I’m a sucker for anthology horror movies…short stories inter-locked together in some way. Anthologies like Creepshow & Tales From The Darkside were part of my youth & are held dear in my heart.
Saying that, it is hard to find an anthology that is consistently good throughout & I had high hopes for Scary or Die (especially with that cover).
Scary or Die tells five stories interlocked within the city of Los Angeles (except the first)…each story is accessed on a website (called Scary or Die) by an unknown person & the first sees a pair of rednecks along with their girlfriend dealing out their own brand of justice (as they see fit) to border-hopping Mexicans. They have a pair in the back of their pick-up truck & are taking them back an area where Mexican people cross into America.
Once they arrive at their destination they plan to send a message to any other ‘border-hoppers’, something they’ve been doing for a while if the amount of graves are anything to go by. However a spilt ‘home-brew’ reacts with the soil & suddenly we have Mexican zombies.
It’s a decent story made all the better for just how unlikeable the rednecks are. Their actions are shocking & you want to see them get their comeuppance. The zombies don’t look great & but it has a nice amount of gore.
The 2nd story is a great one telling the story of Teujung whose wife was killed & he struggles to get over it.
He wanders the streets of LA drinking & following women who bear a resemblance to his wife. When he comes across a woman who looks a lot like her he follows her & witnesses her being kidnapped. He then sets about trying to save her.
This has a nice twist ending that you can see coming a mile away if you know your horror movies but it doesn’t dent its impact any less. I really liked this story & found Teujung to be a really sorrowful character & easy to like.
The 3rd story deals with a hitman whose latest hit may not actually be dead if that banging from the trunk is anything to go by.
It’s an ok watch, brief enough that it never feels dragged out but not up to par with the story that came before & the one that follows.
Story 4 is the not only the longest one of the movie but it is also the best combining creepy characters, great make-up & a well told story. Emmett is bitten by a nasty clown at his younger brother’s birthday party & over the next few weeks begins to change drastically.
His feet grow laughably large; his skin colour begins to turn make-up white & he begins to get a taste for human flesh. Scared he will do harm to his pregnant girlfriend or family he runs away & goes into hiding as a hobo all the while trying to fight his urges to feed.
It sounds laughable but it really isn’t…Emmett’s transformation is actually really well done & the lengths he goes to hide it makes for some really gruesome scenes. It can feel like it is dragging a bit near the end but it does have a pretty sweet finish so that more then makes up for it.
The final story is a short lover’s revenge tale…a woman who thought she had found her dream man but ended up dead at his hands. Her family dealt in voodoo & now she is back from the grave to take what is hers. It’s only a few minutes long, told from the dead woman’s point of view & pretty boring. It’s not the best sign off for a pretty good anthology.
Unlike many other anthologies there isn’t a wrap up at the end spelling out exactly how the stories were connected. Don’t get me wrong there are connections, some more obvious then others but it does make the movie feel a little disjointed.
Clowned & Teujung’s Lament deserve to be seen so if you do get hold of this make sure you watch them at least.
Scary Or Die