Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 2nd, 2015
BluRay released: February 23rd, 2015
Approximate running times: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: LPCM Stereo English
BluRay Release: 88 Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: £19.99
If ever there was a film where the truth is in the advertisement, then that film would be Slaughterhouse.
Content wise, Slaughterhouse is a down and dirty horror film that keeps things basic. So when it comes to the characters which populate this film it should not comer as surprise that they lack depth and are prone to make bad choices. Fortunately by making these stereotypical characters one dimensional, this only further emboldens this film’s resident psychopath Buddy. Ironically when all is said and done Buddy is actually this film’s most likable character.
As mentioned before this film is upfront about what you are about to see. With this film’s other durable asset being its main location the derelict slaughterhouse. And not to be overlooked are this film’s kill sequences which are ultimately its bread and butter. Also when it comes to these kill sequences that are sufficiently gory.
Of course this film brightest shining star is Joe B. Barton (Blood Diner) in the role of Buddy. He is man of few words who often grunts his approval after slaughtering his latest victim. Another performance of note is Don Barrett (Hobgoblins) in the role of Buddy’s father. Also Barton and Barrett’s chemistry is key ingredient to why this odd Horror film works as well as it does.
Slaughterhouse comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. This release uses a Brand New 2K transfer of the full uncut version of the film that was overseen and approved by director Rick Roessler. This film was shot on very limited resources and according to the director who discusses in the extras that they did not use any lamps to light scenes, since they could not afford them. Also this is a film that was meant to look rough around the edges and this transfer does a superb job retaining this film’s greatest assets it griminess. There is some mild color fluctuation, black levels are serviceable and details generally look crisp, with most of the darker moments lacking the same level of clarity present during daytime sequences. Also there are some mild instances of print debris and grain structure varies in degree throughout, with a few scenes where grain looks very thick and there are no issues with DNR or compression. Needless to say that this is easily the best this film has ever looked on home video.
This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM stereo mix in English. There are a few mild instances of background hiss, fortunately nothing that is ever to intrusive. Dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Range wise this is a film that is never going to blow you away and with that being said the ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well handled.
Extras for this release include, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 4 seconds), T.V. spots (2 minutes 3 seconds), raw On-set Footage (10 minutes 59 seconds), Buddy Meets the Public Classic Featurette (25 minutes 13 seconds), interviews with screenwriter / director Rick Roessler (15 minutes 11 seconds) and producer Jerry Encoe (10 minutes 34 seconds) and an audio commentary with Rick Roessler and Jerry Encoe.
Topics discussed in the interview with Rick Roessler include, the origins of Slaughterhouse and its various screenplay drafts, creating the buddy character, working with producer Jerry Encoe, the difficulty trying to cast for the role of Buddy, casting Joe B. Barton in the role of Buddy and how he discovered him, Barton’s portrayal of Buddy, locations used in the film, promoting the film, how the investors approached him to make another horror film and his thoughts on the film.
Topics discussed in the interview with Jerry Encoe include, collaborating with Rick Roessler, how they raised financing for the film, working on a limited budget and how they were able to maximize their resources, the long shooting days and how there were 21 shooting days, postproduction and obstacles that they overcame to complete the film, how the film theatrically release was limited to only a few cities, a success home video release for the film and his thoughts on the film.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, locations, the cast, the look of the film and equipment used to make the film, special effects, the ins and outs of low budget filmmaking, how there is a completed screenplay for a sequel and they often describing what is happening onscreen.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art option, a collectable booklet and the 88 Films trailer reel – Puppet Master, The Pit and the Pendulum, Demonic Toys, Bloody Birthday, Two Moon Junction, Dollman, Bloodsucking Freaks, Puppet Master II, Puppet Master III, Tourist Trap and Castle Freak. Overall Slaughterhouse gets a definitive release from 88 Films.