Slaughterhouse Rock (1988)
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It's about this guy who has nightmares about all the people who died at Alcatraz, so he decides to visit the jail and, like, there are all these vampires and stuff, and they're all into killing people. It's really cool.
The special effects are like totally sweet, I thought it was a real vampire once. (They're real, they bit my Uncle Herman.) The acting is top-notch stuff. Everyone playing the vampires must have trained at the Actor's Studio with Al Pacino and Chris Walken and Mickey Rourke, they're just plain into character like no others.
It co-stars this guy named Jeff Speakman, you might remember him from the epic masterpiece of the martial arts genre, THE PERFECT WEAPON, well he's even better here, even though he's only in it for about ten seconds.
This is a totally sweet movie and the best movie ever made. Before I saw it, I had no idea a lone man could gain access to one of the most infamous former jails in the United States. I was also unaware that nobody's monitoring the jail and that these monitors wouldn't have noticed flying giant bats killing people all the time.
So I guess I learned a thing or two from Slaughterhouse Rock, the best movie ever made!
I found all the male cast members very attractive which didn't hurt either. For the guys there is the lovely and talented Hope Marie Carlton who appears nude and/or semi-nude a few times ( I'm a straight female, but have always enjoyed watching Hope in all of her movies, nude or not).
Slaughterhouse Rock is one of those incoherent '80s horror movies that feels like it was made up on the fly. Trashy schlock with a surfeit of mullets, neon lighting and bad synth music, the film makes very little sense, and tries to compensate with gratuitous nudity and gore. It's such a hot mess that, very occasionally, it succeeds in entertaining, but for the most part it proves to be a muddled, aimless, and rather tedious crapfest, the most horrific aspect being Toni Basil's garish outfits.
Nudity: Hope Marie Carlton, as Richard's girlfriend Krista, flashes her ta-tas several times and strips to her scanties.
Goriest moments: Alex dreams that he has his hand cut off and has his chest ripped open. One of the friends is punched through his head. Krista has her neck chewed open.
Silliest moment: Toni Basil doing a ridiculous dance during a montage of previous scenes.
The group become stranded, Alex's brother Richard (Tom Reilly) becomes possessed and starts killing everyone. Toni Basil of "Mickey" fame shows up as the helpful ghost of Sammy Mitchell, lead singer of the group "Bodybag". She teaches Alex how to levitate out of his body and does a rock music dance intercut with repeat nightmare footage to pad out the running time. All of the victims show up as wisecracking ghosts a la the Griffin Dunne character in AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. The script is full of plot holes, cheesy dialogue and lame attempts at comedy. Good FX work and cool opening credits (both by Ernest D. Farino) are the only things gaining any merit. Basil and Devo ("Whip It") do some songs on the soundtrack.
Score: 2 out of 10
Rated R; Sexual Situations, Rape, Violence, Nudity, and Profanity.
Once on the Alcatraz island they find themselves in a Slasher movie, and meet up with Tony Basil, who cannot help but break into a couple dance poses at times and had her own lighting crew (complete with a smoke machine for that 1980's smoky haze infused light look, which I kind of miss). And such reminded me that Ms. Basil helped choreograph David Byrne of the Talking Heads for some of his videos and performances. This of course has nothing at all to do with the film but kept popping into mind as the movie posed very little to actually think about. It sort of happens, and you can either watch or keep working on your page markup with it on the TV set off to the side. But since the film isn't really interesting, you'll keep deciding to finish one last thing instead of wasting time, the movie will keep ending, and you'll find yourself wondering what you missed every time you realize the end credits are starting to roll again, dammit ...
*SOME* 1980's Teen Horror movies can survive such specialized viewing: Umberto Lenzi's GHOSTHOUSE, CHOPPING MALL & it's Killbots, the hard to ignore NIGHT OF THE CREEPS and the over-the-top SLEEPAWAY CAMP all come to mind. They are films that, like them or not, demand your attention and usually pay off with some good gore or T&A, and typos in your work as evidence that you were watching the TV instead of your keyboard. I am sure that HELL ISLAND (as the British version I glommed onto is titled) does indeed have some good stuff in there, but frankly I don't care. And nothing is more annoying that encountering art of any genre that doesn't inspire admiration, some decent dislike or even good old honest hatred for it. The film is content with simpering away 80-whatever minutes of time and never really accomplishing anything more than being a sometimes distraction in spite of my best efforts to try and give it a chance, but no dice.
