I’ve been enjoying the Vestron Video Collection Blu-ray releases of 80s horror classics from Lionsgate, partially because of their relatively extensive bonus features; Slaughter High is the 12th release and the first in the series I feel is not worth the price of admission.
Don’t get me wrong, the movie itself is quite fun and exactly what you’d expect from Vestron. It’s campy schlock with equal parts humor and horror, a tale of bullying and revenge that only 1986 could provide.
In high school Marty (Simon Scuddamore) was the kid everyone teased and taunted until the day a prank went horribly wrong, permanently disfiguring Marty in the process. Five years later Marty has prepared a reunion his “friends” will never forget, if they even survive.
Slaughter High is the best kind of cheesy; a low-budget movie that uses remarkably creative practical effects to tell a fairly simple story of a meal best served cold. Made by a couple of Friday the 13th alums, Slaughter High has many of the same types of grisly deaths but doesn’t take itself nearly as seriously. Due to the digital restoration everything looks fantastic. The acting, sets, production design, and everything else is pretty great for a small budget, but…
My biggest gripe with this Blu-ray is the lack of bonus features compared to the other releases, especially at the line-wide retail price of nearly forty bucks. There are two great but relatively short behind-the-scenes featurettes, Going to Pieces and My Days at Doddsville, two commentary tracks featuring the co-writers/directors and the films composer, an alternate title sequence, trailer, radio spots, a still gallery, and that’s about it. For nearly any other release I’d call that fair, but again, this one comes with a hefty price tag.
While I enjoyed the movie greatly, this Vestron Video Collection release of Slaughter High is the first in the series that’s been a let down for the behind-the-scenes lover in me. Many of these re-issues have been aimed at only the most hardcore of horror movie fans by their very nature, obscure or forgotten classics of the genre left on the video store shelves of their memory, but with its price and lack of bonus features this release has an even narrower audience.
Slaughter High is out on Blu-ray today, October 31st.