Where the student body is going to pieces.
Directed by George Dugdale, Mark Ezra and Peter Mackenzie Litten
Reviewed by Deep Red
Aka April Fool’s Day aka Jolly Killer.
Slaughter High is a UK/USA film shot in the UK. There is another slasher from 1986 called April Fool’s Day which is why this ended up being called Slaughter High. It was known as Jolly Killer in Italy and kept the title April Fool’s Day in Japan. In West Germany it was called Die Todesparty (The Death Party), in France Le jour des fous (Day of Fools), in Polish Krwawy odwet (Bloody Revenge), in Mexico Masacre en la prepa (Slaughter in the Preparation).
This is the first time I’ve seen Slaughter High. I don’t remember seeing this one around in the 80s, it’s definitely one we would’ve rented as a family. First I heard of it was when Arrow released it, fully uncut thankfully and looks amazing, mucho respect for Arrow for yet another awesome release. There’s an introduction by Mark Ezra before the film who also provides a commentary.
Simon Scudamore who stars as Marty sadly took his own life shortly after Slaughter High was made. He was only 28 when he died.
On April Fool’s Day, Carol (Caroline Munro) invites Marty into the girl’s locker room for some sex; it’s actually the beginning of a cruel prank played on him by his fellow students. They film him naked and poke him in the genitals with a javelin. They dunk his head in the toilet too. Their fun’s broken up by Coach (Marc Smith) who punishes the students but the bullying continues, they give Marty a joint which makes him sick while Skip (Carmine Iannaccone) rigs a chemistry experiment resulting in terrible burns for Marty.
Years later the students attend a mysterious reunion in a now closed and dilapidated school. They find their old lockers and things that belonged to them, soon it’s midnight and April Fool’s Day again – time to meet Jester (Mark Ezra)!
I love this film. It has a great atmosphere with a zany soundtrack and lively performances from the cast who are all very likeable. There’s some brilliant gore (thank you Arrow). This could easily be my new favourite slasher film, it’s definitely up there with the best of ’em. For me to discover an 80s film this good in 2014 is awesome (again, thank you Arrow), it’s everything a slasher film should be and more.
Slasher films can be quite formulaic even if you’re a big fan of them so it’s important that you see them uncut for a start, great kills are essential, the cast needs to be likeable too (great acting is a plus not a must) as does the antagonist(s), atmosphere too, so important the old atmos’, a great ending doesn’t hurt either. Slaughter High has all of the above and you need to check it out.