George A. Romero Presents: Deadtime Stories, Volume 1 (2011) Review

Deadtime Stories

Deadtime StoriesWhen this horror anthology turned up on Love Horror’s doorstep I couldn’t wait to watch it. I’m a massive Romero fan, he makes an appearance to bookend the shorts, and if it was anything like the collection of short stories in Creepshow (1982) I knew I’d be in for a treat. How wrong I was.

Jeff Monahan, who on this showing isn’t a very good writer at all, pens each of the three stories. All three are clunky and poorly paced with terrible dialogue, and all are highly derivative. Unfortunately the directors and actors are unable to salvage anything from the page, only Tom Savini who directs the final short, House Call, shows any artistic flair.

Deadtime StoriesThe first story on the disc, Valley of Shadow, descends into laughably bad very early on and only gets worse.

Deadtime StoriesA woman organises an expedition to a rainforest to search for her missing husband but only serves to agitate the natives, who become violent. This is the worst short on the disc and is poorly executed in every single way imaginable, storytelling, acting, cinematography, editing (the editing!) – avoid at all costs.

Wet is marginally better and has Monahan playing the lead role, if you thought he couldn’t tell a story… His character finds a jade box buried on the beach that has a horrible creature living inside that shouldn’t be released. Needless to say that the warning he is given is ignored and the narrative plays out to an obvious conclusion. Yet again the direction and acting is hilariously bad, I’m embarrassed for those involved.

Finally we get a segment that is half way watchable, House Call, sees an elderly doctor called to a remote house to check on a worried mothers ill son who claims to have been bitten by a creature. The way this one is shot is a vast improvement on the previous two with some actual effort going into framing and cinematography.

It is dark, shadowy and with a crude effect in post looks dated, but again the story is familiar and dull.

Deadtime Stories Deadtime Stories

I’m afraid to say the only saving grace this disc has is its running time, a paltry 78 mins. Don’t be fooled into buying Deadtime Stories on the strength of Romero’s name, it seems any budget was blown on getting his name on the box to shift copies.

Movie Rating: ½☆☆☆☆ 

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