.