BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
Most people are offended by the slaughter of animals. They like their bacon, mind you, but simply cannot deal with a defenseless pig being stunned, shaved, and then sliced and diced into tasty little strips of bacon. Yummy! For a lot of people slaughterhouses represent a place of barbaric butcher where all sorts of inhumane practices occur. When it comes to the horror genre; however, places like these are always environments worth mining for nuggets of spooky thrills.
Cold and distant, these junked-up places – especially when abandoned by the rest of humanity – are less than inviting. Why oh why then would any teenager in their right mind want to trespass upon a foreclosed slaughterhouse and dance, dance, dance themselves silly wearing Halloween masks? For a student-made music video suggests writer/director Rick Roessler as he turns out one of the most underrated – and rarely seen – horror/comedies in the 1980s decade of terror.
Slaughterhouse, complete with its highly effective freeze-frame ending, makes its debut on blu-ray thanks to the bloody good taste of the Horror Hounds at Vinegar Syndrome. Newly scanned and restored in 2k from the original 35mm negative, the film has never looked better than with this release. Plus, the film gets better with repeat viewings; the pig squeals and oinks from the 300lb headcase (a very thrilling Joe Barton) responsible for protecting the grounds from intruders grow more disturbing as do the teens who can’t seem to find anything else to do in the small California town of Lakeside.
Filmed in San Diego County, Slaughterhouse is the politically charged tale of how one man’s tax evasions wind up shutting his slaughterhouse down. Lester Bacon (Don Barrett from Hobgoblins fame) is one pissed-off fellow. After sparring with Lakeside’s town lawyer, its sheriff, and the rival slaughterhouse owner, he takes matters into his own hands and asks his mentally-challenged son, who spends all day oinking with his pigs and rolling around in the mud and hay, to protect the family’s property and kill anyone who steps foot upon it.
Like a good boy, Buddy Bacon (Barton) does exactly that. Buddy brings the thunder with each swing of his large axe. Body parts are removed. Heads. Hands. It doesn’t matter. There are no prisoners when Buddy comes to town. And all his victims are strung up just like pigs with their throats slit, bleeding out for all to see. Co-starring Jason Collier, Tom Sanford, and Sherry Bendorf as Liz Borden, Slaugherhouse is easily one of the greatest B-movie slasher flicks out there.
The film is both cheesy fun and disgusting, making up for its lack of nudity with sufficient amounts of over-the-top gore and thrills. Of special note is a joyriding scene where Buddy figures out how to drive for the first time on a country road just beyond the family grounds. With the sirens blasting, he gets in the police cruiser and yanks it into drive. The look of joy and terror on his face as figures out how to go faster, only to pass his next victim on the road as she heads in the opposite direction, forcing him to have to turn around, is hilariously insane. And all he can do is squeal in delight. You will, too.
Funny, twisted, and hilariously sick! sick! sick!, this Slaughterhouse is a bloody good time!
MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime: 85 mins
Director: Rick Roessler
Writer: Rick Roessler
Cast: Joe B. Barton, Don Barrett, Sherry Leigh
Tagline: Buddy has an axe to grind. A big axe.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Buddy's a good boy, but he has what you might call basic hygiene problems."
Theatrical Distributor: American Artists
Release Date: August 27, 1987
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: February 28, 2017
Synopsis: The owner of a slaughterhouse facing foreclosure instructs his obese and mentally disabled son to go on a killing spree against the people who want to buy his property.
Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
Available on Blu-ray - February 28, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Region-free playback
The Region free Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Vinegar Syndrome sports a newly minted transfer from the original 35mm interpositive. The results are strong as colors appear more saturated, details are kicked up a notch, and black levels are stronger than ever before. The locations – especially if you’ve ever been in or around San Diego County – are crisp and full of life. The nighttime scenes – as there are plenty – are also vivid. The shadows inside the slaughterhouse are defined and thick and never crush the image. There are few (if any) instances of dirt and debris in the new transfer. The release also features the original Ultra-Stereo sound mix for the first time on home video.
The Commentary track with Director Rick Roessler, Producer Jerry Encoe & Production Designer Michael Scaglione is informative and interesting; a deadly combination.
Once again, Vinegar Syndrome gives Scream Factory a run for their money with their handling of this B-movie’s supplemental features. From a shooting script gallery to NEW interviews with Roessler and lead actress Sherry Bendorf, this release will definitely not disappoint genre lovers. It’s a good mix of archival features with some new stuff that will satisfy fans.
- Interview with Lead Actress Sherry Bendorf Leigh
- Making a Low Budget Indie
- Producing Slaughterhouse
- Archival Interviews
- Epilogue: 30 Years After the Slaughter
- 1987 Radio Interview
- Local News Coverage of Premiere
- Behind the scenes featurette
- No Smoking Snipe
- Mutiple theatrical trailers, tv & radio spots
- Shooting script gallery