The Slayer

1982

Horror

1
IMDb Rating 4.9 10 1333

Synopsis


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728.05 MB
1280*682
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 20 min
P/S 2 / 5
1.4 GB
1920*1024
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 20 min
P/S 6 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gavin6942 5 / 10

An Unearthed Slasher

Siblings Eric and Kay, her doctor husband David, her sister-in-law Brooke along with pilot Marsh become stranded on a rugged isle face off against a supernatural beast drawn to Kay who dreams of its killings.

The story and script were co-written by J. S. Cardone and Bill Ewing; Cardone eventually directed while Ewing produced. Cardone had been, what he called, "the white token of the black film community" writing for folks like Bill Cosby but was working in a liquor store to pay his bills. This was his first credited work on a feature film. Ewing had worked as an actor, and did cast coordination for "Meteor" (1979), but was also new to writing and producing films. Although today classified as a "slasher", the co-writers maintain they were really aiming for a psychological thriller with hints of Lovecraft.

The two were able to move from script to screen thanks to production manager Eric Weston (who horror fans may know as the director of 1981's "Evilspeak") and Lloyd Adams' International Picture Show Company (who then went bankrupt within the year). Outside of "Slayer", Adams may be best known as the producer of "Grizzly" (1976). This bankruptcy unfortunately caused any number of distribution problems, but the film did manage to find a life of its own.

For the appropriate setting, they chose Tybee Island, the easternmost part of Georgia… known for its hurricanes and for being one of the few places an atomic bomb was dropped on American soil. Though storms do factor into the plot, as well as the island's relative isolation, the atomic bomb part is not mentioned. Perhaps an unfortunate missed opportunity? Not only were Cardone and Ewing new at the movie game, but this was DP Karen Grossman on her first feature film. She followed it up with "Microwave Massacre" (1983), as well as a couple of Cardone's films. The bulk of her credits are with the George Romero TV series "Tales from the Darkside" and its quasi-sequel "Monsters" Robert Short, the special effects man, had come out of Don Post's crew and had previously helped design the mask from "Halloween"; he can claim responsibility for the cool pitchfork scene, which is as good as any trick Tom Savini had pulled. Short went on to many, many huge projects, including "Beetlejuice".

Leading the cast is Sarah Kendall, who really sells the film with her wide eyes; she looks like a more terrified version of Sigourney Weaver, making her the perfect lead actress. She had apparently worked with one of the creators (probably Ewing) on a TV show, though this is unclear from her credits. Quite possibly, she had been on a few shows in smaller parts that were not well-documented at the time.

Ultimately, "The Slayer" is something of a mixed bag. Kendall is a strong leading lady, some of the gore effects are pretty good. And the concept of blurring the lines between dream and reality is incredibly clever. Although it is not likely this film was an influence, some of the ideas presented do predate similar ideas in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" films. What makes "Slayer" just alright rather than great, however, is the pacing. Far too much of the film is a slow burn and even at 86 minutes it feels long.

The film's early theatrical release saw it on Broadway with sections cut out and the color uncorrected, due in part to the bankruptcy noted above. Over the years the releases were degraded more and more, and fans who saw it on VHS probably saw it in its worst possible incarnation. This was until 2017, when Arrow Video saved the day. Despite these hiccups, director J. S. Cardone really went on to great things, directing movies with Cannon films, Empire Pictures and beyond.

The Arrow Video Blu-ray has an impressive 50-minute making of segment, with just about everyone attached to the film brought in. We also have a 13-minute feature on the locations, and a June 2017 Q&A that took place on the island. Typically I would say the only thing missing is a commentary track, but the making-of does a fine job of replacing it and actually goes above and beyond by breaking down how some effects were done, something that could not be done with just audio. "The Slayer" may not be the greatest of all slasher films, but it does have an important place in history and fans ought to check it out.

Reviewed by Mr_Ectoplasma 8 / 10

Restrained and atmospheric

"The Slayer" follows a troubled avant-garde artist with psychic proclivities who travels to a remote island with her husband, brother, and sister-in-law in order to regroup. Immediately bothered by the atmosphere of the island, she insists something is amiss among the forests and derelict buildings— but the three dismiss her. Unfortunately, they're wrong.

An early entry in eighties horror that somehow got sidelined by history, "The Slayer" is shockingly good given its lack of notoriety. The set-up is straightforward, and the low character number means there isn't much in the way of the expected body count, but in its brisk eighty minutes, the film manages to achieve a dreadful atmosphere and also boasts some shockingly realistic and disturbing murder scenes.

J.S. Cardone, directed and co-wrote the film—it's his first picture, and he has gone on to work mainly in genre films over the years, giving us the marginalized 2001 vampire flick "The Forsaken" and 2006's "Wicked Little Things." Compared to those films, "The Slayer" is rather minimalistic, but there is a unique sense of foreboding in this film that is something that slasher flicks particularly don't always seem to achieve. The island locale is woodsy and populated with derelict buildings from when it was a resort years prior—an idyllic setting for a horror film. The film in some ways reminded me of a non-wintry "Ghostkeeper," another debased eighties horror picture. The score is quite elegant and ominous, and there are also high-caliber special effects throughout, which are on show during each death sequence, as well as during the monstrous reveal at the finale. Some have argued that the conclusion to "The Slayer" is a cop out. I don't know if I necessarily feel that way. It is rather abruptly thrown at the audience, but it also has narrative significance, linked to threads that are presented earlier on in the film. If anything, it's a somewhat bold move.

Overall, I was quite surprised by how well-crafted this film was. It's not a groundbreaker, but it's a sturdy exercise in dread that happens to be well-shot and eerie. Serious fans of stalk-and- slash movies may find it a bit slow, but it's worth holding out for the impressively jarring murder scenes and the wild card of a conclusion. 8/10.

Reviewed by HumanoidOfFlesh 9 / 10

Pretty good horror film.

Kay together with her husband,her brother and her sister in law fly out to an isolated house on a remote island for a holiday.Since her childhood Kay suffered terrible nightmares featuring a malevolent creature called 'the slayer'.Soon after their arrival Kay realizes that she has been there before in her dreams and she becomes convinced that 'the slayer' is ready to stalk and kill them all."The Slayer" is a pretty good horror film.It predates "A Nightmare on Elm Street" by several years and shares some notable similarities.The film is very atmospheric and the locations sets are excellent.The island is rugged and windswept dotted with creepy looking ruins.The acting is pretty good and there is enough gore to satisfy fans of low-budget horror.The killings are well staged and suitably gruesome.The scene where the woman gets a pitchfork through her chest is pretty nasty and memorable.The final appearance of 'the slayer' is grimly effective."The Slayer" is often trashed by some horror fans,but it's surely better than most of the crap being churned out today.Give this film a chance and you won't be disappointed.

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