Five friends gather on Halloween to continue their yearly ritual of meeting up and telling horror stories. Each one telling a more sinister tale than the next, unaware of the horror that awaits them on this All Hallows Eve!
The first tale from Ruggero, Less Is More, tells the tale of May, who doesn’t feel complete. In order to achieve completeness she is compelled to ask for parts of her own body to be amputated, even though there is no medical need for it. The condition is known as ‘body integrity identity disorder’. May’s doctor tells her no medical practitioner will ever perform this surgery on her, but May finds a helping hand through Dr. Albian… Or does she?
The second tale from Juan, Wolf Cry, tells the tale of Zac who appears to be living in his own dream world. His mother isn’t happy with the way he acts and asks him to get a job. Zac wants to be a film maker but unfortunately his imagination is running wild and he doesn’t perceive life in the same way that everyone else does. Are the monsters in Zac’s mind or are they real?
The third tale from Lucio, Penance, centers on a cat and mouse game between a serial killer and a cop. It is very reminiscent of Argento films. The soundtrack to this tale is in the style of the 80s and purposefully sets the tone for a mini slasher movie! Is the serial killer an unknown suspect or is it the detective who is the killer himself?…
The fourth tale from George, Missing, is filmed to give us the effect it is recorded on a cheap camcorder and tells the story of Cromwell Street. Apparently 5 witches and a warlock were hung on the site of this street and cursed the street. 5 friends decide they should go to the street after talking about it. Big mistake.
The fifth tale from Isabella… Well, I’ll let you watch and find that out for yourselves…
I like the basic principles behind this collection of tales. 5 friends gather together, each with a DVD/Video, each trying to out-do the other with a scarier story than the last person.
Director Kemal Yildirim, uses very evocative imagery in Less Is More in particular and we get to see both sides of May’s personality on screen at the same time, which is a clever touch. Although a relatively short tale, Less Is More made me feel sympathy for May as we see her struggle with her illness, trying to explain to her husband that what she wants to do is right for both of them. There is great acting from May (Caroline Nash) and Steve (Gary Halliday) and you are genuinely convinced they are husband and wife.
Wolf Cry is also very good as it shows us the physical and mental effects that watching horror films can have on some individuals. Penance in my opinion would make a great horror film if given a much bigger budget and had some top name actors in it. Missing with it’s cheap video feel adds a realistic touch to the proceedings and because the video is so grainy and locations at times quite dark, adds dimensions to the tale which otherwise would not have been present if filmed as genuine digital video.
There were some issues with sound in parts of the DVD but overall the collection was entertaining throughout.
Be sure to watch the DVD in the dark as there are some moments which are guaranteed to make you jump and feel uneasy. Also, there is a bonus feature of the making of Penance, which is interesting and there are bloopers and some unreleased scenes thrown in.
This is recommend viewing for anyone who likes their horror in the vein of Tales From The Crypt, Tales From The Darkside, Weird Tales etc.
Tales Of The Dead is available through Chemical Burn Entertainment at http://www.chemicalburn.org/horror_and_gore.html