Sickle (aka The Slaughterhouse Massacre) Review

Sickle Review

Troll 2 widely holds the dubious honour as one of the worst films ever made, in the horror genre or elsewhere. Its place in cinematic history is assured, thanks to a cult following and even a documentary, Best Worst Movie, charting the Troll 2 phenomenon and it is often championed as a prime example of ‘So Bad It’s Good’ (see also: The Room). While Troll 2 had the good fortune to rise above its schlocky roots to achieve, well, something, the film I’m looking at today will, never, ever over my cold dead embittered body be allowed to do the same. Sickle, also known as The Slaughterhouse Massacre, is one of the worst, most ineptly made films I have ever seen.  There are insufficient words in the English language to convey the utter shiteness of it, but I’m going to give it a go anyway. So, with fair warning for copious amounts of ranting and hyperbole, once more into the breach…

More Frightening Than Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

This Isn’t  Even More Fucking Frightening Than Bananaman.

Allen, Texas 1993 – was the historic moment where some kids were getting off with each other in a car. Forget the Alamo, this is real history. The chick is wearing a spiked dog collar, with we all know of code for Goth, which in turn is code for liking freaky, nasty sex. The fantasy here is to get down and dirty in a slaughter house. The guy isn’t so keen, but she likes the idea of being helpless before you die. Once she starts wanking in front of him he doesn’t need much persuading and off to the slaughter house we go.

At the slaughter house, unaware of the horny teenagers imminent arrival, a lone figure works, surrounded by cigarette smoke, as in, literally surrounded by a thick fog, the film makers are obviously so pleased to have access to a smoke machine they just have to use it. He’s doing something with chickens, and there’s lots of plastic meat on display, I think the film makers stole it from a Fisher Price Kitchen Play Set. Speaking of plastic meat, the two fetishy teenagers arrive, and make their way through the random hanging carcass room which I’m sure is part and parcel of all slaughterhouses. The guy opines that ‘he is never eating dog food again’. What a catch. The girl doesn’t fare much better in the character stakes, as soon as she hears about chickens being electrocuted she is super randy and wants the dog food eater to ‘take her now’. Don’t think she’ll be asked to join PETA anytime soon. They start screwing, it’s very not sexy. It’s all rather dull. As usual in horror films, she has to get fully naked while he just has to take his top off. Mid bump and grind she screams,  and we fade to black. I would be perfectly content if the film finished now, but sadly, it is not to be.

This Must Be The Salmonella Wing (ha!) Of The Slaughterhouse.

We cut to ‘Dallas College, Present Day’ – And I’m beginning to think this film was filmed on someone’s iPhone. And that the set was provided by the local Travel Lodge conference room if the classroom set is anything to go by. The classes Professor is talking about group assignments, and the class groans. And it’s the worst groaning ever. I’m not kidding, I know that’s sounds a really stupid thing to complain about. It’s like bad zombie impressions and they groan for too long. If the actors on the film can’t even fucking groan convincingly I don’t hold out much hope for the rest of the film. Plus they use the same shot of said ridiculous groaning twice, in the space of three seconds. While the Professor talks a ‘sexy’ girl in a low cut vest top Basic Instincts him. The DVD said ‘Sickle’ but are we sure this isn’t Red Shoe Diaries? The other students are content to throw stuff at the Professor and generally act about 12. This isn’t even a high school film, they’re at college. Jaysus. And yeah, they just reused another shot, of the Professor leering at the ‘sexy’ girl.

Two students are recalled after class, they need to pass this class or else.  Most non-excellent. They are football jocks so therefore are massive bellends. And yeah, these fuckwits are our main characters folks.

THIS Is How You Do Likeable Dunderheads.

Two girls, the unfortunate girlfriends of the aforementioned fuckwits, are making their out of college and having a conversation about…something. The sound is so bad I can barely make out what they are saying. A party of some sort if in the offing and already I hope all of the people in this class die horribly at it, and more than half of them haven’t even spoken yet.

So once the chance to establish some actual plot and characterisation has been properly missed we’re on to the party. It is clearly filmed in some crew member’s house and is a series of boring montages. No one seems to be having any fun, so at least we have that in common. The two jock bastards partake in the world’s most pathetic beer bong and cheat on their girlfriends. Brunette girl gets flirted with by a really rapey guy who plays with her hair in a sinister fashion. Awful porn type music soundtracks the wholly depressing affair. More reused shots. Oh my fucking God this is so badly made.

Girl on girl sex show. You know, just like parties in real life. This film was clearly written by a 13 year old boy. No script, just very untitillating and dismal sex. Two girls with the sexual chemistry of three week old lettuce rubbing their tits against each other. I’m so very bored.

Of all the people to remember that is thing is meant to have a plot, the Stoner guy is the one who has the light-bulb moment and veeeery slowly imparts the legend of the slaughterhouse. It is the anniversary of birthday of the ‘killer dude man’ (I hope he turns up in the next 30 seconds and butchers them all) , Marty Sickle –  yes, that’s right, his surname is actually ‘Sickle’ – was arrested on suspicion of murder but was released due to lack of evidence. The victim’s boyfriend and friends exact revenge of Marty by hanging him; he then is electrocuted by falling him some chemical oil or some such stupid thing. The same night, the two horndogs from the intro show up and want to have sex where he was hung. Er, they don’t know about that, so how could they? And that’s not what the girl said. We even see in the flashback that she says she wants to do it ‘where the animals are killed’, not Marty. What the very fuck? Inconsistent, blathering rubbish. Marty is still wandering around the slaughterhouse waiting for victims. And if you do go there on his deathday and say the rhyme (again, I couldn’t make it out and I really don’t care) he’ll pop up out of the basin of water and kill you. And, oh yes, all this is interspersed with scintillating chat about football from one of the dumb fucking jocks (I refuse to learn anyone’s name except for Marty’s. And I am rooting for him all the way.)

The Tales In THIS Programme Were More Consistent And Scary.

‘Sexy’ McSlut from earlier is there and trying to shag everybody. Brunette catches her and dumb fucking jock boyfriend together and storms off. This is after searching for him in another arresting montage scene featuring, yep, more reused scenes, and also reused ‘jokes’, a la a hilarious masturbation gag. Ugh, I hate this film so much. While dumb fucking jock tries to make up with Brunette the stoners inside are planning an amazing prank at the slaughterhouse. Awful night vision adds to multitude of sins this film is inflicted on us so far. I seriously think this was edited using Windows Movie Maker. Brunette makes up with dumb fucking jock after he makes the worse apology ever. Solidarity is nothing if not dead as Blonde defends the cheating arsehole because she wants to have fun. The plot creaks in to gear, and the group head to the slaughterhouse.

Apparently the town where the slaughterhouse is based is now a deserted ghost town. What? Because of one lousy murder? Lightweights. Haddonfield keeps on soldiering on doesn’t it? When I say ghost town, I mean awful bloody cardboard set by the way. The two dumb fucking jocks plan to scare the girls, a plan they discuss loudly while standing right next to the girls. For the love of… I don’t usually use ‘internet’ parlance but here I’m going to make a special exception – facepalm.

Nothing’s happening, the characters wander around like morons, saying moronic things and I want to die. It’s been three minutes since I wrote that and still nothing is fucking happening. They find the slaughterhouse. Finally, can we get down to the carnage now? They have camcorders to record the girls freaking out, the quality of the film is actually better on these.

They enter the slaughterhouse and look around. ‘It looks the same as it did all those years ago’ states on of them. Er, non. The police would have torn the place apart you utter fool. Hurry up and die already. Please, please will you all just die?? Hang about, maybe I’m going about this all wrong, maybe this is the kind of film that you need to get drunk and enjoy ironically…hold on a tick…Right, I actually went a got a glass of wine so I could continue watching this tripe. That’s not fanciful narration on my behalf; this film genuinely drove me to drink.

I’m Not Even Kidding When I Say These Two Wouldn’t Even Pass Muster In Hollyoaks. Honest To Goodness, Hollyoaks.

