Slaughterhouse (1987) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

Slaughterhouse (1987) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Directed By: Rick Roessler
Starring: Sherry Bendorf Leigh, Joe B. Barton, Don Barrett
Rated: UR/Region O/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 2
Available from Vinegar Syndrome

Lester Bacon’s slaughterhouse has run into financial problems. Faced with the town lawyer, the sheriff, and the rival slaughterhouse owner trying to purchase his land, Lester decides to take matters into his own hands. After discovering the type of violence his hulking and mentally deranged son, Buddy is capable of, Lester orders him to permanently dispose of anyone who “conspires” against them…

I have a pretty long history with the film, Slaughterhouse. I first saw the film after picking up the very old DVD release. It was part of the Lucky 13 line and looked pretty bad. I then got my hands on the 88 films version of the film in HD. Regardless of how you might feel about the movie, the 88 Films UK release WAS the essential version to own…until now. I can already promise you at the start of this review that if you want to own the true essential version of this movie in HD, then you need to grab this version here released by Vinegar Syndrome. I love slasher movies. I won’t say I like all of them, but I can tolerate even the bad ones from the sub-genre more so than other types of movies, just based solely because they are slashers. Slaughterhouse isn’t THAT good. I mean, let’s be honest here, if there are levels of slashers, this one isn’t a B-team slashers, it is on down the line of slashers in general but still a fun one to kick back and turn your brain off while watching. I do think having a new Blu-ray of it is at least helping perhaps warm some up to it a little more, seeing as how all us US folks had before was the old DVD and it wasn’t even in widescreen. The 2K scan here gives this old movie some new life as you watch. What I’m trying to say is, if you’ve only seen this film in standard, then, by all means, see it in HD. It does make a difference. Now, let’s get into the film. In the long line of slashers that came out in the 80’s a few were lost in the shuffle. While films like, Intruder, were gems that were unfairly overlooked during their time. Slaughter House and its unique plot could be along those lines. The giant sized killer making pig sounds is amusing and adds to the film stepping out of the copycat areas to add its own identity. While some might think it’s “so bad it’s good”, I think the slow nature of it is really the only thing dragging this one down.

One could make a case for the characters in this film being about as plain Jane as you could get. But isn’t that the norm for a slasher? We know the female lead wants to make a horror movie and we know she’s the daughter of the town’s sheriff. Yet outside of that, we have nothing else at all to connect to or latch on to about her or anyone else besides perhaps looks. Is she good looking enough for you to want to see her survive? Maybe! Or Maybe not. Most the time we just come into these types of movies for the mayhem and we certainly get that. The bad guy characters here are totally channeling some Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but that isn’t a bad thing. We have a bit of a cartoon-like tone to them, but it fits in the world Slaughterhouse gives us and in this context. When all is said and done you do get a bit of a slow moving slasher with some good moments of gore here and there, but that still makes it better than a number of other slasher films that were tossed out there. Also, if I can bring up The Texas Chainsaw Massacre again here, it does, however, give us an ending a Texas Chainsaw Massacre film would somewhat reuse years later. Slaughterhouse is an easy suggestion for slasher fans who love these types of films, even if it isn’t reinventing the wheel by any means. If this one sounds like something you want to see (if you’ve not seen it before) then, by all means, snatch up this version here. It looks better than any other version out there and it comes with a lot more cooler extras than any other version out there has.

Extras

– Region free Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack
– All extras included on both Blu-ray and DVD
– Newly scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm Interpositive
– Commentary track with Director Rick Roessler, Producer Jerry Encoe & 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
– Mutiple theatrical trailers, tv & radio spots
– Shooting script gallery
– Reversible cover artwork
– English SDH Subtitles

Quality of Transfer: 95%