All Reviews, Horror, Independent Film

Slaughtered

Harold runs a successful Goth/pornographic website called “Slaughtered Sheep” on which he shows beautiful women in various stages of undress – and decomposition. Unfortunately, he’s also his own worst enemy: When one customer complains that he wants his money back, Harold bemoans his lack of fresh models. I guess that’s kind of a problem when one keeps killing off one’s supply.

In spite of a one-note theme, I enjoyed “Slaughtered.” For those looking for deviant diabolicalness, this film gets the job done. The kills are impressive, particularly a gruesome looking open throat and a less elaborate (and startling) gunshot. I also admire it for its use of small details: a pen running out of ink, or a heavy corpse being lifted out of a trunk that causes Harold to fall.

Chris Smith (aka Khhryst) plays Harold with a delightful aplomb, and he’s fun to watch as the weight of what he does for a living begins pressing down on his shoulders. He’s charismatic and his delivery is good; a couple of lines made me laugh out loud.

For fans of low budget, independent horror, the usual crimes are committed here: a “dead girl” who only blinks with one eye because she thinks the camera (which is positioned on the other side) can’t see it, and “actors” who have no business being on film. Like this one, for example:

Private Investigator: Have you already reported this person missing?
Friend or relative of person in crew: I have, and so far I’ve gotten…(pause as she loses her place on the script and finds it again)…gotten nothing. (Page rattles)

Moments like these can either be a detrimental or beneficial, depending on your point of view. Personally, I thought they made the film more fun.

“Slaughtered” is oddly sloppy in parts though; in one scene a character asks a friend to provide her with a back door in to Harold’s website, calling it “Slaughtered Lamb” (instead of “Sheep”). How was that missed, when the writer, producer and director are all the same person (and presumably in the room at the time of shooting)? Another strange moment involves one actor apparently forgetting her lines; it would have remained unnoticed if another actor hadn’t inappropriately replied “What do you mean? Stop what?” These kinds of things have nothing to do with being low budget, and it’s a bit amazing that they weren’t removed.

“Slaughtered” could also benefit from some tighter editing, particularly in the first third. One scene of a woman dressing goes on for four minutes. Thankfully the pacing improves, but not before some viewers will press stop and return it to the rental store. That’s a shame, because “Slaughtered” demonstrates some true skill. Fans of indie Horror should check it out.

Pros: Above average gore effects and an interesting concept.
Cons: Yawn-inducing editing in the beginning. Some actors fare better than others.
Review Rating: 3 out of 5 Giant, Toothy Vagina Monsters.

Slaughtered” (2005)
85 Minutes; USA
Not Rated, but probably equivalent to an R for graphic violence, nudity, and language.

Starring:
Chris Smith (Harold Parkinson)
Arlisha Fogle (Monica)
Ariel Carmine (Roxy)
Lena Ramon (Amanda)
Cally Marie (Jennie)
Aschleigh Farynn (Pearl)
Written and Directed by: Anthony Doublin
Viewing Format: Screener DVD (from Brain Damage Films)

(Originally published on HorrorWatch)

About John Daily

John is a freelance writer, columnist and critic. His work has appeared in print, as well as on sites such as ScifiWatch and HorrorWatch (where he wrote under the complete meaningless moniker “Bloody Taco”). An archive of his film-related material is available at cinemaspin.wordpress.com. Currently, he can be found spouting his special brand of sarcastic nonsense at CigarHell.com or Twitter (JohnNDaily).

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