Director: Joseph Sargent
Starring: Cristina Raines, Joe Lambie, Emilio Estevez, Mariclare Costello, Lance Henriksen
You’ll never be the same
Directors: Justin Benson, Gregg Bishop, Aaron Moorhead, Marcel Sarmiento, Nacho Vigalondo
Starring: Emilia Ares Zoryan, Justin Welborn, Gustavo Salmeron, Nick Blanco, Jayden Robinson
Mayhem goes viral
V/H/S: Viral is the third (and perhaps final?) entry to the found footage anthology saga. A franchise about found tapes (well, most are actually shot digitally and not on good old tapes) that have disturbing effects on those who watch them.
The wrap-around story this time around is about Kevin who is obsessed with filming his girlfriend Iris all the time on his digital camera. When they see a news report about a police chase that are coming close to their neighborhood, Kevin quickly decides to run out to film the events. The police are chasing an Ice Cream truck and when it goes past Kevin’s house Iris suddenly disappears. Kevin tries to hunt down the truck to find out what is going on and what’s happened to his girlfriend.
Directors: John Harrison
Starring: Deborah Harry, Christian Slater, Steve Buscemi, David Johansen, James Remar
From the depths of four twisted minds
Tales from the Darkside. The Movie is based on a TV series by George Romero. The show had the same name as this film and it premiered on American Television back in 1984 and lasted for four seasons. At the same time the 80’s had one particularly popular horror anthology film, also with Romero involved, called Creepshow.
The second and final official (I refuse to count the third film made by some indie company a few years back as a real sequel) sequel to Creepshow came out in 1987 and there was supposedly plans on making another one, although it never happened. Instead we got this film, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, a film that many fans consider to be a real third Creepshow film. And that does hold some weight as this do have the names George Romero and Stephen King attached to it, just like Creepshow.
Director: Ana Clavell, James Glenn Dudelson
Starring: Stephanie Pettee, A.J. Bowen, Bunny Gibson, Camillie Lacey, Bo Kresic
Tales of murder, mayhem and madness
There’s a third Creepshow you say? Indeed it is and this film was created in 2006 by a production company named Taurus Entertainment Company together with Creepy Films Productions. They first got the rights to make a low budget sequel to George Romero’s Day of the Dead, this one being called Day of the Dead 2: Contagium and apparently they also secured the rights to do a sequel to one of the greatest horror anthology films ever created – Creepshow.
There is a sort of wraparound story here as in the two previous Creepshow films, but it not based on the EC comic books this time around and… I’m not even sure how to describe it. There is some awful computer animations that starts off the film and the ending does have a nod to the other Creepshow movies, but it is all just worthless really.
original title: Histoires Extraordinaires
aka: Powers of Evil, Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Directors: Federico Fellini, Louis Malle, Roger Vadim
Starring: Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, Jane Fonda, Terence Stamp, James Robertson Justice
The ultimate orgy of evil
Spirits of the Dead is an anthology film done by American International Pictures with three stories that are all based on the work of Edgar Allan Poe. They are all done very stylish and artsy, so do not go in to this expecting a regular horror anthology like I did.
The first segment is called Metzengerstein, which is also the name of the Poe story it is based on. The story is about Countess Frederique of Metzengerstein. She spends her days ruling the estate by indulging in the depravity of meaningless murders and orgies. She falls in love with Baron Wilhelm of Berlifitzing, a family who has always been the Metzengerstein’s enemies. She is rejected by Wilhelm and takes out revenge on him which will eventually lead to his death. After he dies a mysterious black horse shows up at her estate and she seems to be the only one who can tame it and it will affect her and change her ways.
Directors: Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller, Steven Spielberg
Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, Vic Morrow, Scatman Crothers, Jeremy Licht
You’re travelling through another dimension. A dimension, not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!
The Twilight Zone: The Movie is based on the classic sci-fi TV show with the same name (minus The Movie of course). It features four separate episodes, where three of them was based on stories told on the original television show, and also a prologue and epilogue to tie it all in to the Twilight Zone universe.
I’m going to skip over both the prologue and epilogue since I didn’t care they made much sense or added much to the entire collection of stories. Instead I’ll rather start with the first segment called “Time Out”, directed by John Landis.
Director: Peter Duffell
Starring: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Nyree Dawn Porter, Denholm Elliott, Jon Pertwee
Vampires! Voodoo! Vixens! Victims!
The big movie star Paul Henderson has disappeared after renting an old country house and the event is being investigated by the Scotland Yard. The investigation would explore the history of this house and the brutal history that lies within it.
The House That Dripped Blood is a British horror anthology film by the legendary production company Amicus, and stars two of the most loved genre actors in Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. The film has four different segments that all take place in this big house and they all have classic horror elements to them.
The first segment is called Method for Murder and it is about the horror author Charles Hillyer who is moving into this old house in order to get over his writer’s block that he has been struggling with lately. He is writing about an evil character that he has called Dominic and the character is starting to become more and more lively, even affecting and terrorizing the life of the author.
Directors: Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sanchez, Timo Tjahjanto, Adam Wingard
Starring: Adam Wingard, Lawrence Michael Levine, Devon Brookshire, Fachry Albar, Hannah Hughes
Who’s tracking you?
V/H/S 2 is the sequel to the very popular found footage anthology film V/H/S that came out only a year ago. The producers took the feedback of the first one serious and made this one have four segments instead of five and it generally feels like a much better produced bunch of segments this time around. While they might be technically better though, it does lose a bit of the indie-feel that the first one had. These collections of tapes is actually surprisingly sharp and that does remove some of the point of it supposedly being on VHS tapes, but even the first had problems with that even though they both looked and felt more like VHS tapes than this one does.
As with the first one, the arc story isn’t very good. This one is called Tape 49, which is interesting since the wraparound in the first one was called Tape 56, hinting that this might actually be a prequel. It follows two private investigators who are trying to locate a missing young student. When they enter the home of the student, they find it to be abandoned with plenty of VHS tapes, TV sets and a laptop that are filled with several short clips.
Directors: John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper
Starring: John Carpenter, Alex Datcher, Robert Carradine, Stacy Keach, Mark Hamill
Zip yourself in tight!
Body Bags is a horror anthology film with three segments that all revolve around dead bodies that The Coroner is examining. The style is very much in the same sense as Tales from the Crypt and the coroner is played by John Carpenter himself, who also directed the first two stories and gave the last one over to Tobe Hooper.
The first segment is called The Gas Station and surprisingly enough, that’s the premise for the story. Anne is having her first shift, which happens to be a night shift, at the gas station near Haddonfield, Illinois where a serial killer has recently escaped from a mental hospital.
The Gas Station is the most suspenseful of the bunch and that is only thanks to the masterful skills of John Carpenter. He can pretty much take any setting and add creepiness to it. There is a very lonely and vulnerable feeling in this segment, but there is also some very cheap choices like the decisions or lack of that Anne does nearing the end of it. It is still the best segment out of the three and definitely worth watching. Also look out for cameo’s by Sam Raimi and Wes Craven.