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The Slayer (1981) - Blu-ray Review

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The Slayer (1982) - Blu-ray

4 beersBefore nightmare became popular on Elm Street, there was the lone howl of The Slayer

The last thing I want to have happen when I lock lips with my spouse is for her mouth to fill with blood.  And, if we are lying in bed together with the sheets pulled up to our necks, I definitely don’t want to pull back said covers in a moment of passion and discover that – Christ on a pogo stick! – I’ve been making out with the severed head of my beloved.  That’s exactly what happens in The Slayer, an atmospheric chiller driven by the demonic dreams of one frigid woman as her past and her present collide while on an island retreat.

It is promised to be a vacation that won’t soon be forgotten.  And, truly, the trip at the dead center of The Slayer is exactly that.  It’s not sunny.  It’s not warm.  But the island is a certain sort of paradise.  Especially if you are prone to bouts of déjà vu.  Unfortunately, the two couples who come to this remote island and stay at the spacious house just off its sandy shores have no idea just what killer chaos they are in for.

Directed by J. S. Cardone and co-written by Bill Ewing, this is a horror film that gets its kicks via a psychic link courtesy of surreal artist sister Kay (Sarah Kendell) and her premonitions.  They are presented as reoccurring dreams.  And she paints what she sees.  Only recently, though, has the art – which had been previously successful – turned dark and atmospheric, losing much of her followers. 

“This place makes my skin crawl,” she says to her husband David (Alan McRae).  Her brother Eric (Frederick Flynn) worries about the wall she’s building around herself as she settles into a funk of mellow moods.  And the only thing getting through that wall happens to be the slimy stalker lurking in the shadows.  Eric's wife Brooke (Carol Kottenbrook) is of little help.  She doesn’t even want to be there in the first place.

From the very beginning, we know that this island retreat is going to be anything but relaxing.  We are warned and so are the visitors as their pilot, Marsh (Michael Holmes), flies them in and gives off ominous vibes with his glances toward Kay.   He even makes a second appearance with a warning. 

Heads will roll.  And the more this slasher goes on, the more intense the kills become.  They are intricate and involve many severed body parts and broken necks.  They happen slowly as the tension and expressive nature of the shoot roll out in fine form.  The acting might be a bit simple, but little else is concerning this cult film.  The days grow dim as mere shadows pool together to hide the strange beast responsible for the many twisted deaths.  One by one, the group meets an unexpected demise. 

With far more sand crabs than sidewalks, The Slayer is one isolated slasher that dares to traverse a winding path which reveals our nightmares as reality.  It is now available to own on blu-ray thanks to the work of Arrow Video, who have restored the film from a new 4K scan of the original camera negative. 

Get a hold of yourself, Eric.  That howl you hear is only the water as it laps against the shore.  Just don’t go exploring.  And whatever you do, don’t leave behind your hooks and tackle.  You might just become the bait.  

The Slayer has resurfaced!

The Slayer (1982) - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
80 mins
: J.S. Cardone
J.S. Cardone, Bill Ewing
Sarah Kendall, Frederick Flynn, Carol Kottenbrook
: Horror
Is it a Nightmare? Or is it ...
Memorable Movie Quote: "There's nothing up here."
Theatrical Distributor:
21st Century Film Corporation
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 1, 1982
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 22, 2017
Synopsis: Two young couples set off to a secluded island for what promises to be a restful retreat. But the peace is short-lived: as a storm batters the island, troubled artist Kay begins to sense that a malevolent presence is here with them, stalking them at every turn. Is she losing her mind, or are her childhood nightmares of a demonic assailant coming to terrifying life?

The Slayer (1982) - Blu-ray


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow Video
Available on Blu-ray
- August 22, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH
English: LPCM Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

Arrow Video proudly presents The Slayer with a brand new 4K restoration from the camera negative.  Visually, the remastering is a thing of beauty.  Black levels are strong and lines are clean.  The color is a little too peachy in some scenes (some darker scenes) but that’s to be expected.  The film is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ration with the original Mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the blu-ray) and has been exclusively restored by Arrow Video.  Colors are strong and vivid and dirt and debris have been cleared up through the process of graded, only a select few scenes are problematic with faint strobing effects.



  •  There are two commentaries attached to the disc.  The first audio commentary is with writer/director J.S. Cardone, actress Carol Kottenbrook and executive in charge of production Eric Weston.  It is moderated by Ewan Cant.  The second commentary is provided by The Hysteri Continues and is pretty entertaining.

Special Features:

With an isolated score and an interview with composer Robert Folk leading the charge, Arrow Video supplies fans of the flick with enough behind the scenes information for it to be completely rewarding.   We get a documentary featuring interviews with the cast and crew, a new look at the locations in the film (Tybee Island, Georgia).  A hometown screening of the film is also provided, complete with a Q&A session afterward.  A collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Lee Gambin is available for the first press of this release.

  • Isolated Score Selections and Audio Interview with Composer Robert Folk
  • Nightmare Island: The Making of The Slayer
  • Return to Tybee: The Locations of The Slayer
  • The Tybee Post Theater Experience
  • Still Gallery
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

The Slayer (1982) - Blu-ray

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