When making a list of the significant slasher horror films of the late 70’s and early 80’s, "Final Exam" probably won’t be on there. Yet it will go down in history as the epitome of said genre, only because it’s a blatant rip-off of the standard "Halloween" formula: Drop a bunch of young kids into a secluded setting and watch them get offed one by one by a knife-wielding killer.
At fictional Lanier College it’s final exam week, and it just so happens there’s a madman on the loose stalking students on campus. After a prank pulled by students at a fraternity, the local police aren’t taking anyone on campus seriously, leaving the stalked students doomed.
As derivative as "Final Exam" is, there are some enjoyable things about it. Among them: No explanation for why killings are taking place, a sweet, dorky lead male character, and a scattering of inventive killings, one involving a young pledge tied to a tree in just his skivvies. The Blu-ray transfer also looks phenomenal for such an old film.
"Final Exam" might just be the most talky horror film I’ve ever seen. Characters spend the majority of the 92-minute running time discussing their thoughts on finals week and the drama of who likes whom on campus. The same can’t be said for the brief interview snippets of three actors from the film, shown in separate special feature segments on the Blu-ray. These three actors (Joel Rice, Cecile Bagdadi, and Sherry Willis-Burch) also do an audio commentary, moderated by two fans of "Final Exam." This Blu-ray appears geared toward such fans.