Slaughter High

There are so many angles I could take with this one.  I could go the funny route.  Aside from Funnyman, a flighty British slasher boasting a Christopher Lee cameo, this is the only genre nugget I know of that monopolizes the intrinsic iniquity of jesters.  I'm amazed that those godless harlequins don't show up more often in fright flicks.  They're fucking creepy!  I could go the tragic route.  Actor Simon Scuddamore committed suicide shortly after principal photography wrapped on 1986's Slaughter High.  He plays the madcap villain, a crestfallen soul bent on mutilating the former jocks and cheerleaders who bullied him in High School.  Coincidentally (?), his performance struck me as genuine, and that was before I learned of his grievous fate.

I could go the informative route.  Slaughter High was originally titled April Fool's Day, but it was beaten to the punch by Paramount's holiday-themed "dead teenager" picture.  Or!  I could go the standard route.  Let's do that.  I'll just outline my opinion of this harrowing, yet entirely esculent entry in the "high" sub-subgenre.  Unlike Monster High (and to some extent, Zombie High), Slaughter High is aimed at adults.  Superfluous nudity?  Check.  Unsparing bloodshed?  Check.  Caroline Munro cavorting in skimpy, pellucid sleepwear?  Motherfucking check.  Already, this time capsule of a movie has earned a couple of Z'Dars, and I still haven't told you about the acid bath.

I'm a big fan of Acid Bath (the band), so if your exploitation reel features a literal acid bath, I will dig it by default.  The other death sequences are just as clever.  An expendable side character is eviscerated by the rotary blades of a tractor...ouch!  Of course, the downside is that most of the characters are expendable.  Yeah, it comes with the territory, but I can't exalt the virtues of a vacuous script.  To be honest, the only person I identified with was the crackpot beneath the jester mask.  That doesn't say much for the crassitude of my moral fabric, does it?

Three mortals are credited with directorial duties.  I don't know who was responsible for framing shots, but for what it's worth, Slaughter High is well-tailored.  The climactic chase scene looks fantastic, although the pace decelerates as the final curtain is drawn.  The acting is passable.  Again, Scuddamore stands out, while everyone is...there.  Munro isn't challenged.  She actually looks bored, but in her defense, she is supposed to seem vain and detached.  It's worth mentioning that Slaughter High was produced by the creative team who brought us Pieces and Don't Open Till Christmas.

Must-see material for slasher nuts.  I don't consider myself to be a slasher nut, but I had fun with it.

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