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The Bottom Shelf #103

Apr. 12, 2007by: AwesomeZara
100%

You wanted different? You wanted lesser known? You wanted something hard to find? Be careful for what you wish.

SLAUGHTER STUDIOS (2002)
Directed by: Brian Katkin
Starring: Nicolas Read, Amy Shelton-White

-- click here to buy this DVD at Amazon.com --
-- click here to rent this movie at NetFlix.com --

I've been in one of those moods where I haven't wanted to watch anything big budget. Perhaps it's because Spring has become the new Summer at the box office. Productions with booming special effects, big casts and high expectations are blaring from the entertainment section of the newspaper every week (yes, I still touch actual paper!). While this can be a great thing when it's a good movie, it can also have the equivalent effect of eating too much rich cheesecake. I don't want my critical senses so fat with high cholesterol, artery clogging major studio fodder that it renders me unable to move through the annals without the assistance of a motorized scooter. Right about now, while you're contemplating my sanity, I'll get to the review.

SLAUGHTER STUDIOS follows a man who inexplicably has the only British accent amongst his group of film student friends, wanting to make one last movie in the former studio of his director idol. Gathering a cast of unpaid actresses willing to get naked on screen and heading into Slaughter Studios with the intention of finishing a movie in 9 hours before the destruction of the building where an actor met his unfortunate demise. The participants wander around the darkened and cob-web filled studios, assuming that they are being haunted by the ghost of the deceased actor. There is nudity, there is bad acting, there is a good helping of genuine comedy.

I'm blaming my friend Paul for introducing me to movies that I might have otherwise overlooked. While this movie is certainly cringe-worthy for its excessive use of unnecessary necessary B-movie nudity (yes, you read that right) as well as moments where you want to smack a couple of the actors for being more serious than they need to be, this has to be one of the best produced low-budget movies that I've seen. The clarity of the picture is top-notch, the sound is perfect and the actors really know what they're doing, even if their acting skills are lessor than what famous directors might be able to snag. The ending is a cop-out scoff producer, but up until then you have scenes which are good enough to make you laugh and shudder at the appropriate times.

Favorite Scene:

Watching the male lead of the movie within the movie practicing his lines. ("Don't look behind you. RUN! NOOOOO!!!")

Favorite Line:

"I have a chemical imbalance!"

Trivia Tidbit:

Roger Corman's studio in Venice, California was set to be demolished and this is the last movie produced before its destruction. The film was completed in only 10 days.

See if you liked:

CHILD'S PLAY, FRIGHT NIGHT, CREEPSHOW

SATURDAY THE 14TH (1981)
Directed by: Howard R. Cohen
Starring: Richard Benjamin, Jeffrey Tambor

-- click here to buy this DVD at Amazon.com --
-- click here to rent this movie at NetFlix.com --

Let's get right to it. This is a BAD movie. It's poorly shot, horrifically acted, abysmally written and all around one of those movies if taken at face-value wouldn't be worth two cents. But in being that bad, it makes the movie absolutely hilarious. There were no high aspirations when this film was made. In the blank stare of lead Benjamin you find the clue in how to take this movie in. Just accept what comes to you and understand that they were trying to make a spoof not only of horror movies from the '50's but also a commentary on how little families really interact or get to know and understand one another.

At the reading of a will, a man and his wife are given title to the home of a deceased uncle. Sounds like a great plan at first, having a home of their own where their two children can safely play and walk to school. When they move into the haunted mansion, unaware of the potential danger contained within, their cluelessness leads to their certain doom. Young son Billy discovers the book that a note in the fridge warns them not to open and promptly - you guessed it! - opens it. The monsters pictures on its pages come to life in horrible special effect glory and terrorize the family. Top that off with a goofy Tambor as a married vampire trying to gain access to the home in order to steal the book and an exterminator named Val Helsing and you've got yourself a full slate of crap!

The lame delivery of lines, the crude monster costumes, the bad lighting and well... every other adjective that I can use to describe something as being awful ... all of that lead up to a movie that made me laugh out loud with abandon. I'm the daughter of a man who relished afternoons spent on the couch soaking up those crappy movies of the '50's, narrated by the voluptuous Elvira. While there are elements of my mind which have been spoiled by the advances in technology that my generation has been able to witness, I can't turn away from the simple masterpiece that a movie like this represents. Independently and poorly made movies are giving way to multi-million dollar financed pieces of crap. I say if you're going to make crap and have it be enjoyable, at least have it look like crap according it. For this reason alone, SATURDAY THE 14th is a gem, quite possibly one of rarest of its kind these days.

Favorite Scene:

When the party members arrive, each bearing an electric can-opener.

Favorite Line:

"It's what we like to call a fixer-upper!"

Trivia Tidbit:

Seven years later, director Cohen decided to make a sequel that I have yet to find a single person who has watched it, let alone knew it existed.

See if you liked:

SCREAM, SCARY MOVIE, CREEPSHOW

300 was great, don't get me wrong. There's nothing better than digitally enhanced violence, Greeks who discovered the meaning of metro long before at-home waxing kits and a queen who kicks verbal ass. I just like seeing how far someone can stretch a buck. It's as fun of a process to behold as Gerard Butler's sensational abs.

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8:21PM on 04/12/2007

*hangs head*

I seriously underestimated the number of people who have heard of the sequel, as evidenced by the multiple e-mails in my inbox today.

I think I might have to hang out with people who are bigger movie geeks.

On second thought... nah. I like having something to lord over the lesser people within my little group. Just don't tell them that.
I seriously underestimated the number of people who have heard of the sequel, as evidenced by the multiple e-mails in my inbox today.

I think I might have to hang out with people who are bigger movie geeks.

On second thought... nah. I like having something to lord over the lesser people within my little group. Just don't tell them that.
Your Reply:



7:40PM on 04/12/2007

I Own..

...a VHS copy of Saturday the 14th. It is sitting in my closet as I type this.
...a VHS copy of Saturday the 14th. It is sitting in my closet as I type this.
Your Reply:



4:30PM on 04/12/2007

Saturday the 14th Strikes Back

This is so much better in a bad way then the original.
This is so much better in a bad way then the original.
Your Reply: