DVD Review: Slaughterhouse of the Rising Sun

Okay, I get it… Writer, Director, and star of the film, Vin Crease (aka D.C. Mann), makes a trippy, hippy-dippy horror flick in the 70’s only to get mad and kill the Producer in fight over the final cut. Keeping the film tied up in legal mumbo jumbo until now. No this is not the plot of “Slaughterhouse of the Rising Sun,” it’s the faux back-story created for the film, for fun and marketing purposes, which pays homage to the 70’s Horror/Exploitation genre, maybe just a little too well (at least in style). The colors are garish, there are negative scratches throughout the movie, most of the actors seem to be from the 70’s, etc… Well that is all fine and Craven-like, but what about a plot, an engaging story, or some truly scary and disturbing moments.

The story is “The Hills Have Eyes” meets the Manson Family. Young Jennifer lands herself in the loony bin after rupturing her “Blue Movie” co-star’s testicle and comes close to scratching his eyes out. It seems as though Jennifer is prone to hearing and listening to voices and experiencing haunting nightmares while being awake as well as asleep. After six months she is let out on her own recognizance, with the recommendation that she go and stay with her parents for a while. On her trip home, a merry band of pranksters (not affiliated with Ken Kesey) save her from some down and dirty rednecks that are just about to rape her. She joins them on their little madcap adventure and end up squatting at “the House at the edge of the woods”, where things start getting weird and Family Members start dying.

On the positive side, the film looks really cool. Cinematographer Stuart T. Lillas recreates the 70’s exploitation genre look and feel with style and glee. I particularly liked the opening credits montage. It had a nice Mary Tyler Moore opening feel to it. I’ve always liked Mary Tyler Moore, especially the Dick Van Dyke years, bit I digress…

Now for the negative… I like the idea of a “lost horror” film, but not the fact that it is a mediocre “lost horror” film. Why not make a great or at least a very good “lost horror” film. The characters Violence Onelove and Guilty Karma respectfully played by Michele Morrow and Ryan Rogoff are two kick-ass killer chicks (pun intended), but they do not even remotely feel like they are actresses from the 70’s, but more like some babes with guns in an 80’s Andy Sidaris flick. (Look him up on IMDB.com if ya don’t know who he is).

Overall, “Slaughterhouse” is not terribly scary, nor a touch disturbing. At moments funny and stylish, but the overall finished product is disappointing. Where is the Horror?

I give it an “O” for OK, they tried, but don’t bother… – So Says Dick Hollywood

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