Monday, 10 August 2015



More late 1980s slasher knockabout in which a bunch of dim teenagers and assorted other idiots get bloodily offed by a hulking maniac. This one doesn't appear to have earned very much in the way of cult status, which perhaps isn't that surprising (given that it's hardly a classic) but it's agreeably nasty enough to make you wonder why it isn't more famous. Maybe the slasher cycle was ebbing by that point (even the Friday The 13th series had more or less given up by then), and the world's censor boards were reducing the splatter to the point where it wasn't worth the effort.

Indeed, when Slaughterhouse first went to the BBFC for a VHS certificate back in 1989, it had over two and a half minutes lopped out, and oddly enough none of those cuts are in the film's credits sequence in which pigs are killed, disembowelled and processed to the accompaniment of a magnificently inappropriate big band track with shrieking brass and rocking timpani. (Following this, you may well never want to eat another hot dog again.) The barking mad owner of a rundown slaughterhouse in a meat-based small town consistently refuses to sell out to a bigger, more efficient but poorer quality meat processing firm, despite fair offers; instead allowing his morbidly obese son to kill them off. Meanwhile a gang of young idiots, relatively unconcerned about the disappearance of two of their close friends, are looking for a spooky location in which to shoot a horror video....

It's trashy, nasty and gleefully unpleasant enough to make a decent Friday night's retro entertainment, even if every single character behaves like an absolute imbecile: it's so dazzlingly obvious to anyone with an IQ higher than that of a pork pie that wandering round the disused slaughterhouse is a Massively Bad Idea that it's hard to sympathise too much when Buddy looms out of nowhere and casually offs them. It has a lighter tone than something like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, with numerous pig-related jokes (the local radio station is K-FAT, the town is holding its annual Pig Out festival, the abattoir owner is named Mr Bacon) and ends up as rather grisly fun. And that opening titles music is insanely catchy.


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