SLAUGHTERHOUSE (1987) Reviews and overview

 

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‘Buddy has an axe to grind. A big axe.’

Slaughterhouse is a 1987 American comedy horror film written and directed by Rick Roessler.

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The movie stars Joe B. Barton, Don Barrett (Hobgoblins), Sherry Leigh (Demon Wind), Bill Brinsfield (Death House; Terrorgram; Werewolf), Jason Collier (Surf Nazis Must Die), Dave FogelJane Higginson (Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker).

On February 28, 2017, Vinegar Syndrome release Slaughterhouse as a Blu-ray + DVD combo in North America, newly restored in 2K from its 35mm interpositive and featuring the original Ultra-Stereo sound mix for the first time on home video.

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Buy: Amazon.com

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Newly scanned and restored in 2K from 35mm interpositive
Commentary track with Director Rick Roessler, Producer Jerry Encoe and Production Designer Michael Scaglione
New video interview with Lead Actress Sherry Bendorf Leigh
“Making a Low Budget Indie” – Featurette with Rick Roessler
“Producing Slaughterhouse” – Interview with Jerry Encoe
Archival interviews with Rick Roessler & Jerry Encoe
“Epilogue: 30 Years After the Slaughter”
Radio interview featurette from 1987
Local news coverage from the theatrical premiere
Behind the scenes featurette
Outtakes
“No Smoking” Slaughterhouse snipe
Multiple theatrical trailers, TV and radio spots
Shooting script gallery
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH Subtitles

Plot:

An old farmer and his beloved son – a 360-pound pig-man named Buddy who grunts and squeals and is rather handy with a meat cleaver – lament the fate of the old skilled hog farmer, now giving way to modern factory-type slaughterhouses.

When businessmen make an offer for the scuzzy run-down place, the father and son refuse leading them to utilise their skills to make mincemeat of their tormentors and a bunch of idiotic teens who trespass on their property for a bet…

Review:

First-time director, Rick Roessler, and his cast of largely unknowns set out with the express intention of making a slasher film with a shoe-string budget that combined gory offings with a knowing sense of humour. I may have missed the humour but it is certainly more entertaining overall than many films of this ilk from the 1980s.

For a budget of $110,000, scrimped and saved from friends and associates and then finally the European video rights, Slaughterhouse succeeds through a combination of a straightforward set-up, where our sympathies immediately lie with the dotty old farmer and his retarded pig-son as they live their lives untroubled by the outside world.

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The three main ‘baddies’, a lawyer, a modern-day slaughterhouse developer and the local sheriff are suitably cast and uncomplicated though the perhaps necessary evil of the local, party-hungry teens takes something away from what otherwise would be more along the lines of 1970s drive-in fare.

The two real stars of the show, the farmer and his son, never acted to any real extent again, though the set-up for a sequel is 1980s freeze-frame by numbers, although the film’s makers took so long to get a return on their investment they quit whilst they were ahead.

Heavyweight loon, Buddy, played by Joe B. Barton (also in Blood Diner as a biker), looks like he’s stepped straight out of Portland punk ear-botherers Poison Idea (specifically, ironically, their guitarist, Pig Champion) and leers, squeals and chops his way through the film with relish.

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The film doesn’t hold back on the gore, all of which is executed to a surprisingly high standard considering the budget. It is worth noting for sensitive pig lovers everywhere, that the film does include a significant amount of porcine abattoir footage.

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A mere thirty-five prints were released upon a rather shrugging American audience to create a buzz about the impending video release on Charter Entertainment.

Daz Lawrence, MOVIES and MANIA

On 23 February 2015, Slaughterhouse was released on Blu-ray in the UK by 88 Films.

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Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk

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Cast and characters:

  • Joe B. Barton as Buddy Bacon
  • Don Barrett as Lester Bacon
  • William Houck as Sheriff Borden
  • Sherry Leigh (credited as Sherry Bendorf) as Liz Borden
  • Jeff Wright as Deputy Dave
  • Bill Brinsfield as Tom Sanford
  • Lee Robinson as Harold Murdock

Trailer: