Slaughterhouse Rock (1988) Poster

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Great premise, lousy execution
tripwires27 December 2001
Warning: Spoilers
The summary provided by my cable TV guide made it sound a lot more interesting than it actually is. "Slaughterhouse Rock" is by far the worst horror film that I have ever seen, a title previously held by "Urban Legends: Final Cut". From its opening scene I could tell it's going to be really bad, but I was so bored that I couldn't care less. This film contains laughable acting, especially by the guy who's tormented in his dreams, incredible as in not credible plot twists, and some of the crappiest music I've heard, and I'm living in a period when the likes of Britney Spears and Nsync dominate the air waves. The biggest problem with "Slaughterhouse Rock" is that it's not funny. One would a film as dull and boring and so NOT scary as this would try to spice things up a bit with a few funny one-liners here and there, but no. We have Tormented Guy's self-centered friend trying to be funny, but came across as annoying instead. (spoiler) And please, do tell me, who in this crazy world is insane and self-loathing enough to visit a creepy jail in the middle of the night? No one! If you're going to make a horror movie, at least make it believable. This one is anything but.
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Escape from Alcatraz
MovieAddict201611 June 2005
This is by far the best film ever made. It puts "Lord of the Rings," "Schindler's List," "Citizen Kane" and "Mission: Impossible 2" to shame. It is so great, it's greater.

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!
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I love this movie, it rocks!!!
MrsMcC8 June 2002
Warning: Spoilers
I love this movie so much I bought it on VHS and DVD, and seen them a lot... Sure, the plot isn't very original, but the effects I think were well done and graphic enough to please horror fans like myself. The location was creepy enough for me, the first time I watched I kept waiting for something or someone to jump out (and it did lol).

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).
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Campy Horror That's So Bad It's Good
horror777730 June 2001
SLAUGHTERHOUSE ROCK is a horror film that is not trying too hard to take itself seriously, which is good. For if it had, it would've been worse. This is the kind of film that you go into expecting run-of-the-mill slasher stuff, but instead you get a film that includes some great horror elements that include bringing in Alcatraz. Alcatraz is a great place for a horror film to take place, and although if they didn't have that stupid Sammy Mitchell bullsh*t this film would've been better, they played the film strictly for camp values. The whole Sammy Mitchell stuff is a big joke. In the beginning, that NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET dream stuff isn't played for laughs, but as soon as the teens hit the island, it's strictly camp. For a serious horror film, SLAUGHTERHOUSE ROCK scrapes the barrel, but for a campy, funny little horror film (which I presume and HOPE it was intended to be) SLAUGHTERHOUSE ROCK succeeds. There are worse out there people. **out of****For a stupid camp horror film.
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Nightmare´s ala Freddy Kruger
Heaven177 January 2000
The storyline is absurd and lame,also sucking are performances and the dialogue, is hard to keep your Eyes open. I advise you to have a caffeine-propelled friend handy to wake you in time for a couple Gore-effects.Why they bring Alcatraz in?In this case,becomes increasingly difficult to swallow. All the while ,i wondered who this film aimed for?Chock full of lame subplots (such as the Cannibalism US Army-captain)This is low-grade in every aspect.BTW this Movie is banned in Germany!!
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Cool, Sexy and Funny Flick!!!
JimSthers9 February 2002
I love this movie, I like it so much that I own a copy, it has everything: gore, nudity, pretty girls, cool soundtrack and a decent body count. A group of friends including the sexy Hope Marie Carlton (from Slumber Party Massacre 3, Savage Beach) go to an island where they are killed one by one after one of them gets possessed by some demon.
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Another "Nightmare on Elm Street" wannabe that doesn't have what it takes.
gridoon7 April 2003
Making the film as dark and visually fuzzy as possible in order to cover up the budget deficiencies is an often-used strategy in low-budget horror films, but this one takes it too far. It is SO poorly lit and murky (and it takes place almost entirely at night, to boot) that you often end up virtually looking at a black screen (although perhaps the bad video transfer may also have had something to do with that). Alas, "murky" is also the best word to describe the movie's plot. The filmmakers throw in diverse (and unoriginal) horror ideas without any semblance of logic, and halfway through you get the feeling that they just about abandoned the effort to make a good horror film; you know it when you see characters who are supposed to be in mortal danger (or, in some occasions, even dead) making small talk....(*1/2)
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The makers of this mess deserve to do time for crimes against horror.
BA_Harrison14 January 2018
San Franciscan teen Alex Gardner (Nicholas Celozzi) suffers from recurring dreams in which he is menaced by a demon in an abandoned prison. He consults Carolyn Harding, an expert in such matters, who believes that the dreams are calling him to Alcatraz. Together with Carolyn, his brother Richard (Tom Reilly) and a group of friends, Alex visits the infamous island where he encounters the spirit of dead rocker Sammy Mitchell (Toni Basil), who helps him to defeat the evil spirit of a cannibalistic commandant.

