Terror Tales is an anthology horror from writer/director Jimmy Lee Combs. A film that brings together cast from Friday the 13th, Maniac Cop 1 & 2, George Romero’s The Crazies, Wes Craven’s The People Under the Stairs, Sleepaway Camp, Critters 2 and more, on VOD January 8th 2019 from High Octane Pictures.
The wraparound surrounding the three tales sees a family held hostage in their car by a psychopath (Christopher Showerman). The man has kept Michael (J. Giordano) up front alongside him while holding his wife and daughter in a trailer they are pulling. If Michael doesn’t cooperate, they will be both be killed.
Forced to ride shotgun, Michael has to hear three horrific tales told by this lunatic captor.
The first is called By Proxy and is the best of the trio thanks to a twisted story and commanding performance by Lynn Lowry. She is a mother struggling to cope with her son’s suicide when a demonic figure appears to her. It takes her on a journey where she will see the horrifying truth behind her son’s death. Think A Christmas Carol but way darker.
It’s a great start for this anthology as it deals with the difficult subject of mental health while also not shying away from the consequences of character’s actions.
The second story is called Radical Video and takes us back to a time when video rentals were still a thing. In fact, for one video store, business is booming as long as people pay their late fees. Gloriously 80s in style, the time period is nailed here.
After an argument with a customer, the owner and his wife are targeted by a serial killer known as The Sledgehammer (Jonathan Tiersten).
It’s up to a detective to stop the killer once and for all.
A hit and miss story, the 80’s style video store looks great however it’s predictable. While it is graphic, having a video-nasty quality about it, not enough hits to make this one feel worthwhile.
The final story also suffers as we get a possession/zombie hybrid that is unoriginal but fun enough. It sees a demonic force (Yan Birch) using humans as a host, something that looks like a possession. If one of its victims dies, it just jumps to another and another causing an Epidemic.
A man becomes determined to save his daughter from it after he failed to save his wife.
A decent story that has some impact thanks to some good makeup for the possessed. For being a low budget horror anthology, it really doesn’t look too bad. The same can be said for a lot of the acting. With such a cast of performers that really shouldn’t be a surprise. Performance wise, Terror Tales can’t be faulted!
Probably the biggest flaw with Terror Tales is the wraparound story. It’s a decent enough setup for us to hear the three tales. There is just very little investment in the plight of the hostages.
However, Jimmy Lee Combs writing and directing style captures the style of more classic anthologies nicely. It pays homage to the likes of Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt very well indeed.