On April 20, 1999 students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 of their fellow students (as well as a teacher) at Columbine High School in Colorado before committing suicide. The incident traumatized an entire nation, and in the wake there was a flurry of media attention, often looking to point the finger at a cause – or series of causes – for what ended up being referred to (in typical media fashion) as the “Columbine Incident”. There was plenty of blame to go around, but it was the popular culture that the two teens loved – dark, industrial music, violent video games, horror movies – that got the most attention from the various news sources and politicians.
It made such an impact that several films were devoted entirely to the incident including: Gus Van Sant’s ELEPHANT and Michael Moore’s documentary BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE. ELEPHANT was filmed in 2002 and while it was critically lauded, it was also criticized for being released so soon after the incident. But it wasn’t the first dramatization of the event. In fact, only months after the Columbine High Massacre filmmakers William Hellfire and Joey Smack – both already deeply involved with low-budget horror and exploitation filmmaking – decided to make a gonzo dramatization of the incident. DUCK! THE CARBINE HIGH MASSACRE was originally released on October 26th, 1999, just six months after Columbine occurred, and you can imagine that the response was less than favorable.