There’s horror in the halls… lynching in the lunchroom… murder in the metal shop. Welcome to “Slaughter High”, where the students are dying to get out! In high school, Marty was the kid all the students teased, taunted and tortured mercilessly. One day, things went too far; one of their jokes backfired, disfiguring Marty for life. Now, five years later, Marty has arranged a special reunion for all his high school “friends.” The prom queen, the jock, the class clown, the rebel and a few select others have been invited… and it’s going to be a gala of gore!
1986 – Certificate: Unrated – American Film
7.0 out of 10
I’m crap at everything. However, I try very hard and surround myself with more able and talented people, which in some limited cases enables me to function in society without everyone pointing in my direction, or crossing the road when they see me coming. Yesterday was a good case in point. I spent all of it trying to complete a quotation (that a colleague had already done most of the work for), in response to a competitive tender document for a project to help set up a new community group, to care for the areas along the line of an old railway. It didn’t really come with any sort of structure for what it was asking for, which means trying to do it was like trying to play a game that no one’s explained the rules to me about. All that choice! Vegans don’t deal with choice well; it’s typically the green salad, or chips, or nothing for us. At about half past four I found myself staring at the words on the screen, able to read and understand them, but totally unable to work out what they meant, or how one string of them (a thing we call a sentence) related to any other. Talk about not being able to see the wood for the trees. Somehow I managed to complete about 98% of it, although when I proof-read it this morning most made less sense than a wall covered in a bucket full of scrabble letters and monkey sick. There was one little bit that I had to complete by hand and I swear it looks like a six-year-old did it. I don’t think I can write anymore; I used to have lovely handwriting too. Sometimes I feel like life is teasing me for a laugh. One day I’ll react like Marty in this film….
Oh dear, it’s the uncut version of a ‘forgotten classic’. To be fair it’s probably not that obscure and it’s probably not that bad either. It’s not boring anyway. Here we have a group of young adults who behave in an almost entirely irrational way, an isolated location, a seriously pissed off guy harbouring a grudge… and you know the rest. The murders are a mixed bag; I guess my favourite was the electric shock during sex, although the lawnmower one isn’t too bad either. Did I like Marty the vengeful killer? Well he was/is a dork, but clearly after his injury the law failed to provide him with the justice he genuinely did deserve, so in a way I can’t blame him for taking things into his own hands. The guy had probably had a very successful and exciting career ahead of him too. Actually, the more I think about it the more I realise that he really is the victim here. The fact that the group that bullied him didn’t even seem to have any remorse for what they did, even though the outcome probably was an accident and unintended, just makes things worse. What a nasty set of individuals. Awful. I’m glad they’re all dead now. And another thing, the level of health & safety in the school’s science lab was woeful. Seriously, no one would store a really large, glass bottle of nitric acid on top of a narrow, wobbly, free-standing shelf unit that itself is sitting on top of a table in the middle of a room, not even in the 80s. And the bottle wasn’t labelled properly either. And where were Marty’s gloves and protective goggles? He didn’t strike me as the sort of guy who wouldn’t wear them because he didn’t look cool. Then again, he does appear to take the time to take his Doddsville County High School jacket off in the middle of his science experiment starting to blow up all around him, so I guess his appearance did matter a lot to him, which probably explains why he got so worked up about being hideously burnt. For that matter, why wasn’t he being supervised? I know the school only appeared to have one teacher, who worked in the gym, but even so. I know, I’m probably over analysing things. Despite its intentions, the most offensive thing in the whole movie was the dreadfully racist scene involving the Black caretaker. I image this is one of Jeremy Clarkson’s favourite movies.
Musically we’re deep into 80s low-budget territory. Yes, very deep.
The trailer isn’t so bad, although it does manage to give away the entire plot and partly show a number of the murders too. Then again, the plot isn’t exactly an original and you don’t get to see all of the murders.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations. Surprisingly.
Top badass moment? No one likes a bully. And we like groups of bullies even less. So it’s high-fives all round for Marty, as he slowly dispatches them all one by one. Also, given the speed at which he appears to be able to get from place to place at around the school, he’s apparently invented some sort of personal teleportation device too. That’s seriously badass; or just dreadful editing.
I’ve pulled a muscle, or fractured a rib, or damaged some vital internal organ, or something like that anyway. I’d like to be able to report that I did this in some heroic fashion, saving a kitten from a tall tree, preventing a goal in a tense penalty shoot out, or thwarting a mugger. However, it happened when I sneezed whilst working on my computer. Stupid cold! Now every time I cough I suffer a stab of pain just at the bottom of my right rib cage that’s so intense, it would have most people begging for morphine. I’m not one to make a fuss though.
2008 – Certificate: 15 – USA
Rating Details: Strong psychological horror and strong injury detail
Well, here we have a ghost story. A very good ghost story as it happens. Something about orphans haunting an orphanage, where some bad goings on had gone on. There’s nothing especially original about the plot, but the film is very well made and at times pretty creepy. It does go a bit “Ghostbusters” at one point, but by and large it’s a first class movie. It sounds especially good too, all those creaks, rattles and booms all over the place. The main reason why I’ve not given it a higher score is because I really didn’t warm to the main characters in it. I’m sure they were very decent and good people and all that, especially as they were trying to open a home for disabled youngsters and had adopted a HIV Positive baby, but my God, were they boring! Mr and Mrs Mogadon. So middle of the road. Worthy but dull, like a bag of flour. I also didn’t much care for how he reacted at the end. For a very practically minded guy who disagreed with his wife’s interpretation of what was going on for the entire film, and struggled more and more to deal with her increasingly neurotic behaviour, he certainly changed his mind quick enough in the end. Then again, perhaps that was just his way of coping with things; me, I didn’t care enough about him to be that bothered one way or the other. He looked the kind of guy who would quickly go and find himself another bland woman to marry anyway. Guillermo Del Toro was the executive producer, but he may as well have been the writer and director too, given how much the tone and atmosphere of the film matched that of “Pan’s Labyrinth” that I watched a few weeks ago. Not a criticism though, just an observation.
Recommended for those who like horrors that don’t involve half-naked people being tortured every five minutes; or a guy with a massive knife or something killing off an isolated group of youngsters; or zombies.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? When all around you doubt your views and in a nice way are telling you you’re as nutty as a fruitcake, sticking to your guns when no one else believes you is pretty badass. Well done Laura. (Shouldn’t the saying really be as fruity as a fruitcake? I’m sure there’s more fruit than nuts in them. Unless you buy a really expensive one perhaps.)