Slaughterhouse Rulez (15)

Verdict: Riotously gory and silly

Daily Mail – By Brian Viner – 2 November 2018

Rating: 3 star

Unless you’re fed up with comedy-horror films which blend Tom Brown’s Schooldays with Jurassic Park, then you might like the thoroughly bonkers Slaughterhouse Rulez, which also shamelessly borrows from the works of Tom Sharpe (no coincidence, surely, that the title so nearly rhymes with Porterhouse Blue).

The setting is a grand English public school called Slaughterhouse, where new pupil Don (Finn Cole) finds himself out on a limb — I use the expression with a wince, given the mad carnage to come — on account of his Northern vowels.

Simon Pegg plays his lovelorn housemaster and Asa Butterfield his new classmate, with Nick Frost as a disaffected former pupil who leads a band of eco-warriors protesting about a major fracking project on the school’s land.

Michael Sheen is the unscrupulous headmaster, who has sold out to the frackers to raise funds for the school’s dry ski-slope and a spa for the prefects. There’s also a cameo for Margot Robbie.

But the real clue lies in the presence of Pegg and Frost: this film is a deranged first cousin to their so-called Cornetto trilogy, which began in 2004 with Shaun Of The Dead.

At first, it bumbles along like any boarding-school comedy, with more than a few nods to the Harry Potter films and one character conspicuously inspired by Potter nemesis Draco Malfoy.

The lurch into horror comes when the fracking operation opens a sinkhole, unleashing a band of belligerent subterranean monsters.

From that point it all gets sillier and gorier, becoming so riotously unhinged that it makes even Shaun Of The Dead look restrained.

The director, and co-writer with Henry Fitzherbert, is Crispian Mills, whose famous grandfather liked a spot of madcap comedy himself, I seem to recall.

This isn’t exactly a companion piece to Ice Cold In Alex, but I think that Sir John Mills would probably have approved.