Monday, January 24, 2011

Film Review: Slaughter High - 2009

I really got goofy in this 2009 review, but as you'll see the film doesn't quite rate serious analysis...

This month's movie is the 1986 cheapie Slaughter High, a tale of revenge, incoherence, unwanted nudity, and bad lighting. Let's get started!
Slaughter High was directed by three people: George Dugdale, Mark Ezra, and Peter Litten. It took only one guy to direct Citizen Kane, but it took three people to direct Slaughter High.

The film opens with a shot of its ostensible star, Caroline Munro:
...this immediately made me kinda sad, to see the ravishing Ms. Munro appear in a Grade Z movie like this. The woman who helped usher me into puberty (via her appearances in films like The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and The Spy Who Loved Me) should not have to earn her keep in schlock like this. Oh well.

Her character is leading on an uber-ned named Marty (Simon Scuddamore), seemingly to a tryst in the girls' shower room.

But turns out its all a big practical joke--and I mean a really big one: look at all the other people involved, who follow them both into the showers:
sg, Ben-Hur didn't have a crew that large!

Anyway, trusting but stupid Marty gets naked, thinking he's going to get a shot at Caroline Munro's Carol. But instead, the gang sprays him water, poking him with sticks, and giving him a nasty, head-first dunk in the toilet, where we see way
too much of Mr. Scuddamore:

The gang even partly electrocutes(!) Marty, but then they are stopped by the gym coach. Later, they pull another gag on Marty, which leads to an accident in the chemistry lab, causing a fire and burning Marty to a crisp. As he's carried off on a stretcher, he tries a half-hearted attempt at strangling Carol.

Cut to: years later, and we see all the rotten teens(even though Caroline Munro was 36 when she shot this!) as adults. Carol is a sort of skin-flick actress, haggling with her shifty agent:
sg just know this had to be one of the producer's houses. Just imagine how much coke was done in this room!

Anyway, all of them get invited to a high school reunion, which they improbably show up to, even though the high school is now a creepy, abandoned, dank building.

After they all show up, "accidents" start happening. When one of them is killed, they find they're all trapped in the building thanks to a series of death traps laid out for them. One of them does manage to escape, but before he can get far he's stabbed in the gut by a masked maniac!

At this point, the movie just kills off the cast one by one--one woman takes a bath(!), burning to death when acid starts shooting out of the faucet instead of water, and two of them are electrocuted while having sad, grubby sex (where we see another male cast member's naked butt--what's with all the man ass in this movie?).

Slaughter High is a classic example of the cheesy horror movie where every improbable thing that needs to happen does--Marty, now a (presumably) deformed killer, is some sort of mechanical genius, having arranged a series of complicated death traps that would make a Batman villain proud.

Finally, only two women are left, and he dispatches one of them when she falls into a tiny hole leading to a gooey pit--somehow, she managed to walk into the exact right spot. Better to be lucky than smart, I guess.

Finally, there's just Carol, who Marty hunts for about twenty minutes. Every time Carol gets a good shot in on Marty, she then drops the weapon in question (a bat, a sharpened spear), only to have Marty pick it up and chase after her again.

Marty then corners Carol in the exact same shower all this got started in (oh, the irony!), and stabs her to death. The end.

Or is it? Marty then starts hearing spooky voices, and he meets all his victims again, as ghosts, looking like extras from Thriller:
...Marty then wakes up, bandaged, in an insane asylum. Ah--it was all a dream!

Marty is approached by a nurse, and then we see an alarm go off. A doctor out in the hall looks to see what the trouble is, only to get stabbed in the eye with a needle, held by Marty who has switched clothes with the nurse for no good reason:
...presumably this means Marty will escape, and begin his plan of revenge, for reals this time. Ooh, Slaughter High 2: The Wrath of Marty! was not to be. Actor Simon Scuddamore, who played Marty, apparently killed himself right after completing his work here, making this his only film appearance. This gives this movie an even more sad, depressing vibe to it.

Not that I don't enjoy a good (read: bad) cheesy slasher flick, but this movie was so grubby, so cheap looking, and so dull that I found it a slog to get through. Its only 92 minutes, but it feels like it goes on a lot longer than that. And it made me sad to see Caroline Munro have to waste her time in something like this. Oh well.

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