It’s 4 times the fun—times however many tales were in this collection of 4 films combined (I don’t feel like counting). So are these flick worth the bandwidth?
Considering Monsterland is nearly two hours long, you’re bound to find at least a few stories that tickle your fancy. Again considering the two hours, it really should be more than a few tickles.
The wraparound sets up the perfect popcorn movie tone—literally—as a dude barges into a theatre that looks like it has been hit by a bomb, grabs a bucket of popcorn, then sits down to enjoy the show…
1st story – We get man butt and girl boobs as a group of friends jumps in a lake at night.
The story is super short, so it gets right to the blood flow as they’re dragged under water by a monster…that we never see.
2nd story – This quirky story feels kind of unfinished. A dude suffers a terrible head injury and the side effect is a cartoonish parasitic worm that talks to him.
3rd story – Another quirky, cartoonish, dark humor story, this one is completely without dialogue. A young boy using a chemistry set accidentally creates a radioactive rat that races around his house causing campy, slapstick, gory chaos.
To give you an idea of what you’re in for, my hubby, who was in the room while I was watching but staring down at his iPad the whole time, at one point said out loud, “It’s so gushy!”
4th story – One of my favorites because it’s truly creepy along with the camp, this one has a man suffering from sleep paralysis…and seeing a gnarly witch hovering over him when he does. Sleep paralysis continues to be all the rage in horror.
5th story – This quickie is an animated man vs. monster clip that looks like an old 2D side scroller video game.
6th story – Nothing ever turns out good when a dentist is forced to pull teeth at gunpoint in the middle of the night. This is fast horror fun.
7th story – This is annoying, futuristic stop motion space monster claymation with trippy music and video games sounds from 1982.
8th story – A clever and thought-provoking premise about gender roles and stay at home dads moves into killer baby territory!
9th story – It’s colorful and cartoonish beach day fun and CGI monster madness when giant jellyfish attack. This is like a really cool music video riffing off old sci-fi monster movies…minus the music.
With the movie being sooooo long, I was surprised to find that the wraparound conclusion was sooooo short. It was too underdeveloped and disconnected from the rest of the movie for my tastes.
SIN (Self-Induced Nightmares) (2016)
This low budget quickie (about 70 minutes) is a series of cautionary tales about sex and dating. In the wraparound, a guy meets a writer at a bar and asks her to tell him about some of the stories she’s working on…
1st story – Sort of a dark romance about a date gone horribly wrong when a ring falls down the sink drain.
2nd story – I just love the tone and vibe of this one—very 1970s gothic gory macabre weird. There’s a cabin, lesbianism, murder, and blood.
3rd story – A killer Teddy bear! It’s campy, it’s gory, I’m good.
4th story – Concerning a bitch who sexually and psychologically abuses her wheelchair-bound boyfriend, this is perverse, offensive, nasty sexploitation with loads of wiener (not always pretty wiener…and maybe this pic will stop you fuckers who put ketchup on your hot dogs once and for all).
Don’t expect me to do anything but add points to a flick that dares to go this route. Some people like horror that makes you think. I like horror that makes you drink…
5th story – It’s called a bonus story. Cereal killer!
Overall, as someone who grew up on direct-to-video horror, I think SIN delivers a good balance of different types of stories that use practical effects, get right to the point, and stick to the theme, all things many indie anthologies fail to do these days.
MIDNIGHT MACABRE (2017)
This is one of those low budget films that looks like it was shot in the homes of cast and crew, and my mind would have needed prescription glasses to properly focus on 2 out of them. It runs only 73 minutes long, and rather than a wraparound, we have a horror hostess introducing each tale. Hell, even she doesn’t get a macabre setting; she’s standing in front of someone’s busted window blinds.
Anyway, here’s the breakdown of tales:
1st story – 3 girls sit on a couch drinking and talking about an occult game once played by another group of 3 girls sitting on a couch drinking.
So we flash to those girls.
No really, it’s a different set of girls. They get naked, show off tits and twat, and invite over two dirty old pervs, who turn out to be the highlight of this segment. Their interactions with the girls are pretty funny. They might not turn on the girls, but they definitely have the dog sprung.
I wish we got more of them, but as soon as the group decides to play the occult game, it cuts back to the original group of girls! They play the game and experience a bunch of confusing demon stuff with cheesy CGI effects.
2nd story – This one is the easiest to comprehend, probably because it’s the shortest and gets right to the point.
Two notably bearish ghost hunters enter a house and experience a bunch of low budget haunting clichés thanks to effects kids seem to be able to pull off on YouTube videos these days.
So, yeah, this is my favorite of the three.
3rd story – Seriously, I watched this one TWICE in a row in an attempt at successfully comprehending it.
There’s a girl, there’s her brother, there’s a psychic medium, and I think people are getting taken to some hellish otherworld. Not that we ever actually see it.
DEADTIME TALES 2: THE NEXT CHAPTER (2018)
The 2 hour and 30 minute running time may seem ridiculous for this film, but that’s because just like the first Deadtime Tales, this is actually Full Moon editing several full-length films down into short films then compiling them together as an anthology. So here’s what you get this time around:
1st story – This is an edit of the movie Cryptz, which I blog about here.
2nd story – This is an edit of the film Horrorvision. Horror queen Brinke Stevens makes an appearance as a photographer in one of the film’s best, cheesetastic scenes.
She discovers the Horrorvision site and then gets sucked into the computer by her Ethernet cables.
The story ends up focusing on a handsome duo that encounter various creatures and demons in cyber hell.
This could easily get some heavy rotation on SyFy.
3rd story – An edit of Reel Evil, this is essentially a knockoff of the found footage movie Grave Encounters, with a bunch of kids filming in an old insane asylum.
There’s lots of green-tinted footage, apparitions flickering across the screen, flashes of macabre scenes, and some sex.
The group eventually runs around screaming while being chased by zombie doctors.
4 – Listed on imdb as Ghost Month, I found this one on Amazon Prime as The Offerings. It’s about a young white woman who goes to work as a housekeeper for a Chinese family, and soon begins to notice they dabble in some mysterious rituals.
This edited version takes a confusing leap right into the center of the film with no buildup, but it does condense it into a nonstop onslaught of Asian horror scares.
While I’m all for the idea of editing down movies that need it and putting a few together as anthologies, seeing this final story in both long and short form, it does make me question which films they choose to shorten…and if they’re making the right editing choices when they do.