Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

Archive for October 20th, 2018

October of Horror #15: Slaughterhouse Rock (1988)

Posted by Trixter on October 20, 2018

(For an explanation of what these posts in October are, see the parent post.)


A teen boy is having extremely vivid nightmares about a demonic presence haunting an abandoned prison.  But when his nightmares start manifesting into reality, he and his friends head to the prison to confront the demon.


This sounded like an absolute dream project for me:  Recently scanned into Blu-ray, it had cheezy 80’s horror, 100% practical effects, soundtrack by Devo, and a guest appearance by Toni Basil.  I’ll bet the producers thought so as well:  The screenplay combined elements of music, comedy, boobs, horror, and lots of gore.  For a project filmed in 1985, it seemed impossible to fail.

Well, I don’t know what went wrong with Slaughterhouse Rock, but it doesn’t work.  One major issue is that it was filmed at the very tail end of Devo’s and Basil’s pop career, so when it eventually got released nearly three years later, their involvement must have seemed odd or desperate.

What’s really frustrating about the movie is that it isn’t anybody’s specific fault:  The cinematography is very good, the actors all deliver exactly what is asked of them, Toni Basil improvises a dance sequence that is at her usual high level of quality… and yet it just falls flat.  You don’t care about anything that’s going on, you’re not invested.  And despite my admiration of Devo, I just couldn’t get into the soundtrack.

The end credits sequence has a Devo track with Basil singing lyrics, and it’s the best music of the film — too little, too late.


Everything you could want to know about Slaughterhouse Rock can be gleaned from YouTube in about 2 minutes.  Not worth your valuable time.

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged: | 1 Comment »