There is some offbeat production design going on, the use of lighting is striking at times, and the occasional outburst of mayhem will probably keep fans of 1980's Teen Horror interested. The rest of you be warned though: YOU WILL WONDER IF YOU DRESSED LIKE THAT IN 1987, and the answer is probably more hideous than anything which happens on screen. Try to watch it as a free rental if possible so that if disappointed you aren't stuck with the damn thing: Movies like this take up valuable shelf space that is often at a commodity these days, what with the world coming to an end & all ...
** (out of 4)
Alex Gardner (Nicholas Celozzi) is suffering from non-stop nightmares where he sees himself being ripped apart by demons. He and five friends end up visiting Alcatraz and sure enough he begins to see things that make him think his dreams were warning him of something.
SLAUGHTERHOUSE ROCK is a rather strange film to say the least. If you take it too literal then you're head will probably pop off. If you don't take it too serious then you're going to be basically watching something that seems to have been influenced by Lamberto Bava's DEMONS but without any sort of logic. I'm really not sure what the producers were trying to do with this picture but it's certainly one of the craziest out there and did I mention the soundtrack was done by DEVO?
As far as the film goes, it really doesn't make any sense. I've read countless reviews where people talk about the plot but who knows what's really going on. I say that because the first thirty-minutes are full of scenes that turn out to be dream sequences and even when the kids get to the island there's really not much of a clue as to what's going on. Before you know it the dreams turn into a reality and we get some blood and gore.
This here was released after the genre was pretty much on life support but I give the filmmakers credit for delivering not only the nudity but also the gore. There are some pretty gory scenes to be had here including several where people are either ripped open or have their throats torn open. The practical effects actually look very good as does the make-up design on the demons. Is all of these stuff and the rock music as good as DEMONS? No way.
Again, if you're wanting logic and brains in your horror movies then it's best that you stay far away from this one. There's no question that this here is a highly flawed movie but at the same time it has an approach that at least shows the filmmakers were wanting to deliver something horror fans would like.
Once there trouble soon begins when the guy's own brother is transformed into a demon with a penchant for human flesh. Luckily, a friendly female ghost is on hand to give him advice. And the latter sentence encapsulates all that's wrong with this film. The idea of having friendly, comedic ghosts hanging around imparting advice belongs in a kid's movie, not a supposedly adult film like this, and such scenes feel at odds with the various gore and effects on display elsewhere. Otherwise, it's very much a typical '80s production, with cheesy acting and rubbery effects inspired by the likes of FRIGHT NIGHT and AN American WEREWOLF IN London. It's not a classic, that's for sure.
Your usual annoying collection of horribly unsympathetic college student chowderheads lead by insufferably spineless tormented twerp Alex (the hugely unappealing Nicholas Celozzi) go to Alcatraz Island to investigate the bizarre circumstances surrounding the sudden gruesome death of up-and-coming rock star Sammy Mitchell (blandly played by Toni Basil of "Hey Micky" fame). Alex's brother becomes possessed by the evil demonic spirit of a vicious cannibalistic US Civil War cavalry commandant and goes on the expected killing spree, thus forcing wimpy Alex to overcome his passivity and make a stand against this ghoulish specter.
Although slickly photographed by Nicholas Von Sternberg, with a few decent gore set pieces and a fair amount of spooky atmosphere (the film was shot on location in the dismal, rusty, rundown ruins of Alcatraz Island), "Slaughterhouse rock" nonetheless just doesn't cut it as a solid, effective fright feature. This is largely due to the uniformly obnoxious and unlikeable collegiate smartaleck characters, a tiresomely smirky bunch whose inane comic antics prove to be grating rather than amusing. The flat acting from a noticeably disinterested cast hurts matters all the more, with onetime "Playboy" playmate and undeniable blonde cutie pie hottie supreme Hope Marie Carlton doing an especially irritating Linnea Quigley impersonation as the token oversexed nympho bimbo. Dimitri Logothetis' direction displays a modicum of flashy visual style, but the tone is unevenly pitched between grim seriousness and goofy, horrendously sophomoric silliness, and, most damagingly, Ted Landon's sloppy, inconsistent, overly complicated and finally quite confusing script miserably fails to develop the necessary internal logic to make the far-fetched story even remotely plausible. In other words, this stinker sadly succeeds in making a scant 90 minutes seem like an excruciatingly drawn-out cinematic jail sentence.