Slaughterhouse (1987) [updated with US Blu-ray news and more images]

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‘Buddy has an axe to grind. A big axe.’

Slaughterhouse – aka Bacon Bits and Pig Farm Massacre is a 1987 American comedy horror film written and directed by Rick Roessler.

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Main cast:

Joe B. Barton, Don Barrett (Hobgoblins), Sherry Leigh (Demon Wind), Bill Brinsfield (Death House; Terrorgram; Werewolf), Jason Collier (Surf Nazis Must Die), Dave FogelJane Higginson (Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker).

On February 28, 2017, Vinegar Syndrome release Slaughterhouse as a Blu-ray + DVD combo in North America, newly restored in 2K from its 35mm interpositive and featuring the original Ultra-Stereo sound mix for the first time on home video.

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Buy: Amazon.com

Bonus Features:
1. Newly scanned and restored in 2K from 35mm interpositive
2. Commentary track with Director Rick Roessler, Producer Jerry Encoe & Production Designer Michael Scaglione
3. New video interview with Lead Actress Sherry Bendorf Leigh
4. “Making a Low Budget Indie” – Featurette with Rick Roessler
5. “Producing Slaughterhouse” – Interview with Jerry Encoe
6. Archival interviews with Rick Roessler & Jerry Encoe
7. “Epilogue: 30 Years After the Slaughter”
8. Radio interview featurette from 1987
9. Local news coverage from the theatrical premiere
10. Behind the scenes featurette
11. Outtakes
12. “No Smoking” Slaughterhouse snipe
13. Multiple theatrical trailers, TV and radio spots
14. Shooting script gallery
15. Reversible cover artwork
16. English SDH Subtitles

Plot:

An old farmer and his beloved son – a 360 pound pig-man named Buddy who grunts and squeals and is rather handy with a meat cleaver – lament the fate of the old skilled hog farmer, now giving way to modern factory-type slaughterhouses.

When businessmen make an offer for the scuzzy run-down place, the father and son refuse leading to them to utilise their long-honed skills to make mincemeat of their tormentors and a bunch of idiotic teens who trespass on their property for a bet…

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Review:

First-time director, Rick Roessler, and his cast of largely unknowns set out with the express intention of making a slasher film with a shoe-string budget that combined gory offings with a knowing sense of humour. I may have missed the humour but it is certainly more entertaining overall than many films of this ilk from the 1980s.

 

For a budget of $110,000, scrimped and saved from friends and associates and then finally the European video rights, Slaughterhouse succeeds through a combination of a straightforward set-up, where our sympathies immediately lie with the dotty old farmer and his retarded pig-son as they live their lives untroubled by the outside world.

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The three main ‘baddies’, a lawyer, a modern-day slaughterhouse developer and the local sheriff are suitably cast and uncomplicated though the perhaps necessary evil of the local, party-hungry teens takes something away from what otherwise would be more along the lines of 1970s drive-in fare.

The two real stars of the show, the farmer and his son, never acted to any real extent again, though the set-up for a sequel is 1980s freeze-frame by numbers, although the film’s makers took so long to get a return on their investment they quit whilst they were ahead.

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Heavyweight loon, Buddy, played by Joe B. Barton (also in Blood Diner as a biker), looks like he’s stepped straight out of Portland punk ear-botherers Poison Idea (specifically, ironically, their guitarist, Pig Champion) and leers, squeals and chops his way through the film with relish.

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The film doesn’t hold back on the gore, all of which is executed to a surprisingly high standard considering the budget. It is worth noting for sensitive pig lovers everywhere, that the film does include a significant amount of porcine abattoir footage.

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A mere thirty-five prints were released upon a rather shrugging American audience to create a buzz about the impending video release on Charter Entertainment.

On 23 February 2015, Slaughterhouse was released on Blu-ray in the UK by 88 Films.

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Buy: Amazon.co.uk

Reviewed by Daz Lawrence, Horrorpedia

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Cast and characters:

  • Joe B. Barton as Buddy Bacon
  • Don Barrett as Lester Bacon
  • William Houck as Sheriff Borden
  • Sherry Leigh (credited as Sherry Bendorf) as Liz Borden
  • Jeff Wright as Deputy Dave
  • Bill Brinsfield as Tom Sanford
  • Lee Robinson as Harold Murdock

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Categories: 1980s, comedy horror, film, gory, Horrorpedia review

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