Pee-yew! You have to appreciate Shout! Factory for restoring what is easily one of the worst anthology movies of the eighties. I admit to being a completely newcomer in regards to “Deadtime Stories,” and upon finishing it, I was not surprised it was such a rarity for so many years. “Deadtime Stories” watches like someone really loved “Creepshow” and decided to make their own version with only a quarter of the budget. Then mid-way when the studio realized how awful the movie was, they decided to turn it in to a comedy at the last minute so horror fans can convince themselves the whole disaster is intentional and a tongue in cheek jab at the anthology crazy of the decade.
“XX” is yet another horror anthology, this time featuring four horror segments directed by women, all of which revolve around concepts mostly associated with women. While “XX” garners the recurring theme of motherhood, the tales themselves are based around feminine or maternal concepts that are twisted for the genre. “The Box” is a loose allegory for anorexia, “The Birthday Party” is about status, “Don’t Fall” is kind an allegory for menstruation, while “Her Only Living Son” is about a mother’s unwillingness to let go of her son and let him realize his destiny. The four very talented female filmmakers were given complete freedom and as a result we have a pretty stellar horror film, all things considering.
“Juvenile delinquency is the product of pent up frustrations, stored-up resentments and bottled-up fears. It is not the product of cartoons and captions. But the comics are a handy, obvious, uncomplicated scapegoat. If the adults who crusade against them would only get as steamed up over such basic causes of delinquency as parental ignorance, indifference, and cruelty, they might discover that comic books are no more a menace than Treasure Island or Jack the Giant Killer”.
I often describe “Creepshow 2” as a mean spirited sequel, but I think that’s why it stands apart from the original. And granted the original movie was also a bit mean spirited in and of itself, so I don’t know why I continuously give it such a label. The whole janitor and med student being eaten by the yeti in “Creepshow” just pour cruel, harsh deaths. Anyway, I love “Creepshow 2” and my re-watching it in its crisp restoration from Arrow Video confirmed that. There are a ton of movies I adored as a kid that just hasn’t held up very well, but “Creepshow 2” still maintains its inherent quality.
While “Creepshow 2” has always been taken as one of pair of horror movies that pay tribute to the golden age of EC Comics, over the years the horror community has learned to appreciate “Creepshow 2” as its own entity. Surely, its cut from the same cloth as the original classic, but it also carves out its own identity and doesn’t repeat the same beats as the original film. The Michael Gornick directed sequel is a darker, grittier, and more vicious follow up to what was kind of a raucous and darkly comic celebration, and it works. As a nostalgic memento, and as a sequel carved by Stephen King and George Romero, “Creepshow 2” is a classic in its own right.
From Youtube Red and Blumhouse comes, “12 Deadly Days” a limited horror comedy anthology centered on pretty much every element of traditional Christmas. The series overall isn’t perfect, but it’s a good, entertaining horror anthology that works around the format of interwoven stories in a particular universe. “12 Deadly Days” and its formula feel very similar to that of “Trick r Treat” where every story’s end is the beginning of a new tale and situation. The first episode is easily the best of the trio of episodes I was sent, as it’s a fun twist on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Set in modern times, billionaire Scrooge begins getting haunted by a ghost and calls in a pair of ghost hunters known as The Cratchit Brothers.
After the 2012 horror anthology “V/H/S” fan reactions were mixed, but the opening segment “Amateur Night” garnered quite a following and even made a celebrity out of its star Hannah Fierman. After four years, Chiller Films decides to adapt the very popular horror segment and realize it in to a feature length film. Now on VOD, DVD, and limited release, “Siren” is a larger version of the original story with the gorgeous Hannah Fierman reprising her role. In honor of “Siren,” here are five of the best segments of the “V/H/S” horror trilogy. What are your personal favorite segments from the acclaimed found footage horror series?
An author writes stories for the 3 dead trick or treaters he killed and buried. These stories are about teens going murderous, a human sacrifice, hungry homeless people, and a special delivery. Writer/director Torin Langen takes the anthology sub-genre and gives it an extra twist by having no dialog. The film is not actually silent, there are noises and the characters make the occasional sound, but no one actually talks to anyone. This twist or different way to do things forces the film to develop its stories without the strength of the spoken word, giving more importance to the actions and the music to pass information and emotions. This shift is interesting and leads to the viewer having to pay more attention to what is on the screen.
In this Argentinian horror film, multiple tales crisscross and overlap, creating a whole that shows chaos in a city. Students torture teachers, party goers discuss snuff films, a couple is being spied on in a motel room, men standing watch have an interesting night, and mourners meet creatures in a cemetery. Written by Sebastian Rotstein with collaborative writer Nicolas Gueilburt and co-directed by Sebastian and Federico Rotstein, Terror 5 works these 5 stories together and interconnects them in a way that makes the whole work. The characters are varied but mostly young people, most likely to appeal to their demographic and for parts of the story to make more sense.