5.2/10
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53 user 50 critic

The Slayer (1982)

Two couples become stranded on a rugged isle, and are haunted by a supernatural beast, drawn to the wife of one of the couples, who dreams of its killings.

Director:

J.S. Cardone

Writers:

J.S. Cardone (screenplay), Bill Ewing (screenplay) (as William R. Ewing)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Sarah Kendall ... Kay
Frederick Flynn ... Eric
Carol Kottenbrook ... Brooke
Alan McRae ... David
Michael Holmes ... Marsh
Sandy Simpson ... Norman
Paul Gandolfo Paul Gandolfo ... Fisherman
Newell Alexander ... Kay's Father
Ivy Jones ... Kay's Mother
Jennifer Gaffin Jennifer Gaffin ... Young Kay
Richard Van Brakel Richard Van Brakel ... Young Eric
Carl Kraines ... The Slayer
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Storyline

Four young people vacation on a barren island. One of them, a female artist, has dreams that depict ghastly murders. Sure enough, the fun begins when her boyfriend is found dead. Written by Christopher S. Bultman <meatmanmiller@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Is it a Nightmare? Or is it... See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Slayer See more »

Filming Locations:

Savannah, Georgia, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

J.S. Cardone claims that the story was inspired by H.P. Lovecraft due to elements of dreams vs. reality, though few, if any, actual Lovecraft tropes anywhere in the film See more »

Quotes

Kay: It's this place... It makes my skin crawl.
David: It's not this place, Kay, for Christ's sake. It's those damn dreams of yours!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version released on the Marquis video label is the full 81 minute version. The film was also released on a double-billed VHS cassette with Scalps by Continental home video, but the running time was shortened to 75 minutes. Interestingly, none of the violent scenes were altered. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fear, Panic & Censorship (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Restrained and atmospheric
22 October 2016 | by drownnnsodaSee all my reviews

"The Slayer" follows a troubled avant-garde artist with psychic proclivities who travels to a remote island with her husband, brother, and sister-in-law in order to regroup. Immediately bothered by the atmosphere of the island, she insists something is amiss among the forests and derelict buildings— but the three dismiss her. Unfortunately, they're wrong.

An early entry in eighties horror that somehow got sidelined by history, "The Slayer" is shockingly good given its lack of notoriety. The set-up is straightforward, and the low character number means there isn't much in the way of the expected body count, but in its brisk eighty minutes, the film manages to achieve a dreadful atmosphere and also boasts some shockingly realistic and disturbing murder scenes.

J.S. Cardone, directed and co-wrote the film—it's his first picture, and he has gone on to work mainly in genre films over the years, giving us the marginalized 2001 vampire flick "The Forsaken" and 2006's "Wicked Little Things." Compared to those films, "The Slayer" is rather minimalistic, but there is a unique sense of foreboding in this film that is something that slasher flicks particularly don't always seem to achieve. The island locale is woodsy and populated with derelict buildings from when it was a resort years prior—an idyllic setting for a horror film. The film in some ways reminded me of a non-wintry "Ghostkeeper," another debased eighties horror picture. The score is quite elegant and ominous, and there are also high-caliber special effects throughout, which are on show during each death sequence, as well as during the monstrous reveal at the finale. Some have argued that the conclusion to "The Slayer" is a cop out. I don't know if I necessarily feel that way. It is rather abruptly thrown at the audience, but it also has narrative significance, linked to threads that are presented earlier on in the film. If anything, it's a somewhat bold move.

Overall, I was quite surprised by how well-crafted this film was. It's not a groundbreaker, but it's a sturdy exercise in dread that happens to be well-shot and eerie. Serious fans of stalk-and- slash movies may find it a bit slow, but it's worth holding out for the impressively jarring murder scenes and the wild card of a conclusion. 8/10.


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