Slaughter High

SH1

Eight former classmates all meet for their ten year high school anniversary at the abandoned school they all once attended, only this night, a horrible prank the eight were responsible for ten years ago is coming back to haunt them.

Aw, the days of school, learning to be a productive member of society by excluding, ridiculing, and generally humiliating those different from yourself. It’s actually a pretty damn good lesson for life ahead, doing what you’re told and trying to fit in gets you comfort while going your own way makes things much more difficult but a hell of a lot more interesting. This is no different whether you’re a zombie or a member of the living, or at least it’s that way now. It used to be that zombies were almost always part of the second group when they were in school, the ones going their own way, but now that we have undead schools, zombie kids act just like their living counterparts. See, we used to just send our kids to school like any other person would, but once schools started getting overcrowded, the amount of bitten kids became too high and we were forced to come up with a solution. That solution was to create our own schools, and once we had classrooms full of nothing but the undead, the kids separated into the “cool” kids and the “not so cool” kids. Personally, I think we should have just left our kids in regular school with the living. Sure, there would have been a lot of bitten kids, but it’d be worth it for the lessons the little zombies would have learned.

Moving on, this high school horror story starts out with nerdy Marty Rantzan being led to the showers at his local school for a little sexy time with the school’s hottest chick. What poor Marty doesn’t know is that the girl, along with the seven others in her group, is planning to pull a very cruel prank on him. Carol (the hot chick) tricks him into getting into a shower by himself while the rest of her friends set up a video camera and proceed to humiliate him. After torturing the guy for a bit, the group gets caught by the school’s coach and punished for the despicable act. This is of course all Marty’s fault in their minds and they enact a plan of further humiliation for the school’s nerdiest kid. Two of the gang sneak away from their coach and pretend to befriend Marty before giving him a joint laced with something of the stomach churning variety. When he gets sick and leaves the chemistry lab for the bathroom, the two switch around the chemicals he has been using and return to the gym for further punishment. What the two don’t know is that the chemicals used happen to be highly combustible when mixed together and the concoction blows up in Marty’s face, nearly burning down the school and horribly scaring Marty for life. Fast forward ten years and the group of miscreants have all grown into fine adults with jobs, lives, and a whole new set of real world problems. They also have all just gotten invites to their ten year reunion at the now run down and decrepit former school, only when they show up, they find that no one but the eight of them were invited. What none of them know is that Marty Rantzan, the disfigured nerd they all tortured years ago, has been plotting and scheming for ten years, and tonight, his plots become reality.

SH4

{I suddenly feel scared of every single Mardi Gras Festival}

This is another one of those movies that, if it hadn’t have been for a terrible ending, I would have loved to give a glowing review. It’s really everything a horror fan could want in an 80’s slasher flick and an especially great movie for those of us that weren’t a fan of school…except for the awful ending. That means there is going to have be a spoiler alert at the end, so be forewarned, but since the ending seemed to be a terrible April Fool’s joke gone wrong, today seemed to be as good a time as any to give Slaughter High a review.

SH5

{Foreshadowing}

The first thing that is going to catch the horror fan’s eye is the imaginative ways in which the eight high school buddies all meet their perspective ends. From the very first death in which the character ends up ingesting a poisoned beer and experiences the world’s fastest gut rot, I was never disappointed in the way people died. Some of the deaths are too overly convenient (such as Marty knowing that another character was going to have to take a bath), but that is all explained away by the film’s less than stellar ending. The death scenes are easily the best thing about the flick, inventive and well executed with some great effects work, none of which is hurt by how damn cheesy this thing can be. Yes, if you’re going to sit down for a watch, then know that you’re going to be getting 80’s cheese at its best, but then again, it’s this characteristic that makes the film so enjoyable to watch. You can’t help but love a nostalgic trip to the cheesiness of the era. The story is good only in that it stays away from unnecessary complications, keeping the film fully focused on the vengeful murders a prank victim pulls off against those who wronged him several years prior. Plus, there are few movies where playing “Guess who dies next” is as much fun. The acting isn’t great, but it isn’t terrible either, and the effects are exceptionally well done. That’s one of the things I love most of all when watching older movies is looking back on a time before film makers were reduced to computer addicts unwilling to use tried and true makeup effects in favor of easier to use CGI effects. Sorry, but it’s kind of a massive personal pet peeve with me.

SH2

{Mmmmm…}

All in all, this is a great 80’s flick. If you’re in the mood for a movie from the golden age of slasher flicks then look no further, Slaughter High is exactly what you need, just be prepared for the lazy ending.

Spoiler Alert

Are you still reading this?

Seriously, I’m going to ruin the end for you

Still here?

Okay, you have been officially warned.

 

The way the film wraps up was a major issue for me. Ninety percent of the film is Marty hunting down those he has hated for most of his life, the ones who ruined what could have been a bright future for the now mentally disturbed individual, and by the end of the film the angry nerd has accomplished his goals with every single person who tortured him lying dead around the place that must have been a living hell for him. It was the perfect ending to a revenge flick…that is until the ghosts of those he has just murdered come back to haunt him. Now, this I could have accepted, after all the kid is completely insane, so being plagued by visions of those he just killed isn’t farfetched. However, these visions turn out to be nothing more than a delusional dream, in fact, the entire movie turns out to be nothing more than a delusion. It seems poor Marty has been in a hospital since the prank that left him disfigured and dreaming of the day he could escape and get his revenge. At the very end he kills his nurse and escapes the hospital in order to enact his plan.

SH3

{This is known as a big “fuck you” to the audience}

Really people? That’s how you decided to end your movie? If I had known I was getting boned by watching this, I would have worn lipstick when I put in the DVD. I went through this whole movie only to find out it was a dream. I thought it was great that Marty got his revenge and that by film’s end everyone but him was dead. It made Slaughter High the perfect revenge flick, up until everything turned out to just be the fanciful musings of a lunatic. The dream ending just made the whole thing feel like a giant waste of time. Happy April Fool’s Day to me.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: George Dugdale (Living Doll) and Mark Ezra (House Swap, Savage Hearts)

Starring: Simon Scuddamore, Caroline Munro (Maniac, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad), Carmine Iannaccone (Maid to Order, Split Decisions), and Billy Hartman (Highlander, Emmerdale Farm)

Written By: George Dugdale (Living Doll), Mark Ezra (Blind Justice, Savage Hearts), and Peter Mackenzie Litten (Heaven’s a Drag)

Released By: Spectacular Trading International and Vestron Pictures

Release Year: 1986

Release Type: Theatrical Release

MPAA Rating: Rated R

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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