Walk on slaughter


2.5 Stars  2002/85m

“The place where nightmares come true.”

Director: Brian Katkin / Writers: Dan Acre, John Huckert & Damian Akhavi / Cast: Amy Shelton-White, Peter Stanovich, Nicolas Read, Allen Scotti, Tara Killian, Andy Chulani, Eva Frajko, Matthew Roseman, Laura Lawson, Serra Ellison, Lorissa McComas, Darren Reiher, Matt Westmore.

Body Count: 10

Laughter Lines: “Oh my god! The smell killed her!”

If you can get past the first moment of an incredibly annoying and stabbable director going on about what a big horror fan he is, there’s some mileage in this worn out premise, which is another film-within-a-film slasher flick, but unlike some of its contemporary vehicles from the same era, it drives a bit further before the radio breaks, engine blows, and the wheels fall off.

Said killable director leads a small crew and a bunch of airhead actresses with more cleavage than a January sale at Contessa to the abandoned and soon-to-be-demolished Slaughter Studios, home of numerous cheapo productions he’s a fan of.

There, he intends to shoot the last ever production before the wrecking balls arrive, guerilla style. They have just nine hours to film Naughty Sex Kittens vs The Giant Preying Mantis.

If you were to imagine a particularly violent episode of Scooby Doo that also featured Daphne and Velma getting their kit off and then making out, you’ve arrived at Slaughter Studios. Once the killing begins, it’s reminiscent of some of the old style slasher films with lots of POV work, spooky silhouettes wielding sharp implements of death and excessively ludicrous means of teen-dispatchment.

Is the ghost of hot-shot dead actor Justin Kirkpatrick – accidentally shot by a co-star at the studios a billion years earlier – responsible? The deaf security guard? One of the crew? The reality is a genuine surprise, and yet so simple in many ways. It’s down to the likeable couple of survivors to get out alive!

Where it fails is in trying to be too clever at time, parodying producer Roger Corman’s own cheapo micro-shoots – footage from The Slumber Party Massacre is wheeled out yet again. But there’s too much ham-brained humour and slightly perverse T&A exploitation: only the heroine keeps her top on, and other girls experiment in the usual soft core lesbo antics before meeting grisly ends.

Without the it-was-there-all-the-time twist at the end, Slaughter Studios would surely be found for less than two-stars, but as it is, they were trying to make something fun and, for most of the running time, they have, it’s merely a shame that what makes a slasher film good has once again been suffocated by a barrage of tits. Literally, that would be terrifying. For some. (Me).

Blurbs-of-interest: Darren Reiher was in Hatchetman; Brian Katkin later directed Scarecrow Gone Wild. Make of that progression what you will.

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