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Slasher (2004)

Christin Ackerman , Emily Banks , John Landis  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Christin Ackerman, Emily Banks, Michael Bennett
  • Directors: John Landis
  • Producers: Alison Palmer Bourke, Caroline Stevens, Chris Kobin, Daniel Laikind, Ed Carroll
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: July 13, 2004
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00029NKTC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,727 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Slasher" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes
  • IFC making-of featurette
  • Crew biographies

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"My job as a slasher, being a used car salesperson, liquidator, doing these auction sales...people automatically assume whatever I say, whatever comes out of my mouth is a lie" Meet Michael Bennett, better known as "The Slasher," a raspy-voiced family man who exudes so much nervous energy that he smokes two cigarettes at a time and can hardly stand still. When auto dealerships are desperate to dump their stale inventory as quickly as possible, the California-based Bennett is flown all over the country to slash prices and clear entire lots within a few short days. Director John Landis (The Blues Brothers, Animal House, An American Werewolf in London) brilliantly turns his comedic eye on one particularly off-the-wall weekend in the life of Bennett, as he's called upon to help a struggling dealership in Memphis, home to Elvis Presely and the bankruptcy capital of the world. Featuring a pitc-perfect Southern soul soundtrack, including forgotten favorites from Sam & Dave, Booker T. and the MG's, and Otis Redding, SLASHER is a frenetic, fascinating and intensely funny look at one man so tightly wound, he couldn't be anything other than a car salesman. DVD Features: Commentary from Director John Landis and Crew; Deleted Scenes; IFC 'Making of' Featurette; Crew Biographies; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection

Slasher is a semi-comic and revealing documentary about the crude art of selling used cars in a hurry. Filmmaker John Landis, best known for some key 1970s and '80s comedies (Animal House, Trading Places), directs this warts-and-all look at the life and trade of Michael "the Slasher" Bennett, a California freelance salesman who travels the country mounting garish campaigns to clear car lots of old inventory. The film focuses on one weekend in which Bennett and his team of "mercenaries" descend on a lot in Memphis, attempting to unload 60 automobiles in 48 hours. Motormouth Bennett and his allies pull out all the stops (raffles, pretty hostesses, music) and keep intense pressure on themselves, revealing a few unscrupulous practices in the course of things. Landis finds moments of unintended and sometimes tender comedy everywhere, especially in Bennett's strenuous efforts to live up to the moral standards of his wife and children. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great docu- But It Hurt to Watch. November 25, 2004
Wow. After the years I've been in the business, going from sales person to closer, to desk manager to gsm to owner of my own dealership, I still have the turns in my stomach. If you're in the business you know what I mean. I watched this movie and felt them, the stress of not knowing if "enough cars will be sold" and the drive this man has, his face and heart strained with time and self torture. I encourage EVERY car sales professional to watch this movie. Also, read the Ziegler books "Cars and People: Pissing at 60 miles an hour" and "Cars and People: How To Put the Two Together."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
If you have been, are in, think of being part of, ever wondered about the automotive business then you must watch this dvd. John Landis is an icon. His work on the documentary is evident in the way the "slasher" runs his mouth between takes. The stress he is under is obvious and the daily grind has taken its toll. Buy it now and see it before your month ends. Also, buy "Cars and People; Pissing at 60 Miles an Hour" by Ziegler and "Suckers" the DVD.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I write car ads for people like this! February 2, 2006
Of course, not all of the clients at my agency are this wacked out. And actually, this is the first time I've seen an $88 car...we usually run $88 down, $88 a month for our clients or they have cars as low as $995 on the lot. What I love about Slasher is that it shows that it takes all kinds. I had a hard time not laughing at some of the customers that showed up on the lot. Folks, I write these ads for a living. I can tell you that if someone's advertising cars for as low as $88, that means that there is just one on the lot and I can tell you that 99% of us would not be caught dead in that car.

Ah, but the 1% that would...! Anyone will get a kick out of these customers coming in for that $88 car. I'm sure all our clients would split their sides laughing at this, and perhaps crying too. I know it's hard to move these units. I'm responsible for developing new creative to help guys like you sell more of them. Sales like this will surely bring them in with the Slasher. We run advertorials quite frequently for clients who have used the Slasher before and others with imitations which we must call a different name in order for our clients not to run into legal problems with it.

I don't think that only automotive industry people should see this. I happened to stumble upon it while reading about other documentaries. This one was recommended to me and I laughed. I had to find it. One of my assistants saw it was coming on IFC and taped it for our team to see if we could gain new perspective. For me, I gained the perspective that not all my clients are crooks, and that these guys are working really hard to be able to feed their families too. I could feel their pain. It's hard work being in sales.

