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Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'Hair High by Bill Plympton'

Dennis King Published: November 29, 2010

This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:

“Hair High by Bill Plympton”

Pompadours and beehives are the order of the day in cult animator Bill Plympton’s gothic high-school comedy “Hair High,” due out on DVD Tuesday.

“Hair High by Bill Plympton” is a 2004 cartoon feature that tells a “Carrie”-like story of high school romance, horror and macabre comedy. Cheerleader Cherri (Sarah Silverman) and athlete Rod (Dermot Mulroney) are ideal high school sweethearts, until new kid in town Spud (Eric Gilliland) comes between them.

When Cherri and Spud fall in love and decide to go to the prom together, the rejected Rod gets behind the wheel of his hot rod and forces their car off the road and into a dank, cold lake. As the lovebirds share one last kiss, their car sinks to the murky lake bottom in true ’50s rock tragedy fashion.

A year later, Rod, having escaped culpability for the murder, prepares to be crowned prom king. But as party lights twinkle, Cherri and Spud magically come to life and drive their car out of the lake. Their bodies in an advanced state of decomposition and their car a rusty, waterlogged clunker, Cherri and Rod make a grand, ghoulish entry at the prom and, with snakes and lizards oozing from their sagging skin, take their horrific revenge on the shocked Rod.

Plympton said he used urban myths from his teen years, mixed with experiences from his own high school years, to construct this story. Like Spud, Plympton rode a Vespa motor scooter and as an artist was ranked very low on the school’s social pecking order – far below athletes and cheerleaders such as Rod and Cherri.

Plympton’s distant cousin, actress Martha Plimpton, served as the film’s producer and enlisted many of her fellow actors as voice talent.

“Hair High by Bill Plympton” is not rated and runs 78 minutes. It is being released by Microcinema.

- Dennis King