Finally, a movie commemorating one of few holidays that have been left off the horror calendar! President’s Day is actually not about the holiday…but about a bunch of class president nominees being stalked by someone dressed as Abraham Lincoln and carrying an axe.
Making the most of a low budget, President’s Day is a pretty good conventional slasher with a hint of comedy thrown in. While some may recognize big Shawn C. Phillips from his many b-horror roles, it’s essentially a cast of unknowns and they all give subtly campy performances, giving the movie the feel of shows like Head of the Class and Saved by the Bell.
But even with its cheesy cute high school atmosphere, this one delivers the blood and boobs, right from the opening scene. Lincoln makes some seriously good use of the axe. The great grisly gore also includes plenty of unique weapons and death scenes. And the boobs? The first pair is okay…but wait until you see the globes on the student teacher later on.
The cast of characters includes the bitch, a chick in a wheelchair (who happens to have the best chase scene in the movie), a geek, the new girl in school, a creepy janitor, and a sexy baldy cop (played Ryan Thomas, who has a pretty good b-horror movie resume).
But most importantly, there’s the main guy. Yes, President’s Day has a main guy. He’s cute, charming, smart, and a bit of a class clown. He obviously loves horror, from his haunted house T-shirt to the posters in his room, including one of fricking Rock & Roll Frankenstein! Awesome.
The main guy, played by a young man named Bennie Mack McCoy IV, also happens to be black. While this may seem like a typical low-budget slasher filled with bratty white kids getting slaughtered, it gets a major nod for having a black male as a main character. And if you think about it for a second, it’s a black male running for president and being hunted down by Abraham Lincoln. Very clever.
But that subtle satire is as far as any political commentary goes. President’s Day is just straight up slasher fun. The pacing is pretty good, with our main guy playing detective between kills, trying to figure out who’s behind the murders. The reveal of the killer is pretty typical stuff for post-Scream high school horror flicks.
It’s the quirky tone of the film and the fresh cast that make this one irresistible. As an added bonus, the bloopers on the DVD have the guys in the cast playing some pretty adolescent pranks and flirting with gay situations.