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President's Day (2009)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

President's Day (2009) Two high school students are having sex when a guy dressed up as Abraham Lincoln brutally kills them with an axe. Then the story goes to Lincoln High school, where student Barry Olson has a crush on the new girl, Joanna (who looks exactly like a young Pamela Franklin from HELL HOUSE). He runs for class president in order to get close to her, since she's running as well. Their main competition for the title is Chelsea, the screechy popular girl. Meanwhile, a wheelchair bound student is slain in broad daylight by the masked serial killer. As she's trying to drag herself up some steps he chops off her feet, though she can't feel it. It's sort like a blind guy getting his eyes gouged out in a Dario Argento movie. Just her bloody wheelchair is found.

The school's assigned police officer confides in Barry that he found notes, signed "Office Kennedy", in all of the missing students' lockers. So Barry takes it up on himself to help figure out who the real killer is. Amidst the week of the student elections there are more gruesome killings, from a jock being killed with one of his trophies to a cheerleader getting her face pressed in a hair iron. And I really liked the scene with the teacher being beheaded by one of those big manual paper cutters. That is definitely an underutilized weapon in teen horror films and is such a natural classroom weapon.

PRESIDENT'S DAY has good production values, actors who can actually act, and even George Stover. The students all look like they are actually high school students. There's also lots of E.I. Cinema paraphernalia, though this movie is better than 95% of movies distributed by that particular company. I'm happy that the first independent horror flick I watched in 2010 is indeed a good one.

directed by Chris LaMartina (THE BOOK OF LORE)

Read the recent interview with the director in the interview section

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