VHS Review: Slaughter High


It’s hard to distinguish if Laughter High is a serious horror film or a horror comedy with bad music and actors in their mid-thirties.  It’s stale cheese but stale cheese is still good cheese. With an abundance of boobs, blood, laughs, and awkward full frontal male nudity, I’d have to call this Uncut Vestron release the pick of the 80s slasher litter.

The plot is pretty basic. Eight ‘kids’ from the ‘in’ crowd are invited to a reunion in their now abandoned high school where they ridiculed and disfigured a fellow class mate. It isn’t long before the group falls prey to a mysterious madman’s fatal tricks. Who could the killer be? I have no idea!!!!

These characters are the most illogical group of characters I have ever seen on screen. Not only have they failed to mature as adults, they make mind numbingly stupid decisions. After the first character is killed, the group runs off while one of the girls decides to get naked and take a bath in the ladies locker room . By chance, the killer happens to have enough time to transfer acid into the pipeline, making it a mighty graphic and bloody death scene. One guy is left alone to fix a mower in hopes that it will get them out. Leaving him all alone makes sense. Two run off to have sex and perform the most hilarious sex-death scene in the world. The girl demands that the guy talks dirty to her but his “dirty talk” vocabulary consist of “fuck” and “tits.” It’s uncomfortable to watch but amusing as well.

So why watch slaughter high? The death scenes are highly entertaining. It has everything from melting stomachs from acidic beer, an acid bath, death by mower blades, electrocution during sex, and plenty of nudity. There’s also a crazy, over the top ending that could have spawned a sequel but actor Simon Scuddamore killed himself before distribution.  The acting is down right terrifying.  Even an aging Caroline Munro delivered a poor performance.

The score by Harry Manfredini is laughanly bad and annoying with riffs stolen from the Friday the 13th sequels. Manfredini is also responsible for that bodacious disco score from Friday the 13th 3D. He felt the need to mix his own shitty music from previous films. How original. Still, it doesn’t take away from Slaughter High’s eerie atmosphere.

This is a tape I will continue to take off the shelves for years to come. It’s unrated with a trailer for China Doll. I haven’t seen the DVD but I am told it’s heavily cut.