Everyone has their memories of school days, good or bad. For us it was Mr Thrapper the gym teacher who was a stickler for uniform making sure that the boys wore the school gym kit and if they forgot it they had do the lesson in their pants. But in fairness he would always apply the same rules for himself if he forgot his kit which was unfortunate as he never wore underwear and thinking back he did seem to forget his gym kit most days. Parents raised their concern but he stopped working at the school shortly after his house mysteriously burnt down one night. But we digress, Schools Out Forever is set in an esteemed private school where Lee (Oscar Kennedy) attends but spends most of the time mucking around with his mate Sean (Liam Lau Fernandez) filming their pranks and its one such prank that gets him suspended and then expelled when the teacher Mr Bates (Alex Macqueen) finds cannabis in his rucksack.
Driven home to live with his Dad and missing his absent mum Lee finds some sort of pandemic is decimating the world’s population and his father eventually succumbs to a terminal infection. Alone in the house with the world outside seemingly populated by zombified survivors he swiftly returns to the safety of the ring fenced school that he was expelled from. The school is something of a ghost town with the headmaster dead and a group of school kids huddled in a hall under the instruction of Mr Bates helped by the school nurse (Jasmine Blackborow) who has promoted herself to matron endeavouring to look after them. It’s only when a pasty faced red headed school girl tooled up with a shotgun comes charging in that things change. Having appointed herself as some sort of militia enforcing petty rules like some jumped up covid marshall who’s been given a sheriff’s badge, she’s looking for a school boy who stole a tin of food but is soon overwhelmed by the others and taped to a chair.
The world appears to be coming to an apocalyptic end and the school is the kid’s last place of safety where School’s Out Forever is certainly true for them especially when the red haired girls mum (Samantha Bond) and a rabble roused mob of Barbour jacketed bastards turns up at the school gate to come and get her. With an ultimatum to give her over to her mum all hell breaks out as the film goes from pandemic pandemonium to a siege movie mentality. It’s here that the film ramps up the action becoming at times particularly brutal and bloody as kids with firearms run amok as they try protect themselves in a manner not dissimilar to the headmaster informing them of an imminent school visit by Jimmy Saville.
School’s Out Forever is co-written and directed by Oliver Milburn in his feature debut and the release of an apocalyptic pandemic based film is well timed. With a story that draws heavily on Shaun of the Dead, World War Z, Lord of the Flies and a nod towards 1968’s satire, ‘If…’, School’s Out Forever is proficiently made on a relatively small budget with several neatly handles set pieces and an enthusiastic cast.
Here’s our interview with lead actor Oscar Kennedy…….
Here’s the Schools Out Forever trailer……
SCHOOLS OUT FOREVER IS RELEASED ON DIGITAL DOWNLOAD 15TH FEB 2020