There’s some seriously weird shit going on in this tripled feature of anthologies I checked out on Prime. Let’s break down Scare Me, Terror Overload, and The 4bidden Fables.
SCARE ME (2020)
This is one of the most confusing “anthology” films I’ve ever seen. To me it felt like a full-length wraparound movie with very brief campfire tales sprinkled here and there.
Along with the very 80s score, there are definitely some fun moments of horror here, plus many of the guys are cute. Even the jerks.
For a change, rather than opening with a summary of the wraparound, I’m going to begin with the stories being told since the film itself begins with a tale instead of the wraparound.
– A cult of witch babes strips a guy’s shirt off and performs a gruesome ritual. Nice gore.
– A woman’s friend in need comes over, but something isn’t quite the same about him. Creepy feel, but after the tale ends abruptly, even one of the guys at the wraparound campfire has questions.
– When an unarmed black man is shot by cops, they find out they’ve messed with the wrong black guy.
– The most delicious surprise tale of all features a guy intervening when he catches his neighbor beating and banging a gimp up the ass. It lands this one on my does the gay guy die? movie list.
– A promise of a Christmas/immigration commentary/babysitter/monster in the closet tale is interrupted…
…by the wraparound! This is a very long and confusing plot about campers and park rangers challenging each other to tell the scariest story. Thing is, when the killing began I had no idea what was actually going on and who was killing who for what reason.
TERROR OVERLOAD (2009)
When a redneck trucker picks up a blonde babe stuck on the side of the road, he figures there’s no better way to make her feel safe than to start telling her torture porn stories!
While there’s plenty of sleazy sexual situations in each of these three tales to tantalize, it truly is surprising that two of them have no real depth beyond someone being tied down, tortured, and sliced up. Not even a sense of fear or dread is established. But again, plenty of cute guys!
What an actor. Look closely.
This dude is seriously digging for the taint with his fuck finger.
1st tale – a sweet guy and girl have an in-house date, but one of them turns out to be more bitter than sweet, and slices and dices the other one. The end.
2nd tale – indie horror king Marv Blauvelt does a nice job playing an arrogant, hunky boy who picks up two women in a bar. The girls have a whole different idea of fun than he does…
3rd tale – the only tale that breaks the mold here, this is a silly sexual creepozoid flick full of redneck incest.
The highlight is Ari Lehman, the original drowning young Jason Voorhees. I noticed it when Ari made an appearance in Clown Motel, and it’s more apparent here—Ari is a great comedic horror actor and totally steals the show. Not to mention, if you’ve ever wanted to see Jason’s ass, this is your chance. And it’s a cute one.
Finally, we do find out what the truck driver’s intentions are with his pretty passenger as the wraparound comes to a conclusion.
THE 4BIDDEN FABLES (2014)
You would never expect that an indie anthology could masterfully juggle beautiful cinematic artistry and some seriously dark and disgusting themes, but The 4bidden Fables does it. There were a variety of tales here, and only one didn’t do it for me at all.
1st story – a nightmarish scenario in which a mad doctor uses his expertise to create subjects for his “oddities” sideshow. Eek!
2nd story – a nasty tale of a young girl caring for her deformed sibling that her father keeps locked away in the basement.
Again, eek! And…ew!
3rd story – just too fantastical and not horror enough for me, this was a sort of metaphorical story about the power hierarchy in nature. I think. I kind of tuned out.
4th story – this is an unusual story of a man who recalls suffering the consequences of reaching the end of the rainbow…and the hell that waits there.
Each story features eloquently orchestrated scenes celebrating song, dance, and art, balanced by gory, macabre, and monstrous effects that are equally as artistic and the stuff of nightmares. The 4bidden Tales won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I was mesmerized by how beautifully it is crafted.