Deadtime Stories: Volume 1
You're going to have to scrub real hard to get that tub ring out
George Romero is the undisputed king of zombies. Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead are all horror movie classics. Even his later releases Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, and Survival of the Dead have great moments. His non-zombie related movies, such as Monkey Shines and The Dark Half tend to be overlooked, which is unfortunate because Romero has a great eye for directing. I came across Deadtime Stories because his name was plastered right on the poster. I thought to myself, “Hey, maybe this will be like Creepshow. I loved Creepshow.” How wrong I was.
The first story, entitled “Valley of Shadows,” sees a woman searching the jungle for her missing husband . Or at least, that's what I think its about. There is barely a story and it doesn't help that it jumps around faster than a methed-out kangaroo. It's like someone watched ten minutes of Cannibal Holocaust and thought they'd make a 25 minute short. The direction is just awful, with shots out of focus, too close, or just completely pointless. The acting if flat and painful and there's a pointless twist ending. I've seen commercials more entertaining and compelling than this. This movie violates the Geneva Convention because sitting through it is absolute torture.
People paid money for this? HAHAHAH!
Story number 2, “Wet,” follows a man that discovers a mysterious box on the beach with a hand inside. He asks a local dealer about it and it is revealed that the hand belongs to a mermaid. More boxes are discovered and the man pieces together a mermaid skeleton. The mermaid comes to life and terrorizes him. Conceptually, Wet is a decent idea, but it tends to drag on for too long. There is a slight burst of action and a genuinely creepy moment, but its not enough to keep you entertained. The acting is passable, with some good musical swells to keep the sense of horror. The twist ending comes off as silly and unnecessary. Still, it was better than the first movie.
But she has so much INNER beauty!
The final story, “House Call” is about a country doctor that pays a house visit for a teenage boy that claims to be a vampire. This story is directed by Tom Savini, so we're in much better hands than the first two. Well shot and well acted, this is clearly the best of the three. You get a little bit of blood and action, with a steady sense of horror and dread throughout. House Call is shot in an interesting, old-timey style. It takes a little while to get used to it, and it may not appeal to everyone, but I appreciate the effort to make this story stand out. There is yet another twist ending, but at least this time, it helps make the story more compelling.
I think I found the cause of your chest pain
George Romero's name is on this movie, but don't be fooled. He serves as host and executive producer, but not as writer or director. The acting ranges from decent to mind-numbingly bad. Same for the stories. There is no saving grace or scene to make Deadtime Stories worth your time. Thoroughly mediocre, you should avoid this at all cost.