Slaughter High (1986)

slaughter high poster 1986 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 4/10

Some decent kills, classic '80s slasher vibe

Rather generic

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Slaughter High

Studio:  Spectacular Trading International

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  Spectacular Trading International

MPAA Rating:  R

slaughter high marty simon scuddamore burned

Good one, guys…you got me!

Marty (Simon Scuddamore) is the class geek, but when a prank goes wrong and the students want revenge, Marty gets caught in the middle.  Ten years have passed, and the graduates are getting together for a class reunion at their old school…but something is wrong.  The school seems closed and entering the school is a trap.  Marty is back, and he wants revenge.

Directed by George Dugdale, Mark Ezra, and Peter Litten, Slaughter High is a horror slasher film.  The movie originally was entitled April Fool’s Day but changed its name to keep from competing with the identically named film released in 1986.  The film received a limited release but was popular on VHS.

I remember Slaughter High’s poster/VHS cover vividly.  It is a classic of the video store, but I never had any interest in renting or watching Slaughter High.  Having watched so many versions of the same story and worked through so many ’80s slasher movies, I finally decided to watch this one…and it was both a nice throwback and more of the same.

slaughter high acid bath

This acid bath is truly exfoliating…it is really opening up my pores

The story is set-up like many of the revenge stories.  Marty is a nerd, and he’s set-up in a prank.  I do like in many of these revenge movies how the characters get in trouble then blame the victim of their actions.  If Marty were slightly more likeable he might be a bit more tragic, but he also is kind of a jerk.  The film eventually returns to the “slaughter” part of the movie and the deaths come hard and fast, but there aren’t very many surprises in Slaughter High nor anything that really distinguishes it from its contemporaries.

The cast is bad.  Simon Scuddamore who plays Marty committed suicide not long after filming and wasn’t alive for the release.  Caroline Munro is the somewhat sympathetic female lead (who was in her mid-thirties playing a high schooler at the beginning) and had a relationship with the director George Dugdale.  The rest of the cast is mostly just meat for Marty and his traps to kill.

slaughter high marty jester costume simon scuddamore

Wait ’til they get a load of me!

The film is set in the U.S. but shot in England.  The murders are somewhat creative and they can be pretty brutal at points.  The film almost pulls off a 1970s dingy look to it similar to movies like Prom Night or Massacre at Central High, but it feels cheap and small in scope.

Slaughter High is another so-so entry in the 1980s slasher genre.  If you’ve worked your way through the “classics”, it can be a fun addendum to movies like Carrie and even things like Friday the 13th, but it doesn’t feel like it is enough of a spin on any ideas to be anything original…even the jester killer feels like The House on Sorority Row.  Overall the film is a bit of a meh, but it still has its moments.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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