Once in a while, the stars align and the moon shines bright enough to where a bonafide cult classic of horror cinema is born. Out of the absolute depths abysmal cinema comes one of the most laughable and painfully awful horror movies of the year. From rock icon Glenn Danzig, no less, comes his directorial debut, a live action adaptation of his comic book series “Verotik,” a title that mixes erotica and violence in to one monster. That wouldn’t be such a bad idea for an anthology. But someone forgot to tell Danzig that if you want to direct a movie, you probably should know how to operate a camera, first.
Megan Riakos’s anthology “Dark Whispers” touts itself as a horror film with tales directed solely by women. The last film “XX” that explored the concept was a swing a miss, so I had my doubts this time. Thankfully “Dark Whispers, Volume 1” is a very good anthology with some outstanding horror shorts that often feels episodic like “Vault of Horror” and “Tales from the Darkside: The Movie.” The gallery of female filmmakers on display here are all sharp storytellers, and bring something new and unique to the table that frighten while also evoking genuine emotions every now and then.
The Wheat Brothers have managed to rack up a pretty interesting body of work in the horror genre since the eighties, and with “After Midnight” they deliver what is pretty middling as an anthology. In a period that included “Tales from the Darkside: The Movie” shortly after, “After Midnight” doesn’t re-invent the wheel. It’s mostly just an entry of the decade that serves its intended purpose as a horror film that could double as filler for a boring Saturday night.
While I wouldn’t peg the Mick Garris fueled “Nightmare Cinema” a horror masterpiece, I had a good time with the selection of horror stories, and loved how various storytellers in the film managed to go in completely different directions than I originally thought they would. Despite a shifty story frame, like most horror anthologies, “Nightmare Cinema” is a mixed bag of horror treats that will click with most lovers of the format, if only for its ambition and style.
In this anthology, seven short films are gathered together to create a fun, humorous, and bloody collection. The short films included here are Killer Kart by James Feeney, Horrific by Robert Boocheck, ‘Till Death by Jason Tostevin, Death Metal by Chris McInroy, Bitten by Sarah K Reimers, Born Again by Jason Tostevin, and Lunch Ladies by Clarissa Jacobson.
The films included here are all high production values short films with some hitting better than others. Of course, as they are festival circuit darlings, some of them have already been reviewed at Cinema Crazed. So let’s start with those and their previous reviews.
In this anthology inspired by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, producer Staci Layne Wilson brings together a dozen shorts with themes and content about abuses of power, sexual abuse, and issues affecting women in particular. The stories range from a woman in therapy to a ghost attacking men in a public restroom. Here the shorts all contain storylines that will make viewers think with styles that entertain, scare, and even amuse. The talent in this anthology is of high quality and some of the shorts will be familiar those film festival regulars.
I honestly never go in to any movie prepared to hate it. I approach every single movie with even the lowest of expectations and always hope to be surprised and thoroughly entertained. With “Hi-Death” though, this is a movie I had a difficult time finding any redeeming traits for. I love anthology horror, I love throwbacks to classic VHS and SOV days of horror and science fiction, but “Hi-Death” is a confusing mess of an indie horror film that will test the patience of any hardcore horror fan.
Jordan Peele’s ambitious reboot of Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” has managed to become one of the most polarizing series of the year, but it’s definitely inspired people to talk and that’s a good thing. Peele is not settling on merely a tribute, but has managed to retrofit a lot of classic episodes to modern sensibilities. While some episodes were clunkers, most episodes this season have been fantastic. With the season finale airing now on CBS All Access, I thought I’d list the five best episodes of the first season.