×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Slaughter

No-budget zombie/demon wig out "The Slaughter" has energetic fun rehashing genre cliches. Pic benefits from knowing but not-quite-camp approach and some funny lines, even if final reels go overboard. Sum is disposable yet still slightly above-average for this type of film, likely to win some fan support at fantasy fests and as a DVD item.

With:
With: Jessica Ellis, Zak Kilberg, Terry Erioski, Adriana Esquivel, Jen Alex Gonzalez, Laura Stein, Travis Wood, Billy Beck, Brad Milne, Carmit Levite, Cheyenne Ault.

No-budget zombie/demon wig out “The Slaughter” has energetic fun rehashing genre cliches, many lifted directly from “Evil Dead” and its imitators. As its requisite cast of hotties is trapped in a creepy-old-house of horror, pic benefits from knowing but not-quite-camp approach and some funny lines, even if final reels go overboard winking at the inevitable audience of jaded genre addicts. Sum is disposable yet still slightly above-average for this type of film, likely to win some fan support at fantasy fests and as a DVD item.

After two successive prologues — a witches’ coven summons forth an evil female spirit, then a possessed young mother kills her own daughter — the cleaning service of modern-day collegiate entrepreneurs Dana (Jessica Ellis) and Tyler (Terry Erioski) is hired to hoover four decades of dust from an uninhabited and suitably isolated manse by a noxious real estate agent (Brad Milne) and his put-upon assistant (Jen Alex Gonzalez).

But when the geek (Zak Kilberg) from the crew of amusingly etched youth stereotypes — including confessed slut (Laura Stein), jock jerk (Travis Wood) and uber-stoner (Billy Beck) — discovers a skin-bound volume of supernatural incantations, it becomes rapidly clear that this lot isn’t meant to survive the night.

Decent jolts, savvy perfs, gratuitous female nudity, cheesy digital f/x, gore so over-the-top it’s more funny than disgusting, and vigorous direction by Jay Lee (“Noon Blue Apples”) keep “The Slaughter” hopping for quite a while. But once the majority of the cast has gone undead, things get a little too in-joke silly, with an excess of comedy dialogue slowing down what should be the most frenzied set pieces.

Tech package is adequate but will definitely come off to better advantage on the small screen.

Popular on Variety

The Slaughter

Production: A Spotlight Pictures presentation of a Scream HQ production. Produced by Calvin Green, Judy Marcelline, Michael J. Zampino. Executive producer, Angela J. Lee. Co-producers, Camit Levite, Chauncey Mahan. Directed, written, edited by Jay Lee.

Crew: Camera (color, DigiBeta), Lee; music, Chauncey Mahan; production designer, Sara Kugelmass; art director, Tim E. Smith; sound, Francisco Garcia Espinosa; special makeup f/x, Patrick Magee; 3-D animation, Willem Zwaan; additional special effects, Michael Shu, Bongani Ndlovu. Reviewed at Another Hole in the Head, San Francisco, June 10, 2006. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: With: Jessica Ellis, Zak Kilberg, Terry Erioski, Adriana Esquivel, Jen Alex Gonzalez, Laura Stein, Travis Wood, Billy Beck, Brad Milne, Carmit Levite, Cheyenne Ault.

More Film

  • Inside an Inox Leisure multiplex in

    India's Inox Multiplex Chain Reveals Ambitious Growth Plans

    Indian multiplex chain Inox Leisure has revealed ambitious plans to more than double its existing screen capacity of 600. The company is planning to add 900 more screens across the country over the next decade. “That’s the realistic answer, but my desire is to do it over the next five years,” Siddharth Jain, director, Inox [...]

  • Joker

    Why 'Joker' Is About All of Us (Column)

    Take a look at the photo above. It’s the most poetic image to have emerged from Todd Phillips’ “Joker,” and the reason I say “poetic” isn’t just because the shot has that caught-in-action indelible vibe of a quintessential movie poster: graphic, hauntingly composed, a bit shocking (at least, the first time you see it). It’s [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Rules International Box Office With $117 Million

    Though Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” stumbled at the domestic box office, the Angelina Jolie-led sequel enjoyed a far stronger start overseas. The follow-up to 2014’s fantasy adventure inspired by the “Sleeping Beauty” villain took off with $117 million from 56 international markets. In North America, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted with a meager $36 [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Dominates With Soft $36 Million

    Five years after Angelina Jolie’s “Maleficent” cast a spell over the box office, the villainous enchantress has returned to the top of domestic charts. Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” a sequel to 2014’s fantasy adventure based on the “Sleeping Beauty” sorceress, flew lower than the original and debuted to a disappointing $36 million from 2,790 [...]

  • MIA Wrap

    Rome MIA Market Wraps With Stronger U.S. Presence, Boosts Italy's Industry Standing

    Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries wrapped positively Sunday with organizers boasting a bump in attendance just as some 2,500 executives departed in an upbeat mood after four days of dealmaking and presentations of mostly European fresh product, which elevated Italy’s global standing in the industry, especially within the TV sector. [...]

  • Film Republic Adds Further Sales for

    Film Republic Inks Further Deals for 'God of the Piano' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sales agent Film Republic has closed further territory sales on “God of the Piano.” Film Movement previously picked up North American rights to the film, as reported exclusively by Variety. Mont Blanc Cinema has taken the rights for Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. Limelight Distribution is looking after the Australian and New Zealand releases, Hualu [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content