BUY FROM AMAZON: CLICK HERE!
STUDIO: Millennium Media
RUNNING TIME: 76 minutes
- As many as there are reasons to watch this
An anthology of tales presented by one of the masters of horror, George A. Romero.
George A. Romero, Ian Harding, Bjorn Ahlstedt, Patrick Jordan, Adrienne Wehr
Three 25-minute tales of mediocrity attempting to scare you in some way. Or let me put it this way: take the worst episodes of Tales From the Crypt and Tales From the Darkside, a few scenes from The Little Mermaid, and kick your own ass around town. Throw these ingredients into a potato sack, smack them against the nearest wall of AIDS-contaminated syringes, throw it onto someone’s doorstep, light it on fire, and there you have it. Deadtime Stories. Fuck.
(note: there are more screengrabs because this shit was funny!)
What we have here are 3 tales, ranging in subject from tribal woodsmen to mermaids to vampires. None of them are particularly scary, creepy, or thought-provoking, and none of them are notably well done. Watchable? That depends. Do you like to watch rape porn?
The first tale, Valley of the Shadow, concerns a woman, Janet, searching for her missing husband in the jungles of South America. She convinces a very wealthy man to let her lead an expedition into said jungles to find her husband. There are natives that shoot darts and a campsite that was massacred, but the thing that stands out most in this segment is the acting. It’s terrible. Honestly, I thought from the way that this one started that it might be good, as we begin with Janet ‘s bloodied face with trees behind her, presumably in a jungle of some sort, and then immediately cut to a scene set way before that. I liked the way that was done, and it was all downhill from there. This one has by far the worst acting of the three, and that’s really saying something. There’s no real sense of direction and it’s (really, they all are) just terribly low-budget.
The second tale, Wet, features Jack (Jeff Monahan) as a lonesome boozer, down on his luck and spending most of his time in a bathtub with a bottle of whiskey. He’s walking around on the beach (his house sits on one) and discovers something buried in the sand. It’s an ornate box, which he opens to discover a skeletal hand inside. He takes it to an antiques dealer who warns him of the perils involving the box, and to put it back where he found it. He doesn’t listen, of course, and digs up even more of these boxes and then some bad shit happens. This segment was still pretty weak acting-wise, but not nearly as bad as the first. The music was actually pretty decent, as was some of the cinematography, but I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it.
The best of the set is House Call, about a mother who calls a doctor because she thinks her son is a vampire. The doctor arrives and her son is already tied down, something he instructed his mother to do for her own safety. The doctor examines him and explains to his mother that the medical community does not accept “vampire” as a real diagnosis, but things begin to get strange as she goes on and on about suspicious things she had noticed concerning her son. I actually thought most of this was pretty terrible, complete with a deliberate aspect ratio that went for a more stylized look but just came off as a distraction. Tom Savini directed, so I can’t fault him for some pretty decent camera work at times, but his use of a reduced frame rate in spots is VERY annoying. I will say that although the first two-thirds was pretty bad, the twist ending was sorta neat and made it worthwhile.
I wouldn’t really recommend this at all. Horrible production values for the most part, very bad acting and writing sprinkled throughout. Cheesy special effects and a total lack of horror, which for me is tantamount when putting George A. Romero’s name on it. Unless you count Diary of the Dead, that is. I didn’t mention his “I’m reading this off of cue cards” bookends to each segment a’la The Cryptkeeper. He usually has a little one-liner like “I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for you!” which is expected, I suppose. George A. Romero can make any joke he wants, I guess, because who’s gonna call him on it? He’s like a creepy old grandfather, though, in these segments, and I could have done without them. The Cryptkeeper, he ain’t. But again, don’t waste your time on this. It might be worth it just to make fun of it, but I doubt it.
No special features. Just some poor cinematography in all 3 segments, along with some good and bad musical score touches. How much money would distributors save by not listing trailers and subtitles on the back of the box as special features?
Out of a Possible 5 Stars