Slaughter High (1986)

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Slaughter High aka Aprils Fools Day, 1986
directed by George Dugdale, Mark Ezra, Peter Mackenzi Litten
starring Simon Scuddamore, Caroline Munro, Carmine Iannaccone

By full admittance of the producers, Slaughter High wasn’t meant to be much more than a quick money-maker. It even made its small budget back before the movie was sold to Vestron Video, relinquishing the title of April Fools Day to Paramount for their own upcoming project. Written and casted in three weeks, and shot in just a few days, Slaughter High is pretty much a by-the-numbers slasher that doesn’t really have any more than a few memorable moments. It does have a touch of morbid history attached to it, with main star Simon Scuddamore (Marty) committing suicide after the film was made and never seeing the film himself (it wasn’t released until two years after production).

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The corner that Slaughter High backs itself into is who to root for. Marty is a nerd that is constantly picked on, yet still gullible to fall for the tricks of his peers. On April 1st one year, a prank goes morbid and leaves him horribly disfigured. When a fake reunion gathers up all of those that picked on him years later, the bodies begin to pile up. While you’re never really going to root for the killer, there couldn’t be a more unlikable and dumb bunch fighting against him. After three deaths and obvious clues as to what is happening, the victims finally realize they are in a game of Marty’s revenge. After five deaths, one woman (successfully) tries to seduce one of the men in the group. Adding to the hilarity is a classic movie tradition of letting actors in their 20s and 30s play high schoolers, but in this movie, they even have them come back for a reunion supposedly years later looking exactly the same.

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Another indication of the serious filmmaking that went on here is the fact that while the film is set in America with American students, most of the actors hired were British. As a result, the imitation of the American accent fluctuates frequently throughout the movie, with English pronunciations sneaking through often. They are so inconsistent and obviously fake it makes one of the actresses who is actually from Texas, Donna Yeager, sound like she is hamming it up. The makeup and special effects are mediocre at best, with only a few of the kills displaying any creativity behind them. Most of the kills are like traditional slasher stock footage, lifted from a hundred other movies that fans of the genre will have already seen. It takes forever to get to as an audience member, but the end scene is actually kind of interesting. A lame and predictable twist, but shot well and executed better than anything before it. However, I’d honestly advise you don’t bother trying to sit through this one.

3.5

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