Slaughterhouse on the Hill Poster

Slaughterhouse on the Hill (2024) Review

Some films you know whether or not you want to see as soon as you read about them, others, like Slaughterhouse on the Hill, you need to think about. On the one hand, it was written and directed by Tom Devlin who also made Teddy Told Me To as well as providing the effects for films ranging from Reel Evil and Ten Inch Mutant Ninja Turtles: The XXX Parody to Alien Planet and Invaders from Proxima B.

On the other, it was released by Cinema Epoch, the company that gave us, among others, Amityville Cop, Sinful and Amityville Emanuelle, which despite name checking both of those prolific franchises contains neither scares nor anything remotely erotic. But even a blind squirrel finds an occasional acorn, so I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. The film’s opening had me second guessing my decision as a pair of drunken idiots argue over which one of them actually did Alice there back in the day. They’re eventually dealt with by the killer, but not only are the killings bloodless, the film goes to black, and we see nothing, just hear a bit of chopping.

Next we meet TJ Emerson (Trent Hagga, Legend of the Sandsquatch, American Muscle), host of the Unsolved Mysteries wannabe, Under Investigation. He introduces what we’re about to see, the story of “some high school football players who decide to relieve their glory days but find themselves in a nightmare they can’t escape.”

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After watching their Alma Mater’s Homecoming game, Donnie (Jason Wallace, Mothman, Las Vegas Frankenstein), his girlfriend CiCi (Ashley Ballou, Move Me No Mountain, The After Dark), Chuck (Steve Hansen, Hell Nurse, Ravage Nation) and Tracy (Kristy Adams, Only Fangs, Valentine Bluffs), Becky (Kikki D’Aire, Sexy Time 3) and Bo (Chris Arredondo, Team Xtreme: Operation Eco-Nightmare) and Pete (Ryan Freeman) decide to go to the old slaughterhouse on the hill where they used to party. As they look for a way in, a large figure (Walid Atshe, From Dusk Till Bong, Weedjies: Halloweed Night) wearing a football jersey and a pig’s head is watching them.

Devlin sets Slaughterhouse on the Hill up as the forty years later version of a typical teen slasher. Instead of jocks and cheerleaders, it’s the now grown up, or at least older, class of ‘84 partying in some creepy old building and talking about the dark secret all of them except CiCi share.

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Thankfully it doesn’t take too long for the killings to start, and unlike the prologue, these are on the screen. Cleavers slam into necks, there’s disembowelment by meat hook, a head is knocked off someone’s shoulders, and, if you remember, the beheading during sex in Nightmare, Slaughterhouse on the Hill ups the ante and delivers a truly twisted variation on going out with a bang.

The gore effects by Devlin, Atshe, Arredondo, are all practical and mostly quite well done. A couple however look less than effective. It also doesn’t help that during the kills, the film becomes somewhat jerky and often looks washed out. I’m not sure if this was meant to put the viewer in mind of watching a beat up print at the theatre or a well-used rental VHS, but either way it’s extremely annoying.

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The other big negative is the constant interruptions by TJ Emerson. They break up the action for no real purpose and raises the question, if this is a reenactment, how do they know what happened? They’d have been better off leaving them out and simply telling the story. Although with Slaughterhouse on the Hill only running seventy-two minutes including credits, they may have needed them to reach an acceptable running time.

Overall, though, Slaughterhouse on the Hill is an enjoyable modern slasher. There’s plenty of beer, blood, and a beastly killer whose identity isn’t hard to guess. There are even some boobs, just like in the old days. Some of the performances may remind you of the acting in some of those shot in the backyard slashers as well, but that’s always been par for the course with low budget horror.

Slaughterhouse on the Hill is the best slasher set in a slaughterhouse since 1987’s Slaughterhouse. And since they’re both available on Tubi, you might want to make a double feature out of them.

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