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By 1987 the slasher genre of horror was starting to lose its stride, mainly descending into sequels of already established monsters committing mayhem throughout the countryside or the suburb. Apparently the makers of Slaughterhouse not only missed the memo on how horror films were progressing as the decade headed for its inevitable end, but they also decided to make no attempt at making anything new, otherwise relying on not only the standard tropes of horror films for the last decade, they out and out steal them.
The film does open with something unusual- the processing of pigs at a slaughterhouse. We get a nice look at the shocker and the saws and all of those fun things that go along with a slaughterhouse. Now I'm far from being a vegetarian and I also know that this is a horror movie, but this is a bit much to start with.
What the film amounts to is random people stumbling on the Bacon family's slaughterhouse (Yes, I know the irony of them being called "Bacon") and being wiped out by the resident psycho Buddy (Joe B. Barton), a large hulking man that snorts like a pig and eagerly uses his splitter to dispatch his victims. As progress has taken over the old slaughterhouse looks to be going to either sale or foreclosure the patriarch of the Bacon family Lester (Don Barrett) decides to use Buddy's skills to take care of the people that he feels are trying to steal is property and livelihood from him, while forgetting that even by killing these people I'm sure that's not going to stop the sale of the property for back taxes.
You probably get the idea of how the film progresses from this point. People get killed, other people look for them, and people stumble by and so on and so forth. There are attempts to make a deeper plot to Slaughterhouse, such as the deputy that is having an affair and the local Pig celebration that gets a half hearted build up and an even less enthusiastic execution. It's your basic kill, kill, kill, which is fine if you have something new to say. Slaughterhouse doesn't do that. If you have seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre or My Bloody Valentine you have seen this film as they are the two main victims to the theft that is the plot of Slaughterhouse.
Slaughterhouse was lost in a sea of horror slasher boogey men that were roaming the Cineplex's and few remaining drive ins during the 1980's. A C bill film in a genre that at the time was B level at best. There are a few parts that standout, such as one special effect and a line about being kosher before that effect, but this film winds up being a pedestrian endeavor at a horror film. Doing a bit of research shows that a sequel was planned and it was set up (ala Friday the 13th), but that film never materialized. A person should wonder why there hasn't been an attempt to re-make this film, especially after seeing the glut of horror films that fill or VOD streams (I watched this on Vudu for free). It would be the perfect film to polish up, make with very little money and put a few dollars in your pocket. Maybe that version would be a better film, but we're talking about this film not an imaginary re-make. This film is mostly a waste of time and will be of interest only to people that have exhausted all of the other horror films that use the same formula.
80's slasher film, and all that implies
Over the course of the 1980's, there has been countless Slasher films that have been made, some good and not so good, some that were exciting and thrilling, others boring with bad concepts and bland performances. By 1987, the Slasher genre had run out of steam and didn't deliver on its ideas, in fact most of them recycling many familiar ideas and releasing films under different titles. Slaughterhouse is one of those films that has an unimpressive idea and tries to make for a great film. As it is it's a mildly entertaining horror film that never succeeds compared to other Slasher films due to the fact that it's a predictable film with nothing original going for it. There has been far better films than this, and overall this is a mediocre film that relies on genre clichés to create its thrills. This is a mediocre film that doesn't try anything interesting with its premise; it just ends up being a silly forgettable film that doesn't satisfy. I really wanted to enjoy the film, but to me, it looked like a rip off of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Motel Hell. This film is forgettable compared to others in the genre, and fans looking for a highly entertaining horror film, will be disappointed. But Slaughterhouse may find an audience for viewers that enjoy sheer ridiculous, cheesy horror films, as this is the case with this film. I enjoy a good tongue in cheek horror film, but when it's done right with a truly original idea, and that's where Slaughterhouse fails. The film started off well, but ended falling flat due to a poorly written script that uses ideas from previous genre films to try to create its terror, therefore, it suffers from a predictable plot and it just isn't interesting in the long run. A Slasher film set in a slaughterhouse had so much potential, but in the end, it's a mediocre film that leaves a lot to be desired.
A direct-to-video slasher movie in a slaughterhouse!
They invented a fat hairy oinking killer named "Buddy" who wears overalls, carries a cleaver, and sleeps with the pigs. "Buddy" isn't the smartest killer needs his gray-haired daddy to command him to kill.
A group of kids enter the old slaughterhouse to shoot their own horror film, and soon meet their doom. There's also a traditional plot about the town wanting to close down the slaughterhouse, and the sheriff's men getting involved.
There are a few instances of gore (a man being fed into a meat grinder), but most of it is tame as butter. The black humour is a bit funny, but the script and editing could be energized a bit. There's some good songs by a lesser-known 80's new wave band which I liked. The end battle is a bit flat. This movie is on par with "Motel Hell", a similar film.
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