Monday, 5 July 2010
The Slaughter (2006) and boobies
Last week I watched The Slaughter. It was procured for 150 of Her Majesty’s pennies. I watched the first forty minutes of The Slaughter before I realised I’d seen it before. Really this probably isn’t a good reflection on The Slaughter, but then I used to drink a lot so maybe it’s just not a good reflection on me.
Bless its straight to video heart though; it leaps into the hackneyed action with unabashed gusto and before the credits were even over I’d seen so many boobies it was like I imagine Christmas must be at the Playboy Mansion. The boobies were not only prolific but also diverse, they were a spectacular range of size and shape and artificiality, so top marks for the boobies. In a personal aside, when my brother was in his early teens and suffered from that common teenage affliction of ‘selective hearing’ a sure fire way to get his attention was to say ‘boobies’. My brother is 24 now. This still works.
Anyway, The Slaughter begins with a wholly anthropologically accurate invoking ritual performed by a witches’ coven at the turn of the last century. At the sacrificial climax of the ceremony the assembled witches shed their black robes, because, as we all know, real magic can only be truly performed topless, (are you getting this, J.K. Rowling?) and set about the sacrificing their sacrifice, it’s what they presumably came here for after all. Amid the blood and boobies, the requested She Demon arises in all her naked glory though apparently displaying a curious lack of nipples which is odd considering everyone else at this party, her party, is as unashamedly bare breasted as Wicca probably intended it, maybe the demonic nipples of the ultimate feminine evil are just too much to behold and our eyes would all be burned out by their hellish might. Yeah, that’s probably it.
Back in the present day a house has sprung up, presumably on the sacred ground of naked witchy evil, and that house, after a series of previous owner tragedies, is in the grubby paws of a rich and slimy property developer and up for sale again. Unfortunately it’s in a bit of a state so before it can be sold he needs to get some cheap and readily available labour to clean it up. Naturally, when faced with this logistical dilemma he immediately knows just the group of young, reasonably attractive thinly drawn clichés to call.
The young, reasonably attractive thinly drawn clichés arrive at the house en masse. They are; the sensible older brother leader, his somewhat uptight girlfriend, the obnoxious, surly, politically moronic little brother (adopted), the blonde good time girl, her unwarrantedly arrogant jock boyfriend and some stoned beatnik.
Unsurprising not a lot of actual cleaning gets done. God damn, lazy kids with their drugs and their music and their demonic invocations. While the She Demon creeps about periodically giving members of our little group a good startle, the jock blunders upon a couple of old books. Which are immediately and emphatically stated by the obnoxious younger brother, who is apparently an expert in these matters, to be a human skin bound grimoire and a less exciting sounding hundred year old diary.
It somewhat abruptly transpires that the gang have inadvertently invoked the She Demon and apparently everyone is remarkably quick to jump on board with this idea despite there being very little evidence to support this as a fact. Now while I’ve had little actual invoking experience in recent years, I’m fairly sure it takes a wee bit more than merely reading something aloud at random from a happened upon grimoire. Also, I saw the opening credits and, a hundred years ago at least, it seemed considerably more complex, and more nude. And, while we’re on the subject, what exactly happened to the She Demon in the intervening years between the initial naked coven invocation and the young, reasonably attractive thinly drawn clichés’ accidental bumbling? Did she have to take a part time job to support her demonic, world annihilating lifestyle? What kind of job can a perpetually naked, no nippled she demon get? Why do I have so many questions when I’ve seen this movie twice? Actually, to be fair to The Slaughter, it’s entirely possible all of this was adequately explained but I’d just dozed off, or spotted something shiny.
So anyway, in what I can only assume to be a cunning ruse to avoid doing any actual work on this house cleaning job, the obnoxious younger brother rushes straight to his laptop with the aforementioned old books to conduct some ‘research’. Strangely it would appear that there is a wealth of information relating to she demons and their invocations and rituals just filling the internet. However, unfortunately, it will later seem that there is not an awful lot on said internet about how exactly to get rid of them. Either that or obnoxious younger brother didn’t think to look. Which makes him an idiot.
His ‘research’ informs the rest of the young, reasonably attractive thinly drawn clichés that, for the She Demon to reach her full power, a long and involved series predictable, but nonetheless stupid things, must happen. Firstly immoral or lustful acts, which is handy as the blonde good time girl and her unwarrantedly arrogant jock boyfriend are already upstairs having unimaginative sex on surprising well laundered sheets considering the circumstances, they also have a stoned beatnik in the basement which can only help this particular ritualistic requirement. Things are already looking good for she demons. Additionally some living blood must be spilled, sounds straightforward enough. However, because everyone knows that conjuring ancient evil can’t possibly be a simple and uncomplicated process because that would be just plain crazy, the fact that the ritual is apparently centred around the four elements; earth, wind, fire and water is thrown into the mix to give some pep. Armed with new information I think we can probably all hazard some pretty good guesses as to the modes of death some of our hapless gang will suffer.
So, eventually, we get the promised slaughter. As Earth, Wind and Fire (ok, and water, but it would have been better if was the 70s disco/funk combo) begin to pick off the most obvious members of this entirely useless cleaning crew the whole movie inexplicably decides that it’s now an Evil Dead style comedy. This decision has one rather unfortunate drawback. The script. For quite a long time everything gets decidedly uncomfortable and embarrassing for everyone concerned.
To save all involved any further pain and humiliation I will simply say that from here on in the dwindling surviving members; somewhat uptight girlfriend, the obnoxious, surly, politically moronic little brother (adopted) and the bespectacled but clearly hot assistant of rich and slimy property developer I forgot to mention earlier have to fight for their lives as their friends are reanimated a the She Demon’s zombie slaves. They also have to try and work out a way to stop her from destroying the world along the way, which they wouldn’t have had to do if somebody had bothered to look that up on the apparently all informative internet earlier.
It may possible that The Slaughter is actually a really clever and knowing pastiche of a genre films, or a post modern and ironic comment on the stereotypical assumptions we make about modern youth and their struggles in society or some such that I just didn’t get. But more likely it’s not. There is also precious little slaughtering in it. And it does not have, as promised on my DVD box, 'enough blood and gore to make Leatherface himself happy.' Leatherface got bored and left ten minutes in. It does have an opening five minutes of many boobies though.
I give The Slaughter 9 out of 10 for The Boobies (I feel they have earned the capitalised status) and best taken with whiskey out of ten for everything else.