Slaughterhouse (1987)


Written & Directed by: Rick Roessler


Don Barrett .... Lester Bacon
Joe Barton .... Buddy Bacon
Sherry Bendorf .... Liz Borden
Erich Schwartz .... Skip
Jane Higginson .... Annie
Jeff Grossi .... Buzz
William Houck .... Sherrif Borden
Jeff Wright .... Deputy Dave
Lee Robinson .... Harold Murdock
Bill Brinsfield .... Tom Sanford

Release Date: Limited Theatrical: August 27, 1987



A disturbed unemployed slaughterhouse owner Lester Bacon (Don Barrett) can't get rid of two businessmen Harold Murdock (Lee Robinson) and Tom Sanford (Bill Brinsfield) who wants to buy his property as Sheriff Borden (William Houck) demands him off the property.
He discovered that his powerful rotund retarded son Buddy (Joe Barton) has slaughtered two teenage pranksters Kevin (Joel Hoffman) and his girlfriend Michele (Courtney Lecara) with his own meat cleaver cause they were tormenting his hogs and trespassing in his property after drinking and partying nearby so this gives Lester an idea. He tells Buddy to put away both Harold and Tom along with Borden so their troubles will be over.
Lester calls both Harold and Tom up to discuss stuff over only to set Buddy out to slaughter the two businessmen.
Borden realises that neither Kevin or Michele arrived home yet and that his deputy is missing plus that he discovers that Harold hasn't returned to his office since being at the Bacon's slaughterhouse so he decides to do some researching.
A bunch of teenagers lead by the Borden's daughter Liz (Sherry Bendorf) decides to record a video in the slaughterhouse. Buddy spotted them trespassing so he knows who to hunt down the next time they arrive arrive on their property again.
Liz and her friends then go to a pig-out fest party in their local county at night. Suddenly there's a thunder storm which caused a power outage so a couple of the mischievious partying teenagers who recorded their video at the closed down slaughterhouse Skip (Erich Schwartz) and Buzz (Jeff Grossi) dares their girlfirends Liz and Michele (Jane Higginson) to go back there during the thunderstorm to see who will chicken out first for a 20 dollar bet since it's now dark and creepier looking than it is in the daytime.
The terror really happens then especially when Lester and Buddy finds out that Liz is the sheriff's daughter and the body count piles up more.


When I first rented this slasher film I hated it with a passion as I found it a little sick. But years later on I thought to myself "This is a horror film and Rick Roessler just beefed it up more and wanted to shock the viewers".
I remember interviewing one of the actresses from this site and told me that's what horror films are which is usually very gory and at the time I wasn't used to more extreme gore than in a Friday the 13th or A Nightmare On Elm Street type flick.
Well ever since I ran this site I decided to own tons of horror films even one's I wasn't crazy over to refresh my memory to review them. Well I found this on sale for a good price on DVD with lots of extra features on it and had to get it. It was raw and violent as it just shows people going to the slaughterhouse in most scenes just to be butchered including your stupid everyday teenagers. But this film was on a shoestring budget and it was well done for what it was and is very 80's cheese horror along with other typical slasher films during that era but I enjoyed watching most of retro those types for what they were.
Along with the sick humor the film is very dark and gloomy with the slashings so it's to be watched if you are in the mood for a corny, gory and campy teenage slasher flick cause this is exactly what the film is. There are many scenes that borrow a bit from Texas Chainsaw Massacre like the dead animals etc. which I think that's what Roessler was trying to aim for since it spoofed on many of those old school slasher flicks.
The beginning was very impressive showing a full moon giving it a great low budget horror feel to the film as well as a dipstick deputy and his wife or girlfriend driving along a pier by a lake area near the slaughterhouse with teens partying and drinking during their school break which looked like alot of fun. It also was one of my favourite scene's since someone is watching them and can leave a chill down your spine. Then the first killings start to happen with two teenagers messing around at the property as one of them torments Buddy's hogs. You think to yourself beforehand that this is not a good idea at all in which you never know what the owner is like.
Of course the opening starts with real pigs getting slaughtered at a slaughterhouse which looked gross but seemed necessary for this film.
Then there's Lester Bacon who is losing his sanity even more while being forced to shut his own business and manipulating Buddy to kill off the people responsible for his bankruptcy in which is a good psychological feel to the story with anyone who ever had to deal with politicians by losing their jobs and wishing they could put an end to their lives. The story surrounding this certainly looked dark and demented while watching as to what is going on after Lester encounters two teenage corpses giving him an idea proving that he was never right in the head the first place.
Of course we have the typical teenagers enjoying their morning by cruising around in a nice sunny weather as well as them pigging out on burgers and fries at a diner discussing the pig out party their town is putting up which makes you think of the good times when you were a kid and going to these places when school is out.
Of course they trespass at the slaughterhouse in the daytime to make their own music video in which you wonder to yourself if Buddy will catch them and butcher them like the other two but he is watching them for sure. Yet alot of this was fun to watch which brings out the real teen spirit with what everyone is doing and having fun with what they're doing.
But then there's a dipstick deputy discovering the slaughterhouse with creepy things like a dead cat hanging on a ceiling which delivers alot of shocks for the viewers watching this and knowing that he is going to be toast soon when he continues to explore.
Then there's the businessmen coming to meet Lester separately not knowing they're being set up for deadly events in which these moments looked gruesome and disturbing by what Lester and Buddy have in mind using the corpses too. These moments almost looked similar to an Elm Street type of feel with the black humor used from Lester's actions which looked clever for a slasher flick going to the extreme during this time period.
Of course the teens have a fun time at the pig out eating and dancing away with a band performing while a thunderstorm happens causing a power outage which looked a bit cheesy but impressive too. While this happens the teenagers dare each other to go to the sluaghterhouse betting money on them. Right away this was impressive and you think to yourself that this is a bad idea. A real bad idea.
The scene where they go to the slaughterhouse at night is the best of them all which it looks incredibly spooky with the surroundings as well as Buddy stalking them and hacking these inncoent trespassers away one by one. It's also a good message to other teenagers who trespass on a property to be careful as you may not escape alive with your luck running out big time. Liz Borden trying to look for her friends with the thunder and lightning happening was silent and greatly done almost in a Halloween type fashion when Laurie Strode was looking for her friends in a dark quiet house with Michael Myers waiting for her but it's both Buddy and his father Lester when she spots the results of finding her friends which isn't a pretty site at all.
Just seeing these dead teenagers on the hooks at the slaughterhouse is scary enough.
Bottom line is this movie is cleverly done but sometimes there's spaces in between the film not getting to the horror here and there but it's a fun look at teenagers having fun but then their fun has come to an end quarter way through with their dares. The story is quite slow at first and then quarter way through piles up for the real terror saving the best for last. Sometimes dark comedy and horror don't mix but this was an acception as it was both frightening with the odd good humor too. It both went hand in hand together and can give you nightmares if you are adjusting to gory teenage slasher films for the first time. A good drive in type of hillbilly slasher flick.
Then ending certainly leaves a door open for a sequel begging you for more.

