Tales of Terror 2002 Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
There were four films in particular that warranted a purchase from me. When I got the set and watched all 10 films I was pleasantly surprised to find some hidden gems. Let’s get the lesser efforts out of the way first and build to the good ones. “Werewolf V.S. Vampire Woman” is a dumb story about two college girls who go off in search of the tomb of the legendary Vampire Woman. Their search brings them to the remote castle of a man (Paul Naschy) who knows where the grave is. He takes the girls there and one of them conveniently cuts herself on a crucifix. The fresh blood drips into the open grave reviving the Vampire Woman who resumes her battle with the Werewolf. Naschy is the werewolf and only he can defeat his mortal enemy and save the college girls, one of whom has become a bloodsucker herself. “Die Sister Die”, is a bad made for T.V. movie that rips off the better Bette Davis films “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane”, and “Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte”. “Circus of Fear” which stars Christopher Lee and Klaus Kinski isn’t a horror film but rather a British crime thriller about a bank robbery and the thief who stashes the loot in a traveling circus. Lee is good despite wearing a mask throughout. Kinski also appears in “Web of the Spider”. He plays Edgar Allan Poe who bets a man (Anthony Franciosa) that he won’t last one night in a haunted castle. This film benefits from good acting, directing, music, and set design but still didn’t work as well as it could have. It’s better than the next film though. “Sisters of Death” is a PG horror film about five attractive sorority sisters who accidentally kill a pledge. Years later they are all summoned to a mansion by a mysterious man who is the murdered girl’s father who plans on getting his revenge. The only really frightening thing about this film is how many times the boom mike ruins the shot by lingering at the top of the screen. The film that was a hidden gem is called “Messiah of Evil”. It takes place in a deserted beach town called Point Doom and focuses on a young girl who is looking for her father who has vanished. She meets up with a mysterious stranger who looks a lot like Peter Fonda and his two lovers. They invite themselves to live with her and they tell her about the town secrets. The film has the great atmosphere of a David Lynch or Brian De Palma film and that’s because the set designer was Jack Fisk who is a frequent collaborator of both men. The best films of the box are as follows: “Deep Red” is one of director Dario Argento’s most famous films but unfortunately the version in this box is a horrible pan and scan version that’s really distracting. It’s also the heavily edited cut. The only thing that works about the pan and scan is that the first glimpse of the killer reflected in a mirror is cut out which makes the ending come as a total surprise if you’ve never seen it before. If director John Waters calls the next film “Christmas Evil” the best Christmas movie of all time you can rest assured that it’s going to be twisted. It’s the story of a lonely man named Harry (Brandon Maggart)who’s obsessed with Christmas. Since no one else is in the holiday spirit he snaps and goes on a killing spree on Christmas Eve. All of the violence is holiday themed as nut crackers and ornaments become murder weapons. The film is bizarre, funny, and disturbing all at the same time. “Lady Frankenstein” stars the ridiculously sexy Rosalba Neri as Anna. Anna is the daughter of Baron Frankenstein (Joseph Cotton) who is just back from college. She’s eager to continue her father’s experiments and sets to work on a brain transplant. When the monster is re-animated and murders her father she creates another one to kill the old monster. Anna gives Dr. Frank-n-Furter from “Rocky Horror” a run for his money since her new monster not only has to be her avenger but also her sexual slave. Some good nudity in this one, which was directed by the original Gravis Mushnik, Mel Welles. Rounding out the box is “The House on the Edge of the Park”. It stars David Hess in a role very similar to his mad rapist in “Last House on the Left”. Ruggero Deodato directed this rape and revenge thriller that is the ultimate home invasion horror film. It’s a pretty unpleasant film but it’s a good one. It benefits from scary acting, a great score by Riz Ortolani, and the house itself is very spacious and ominous. I love the summary on the back of the box for this film. They make the fact that he is a rapist and a murderer almost a throw away comment. There are five solid horror films in this set and another five that are okay to watch once. With the exception of the almost unwatchable “Deep Red” it’s a good value for the price.