Thursday, 16 May 2013

DVD review: Slice & Dice: The Slasher Film Forever documentary

slice & dice slasher documentary calum waddell
Over the past few years, the documentary film has gone from being a tacked on DVD extra to the more standard  long-form. Although the slasher film subject has been tackled before (2006's Going To Pieces), director Calum Waddell, a brilliant genre journalist and behind many of the fantastic extras on the Arrow Video releases, does a good job of avoiding re-hashing the same subjects. He also utilises his much lower budget by using mostly trailer footage and interviewing some of the rarely seen genre figures, such as British legend Norman J. Warren (who is a fantastic bloke, as anyone who has ever attended The Festival of Fantastic Films in Manchester will attest), Scott Spiegel (Intruder), Christopher Smith (Severence/Creep) and Alex Chandon (Inbred).
slice & dice slasher documentary calum waddell james moranslice & dice slasher documentary calum waddell
The film is well edited (by Naomi Holwill) so there's no repetition in the talking head soundbites and there's a unique visual style to the presentation.We don't miss the lack of actual film footage either, due to prudential use of trailer footage. Most people who will have any interest in this will no doubt have seen most of the films anyway, and there's not many spoilers for those who haven't.                         slice & dice slasher documentary calum waddell tom hollandslice & dice slasher documentary calum waddell felissa rose
While the film itself is a brisk but packed 75 minutes, there are more than enough extras spread over the two discs to make up for it. Among the best sections are an engaging commentary from Waddell and Justin Kerswell (author of the fabulous Teenage Wasteland: The Slasher Film Uncut)  a Q&A with Norman J Warren and James Moran, from the Glasgow premiere of the film. The bonus 'out-take' interviews are an extended look at some of the interviews used, which vary in length, but are still of interest; Corey Feldman especially coming across a lot more informed than you'd expect (despite his dodgy hairstyle).
slice & dice slasher documentary calum waddell adam greenslice & dice slasher documentary calum waddell corey feldman
Disc two is just as packed, with its own 37 minute documentary, Don't Go In The Backwoods, a look at the sub-genre within the slasher genre, and over twenty trailers (covering most of the famous slasher films and some obscure ones) with optional commentary.
slice & dice slasher documentary calum waddell norman warrenslice & dice slasher documentary calum waddell emily booth
For horror fans, this is a wonderful package, with plenty to dip in to, and lots to spend your time absorbing.  And there's even a reversible sleeve, which is hidden away behind the standard packaging.
8 out of 10

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