29 October 2012

October 29th

Deadtime Stories: Volume 1 (2011) directed by Michael Fischa & Jeff Monahan & Tom Savini
A direct-to-video/VOD anthology series hosted by George A. Romero himself.  When I say "hosted," what I mean here is that each story is introduced by a low-energy Romero inexplicably wearing a winter coat and apparently sitting on a living room couch while delivering cheezy lines even the Cryptkeeper wouldn't be able to spit out.  He looks to be half-amused by the whole process, but not particularly interested.  It would be sad, but it looks like the filmmakers are from Pittsburgh.  This has gotta be good old George helping some neighbors out by leveraging his name and likeness.  There's no way anyone would've seen these otherwise.

"Valley of the Shadow" from Jeff Monahan is one of the worst horror shorts I've ever seen, and I'm counting shit people shot in their backyard with a camcorder.  I never did catch what this was supposed to be about.  It's something about a fruit in the South American jungle that leaks blue fluid, but I don't know.  What it ends up being is a group of unlikable characters chased by a native... except the native is played by a white guy with a shaved head and done up in warpaint.  I'm guessing they cast him as the headhunter due to the "tribal" tattoos on his arm.  Ugh.

"Wet" from Michael Fischa is a little better, being the second story I've seen this year about an evil mermaid. Despite warnings from a local antiques dealer, a lonely guy digs up some gold and jade boxed on the beach that each contain some decayed body parts.  Off camera, they assemble themselves into a beautiful mermaid.  She isn't very nice and begins to munch on the man (starting with his groin, with some rather gruesome sound effects).  Without explanation, this somehow provides the man with a fish tale and her with legs.  Maybe mermaids are sea-vampires and their bite turns you into one of them?  I see loads of potential to milk the "supernatural teen romance" market here...

"House Call" from Tom Savini is actually pretty good.  Unsurprisingly, it wasn't originally made for this production but was created as the pilot for a failed TV series called Chill Factor.  It's very talky, but has a nice mood to it.  It involves a doctor making a house call because a mother is worried about her son.  She begins to fill him in on what her son has been up to each night, eventually revealing that the boy is a vampire.  The still from the trailer below reveals the other twist to the story concerning the doctor:

Watched: stream on Netflix.

Deadtime Stories: Volume 2 (2011) directed by Michael Fischa & Jeff Monahan & Matt Walsh
Slightly better than the first one, but that's not saying much.

"The Gorge" from Matt Walsh is a mix of The Descent and Hunger.  Some dumbass kids go caving without telling anyone where they're going and end up trapped.  One of them gets his leg smushed by a rock.  They start to get hungry.  Nature takes its course.  It's not bad.  The gore effects are pretty good and they take the time to build the characters up into their cannibalistic choice.  The coda, after they are rescued, takes a wee too long, though, and the unnecessary monster makeup on the girl at the end is ridiculous.

"On Sabbath Hill" from Jeff Monahan drags on for far too long.  An asshole professor gets one of his students pregnant.  Rather than simply get an abortion, she decides to kill herself in his class for reasons unfathomable.  Naturally, her ghost begins to bug him constantly until he decides to follow her example.  It's a simple, not particularly original, story that felt about twice as long as it really needed to be.

"Dust" from Michael Fischa is a little bizarre.  A security guard at a science lab discovers that some dust from Mars can temporarily cure his wife of cancer.  As a bonus, it also makes her extremely horny.  We're treated to more than one scene of an overweight old man being ravaged by his considerably more attractive wife.  Props to the actress for being so game.  This being a horror story, things go south from there, people end up dead, and the film crew thinks tinting the moon red can stand in for a shot of Mars.

Watched: stream on Netflix.

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