1981, Dir. by Mickey Rose (and/or Michael Ritchie).
The slasher genre was ripe for spoofing in 1981 (an opening title card points out that 26 horror movies were released the previous year, and none lost money), but I wonder if the operative word in that statement is ripe. Student Bodies is relatively spot-on regarding films that had been released then, but it also takes its shots at the formula before the slasher movement really picked up steam. At this point, Jason Voorhees had yet to put on a mask, Freddy Krueger was still a pleasant future dream, and Michael Myers didn't have a living sister. Student Bodies may have been a bit too early to the party.
An independently produced spoof that was released during the 1981 writers strike (thus, director Michael Ritchie was not credited and writer Mickey Rose got the director credit), Student Bodies had a handle on the likes of the original Halloween and Friday the 13th films, as well as things like Prom Night and Terror Train. But, to a first time viewer in 2010, the whole thing just feels a little off.
Student Bodies most definitely captures the slasher image of the era, opening with a dark house that reminds of Halloween and filling space with some of the mid-day kills that remind of films like Graduation Day. We've got the football game, the parade, the big dance; all the places where we'd expect the characters to have a chance to slip away and get killed. One of the film's best running gags involves the unlikely places where coeds decide to hook up, generally proceeded by one of them saying something unusual "makes them hot." There's also a strange dreamlike chase scene late in the film that provides many laughs, though I can't place what it might have been spoofing directly.
I do feel the need to say that - as far as spoofs go - Student Bodies makes the Scary Movie series seem profound. This was the era of the slasher, but spoofs like Airplane! and The Kentucky Fried Movie were also taking over screens - and it feels like Student Bodies could have gained from paying a little more attention to those films. While the slasher aspects are spot-on, it's occasionally hard to see the satire because the filmmakers' approach to comedy just didn't strike a chord with me consistently.
As a horror fan of the 2010s, it's hard to find the humor in Student Bodies. What it's spoofing is exactly what I like about a silly slasher film of this era, and it doesn't seem to be a smart or witty enough as a spoof to really affect that. It feels weird to sit here and defend the slasher subgenre, but I watch these films as spoofs already. I can kind of see myself revisiting Student Bodies when I want to laugh at slasher conventions with friends - but it seems likely I'd have more fun laughing at them while watching an actual slasher that's full of the movement's trademark gore and nudity. There's enough silliness inside them, and student bodies seems to go a little overboard trying to top that.