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The Australian-made SLAUGHTERED is the sort of movie that shouldn’t get overlooked in the current resurgence of slasher films, which includes all the franchise remakes/reimaginings like HALLOWEEN/FRIDAY THE 13TH, new attempts to establish unstoppable killers such as HATCHET and LAID TO REST or its low-budget, comical Aussie contemporary I KNOW HOW MANY RUNS YOU SCORED LAST SUMMER. To put it simply, SLAUGHTERED has been made by someone with more than a clue, and who has been as relentless as any disfigured maniac to get her movie across the finish line without sacrificing the entertainment experience.
Kate Glover, now living in the UK with no less than John Landis attached to direct another of her projects, might not be the first female from Down Under to write, produce and direct a horror feature; South Australian Sue Brown and her downbeat wonder FAMILY DEMONS beat SLAUGHTERED at the postproduction line. But she more than ably demonstrates with SLAUGHTERED that women can produce slasher sagas as powerful—and, at this stage of the game, as interesting or more so—as the contributions of her male counterparts from anywhere in the world, and on a limited budget! SLAUGHTERED was developed by Glover while pulling beers in a pub, and thus largely takes place at a solid brick establishment on the edge of town that looks like it was designed to withstand any biker war or similar sort of cataclysmic activity.
As the movie opens, we join an after-hours staff drinking session that gives way to the bloody but hardly graphic demise of an unfortunate local drunk in the parking lot. His disappearance goes largely unnoticed until a further body count is well underway the next night. As things crank up again, we become further acquainted with the bar crew and their patrons while the murderer goes to work, and several of the characters have a variety of reactions to the events that follow. From having a simple ice fight for fun to everyone constantly bitching about each other, the characters in SLAUGHTERED obviously come directly from Glover’s experience, and that grounds it in a reality that could allow it to resonate with a much wider audience than your average stalk-and-slay flick.
Of course, the cloaked killer has to do what he does best, and, armed with a tree surgeon’s saw and a face full of glass (yes, he uses his own head as a slashing device), he begins to apply a variety of lethal wounds as irrational behavior becomes acceptable and survival instincts take over—or fail. What really holds SLAUGHTERED together is the main character of Jamie, played by Chloe Boreham. An unknown face—like the rest of the cast—Boreham is a positive beacon of charisma, charm and believability as she reluctantly takes on the mantle of heroine. Mention must also be made of the guitar-oriented score, which greatly contributes to the pub ambience of the whole production (just don’t expect to hear the track featured in the trailer, seen below).
Sure, SLAUGHTERED has more than its share of plot holes and character defects (our killer, for instance, who is simply that with virtually no backgrounding), but it wins out by sheer persistence. Even the titles, produced by the aptly named Film Butcher, that take grunge graphics to an almost unreadable end cannot stop it. Three cheers, or should that be three beers, for SLAUGHTERED, a little murder movie that you should definitely tap into whenever and wherever you can.
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