Blu-ray Review: SLAUGHTER HIGH

 SLAUGHTER HIGH was written and directed by George DugdalePeter Litten and Mark Ezra and stars Caroline MunroSimon ScuddamoreCarmine IannacconeDonna Yeager and Gary MartinThe music is composed by Harry Manfredini.

A high school prank gone wrong comes back to haunt the offenders during their five-year high school reunion. Surviving high school is murder! There’s horror in the halls . . . lynching in the lunchroom . . . murder in the metal shop. Welcome to Slaughter High — where the students are dying to get out! In high school, Marty was the kid all the students teased, taunted, and tortured mercilessly. One day, things went too far — one of their jokes backfired, disfiguring Marty for life. Now, five years later, Marty has arranged a special reunion for all his high school “friends.” The prom queen, the jock, the class clown, the rebel, and a few select others have been invited . . . and it’s going to be a gala of gore!

The opening scene for Slaughter High shows a group of unlikable high school students (aka the cool kids) continuously picking on the school dork and when one of their April Fool’s Day pranks goes too far, it leaves the dork scarred for life and he ends up locked up in an insane asylum afterwards. The movie then fastforwards five years later where the Doddsville High alumni are getting back together for a little reunion at their old abandoned high school. It doesn’t take long for things to go from fun to crazy for the small group because they start dying violent deaths at the hands of a mysterious killer who is sporting a jester’s mask. There’s really no guess work about who the killer really is because it ends up being the dork who’s come back to get his revenge on his old classmates who picked on him and left him mentally and physically scarred. In Slaughter High, “The Jester” takes out his victims one by one and ultimately gets his sweet revenge. Or was it all just a dream?

In the beginning the movie was going to be called 1 April Fool’s Day but I believe there was another horror movie that had already claimed that name (or close enough to it) and was already on its way out so they settled on Slaughter High and that’s a pretty catchy name for an 80’s slasher. I liked the story for this one because it dealt with bullying and allowed the dork to come back and get his revenge on the losers who picked on him back in high school. I thought the setting and location for this old makeshift high school looked the part and was spot on. The cast did a good job with their characters even though some of the acting was pretty amateurish at times. There were a number of creative kill scenes throughout the watch and considering this was a low budget production, it all looked pretty darn cool. Also, if you watch the movie and feel like you’ve heard the music before that’s because the score for Slaughter High is by the same composer who cranked out all of the music for the Friday the 13th movies.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc also features its own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. Slaughter High has been restored and remastered and considering the obscurity of this old 80’s slasher I think Lionsgate and Vestron did a great job with it. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition upgrade were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio for this high-definition release.

Bottom line is, there were a lot of obscure horror movies that came out in the 80’s and Slaughter High is one of them. There were so many retreads like this being cranked out in this decade that most of them were easily forgettable. The simple formula for these 80’s slashers was to give the killer a mask that hadn’t been used yet and send him on a killing spree. With that being said, I enjoyed revisiting Slaughter High which was one of those go-to video store staples back in my childhood. It’s not that great of a watch but it is good cheesy fun. The story is the most interesting part about this old slasher because none of the characters were all that interesting and in my case I found myself cheering on the goofy killer to take them all out. This is a slasher after all so there are some pretty cool kill scenes even though I wish there had been more carnage. Anyway, I did enjoy revisiting this old slice of 80’s horror cheese that’s being released under the newly revived Vestron banner because it reminds me of the old video store days. This 1986 slasher makes its debut on a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on October 31st and is worth checking out. Go ahead and it to your Vestron collection.

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment / Vestron

Run Time: 91 Minutes

Rated: Unrated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! The extras include some audio commentary with two of the directors, an audio interview with the composer, two featurettes, alternate title sequence, theatrical trailer, radio spots and a still gallery.

  • Audio Commentary with Co-Writers/Directors George Dugdale and Peter Litten
  • Audio Interview with Composer Harry Manfredini featuring Isolated Music and SFX Selections
  • “Going to Pieces” Featurette with Co-Writer/Director Mark Ezra (18:29)
  • “My Days at Doddsville” Featurette with Actress Caroline Munro (14:35)
  • Alternate Title Sequence (00:41)
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:43)
  • Radio Spots (01:50)
  • Still Gallery (06:55)


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