Film Monthly Home
Short Takes (Archived)
Small Screen Monthly
Behind the Scenes
New on DVD
Books on Film
What's Hot at the Movies This Week
Directed by Jay Lee
Written by Jay Lee
Starring Jessica Ellis, Zak Kilberg, Billy Beck, Terry Erioski
Produced by Calvin Green, Judy T. Marcelline, Michael J. Zampino
Any time you can fire up a movie and catch “Cthulhu Fhtagn R’lyeh” in the first two minutes, man, you know you’re in for something.
Lovecraft movies—indeed, anything connected with Lovecraft—run the full gamut from great and terrific titles like “Re-Animator” and spiral all the way down to godawful and horrific titles like Ulli Lommel’s slow death that was “H.P. Lovecraft’s The Tomb”, now officially the low-water mark of Lovecraft filmmaking, forever taking “Dagon” off my chopping block.
And indeed, this one will be no different, spending its first three minutes on a bunch of naked chicks chanting and stabbing something frantically with big old curvy knives and fast-cutting clips of facial reactions and murder whilst raising a demon up from the ground.
Said demon will then run amok in a most predictable but surprisingly rousing fashion and later rip to shreds a coterie of college students who have taken on the job of cleaning an abandoned house.
For the first time in a long time, “Re-animator” is actually at risk as the top of the Lovecraft heap. They are going to run positively amok with this. I’m not sure how the woman who originally owned the house died…but that coat rack looks to be lodged someplace extremely unpleasant. I rewound and frame advanced this bit like four times, and I believe it’s entirely possible that she may well have died with a smile on her face, if you follow my meaning. Which might well distract you from the small goof that takes place as someone actually walks past the window in the background.
It’s like somebody just looked at Jay Lee and said, “Three words, Lee—Over. The. TOP. Got it? Over the fucking top. We want an insane movie for insane people who are going to scream their black little hearts out with glee.” And indeed, Lee provided. This is insane, and over the top, and everything else.
Better yet, “The Slaughter” will actually manage to be funny on several occasions. In fact, watching it puts me very much in mind of a certain early Sam Raimi film that became a cult classic.
Now, I don’t make comparisons like this lightly…but I believe very firmly that “The Slaughter” could be considered the “Evil Dead” of its era. I have no problem with being quoted on that either—watch it and see for yourself. See if you spot the shades of Raimi going on here.
The ending features an actual comparison of the various types of zombies, although it’s only a Romero classical versus Snyder revision zombie battle, and ignores the Fulci zombies, the Re-Animator zombies and the Return of the Living Dead zombies. Among the sheer hordes of other types of zombies out there and there are a LOT.
That and a really kickass twist ending. You’re gonna love it.
The special features include English and Spanish subtitles, along with deleted scenes and outtakes, plus trailers for “The Slaughter,” “H.P. Lovecraft’s The Tomb,” “Acts of Death,” “Holla,” “Curse of Alcatraz,” and “Hardrock.”
All in all, wow. I’m actually pretty impressed by this, and see a lot of solid things in it. Especially for something so clearly low-budget and shot with just basically the one set of the house. A serious competitor to the throne of top Lovecraft, we might just be we’re looking at a brand-new Raimi in the making here.
Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.
Got a problem? E-mail us at email@example.com