Slaughter Day (Visual Vengeance Blu-Ray) Review

By Dark Starr

I remember the days when video cameras were expensive and not a lot of people had them. Had my friends (and I had a lot of friends who would have done something like this, of course, I would have been right there with them) created something like this, I would have watched it with them and commended them on their ingenuity. I would have also suggested that next time they let me help them create an actual story.

In other words, if this were presented to me as someone's amateur video project, I'd be willing to give them a lot of wiggle room on it. However, this has been released as a movie, and that puts it in a whole different world. If I am to judge this as a movie, then it's the worst movie I've ever seen. This makes Ed Wood look like an Oscar worthy movie producer.

There are number of bonuses here, which I'll address after talking about the main movie. This was obviously shot directly on video tape. I would like to think that they didn't have any way to edit it (because it would explain away a lot of artifacts), but the fact that at least one point you can clearly see "play" in the upper right corner, tells me that they had dubbing capabilities.

Let's talk about those artifacts. There are numerous places where you can hear the director say "go," at the beginning of a shot. At another place where the main bad guy is supposed to vanish, he suddenly reappears. I think that is a mistake that should have been edited out because we hear the director say "get out of the picture."

While I wouldn't call them artifacts some other oddities include clothes instantly changing in the middle of the scene. I could excuse that stuff if there was a decent story here. The thing is, what little bits of story exist seem largely lifted from "The Evil Dead." Even then, they are so sparse that this seems like a wrestling video with bits of special effects added into it. I suppose the fact that it's almost non-stop action could be a selling point for some people. I found it tedious. I didn't count how many roundhouse kicks I saw, but I think that number must be pretty high, and after the first couple times I found myself thinking "again?"

Let's talk about the special effects. Now, I wouldn't come into something like this expecting great special effects. And, taken as an amateur film, they did a pretty admirable job on the effects. The problem is, they advertise the effects as "award winning," so again that sets it on a completely different level.

Like the film, the effects seem heavily inspired by "The Evil Dead," but despite the fact that that movie was a college project Sam Raimi's budget was obviously much higher or he must have been a lot more inventive with what he had. The effects in his movie are often cheesy, but they work. That can't be said of most of the effects here.

We get blood that looks like some kind of pink water spraying everywhere. When they go for the stop-motion like Raimi did it just doesn't work. I think they rushed the movement. I say that as someone who experimented with stop action on a very primitive video camera years ago and got similar results. It takes a more nuanced approach to make it work properly, and they didn't have that level of patience. In fairness, neither did I. It's time consuming to do it right. And, let's be honest, Raimi's results in that first movie weren't perfect either, but they were much better than I (or these guys) were able to pull off, and they were at a level where they worked.

So, let's just sum up the main movie by saying that calling it an "indie low budget movie" will not prepare you for what you are about to experience. Having sat through the whole thing, I can tell you that it gets incredibly tedious and becomes a real grind to get through. Maybe your tolerance level is different, but I can only take so many shots of wrestling action with completely subpar effects in one movie, and that's about all this has going for it.

So, what about the bonus features? Well, for me the coolest thing is a sheet of what are described as "video store stickers" and the mini-poster. I mean, the packaging on this thing is cool. They overshadow the content on the disc.

Among the other bonus features are three shorter sequels to the movie. I have to say that some of those work a little better. That said, at times the "Evil Dead" stuff becomes even more blatant, right down to duplicating the scene where the woods come rushing at the cabin and open the door. That scene here, copy as it is, works better than a lot of the other stuff, though.

There is a short war film “Full Metal Platoon”, interviews, audio commentary, trailers and more. It's nice that they added all this stuff, but I just don't know what to make of that main movie. I just don't see how it's worthy of this kind of release. I mean, maybe for film making students there are lessons to be found here. Beyond that, it was pretty hard to take for me, and I was a huge fan of Full Moon and Troma back in the day.