Producers Steve Minasian and Dick Randall certainly had an extremeflirtation with the slasher genre when it was finding its fortune in thepeak years. Their credits include perhaps two of the most bizarre andblood-soaked movies of the early eighties, Pieces and Don't open ‘tilChristmas. This was their last joint venture into the kingdom of stalk andslash and it was probably their finest hour. Carolin Munro (that name alwaysmakes me giggle, I'm not trying to be Marilyn Monroe sir, Honest!) returnsto what she does best… well, gets most work from! Yes, she was the buxombeauty queen stalked by Joe Spinnell in both Maniac and Fanatic and she alsomade a somewhat brief appearance in the aforementioned Christmas-set hacker.Having discovered a themed-calendar date that had not yet beenknifed/slashed/pickaxed, the movie was initially going to be called AprilFools Day. But Frank Manucuso Jnr, the producer most famous for his workwith the later Friday the 13ths, must've just beat them to the copyright forhis flick of the same title. On the cover this claims that it too was fromthe makers of the Voorhees series, only I'm not quite sure how much truthcan be found in that statement. If Minasian did have any involvement at all,it wasn't credited ANYWHERE, which hardly makes him worthy to call himselfthe ‘maker'. <br><br>The premise is even more archetypal than the category it so lovinglyfrequents. Marty Rantzen is the school nerd that suffers a constant barrageof bullying from a troupe of (middle-aged!) students, which includes thebeautiful Carol (Munro) and the joker of the pack Skip (CarmineLannacconne). He emphasis the fact by wearing a Jester's mask that we knowfrom the off will reappear later for more sinister reasons! As if youhadn't already guessed, one April fools day they go too far and Marty endsup horrendously disfigured and transferred to a loony bin for lifelongimprisonment. You wanted by the book plotting? Well check this out: Fiveyears later, the culprits are all invited to a reunion on their nowabandoned campus, but no one knows who planned it (take a guess!). Almost assoon as they enter, the caretaker is nailed to the door by a nut-nut in theJester's mask and soon they each find curious reasons to wander off andsuffer gory deaths at the hands of the masked maniac…<br><br>Most of these ‘actors' are as English as the Tower of London, but try toconvince us that they're American, which would explain their humorousaccents switching between UK and US more times in 85 minutes than Britishairways do in a year. Cars are given foreign number plates, but there's nodisguising the location's obvious English heritage. Ex-Bond babe Munrohasn't improved her characterization since the last time she was stalked bya maniac killer and by 1985, she was looking a little too ‘mature' to be aHi-school teen. I'd love to know how she managed to wake up early in themorning with perfect hair and make-up too, but hey, I guess we're notsupposed to ask questions like that and she did bring some much-neededbeauty to the movie. Most of her support were outright first-timers, flat asa punctured tyre with no thread of speech pattern. But Simon Scuddamore andCarmine Lannaccone kept up the camp spirit - if little else. The reallyobscure thing about Slaughter High was undoubtedly Dick Randall's briefcameo appearance. Surrounded by posters from his previous ‘hits' (hey,there's Pieces!), he proves that his flair for dramatics was even worse thanhis taste for production. <br><br>There's fun to be had in the inventive murders that involve disembowelmentby a tractor engine, exploding intestines and death by drowning in a bog ofmud! (?) Perhaps the dumbest of the bunch was when one girl decides to takea bath after the blood from her friend's bursting guts sprays all over herface (Well, isn't that exactly what you'd do?) She climbs in the tub andturns on the taps and suddenly the water rushes in to boiling acid. Does shesimply step out of the basin to save herself from scalding or does she stayseated until she completely melts into a bloodied skeleton? Yep, you guessedit… Perhaps on this occasion the killer actually did her a favour! DirectorGeorge Dugdale shows very little potential in his directorial debut. Hisbiggest mistake was relinquishing the usually redeeming stalking set piecesfor rushed murders that lack any suspense or tension. His efforts atjump-scares were too slowly framed and he lacks the skill shown in the earlyadditions to the series that he so desperately emulates. The ghost-likeapparitions that pop-up as the runtime draws to a close were indeed sillyand pointless, but if you keep watching they at least give us an explanationfor their needless appearance. Harry Manfredini hasn't so much mimicked hisscore from Friday the 13th as simply cut and pasted it, which is no realmean feat, but at times it felt as if we were watching a (less competent)sequel instead of a completely different movie.<br><br>The most macabre thing about Slaughter High, is the fact that actor SimonScuddamore tragically took his own life soon after it was released. It's areal shame, because he was probably the most talented guy in the picture.The reason(s) for his suicide are unknown, but watching him play the rolewith his tongue stuck firmly in cheek and clearly disguising the problemsthat he may/may not have been suffering at the time, makes his performancelook far more credible. It also gives the film a somewhat morbid air ofmystery as to why he chose to end his life at a time when he should've beencelebrating. What is questionable, is why no tribute was added to theclosing credits in memory of the deceased star? Perhaps the reason beingthat it had already been transferred to video when news of his suicide wasannounced. <br><br>Although it lacks the polish of the flicks it obviously wants to be classedalongside, this is still a great deal of fun. The unrated versions give somevisually amusing splatter, even if it's nowhere near as gory as theproducer's previous bloodstained offerings. The overall campiness spoils anychance of fear and it's a little too under-written even for a slasher flick,but it does manage to keep interests raised without ever becoming boring andit doesn't take itself too seriously. The net result is a movie thatsucceeds in doing exactly what it set out to. Have some fun and kill a fewdeserving victims along the way! It's as routine as brushing your teeth, butit gains credibility for accepting with warm embrace the knowledge that it'snothing more than that.
A group of popular students play a cruel prank on a shy nerd resulting in a terrible accident. Years later a reunion is held where each of the students face a stalker killer who may be the same nerd out for revenge.
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