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Slaughter Disc:
A Tale From The Carnal Morgue

cast: Caroline Pierce, Robert Williams

writer, producer, and director: David Quitmeyer

90 minutes (unrated) 2005
Carnal Morgue NTSC DVD Region 0 retail

RATING: 5/10
reviewed by Ian Shutter
Videodrome has much to answer for: the sleaze, the violence, and the cinematic scribbling in the margins between cold reality, erotic fantasy, and rabid psychosis, having spawned a variety of imitators over the last 20 years, though, sadly none of them could hope to reach the imaginative delirium attained by Cronenberg's masterpiece. David Quitmeyer tackles a vaguely similar, thoroughly downmarket premise from the 'wrong' side of the professional filmmaking field but, if nothing else, Slaughter Disc is certainly a cut above the average for today's porn horror.

Mike is keen on clown porn. Until his girlfriend dumps him, and inflicts a minor groin injury as a parting gift, after she catches him jacking off at home. Looking for weirder thrills, and intrigued by the skin mag ads for a hot new porn starlet, Mike orders a new DVD off the Internet, featuring '@ndr0m3da $trang3' online alias of Andromeda Strange (Caroline Pierce). To Mike's surprise the purchased disc is actually delivered, eventually, and turns out to be oddly transparent, with a fleetingly glimpsed, and accursedly ghostly, skull imprinted on it. Mike settles down after work to enjoy Gothic chick Andromeda's opening act of striptease (as tawdry as it is raunchy), though that's quickly packed away in favour of hardcore blowjobs, followed by some abrupt displays of 'snuff movie' iconography such as straight-razor bloodletting.

One throat-slash suicide bid later, freshly scarred Ms Strange is apparently back from the dead and eager for yet another deathbed display of bondage, sexualised murder (one tied-up guy gets whacked on the head with a claw hammer), graphic post-fuck mutilation and brazenly gruesome, brain-eating cannibalism. Shocked at first, Mike is really freaked out when people that he knows are now showcased in further bouts of sex and violence on the 'supernaturally' evil DVD, and he soon finds that he can't switch the TV off, and can't look even away...

The eclectic tackiness of a lipstick kiss from the inside of the TV, and wiping cum off the screen in Mike's puke-up morning-after routine, gives way to much darker impulses, as utterly mean-spirited perversions of disturbingly moody episodes on the Slaughter Disc begin the slippery process, of degrading corruption, that leads poor dumb loser Mike to his doom when he submits, quite willingly, to evil-dead dominatrix Andromeda.

Only the rather ghastly cheapness of Steel Web Studios' digital video enterprise (though, perhaps, this should rightfully be considered as an essential ingredient of the 'underground movie' appeal?), and the lack of a cast capable of acting with anything faintly resembling believable emotional responses, weakens the overall impact of Slaughter Disc. Its uneasy mix of explicit sex and cheesy gore effects is nonetheless of interest to those following the latest 'shocking' trends of have-sex-and-die-horribly schlock. Certainly not recommended for easily offended or faint-hearted viewers, but there are several moments of low-budget invention to mark this director as one to watch (the lowbrow comedy scenes are especially funny), if he can or wants to escape from the porn gutter into the US indie mainstream, and Slaughter Disc is certainly worth a look if you're a fan of west coast underground films.

DVD extras: behind-the-scenes footage, a photo gallery in slideshow format, outtakes, and The Curse Of Slaughter Disc - which lists all the seemingly jinxed production's problems. There's also some hidden content, offering more of Ms Strange's strip-club antics. Animated menu design features typically 'amusing' intros for each section by the suitably attired fem-dom Pierce.

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