Blu-ray review: Slaughterhouse

Starring: Joe Barton, Don Barrett
Director: Rick Roessler

slaughterhouse 1We all know by now what happens when the old slaughterhouse goes out of business. Enraged to find himself facing foreclosure, the owner of Bacon and Sons Hog Slaughtering encourages his boy Buddy, a giant pig-loving weirdo, to direct his murderous urges towards the people who’ve put him out of a job. Unfortunately, Buddy keeps on knocking off the wrong people. Meanwhile, a bunch of kids decide to make a movie in the old slaughterhouse.

The youngsters are a typically dull bunch, but there are memorable performances from Don Barrett as the paranoid patriarch and from Joe Barton as Buddy, an oinking, dog food eating dimwit who makes Leatherface look like a smooth sophisticate – one of the best scenes in the movie comes when he squeezes himself into a sheriff’s uniform and goes for a joyride in a patrol car. There’s a drawling redneck flavour to the script which is very appealing, and a gritty small town vibe to the location shooting. The one drawback, really, is that it’s a bit light on action, with deaths passed over briskly and most of the scares confined to the last minutes. Certainly worth a look, but don’t expect to pig out on gore. 6/10

The transfer is a little soft, but it has a pleasantly earthy palette, and only a little grain, plus a few print scratches at the start. 6/10

In a 15-min intro, director Rick Roessler talks about how he’d been disappointed in Hollywood and decided just to go ahead and make a movie himself. We learn that Barton, who was only 5’9”, had to stand on apple boxes in order to make himself taller than the other actors, and we get to see Roessler waving around Buddy’s bone-cruncher cleaver. We also hear all the facts and figures from producer Jenny Encoe in a 10-min segment. Both producer and director return for an audio commentary, in which they discuss how lucky they were to find a good primary location and how they changed the script to take account of it. Lastly, there’s some archive footage of Barton, dressed as Buddy, meeting college kids and doing some publicity for the film. 7/10


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