ZOMBIE HIGH (1987) Dir. Ron Link
For such a fluffy film, this one has some heavy hitting elements. The zombies of the title are not rotting corpses, but mind controlled pod people that graduate from Ettinger Prep School. Students are surgically manipulated to become something like Manchurian candidates that move on to positions of power all the way up to the Oval Office. The plot is fantastical in its approach and veers into science fiction unlike The Skulls which is inspired by the actual Skull & Bones secret society at Yale. Most interestingly, there is a suggestion that adrenochrome is being extracted from the students. The ‘serum’ is then taken intravenously by the staff to keep them looking young. Along with the extraction of this unnamed substance taken from the base of the skull, a lobotomy is performed and students are transformed into emotionless stiffs with a dedication to their studies.
In typical Pod film fashion and like Paula Prentiss in The Stepford Wives, there is the radically unique character who stands out from all the others, this one a disaffected punk whose father is a senator and alumnus. The boy’s transformation assures future bloodline corruption and another politician in the bag.