PRIME TIME: when nothing is as it seems

Well, none of the next three films on my Amazon watchlist quite delivered what I expected. Was I disappointed in what I did get? Let’s find out.

THE DEVIL’S RESTAURANT (2017)

While not the most original concept—think Little Shop of Horrors—I was feeling what The Devil’s Restaurant promised at first.

A man makes a deal to sacrifice a demon in his restaurant basement in exchange for growth in his business.

Things are going smoothly—he simply brings it the most obnoxious, pain in the ass customers. But then a waiter catches on to what he’s doing, so the staff comes up with a plot to expose his nasty secret. What could go wrong?

The Devil’s Restaurant is mildly quirky and has some humorous moments with plenty of shenanigans, but it’s not quite as engaging or unique as the premise could be, and begins to drag.

Aside from not having enough really good humor, the horror elements are also lacking. And while I like not seeing what the victims are being sacrificed to at first (we just see blood splatters), but when we eventually are, it’s simply not the ominous threat you may have imagined.

SUBURBAN COVEN (2018)

I can’t quite figure out what audience this film is going for. I won’t dwell on it because despite being called Suburban Coven, this movie is virtually witch-free until the last few minutes.

An incredibly unnecessary 110 minutes long, it’s the story of a couple that gets into a car accident, moves into a new house after they recover, and run into marital problems because the husband can’t get it up for the wife.

This is mostly about their lack of a sex life and the approaches they take to fixing the problem.

They go to a sex therapist, all the neighboring couples seem to be into weird sexy stuff, and eventually, like I side, there’s a twist and the afterthought reveal: “Look! It’s witchcraft!”

HALLOWEEN HORROR TALES (2018)

I haven’t added this low budget anthology to the holiday horror page because as I suspected, it has nothing to do with Halloween. That’s just a buzz horror word slapped onto anthologies like these in hopes of sparking interest.

So taking this one on its own merits as an anthology film, what does it have to offer? For starters, having a plain girl standing in the woods introducing each story is as low budget as it gets. In the end, her presence is explained, but that doesn’t make her wraparound appearance any better for a horror anthology.

1st story – Would you believe it’s a killer clown story? He targets a particular house during the day, and it’s what you would expect from a low budget slasher. There’s some fun camerawork, but I seriously laughed out loud during a ridiculous scene of a girl dancing around a table to stay away from his knife.

2nd story – Not a bad plot for a little indie anthology short. A scream queen being interviewed by a horror host disparages her fan base. Big mistake.

3rd story – This is silly fun. A woman plants killer vines in her garden. Expect numerous scenes of floral garland being wrapped around victims’ throats, along with screaming flowers.

4th story – I kind of like this story of an investigator in a small town, where locals believe a vampire is on the loose. It’s low budget and takes place mostly in daylight, but I found a few scenes eerily effective and the vamp gave off a classic vibe.

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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