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Hayride Slaughter/Halloween Horrors (Saturn’s Core) Blu-ray Review

    Ian Jane

  • Hayride Slaughter/Halloween Horrors (Saturn’s Core) Blu-ray Review

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    Released by: Saturn’s Core
    Released on: October 17th, 2023.
    Director: Gary Whitson
    Cast: Tina Krause, Jim O'Rear, Dean Paul, Debbie D., Sal Longo, Clancy McCauley, Terri Lewandowski
    Year: 2001/1992
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    Hayride Slaughter/Halloween Horrors – Movie Review:

    Saturn’s Core continues to unearth the weird, low-fit directorial efforts of Gary Whitson and his W.A.V.E. Productions, a company that made a name for itself with custom videos, typically containing various lovely ladies doing strange things across the great state of New Jersey.

    First up is 2001’s, Hayride Slaughter, which is set around a popular Halloween-themed park where the attendees are, at least initially, blissfully unaware that a lunatic Satanist in a black cloak is running about killing people. A few murders occur and the cops are, of course, clueless as to who could be running around Delaware (surprisingly, not New Jersey!) carving pentagrams on their victim’s torsos.

    Needing to put an end to all of this, the owners of the park hire a buxom psychic private investigator named Desiree Vargas (Tina Krause) and her less buxom partner, Cliff (Jim O’Rear), to pose as a magician and his assistant and perform the old ‘cutting a woman in half’ trick at the park in hopes that this will draw the killer out and allow for their capture, hopefully before they wind up the latest victims!

    Shot on location at a real-life Halloween Park in Delaware named Frightland, Hayride Slaughter is sorely lacking in hayrides and doesn’t have a whole lot of slaughter but we do get a few fun, low budget murder set pieces and, probably more importantly to the movie’s original target demographic, a lot of nudity. We also get some wonky early 2000’s green screen effects work and a magic trick sequence that is presented in its entirety, smack dab in the middle of the movie. No really, we see the whole thing from start to finish and it takes up about a third of the movie’s running time (I originally wrote ‘rubbing time’ and corrected the typo but maybe I shouldn’t have).

    At any rate, the movie is talkier than it needs to be but it does have some wonky charm thanks to the Halloween attraction location work and the screwy dialogue. The naked ladies look good and the end result is strange enough and sleazy enough to make it worth a look for SOV/W.A.V.E. fans. Also, it looks like a sequel was made by Whitson in 2003 without Krause but starring W.A.V.E. regular Debbie D!

    In 1992’s Halloween Horrors, two sisters (Luana Kane and Diana Lea) are kidnapped by a lunatic (Clancey McCauley) who decides to hold them for ransom. When their father is alerted to the situation but doesn’t get him his money in time, he decides it’s time to torture the two women in his spooky basement dungeon!

    But all is not as it first seems, when it starts to look like one of the abductees is actually in on the scheme!

    This is mostly the two girls in the dungeon being bound and tortured, the plot, such as it is, definitely comes second in this one. Still, the goofy dungeon setting has its own low-budget charm and, like the first movie, it is set around Halloween so we get some fun seasonal décor on display and…. That’s kind of about it. The main focus here is seeing the two actresses in various states of distress and bondage, and that’s pretty much exactly what you get.

    Hayride Slaughter/Halloween Horrors – Blu-ray Review:

    Hayride Slaughter/Halloween Horrors come to region free Blu-ray in an AVC encoded 1080i high definition transfer that was transferred from a new transfer from the SVHS master tapes. Framed at 1.33.1, the two movies look about as good as you’d expect given their analogue roots. The image is soft but colors look okay. Obviously, these are limited by the source material but keeping that in mind the transfers are perfectly watchable.

    The 16-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo audio, available with optional English subtitles, sounds fine given the movie’s low budget origins. Levels are balanced well enough and there isn’t much in the way of hiss or distortion to complain about. Again, the limitations of the source material do factor into the equation here, but overall, the audio is okay.

    Extras for Hayride Slaughter start off with an audio commentary with director Gary Whitson moderated by Ross Snyder, co-director of Mail Order Murder: The Story of W.A.V.E. Productions that goes over who helped out on the movie, the locations used for the shoot, the use of the magic scene in the movie, where some of the ideas for the story came from and more.

    Hayride Memories is a new interview with actress Tina Krause where she talks about how she landed the role in the movie after going to Chiller Theater and ‘being a wise ass’ and getting her first acting role, how her career took off from here, what it was like working for W.A.V.E., memories from the shoot and going on to work on Limbo.

    Magic, Murder, & Mayhem is an interview with actor Jim O’Rear clocking in at twenty-seven minutes and going over how he got into acting, connecting with the W.A.V.E. Productions team, how he got started as a magician, his thoughts on the script, what it was like working with the cast and crew, getting along really well with Tina Krause and how he feels about his work with W.A.V.E. in hindsight.

    Tina Krause Evil Angel photo shoot is a twenty minute promo shoot for Aven Warren’s uncompleted vampire feature that starts with Krause in a negligee discussing the plot for the movie before then going on to show off some of the footage of Krause, who really does look amazing here, that was completed for the unreleased movie.

    Finishing up the extras for Hayride Slaughter are a 2000s era W.A.V.E. trailer vault (which features spots for Abducted, The Vengeance Of Psycho Charlie Jr. Part 3, Alien Abduction, The Revenge Of The Chloroformed Model, The Hypnotized & Cloned Models and last but not least, Kidnapped!), a thirty second Tina Krause fan club bumper, an original trailer for the feature and trailers for a few other Saturn’s Core properties (Mail Order Murder, Burglar From Hell, Psycho Sisters, Duck! The Carbine High Massacre, Deep Undead and Backwoods Marcy).

    Extra for Halloween Horrors also start off with an audio commentary with director Gary Whitson moderated by Ross Snyder. This follows a similar path as the first commentary, going over the origins of the project, detailing who did what in front of and behind the camera, location work, some of the ideas on display and other details related to the making of the movie.

    Pumpkin Eyes is a twenty-three minute Segment from an uncompleted W.A.V.E. holiday themed feature from 1991 starring Halloween Horrors actress Diana Lea featuring a shower scene and a work out scene and then a bath scene and a murder, all of which takes place in New Jersey around Halloween. Maye not the height of cinema but fun to see it included.

    We also get a six minute W.A.V.E. custom commercial that hypes up the custom film angle that they worked before showing off clips from different productions like Psycho Sisters, Slaughtered Socialites, and a few others with a heavy emphasis on the fetishy side of things.

    This release also comes packaged with some rad reversible cover art.

    Hayride Slaughter/Halloween Horrors – The Final Word:

    Saturn’s Core Releasing’s Blu-ray release of W.A.V.E. Productions’ Hayride Slaughter and Halloween Horrors presents two expectedly weird and wonky micro-budget features looking as good as the source material will allow and with some pretty cool extra features documenting the making of these two movies. While certainly not for everyone, they’re both entertaining in their own strange, scuzzy way.

    Click on the images below, or right click and open in a new window, for full sized Hayride Slaughter/Halloween Horrors Blu-ray screen caps!

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