Monday, July 23, 2012
The slasher-genre is probably the only genre that is allowed to be like it always been, without any changes. To criticize slashers is like complaining that the ball is round, pointless. Slashers has always been the Coca Cola of movies - if you experiment to much with new "exotic" tastes it just becomes disgusting. Let it just be Coca Cola: unhealthy, sticky and generic. That's one reason why I really love slashers from the late eighties. Because who the fuck came up with the idea to make movies in this genre when it's been dying for so many years? Already 81-82 it started to loose quality and everyone with a camera and a couple of dollars made their own movie. But they kept going and by the end of the eighties literary thousands of slashers has been made all over the world, most of them not reaching further than the local city border. Slaughterhouse (aka Pig Farm Massacre) is yet another of these late entries of slice and dice's, an ambitious take on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre-concept, made for a dime and with a lot of passion.
This is the story of the Bacon-family. Not Kevin, but Lester and Buddy, father and son. Lester is in deep trouble and might be forced to sell his pig farm, but he has other plans for those who want him bad. That's where Buddy comes in, a big, fat hairy beast of a man that only communicates through pig-like grunts and screams. Lucky for them, because they kill to kill more people, a bunch of over-aged teens thinks the farm is perfect to shoot their own little zero budget horror movie, and Buddy gets a lot to do before the night is over!
Slaughterhouse is so much fun and a criminally underrated slasher/horror movie from a time when most movies of its kind just was sleepy imitations of Halloween and Friday the 13th. Nothing wrong with that, I love it, but the creators of Slaughterhouse puts a lot more energy and ambition into their little movie than few other similar movies from the time. Atmospheric cinematography, cool locations, and something that's so rare in these movies that even the rapture seem more likely to happen: likable characters. The baddies are gross and unsympathetic, but what to expect from a serial killer pig farmer, but as long the victims feels like decent human beings, I'm happy and feel more interested in the story more than usual.
On the negative side, Slaughterhouse has some of that not so funny late eighties comedy here and there, tossed into the story to liven things up. It rarely works, and comedy in slashers should be forbidden anyway. I think we all can agree on that, and if you don't agree you're a wimp. Nice anyway, but still a wimp. I mean, the couldn't even stay away from a car-chase scene packed with moronic country music á la any random Burt Reynolds-comedy before he became untrendy and bought a crappier toupee.
Thank Satan the kills are often nasty, quite graphic and slightly drawn-out, which balances the stupid humour in favour of sadism and blood. It's primitive effects, but works in that charming 80's way and has enough gore to entertain me, a cold-hearted slasher fuck-up who's seen it all.
The Lucky 13 DVD I have is one of the oldest in my collection, printed in 1999. It's probably OOP by now, but take a look at eBay or Amazon.com and I'm sure it's waiting for you somewhere...with a big bone cleaver!