Slaughtered – a movie review by Robert Long II ©2011
TAGLINE: “Everyone’s getting slaughtered in the pub tonight!”
Written, produced and directed by Kate Glover
Starring Chloe Boreham, Steven O’Donnell , Christopher Tomkinson , Cassandra Swaby, Erica Baron, Marc Kay
This takes place at a local public house in Australia. The first evening we are treated to the young staff closing up shop and having a beer after hours. Here we are introduced to the sexual tensions between several of the employees and who gets along with whom, and who doesn’t. The revelry is interrupted by a local patron – Simon – that stumbles into the party. It appears that he got rip-snorting drunk and was sleeping it off in another part of the pub. After he tries to get too friendly with the girls they hustle him out to the parking lot. Out there alone he fumbles for his car keys. Looking up he recognizes the person (unseen to the audience) coming up to him; unfortunately that person has decided to slit the drunk’s throat.
We then move on to the next evening at home where Sarah (Cassandra Swaby) is getting ready to go in for her shift. She and her friend and fellow barmaid Jamie (Chloe Boreham) are getting a ride with Sarah’s drunken boyfriend. He decides he needs to pull over for a piss break. When he returns to the car it won’t turn over. Just then a pick up pulls up next to them. A grizzled old coot leans out and offers to take them to the Pub.
Frantic that they will be late for their shifts, the girls hitch a ride with a creepy pig farmer – leaving the boyfriend to deal with his stalled car. Jamie is forced to sit in the bed of the truck while Sarah sits up front. Ol’ Creepy starts getting too fresh with her, and she and Jamie get out of the truck and head for work, with Creepy leering at them through the windshield.
It looks like it will be a busy night at the Pub and a new male employee is starting that evening. The manager asks the others to help him learn the ropes, and he seems less than thrilled to be there and puts no energy behind his duties. Meanwhile the locals are getting drunk and talking to one another about the urban legends that surround the Public House, and how it has had an evil past.
Things continue on fairly normal during the night until one of the employees notices blood dripping from the second floor landing. He and the manager investigate and find the dead drunk from the previous night sprawled out in a room – gutted and bleeding all over the place. Freaked out, the manager decides to keep this low profile, not tell any of the other staff, lock the doors so no one can enter or exit, and then get the police to the bar as fast as possible.
While this is happening, a waitress is pouring a beer for a customer, but blood starts to come out from the spigot. Lurking about, there is an eerie cloaked intruder wearing a hideous mask, and brandishing a cruel, curved saw…
The trailer for this on Youtube had me intrigued, so I asked for a screener from producer Helen Grace; she sent one to me. It was coming from England so when it arrived it was in slightly rough shape. I found a DVD player that would play it and the movie is fine. As this is a screener, there are no special bonuses to go over.
Kate Glover wrote, produced and directed this movie at the age of 22. She made it at the Australian Pub she was working at while in college. All in all I am really impressed with her first attempt at a scary motion picture. In many ways it puts other people who are trying to get into “the biz” to shame. I don’t know what the budget was or how many favors had to be pulled, but the movie has an incredible look to it. None of that “I used my uncle’s birthday party video recorder” crap going on here! Also a good word needs to be put in for both the lighting and the audio, which are both spot on.
The pub setting is put to fantastic use and hides any hint of this being a micro budget production. The writing and direction overall is very good. The cast is convincing and likeable – well most of them are. There are some that are convincing and UN-likeable as characters too. The bar staff is a lot of fun – full of hunky guys and lovely ladies. You get to know them well enough that you are sorry to see them get bumped off. There are plenty of moments of tension and suspense, and a couple of instances of intentional humor.
Now let’s talk about the killer; this demon is one seriously creepy guy. Clad in a rain slicker, he wears upon his face a second-skin mask, but does Leatherface one better; the mask is encrusted with jagged pieces of glass and rusty nails. His weapon of choice is a curved handsaw. This villain never speaks and that adds to the fright factor.
Now we get to the part where this motion picture could have been improved. After the first killing the movie takes a little while to get moving again, because it is this point where the character development and red herrings are being set up. Once the body is discovered upstairs, that’s when all hell breaks loose. Also, another thing that makes me wince when I watch these movies; the intended victims – gaining the upper hand on the killer – never finish them off. Such a scene exists in SLAUGHTERED where the killer has been whacked in the head a few times with a baseball bat. If it had been me with the bat, I would not have stopped pounding him until his head resembled bloody mashed potatoes.
The final verdict? I give SLAUGHTERED/SCHOONER OF BLOOD 7/10 shot glasses. While not perfect it is enjoyable and director Glover has done a great job on her first motion picture outing. You can check out the awesome trailer HERE. I hope this finds American distribution and comes loaded with extras. Fans of slasher movies will love this one!