SLAUGHTER HIGH was released well after the first Slasher era, and is entirely self-aware of the conventions and films that preceded it. While the plot is more similarly fashioned to TERROR TRAIN, the tongue-in-cheek tone falls much closer to that of SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE. Nearly all of the Slasher pre-requisites are met, including the humiliating prank (executed on April Fool's Day for a double-whammy!), the isolated and inescapable location, the unstoppable masked villain, and of course, the final girl. The plot is ridiculously implausible this round, as the ten co-conspirators that humiliated and nearly killed the class dork return to their now-dilapidated high school for their 10-year reunion. No one finds it odd at all that they are the only ones that showed up or that the entire building is locked up and abandoned, but that doesn't stop them from boozing it up and fooling around! Surely enough, a killer lurks in their midst, and it isn't long before the group begins shrinking one by one. Apparently unscathed by the MPAA, SLAUGHTER HIGH has a surprising amount of gore for a mid-80s Slasher. One guy's intestines burst out of his stomach, a girl is melted alive in an acid bath, and there are plenty of impalements. Harry Manfredini shamelessly lifts his own F13th score for the countless time, but the filmmakers clearly understand the importance of these frantic music cues since the chase sequences would have been extremely bland without them. Even though the script and the characters are each painfully stupid, neither take away from the overall enjoyment of this purely formulaic Slasher. Everything that the plot lacks in originality, the bloody deaths more than make up for, and the goofy tone makes it easier to overlook its many flaws. SLAUGHTER HIGH was a huge surprise to me, since it was one of maybe a handful of Slashers I had never heard of before. It offers everything we have grown to love in the Slasher film, and is definitely worth checking out!
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