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HISTORY

Principal photography began in late 1984 in London, England, with a $2.1 million budget and the working title April Fool’s Day, according to the 6 Mar 1985 DV. The film screened out of competition during the 1985 Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, the 22 May 1985 Var reported.
       In spring 1986, Paramount Pictures released a horror slasher comedy film by director Fred Walton which was also titled April Fool’s Day (see entry). To avoid confusion, Vestron Pictures changed the name of its film to Slaughter High.
       Slaughter High had a limited release on 14 Nov 1986, the 19 Nov 1986 DV reported. Later, it opened on a handful of screens on 13 Feb 1987, taking in $3,600 in its first three days of release, the 18 Feb 1987 DV reported. The film expanded to thirty-eight screens on 24 Apr 1987, earning $90,000 during its first weekend of wider release, according to the 29 Apr 1987 DV box office ... More Less

Principal photography began in late 1984 in London, England, with a $2.1 million budget and the working title April Fool’s Day, according to the 6 Mar 1985 DV. The film screened out of competition during the 1985 Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, the 22 May 1985 Var reported.
       In spring 1986, Paramount Pictures released a horror slasher comedy film by director Fred Walton which was also titled April Fool’s Day (see entry). To avoid confusion, Vestron Pictures changed the name of its film to Slaughter High.
       Slaughter High had a limited release on 14 Nov 1986, the 19 Nov 1986 DV reported. Later, it opened on a handful of screens on 13 Feb 1987, taking in $3,600 in its first three days of release, the 18 Feb 1987 DV reported. The film expanded to thirty-eight screens on 24 Apr 1987, earning $90,000 during its first weekend of wider release, according to the 29 Apr 1987 DV box office report.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
6 Mar 1985.
---
Daily Variety
19 Nov 1986.
---
Daily Variety
18 Feb 1987.
---
Daily Variety
29 Apr 1987.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 May 1987
p. 8.
Variety
22 May 1985.
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CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Steve Minasian and Dick Randall Production
of a George Dugdale Mark Ezra Peter Litten Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Prod mgr
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Addl photog
Steadicam op
Cam op
Focus puller
Grip
Chief elec
Gaffer
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Const mgr
Carpenter
Carpenter
Painter/Maintenance
Prop master
COSTUMES
Ward
Seamstress
MUSIC
All mus published by
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Dubbing mixer
Sd transfers
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff des
Mechanical des
Prosthetics
Des asst
Eff rigger
Titles
Opticals
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to the prod
Continuity
2d asst
3d asst
Prod secy
Prod asst
Prod accountant
Unit runner
Unit caterer
Unit caterer
SOURCES
SONGS
Theme song by Harry Manfredini & John Cariddi.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
April Fool's Day
Release Date:
14 November 1986
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 24 April 1987
Los Angeles opening: 8 May 1987
Production Date:
began late 1984
Copyright Claimant:
Vestron, Inc.
Copyright Date:
26 May 1988
Copyright Number:
PA373589
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
88
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On April 1st at Doddsville County High School, a group of ten popular students, led by “Skip” Pollock, pull a prank on chemistry nerd Marty Rantzen. Voluptuous Carol Manning convinces Marty that she wants to have sex with him and sends him into the girls’ locker room to get undressed. When he comes out naked, the other students spray him with water, poke him in the crotch with a javelin, and dunk his head in the toilet, while videotaping the entire incident. The coach catches them and punishes the students by making them do extra exercises, as Marty returns to the chemistry lab. While Marty goes to the bathroom, Skip sneaks into the lab and rigs the experiment to blow up in his face. When Marty returns to the lab, the experiment explodes and he bumps into a shelf, causing a bottle of nitric acid to splash all over his face. A moment later, a larger explosion erupts and the entire chemistry lab is engulfed in flames. Marty’s face is badly burned and he has six plastic surgeries over the next six months, but some of the skin grafts do not take. Marty suffers a mental breakdown and is institutionalized. Several years later on April 1st, the ten students receive invitations to a class reunion. However, when they arrive at Doddsville High, no one else is there. They accuse each other of setting up a prank, but they each deny it. When it starts to rain, they go into the building and explore their old school. They find one of the classrooms set up for a party with decorations, banners, food, beer, and liquor. Also in the room ... +