I think anyone in the market for a vehicle, new or used, should check this out.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Intriguing Documentary January 17, 2005
This documentary shows how poor people are the ones that get ripped off the most by used car salesman.

The "slasher" is fun to watch in action. I highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dealer May 29, 2007
As a car dealer in today's market it was a very scary movie. I have a dealership near an airport and the dealership in the movie reminded me a little of ours. It was so depressing to see the "slasher", a human being live his life this way and in my business I see a lot of individuals like this. Even more depressing the owner of the dealership like so many trying to make ends meet hiring an individual who will do anything to sell a car. As always the less fortunate such as lower income and bad credit customers are the target for these vultures. All in all the movie is actual and truthful of what the director was depicting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Slasher has a Deal for You! June 25, 2004
Michael Bennet (a.k.a. The Slasher) is a freelance auto salesman that travels the country to help dealerships clear out their lots of dead stock. This film follows Bennet to Memphis, TN where he arrives to help a local Toyota dealership clean out their inventory over a Memorial Day weekend (Thursday through Saturday).
Bennet is portrayed as a slick and very high-strung personality who cares about his family even though he feels as if he rarely sees them (he states that he sometimes feels like he is paying for storage space for his family rather than a home, since he is so often gone). On the job, he wears his tuxedo and walks the lot slashing prices (when he is "slashing" the price, the salespeople chant "Slash it, Slash it" per presale instructions from Bennet). With his wireless microphone, he is able to talk to the crowd (or empty lot) all day. Off the lot, he is portrayed as a heavy beer drinker and smoker. When not working, he often seems to have a beer in his hand and one (or two) cigarettes going. His wife calls him to ask him to drink orange juice for breakfast instead of beer (which is his usual breakfast beverage).
The film reveals the high-pressure used-auto sales environment and Bennet and his team show no mercy. They use the lure of door prizes, an $88 car, attractive female models, baselining, and a myriad of persuasion techniques to convince visitors to buy. His techniques are no doubt effective; however, he runs into trouble with completing the sale due to his prospects' credit ratings. At one point, a frustrated Bennet states, "they couldn't finance a piece of bubblegum with $200 down."
Although it portrays the very uncomfortable used-car sales process, this documentary is still quite comedic and overall has a lot of entertainment value. This documentary was made for the Independent Film Channel, where you may still be able to preview it before buying the DVD.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Totally Mind blowing concept!
There are really people out there who have sales down to a science. If you want to learn that concept, we highly suggest this movie.
Published 5 months ago by EL Associates
4.0 out of 5 stars The salesman knows nothing of what he is selling save that he is...
Slasher is a documentary that looks at what it takes to sell used cars. The Slasher's real name is Michael Bennett. Read more
Published on July 26, 2010 by stoic
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Documentary
I've been in the car business for right at 10 years, everything from sales to GSM and F&I Manager. For the last 4 years I have been performing these "Liquidation Sales Events" at... Read more
Published on December 4, 2009 by Robert Hope
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth $22.00
Don't spend too much money on this. The video is worth about $6.00. The moral of the story is you start at a high price, then you knock off $4,000 and the buyer gets excited. Read more
Published on September 2, 2009 by Peter P.
5.0 out of 5 stars True to life, great learning tool!
Having been in the car business for more years than I care to remember, this was a fantastic documentary. I bought this for my sales staff and had them watch it. Read more
Published on August 5, 2009 by H. Motors
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money
I did not care for this movie..fell asleep twice..not worth the $20+ I paid for this
Published on April 23, 2008 by The Rainmaker
3.0 out of 5 stars portrait of a tortured soul
I wasn't sure what to rate this film because I have mixed feelings about it. On one level it's a fast-paced look at how a used car salesman makes a living cheating poor black... Read more
Published on January 26, 2007 by Craig Chalquist, PhD, author of TERRAPSYCHOLOGY and DEEP CALIFORNIA
2.0 out of 5 stars Slasher
Not worth the money. Too much talking and filler added to what could have been a 30 minute movie dragged out over 90 minutes
Published on November 27, 2006 by Bruce W. Epperson
4.0 out of 5 stars Luvin_DeMode
When you go car shopping, you automatically know it is going to be a very long process. As a society that takes our cars as a status symbol, we should also be aware of the tactics... Read more
Published on April 8, 2006 by AXE
4.0 out of 5 stars This was a gas!
Bought this DVD because a trainer I met told me about it. I'm new to the car business, but have enjoyed this title because it is not made just for the car guy. Read more
Published on December 14, 2005 by Todd Gorino
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