Rick Roessler was behind the cult teenage slasher goreflick 'Slaughterhouse' (Yes the story of the redneck slaughterhouse owner named Lester Bacon whom goes bankrupt and setting his retarded son Buddy out to butcher the people responsible for his bankruptcy as well as teenage trespassers) as he knew how to make the film shocking, humorous and suspenseful all in one as this was the era when slasher films were both adding dark comedy into their horror using Freddy Krueger jokes before doing the victims away.
He was a nice guy to tell me his story on set of the film and had alot to say which really made my day. A sequel was written but never saw the light of day which was a shame.
After the films release Rick also wrote many other scripts for hopeful films with his company Amercian Artists Entertainment Group but never got the financing for them so he moved on to making aviation training and travel videos as well as producing videos for the U.S. Navy.

At what age did you see yourself as a filmmaker?

At San Diego State, age 22.

Did you see yourself writing horror films? 

Sure. I enjoyed horror films.

What brought up the idea to make 'Slaughterhouse'?

Needed a script that was do-able on a small budget, with practical locations and delivered the goods.

The film kind of reminded me of 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and sequels on 'A Nightmare On Elm Street'. Were you a fan of those films? 

I saw 'TCM' in the theatre with some film friends and was impressed with what they accomplished on a shoestring budget.

Were there any familiar faces that tried out for the parts? 


What did you ask each actor to do in order to audition?

We rented a small theatre in Hollywood, advertised for actors in the trades. I looked for body types and whether they could improvise.

How did you find Don Barrett and Joe barton who played the slaughterhouse killers?

During a break at the casting event Joe sidled up to me on the street corner and introduced himself. He looked perfect but was short and we envisioned a huge oafish type. But we knew he was right for the part.
For Don's, our first choice was a much taller classic John Carradine type actor. Don was our second choice but was the same height as Joe, so we cast Don (And very glad of it)

I understand that Don Barrett has done alto of theatre work. Have you seen any of his shows?

Yes, as the King at the 'Medieval Times' shows in the Los Angeles area.

Joe Barton on the other hand didn't want to be in the spotlight afterwards as he only accepted small roles like in the goreflick 'Blood Diner'. What has he been doing professionally?

Last I spoke with Joe, he was married with one "Little Buddy Bacon" and was a security agent in Las Vegas.

Now when you saw Sherry come in to read for Liz Borden, did you say to yourself right after that you wanted her cause she really fit the part for it?

Sherry had the looks, stature and desire. No contest.

Did you also feel she could get alot more work in the b-film industry as she had a natural talent?

Absolutely! She is a real "trooper!" When we were shooting long days and nights and everyone was numb, she was always ready to go and usually in one take.

Now I understand that one of the actors named Erich Schwartz who played Bendorf's boyfriend Skip had an accident that jeopardised the filming.

Very early in the shooting schedule we had scenes with Skip driving in the jeep with the kids. The jeep we were going to use for the film was my old yellow jeep commando. Erich asked to take it for a run to get used to it. He managed to run it into a ditch totalling the vehicle and only slightly injuring themselves.After the actors were checked at a hospital, we managed to borrow a jeep from our caterers' daughter. That is the jeep in the movie. Make-up covered the bruises on the actors faces.

WOW! That's intense! Of course the film was a spoof with names like Liz Borden and Lester & Buddy Bacon along with humorous dialogues and did you intentionally try to make up for the gore in the film as it was quite shocking but well done?

Yes. When I was growing up in Los Angeles, there was an auto dealer named Les Bacon who advertised on TV

Were you also wanting the audience to squirm and leave an impression afterwards?

Sure. This genre film should be like riding a roller coaster. Hopefully you get off the ride laughing and exhillerated.

Who did the prosthetics for the film as it looked so real?

Can't remember the young fellows name. He was the youngest member of an effects family in Los Angeles.

What was the experience like doing the whole film?

Exhillerating, exhausting and satifying.

Do you have any memorable experiences you'd like to share with us?

The pigpen scene where Buddy is sitting carressing his pigs. We were going to hide the cardboard under fresh straw so Buddy could sit over surface rather than urine and feces soaked straw. He said forget it and sat right down in the goo and grabbed a couple of pigs and cuddled them. The camera and two crew members were on fresh cardboard however. Buddy was a real trooper.

What was the toughest scene to shoot?

The first sequence shot is always the most difficult because it takes time for everyone to co-ordinate as a team. The opening night sequence was tough on everyone.

