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Last Of The Grads (Mill Creek Entertainment) DVD Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Last Of The Grads (Mill Creek Entertainment) DVD Review



    Released by: Mill Creek Entertainment
    Released on: January 18th, 2022.
    Director: Jay Jenkins, Collin Kliewe
    Cast: Jessica Lang, Jennings Brower, Sara Eklund, Charles White Jr.
    Year: 2021
    Purchase From Amazon

    Last Of The Grads - Movie Review:

    Co-written and directed by first time filmmakers Jay Jenkins and Collin Kliewe, 2021's Last Of The Grads opens with a prologue or sorts where two high school age guys set a couple on fire and watch them burn to death. From here, newscasts alerts us to the situation, the 'Coast To Coast Killer' has left a pile of bodies in his wake as he's made his way across these great United States, and Shelby, Florida's top cop, Sheriff Murray (Michael Vincent Berry) tells Officer Greg (Charles White Jr., who is apparently better known as a YouTuber named Cr1tikal) that he figured the killer is heading to their town, just in time for the senior class 'lock in' at the local high school.

    Members of that very same senior class are stoked about the upcoming dance and the last day of high school ever. As they prepare to spend their last night together at the school lock-in, Class President Donna (Sara Eklund) and her friends Emma (Jessica Lang), Steve (Jadon Cal) and Stacey (Chloe Friedman) get ready for all the drama, romance and excitement that they expect the big night to bring. What they don't expect, of course, is the arrival of a knife wielding maniac with a taste for blood!

    Last Of The Grads runs just a few minutes shy of the two hour mark and could have used a more judicious editor to tighten up the pacing in the first forty minutes or so of the film. It starts off interestingly enough with the prologue, but then slows down a fair bit to introduce us to a large cast of characters, most of whom just aren't all that memorable. Still, once we get to the actual slashing of this low budget slasher, things do improve a fair bit. The film really benefits from some strong old-school practical effects work. There's some solid splatter on display in the many murder set pieces that are peppered out throughout the second half of the movie, and the movie earns full points for staging and filming these sequences very effectively.

    As to the cast? Most of them seem pretty new, not a lot of credits to their name. The play the material straight and are perfectly acceptable in their roles. No one really stands out as great, but no one really stands out as awful either. Charles White Jr.'s character is clearly meant to be obnoxious and he definitely plays up that angle, which can get grating at times, but it's obvious that Officer Greg was written that way.

    Production values are pretty decent. This was clearly made without a massive budget but the cinematography is pretty strong and the score is effective and helps to build tension when called for. The script never feels all that fresh or original, there isn't anything here we haven't seen in the dozens of other slasher movies that were obviously an inspiration, but Last Of The Grads, if never particularly scary, is generally pretty entertaining despite some pacing issues in its first half.

    Last Of The Grads - DVD Review:

    Last Of The Grads gets a pretty solid 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer on this DVD. There are shots here and there that look a little bit on the dark side but aside from that there isn't much to complain about. Shot digitally and on a modest budget, the transfer still manages to provide good color reproduction and solid detail. Cleary there can't be any print damage here but you might spot some minor compression artifacts in a few spots.

    The English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound track is also pretty good. There are some moments where the directional effects play a key role in the film's effectiveness even if this isn't really ultra-aggressive demo material. Levels are properly balanced, dialogue is easy to understand and the track is clean, consistent, and free of any hiss or distortion. Optional subtitles are available in English only.

    There are no extra features on this disc, just a static menu allowing you to play the film and turn the subtitles on or off.

    Last Of The Grads - The Final Word:

    At almost two hours in length, Last Of The Grads really could have been trimmed of a good twenty minutes and been a better film for it, but things do pick up in the second half of the movie and if this doesn't prove to be the most original slasher film ever made, it's an entertaining enough picture with some decent effects work and good murder set pieces. Mill Creek's DVD is barebones but it looks and sounds solid enough for a standard definition release.






































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