“Splatter Disco,” a musical slasher film, never thinks of itself as something it is not. It is made as pure entertainment and embraces that. The subject matter is handled seriously, but very tongue-in-cheek. All of that serves it well. Unfortunately, the movie itself isn’t very good, though the songs and some of the actors keep it from becoming a total disaster.
Trent Haaga, a Troma staple, plays Kent Chubb, the owner of a fetish nightclub that his town is trying to shut down. His wife is another actress not unfamiliar to Troma – Debbie Rochon, and his father is played by the always entertaining Ken Foree, best known for his role in the original “Dawn of the Dead.” Chubb’s main threat is the mayor’s mother, Lynn Lowry, also a veteran of Romero films.
Foree is the associate producer of this film, but I still don’t know why he’d want to be in it. Make no mistake, he delivers, as he usually does, and so do many of the other cast members. I just don’t know why the role appealed to him. For a man who carried “Dawn of the Dead” and was more than memorable in “The Devil’s Rejects,” this lacking role seems like a step in the wrong direction.
Then there are the songs. They aren’t annoying, there aren’t too many, and they don’t really take viewers out of the action. If a slasher/musical had to be made, this was probably the best way to do it.
The weakest spots are the other actors and the story. When you have a low budget film both elements are a given. I don’t think the actor problem could have been worked around, but the story could have been tweaked. A serial killer stalking nightclub patrons and employees isn’t exactly ground breaking. If the writer could have come up with something a bit more sinister I think he would have had a real winner. The fetish aspect of the story is played strictly for laughs, too, which is fine, but it could’ve used some bite and a bit more nudity. (The film is surprisingly tame on the bare breasts factor.)
I don’t know who will want to see this film. It isn’t serious enough for horror hounds, and fans of musicals won’t go for it. So, you’ve got the Troma and Low Budget Pictures junkies (of which I am included) and drunks looking for something to keep the laughs going on a Friday night. Not the largest of crowds, but those folks are fairly loyal. Besides, midnight classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and newcomer “Repo The Genetic Opera” are solid renters. There is obviously an audience for this type of film, and this one could have fit right in. But perhaps success means you need a classic on your hands.