Starring Asa Butterfield, Finn Cole, Hermoine Corfield, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Michael Sheen, Margot Robbie, Tom Rhys-Harries. Directed by Crispian Mills. (2018/104 min).
ON DVD FROM SONY
Review by Josey, the Sudden Cat😾
Don’t be fooled by the impressively misleading cover, prominently featuring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost along with a critical quote inviting comparisons to Shaun of the Dead. With its pandering, pointlessly-stylized title, Slaughterhouse Rulez doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath.
There’s some fracking going on in the forest near an English boarding school, eventually unleashing ravenous subterranean monsters that commence killing staff and students. ‘Eventually’ is the operative word here, since most of the first hour deals with the cruel pecking order among the student body. The actual protagonists are all teenagers, while the more recognizable actors appear intermittently throughout the story as supporting characters. But nobody is particularly interesting and, aside from a clever throwaway line here and there, most attempts at humor are hopelessly heavy-handed. Not even Pegg, Frost, Michael Sheen or Margot Robbie (who's barely in this) can do much with the material. What a waste of a great cast.
|"Help me find my pants."|
It seems like an eternity before the creatures finally show up, generically-rendered CGI creations that commence picking-off the expendable characters. There’s plenty of blood, gore and amped-up attempts at absurdist humor, but where Edgar Wright managed this effortlessly, Crispian Mills directs his own screenplay with the subtlety of a hammer. The critic’s quote on the cover is accurate about one thing. This film does indeed make Shaun of the Dead look restrained...and that’s part of the problem.
Slaughterhouse Rulez feels as desperate as its title, which is unfortunate considering it was released by Pegg and Frost’s own production company. Neither funny nor scary, the film wastes the efforts of a decent cast, ultimately testing the patience of all but the most indiscriminate viewer. There are scores of better horror-comedies out there.