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A man visits Alcatraz prison after having dreams about all the people who died there. When he gets there, his brother is possessed by an envil cannibal demon. The ghost of a female heavy metal singer who was killed there tries to help the man fight the monster. Written by
Frustrating but bearable supernatural slasher junk
Slaughterhouse Rock is a film that wants to have it all. Bad dreams, demonic possession, astral projection, ghosts, its a lot to take in. And its mostly set in Alcatraz, and there's an unexpected attempted rape for good measure. Sadly between wanting it all and actually having it things all fall down. Films like this started to grow common in the late 80's, it was the winding down of slasher conventions and gradual move into the slightly higher budgeted and ambitiously silly b cinema of the early 90's, films like Sleepwalkers or Warlock: The Armageddon. I give writer/director Dimitr Logothetis full credit for trying with this one, it slings a fair few cool effects and the fast paced and bonkers plotting keeps things moving pretty nicely. The big problem comes with the characters and a frustrating lack of decent kills. Only a couple stand out and neither are especially grisly, in fact the early dream sequences by and large sling better shocks than what goes on for real. Its a real bummer as the location is great and the killer is a reasonably imposing hulk of a figure but the combination rather fizzles out. The characters are even worse though, non entities virtually the lot of them. Seriously, I watched this one last night and all I can remember are a few names and a dull, nagging feeling of irritation. They don't even rise to anger inducing or perplexing, they're just there, and there in nothing more than a basic physical sense. Actually I did like one character, a helpful ghost rock star played by Toni Basil (of Hey Mickey! Infamy). She provides a pleasingly kooky spark as the unwitting cause of events, driven, likable and convincing. I liked the direction as well, the film has a nice sense of chill and damp, of isolation and smoke machine seeped foreboding, there are some nice shots of the cast wandering Alcatraz from inside cells or tracking them top down from the ceiling, makes for a nice feel of hunted menace. The only other notable plus is that things are never boring. The whole 84 minutes zips by with not a trace of filler or downtime, sleek, slick and stupid throughout it comes over nicely enough as an epitome of a time waster. Severely needed more gore and boobs, but still scrapes a 5/10 in my book, which is to say the only reason to watch is if you have to see every 80's slasher/trasher and if you do have to see it, it's definitely better than a poke in the eye with a wet stick.
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