The Horror Honeys: Slaughter High: Where the student body is going to pieces.

Slaughter High: Where the student body is going to pieces.

A Slasher Honey Retro Review by Chassity

Slaughter High (1986)

The social and moral lessons we learn from movies are endless: Don’t throw parties when your parents are away, because they’ll either come home early or someone at the party will break a priceless antique belonging to your parents. Don’t borrow the car without your parents’ permission because that will most definitely be the one time you are guaranteed to wreck it. Don’t sneak out of the house; you’ll end up in more trouble than whatever fun activity you were trying to get to, is worth. And most importantly, whatever you do, do NOT play pranks on the smart, socially awkward kids in your high school. Because that prank will go terribly wrong (leaving the victim deformed or dead) and the victim will wait until a milestone anniversary of the prank to come back and kill you in a very gory, vengeful way. Even if that means he or she has to come back from the dead. 

You know… the classic, (and by now) age old story that happens every year at high school reunions all around the country.

I thought everyone knew this. Don’t people watch television anymore? 

Apparently, the kids at Doddsville High School did not know about this cause and effect pattern, as they live just long enough to pay for their past crimes, biting the dust only after they know exactly who’s to blame for their deaths.

I watched the trailer for Slaughter High before purchasing the actual movie online, and I thought to myself, “So this is going to be a Breakfast Club horror story where the princess and the athlete are even bigger assholes? So much so that they cause the brain to turn into a homicidal maniac?”
But it wasn’t that. Slaughter High is your average run-of-the-mill 80s slasher with a revenge-based plot. And, when I say that, you have to keep in mind that there is little I love more than 80s revenge slashers. So, this is not a bad thing as far as I’m concerned. 

Oh Marty... you know what's next.
Wedgies and disfiguring burns. 
The Plot: On April Fool’s Day, a group of popular kids at Doddsville High School (think the popular kids from Can’t Buy Me Love and  , only way less likable) lure Marty Rantzen (poor, naïve nerd) into the girls’ locker room under the guise of the most popular girl in school (Carol) wanting to have sex with him. Obviously, this is just a setup so that they can humiliate him by catching him naked, getting him on camera naked, and adding insult to injury by sticking his head in the toilet. Carol does her job and the prank goes off well (and you just know that she’s going to be this movie’s attempt at a Final Girl because she hesitates on going through with the prank for half a second when she learns that it’s Marty’s birthday, and this is supposed to make us like her), but the gang gets ratted out to the school coach, who punishes them for the prank. 

Because these kids are a bunch of entitled, immature, self-absorbed brats they feel no remorse for humiliating someone who’s apparently done nothing to them, and instead blame him (and not their own cruel behavior) for their punishment. So they decide to pull an even bigger, more dangerous, prank to get back at him. Yep. That’s right. They are the victims, not Marty. Sigh. 

Needless to say, this prank ends in disaster and leaves Marty horribly disfigured. 

PSA: Polyester is WAY flammable.
Fast forward to ten years later. You probably already know the drill. The brats are older, but still just as awful, and get invited to a reunion where they get to be whiny and annoying together until they are each killed off slowly and Marty gets to celebrate his victory. 

There is nothing new or groundbreaking about Slaughter High. It follows a well laid out genre formula for the decade it was made in, and the dialogue is literally exactly the same as every other horror movie for this time. Seriously. Almost every line of dialogue can be heard in every other slasher movie from this era. Be prepared, you will absolutely hate every person in this movie. They’re crude, simple-minded, and even after they pull the second prank that severely injured Marty, they all stood there and watched him burn. No one tried to help him at all. 

Extra points for a unique mask... kinda.
BUT here’s the catch: all of these things are exactly what makes this movie the perfect slasher. It wisely makes sure that you can’t root for any of the characters. You don’t feel bad about cheering for their deaths. The deaths are every bit as gory as they should be. It is mindlessly entertaining. Often horror fans are made to feel bad for the enjoyment they get from these types of films, and that is because usually it’s believed that said enjoyment comes from watching the people we’re supposed to like, get sliced and diced. There is no fear of that in films like this. 

Which is why Slaughter High is worth at least one watch. This movie doesn’t take itself seriously and it, for me, was a reminder of why I hate the attitude that slashers are a genre that should be dismissed because it’s "not intelligent" or is "too violent." Slashers can be a reminder that a film can be just entertaining, and that’s enough. 

I could have done without the cartoonish score, though. It’s still stuck in my head. Damn it. 

Get that song out of my head!

For Revenge Honey Linnie's take on Slaughter High, check out her review here!