Back to the Drive-in: Slaughter High (1986)

The 1986 slasher comedy SLAUGHTER HIGH is not a good movie. In fact some may consider it to be complete garbage. For me, the much maligned cult classic (?) is a somewhat joyous z-grade horror flick that would’ve been perfect viewing at your local drive-in. You’ve got exploding intestines, a bathtub filled with acid and a dufus (or doofus if you prefer) fixing a tractor when he knows there is a killer on the loose. The “victims” in this fine feature frankly deserve to suffer their horrible fate at the hands of a geek turned psycho for a myriad of reasons.



The story begins with Marty (Simon Scuddamore) – a geek who suffers an unusually vicious prank. When hottie Carol (then 36-year-old playing a high school student, Caroline Munro) and her popular friends play a practical joke on poor Marty, his humiliation is beyond mere bullying, it is also uncomfortably revealing. We see more of poor Mr. Scuddamore’s naked body than his doctor might have while doing a complete physical. Tricked into stripping down to nothing, he is then taunted and brutalized with a fire extinguisher, electrocution and some sort of cattle prod – or something of that nature. His classmates even film this horrific event. Yet that is not the bad part! WTF!!! Afterwards - because clearly the fact that he was sexually assaulted in the girls bathroom was his own damn fault - the gang really f*cks with him while he is doing a lab experiment. Would you be surprised to learn it goes horrible wrong and he is severely disfigured?

Well years later, the group of rejects come back for a class reunion and they still look too old for their roles. This cast of late-thirty something actors return to find their high school abandoned. Clearly they are being set up yet they are completely oblivious to the fact that they might be in danger. However when the caretaker is murdered and some idiot drinks a spiked beer that causes his stomach to burst, they act even more foolhardy. One character decides to take a bath to wash exploding intestine boy’s blood off… what the hell is a bathtub doing in a high school? She fails to even try and get out when the bathtub begins to fill with acid. Another couple decides to have sex at the most inopportune time and find the electricity between them is too hot to handle. However everything about SLAUGHTER HIGH is done tongue-in-cheek, not a minute of this is to be taken seriously. A great film this is not, in fact it may well be downright horrible! Yet with all the nudity, violence and gore, it sure ranks as a so bad its good cult classic for a bunch of horny teens looking for a perfect drive-in movie to avoid while screwing around.


SLAUGHTER HIGH has a ton of nudity. We get some full nudity from the woman who decides to take a bath and another bares her breasts for some good lovin’. Yet most of the nakedness is curiously from Simon Scuddamore including some uncomfortably close shots between his legs. The camera features his ass cheeks as two teens hold onto his legs while his head is being dunked in a toilet. This in particular feels more like gay porn than horror flick! But even if you are a dude lovin’ dude or a horror lovin’ chick, this is not a sexy scene unless of course you are a little demented. For me, I have to give this to a FULLY CLOTHED Caroline Munro (the only real attractive female in the class). Ms. Munro gives up a little cleavage and looks great doing it. One early scene finds her in a white nightgown and she is devastatingly hot… bothered? Not in least.


If only the intended humor was actually humorous. If only indeed! The most unintentional fun is when Marty’s “victims” come back and just keep calling his name in a smoke filled classroom. Yadda, yadda, yadda, there is a twist ending and it is sort of annoying but you have to have a laugh when you see Caroline Munro’s gigantic hairdo here. It all leads to lunacy, or just a really lame twist that has been done to death. Just laugh it off and be thankful that at least the very end didn’t totally suck. Well hello real Marty!


What can I say but I actually thought some of the stalk sequences here were pretty good. However the best and most effective scene involves one of the partygoers who unluckily shows up late. She is walking through a dark hallway and as she passes the lights, they seem to get turned off. That is when she comes up to a life-size poster of our boy Marty. She stops and calls out to Marty before realizing that the image was only that, an image. Soon our man of the hour busts his hands through the life size and we all know the dimwit is going to die. It is incredibly bizarre, but somehow if feels right at home here. It would have been nice to see more of this kind of semi-suspense in a horror movie. Thankfully the gore is surprisingly good for the most part… that’ll inspire some closeness with your honey if you are lucky.


How I love Harry Manfredini! The man is a legend in the horror world thanks to ki ki ki ma ma ma and his hyper-scary FRIDAY THE 13th score. While creating the ever so clownish sounds in SLAUGHTER HIGH, he seemed to be in a bit of a goofy mood. Most of the score feels more appropriate for a teen sex comedy like SQUEEZE PLAY – worth looking up btw. However when the final chase comes with our leading lady, the F13 feel comes back and you have a solid – if sometimes all too familiar – score. The manic strings are a nice touch to the cheesy horror on display.


Horse head bookends and eggplants are murder weapons in the 1981 horror comedy STUDENT BODIES, which is all about the hilarity with none of the that inconvenient horror to interfere. BODIES makes for a perfect slasher marriage to SLAUGHTER HIGH, albeit without the sex, nudity and bloodshed. It does offer audiences a fresh and funny way to hear the word “f*ck” however. Between the two you may have entirely too much fun while you smoke a few and drink a few while you get hot and heavy. However, will Marty be waiting in the back of your car? Ki ki ki Ma ar ar ty!


Extra Tidbit: With all the nudity and gore, SLAUGHTER HIGH is most famous (or infamous) for Simon Scuddamore's suicide shortly after the film was made... A real life horror film eh?



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