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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Movie Review: Twisted Tales

As a anthology fan, do you think every anthology is worth watching? In March 2014, I sat down and found out... no, no they aren't.

Directing this 144 minute horror is Tom Holland.

Some of the cast you'll see is: Tom Holland as Himself, AJ Bowen as Fred and Bonnie Piesse as GPS, Danielle Harris as Susan, William Forsythe as  Mr. Smith and Eddie Hargitay as Carlos, Noah Hathaway as Dave, Sarah Butler as Jolene and Alex Urbom as Buddy, Joel Ward as Dunstin Dynamite, Breanne Racano as Mary Contrary and Ray Wise as Mongo the Magnificent, Brianne Howey as Susan, Angela Bettis as Lida, Josh Holland as Jesse, James Duval asToughey, Amber Benson as Dhianna, Jose Pablo Cantillo as Ricardo, Jonathan Chase as Barney and Adam Rose as Danny Doyle and Erin Aine Smith as Erin, Marc Senter as Pizza Guy.

Writer/directer Tom Holland sets the scenes for some twisted tales that he's put together. Like an argument a
man has with his GPS device after killing is wife. Or how a group of friends have a howling good time with a new street drug. Then there's the deal a heartbroken woman makes to get revenge on her boyfriend. All told, Holland has nine tales to tell... if you dare to watch.

In 2013 creator Tom Holland originally started out with this project as a 13 piece webepisode that was released through Fearnet's website. Unfortunately, the project was cut down to 9 episodes (Fred and His GPS, To Hell With You, Boom, Mongo's Magik Mirror, Bite, Shockwave, Cached, Pizza Guy and Vampire Dance) due to time and money. Eventually this anthology was released on DVD, and can be found under the title Twisted Tales or Tom Holland's Twisted Tales. Now, there is a comic book with the same name that was started in the 1980's. It too was an anthology of horror stories, but has no connection with Holland's Twisted Tales project.

I was a little disappointed by the stories in this flick. We've all seen some of Holland's previous work as a writer or directer, like Cloak & Dagger (1984), Fright Night (1985), Child's Play (1988) and Thinner (1996) to name some. So, it's not like Holland doesn't have the talent to entertain and come up with great stories. Now, some of the stories had promise, but that's as far as they ever go. I'd have to say Shockwave had the most potential, as far as pulling off a decent whole (short) story. The worse of the bunch had to be Vampire Dance. I'm not sure what Holland was doing with that one.
Unfortunately, with the episodes being so short the playthrough is lacking. They're just not long enough to really give a solid entertaining story. Instead they just come off as intros to what could be really cool movies. Except the Pizza Guy episode, that one was broken into a few parts, so that one wasn't half bad. I just found myself getting bored watching one short after another for 144 minutes. That's 2 h-o-u-r-s and 22 minutes of life.... gone! 
                                            


Some of the special effects kind of messed me up a bit. One minute things looked good, then the next time they were barely decent. On top of that, add in some bad CGI that stood out every time it was used. The episode titled Bite was about werewolves, and a couple of them looked really nice. Then the rest they slapped the actors with some extra hair and teeth and called it done. I understand the project was already cut back due to money and time, but if this is what you're going to gift wrap and give to an audience then all I can say is bad Holland! Bad!

I was amazed by some of the star power that popped up in these shorts. Stars like Harris, Forsythe, Wise and Bettis were the best part of the stories they appeared in. Now a cool surprise was Hathaway, I hadn't seen him since he played Atreyu in The Never Ending Story (1984). Aside from the cool stars I already mentioned, everyone else was ok... ish. Yes there's some bad acting, but upside is the scenes end quick so, there you go.

All the stories are stand alone and don't have anything to do with one another. The only connection is how Holland introduces each story before they start. Think Rod Sterling's intros to the Twilight Zone T.V. show... minus everything that made it cool.

Overall, as much as I like Holland's work, I couldn't recommend this flick to anyone. The few nice things only last for a second, and it's really only a few things. So, unless you like being tortured and truly want to sacrifice your time to a cold uncaring film that won't give you anything in return. Then here ya go you little film masochist!

It's rated NR (not rated) but has violence and language.

It hurts to do this to an anthology but... 1 star.


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