Slaughter Day (1972)

  • Year: 1972
  • Released: 01 Oct 1981
  • Country: Italy, Austria
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  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: English, German
  • MPA Rating: R
  • Genre: Crime, Drama
  • Runtime: 86 min
  • Writer: Oscar Bronner, Walter Kindler, Peter Patzak
  • Director: Peter Patzak
  • Cast: Rita Tushingham, Mischa Hausserman, Frederick Jaeger
  • Keywords: poliziottesco, austrian poliziottesco,

Slaughter Day Storyline

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Slaughter Day Movie Reviews


Former Hercules actor Gordon Mitchell in a minor role as a bank robber. Just ten years earlier he was starring in movies like FURY OF ACHILLES yet here he just plays a small part in this bank heist caper. He is shown working out with weights at the gym. Though. I bought the PR in 1982 and was happy with the discovery.

Interesting heist flick with a few nice twists

Rita (STRAIGHT ON TILL MORNING) Tushingham stars in this odd heist thriller from Germany. Rita plays Rita, a young woman who begins having an affair with a mysterious man (Michael Hausserman) she meets in an art gallery. He takes her to his cabin for a weekend and they fall in love. What she doesn’t know is that Michael is orchestrating a huge bank heist with a twist. He knows none of the associates he has chosen and has only communicated with them via his wireless devices. They pull off the robbery without a hitch. While Michael has other plans for his robber pals, he doesn’t count on Rita showing up at his isolated cabin with her friends.

This has a few interesting twist in it. The main bad guy handles his charges in a SAW/Jigsaw-type manner with everyone serving a certain role. Tushingham, who looks like Red Skelton to me, is an odd choice for a female romantic lead. But she does possess that weird quality about her that makes her interesting to watch. The German locations (both the city of Hamburg and the mountains) are really nice and the end of the film is justifiably bleak. Director Peter Patzak debuted with this film and has worked steadily ever since. The only recognizable face to me outside of Tushingham was Gordon Mitchell, who plays a silent sniper.

Not a very uplifting experience.

Set in Germany, “Slaughter Day” tells the tale of Michael (Hausserman), a mysterious man with an elaborate plan for a big bank heist. He’s pretty handy with radios, so he assembles his ragtag team of accomplices by placing little communication devices in packs of cigarettes, car radios and other places so his team never sees his face. While he is meticulously planning his “perfect crime”, he finds the time to fall in love with Rita (Tushingham) and they spend plenty of time at his isolated cabin in the woods. Unbeknownst to Rita, Michael is planning on finally meeting up with his fellow baddies at the cabin. So she and her group of friends show up there for some fun, and unpleasantness ensues.

Hausserman resembles 70’s/80’s porn legend John Holmes and it seems a bit on the odd side that he would have this whole big romance with doe-eyed, pixyish Tushingham, who seems confused most of the time. She tells him “Too bad you always think of money when you talk of love”, tying together one of the many romance sequences.

As for the other characters, it seems Michael’s sole criteria for putting together his team is that they have funny facial hair. Veteran of this type of film Gordon Mitchell almost steals the show as one of the thieves. He has a great face and the film could have used more of him. He easily could have played the Michael character.

I would be remiss if I were to leave out one of Rita’s friends she takes to the cabin: an obese man obsessed with fishing. ALL of his lines in the film mention how bad he wants to go fishing. Why is she friends with him? He would be much more at home as the token fat guy in an 80’s sex romp.

There are some interesting locations, but the color on the U.S. VHS tape is drab and flat, doing a disservice to the cinematography. The silly dubbing and slow pace of the film also don’t do it any favors, but that’s a two-sided coin, as the 70’s European flair is one of the better aspects of “Slaughter Day”.

Not a very uplifting experience, “Slaughter Day” might be of interest to heist-film fans (are there any?) who have seen every other heist film ever made. Or possibly fans of Rita Tushingham. Otherwise, I wouldn’t put it at the top of your list of things to see.

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