Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cheesy Times at Slaughter High

This post is part of

brought to you by Stacie Ponder of FINAL GIRL.


Slaughter High

Release: 11.14.86
DVD Release: 04.14.09
Rated R
1 hour, 30 minutes

A Netflix Night

Today is Marty Rantzen's (Simon Scuddamore) lucky day, or so he thinks. Carol Manning (Caroline Munro, The Spy Who Loved Me), the hottest chick in high school, has a waterslide between her thighs and she's looking for Marty to dive in head first... if you get my meaning. She lures him into the showers of the girls' locker room for the water sports to begin. But wait, Marty! Isn't today April Fool's Day? Had he remembered that, he would have realized Carol's clique snuck in with the school's audio-visual equipment to prank him, not to film their own version of Deep Throat. They film his flaccid noodle and give him kegstand swirlies until the coach breaks up the mischief.

As if his birthday couldn't get any worse, the ring leader, Skip (Carmine Inannaccone), tampers with Marty's science project, which explodes. Marty is trapped in a burning room, a bottle of acid explodes in his face, and he melts his hands to a scalding graduated cylinder. I thought having my twelfth birthday party at Putt-Putt rained out was crappy, but this was one seriously fucked birthday!

Ten years later, the eight pranksters are invited to their ten-year high school reunion. It's wild because they've barely aged a day since high school! The event's being hosted at the old school, which has been boarded up for years. They sit around until nightfall trying to figure out where the rest of their graduating class is. With a shrug and a laugh, they head inside to start the real fun.

Slaughter High reminds me why it was a good idea to skip my ten-year reunion. Less than an hour into the party, someone beer bongs some acid, spilling their guts by the snack table. Next thing you know, one of the old buddies finds a functioning bathtub in the abandoned school and guess what; more acid! It seems as if the strangely absent Marty may not be absent and may actually be carrying a grudge, though the group doesn't seem to understand why. After these two gruesome-looking deaths, the rest of the group are picked off like the bitches. The killer, a creep dressed in Marty's nerd duds and Skip's old jester mask, gets bored with symbolic acid mutilations and just starts hacking and electrocuting anyone that moves while the dwindling crew search for a way out of their sealed tomb.

As ridiculous as it sounds, multiply that by two. The logic these folks employ to survive is baffling - they are high school graduates, right? Still, as preposterous as the deaths are, the ending ties everything up in a way that actually justifies most (not all) of the insanity. Skip's death actually makes less sense in the plot's context, but I found it to be the most entertaining.

If you wonder why there was never a Slaughter High 2: Class Disemboweled or Slaughter High 3: School Spirits, there are probably lots of reasons. Simon Scuddamore died shortly after this film was released, making it hard to capture his wild-eyed face on camera. Over half of the remaining actors never worked again. The fact is, this is the type of cheesy horror fare that made scanning the walls of your locally owned video store/tanning salon fun. If you're like me, the playfully morbid VHS cover was enough to excite my teenage mind more so than the content within. Those were the days.

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  1. Your sequel titles are PERFECT. I'm gonna hold out hope for them, despite the odds!

  2. I'm still holding out that Scuddamore's death was an April Fool's joke that is 23 years in the making.

  3. @Stacie Ponder: Thanks! I can see Part 3 now:

    School's in session for the class of 2011 and the lesson is death!

    A band of pranksters sneak into school to prep the ultimate April Fool's joke only, the joke's on them. The class of '86 has returned for their 25th reunion and their looking for souls to join them in permanent detention!

    @B.E. Earl: That'd be one hell of an April Fool's joke!