Zombie High

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Zombie High
Zombie High.jpg
Directed by Ron Link
Produced by
Written by
Music by Daniel May
  • Brian Coyne
  • David Lux
Edited by
  • Shawn Hardin
  • James Whitney
Cinema Group
Distributed by Palisades Entertainment Group
Release date
  • October 2, 1987 (1987-10-02)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Zombie High (also known as The School That Ate My Brain) is a 1987 comedy horror film directed by Ron Link. The film was released theatrically on October 2, 1987, and stars Virginia Madsen as a beautiful young teenager that must fight against a boarding school that's intent on turning everyone into a Stepford-esque "perfect" student.[1]


Andrea (Virginia Madsen) is a teenage girl that has won a scholarship to Ettinger, a formerly all-male boarding school. She leaves behind her boyfriend Barry (James Wilder) in the hopes of scholastic achievement, but soon discovers that things are not as they seem at Ettinger. Andrea finds that her friends are slowly changing from regular teenagers into personality-less drones. Some investigation shows that the school's faculty has been harvesting life-sustaining chemicals from the student body, which results in them becoming seemingly perfect students that are only focused on doing well in school and obeying rules. Andrea is spared from this fate by one of her professors, Philo (Richard Cox), who takes pity on her due to her resemblance to a former lover. Along with her boyfriend, Andrea discovers that the staff uses classical music as a way of stabilizing the students. Philo gives her a tape to play over the loudspeaker system that he claims will stop the faculty and students from capturing her and turning her into a zombie, only for her to lose it while she is chased by the school's students. With nothing to lose, Barry plays a tape of rock music in its place, which accomplishes the desired task of stopping the students and saving their lives.



Lana Cooper of Brutal as Hell wrote, "For unintentional humor and as an ‘80s genre horror timepiece, Zombie High cannot be beat. Just don’t expect to be scared."[2] The Chicago Tribune panned the film in a 1988 review, expressing surprise that Madsen would star in Zombie High, as they viewed it as a step down from her previous acting work.[3] Michael Wilmington of the Los Angeles Times called it "a student project gone awry".[4] Glenn Kay, who wrote Zombie Movies: The Ultimate Guide, called the film a "nondescript, forgettable flick".[5] Writing in The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, academic Peter Dendle said, "The movie plays the concept more seriously than the title lets on, and, in fact, winds up dragging quite a bit."[6] Paul Mavis, of DVD Drive-In, reviewing the Shout! Factory 2015 Blu-ray release, wrote, "Zombie High has one or two bright performances going for it...but that's about it amid the lackluster thrills, little gore, lame Reagan-era satire, and lack of any nudity."[7]


  1. ^ "AITH Podcast: Reviews of Zombie High, VHS 2, Under the Dome, and Stoker!". JoBlo. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "'Ghouls on Film' Goes Back to 'Zombie High'". Brutal as Hell. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  3. ^ Teets, John (February 25, 1988). ""Zombie High" (review)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  4. ^ Wilmington, Michael (October 6, 1987). "Movie Review : Falling Into Line At 'Zombie High'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 18, 2015. 
  5. ^ Kay, Glenn (2012). Zombie Movies: The Ultimate Guide. Chicago Review Press. p. 156. ISBN 1613744226. 
  6. ^ Dendle, Peter (2001). The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia. McFarland & Company. p. 204. ISBN 978-0-7864-9288-6. 
  7. ^ http://www.dvddrive-in.com/reviews/e-h/hitlersmadman43.htm

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