Slaughter Night, a Tartan DVD horror import from Holland, has its roots in a fascinating slice of European history. Before the death penalty was abolished in the Netherlands, convicted murderers were sentenced to work in the mines as "firemen," whose only job was to work as human canaries, deliberately setting off methane gas leaks to clear the way for the miners. If they survived the explosion, the sentenced murderer was pardoned and allowed to go free, though none of these firemen, we're told, ever made it out alive.
In Frank van Geloven and Edwin Visser's slasher ghost flick, one of these convicted firemen comes back. A 19th century child murderer named Andries Martiens (his specialty is beheading his young victims) is haunting Legny Mine in the Province of Limburg, where he reportedly met his explosive end. A practitioner of voodoo, Martiens has been inadvertently called up from Hell, returning to abuse the bodies of the usual crew of comely young tourists: slutty blond, smart-mouthed drugee, tarot card-reading black chick, nondescript black boyfriend, a pair of "troubled teens" accompanied by their counselor, and our unattached nice girl heroine, Kristel (Victoria Koblenku).
Our gang of future body parts has been brought to Legny Mine by Kristel, whose recently deceased father turns out to have been writing a book about Martiens. Taking a tour of the spooky mine shafts, the octet –- along with a garrulous geezer guide who you know is gonna get it first –- gets stranded 200 feet underground with the murderous spirit when the cranky elevator refuses to take them topside.
Two of these young dopes have taken ecstasy in the shaft, of course, and it isn't long before one of 'em is possessed by Martiens' evil spirit, foaming at the mouth and hacking at the rest. Shocked by the sight of a beheaded torso, our troupe does all the dumb stuff you expect: quarreling, separating and wandering down tunnels to get picked off, in particular. Two-thirds of Night is set in the dimly lit mine, so this is probably not a DVD you wanna watch at home in the early morning with the sun shining on your teevee screen.