“Slaughter High” (1986)
Studio: Vestron Pictures
Starring: Caroline Munro, Simon Scuddamore, Carmine Iannaccone, Donna Yeager
Directed by: George Dugdale, Mark Ezra, Peter Mackenzie Litten
Running Time: 92 min.
Synopsis: Former students are invited to their class reunion five years after their graduation. Is this a trap set up by Marty, the class nerd they use to pick on.
Another slasher flick from the 80’s, this one came out in the middle part of the decade when slasher films started to decline. Slaughter High is still an entertaining horror film to come out of this genre, even though the slasher films days were numbered by then, it still prove to be a solid movie that you could mix with other classics made earlier in the 80’s.
The movie starts off like a teen sex comedy from that era. The popular kids play a prank on the class nerd, Marty on April Fool’s Day. That day also happens to be Marty’s birthday. He thinks he’s going to get laid by the hottest girl in school played by sexy horror vet Caroline Munro, but is embarrassed instead when he’s busted naked in the woman’s locker room and video taped by the classroom clowns. To top it all off he also gets his head put in the toilet. A gym teacher busts the kids and they are punished. Although, now the kids hate Marty even more and play yet another prank on him in the chemistry lab, but this time they go too far and almost kill Marty in an explosion. He survives, but is badly burned in the face from a bottle of acid.
After the accident the movie picks up five years later where the troublemaking group is all grown up now and invited to a class reunion on April Fool’s Day. They all gather to the old school, which appears to be closed up and run down. The group manages to get in the place and it appears they’re the only guests at the party. They find a room decorated for the reunion with food and drink on display. After a few hours of drinking and having a good time, one of the guy’s stomach explodes after drinking a tainted beer. Now the horror starts and the guest realize that they’re trapped in the place and also realize that Marty is behind all of it getting his revenge on them.
One by one, each of them are killed off in some gruesome scenes. A girl is burned alive from acid in a bathtub, another is chopped up from a tractor blade, and a couple is electrocuted while having sex. The body count is high in this one and some pretty good gore. Marty also walks around the place with a Jester mask on, the same one that one of the students wore when they played the prank on him.
There’s also a ridiculous part where the last two survivors say they’ll be safe by Noon, because April Fool’s Day will be over and he has been following the rules so far. (I guess he started his killings at Midnight.) One, when has April Fool’s been a half a day and two, why would a crazed killer follow any kind of rule like that. It’s not like he’s some demon from another world and he only has a twelve hour window to stay on Earth or something like that. Well, turns out they were wrong and he continues to kill past Noon.
Harry Manfredini, from Friday the 13th fame, composes the music in the film. Most of it sounds exactly like Friday the 13th, it’s almost like he just used the same score in some parts. There’s even a scene in the movie where one of guys tries to scare the group by wearing a hockey mask and yelling its Jason.
I also noticed that the plot of this film is basically the same one as Terror Train, where a group of college kids play a joke on the class nerd that scars him for life then he gets revenge on them years later. It’s pretty much the same movie, but the film is not all a rip-off, Slaughter High has its memorable moments throughout, especially the ending.
SPOILER ALERT: I hate to give away spoilers and the ending to films, but I have to mention this one, so if you don’t want to be spoiled stop reading now and continue on to the next paragraph. My favorite part of the whole movie, which I thought was a cool twist, was after everyone was killed, even killing off the main heroine, Munro, Marty finally gets his revenge and is on top. Soon the tables are turned on Marty and he is back to being the frightened victim when everyone comes back from the dead and goes after him. He then wakes up in a hospital all bandaged, the whole reunion was all a nightmare. After he awakes he kills a doctor and a nurse and the film ends with Marty ripping off part of his newly fixed face.
It my not be the best slasher flick of that day, but it is still a pretty good horror film. Slaughter High has been a rare find, due to it not being on DVD, but recently it was just released. Now people that are fans of the film can see it again or ones that have always wanted to watch it can finally see it now.