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Slaughterhouse-Five

USA 1972
produced by
Paul Monash, Jennings Lang (executive) for Vanadas Productions/Universal
directed by George Roy Hill
starring Michael Sacks, Ron Leibman, Eugene Roche, Sharon Gans, Valerie Perrine, Holly Near, Perry King, Kevin Conway, Friedrich von Ledebur, Ekkehardt Belle, Sorrell Booke, Roberts Blossom, John Dehner, Gary Waynesmith, Richard Schaal, Gilmer McCormick, Stan Gottlieb, Karl-Otto Alberty, Henry Bumstead, Lucille Benson, John Wood, Ladislav Jakim, Otto Sevcík
screenplay by Stephen Geller, based on the novel Slaughterhouse-Five Or The Children's Crusade by Kurt Vonnegut jr, music by Glenn Gould

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Billy Pilgrim (Michael Sacks), a successful optopometrist well into the second half of his life, has just survived a plane crash while his wife (Sharon Gans) has died in a car accident - when he's convinced he's abducted to another planet, Tralfamadore, where the aliens who are all mind convince him that he's "unstuck in time" and able to travel back and forth between all points in his life (including his death) ... and they also give him a Hollywood starlet (Valerie Perrine) to mate with. But of course, this might all only be the result of a long gestating post traumatic stress disorder, a remnant from World War 2, where he, a pacifist, served as a chaplain's assistant, but was captured by the Germans and thrown into a prison camp, where he soon attracted the wrath of fellow American prisoner Lazzaro (Ron Leibman), who promises to one day kill him - and that's only on top of all the other cruelties of a prison camp he's exposed to - including the bombing of Dresden, which not only leaves the town in ruins, but Billy and company are also tasked with corpse removal. And eventually, Billy even witnesses his fatherly wartime buddy Derby (Eugene Roche) shot dead by the Germans. Billy returns to the US outwardly unscathed, but never seems fully able to lead a normal life, until the conviction about his abduction to Tralfamadore gives him new direction ...

 

If after reading above synopsis you might say "this doesn't make a whole lot of sense" - then pretty much, you've got it: Slaughterhouse-Five isn't your typical genre movie where there's a resolution in the end that explains everything, and the hero is vindicated one way or another, where everything's neatly packaged and labelled. Heck, this movie doesn't even follow a linear narrative structure and jumps back and forth in a very associative manner pretty much all the time - and all of this works just beautifully, basically because the film's very cleverly written (including and maybe especially the rather campy scenes on planet Tralfamadore), it's expertly structured in a way that makes sense of all the non-sense, it's beautifully filmed, and George Roy Hill's direction shows just the right playfulness for the material. The outcome then is a truly fascinating movie that's not to be missed!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD