Slayer, The (1982)
Cast: Sarah Kendall, Frederick Flynn, Carol Kottenbrook
Director: J.S. Cardone
Nutshell: Notorious for being banned as a Video Nasty in the UK. Artist Kay’s vivid nightmares go into overdrive with horrifying results as she reluctantly visits and island with her relatives.
Artist Kay is constantly struggling with recurring nightmares much to the irritation of her long-suffering husband who has learned to avoid most of her jabbering nonsense. There is an exhibition ahead and he persuades her to accompany him on a trip to a remote island along with her brother and his wife. Reluctantly they head off to the island where immediately Kay starts to feel haunted by her dreams complaining that she has seen the buildings before.
Her hysteria and constant griping threatens to destroy everyone’s trip but Kay’s husband does his best to keep things going. Sadly, things start to go horribly wrong one night when David goes to check on where some weird sounds in the night. He finds an attic and is about to investigate when undone by a freak accident that leaves him horribly decapitated.
The next morning has Kay making amorous advances to her husband, only to find that he’s nothing more than a severed head! Quite the most memorable scene of an otherwise fairly turgid affair.
Kay kicks off another hysterical fit and the three of the remaining group all troop off searching for David. The rest of the film has each cast member searching for another but finding their gruesome demise instead at the hands of an unseen marauder. The director attempts to inject a psychological slant on the mundane slasher fare on display by toying with the idea that it’s all in her mind. Be that as it may, by the time the film winds down to its less than stunning climax, the audience is pretty much beyond caring what or who is causing the mayhem.
Finally, there is a flashback that explains everything without actually explaining anything at all!
The Slayer enjoyed its moment of glory having found itself on the notorious Video Nasties list but other than that achievement there is little of merit. A fairly unimaginative plot, dull acting, plodding pace and an underwhelming climax all leave the viewer rather underwhelmed overall and this one can only be recommended to hardcore Slasher hounds who have to see absolutely everything ever shot. One word that comes to mind is “dreary”.