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Slaughterhouse-Five on Blu-ray

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 17:45

Slaughterhouse-Five out now on Blu-rayBilly Pilgrim is unstuck in time, bouncing from one end of his tragic life to the other and to random, key points in between. If that was not strange enough, he also spends time on the planet of Tralfamadore, caught beneath a small glass dome and verbally prodded by aliens like a flea in a circus. This wild story is based on a book by Kurt Vonnegut entitled ‘Slaughterhouse Five-Or The Children's Crusade A Duty-Dance with Death’.

Michael Sacks (“The Sugarland Express”, “The Amityville Horror”) stars as Billy, a man who gets caught by the Germans in World War II and sent to a harsh prison camp before being relocated to the disused, titular slaughterhouse in Dresden for forced labour. This is just before the infamous bombing, which is just one of the monumentally disastrous moments in his life. Billy’s family life later on is less traumatic, at least for a time!

“Slaughterhouse-Five” truly is an oddity, but whilst the constant flitting about in time is initially a bit unsettling, each scene plays out long enough to establish some continuity and a sense of place before we move on again. Based on Vonnegut’s own wartime experiences, Billy seems like an observer more than a participant, shuffling through the war and witnessing the enormous and pointless loss of life as though from a distance.

The film mixes very dark moments with some strangely humorous situations. I was reminded of Woody Allen’s “Sleeper” although this movie never quite reaches that level of absurdity. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” also resonates here, for obvious reasons. The soundtrack is primarily quite jolly classical music which emphasises the unreality and ridiculousness of the tale, as well as the disconnection Billy feels as his thoughts and emotions bleed from one time period to another, occasionally getting him into very hot water.

I really enjoyed this film; it is simultaneously wonderfully whimsical and thought-provoking, expertly edited and never gets confusing despite all the leaping around. The new Blu-ray release is an excellent remaster with oodles of detail, and definitely the format of choice.

There are no special features on the disc.

“Slaughterhouse Five” (1972) is out now on Blu-ray, courtesy of Fabulous Films. The main feature has a running time of 103 minutes approx, carries a ‘15’ certificate and retails for £14.99, or less from BY CLICKING HERE.


Last modified on Monday, 18 September 2017 17:49