Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 10th, 2017
BluRay released: February 28th, 2017
Approximate running times: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 ‘Ultra Stereo’ Surround English, DTS-HD Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $32.98
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. For this release Vinegar Syndrome have created a brand new scan and restoration of the film in 2k from 35mm Interpositive. When compared to previous home video release this new transfer is a substantial improvement over all of them. It is safe to say that this film has never looked better. Grain looks natural and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 ‘Ultra Stereo’ surround mix in English and a DTS-HD stereo mix in English. Both audio mixes sound excellent, dialog is always crystal clear, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too. Included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include, a reversible cover art, radio spots (45 seconds), 4 T.V. spots (49 seconds, 55 seconds, 53 seconds, 54 seconds, “No Smoking” Slaughterhouse theatrical snipe (28 seconds), Slaughterhouse shooting script, outtakes (3 minutes 8 seconds), local news coverage of Slaughterhouse premier (3 minutes 59 seconds), archival interview with screenwriter / director Rick Roessler (15 minutes 16 seconds), archival interview with producer Jerry Encoe (10 minutes 45 seconds), a Behind the Scenes featurette titled Shooting the Scenes (20 minutes 48 seconds), a radio interview featurette from 1987 (4 minutes 50 seconds), Epilogue: 30 Years After the Slaughter is a brief extras that gives an update about the case and Buddy (1 minute 13 seconds) and an audio commentary with Rick Roessler and Jerry Encoe.
Other extras include, an interview with actress Sherry Bendorf Leigh (10 minutes 40 seconds), a featurette with Rick Roessler titled Making a Low Budget Indie (28 minutes 16 seconds) and a featurette with Jerry Encoe titled Producing Slaughterhouse (5 minutes 37 seconds).
Topics discussed in the archival 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 archival 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, post-production 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.
The featurette titled Shooting the Scenes is a collection of onset footage shot with a camcorder.
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.
Topics discussed in the interview with Sherry Bendorf Leigh, how she prepared herself emotionally for the scene where she discovers her friends hanging from meat hooks, her audition, how she found out that she was cast in this film’s lead role, the cast, onset memories and her thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the featurette titled Making a Low Budget Indie include, what he was trying to achieve with this film, Jerry Encoe, casting and how they had trouble finding the right person for key roles, the locations, the crew, how they added scenes after viewing a rough cut of the film and his thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the featurette titled Producing Slaughterhouse include, how he got involved, his role as the producer, how the film has a $110, 000 budget, why the ending was filmed three months after the rest of the film, the film’s home video distribution history and why they never host a sequel.
Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall Vinegar Syndrome have assembled an impressive release that is a forerunner for best release of the year, highly recommended.