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Chris Kavan's Movie Reviews (3243)

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Slaughter High 
A Slasher Reunion for Cult Horror Fans
3/4 stars

This is 80s low-budget, slasher horror in all its glory. Made on a shoestring budget, starring mostly unknown actors (most of who are entirely too old to be playing teenagers) and with a high body count - but, hear me out, it earns its cult status as a great slasher romp with inventive deaths and an unexpected ending.

Marty (Simon Scuddamore) thinks he is going to get lucky with the beautiful Carol (Caroline Munro - the biggest name in the film) but, of course, it is all a setup as seven other students declare April Fools and take a short film of his nude encounter (and, to my surprise the film goes full-male frontal and avoids an NC-17 for once). When the hardass coach (Marc Smith) interrupts their fun, the students are punished - but have something else in store for Marty. This is where things take a tragic twist as Marty, working on a chemical experiment, finds himself doused with acid, but burned as well.

We jump ten years in the future where our former students (who have aged remarkably well!), find they have all been invited to a ten-year reunion at their old school. Upon arriving they find they are apparently the only ones, and soon come to realize this isn't any reunion, but Marty's personal hit revenge list. One by one our cast of jocks, floozies, oafs, braggarts and cuties are taken down, with some truly inventive death scenes, including a literal acid bath, an exploding stomach, a lawnmower/tractor and electrified bed. Even if the budget was small, I give credit for coming up with such a wide variety of macabre exits.

If you're coming here for much else, Slaughter High isn't exactly the most eloquent or deep film. Most characters are cookie-cutter thin, there is random nudity thrown in for good measure and, like most horror, everyone seems to make questionable decisions at best. Still, I do give credit for the ending, which was a twist I wasn't expecting. Some may see it as kind of cheap cop-out, but I thought it was actually pretty smart for what it's worth.

Fans of horror, especially the eponymous 80s slasher, will surely get a kick out of this overlooked gem. I probably did watch this back in the day - I never shied away from horror in my teen years, the weirder the better, but even with the many great films I have seen, there is always room for a cult favorite and while this may not take the place of Jacob's Ladder or Dawn of the Dead in terms of horror superiority, it truly holds a place in my heart for a fun slasher and a gem of the era it was created in.


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