The drink isn’t working; I’m still bored and annoyed. The group continue to wander, freaking each other out. There’s lots of ‘ew!’ and ‘gross’ from the girls, the boys tit about with their camcorders. Did I mention I want them all to die yet? The Stoner way shows up, the dumb fucking jock berates him for getting there early and ruining the prank, again he says fact loudly this right in front of the girls, the intended victims. There’s a rat, which clearly leaves the scene earlier than it’s meant to (probably to get on the phone and fire its agent), so they rewind the footage to make it seem like the rat didn’t leave. These effects make early Dr Who look like fucking Avatar.

After about 17 years the group get to the death room and get ready to do the ritual. The inspired rhyme I missed before is repeated and this time I can hear what is being said – ‘Sickle once, sickle twice, sickle came to take a life’ – well that was worth the wait. The girls freak, and the prank doesn’t happen as the stoner fails to turn up (and he seemed such a responsible chap). The camera falls in the vat of black goo and dumb fucking jock reaches in to get it out.  The clock on the wall, which stopped at time of Marty’s death, starts again. The camera cannot be retrieved (why not just tip the cocking thing over?) and the group decide to leave. The restarted clock moves by about 40 seconds during a two minute scene. This film is so bad its slowing down time.

One of the dumb fucking jocks goes ahead and gets lost. ‘Where the hell are you?’ yells one of the other chumps. ‘Nothing’ he answers. Er, what? Well the film makers thought it made sense, so much so that they replay the clip 30 seconds later. More pointless wandering. There’s so much of that it’s like Lord of the Rings. Dumb fucking jock spies a menacing figure in black and think’s its stoner (by the way, it turns out his name actually is ‘Stoner), he thinks Stoner (sigh) is playing a prank on him.

It is of course Marty, played by Poundland Brad Dourif. Marty sickles the guy in his balls and slices him in half. Marty is also a fan of latter day Freddy Kruger style quips. Looks like he’s going to be just as irritating as the rest of them, I am no longer rooting for Marty, I just want them all to go away. Blonde girl finds half of her lover and freaks. She finds the others and they go to investigate. There is no jock, only Zuul. Sorry, blood. In other words the corpse is gone.

Apparently, This Guy (Marty) Also Wrote, Directed And Edited This Mediocrity. Dude, You Are Not Good At ANY Of Those Things.

Marty also has latter day Jason Voorhees powers of teleportation, being able to zap from one door to another in the space of a couple of seconds. He attacks the remaining group. Dumb fucking jock that isn’t dead fends him off with bones, which Marty avoids with athletic grace as if they are live hand grenades. They hide behind an old furnace and try to fix up blonde girl’s leg, which apparently got wounded, although I didn’t see it happen. Marty comes in and dumb fucking jock hits him in the face with a fire extinguisher, which was hanging up on the wall next to the door when Marty entered 5 seconds ago.

They lock themselves in yet another random room and dumb fucking jock fortifies the door with chains. He apologises to the brunette for being a massive dick and vows to change his ways. ‘I’m pregnant’ she tearfully emotes. Frankly any kid of theirs would be so stupid it should probably die now anyway and get it out of the way. There’s a window in the room they are in that they think they can escape through. They break the window and see Stoner, surprising us all by still being alive and that. They try to signal him with the torch, it doesn’t work. Stoner leaves.

They blather on for a bit and apparently the only way to kill Marty is to chop off his head. Eh? Well sure that would take down most things, but why only the head in the case of a supernatural bogeyman? Brunette climbs out through the window to go and get help. Dumb fucking jock then shoves Blonde through with all the gentleness he would treat of a sack of potatoes.

Marty breaks down the door (literally) and dumb fucking jock tries to escape out the window as well. The girls make to the car but Marty’s there too, what? Oh now he’s under the car attacking them. Ugh, I take back what I said about Jason Voorhees. He would turn his hideously deformed nose up at this mess. Brunette now has a gun and they take cover in an old shop. She shoots Marty in the chest (forgetting her boyfriend’s words about chopping off his head). Marty slices off blonde’s head in some CGI which wouldn’t look out place in Knightmare. Brunette shoots Marty again and then uses a payphone (how retro!) to try and summon help, Marty catches her again, she shoots him again and on and on its goes until we all die from boredom.

