Bad Movies Beware!
1986 was a good year for film, noted for landmark releases like Crocodile Dundee, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Top Gun, and Aliens (my personal favorite) just to name a scant few. I could go on and on, but the list of fantastic movies that came out that year is just too long.
Of course, 1986 wasn’t exactly s**t proof.
Slaughter High isn’t so much a slasher flick as it is a nod to the eighties slasher movies, particularly the well-known and beloved Friday the 13th series. In fact, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is one of the most loved in the series and the movie that initially brought him back from the dead.
Unfortunately, the B-movie industry took this idea as an invitation to really hammer out some copycat-style crap onto the market like this dung pile of a movie. I remember seeing the cover on the video store shelf as a kid, and I’m glad I never gave it much thought because I might never have had the mental capacity as a child to move past the horrible acting, let alone the bad plot.
Speaking of a bad plot…stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
Marty is the school nerd who is the constant butt of the jokes of a group of friends who just refer to themselves as “The Group,” led by Skip and Carol. On April Fool’s Day, they play a prank on Marty that causes an explosion in the chemistry lab and leaves Marty permanently disfigured. Carol tricks him into stripping in a shower stall in the girls locker room, and they jab him in the junk with a javelin. They also shock him with a car battery rigged up to a towel rack, dunk his head in a toilet, and then ultimately almost kill him.
All in one scene.
Ten years later, “The Group” reconvenes for a high school reunion only to find that the school has been closed since graduation. They decide to stay and drink anyway and find one room in the building that has been decorated for the reunion. They also discover that their old lockers, along with their old belongings, have been moved into the room.
Marty’s old locker is also in the room, and they wonder what ever happened to him after the prank that landed him in the hospital. Skip tells them that the last he heard Marty was institutionalized, and they figure that he has moved on.
Wait a sec.
Excuse me if I have to take a moment to wonder HOW being institutionalized because a group of scumbags disfigured him would go hand-in-hand with him “moving on.” I would think that being locked away for years on a steady diet of lithium and Pop Tarts would be a constant reminder that the group leader, Douchebag McF**k-Nugget, caused the explosion that burned his face off.
Anywho, the group runs into the caretaker and informs him that they are just touring around reliving old memories. He warns them to be careful and is then killed as soon as they are out of sight. A figure lifts him off his feet and impales his head on a coat hook.
This is the first kill of the movie, and it’s pretty gruesome, so at least we’re off to a good start. It’s also pretty much hitting the “GO” switch on the Murder Machine. Marty is obviously back, and he’s picking off the group one-by-one with an assortment of javelins, beer cans filled with poison, tubs of acid, and metal framework wired up to the school’s main electrical system.
By the time the third member of the group is killed, they figure out what the viewer already knows: Marty is back and he won’t stop until all of them are deader than Stephanie Meyer’s writing career.
The movie moves quickly, and the characters make the token dumbass decisions that end up doing nothing more than make it easier for Marty to pick them off. Because, you know, I totally want to take a bath inside an abandoned building. And what’s the best thing to do when we’re trapped inside a building with a deranged serial killer on the prowl?
Screw our brains out, of course! Duh!
By the time Marty is done, only Carol remains. He traps her in the same shower stall that she got him trapped in during the opening scene of the film and impales her with (presumably) the same javelin that the group tortured him with all those years ago.
And then he wakes up.
That’s right! Why just end it there? Why not add a few more measly minutes to this derp-fest by making the ENTIRE MOVIE a dream sequence? Marty kills two nurses as he flees the mental hospital and heads for his old school to make the hour and a half dream we just watched a reality.
The End. Cue credits and bad theme song.
VERDICT: Stuff your Alma Mater up you’re a**, Slaughter High.
Watching this movie is equivalent to looking up the wrong cheerleader’s skirt during a pep rally. Just when you think you’re about to see Suzie Rottencrotch’s goods, she kicks up her leg in a standing split and you get full view of where she keeps her tobacco chew.
This movie appeals to young little boys who run over to the horror section and look at covers that have skulls and s**t. It’s that movie mom would never let us rent.
But Hellraiser was perfectly okay.
Little did I know, at the time, that mom ACTUALLY had taste in movies and could spot a pile of s**t stinking up the shelf from a mile off.
First things first.
The acting is absolutely horrendous. Most of the cast is British and trying to use fake American accents. What ends up happening is an ear-piercing mix of the two that ends up making them sound largely like rednecks trying to talk like them thar Europeans.
The theme music is laughable, even by 80s standards. The mood music in this movie sounds familiar because Harry Manfredini, the same guy who did the music for Friday the 13th, did it.
Frankly, the characters in the movie are complete s**theads. They take bullying Marty to the extreme in the beginning of the film and literally torture him.
But what’s a few pranks, right?
Needless to say, you don’t like any of the characters that Marty is killing off, which kind of sucks in a sense because you want someone to survive for a possible sequel. Then again, you also feel justified rooting for the killer, so maybe it’s not so bad.
What I can say about this movie is that the pacing is outstanding. There is constantly SOMETHING going on, and the kills are super-creative. Where it falls flat is the cheap cop-out of making the ENTIRE movie Marty’s dream. That’s the thing that seals the deal on this movie being the liquid goop inside the dried shell that forms around the cow patty.