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Slaughter High: Vestron Video Collector's Series (1986) - Blu-ray Review

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Slaughter High: Vestron Video Collector's Series (1986) - Blu-ray Review

3 beersSlaughter High, even for a b-movie, just barely gets a passing score.   Written and directed by George Dugdale, Mark Ezra and Peter Litten and co-starring Carmine Iannaccone and Gary Martin, this cult flick favorite survives the passing of the VHS-era of home entertainment thanks to its 1080p debut courtesy of Vestron Video, Lionsgate's cult horror imprint.

Poor Marty (Simon Scuddamore), the nerd of Doddsville High, gets more than he had planned when the celebrated Beauty Queen of the high school, Carol (Caroline Munro), invites him to meet her in the gym showers for a bit of the old in-and-out.  A nerd making it with a complete hottie?  Hell, yes!  Marty, tripping all over himself as he professes his skills at making love, is all in. 

And who wouldn’t be? 

Munro, already famous for her part as Naomi in The Spy Who Loved Me and in her several Hammer Horror titles, is definitely the sexiest part of this dinky American-British independent film from 1986.  With a DIY swagger and a clunky progression, Slaughter High saves most of its gory appeal for the film’s final moments, making it a bit of slough to get through as we start in high school and end with an unplanned five-year reunion that goes all awry thanks to the antics of a jester-masked killer and a well-thrown javelin.

It’s more than obvious that Carol and her friends are planning something for Marty, though.  She’s completely out of this geek’s league, but that doesn’t stop him from getting into the shower stall and taking off his clothes.  He’s completely caught off guard when, as he steps out of the stall buck naked, he discovers there’s a camera crew of teens videotaping his naked ass.  Suddenly, it all makes sense.  This was all an April Fool’s Day joke to get him naked, videotaped, and completely embarrassed as they all sorts of terrible things to him.

And then it all goes terribly wrong when an explosion sends him to the funny farm.  There’s routine bullying and then there’s this and, truly, Slaughter High goes for the jugular when it comes to extreme harassment, which makes the mysterious five-year reunion all the more suspect.  Marty is going to get his revenge! 

Welcome back to Slaughter High, a Vestron Video VHS title that almost everyone hound of horror rented.  The film might be low-fi through and through.  It also might be laughably out of step due Munro’s age, looking almost fifteen years too old for high school, especially when you see her being fawned over by Marty and the rest of the high school squad.  Yet, the film – and truly this is because of its followers and its genre affectations – consistently makes the grade.

Okay, so maybe its title of Slaughter High is better than the movie itself.  I’ll give you that, but – considering this b-movie has a couple of bizarro practical effect-driven scenes including a bursting stomach, a woman in a bathtub full of acid, and an electric-shock filled sex scene – it still has a lot of groovy charm kicking about.  It’s a revenge slasher gone gonzo.  And that’s why we keep returning to this wonky flick.  

Get those geek hormones raging again with a trip back to these hallowed halls.  Slaughter High has re-opened its doors.

Slaughter High: Vestron Video Collector's Series (1986) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
90 mins
Director
: George Dugdale, Mark Ezra
Writer:
George Dugdale, Mark Ezra
Cast:
Caroline Munro, Simon Scuddamore, Carmine Iannaccone
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Marty majored in cutting classmates.
Memorable Movie Quote: "We'll take my car. It starts every time."
Theatrical Distributor:
Vestron Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 14, 1986
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 31, 2017
Synopsis: Eight people are invited to their old high school for their ten-year reunion where a fellow former student, disfigured from a prank gone wrong, is out to seek revenge.

Slaughter High: Vestron Video Collector's Series (1986) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Lionsgate Films
Available on Blu-ray
- October 31, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Vestron Video presents Slaughter High with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.85:1 and the results, while not as sharp as you might be expecting, are certainly a plus.  The clothing and some of the furniture items are a reason to appreciate the visual “pop” throughout the high definition transfer, too.  Even the bare-bottom effects look better than remembered.  The image quality is the best you’re going to get with a film like this.  Colors are perfect. Blacks are solid. Skin tones are detailed and appropriate.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono mix is adequate for the needs of the movie, separating the dialogue and the music nicely.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  •  Co-Writers and Co-Directors George Dugdale and Peter Litten present their side of the making of the movie with a strong commentary.

Special Features:

Led by a refreshing interview from Munro about the movie, the supplemental material in this release is definitely a plus.  We get an audio interview with composer Harry Manfredini, an interview with co-writer/co-director Mark Ezra, an alternate title sequence (with the title April Fool’s Day), and a still gallery.  The release is also in a slipcover.

  • Audio Interview with Composer Harry Manfredini with Isolated Music/SFX
  • Going to Pieces with Co-Writer and Co-Director Mark Ezra (18 min)
  • My Days at Doddsville with Actress Caroline Munro (15 min)
  • Alternate Title Sequence (1 min)
  • Still Gallery (7 min)
  • Theatrical Trailer (2 min)
  • Radio Spots (2 min)

Slaughter High: Vestron Video Collector's Series (1986) - Blu-ray Review

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