Tod Slaughter Vintage Terror Collection 2009 Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
The first true Goth, if this collection is anything to go by, shameless baddy Tod Slaughter - cad, rotter, with centre-parting devilishly to the fore and the deportment of an iguana - rants, raves, gurns, fidgets, glowers and s[**]s his way through this mercilessly entertaining set.
You’ve never seen anything like it: Slaughter is a whirlpool of scheming and vigorous cruelty; suicidally homicidal, sexually insatiable, he finds glory and merit instigating subjugation and misery. If there’s a honest young cavalry officer with a sexy fiancee, Slaughter will burst his own jealous brain to destroy them both - in ways as sleazy and humiliating as his degenerate intelligence can conjure.
I’m particularly partial to ‘Crimes at the Dark House’ in which our demented hero freezes a mentally ill woman to death, pretends she’s his wife, buries her in the churchyard, strangles her mother and throws the body in the lake, then has his real wife locked up in an asylum; drives a wooden spike into a gold prospectors head; blackmails a beautiful socialite into having ‘relations’ with him then tries to rape her sister; coshes a doctor and dangles his body through a trapdoor and, finally - coerces a maid with promises of marriage but when she falls pregnant, strangles her and throws her body in the lake. All accompanied by the kind of ghoulish cackling that I would imagine some mad fellow like Pol Pott or Idi Amin would emit while indulging in their own particular nightmare productions.
Sounds great—and it is. Filmed with admirable over-the-topness, on grimy, see-the-joists-move sets, in doomy flecky b/w, Slaughter is brilliantly watchable. Usually starting off reasonably sane, but give him a minute and he’s at his antics in fine style - terrorising prince and pauper alike, in desperate attempts at grand larceny joyfully coupled with the cunning degredation of ALL innocent parties. The supporting casts are deliberately wooden - so as to magnify (un-necessarily!) his lecherous treachery.
His take on Burke and Hare in ‘Horror Maniacs’ (!) needs to be experienced by both buff and student alike. Cutting a swathe through 1820’s Edinburgh with an outrageous Scottish accent and scant regard for taste, subtlety, or any kind of historical integrity (B + H are renamed Hart and Moore, Dr Knox is Dr Cox, that sort of thing), and despite awful sound and having to act opposite more lumber than a Swiss Alpine forest, Slaughter is monstrously hysterical. The sheer joy on his face as he turns Kings Evidence and condemns his accomplice to the noose is worth the price of this set on its own.
At the basics: variable sound and picture quality, poor general presentation etc, mean these pieces probably deserve one dismissive star each - but there’s something about this level of leering villainy that cheers the soul. Something about a greasy criminal lunatic that’s so repulsive and stupidly devious, it compels you hiss your appreciation, and jeer his inevitable demise.
And aren’t those gallows fun?
‘The Tod Slaughter Vintage Terror Collection’ is a title worthy of this product; I would have placed ‘roughouse grime’ in there somewhere, but you can’t have everything.