Welcome to Hayes Hudson's House of Horror (4H)

Your online source for Horror news, info, and reviews. I cover new and classic Horror, as well as Exploitation and Cult films. I also discuss books, comics, games, toys, clothing, etc, as long as it pertains to the Horror genre. My movie reviews are short and to the point, as I know when I come across a long review, I tend to skip that one. I hope you enjoy your time at my House of Horror! Come on in!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Movie Review: DEATH BY VHS (2013)

Written by  Scarlet Fry
Directed by Scarlet Fry, David Sabal, and

I recently had the privilege of checking out the latest film from Director Scarlet Fry called DEATH BY VHS.   I enjoyed his last couple of low-budget outings, NIGHTMARE ALLEY and JUNKFOOD HORRORFEST, I was expecting to enjoy this one as well, and I was not disappointed.  Before I get to my review, here is the basic plot synopsis of the film:

A battered and mysterious VCR...A bevy of lethal video- tapes... These are the building blocks of horror in "DEATH BY VHS".  A mind blowing descent into madness and death. Five shocking vignettes, designed to take your sanity and devour your soul!  Mild curiosity leads to severe consequences when a couple rents a supposedly cursed video cassette recorder. An urban legend renowned for leaving a trail of agonizing and torturous death. Unbelieving, they take the plunge... And another legend is horrifyingly born...
Do you dare give fate a winning hand, and test yourself against the hellish consequences of the VHS machine?  Insert Cassette Press Play...DIE!

Ok, before I start let me say if you have seen NIGHTMARE ALLEY or JUNKFOOD HORRORFEST, you know exactly what you are in for. These are very low budget films and it shows....but, don't let that keep you from watching this film.  What it lacks in budget, it makes up for in storytelling and charm, and keeps you entertained.  That is really all you need from a movie, big budget, small budget...it doesn't really matter as long as it does what a movie is supposed to do, and that is entertain you in some form or fashion.

Now I will say that the low budget does make for some unfortunate technical problems with this film.  Most notably the sound quality and picture quality in a few scenes.  If the filmmakers can get a little more $$ behind their next feature, it would help to improve those areas for sure.   Sometimes it was very hard to make out what the actors were saying due to the sound quality or background music being louder than the dialog.   I like low budget cinema and can appreciate it though, so this did not take the enjoyment out of watching the film for me. 

Like NIGHTMARE ALLEY and JUNKFOOD HORRORFEST, DEATH BY VHS is an anthology made up of 5 different stories/short films.  The film centers around couple that hear about these VHS tapes that have some power that gets you high by watching them.  The couple get the VHS player and the tapes from the local drug dealer, and head home to watch the films.  Each film they watch takes them to a deeper and darker place, with fatal (yet, hilarious) consequences after watching all 5 films. 

 The 5 short films within the movie are very interesting and of varied sub-genres.  The first film is "Suburban She Freak" and was probably my favorite tale of the bunch.  It centers around a woman with a major face deformity that she struggles with, until one day she orders a secret elixir from a black magic shop on the Internet.  She takes the elixir and all is well, but sometimes the side effects to certain medications can be killer!

  The next film was a black and white zombie film (I don't remember seeing a name for this one) that was very well done, and had zombies reminiscent of Romero's zombies from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.  Lots of good gore in this one!  Check out the intestine eating scene in the trailer!

  Next was a film called "Christmas Krampus" which centers around a retarded boy and his awful, abusive parents.  Santa has a special place in his heart for kids with disabilities apparently, and gives the little boy exactly what he wanted for Christmas!  This one was a good story, and tremendous acting by the man playing the part of the mentally challenged boy.  Some may not like this one or feel as it is making fun of the handicapped, and it is a valid argument.  So, just beware going into this one.  

  The next film was titled, "Regenerate" and was a great story of an abusive boyfriend who treats his paralyzed, wheelchair bound girlfriend horribly.   A friend of hers gives her a secret drug that will help her walk again, but before that happens, her abusive boyfriend ends up killing her.  But...will that stop the drug from working? 

  The final film is called "Lepus" and I think it was the longest of all the films, at least it felt that way to me.  I would think they would leave the best for last, but unfortunately this was my least favorite of the short films.  It does contain one of the creepiest killers you will see...some dude dressed in a bunny suit that keeps saying something in German and hacking people up with a hatchet!  Unfortunately, that for me was about all it had going for it. 

  Overall, I enjoyed this film and recommend it.  This is how low-budget film making should be.  You can tell it's low  budget, but there is enough there to keep you entertained and wanting to watch.  This film reminds me of the old EC comics like "Tales from the Crypt" or "Vault of Horror" in that most of those tales had a lesson to learn from them.  This is the case with these stories as well, especially with "Suburban She Freak"  (negative results from doing anything to improve outward beauty) and "Regenerate" (don't treat others bad, or something even worse will happen to you).

DEATH BY VHS is not perfect by any means, but it is fun and entertaining which is all I ask for in a film.   DEATH BY VHS should be available on DVD this summer. 

CLICK HERE to watch the trailer

No comments:

Post a Comment