Slaughter Day (1991) Review
I don’t claim to have seen every low-budget horror film to have come out in the last fifty years, but I usually have at least heard of them. Slaughter Day, the new release from Video Vengeance is so obscure I’d never even heard of it until I got the email announcing its release. And the opening minutes of the remastered print looked so rough I thought the guys who made may have forgotten about it too and left it in a corner of their basement.
Thankfully the print noise quickly clears up for a bit and the film dives right into a storyline that could be described as The Evil Dead go to Hawaii. Blake and Jonah, played by twin brothers Blake (Rising Dead, Who Saw the Men in Black) and Brent Cousins (The UFO Report, Beyond Paradise) arrive at their job site, an old cabin they’re supposed to be restoring, only to see one of their co-workers hacking someone up with a machete.
What follows is a film that mixes some incredible filmmaking, ballsy stunts and tone of gore with absolutely ridiculous plotting. This is all started by someone messing around with The Necronomicon. Not H.P. Lovecraft’s book of pure evil, but H.R. Gieger’s Necronomicon, a collection of famed Swiss artist’s work. But I was barely done laughing at that when my jaw dropped as someone was folded in half and pulled through the cabin’s floorboards.
And that’s really the way the whole film goes as our two heroes fight to stop the evil from using a possessed dust respirator to spread and take over Hawaii. One minute you’re marvelling at what the Cousins brothers managed to do with a consumer-grade camcorder and a bunch of friends, and the next you’re laughing as you hear one of them giving direction to the cast.
Obviously, Slaughter Day is not for everyone, even a lot of shot on video fans will be wondering what the fuck they’re watching. And that’s perfectly understandable as between the film itself, the technical gaffes and continuity errors it really is something unique.
Slaughter Day runs just under an hour including some very minimal credits. Those credits are so minimal that with a few exceptions, I’m not sure who plays what role. I do know the Cousin boys co-wrote it and Brent directed it. And it is a good thing they kept it short because this is the kind of thing that can easily wear out its welcome and become tedious.
Obviously, Slaughter Day is not for everyone, even a lot of shot on video fans will be wondering what the fuck they’re watching. And that’s perfectly understandable as between the film itself, the technical gaffes, and continuity errors it really is something unique. It also doesn’t help that in terms of image quality this is the roughest looking of the films Visual Vengeance has released. There’s frequent rolling and fallout. In one scene I honestly couldn’t tell if the tape was badly damaged or if what I was seeing was special effects.
But if you like your films well over on the psychotronic side then you should have a load of fun with Slaughter Day. Put it on a double feature with the label’s other Evil Dead-inspired release, Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell, and make a night of it. Love it or hate it you’ll never forget it, and where else are you going to see a levitating man brought down by a punch to the balls?
Visual Vengeance will release Slaughter Day on Blu-ray on September 13th. It will be available on Digital at a later date. You can watch their Facebook page for announcements. You can also check FilmTagger for more bloody viewing.
- Region Free Blu-ray
- Archival 1991 SD master from original tapes
- New audio commentary with Brent and Blake Cousins
- The Cousins Brothers Today: New Interview
- Alternate takes
- Early short film: Full Metal Platoon
- Slaughter Day theme song
- Slaughter Day 2: Original short film (1989)
- Slaughter Day 3: Original short film (1989)
- Slaughter Day 4: original shirt films (1989)
- Original trailer
- Trailers for other Cousins films
- Folded mini-poster
- Four Page Liner notes by Tony Strauss of Weng’s Chop magazine
- ‘Stick your own’ video store sticker sheet
- Visual Vengeance Trailers
- Reversible Sleeve featuring original VHS art
- DTS-HD master audio option
- Optional English subtitles
WHILE SUPPLIES LAST ONLY Limited Edition Slipcase by The Dude Designs — FIRST PRESSING ONLY