Reviewbr> At a remote Pub it's after closing time with the Staff having a few to unwind from another day of outrageous fortune. Some old drunk dude, who has apparently been asleep in the men's toilet is sent on his way. Proving the drinking and driving adverts right an unknown assailant murders the drunk for no apparent reason.
“24 Hours Later”, I don't want to get into the logic there, the Staff are heading back to the Pub for their next shift. A barmaid gets a lift from her overly protective boyfriend and they also pick up another barmaid on the way. Unfortunately the boyfriend's car breaks down leaving our feisty bar gals running late for work. They get a lift from some old sweaty guy that has apparently been out shooting pigs. Sweaty guy will later cause a few problems at the Pub for no apparent reason. Rounding out our possible suspects is “Crazy Ralph”, a local character I guess, and a new bar dude with a penchant for staring and ruminating on shards of glass.
The Bar Manager and our requisite nice guy discover the body of the dude killed the previous night in an upstairs pool room, and for no apparent reason decide on a lock-down. I assume they want to keep the killer inside with them. The Police are called and everyone sits back has a few, and the Audience waits to see who'll get murdered next.
Slaughtered, original title Schooner of Blood, is a low budget slasher out of New South Wales that surprisingly has a chick directing. Sue Brown (Family Demons) got in before Kate Glover in the post production race to affirm the Gals can make horror every bit as good as the blokes, but a slasher set in an outback Pub Directed by a Shiela, you don't see that every day. I'm actually at a stretch to think of any other slasher flick with a female Director, there may have been, but can anyone think of one? Any-wise a bit of trivia there for a Pub quiz night.
Firstly lets get the bad news out of the way before we draw a decent cold one. There's any number of problems with Slaughtered on the script front, just like most slashers really. The Pub patrons don't come and go during the festivities. Anyone else gone to a pub where the same crew arrive at the same time and stay all night? Didn't think so, and you have to wonder about a bar room full of blokes apparently comatosed during the second half of the movie. Beer must have been off. The killer's motive is never explained, just why did the psycho start killing people? There's exactly zero reason and Kate Glover isn't throwing any hints at the dart board. Sorry even the Friday 13th movies serve up an explanation, regardless of how mundane that may be. The Police, when they do arrive after the second phone call, are pretty perfunctionary about things allowing people to leave the crime scene without conducting an adequate investigation. Sorry just not believing the rural force are that out of touch with Police procedure. I could go on, 24 hours huh, but you get the picture, Slaughtered doesn't bare up under any sort of close examination. Just as well then that we're talking a slasher, the Audience expect a few liberties with the script.
Like any good slasher, and Slaughtered stacks up well on the low budget stakes, we have a number of victims introduced, a few red herrings thrown about to keep us on our toes, and a Psycho killer out to raise the body count. Kate Glover has clearly seen her share of blood letting and knows exactly how to get things on. The kills are pretty unpredictable, I didn't note a method to victim selection, and for the most part well staged. We get enough to be able to differentiate the characters but Glover doesn't waste valuable time on developing characters that are simply there as fodder for the killer's pruning saw. Yes our glass embedded mask wearing Psycho puts a pruning saw of all things to good use. So in terms of it's sub genre Slaughtered is working, albeit without much in the way of finesse or bringing anything entirely new to the table. So no we aren't talking top shelf here, but a cool tap beer is welcome on a hot day.
The killer I thought was well conceived, if lacking any sort of motivation that was readily notable. While the pruning saw was a strange selection for a murder weapon, the mask with it's embedded shards of glass certainly got a nod of approval. Glover masks, sorry for the pun, her killer pretty well. Sure the usual suspects will claim to have worked it out with our resident Dexter being obvious as they try for their big man on the internet mantle, but Glover throws enough into the mix to have you wondering if your call was correct. Normally I simply go with the flow and don't bother trying to work out who is under the mask, better enjoyment value, but this time round the Director/Writer throws so many characters onto the screen who are obviously not going to be the killer once he/she is unmasked that you tend to have your suspicions. As stated elsewhere, it's too easy to claim you worked it all out, especially if said claim is via the interwebs, end of day who really cares. If you are one of those cretins who feel like you need to decipher things before the Director is willing to let you in on the secret then rock on, it's not exactly brain surgery to deduce who's behind the mask. The real trick here is determining what the hell the killer's motivation is!
Glover keeps her pace up fairly effectively during the course of the movie, stages her death scenes well, and feeds out enough information to keep patrons coming back for another round. Like most slashers there's nothing to be learnt about the human condition, Slaughtered is pure entertainment, and a return to 1980s sensibilities. For those wondering, no we don't get nekkid teens or any other sort of exploitation going down, the movie takes itself a tad more seriously than is perhaps warranted by occasional drops in acting standards. The name Slaughtered is not going to be read out during Awards night, but then again when was the last time an Aussie dark genre flick got any sort of recognition from the wine and cheese set.
For the purpose of writing this review I grabbed an R2 release of Slaughtered as naturally our own Distributors haven't sorted it out yet in Oz. Overall I was pretty much entertained, grooved to the slasher conventions, and was pretty happy with what Kate Glover sent my way. While Slaughtered, not sure the pun works in the title, is not going to make my top ten slasher list it's still miles better than the standard outing in the sub genre. I would certainly take Glover's movie over Craven's schlock any day of the week. If you dig on slashers than hunt this one out, it works on it's own terms, has an interesting enough situation, and pays homage to the classics, (one character is called Crazy Ralph). Recommended to slasher fans.
ScaryMinds Rates this movie as ...br> br> Definitely worth a couple of rounds down your local