On April 1st at Doddsville County High School, a group of ten popular students, led by “Skip” Pollock, pull a prank on chemistry nerd Marty Rantzen. Voluptuous Carol Manning convinces Marty that she wants to have sex with him and sends him into the girls’ locker room to get undressed. When he comes out naked, the other students spray him with water, poke him in the crotch with a javelin, and dunk his head in the toilet, while videotaping the entire incident. The coach catches them and punishes the students by making them do extra exercises, as Marty returns to the chemistry lab. While Marty goes to the bathroom, Skip sneaks into the lab and rigs the experiment to blow up in his face. When Marty returns to the lab, the experiment explodes and he bumps into a shelf, causing a bottle of nitric acid to splash all over his face. A moment later, a larger explosion erupts and the entire chemistry lab is engulfed in flames. Marty’s face is badly burned and he has six plastic surgeries over the next six months, but some of the skin grafts do not take. Marty suffers a mental breakdown and is institutionalized. Several years later on April 1st, the ten students receive invitations to a class reunion. However, when they arrive at Doddsville High, no one else is there. They accuse each other of setting up a prank, but they each deny it. When it starts to rain, they go into the building and explore their old school. They find one of the classrooms set up for a party with decorations, banners, food, beer, and liquor. Also in the room are their old lockers where they each find some of their old possessions. The old janitor, Digby, discovers them and says the school has been closed for the past five years and is due for demolition in a month. He invites them to look around one last time. The group reminisces while they drink alcohol, snort cocaine, and smoke marijuana. Skip Pollock reminds them how they turned Marty Rantzen from a nice, quiet boy into a crazed lunatic. Meanwhile, someone dressed as a jester with a joker’s mask roams the school and kills Digby. Ted Harrison “shotguns” a beer, but the can is filled with acid. Ted’s stomach explodes and he dies. The others run, but find the doors locked and the windows electrified, making escape impossible. Shirley goes to the bathroom to wash Ted’s splattered blood off her face, but acid has been substituted for the hot water and she is killed. When the others find Shirley’s body, they realize Marty is responsible and out to kill them all. Carl Putney kicks out a window and makes a dash for his car, intending to go for help. However, the man dressed as a jester is hiding in the backseat and stabs Carl in the stomach, killing him. Susan arrives late for the reunion, but as she roams the school looking for the party, she is killed. Joe finds a tractor in the school auto mechanics classroom and tries to get it started. However, as he works on the engine, the jester comes in, starts the engine, and the rotary blade kills Joe. Meanwhile, Joe’s wife, Stella, comes on to her old boyfriend, Frank, announcing that he, not Joe, is the father of her son. The two make love, but the jester sets electric wires to the metal bed frame, and they are electrocuted. Skip, Carol, and Nancy are the only ones left. Skip yells aloud, inviting Marty to come out and show himself. Nancy blames Carol and Skip for this mess since they are the two who came up with the idea of setting Marty up to be a fool years ago. As the sun comes up, Skip believes they just have to hold out until noon and then April Fool’s Day will be over. He goes to investigate a noise in the hallway. The jester grabs him and ties him up in a noose, leaving him to die from hanging. However, Skip loosens the rope and falls to the floor before he is killed. Nancy and Carol go looking for Skip, but as they stop at the rooms where each murder took place, they find the bodies gone and the rooms cleaned up. In another room, they find a television playing the videotape of them humiliating Marty years ago. Nancy runs outside but falls into a cesspool. As she climbs out, the jester steps on her hand and she falls back in and drowns. Carol runs through the school trying to get away from the jester. She grabs a baseball bat in the gymnasium and when the jester attacks her, she hits him with the bat. She runs to the school auditorium and hides backstage, but the jester attacks her with a javelin. However, she gets away and grabs an axe. Hiding behind a doorway, she intends to hit the jester when he comes around the corner, but instead hits Skip Pollock in the face with the axe, killing him. Carol hides in the girl’s locker room, where they originally humiliated Marty. The jester comes in and takes off his mask, revealing the disfigured Marty. He stabs Carol with the javelin, killing her, and cries, “I showed them! April Fools!” As Marty makes his way through the school, he is confronted by the spirits of the people he has just killed. Then Marty wakes up in a hospital room, his face covered in bandages. Marty strangles the nurse and puts on her clothes. When the doctor comes in, Marty, in the nurse’s uniform, stabs him in the eye with a needle. Marty pulls back his bandage to reveal the extent of the disfiguration.


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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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