How long did it take to shoot the beginning of the film which was at night time when the teens were partying near the slaughterhouse and then that was when Joel Hoffman and Courtney Lercara's big scenes together before they were hacked away?

Our wonderful producer Jerry Encoe found that slaughterhouse exterior complete with the old bus and pig pens. We did nothing but rewrite the action to fit what we had to work with.

I also understand that the dead cat hanging from the ceiling was real. Where did you get the cat corpse?

Our prop master Mike Scaglioni, obtained a dead lab cat from a local university. It reeked of formulahyde.

Did it disturb any cat lovers on set at all?


How did you make the effects seem real when Jeff Wright's character as Deputy Dave have his hand chopped off?

Excellent work by our special effects guys using plastic tubes, a turkey baster and stage blood.

The people on the hooks looked creepy. How did everyone feel about that scene?

Those scenes were actually shot in an actual slaughterhouse at night. We were all too tired to be creeped out. Just getting everyone hung was difficult.

Did the actors feel uncomfortable being on the hooks? Hoffman and Lercara were the ones that had to perform that scene the most since they were the first two who got butchered by Buddy but were good sports about it all as they really looked like dead meat and they got work in a handful of other low budget horror flicks.

No one complained. We stood them on chairs between takes.

I also understand that you were planning a different ending. Tell us about that one and what was the purpose of not doing it?

We ran out of money 9/10's of the way through and had to sell off some foreign rights to get enough money to complete the film. We completed the majority of the shooting in 6 weeks before we ran out of cash. Four months later, we shot the last scenes of the rain sequence that you see now.

What happened when you took it to the MPAA in order for it to get a rating?

The MPAA had seven people watch the film and rate it. When I heard we were given an "X" rating, I met with a rep from the MPAA and cut the offending scenes from the print they were watching... Voila, got the "R".

What countries did it play in theatres as I understand that it played on different dates in each country?

I can't remember the number of countries but it played in North America, Europe and Asia. Did we ever see the money - No. I first found out we are still banned in Germany.

How long did it play in theatre's?

Short runs of a week or two. It was released in the States just as kids were returning to school after summer break... Not a good time to release.

We you aware after all these years this flick became a cult favourite?

Not at all.

Alot of these films are coming back as sequels like 'Sleepaway Camp' and 'My Bloody Valentine' due to the fame they had. I also understand that you wrote a sequel as I will trying to get indepdent filmmakers interested. Do you hope your script will be seen on film and will we see the demented retarded killer Buddy again?

Yes, Buddy returns and makes a court room appearance. I hope they can find a court interpretor.

Now there was a 'Slaughterhouse 2' made but it beared no relationship to the Bacon killers as it took place at a carnival with a demonic clown named Pigsby Malone. How did the makers get the rights to name it that?

We are unaware of this film. But a title which is a common word or term cannot be protected.

What have you been doing in the industry lately?

I left filmmaking because the distributors want to keep your money and one can't support a family living from no paycheck-to-no paycheck. I make aviation training and travel videos and produce videos for the U.S. Navy.

Do you think you'll return to horror film directing?

I'd like to shoot my sci-fi horror script 'The Predators'. It's a winner.

Do you have fans still mailing you about the film and asking for a sequel?

The film was made 20 years ago so the fan mail has trickled to about one inquiry every 1.2 light years.

Were you approached to write or direct any other horror films?

No. I wrote my own scripts. 'The Predators' and 'Screaming Meemies' but never got the financing.

According to the you were a production assistant on the 1992 film 'Dead Girls Don't Tango' which starred Karen Black. How did you get involved with the film and was it a horror flick too?

A friend of mine was the camera man on this picture and I loaned him my 35mm camera gear and lighting but I never actually worked on that film. Credits are often padded for reasons known only to the producers.
The 'Slaughterhouse' credits are a good example. We had a small crew most of the time of professionals and volunteers.
I was the key editor of the picture but I had already been billed as the writer/director.
Prior to filming, I had shot a documentary on a geothermal power plant near El Centro, CA. I signed the security sheet just after a Mexican worker named "Sergio Vribe". I thought that name had a creature flair to it and chose it as an editors alias. Also, the additional camerawork is billed to 'Enrique LaCosta' another of my Latin alias.

Now here's some fun stuff: What are your favourite horror films?

'Abbott & Costello Meets Frankentein'

If you were a top horror movie director/writer whether he was alive or not, who would he be?

I like being me.

If there was a project you'd like to change, what would it be?

'King Kong' (The latest release). - trim an hour of crud out of it.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Besides enjoying my family.... flying BAJA in my plane and drinking margarita's. (After we land of course).