Slaughter High Reviews
The premise is even more archetypal than the category it so lovingly frequents. Marty Rantzen is the school nerd that suffers a constant barrage of bullying from a troupe of (middle-aged!) students, which includes the beautiful Carol (Munro) and the joker of the pack Skip (Carmine Lannacconne). He emphasis the fact by wearing a Jester's mask that we know from the off will reappear later for more sinister reasons! As if you hadn't already guessed, one April fools day they go too far and Marty ends up horrendously disfigured and transferred to a loony bin for lifelong imprisonment. You wanted by the book plotting? Well check this out: Five years later, the culprits are all invited to a reunion on their now abandoned campus, but no one knows who planned it (take a guess!). Almost as soon as they enter, the caretaker is nailed to the door by a nut-nut in the Jester's mask and soon they each find curious reasons to wander off and suffer gory deaths at the hands of the masked maniac?
Most of these ?actors' are as English as the Tower of London, but try to convince us that they're American, which would explain their humorous accents switching between UK and US more times in 85 minutes than British airways do in a year. Cars are given foreign number plates, but there's no disguising the location's obvious English heritage. Ex-Bond babe Munro hasn't improved her characterization since the last time she was stalked by a maniac killer and by 1985, she was looking a little too ?mature' to be a Hi-school teen. I'd love to know how she managed to wake up early in the morning with perfect hair and make-up too, but hey, I guess we're not supposed to ask questions like that and she did bring some much-needed beauty to the movie. Most of her support were outright first-timers, flat as a punctured tyre with no thread of speech pattern. But Simon Scuddamore and Carmine Lannaccone kept up the camp spirit - if little else. The really obscure thing about Slaughter High was undoubtedly Dick Randall's brief cameo appearance. Surrounded by posters from his previous ?hits' (hey, there's Pieces!), he proves that his flair for dramatics was even worse than his taste for production.
There's fun to be had in the inventive murders that involve disembowelment by a tractor engine, exploding intestines and death by drowning in a bog of mud! (?) Perhaps the dumbest of the bunch was when one girl decides to take a bath after the blood from her friend's bursting guts sprays all over her face (Well, isn't that exactly what you'd do?) She climbs in the tub and turns on the taps and suddenly the water rushes in to boiling acid. Does she simply step out of the basin to save herself from scalding or does she stay seated until she completely melts into a bloodied skeleton? Yep, you guessed it? Perhaps on this occasion the killer actually did her a favour! Director George Dugdale shows very little potential in his directorial debut. His biggest mistake was relinquishing the usually redeeming stalking set pieces for rushed murders that lack any suspense or tension. His efforts at jump-scares were too slowly framed and he lacks the skill shown in the early additions to the series that he so desperately emulates. The ghost-like apparitions that pop-up as the runtime draws to a close were indeed silly and pointless, but if you keep watching they at least give us an explanation for their needless appearance. Harry Manfredini hasn't so much mimicked his score from Friday the 13th as simply cut and pasted it, which is no real mean feat, but at times it felt as if we were watching a (less competent) sequel instead of a completely different movie.
The most macabre thing about Slaughter High, is the fact that actor Simon Scuddamore tragically took his own life soon after it was released. It's a real shame, because he was probably the most talented guy in the picture. The reason(s) for his suicide are unknown, but watching him play the role with his tongue stuck firmly in cheek and clearly disguising the problems that he may/may not have been suffering at the time, makes his performance look far more credible. It also gives the film a somewhat morbid air of mystery as to why he chose to end his life at a time when he should've been celebrating. What is questionable, is why no tribute was added to the closing credits in memory of the deceased star? Perhaps the reason being that it had already been transferred to video when news of his suicide was announced.
