Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Tales of Terror Review


It’s time for a horror anthology. If there are any two words that should strike fear into your heart, it’s those last two words. Horror films don’t have a good track record and the same can and will be said for anthologies. Merging the two results in a lot of opportunities for the film to get ruined. Unfortunately this one is no exception and you’ll find yourself wondering what the point of this film was. The first of the shorts is easily the best one, but that’s not saying a whole lot.

The first segment sees Lenora get home. She has visited her father to guilt trip him one last time before she moves away. He doesn’t want to see her because he blames her for the death of his wife. They argue quite a bit with Lenora constantly explaining how she never should have come here and her father insulting her. Eventually the ghost of her mother wakes up to murder Lenora and then take down the father. They all die together in the mansion. It’s a pretty somber ending to what was overall a somber special. The whole time you just have to wonder why Lenora would possibly want to come over. It’s well known from the start that her father had never even talked to her because he was so upset at what happened in the past so it all came off as rather strange. I couldn’t understand Lenora’s motivation here.

Even worse is the fact that she made sure to come after the last bus had left so she would be stuck there for the night. It’s almost as if she came over purely to start complaining and egging the father on into doing something he might regret. I thought the film was going to have him murder her which would have been super dark so I’m glad they didn’t go that route. It was the best special of the 3, but that’s really not saying much at all.

The 2nd segment is about a drunk guy named Montresor. He is always mean to his wife and cat (Points deducted instantly!) and keeps on stealing money from them. He doesn’t care if they starve as long as he gets his beer. He breaks into a wine testing convention and manages to snag 2nd place. Fortunato doesn’t like being humiliated so he quickly gets together with Montresor’s wife in secret. Montresor finds out and murders them, but luckily the cops come and put him away.

Another rather grim story and one that is completely unenjoyable from start to finish. I don’t want to see the cat getting threatened with murder and being thrown around the whole time. Those scenes are just terrible and the cast puts up with Montresor the whole time. Why isn’t the guy in jail yet? It’s all rather hard to watch as you are tempted to go and rent something a little classier at the special is playing. Sure, they caught Montresor but only after he murdered the two of them. Justice was a little late to say the least. The sad thing is that this wasn’t necessarily the weakest story as the third one also gets a little dicey.

The third story probably has the least intelligent characters of the bunch. An old guy is on his death bed and agreed to let a scientist hypnotize him at the very end. The experiment is to see if the hypnosis can prevent his death for a little while. The scientist quickly launches into his experiment and sure enough, the old man won’t die. Finally the living corpse begs for death, but the scientist merely laughs. Months pass and he is still forcing the corpse to live. So in this time…everyone just allowed that to happen? Geez, some friends.

The main heroine then decides to confront the scientist on her own even though she knows that he is dangerous and criminally insane. Her friend even comes along with his gun to protect her but she tells him to leave and then locks the door. In the most predictable move ever, the scientist then decides that he’ll take her by force and she’s only saved when the corpse wakes up and murders him. That still has to take the cake as one of the worst decisions out there. Why would you knowingly put yourself in such a terrible position. Going 1 on 1 with someone far stronger and confirmed to be dangerous? Clearly this heroine wasn’t very smart and the low quality attempt at creating tension in the film was just pitiful.

Overall, This film was pretty bad. I’m pretty confident now that Edgar Allan Poe’s stories are not nearly as good as you’d suspect from his reputation. I’ve now seen two anthologies based on his stories and they were both pretty dreadful. They’re just not good and while making good horror stories is difficult, it can be done. You just have to construct quality stories with no short cuts or characters making terrible decisions. It shouldn’t be a story about everyone dying just for kicks or to see the spirit slaughter them all. A good story should give the heroes a chance. Sad endings definitely can work as well so long as they have a purpose. This film just didn’t have one and comes across as incredibly mean spirited the whole time. So, like pretty much every other Roger Corman film, you’ll want to skip this one.

Overall 1/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Terror Review


Prepare yourself for a very eccentric film. I know that I sometimes critique films for not having any real twists or turns, but this film takes that a little too literally. There are twists within twists and nothing that you see or hear can be trusted in this film until the very end. Even the atmosphere of the film is fairly mysterious and eery. One thing’s for sure, you may not remember the specifics of this film, but you won’t be forgetting the actual adventure.

