Monday, October 25, 2010


So, with Halloween imminent, one's thoughts naturally turn toward horror films, wondering whether there will be any decent cinema releases in this traditional season of the witch? The answer is, of, course, a resounding 'no'. All we get offered, it seems, are yet more instalments of tired old franchises like Saw. And let's face it, they weren't much cop as horror flicks in the first place. Horror cinema these days seems to be obsessed with simply serving up gross-out shock sequences with no context, rather than giving audiences things like plot, suspense or characterisation. But what do I know, eh? I'm still stuck in the days of Hammer and Tigon. Nevertheless, I still think that I could come up with a better horror film franchise than most of the dross that passes for terror cinema these days. First of all, you need some kind of 'high concept' to underpin it all, mine is 'meat is murder', which, in turn, gives us the title: Abattoir!

The premise is simple - a block of luxury flats are built on the site of an old abattoir and, here's the first 'twist', the occupants are all vegetarians! Obviously, pretty soon the residents are experiencing weird shit - disembodied mooings in the night, the bleating of phantom sheep and the agonised squeals of pigs as they're slaughtered. Naturally, investigations show that strange things had gone on at the abattoir before it was demolished - animal cruelty, perhaps. Or, it could transpire that the villainous owner had been passing off regularly slaughtered meat to the local Muslim community as halal meat. Or, he could have been passing off non-Kosher meat as Kosher to the local Jewish community. Or, he could have been slaughtering local down and outs and selling the meat to local butchers.

Anyway, whatever the terrible dark secret turns out to be, the terror is then notched up a gear, with animal blood pouring out of taps and shower heads, nut cutlets mysteriously turning into real cutlets, sides of beef hanging in wardrobes, and herds of demonic pigs chasing people down corridors. Finally, the ghostly abattoir owner could turn up, (or maybe he isn't dead, he's just been hiding in the cellars, where he's set up a new secret slaughter house), and start hanging people from meat hooks before killing them with a captive bolt gun and slicing up their bodies.
It could all climax with him force feeding the surviving veggies with meat. But not just any meat, but the remains of their friends and neighbours! Finally, and just in the nick of time, the ghosts of his previous animal victims turn up and trample the slaughter man to death, or drag him back to Hell. Or something. All in all, I think this is a pretty good idea for a franchise. Certainly, it's no crapper than, say, the Saw or Hostel movies. I've even got an idea for a sequel lined up - with the flats demolished or burned down, or something, after the events of the first film, Abattoir 2 could open with a health food store having been built on the site. This stuff just writes itself! Now, where did I put Roger Corman's number?

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