The Slaughter


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

"A female demon hell-bent for revenge"

Getting your female demons bent by hell is so predictable, and so overpriced. It's like getting your car repairs done at an authorized dealership, the metaphysical equivalent of shaking hands with Mr. Badwench. Personally, I get all of my female demons bent by a local chop shop over in the warehouse district. OK, sometimes Manuel doesn't use genuine parts, but he does the job just as well as Satan, and at half the price.

You may have noticed that I've given up on reviewing grade-B genre movies unless they are hot off the presses. That fact might lead you to wonder why I'm looking at the previous work of a director who has three more recent films to ridicule. Fair enough. The reason is that it's from the writer/director of Zombie Strippers, which I watched last week with some curiosity. While I didn't find Zombie Strippers to be a classic of either gorotica or horror/comedy, I was impressed by its high energy level and its unabashedly depraved sense of humor, so I wondered whether those characteristics had been prominent in the auteur's previous offerings, and I picked up a used copy of The Slaughter for five bucks from Amazon Marketplace.

The answer to my question about his previous efforts, at least as it relates to The Slaughter is "yes and no." The Slaughter is an odd one. For about the first half of the film the script seems to be taking itself seriously, which is to say you may find it funny, but you will not know whether it was meant to be. If the author's tongue was in his cheek, he never cracked a smile to let us in on the joke. In the beginning it seems like one of those films which is funny only in the sense that the MST 3000 guys would have a ball making fun of it, although they probably would have to find a new network to do so, since the beginning of the film consists of non-stop female nudity for some three minutes. But then, about halfway through the film, there is an abrupt tone shift, and the film becomes deliberately jokey, silly and self-referential, indicating that it is not a bad rip-off of Evil Dead and Night of the Demons, but rather a comic riff on those films. The experience of watching this film is like watching 40 minutes of Manos, the Hands of Fate followed by 40 minutes of Scream. Is it a laughably bad horror movie or a movie which winks at you as it laughs at bad horror movies? Depends on which half you watch.

Of course, after I watched the second half, I realized that the first half must also have been intended as genre spoofery, but it had kept a straight face about the satire until later in the film, when it finally decided to nudge my arm and say, "Just kidding, dude."

Lots of bad horror films begin with a prologue situated in the past, so this one begins with two such prefatory scenes. It begins around the year 1900, when a witches' coven gets nekkid to summon a nekkid female demon.  Then, some sixty years later, the unleashed demon forces a mother to kill her young daughter in a gothic mansion. The present-day story begins when a sleazy real estate agent hires a group of entrepreneurial college students to clean up the same mansion, which has been now neglected for forty years. The annoying student stereotypes take on the roles that The Bowery Boys or Abbott and Costello would have occupied in the horror comedies of yore, the everyday nebbishes who are still arguing about mundane matters despite being in the presence of ancient evil. As they start housecleaning, the kids stumble upon an ancient book of magic, and one of the clueless twerps soon starts reading aloud from the book. Bad idea, as you might imagine.

Of course the one horror movie rule more important than "don't read aloud from the book made of human flesh" is "the kids who have sex die first," so you can guess what will happen next, what the consequences will be, and that the house's resident demons must be somehow related to the twin prologues.

You've probably realized by now that I can't really rip on the film for making the kids annoying and stereotypical, because that's all part of the joke. In that sense, the film is virtually immune to criticism since the author has intentionally created trite characters and situations to lampoon the genre. If you ridicule his material, well, dammit, you just don't get the joke. I'm pretty sure I got the joke, and I did laugh once in a while, but I don't think the film was entertaining enough to sustain it at feature length.


* widescreen anamorphic

* whatever







  The film won some minor awards at genre-specialty film festivals.


4.3 IMDB summary (of 10)

Based on the comments, it seems that many of the lowest scores were awarded by real gore-hounds who wanted the film to entertain them rather than to make fun of their interests.



No theatrical release. Many genre-related film fests, then straight to DVD.



  • Playing the female demon, Adriana Esquivel gave it all up, but much of it was covered with prosthetics and make-up most of the time.
  • More than a half dozen women exposed their breasts in the ritual.
  • Laura Stein exposed her bum in a bathing scene. Her breasts are visible from the side-rear, but there is no visible nipple.



Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


It is top-notch genre fare, undeservedly forgotten.