16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
One of the best movies of all time!!,
This review is from: Slaughter High [VHS] (VHS Tape)
...In fact, it is my absolute FAVORITE only after George Romero's original "Night of the Living Dead" (1968). A bold claim to make, I know, but you know there's something special about a movie that isn't even available and yet has (to date) 43 enthusiastic Amazon reviews, at least on the American site. And if reading these reviews isn't evidence that "Slaughter High" is a love it or hate it movie, I don't know what is. And I for one LOVE it.
The slasher movie is considered to be a largely North American phenomenon but alas, the Brits come up with my favorite one of all time. It's as if the writing/directing triple threat of Peter Litten, George Dugdale, and Mark Ezra sensed in 1985 that all of the formulaic cliches of 1981-era slashers had all been done to death when played straight and an entry of a more trashy tongue-in-cheek nature was in order. And they succeeded brilliantly in creating the best one possible.
The opening 20 minutes or so are priceless. I think that anyone who was ever the victim of some type of cruel hazing in high school or middle school will identify with Marty and love this portion. Simon Scuddamore shows comic genius in this role. Even the fact that Marty gets over the initial shower stunt so quickly and seems not to take the haranguing seriously when confronted again by the louts at his locker, shown by the fact that he even accepts their dubious offer for a "wonder joint," keeps with the comic tone of the early part of the film.
This movie is delightfully FUN. It has that raw mid-'80s trash feel of say "Bad Girls Dormitory" (also 1985) that can never be reproduced. Those responsible for the final prank and hence severely burning Marty are invited to a party in their alma mater and that's just what this movie is, one big party in low budget slasher heaven. There is abundant gore, sex, nudity, beer drinking, weed toking, and even harder drug use to boot. (It is assumed that you're viewing the authentic UNRATED version. Accept no substitutes. I myself own a still-sealed VHS copy of it that I will preserve forever, as well as a more common beat-up ex-rental copy to watch.) This movie was a rose among thorns of crowded 1987-era video store horror movie shelves.
It's low budget to be sure, but the gore effects, handled by co-director Peter Litten and his Coast To Coast Productions, are top notch. The killings are so fun; from the grinding spatter via tractor trailer to the belly bursting to the electrocution during lovemaking, this delivers the goods.
And I just LOVE Harry Manfredini's music! It's got that cheesy mid-'80s post-punk synthesizer feel that brings you back to the time this one was made.
And, as a guy, one reason I have to confess that I keep coming back to "Slaughter High" time and time again is because it features perhaps the most beautiful girl in the world, the young British lass Kelly Baker (who appeared in the earlier British slasher "Don't Open Till Christmas" (1984), also a Dick Randall/Steve Minasian co-production). She appears here as nice girl Nancy, and is introduced most prominently about 20 minutes into the movie, when she is picked up by head goofball Skip (Carmine Iannaccone) on the way to the reunion. She is admittedly filled out but is far more beautiful than the anorexic waif models of today. As an American, I adore her quaint British charm and gorgeous golden hair and dazzling smile. If I had the resources, I'd probably start a Kelly Baker fan site.
Finally, some have criticized the ending but I think it shows that the movie is all in good fun and that the killings were not meant to be taken seriously.
It's great to see showings of a relatively obscure slasher like "Slaughter High" turning up today on mainstream outlets like On Demand. I myself first came to appreciate this film when TNT showed it on "Monstervision" (with legendary Texan drive-in critic Joe Bob Briggs) in the late '90s. Will someone just please wake up and give this movie its long overdue DVD release? It truly is a classic.