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Slasher Express Vol. 1

Drive-In Massacre (Severin)

& Slaughterhouse (Vinegar Syndrome)

by Scott MacDonald

severinDriveIn

vsSlaughterhouse

Drive-In Massacre

Director– Stu Segall

Starring – John F. Goff, Steve Vincent

Country of Origin- U.S.

Discs- 1

Reviewer- Scott MacDonald

  

   Drive-In Massacre is frequently credited as one of the first slasher films that set the template for the genre. This, even though the film came a few years after Bob Clark's Black Christmas and Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I guess if fans were counting Carpenter's Halloween as the alpha slasher then Drive-In Massacre could certainly quality as one of the prototypes for what was to come in the decade to come.

   The premise of Drive in Massacre is quite simple. A killer is stalking a local run-down drive in movie theater, killing his victims with a sword. Two bumbling detectives set about investigating the place, going between three primary suspects, the over the top manager, the janitor, and the pervert who always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Drive-In Massacre I doubt will make many fans slasher best of list. But it has some things going for it. The gore in the film is quite decent, and using a sword as the murder weapon of choice is an inspired decision to make the film stand out. The performances are not great, but they are amusing. The soundtrack isn't memorable, but it is quite fitting to the overall look and feel of the film. The real problem with the film, and what really makes it hard to recommend is the pacing. Director Stu Segall manages to make the 75 minutes feel like 2 times that, and not even the film's fun and violent moments could save the drab pacing of the piece.

    Severin Films has done quite an excellent job restoring Stu Segall's Drive In Massacre to Blu-ray. The film is presented 1:85:1 with a 1080p AVC encoded transfer. The transfer looks quite solid, grain is rendered well, detail is fine, colors are natural and accurate. The film is quite soft in places, but that is a reflection of the film's natural look. The film is presented by Severin with a DTS-HD Mono track in English, everything comes through clearly here, and I could find no complaints.  There are 3 interviews on the disc with various members of the cast and crew including director Segall. We also get a commentary track with Segall. The disc is rounded off with a trailer.

The Film (2/5)

Audio/Video (3.5/5)

Extras (3.5/5)

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Slaughterhouse

Director– Rick Roessler

Starring –  Sherry Bendorf Leigh, Joe B. Barton

Country of Origin- U.S.

Discs- 2

Reviewer- Scott MacDonald

   Slaughterhouse is a film whose cover art is burned into my brain completely. Copies of the film must have haunted every single video store shelf I visited as a kid and teenager, and yet upon rewatch of the film, I couldn't remember if I had seen it previously or not. Slaughterhouse is not a complicated film, deciding to eschew much of it's plot in the place of over the top violence and gore to an almost obsessive and extreme degree.

   The film stars Don Barrett as Lester Bacon the owner of a slaughterhouse, who is being threatened with eviction by the local sheriff, who also owns another nearby slaughterhouse.  He decides to not take this sitting down, and tells his son "Buddy" to start killing anyone that trespasses on their property ,and that he does. Buddy begins to kill every man, woman, and child who steps foot in and around the slaughterhouse.

   The film isn't much other than that. It pretty much hits the ground running, and doesn't stop until it gets its body count. Slaughterhouse is honestly far from a classic slasher, and is pretty much on the same tier as something like "Don't Go in the Woods...Alone", where the kills are over the top, and they come at a ridiculous pace. There isn't really much in the way of suspense, when Buddy gets someone in his eyes, they're dead.

    Vinegar Syndrome works their usual magic on Slaughterhouse. Slaughterhouse is presented in a 1:85:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer preserving the film's OAR. Everything looks pretty nice here, colors pop, blacks are deep, and detail is excellent. Audio is presented with a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track in English that absolutely pops. Everything comes through crisp and clear. Vinegar Syndrome has PACKED Slaughterhouse with extras. This one has interviews, a commentary track, archival BTS footage, TV spots, trailers, and so much more.

 

The Film (1.5/5)

Audio/Video (5/5)

Extras (4/5)

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