Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Deadtime Stories

Director - Jeffrey Delman (Random Shooting in L.A.)
Starring - Scott Valentine (To Sleep With a Vampire), Nicole Picard (Ghoulies Go to College), and Cathryn de Prume (True Blood)
Release Date - 1986
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Your most terrifying nightmares now come to life."
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     Horror anthologies played a huge part in my upbringing.  When I first found myself obsessed with horror I went for anything and everything with George A. Romero's name on it.  Night of the Living Dead, both his and Savini's remake, scared me so bad I had nightmares for years and Dawn of the Dead is one of the greatest films to come out of the 70s.  After falling in love with both of these films I was on the hunt for more Romero when I came across Creepshow which completely changed horror for me.  The idea of 4 or 5 short stories tied together by a connected tale mesmerized me.  Before I knew it I was obsessed with horror anthologies.  One 80s anthology I always wanted to check out was Deadtime Stories but I never found a copy while hunting.  Lucky for me, the film was recently released by my friends over at Scream Factory and they were kind enough to hook me up with a review copy.  Thanks guys!
     The film follows a young boy who is having a hard time falling asleep so his uncle decided to tell him a few stories.  The first story follows two witches and their henchman who attempt to bring their dead sister back to life which requires a female sacrifice.  They find the perfect woman but the henchman falls in love with her and during the ritual he kills the two witches before they make their escape.  What he didn't count on was the death of one of the witches bringing their dead sister back to life.  The second story follows a young girl named Rachel who mistaken gets the wrong medicine from the drug store.  A young man quickly learns of the mistake and tries to find Rachel before the moon rises that night.  The third story follows the Bear family who are on the run from the law when they discover a young girl with special powers in their home.  The family takes her in and a blood bath ensues.

     Many, many years ago I made a post about anthology films in the Upcoming Horror Movie forum.  I was a member of this forum for almost 10 years but Facebook replaced it when I was in college.  When I made that post I asked horror fans what some of their favorite horror anthologies were and if they knew of any rare or obscure ones that were floating around out there.  Several people mentioned Deadtime Stores and how inconsistent it was.  I was curious about the film and can clearly see what those people were referring to.  The acting in this one is direct to video gold.  The cast goes a little overboard at times and at others they have a hard time finding the right emotion to properly fit the scene.  This doesn't make the acting bad but I have seen so much better in films released around this time with much smaller budgets.  Experience was there but they lacked direction.  The stories for this one has some very fun moments that I would have loved as a kid but the humor comes in at the wrong time.  Horror comedies have to perfectly balance the two but this film tosses it in at the weirdest moment with the exception of the Goldie Lox and the Three Bear segment which keeps it consist throughout the entire film.  A better balance would have went a long way with this almost forgotten anthology.  Finally, this one isn't as bloody as I was lead to believe.  The film has some great effects and a few on screen kills but it does not have the blood and gore I was expecting.  The film was intended for children and the effects we see were top notch but there is no gore for you die hard horrorhounds out there.  Overall, Deadtime Stories is another classic 80s horror flick.  It is on the milder side of horror so the whole family can enjoy.  Check it out and be sure to add it to your collection.  

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