The acting was quite good for the most part. At times it can seem a bit hokey but again this film was a spoof on those old school slasher flicks so it really sets the mod for it.
Don Barrett
(Lester Bacon) who played the slaughterhouse owner was a natural born character actor as you can tell and it's too bad he hasn't done much more film work but maybe he has done most of it on stage as he can show his true craft of acting that way and has the talent for it. He brings his demented character very strongly with his powerful words and his obnoxious and aggressive attitude too. A great aggressive reaction on how good his business was towards someone else. Does a great job scolding his onscreen son on what he has done and a nice evil actions on him telling him what he should do to the people forcing him to close down his business. Was great by acting insane by using one of his sick kokes using corpses as jury for a trial to kill his next victim.
Does well getting crazy with one of the female teens along with doing some disturbing moments which looked powerfully done too. He seemed to portrayed a nice Freddy Krueger type of a personality. He was the best male actor indeed. Of course he has had alot of experience doing dinner theatre plays.
Although Joe Barton (Buddy Bacon) has no lines and just grunts like a pig he performed very menacing which is just what his character is all about and knows his role inside out. He had the good masculine appeal to his role along with his rough looks. He was convincingly powerful with how he did stuff and showed some good evil facial expressions. Plus was great by using brutal force swinging his meatcleaver as well as using a sharp metal object in another part of the story and swinging it at someone's face with full might. Knew on how to drive his killings at an intnse pace.
I found Sherry Bendorf (Liz Borden) a natural and even has the looks to get other work as she proved herself to perform well as a typical teenager. She brings alot of energy with a nice outgoing nice girl attitude onto the screen. Does a nice job acting scared while trying to find her onscreen friends alone at night in the slaughterhouse with her nervous speaking trying to keep it together as she does this naturally. She certainly knew how to scream in horror by what she encounters quarter way through and certainly knew on how to change her mode for this. She almost reminds me of that Jamie Lee Curtis scream queen type of personality. She has gotten other work in cheesy films.
I also enjoyed Eric Schwartz (Skip) as the main boyfriend in which he has that certain appeal that you can cast him in teen comedies like Porky's, Joysticks or even Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He knew on how to play a natural teenager wanting to have a fun and wild time and really knowing on how to get into this type of character too. He was a good guy next door type who gets into mischief at times in which he really made his part very likeable. A shame he never carried on with his acting career.
Jane Higginson
(Annie) was a Canadian actress and shows her talents well in this film too as another typical teenager. She knew how to come across as someone very innocent girl next door appeal and at times a little too spooked about the nearby slaughterhouse in which was impressive since she came across nicely that way along with her beautiful looks too. Good concerned looks as well as her wondering about the pigs nearby and why they're acting strange which seemed impressive and spooky like as well as her telling the others to go as she feels spooked being out at the pier at night.
A good anxious reaction when she spots someone about to kill one of her onscreen friends. She made it in other b-films as well as her role in the daytime soap General Hospital. Most of these other actors remained virtual unknowns.
William Houck
(Sheriff Borden) certainly brought a great strictness to his role as the head law of the county along with his gruff looks too. He was quite powerful with his performance and has a nice strong attitude to what he does in the film. He brings both a lawman and a family man together into one. A good demanding actions telling someone that he has two weeks to leave his property. Does a nice job acting nervous and scared towards his onscreen receptionist that something is wrong as he was believeable by behaving like this. He was great while pointing his gun towards a maniac telling him to freeze which he was powerful doing with a good strong voice as well.
There are certain actors that were too melodramatic like Jeff Wright (Deputy Dave) who played a dipstick deputy not showing enough characterisitcs like he was trying but it flops and also doesn't react too well to certain things in which he lacks big time. He was too goofy in his role and not in a good way. Yet a good shocked expression on his face after what happens to him but his intense painful reactions were lacking big time.
Supporting actor Bill Brinsfield (Tom Sanford) really knew on how to be aggressive as a businessman at another slaughterhouse and really getting to the point with what he does and also does well yelling and screaming during his death scene too which looked quite intense. A good demanding moment telling his fellow actor about leaving his business. Good nervous expressions near the end of his scene and showing great aggressive anger telling him to let him go when someone grabs him.
Supporting actor Joel Hoffman (Kevin) presented himself very well onto the camera as a drunken party teen hanging out near the slaughterhouse area at night bringing a descent amount of energy although he was the first one to get killed off by Buddy which was too bad and does a better job acting in this one than when I saw him in Slumber Party Massacre 2.It showed his corpse many times though as he performed this and not a dummy.

