Slaughter High appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This wasn’t a bad image given its age, but it came with more problems than I’d like.
Print flaws became the dominant issue. From start to finish, I saw a mix of specks and marks. These didn’t overwhelm, but they showed up on a frequent basis and created distractions.
Sharpness remained decent. Most of the movie showed acceptable delineation, so while matters never became particularly precise, they seemed reasonably well-defined. No issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes.
Colors were adequate. Though the hues lacked great vivacity, they showed passable clarity.
Blacks were reasonably dark, and shadows presented acceptable smoothness. The print flaws were the biggest concern, but even without them, this would’ve remained a bland image.
When we moved to the film’s DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack, it showed its age but usually sounded decent. Dialogue was acceptable, as only occasional edginess affected the lines. Speech could’ve been more natural, but the lines seemed okay.
Music wasn’t particularly bold, but the score and songs showed reasonable clarity and vivacity. Effects seemed clean and without substantial distortion; though they didn’t have much kick, they reproduced the material well. While nothing here dazzled, the mix held up fine for a 31-year-old mono track.
The disc comes with a good selection of extras, and these launch with an audio commentary from co-writers/co-directors George Dugdale and Peter Litten. Along with disc producer Michael Felsher, both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, effects, and the impact of the low budget.
That last topic gets a lot of exploration in this rollicking track, as the co-directors love to laugh about the ultra-cheap ways of producer Dick Randall. They delve into many other subjects as well and even touch on potential controversy related to the 1984 suicide of actor Simon Scuddamore. The co-directors poke fun at their own movie while they throw out a lot of good observations in this lively chat.
On another audio track, we find Isolated Music/SFX Selections Featuring Audio Interview with Composer Harry Manfredini. The first 23 minutes or so consists of Felsher’s conversation with Manfredini, as they discuss the composer’s career and his work on High. While we get some decent insights, the interview seems a little too brief and rushed.
After that, we hear the isolated music and effects track. Felsher tells us that they could not locate the original music cues on their own, so that’s why we get the effects as well.
I’m not a fan of this kind of presentation, but I know others enjoy it, so hopefully they’ll find merit in the isolated track. Note that this portion of the audio wraps up around the 108-minute mark – at that point, the mix reverts to the original movie sound.
Two interview featurettes follow, and the 18-minute, 29-second Going to Pieces provides notes from co-writer/co-direcyor Mark Ezra. He discusses how he got into films as well as the development of Slaughter, working with Dugdale and Litten, and other aspects of the production. Inevitably, Ezra repeats some info from the commentary, but he still offers a good overview of his perspective.
My Days at Doddsville goes for 14 minutes, 35 seconds and features actors Caroline Munro. She chats about how she came onto the film and aspects of her experiences. Munro provides a likable and engaging view of her time on the flick.
With an Alternate Title Sequence, we see a 41-second reel. This simply substitutes April Fool’s Day - the movie’s original title – for Slaughter High. It’s not especially interesting.
A Still Gallery runs six minutes, 55 seconds. The montage displays 76 elements that mix shots from the movie, promotional bits and behind the scenes photos. It becomes a mostly positive collection.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we get two Radio Spots.
When I watch long-forgotten 1980s horror flicks, I do so with low expectations. Even so, Slaughter High failed to turn into anything watchable, as it became a slow, silly attempt at terror. The Blu-ray offers mediocre picture and audio along with a nice set of supplements. Leave Slaughter High on the shelf.