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.
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Frustrating but bearable supernatural slasher junk
Bloodwank30 May 2011
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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"All I've gotten out of this is a slamming headache, not to mention a shaky stomach."
Backlash0078 January 2004
Slaughterhouse Rock is pretty bad. Not bad in a good way, just bad. A college student has nightmares about Alcatraz, a spirit is trying to communicate with him, a rock band (led by Toni Basil) is slaughtered, and a "dream analyst" somehow knows what's going on...with a killer soundtrack by Devo. Sounds like a plot I came up with in 4th grade. None of this stuff fits together. The writer can try all he wants to, it's just not happening. It's a lame and incoherent set-up for a lame and incoherent horror movie. But then again what more do you expect from a title like Slaughterhouse Rock?
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What was that?!?
DJ Inferno31 May 2002
Just watched "Slaughterhouse Rock" and it´s really one hell of a strange horror film! A bit of "Nightmare on Elm Street" here, a bit of "Evil Dead" there and lots of other obscurities that leave you behind with the question what you have seen now during the last 90 minutes: construct the puzzle from particles such as a totally twisted plot, grotesque humor, a pesky hard rock soundtrack by 1980s synthie-poppers Devo, campy acting by a bunch of stereotype US-teeny actors and some guys who look like a horde of new wave zombies. Unfortunately, I saw a heavily cut version, so I can only guess about the gore. However, the violence must have been explicit enough, otherwise "Slaughterhouse Rock" wouldn´t have reached the status of a video nasty in Germany. A film that´s neither suspense-packed nor boring, neither good nor bad. A really strange work indeed! I´d give 5 out of 10...
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Tacky hair hand horror flick.
capkronos6 May 2003
College student Alex Gardner (Nicholas Celozzi) is plagued by nightmares of a cellar-dwelling ghoul at Alcatraz. He dreams of cutting off his own hand, spitting up a worm, a ghoul ripping open his chest and being roasted over an open fire. After his friends see him levitating "6 feet" over his bed, a helpful, occult-obsessed teacher (Donna Denton) suggests that they sneak into Alcatraz to face his fears. Of course they go in the middle of the night when no one is around to help when things get out of hand!

