For their first feature film for their new company Stolen Picture, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost turned to Pegg’s mate, and former Kula Shaker front-man, Crispian Mills, the man who also brought us A Fantastic Fear Of Everything.
This time round, Pegg takes more of a back-seat role and gives the central roles to the kids: Asa Butterfield (“Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children“, “Hugo“), Hermoine Corfield (“The Last Jedi“, “Pride And Prejudice And Zombies“), Finn Cole (“Lewis (TV)”, “Offender”) and others.
We follow Don (Cole) as he earns a place at the prestigious public school, Slaughterhouse. Here, he is roomed with Willoughby (Butterfield), at this school which is anything but conventional.
It’s also here where he meets Clemsie (Corfield), the school beauty, but is stopped from talking to her by the pecking order of the school, which sees the sixth formers at the top, the school split into houses with Don’s house headed by Clegg, Tom Rhys Harries (“Unforgotten (TV)”, “Crow”), who’s a bit of a nutter.
As he gets to grips with life at this school, the dodgy headmaster, Michael Sheen (“Passengers“, “Midnight In Paris”), has done a deal with a fracking company who are currently tearing up parts of the school grounds.
This fracking leads to quakes and tremors on the grounds and at the school, and then a supermassive frack hole opens which leads to the depths of hell. Or, at least some tombs that are under the school where lives flesh-eating monsters that decide to come out and play.
Slaughterhouse Rulez is a nice idea, shot in stunning locations with Stowe School doubling as Slaughterhouse, along with Gaddesden Place and Chislehurst Caves being used.
Mills keeps things zipping along nicely, although a few scenes do slow down a tad too much. Perhaps the biggest error made by Mills though, is employing Edgar Wright’s trick of quick-cuts in one scene. I’m sure it’s done as a homage but still, seems odd to use someone else’s schtick.
There are a few references throughout Slaughterhouse Rulez to other Pegg, Frost and Wright movies. Janes Stannes (“A Fantastic Fear Of Everything“, “Nighty Night (TV)”) plays the school nurse, though generally wonders round, zombie like, Pegg also turns up in his pants, something Mills seems to like doing to the man.
Frost meanwhile plays the leader of a bunch of eco-warriors who are camped out on the grounds, protesting against the fracking whilst also taking copious amounts of magic mushrooms and other such drugs.
One of the stand-out performers is Kit Connor (“Ready Player One“, “SS-GB (TV)”), who plays Wootton, one of the younger boys in the school who needs to remember the school rulez but completely fails.
He is handcuffed to a sink and feathered for failing to remember, but it’s his riffing with fellow geek Hargreaves, Max Raphael, that works brilliantly. The two are geeks, pretending to know what’s going on and what things mean, and then Wootton asks; “what is an orgy?”.
Slaughterhouse Rulez isn’t as funny as other Pegg/Frost collaborations, though it has its moments and, because it was given a 15 rating, doesn’t quite hit the mark for the adult market either. It falls somewhere in between a horror-comedy and there aren’t enough laughs, but plenty of jumps.
As for the DVD, I wouldn’t bother. It contains nothing but the actual movie so you may as well save some space (and the plastic) and download it.
11th March 2019
THE QUICK SELL
An illustrious British boarding school becomes a bloody battleground when a mysterious sinkhole appears at a nearby fracking site unleashing unspeakable horror.
CAST & CREW
Asa Butterfield, Crispian Mills, Finn Cole, Henry Fitzherbert, Hermione Corfield, Jamie Blackley, Kit Connor, Luke Passmore, Margot Robbie, Michael Sheen, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Tom Rhys Harries