FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 4, 2022

SHOCKtober Day 4


If you've been around these parts for more than a ha'second over the last...oh lawd is it really kind of almost two decades?? then you undoubtedly have heard mention of or--if you're very very lucky--caught a glimpse of my beloved football-with-a-sword-attached from the 1981 slasher flick Graduation Day. It is perhaps the nonpareil weapon of all of slasherdom! So stupid, so impractical...yet so deadly! It's great.

Also, side note and fun (?) fact: the football-with-a-sword-attached came along so early in l'histoire de Final Girl that the "screencap" came from a photo I took with a potato digital camera of my TV, my VHS copy of the movie paused at just the right moment. In those days it never occurred to me to search for images or video, even if such things were out there somewhere. So I sourced pretty much everything myself, scanning old magazine photos or VHS/DVD cases, or taking terrible pictures of my TV. Yes, I, too, am so stupid, so impractical...and yet so deadly!

By now you're probably thinking that the football-with-a-sword-attached will be today's favorite character--and while it would be a noble choice, it ain't. But today's favorite is one of football-with-a-sword-attached's moviemates, and that is...


To celebrate their impending graduation ceremony, the kids (or should I say "kids," because several of them look like middle age-ish adults who work at insurance agencies or something) of I Don't Know, Whatever High get together to party. It's standard slasher movie stuff, featuring a live band (some group called Felony, who I've never heard of, but they wear black lipstick so that's cool), necking, dancing, and rollerskating. So why does this party qualify as one of my favorite characters? Because of all the people who aren't rollerskating: they're just running/walking/shuffling laps around the rink!

I've never seen anything like it in real life or in a movie and I'm completely obsessed. It keeps happening throughout the (fairly long) scene and each shot of it adds years to my lifespan. I now anticipate living to 316.

If you're thinking "man, going around in a circle on wheels is one thing, but doing it on regular old boring feet must be such a drag" let the revelers of Graduation Day assure you that it's not a drag, it's a thrill! A goddamned fist-pumping thrill, okay!

It looks like so much fun that I'm tempted to head to the roller rink and shuffle a few laps myself. And if anyone says to me "What are you, some kind of weirdo?" I will say "Yes! But I am also a Graduation Day fan. Have you seen it? It's this slasher movie from 1981 and it's got Christopher George, Linnea Quigley, Vanna White--yes, that Vanna White, a football-with-a-sword-attached used as a weapon, and this scene at a rollerskating party where many people do laps even though they're not on skates. The lead actress's name is Patch Mackenzie, which, I don't know about you but I think that's one of the coolest names I've ever heard." By the time I shut up I'd have the whole place to myself!


Joe Porter said...

Dude, you're not old, you're VINTAGE!
(Great commentary BTW)

Stacie Ponder said...

Ha, yes, vintage! And artisinal! Thank you :D

Glen said...

Wow - thanks for this! I watched Graduation Day for the first time a couple of months ago and while I really enjoyed the roller skating party scene, I didn't pick up on this amazing detail. I love it even more now.