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By Steve Anderson | July 19, 2004

Starts off with a bang-sickle goes across screen viewer’s perspective and shatters image with breaking glass noise sound effect.

Spanish only subtitles. Special features: trivia game, and trailers of Slash, Lawless Heart, and Purpose.

It’s an idyllic summer day, and you’re a ten-year-old country boy out playing in the barn with your music box. Okay…so a REAL ten-year-old country boy wouldn’t be caught dead playing with a music box. But it looks seriously creepy-a farmer with a huge sickle menacing some livestock-so you can at least suspend some disbelief here. That and it also plays “Old MacDonald,” which happens to be YOUR last name, so it’s okay.

Grandpa wheels in a big cart and takes it to the back of the barn, where you know you’re not supposed to go. And with good reason-seems Grandpa’s been pretty busy.

Busy KILLING, that is! Corpses! Corpses EVERYWHERE! And he’s DRAINING THEIR BLOOD!

Isn’t this a keen little picture–Little Timmy’s whittling and enjoying his new-fangled music box and Farmer John’s busy sucking the blood out of human corpses in the barn. Think there’s a “trespassers will be exsanguinated” sign on his property somewhere?

Fast forward about twenty years to Ray, one of our first victims, and his girlfriend off to a costume party. Ray naturally crashes the car…by almost hitting a cow in the middle of the road.

A COW in the road! Sweet mercy, what’s next? Where’s the banjo player? Who’s going to be telling who they’ve “got a purty mouth?”

Who’s gonna be squealing, like a pig, by the end of the movie? They just rewrote Deliverance as a horror flick. Can you believe it?

Ray makes the most of being crashed in a cornfield and goes to drain the lizard. Whilst draining, he notices a scarecrow in the cornfield but seems to miss the HUMAN SKULL underneath the scarecrow’s hat. Ray and his girlfriend are soon killed by a scythe, much like the one on top of little MacDonald’s music box. Hmmm….

And then a rock band takes its lead singer back to the farm.

Seriously. That’s what happens! The lead singer gets a sudden note from a fellow in an ill-fitting suit that looks strangely like Jake Busey (forget it, folks, it’s NOT Jake Busey!) telling him that his mother has died and the funeral is back on the old family farm. Keep an eye on this for the next couple minutes…it’s actually very important to the rest of the film.

Get a black guy on a farm in a horror flick and it can get really nasty, as we discover when the band hits the farm. But even nastier is our Jake Busey lookalike with the terminally country name of Billy Bob, who appears carrying a chicken in one arm and covered from head to toe in chicken blood. The reunion between father and son MacDonald isn’t much better.

Soon, our much-ballyhooed funeral takes place, and a mystery woman shows up to scream about “harvests of blood” and “the devil returning” and all the standard stock phrases that horror schlock loves to scream when it’s busily taking itself seriously.

Our musicians suddenly begin dying off in various and alarming ways, and strangely, our young MacDonald doesn’t seem to mind very much, taking on a role at the farm and beginning to enjoy it by the looks of things. The deaths all come at the hands of our familiar scythe-toting scarecrow lookalike-who’s behind it all?

In the midst of the killings, we learn about a little secret of the MacDonald family farm-the “harvest of blood” we heard about before isn’t a metaphor. No…it is in fact an actual agricultural technique. They apply BLOOD to their field to make the vegetables grow better. And it’s not a little blood…nor is it animal blood. It’s HUMAN BLOOD.

Can you believe this? Farmer John back in the beginning was bleeding people dry so he could get bigger yams! These MacDonalds are pure nuts.

There’s a truly impressive scene where our last few survivors are trying to escape from a grain threshing machine, and the MacDonalds besides. It’s surprisingly intense for a B-grade horror flick like this, and I’m impressed with its addition.

The ending gets twisty on a scale not so readily seen in B-grade horror, with more than a few strange surprises. I won’t give them all away, but suffice it to say, a lot of people will give you a lot of surprises. There’s a little music video from the surviving musicians, whose group is, incidentally, called “Slash”. And this one’s a pip, folks…enjoy heartily.

And LAUGH. It’s funny. You haven’t heard any song so funny lately as the chorus on this unintentional laugh-riot.

So really, Slash isn’t a bad little piece. Sure, it’s schlock. It’s packed to the gills with schlock. But the ending is quite a surprise.

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