PC HIGH poster Resized.jpg

PC High

3.67778
Average: 3.7 (9 votes)
The High School Movie
Christchurch > 09
High school is all about moulding young minds. Well at Point Cape high school everyone is so tolerant and PC that they receive a Zombie exchange student and no one is willing to acknowledge it. Watch out because those young minds are about to get moulded! BRAINSSS!!!!
kiwidoc
5.04

Funny, well made, developed story and good format.

Cool take on the Zombie Genre.
What I liked:
-The juice spilling
-Awkward cultural sensitivity
What I felt could have been improved:
It felt like I was watching a weird version of an episode from Summer Heights High with older people playing students, and co-existing in documentary style It seemed like an episode from a low budget TV show rather than a polished short film.
4/7 mini-guns from me!

wAS tHaT MiDdlETon gRAngE SChOoL?

Freaking love you guys, clever and well paced the entire way through, great makeup, great dialogue, great great great.

UPDATE:

So the finals are over now and I felt compelled to say a little more now that I've seen this one on the big screen, I have to say I feel like I enjoyed it even more this time. Because I knew what was coming in terms of story, I focused more on the technical elements, and I just wanted you guys to know that I really thought it was stunning, particularly your editing, but also your techniques when shooting characters from far away - and it's just hit me now why I loved this so much, Modern Family. I binged every episode of that show over about 2 weeks, and you guys have nailed that style down in this film so well.

So yea, again, thanks for your awesomeness, can't wait to see what you do next year.

MistaTeas
4.06

A mockumentary/realty TV episode about the effect of a new student coming to PC High School.

I think the concept was solid but didn't need to be a mockumentary...which really did feel like a cop out. I also think that Ultra screwed you up. Having adults play the lead teen characters really didn't work as everyone just seemed a bit old. The teacher too was really featured as a main character so not sure how that goes with the Ultra rules. I think if using adults to play teen characters you have to almost do it as a flashback with the adults seeing themselves back in the day but looking as they are now. I guess difficult to do what I'm suggesting with the zombie aspect though! Some good jokes, sight gags and lots of un-PC lines which went down pretty well with the audience. I was just hoping to see something more than a mockumentary from this team.

So much for that duo team eh.

Strong concept and a whole bunch of supporting gags and jokes.

Points off for the mocumentary style. But then the points get added back in for fully justifying the use of the format with one or two really tightly constructed jokes.

It’s not hard to see how this won audience fav. Some of the best laughs of the night.

There are two classic tropes of 48HOURS films that are relevant here. The first is seeing school teams with non-adult actors dressed up pretending to be gangsters, businessmen, old people, etc. So it was a curious inversion to have clearly adult performers playing teenagers here. This was of course done to comply with the Ultra stipulation that the team had signed up for (actually, in my head I was thinking of "children" as being under-10s, but I guess I'll allow it on a technicality), although happily as it turns out teenagers are not an entirely bad match for the genre-mandated high school.

The second is mockumentary. I recall that this form was the style-du-jour back in the early 48HOURS days, with films like Brown Peril taking out the top prize. But I think everyone got a bit of mockumentary fatigue, and leaving aside the occasional Child Jumpers, it has mostly been regarded as an obvious, cop-out choice, to be best avoided by self-respecting filmmakers. But the thing is, we mostly get jaded by something when we see too many examples of it not done well. And seeing this film, I was reminded how that to make a truly effective mockumentary requires some very subtle comic sensibilities, which this piece definitely delivered.

The premise - the exchange student who joins the class is actually a zombie - is very simple and very silly, but the charm of this film is in how committed it is to having all of the characters play straight with the situation. This approach, coupled with charismatic performances (some of whom do rather impressive teenager impressions) from the whole cast and some clever comedy writing, really made the whole piece zing with energy and fun. As is true of all good mockumentaries, the highlights are the smallest of moments, like the timing of a handheld camera movement, or the momentary glance of a character directly into the lens. Also noteworthy are a near-miss with the workshop teacher's fingers, an amusing use of spilt tomato juice and, perhaps my favourite part of the whole film, just the entire background arc of Clayton's slowly deteriorating, zombifying character. Maybe there's nothing much new here, that these are the same sort of setups and gags we've seen before. But because they're done so well, they landed and were appreciated by the heats audience.

