Brain Damage Films distributes all kinds of horror films―some good, some not so good. I just finished watching its 2008 offering, Slaughtered, the latest movie from writer/director Anthony Doublin, and I just have to ask, “Brain Damage, what were you thinking?”
Slaughtered has a solid-enough premise: A photographer for one of those “naked dead girl” websites decides to actually kill his models before he photographs them. (I guess it saves the modeling fees and makeup costs, right?) But this promising plot is ruined in its execution. I guess it’s more correct to say the plot is executed. That’s right, Slaughtered is slaughtered. (I’m sorry, but the title itself is bait.)
This film looks like it was made by a high school student in his parents’ backyard while they were gone on vacation. The sound is bad, the cinematography is worse, and the acting…well, I’ll charitably say it’s below par. Don’t even get me started on the editing. All the scenes end by fading to black, as if someone just turned off the home video camera. The best performance comes from Rebecca McCuen, who plays the sister of one of the models who end up not alive. She doesn’t handle her lines all that well, but she’s quite good at conveying fear. (Maybe her motivation was her appearance in this flick.) Too bad she’s only in the film for about five minutes.
But who am I kidding—this movie is a very bad sexploitation flick hiding in a horror movie’s clothing. Rather than advancing the plot, Doublin kills minute after minute by training his camera on women as they undress. Over and over again. (I know, this doesn’t sound like a crime, but it is, because until I watched Slaughtered I never realized naked women could be so boring. Thanks a lot, Anthony Doublin.) Then, after the women are undressed, we see them tied up and killed. And the effects are so amateurish, it’s really not worth the trouble. Don’t get me wrong; nobody loves a good exploitation flick more than I do. But Slaughtered is a bad nudie flick, it’s a bad gore flick and it’s a bad…well, it’s just bad all around. Even the continuity is woeful. At one point, one of the main characters (a detective no less) says the name of the villain’s website, but she gets it wrong. And this is when she’s trying to get information to solve the case―a major turning point in the plot. If the filmmakers didn’t notice this, it’s sad. If they noticed but didn’t bother to correct it, it’s even sadder.
What surprises me is that director Anthony Doublin has an impressive background. He handled makeup effects on Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator and From Beyond, two of my favorite horror movies. And the makeup effects were awesome in those flicks. So, I don’t know where it all went bad for Doublin…but go bad it did. Maybe it’s because he had more budget to work with on the Stuart Gordon films. Slaughtered looks like it was made for about $5, plus pizza and beer for the cast and crew.
I am usually able to find some redeeming quality about the films I watch, no matter how bad they may be. I hate to just trash movies, because I know most movies are somebody’s dream come true. But Slaughtered has left me with nothing. I guess the score isn’t exceedingly awful. And Rebecca McCuen is pretty good at acting scared.
Let me just say this: If you want to see naked girls, watch a porn flick. If you want to be bored seeing naked girls, watch Slaughtered. Oh, and Brain Damage Films? Shame on you…