Andre is a lost soldier who somehow got separated from the rest of his French regime. Luckily, he was saved by a fair maiden by the name of Helene. The girl vanishes, but Andrew asks around and figures out that she lives in the Baron’s castle. An old lady in a cottage told him this and while she seems to practice voodoo and has a Raven who can shape shift, she is clearly trust worthy. The Baron does not want to let Andrew in, but the “hero” threatens to bring down the full wrath of the French government if he is now allowed entry. (He is a high ranking officer so he can do this)

The Baron has no time for these games though. He is being haunted by the ghost of Ilsa. She wants him to destroy himself because he murdered her after finding out about the man that she kept around on the side when she thought he wasn’t looking. Meanwhile, his loyal butler Stefan murdered the side man (Eric) The Baron is reluctant to comply with the ghost for obvious reasons, but he starts to wonder if maybe he should. This Andre person is complicating things though because he can see the ghost too, but calls her by a different name and while she did try to murder him a few times, he never takes it personally.

All right, lets pause here before getting into the twists. Yes, there will be spoilers this time because you can’t not explain the twists here. It’s what makes the film so priceless. First off, Andre is clearly not the brightest bulb on the block because the murder attempts that Ilsa goes for are fairly obvious. Her ghost leads him to a marsh of quick sand, but he noticed in time because of a pebble that he kicked. She almost led him off a cliff as well, but he noticed on time. She tried to destroy him several times, but Andre is oblivious to all of this and just wants to find her anyway. The Baron acts as if he doesn’t know what Andre is talking about, but it’s a little too obvious to try and deflect. Moreover, acting tough and trying to talk back to Andre fails when he is shaking in his boots the whole time because of Ilsa.

All right, you may be wondering what happened to the old lady and the shape shifting Raven right? This is where the film slaps you silly with plot twists. First off, The Baron and Stefan never managed to murder Eric and Ilsa. See, we thought that Stefan murdered Eric while The Baron took care of Ilsa right? Wrong! Somehow, The Baron managed to get to Eric after taking down Ilsa, but Eric ended up murdering him instead. Eric then suffered a complete mental breakdown and began to really think that he was The Baron. Stefan knew about this, but played along for kicks so I guess he was never that loyal after all.

The old Witch was the mother of Ilsa and she blamed the Baron for her death. She couldn’t have known that Eric had actually beaten the Baron and assumed his identity. She was pretty clever and used her black magic to give a Raven the ability to turn into Ilsa, but with the ability of flight, super speed, and shape shifting so fast that it appeared as if she vanished into the fog each time. How did she manage to keep this up for 2 years while having Ilsa appear everywhere and nobody ever noticing that it was actually a raven? It’s magic! Thing is, the Raven began to have ideas of its own and somewhere along the way, Ilsa’s actual ghost decided to show up. Perhaps she was tired of watching “Amateur Hour” being played out by all of these second rate villains. Ilsa decided to finish everyone off once and for all by breaking the underwater dam that “Baron” kept around to drown them all. We get a pretty fierce fist fight between “Ilsa”, “Baron”, Andre, and Stefan.

Suffice it to say, Andre managed to get out of there alive with Ilsa, but then she decomposed since her mission was complete. Now Andre can go home and share this story with the other soldiers…if they’ll ever actually believe him. A lot happened in this film all right. It may take you a little bit to process just how crazy this film got. It may have gone overboard, but I salute the enthusiasm that the film showed and it was a good effort. It really kept you guessing the whole time…even if the plot twists didn’t always make a lot of sense. You really can’t trust anyone here.

This is the kind of film where everything is so strange that you wouldn’t be shocked if it was all just a dream of meta with some kind of deeper meaning. Regardless, the film did a good job with the tone. Between the mist, the empty backgrounds, and the creepy castle, this film always had a tense and mysterious atmosphere. It accomplished that part of the film pretty well. I can’t say that the film was all that good though. The main character is pretty annoying and the black mail may have been hardcore but it didn’t make him any easier to root for. The Baron was clearly unhinged and likewise with Eric. This film certainly shows you that rebounding never pays, but it’s not as if any of the characters got to live anyway.

Overall, This film is a tricky one to score. It’s a rare film where I didn’t even know what score I was going to give it as I was writing the review. It’s partially because the film wraps itself up in a haze so it’s hard to remember some of the specifics. I can’t remember a whole lot of negatives except I do remember a general recollection of not thinking the movie was all that good. I suppose it’s not that bad either so a solid 5 sounds about right. It’d definitely a strange little flick and I’d recommend checking it out if strange is what you’re looking for. You can think of it as a Twilight Zone episode of sorts, but the slightly modernized version. It’s not all that long and giving it at least one watch may be good for you. I won’t really recommend it, but I wouldn’t tell you to steer clear of it either. The film’s just around and it’s one that I won’t soon forget.

Overall 5/10