Rush Week is a 1989 slasher film directed by stuntman Bob Bralver (American Ninja 5, Midnight Ride, Tropical Heat, Riptide, Werewolf, and Knight Rider). It was co-written by Russell V. Manzatt (Longshot, Midnight Ride, Contagion, and Trapper County War). It was co-written and produced by Michael W. Leighton (L.A. Bounty, Hostage, The Killer Inside Me, Pale Blood, and The Genesis Code) for Noble Entertainment. It was shot in 1989 but it wasn’t released until later on.
Toni Daniels (played by: Pamela Ludwig from Pale Blood, Midnight Ride, Race for Glory, and Project X) is an ambitious young journalist working for her college newspaper. Tired of covering the same boring stories as her peers, Toni becomes intrigued by the recent disappearances of several female students and believes that they may be linked to an on-campus murder that happened the previous year during the college’s raucous Rush Week. Despite being certain that something terrible has been happening on campus, no one she talks to is willing to admit that the disappearances are cause for concern. She runs into a variety of interesting people which includes Jeff Jacobs (played by: Dean Hamilton from Savage Land, 21 Jump Street, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents), Byron Rogers (played by: Donald Grant from L.A. Takedown, Surrender, and Monster in the Closet), Arnold Krangen (played by: John Donovan from Black Angels, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Ghosts of the Abyss, and Superchick), and Dean Grail (played by: Roy Thinnes from Dark Shadows, Falcon Crest, General Hospital, and Mind Benders) during her research. Undeterred, Tori decides to investigate the mystery on her own, but before long finds herself becoming embroiled in a twist filled saga of deeply buried, and bloody secrets which attract the attention of a sadistic killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth!!!!
Rush Week was really late to the slasher craze in the 80’s so it missed it’s mark when it came to having success. This one went under the radar when it was released and no one really talked about it when they brought up popular horror sub-genre. I personally think Urban Legend was inspired by this one, you can see the influence all over that one. The script is okay here, it tries too hard with twists and wants to confuse you but it’s not that complicated for the most part. I did enjoy the sleazy photographer with the necrophilia fetish subplot. It added something different here. The biggest shock with Rush Week is it’s lack of gore and violence during it’s running time. Most of the kills are off the screen so you have to use your imagination but it does have two brutal ones which were solid. None of the murders are original in this but the killer actually looks really cool in Rush Week and the end does make you think a little when it comes to the identity reveal with it’s random thrown in to throw you off during it. Pamela Ludwig is actually a real solid lead here and she’s beautiful. This one does have some nudity to make up for it’s lack of bloodshed. It have some quality eye candy that includes scream queen Kathleen Kinmont (Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Bride of Re-Animator), Courtney Gebhart (Ghetto Blaster), Laura Burkett (Blood Beach and Avenging Angel), and Heidi Holicker (Valley Girl). Plus it has a random cameo from music legend Gregg Allman (Tales from the Crypt and Rush). Despite not being a splatter fest, Rush Week is still a solid thriller and late slasher. Hopefully this one, gives a rebirth with this brand new home video release from Vinegar Syndrome, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Vinegar Syndrome! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer that’s newly scanned plus restored in 2K from its 35mm interpositive absolutely blows away the 1998 DVD release from Simitar and every other previous release from the past. Rush Week has never looked this good, it’s the best ever going to get and it’s a massive upgrade. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and English: Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks are actually way better than expected. The dialogue is crystal clear, the suspense is elevated, and the music has a nice boost to it. It also has English SDH subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Vinegar Syndrome! It has an “Audio Commentary” with The Hysteria Continues. They all bring up their first experiences with Rush Week. One of them has a hilarious story about oversleeping and missing it on cable so he didn’t talk for awhile after it out of anger. They chat about some of their favorite college slashers. They talk about the concept, story, actors, characters, and release of Rush Week here. They point out how similar Urban Legend is compared to Rush Week. They mention a few of the things that this film did compared to all the other slashers. They reference all kinds of films when viewing this one. It does have some awkward silent moments every once in awhile but it’s not too bad. There’s some decent information in this but its just mainly a fun track with a group of friends and horror fans. “Still Dean Hamilton” is almost 13 minutes. It’s an interview with actor Roy Thinnes. He chats about his acting career and projects that he worked on during it. He talks about the script for this and his overall experience during it. He goes over working with co-star Pamela Ludwig and director Bob Bralver during Rush Week. He ends the interview telling us what he’s been doing since then which includes directing and producing. “So 80’s” is an almost 13 minute interview with actress Courtney Gebhart. She chats about her school experience and how she got into acting. She goes over her experience on this slasher flick Rush Week. She remembers the cast and crew fondly. She says they had great chemistry and it was a fun shoot. She mentions what she’s doing now in life which includes being a life coach. It has reversible artwork. A limited edition slipcover is available exclusively on VinegarSyndrome.com, do not sleep on it because it will be gone soon. A wide home video release without the slipcover is available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!
Buy it right now @ https://vinegarsyndrome.com/products/rush-week