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
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3 … 4 … Lock your door (for another louse Nightmare on Elm Street wannabe)
Coventry27 June 2010
Another unscrupulous and totally uninspired "Nightmare on Elm Street" rip-off in which the adolescent protagonist suffers from dreams that feel slightly too real and eventually lure him and his friends to great peril. There were some other imitations kept their intentions fairly modest and enjoyable, like for example "Bad Dreams", this piece of junk had the pretension to expand the nightmare premise with other contemporary popular themes, like haunted prison settings and atrociously untalented rock bands. Solely based on a couple of recurring bad dreams, Alex and his brother and a couple of friends decide to perpetrate into Alcatraz to unravel the mystery behind the dreams. By the way, did you know it's the easiest thing in the world to break into Alcatraz despite of it being a national historic landmark? You just steal a boat in the middle of the night and you can enter the facility without the least bit of obstacles. Once inside, Alex's brother quickly becomes possessed with a demonic spirit and people start dying. I wish I could say the murder sequences were gruesome and gory, but since there clearly wasn't too much budget, everything is dark and unclear. Alex receives help and advice from dead rock star's ghost (Toni "Oh Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind – hey Mickey" Basil) but that certainly doesn't make the movie any more interesting. Weak and derivative plot, insufferable characters you can't wait to see dying, on screen darkness and putrid direction … all the trademarks of a must- avoid 80's horror flick.
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So the music is the madness?
In_tru_der9 January 2000
This movie is not so good: it's supposed to be horror, and has some scary scenes, but on the overall it's pretty lame.Also a good thing is that the movie has got a plot, they thought very hard about it... Although I have to admit that the acting was very good (too good for an 80's horror movie), it just didn't scare me or touch me. So, rent it if you're a horrorfan who wants to see every horrormovie there is (like me), otherwise... NOT !
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Terrible Movie
youngjacob20026 August 2003
I can't think of many horror movies that can get worse than this one,because this movie sucked big time.It's boring,bad acting,and does'nt really have a plot.And half of the movie does'nt make any sense.I like movies about prison,which is one reason I chose to see this film.I was very disappointed.This is one of the worst horror movies ever made.It was stupid!Do NOT see it,take it from me you'll hate it.
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* out of 4.
brandonsites19813 June 2002
Nightmare on Elm Street & Exorcist clone about a young man suffering from a reoccuring nightmare about Alcatrez, who decides to do something about it. He heads out to the prison with his brother and a group of friends, however his brother becomes possessed by one of the spirits and goes on a massive killing spree. Cheap special effects and over the top acting torpedo it's chances and music video style direction sinks it.

Rated R; Sexual Situations, Rape, Violence, Nudity, and Profanity.
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Umm, OK ...
Warning: Spoilers
Well after three times through I still have no idea what this movie is about because, quite honestly, it failed to generate any real interest or concern. But here it goes: A bunch of too old to be teen Teen Actors dressed in horrifying latter 1980's fashions (did WE look like that too??) decide it would be a really good idea to get in a motorboat and go visit the abandoned Alcatraz after one of them has nightmares of people being slaughtered in various horrifying ways that manage to rip off POLTERGEIST, THE EVIL DEAD, and Freddy Kreuger in one fell swoop. The dimwit even envisions himself being roasted over an open fire with some deformed freak slicing off strips of tenderloin. Good thing it was only a dream or it might have hurt, and good thing his dreams had a decent special effects budget. Mine are usually pretty lame: Girls, model space ships, blowing things up with a bazooka, etc.

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 ...
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A dismal experience. (spoilers)
Pepper Anne3 April 2005
This was one of the most boring "horror" movies that I have ever seen. A college kid has an epidemic of nightmares involving roaming spirits at Alcatraz. Trying to deliver a mix of "Nightmare on Elm Street" and standard vampire fare in the form of a bad 80s music video, this movie is jammed full of bad acting and an exhaustively slow moving story. Although, being such a bad, and often laughable movie (dig those mullets and the terrible dialog), it would be good material to spoof on for an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Don't be fooled by the proud mention of the film being the 1987 winner of the Silver Scroll Award by the Academy of Sicence Fiction, Fanatasy, and Horror, or that Devo contributes to the soundtrack, or that Tony Basil has a part in the film. It is a giant disaster, though one with a small cult following (see the other IMDb comments for this film).
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No Logic, Weird But Hey, There's Gore!
Michael_Elliott5 April 2018
Slaughterhouse Rock (1988)

** (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.
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Cheap and cheesy '80s horror
Leofwine_draca30 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
SLAUGHTERHOUSE ROCK is a cheap and cheesy horror film from the 1980s that feels very much like a rip-off of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. The story is about an ordinary guy who is plagued by sinister nightmares involving demons and death, so he decides to take a trip to the abandoned Alcatraz prison with some friends and family members in order to figure out what's going on.

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.
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A gruelingly sub-par & tedious haunted prison wash-out
Woodyanders9 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The late 80's saw an inexplicable rash of supernatural horror films set in gloomy penitentiary settings. Renny Harlin's superbly gritty and moody "Prison" got the whole haunted hoosegow ball rolling; it was immediately followed by the markedly inferior "The Chair," John Saxon's enjoyably trashy "Death House," the passable psycho picture "Destroyer," and this hideously limp'n'lethargic exercise in hopelessly comatose tedium.

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.
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