Slaughter High (1986)

“Slaughter High” is, perhaps, the most underrated slasher flick of the 1980s. It is one of the few films in the genre that is enthralling throughout. That being said, it also relies heavily on the standard slasher formula: A group of young men and women get killed one by one gruesomely until the final showdown.

The reason why “Slaughter High” stands above most movies in its genre is that it goes more over-the-top. Marty, the killer, has good reason to hold a grudge against his former classmates. They electrocuted him as he stood naked in a girl’s locker room shower, jabbed at his crotch with a javelin, and, to top it off, rigged his science lab experiment so it could disfigure him.

So, the victims in this movie are about as unlikeable as you get. When they reunite years later — at a high school reunion put on by Marty himself — you realize they haven’t matured all that much. They’re a bunch of sociopaths.

It is mind-boggling why they would not wonder why they were the only ones to show up to the reunion, which, by the way, is held at a school that has since fell into disrepair. And who would think it’s a good idea to drink beer and liquor found in the abandoned building in a room that happens to have their old lockers — as well as Marty’s — on display? There are many leaps of faith the viewer needs to take to enjoy this film. The ending makes little or no sense. And the screenwriters have a strange understanding of how April Fool’s Day works: The movie claims that pranks are no longer allowed after noon.

In all, the movie is one of the best examples of the slasher genre, despite all of its flaws. It is hard to understand why it hasn’t yet found its way to DVD, when so many other run-of-the-mill slasher flicks are graced with special editions.

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