Plenty of gore in this film but of course in a horror film that should be expected regardless so we get what we want.
A guy is whacked in the face with a meatcleaver.
Bloodied corpses are displayed on hooks
A dead cat is hung (I was offended at first as I love cats)
A deputy's hand is cut off which is extremely graphic with blood splurting out
A businessman's head was crushed to death
Another businessman was slaughtered in a meat grinder showing his guts
Last but not least, Lester's head was crushed in when a vehicle ran him over towards the end.
The coroner has a big job to do.

There is synthesizer's used in the flick which really fits for the film itself especially some of the booming sounds when Buddy is spying on people trespassing on his property. In the beginning there's rotating sound effects as well as some deep grunting sounds too which is quite frightening. There's also rusty sounds too which works wonderfully and some howling sounds too for some slaughtering moments. Not only that there's some nice high pitched screeching sounds during the final struggling moments all done by Joseph Garrison.

There's also a good 80's soundtrack by a band that sounds similar to Devo with their scores called Vantage Point in which I enjoyed listening to their keyboard music as well as their odd guitar riffs too especially their song for the closing credits.
There's also a rockabilly type of song by a group called Rock n Billy with their song "Hot Rod Devils" with some good echoey vocalising in which this moment was used during Buddy dressing as a deputy driving around in a police car which seemed necessary for this scene even if the song was fairly corny and cheesy.

Lester Bacon: My god! You've gone hog wild!!!

Lester Bacon: Buddy's a good boy but he's got what you'd call basic hygene problems.

Skip: 20 bucks says that you won't last an hour in that place
Liz Borden
(Winks her eye at him) You're on.

Liz Borden: C'mon you guys you can keep your 20 bucks

Liz Borden: Annie? Skip? Buzz? C'mon you guys I've had enough..... I'm ready to call it quits!

Lester Bacon: This little piggie went to the market, this little piggie stayed home and this little piggy had roast beef and this little piggy had none... (Points at Liz) and this little piggie went way way way all the way home (And he cackles)

Lester Bacon: Easy son, we don't wanna hurt her.... Yet! What's your name little girl?
Liz Borden:
Liz (Forces out her last name) Borden!!!
Lester Bacon:
Liz Borden? Lizzie Borden??? Well I'll be a suck egg mule! The sheriff's daughter?? Lizzie Borden??? Almost better than having her old man here. And something for Buddy to play with than himself!!!

Lester Bacon (After stabbing Sheriff Borden towards Liz holding up his knife) You're next little pig!