My only real niggle with the film was the ending, or rather, the *lack* of an ending. It kinda just lands on a gag of a student catching the zombie student "making out" with someone else, and getting jealous, and then... credits (and extra gags in the credits). I don't know what I was hoping for, but I guess some kind of capper to the situation, maybe a reveal that recontextualises things, not sure. As it was, it just sort of stopped. But that's about the worst I can say about this film - the ending may have been soft, but the rest of the piece more than made up for it.

This is surely the funniest film Submission Impossible have made so far, and it's a good contender for being my favourite.

Really great movie. I started out thinking - oh another zombie thing, but I loved it. Strong acting pulled the concept off well. Oh and the puddle - genius!

All round brilliant filmmaking. The actors played their parts really well and the comedy was great.

One major thing that for the purposes of Ultra, kind of seems odd, is that the teacher was definitely a main character in the film, which my understanding is that that’s against the rules. I think there is an easy enough fix for this though, that only requires a little bit of restructuring at the beginning.

Basically, don’t start with the teacher’s interview, and only include her interview in short snippets. All her in-situ moments were great, but we really need to be focussing on our teenage leads throughout the entirety of the film.

It’s also worth noting that I did not pick up on the fact that the zombie was accepted into the school due to its PC nature until reading your team comment. The way the actors played it, it seemed to me that everyone was simply oblivious to the fact, so perhaps that plot point needed to be a little clearer.

Still, a great film that may or may not be very cleverly sending a message about a certain school.

But what was with that team intro? I was thinking it was a sequel to your beauty from 2016, but then it turned out to be... exactly the same. I expected better.

nshady
4.06

This was some nice work, but I'll admit to being a little bit torn. The direction was on point, with some nice reactionary camera work chasing the action. The concept was kind of clever, but ultimately I felt like it didn't quite take us as far I expected it to with the zombie concept. Some solid jokes and fun performances throughout. I do feel like this was a bit of a cheat of the Ultra conceit - in my mind, the purpose of doing it at that level is to add another challenge, and if you're not going to use actual kids or animals, then why do it at all? That came down to the judges' discretion, and clearly they were willing to allow this loophole, but I couldn't help but feel a little cheated. I would have been more invested in the film if we were watching actual teens; by the nature of having adults play young you inevitably undercut the reality, and when filming in a documentary style that's a bit of a problem. Still, a solid film - look forward to seeing what you do next year.

Alexander Jones
city manager

"PC High" is Submission Impossible's best film to date, which is insane considering it's committing the dreaded Mockumentary sin, which has been very much covered by other reviewers here, though as they've also pointed out, this does Mockumentary right, genuinely feeling like an episode of "Summer Heights High" with zombies.

The best director award was given to you guys here because, while none of your performances were better than each other, the overall collective voice of the piece was consistent and effective. To put it another way, we couldn't choose just one actor to nominate for best performer because they were all so good, so the conclusion then is that whatever creative force was directing each of these wonderful actors was doing a fantastic job, and the same can be said for the overall tone of the piece, the art direction, location and how this entire thing felt complete.

As Nimble said above, the "watch your fingers" gag was probably the single best gag in the whole comp this year (next to "Does anyone have a corkscrew?" from The Spares, or C'larence seeing himself deliver his own pizza in nightmare from "A Slice of You"). "Watch Your Fingers" would have been a great title too, but we'll get to that later...

There are so many elements at play here, and at least two or three story arcs going at the same time, it genuinely felt like a full episode of a sitcom with classic and lovable characters going about their day, and it's absolutely insane that all of these ideas are paced so well in a 5 minute story. Great adherence to the genre too.

If I was going to take any marks of this film, I'd just comment that it feels like it would have felt right at home about 8-10 years ago, more than it does now. As I said, the Mockumentary style is aced here, despite our collective grievances, but then also pairing it with a Zombie story, another element of pop culture that has slowly been phased out in recent years, it was certainly poking the outdated cliche bear a bit, though it never fully woke that bear up because this film is baller.

As for your title, and I've been wanting to say this for a while now... "PC High" is... fine? I feel I'm allowed to be a little harsher on your title because I've just gushed over your film and titles are so superfluous, but I do kind of wish you'd gone with some kind of high school/zombie pun here. Is it called "PC High" just because that's the name of the high school? or is it a play on Politically Correct? If so, the PC element was kinda underplayed here outside of Kate's character. Is there something else I'm missing entirely? Do I just care about titles WAY too much? Let me know in the comments below, don't forget to like and subscribe, and hit that bell icon to be notified whenever I upload a new video.