Although it lacks the polish of the flicks it obviously wants to be classed alongside, this is still a great deal of fun. The unrated versions give some visually amusing splatter, even if it's nowhere near as gory as the producer's previous bloodstained offerings. The overall campiness spoils any chance of fear and it's a little too under-written even for a slasher flick, but it does manage to keep interests raised without ever becoming boring and it doesn't take itself too seriously. The net result is a movie that succeeds in doing exactly what it set out to. Have some fun and kill a few deserving victims along the way! It's as routine as brushing your teeth, but it gains credibility for accepting with warm embrace the knowledge that it's nothing more than that.
Another dumb tagline. A college major joke for a High School film.
I just can't stop can I? I don't know why I feel the need to keep watching these horrible slasher films!Maybe it's the challenge of finding a good slasher beyond the big 3 (Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream) slashers. By the time I'm done, I will be able to give you all a short list of the good ones I have found. But, until then, I have to deal with this nonsense. *shudder* I hate the synthesizer music that plays over and over again every few minutes. And when it isn't, you have sound effects and music that wouldn't be out of place in an old Scooby-Doo cartoon.
Acting/Characters: stereotypes. Overacted stereotypes. Every single syllable of every single line is over-enunciated. It gets annoying very fast. But you know something? I think I finally figured it out, we don't care that people in these movies die because they are all so stupid that they deserve to die. It is almost a kind of natural selection. So in a way, the killers in movies like this are the true heroes for riding the human population of retards like the teens in slasher films. I dunno, maybe I'm just being heartless. But the characters in the film are brainless so it all works out. Usually the killer has somewhat of a brain, which is what allows him to successfully kill people, but not in this movie. If any of the characters had a brain, the events of the film wouldn't have happened. Also, my biggest beef with the film has to be that all of the kills are impossible. well, almost all of them. there was one of them that could have easily happened. But the rest of them are impossible in one way or another. It was ridiculous. 0/10
Plot: so. many. plot. holes. I don't get it. How can a human being be so stupid? I mean, these kids have a lower IQ than any other group of kids in any other slasher film that I have ever seen. That is saying something. Every event in the film could have been avoided if the characters had just done one thing differently. And you will know full well what that is if you are ever forced at gunpoint to see this. I just don't get it. Then they tried to have a "twist" ending that completely failed. Basically, the filmmakers looked at the film and said to themselves, we have already thrown in every single possible thing to make this movie bad, what can we do to make it worse? there has to be something!" well, they found it. The ending...oh the ending hurt my head. A lot. I have now seen every dumb trick that they can throw at me. At least, I hope so. Again, once you are held at gunpoint and forced to watch this, you will understand. I know that some may argue that this film just didn't try to take itself seriously, that might be true but it hid it well if that was the case. i thought that this movie was trying very hard to be the next Halloween. Maybe I just don't get Cult Classics.
Screenplay: Like I said before, every single syllable of every single line was overacted and over-enunciated. EVERY LAST ONE!!! The directors told the actors "we know the screenplay is the worst ever, so make it worse. Come on we're going for the record here: all the Razzies". it shows. 0/10
Likableness: Maybe I'm just taking this movie too seriously or i don't understand films like this, but this is truly one of the worst films I have ever seen and I would gladly add it to any list saying so. I would pick Sleepaway Camp again over this (although, Sleepaway Camp had such a rocking ending that it is an incredibly easy choice). But I would do Sleepaway Camp without the ending. It was that bad. 0/10
Final Score: 0/40 0% (H)
TRIVIA TIME: 1. Simon Scuddamore, who plays the film's slasher, committed suicide shortly after production of the film.
2. The films working title was "April Fool's Day", however the title was changed to keep this film from being confused with the Paramount film April Fool's Day which was released the same year.
3. Star Caroline Munro was actually 36 years old during this film where she played a 'teenage' heroine.
While I expected that this was going to be a cheap slasher flick, I still felt I shouldn't have wasted my time on this. However, the saving grace of the movie was that Marty, in some way, got his revenge. It's one of those few horror/slasher movies that you root for the killer rather than his victims.
What the hell?
Worth a look to poke fun at, but not much more.