Brunette’s top has come undone now, she makes no attempt to do it up again, and she runs back to the slaughterhouse to find her boyfriend, instead she finds the missing boy stitched together. I gave Knightmare a grave disservice earlier, the effects in Knightmare were way better. Her boyfriend was cleft in twain trying to climb out the window, turns out he was a mannequin all along (his acting should have been an earlier clue).

According To This Film, Humans Are Filled With Strawberry Jam.

Its daylight now, Stoner is still alive and now a cop enters the picture. He gets a radio call with the operator saying they just got a distress call from a payphone. Just? More like 4 hours ago, this film has a very weird concept of time. Wait, it’s not daylight, it’s still dark after all. Cop goes to check it out. And now it’s light again. Now it’s some sort of weird blue light filter going on. Cop and Stoner head to the slaughterhouse to find his friends. Stoner finds, in an elevator, the old, expertly drawn chalk outline of a victim from the old murders (which one? They all took place in the same room) Stoner starts, I kid ye not, making out with the chalk outline lady. For. Fucks. Sake.

Sorry Boys, There’s No Unseeing This One.

Cop gets killed in the face and Marty moves in for Brunette, who I think has some sort of plan. Marty rips off Freddy further by scrapping his sickle along the wall in a singularly unmenacing experience. Brunette’s plan involves taking off her skirt, in order to climb into a small hole. Seriously movie? You needed no cause at all for all those other chicks to get butt naked, but here you have to introduce a reason. She tricks Marty and guillotines his head off.

Stoner is still (Still! How the fuck did he survive the whole film?) Alive and tells her of his crazy stoned adventures, he asks where they others are. ‘They’re all dead’ she replies with the same emotion one shows when told Starbucks are out of chocolate brownies. They leave and it finally, finally ends…Oh Jesus, and with Marty’s body having disappeared they actually set this one up for a sequel. Good fucking luck.

Wow, just wow. This film is detrimental to humanity. It was painful on every conceivable level – acting, script, direction, editing all just abysmal. And, no the wine didn’t help. I guess maybe, just maybe, if you were drinking with a group of mates and you stuck this DVD on you might be able to squeeze out a modicum of enjoyment by laughing at its total ineptness. But, for me, sat alone drinking wine, having no friends, watching this piece of shit, getting more and more annoyed that this wretched thing can even get a release when there are so many decent independent films of any genre that can’t get a chance I just can’t fathom it. My bitterness levels are seriously off the chart right now. I seriously want answers for this. How and why, in this state I watched it; did this film warrant a release?  This is really the contempt modern film fans are held in? When this is meant to be good enough for a paying audience? Fucking really?  And, no, because it’s a cheesy horror film, that doesn’t mean there should be no standards. Slasher films can be fucking amazing – Halloween and Black Christmas anyone? (And as if there were any doubt, I am referring to the originals there) These films are good because they are horror films that are genuinely scary. And I’m not talking about gore, which I can take or leave. I’m talking about atmosphere and suspense that use the power of suggestion and imagination to create terror. And it helps that they were crafted by folk who knew what the fuck they were doing. Horror can be a maligned genre (fuck, I bet there are still plenty of people out there who think horror fans consist solely of loners wear black and listen to death metal. Hello, Daily Mail readers and Mary Whitehouse fans) and this sort of direness doesn’t help any cause, for anything, ever. And of course I’m taking it too seriously, launching a written crusade against a film that was only going to ever have a minimal audience and was never going to win any awards, but the fucking audacity of it is truly something to behold. The bar has been set people. The lowest bar imaginable. Actually, it’s undergound. If any film I watch in future is worse than this, I feel truly sorry for me. Screw this motherfuckery, I’m off to watch Troll 2, cleanse the palette…*retreats into the distance still muttering darkly*.

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