Slaughterhouse Five

SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE (18)
D: George Roy Hill
Universal/Vanadas (Paul Monash)
US 1972
104 mins

War/Science Fiction

W: Stephen Geller [based on the novel by Kurt Vonnegut]
DP: Miroslav Ondricek
Ed: Dede Allen
Mus: Glenn Gould
PD: Henry Bumstead

Michael Sacks (Billy Pilgrim), Ron Liebman (Paul Lazzaro), Eugene Roche (Edgar Derby), Sharon Gans (Valencia Pilgrim), Valerie Perrine (Montana Wildhack)

Slaughterhouse Five is a film which most likely requires its viewers to have read the Kurt Vonnegut classic anti-war novel it's based upon beforehand. That being said, this film adaptation makes the complexities of the source material much easier to mentally digest. It's a genuine paradox, much like the subject matter itself.
The plot is an enigma, a philosophical musing that timelines don't exist in the linear, but rather all at once and in non-sequential order. Lost? Well, yes. This is why reading the book might be considered a pre-requisite.
Michael Sacks plays Billy Pilgrim, a WWII veteran who "timejumps" from his settled family life in suburbia back and forth to his experiences in World War II and his time spent interned in a Dresden POW camp, as well as forward into the distant future on the planet Tralfamadore, where he is confined to a zoo-like dome with an adult movie star as his love interest, observed by aliens who only exist in the 4th dimension.
The deep plot will sound twisted and convuluted to those unfamiliar with Vonnegut's prose, but screenwriter Stephen Geller does a fantastic job adapting such a challenging piece of literature.
Part science fiction, part war but wholly brilliant in its execution and craft, this is up there with Catch-22 as one of the all-time anti-war works.
Recommended especially to those who've read and enjoyed the original novel.
7/10
 
Michael Sacks in Slaughterhouse Five
Michael Sacks in Slaughterhouse Five