When a horror anthology featuring big name directors gets ignored

trapped ashes cover

While 2006 film Trapped Ashes is no Creepshow, it has a couple of standout stories and some familiar faces, including Ted from Showtime’s Queer as Folk, hottie Tahmoh Penikett of Dollhouse and Trick r’ Treat, horror icons John Saxon and Dick Miller, veteran actor Henry Gibson, and Ryo Ishibashi of Audition and the original The Grudge movies.

trapped ashes group

All four stories pretty much revolve around sex and reproduction, and the wraparound (by Joe Dante of Gremlins fame) features a small group of people on a Hollywood tour. When they get trapped in a room in a creepy house, the tour guide suggests that the only way out is to tell scary stories…

“The Girl with Golden Breasts,” directed by legendary Ken Russell, is my favorite here because it has that campy Creepshow/Tales from the Darkside/Body Bags tone. A young woman gets breast implants made with real human tissue…and they turn out to be killer tits. As an added bonus, there are three dudes in drag as doctors (including the director!).

trapped ashes drag

“Jibaku” by Sean S. Cunningham is a big departure from his simple Friday the 13th concept. A married woman begins an affair with a handsome man and—I don’t know what the hell happens. There’s sex with a corpse, vaginal imagery, and an entire animated segment in a demon dimension. Not even the nasty corpse fucking scene could save this one.

trapped ashes corpse

“Stanley’s Girlfriend” by Monte Hellman (Silent Night, Deadly Night III) is a flat, unsatisfying tale about a guy who hooks up with his director friend’s woman. This tale goes nowhere either sexually or horrifically….

trapped ashes succubus

“My Twin, The Worm” by rookie director John Gaeta delivers my second favorite tale of the bunch because the plot is icky awesome in a Twilight Zone kind of way. A pregnant woman learns that she has to allow a tapeworm to grow inside her in order to protect her baby. Ew. The only downside is the bad CGI worm.

trapped ashes wormOh, honey! What a big worm you’ve got!

There’s a “twist” in the wraparound that adds a short epilogue to each story, but they don’t improve the weaker tales any. Overall, Trapped Ashes is worth a watch for anthology fans, but at least half of it is forgettable because it’s just not fun enough.

For a full list of horror anthologies, check out my multiple horrorgasms page.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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One Response to When a horror anthology featuring big name directors gets ignored

  1. joshuaskye says:

    I’ve never heard of it, I’ll have to check it out.

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