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Michael A. Miranda,
The uncle of an executed murderess relates four stories of his hometown, Oldfield, to a reporter: an elderly man pursues a romance with a younger woman, even to the grave and beyond...a wounded man on the run from creditors is rescued by a backwoods hermit with the secret to eternal life...a glass-eating carny pays the ultimate price for looking for love on the outside...and Civil War soldiers are held captive by a household of orphans with strange intentions for them. Written by
Brian J. Wright <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When I say that I somehow overlooked THE OFFSPRING (aka FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM) when it came out during the late 80's, I'm basically summing up this movie's history. It's unrighteously overlooked and forgotten. It's a very satisfying horror-anthology that is slightly more dark and gory than its counterparts released during that period (CAT'S EYE, CREEPSHOW 2,...). The wraparound story has reporter Bess Chandler travelling to the town of Oldfield. She's there to interview the uncle of executed serial killer Katherine White. The uncle, played by horror-icon Vincent Price, lives in this house full of books which contain the history of Oldfield. Through four stories Julian White reveals to Bess the evil that dwells in Oldfield.
The first story had me fearing the worst, because the acting was rather poor. Just when I was about to think this was gonna be a lame story about a guy going nuts and killing some women, there was the act of necrophilia (not shown, though) and the completely unexpected twist in the end. Since this was the least successful story of the four, I was in for a treat. Because every story got better and better. Just for the fun of it I made up a title for every episode (because they actually don't have any in the movie).
"Brother Dearest": Clu Gulager (best known to horror-fans for his role in THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD) plays Stanley Burnside, a timid man who lives with his ill sister. He falls in love with his boss, but it turns out she's not interested. It seems that Stanley doesn't handle rejection well, as the walls of his sanity begin crumbling down.
"Swamp Renewal": This part seemed to be made by a total different director, but it was not. The tone and camera-work was different. It revolves around Jesse Hardwicke, first rate trailer trash, who gets chased into the swamps by two gangsters. Mortally wounded he loses consciousness. An old man takes him under his care. This is more a voodoo-like tale with an anti-greed message. The music was memorable and so was the shock-ending.
"Of Glass And Pins": A very creepy carnival story with the goriest death-scene of them all. Steven Arden is known as the Glass Eater, an act of the carnival's freakshow. Amaryllis, one of the spectators, is desperately in love with him. But all the freaks of this carnival are under the spell of Snake Woman, and she will not tolerate any of her freaks leaving the circus, not even for love's sake.
"Children Of The Civil War": This is basically the gory freaked out version of CHILDREN OF THE CORN, disguised as a period piece. I really liked the way the story unfolded. The creepy kids gave decent performances and the atmosphere was terrific.
The wraparound story itself wasn't anything special, though. But still this is a decent anthology horror movie (despite its rather small budget) with good, solid short stories, all including a nice twist in the end. There's enough blood and (mild) gore to keep every horror-fan amused. When we look at writer/director Jeff Burr's resume, THE OFFSPRING might easily be one of his best genre efforts. It's worth seeking this one out.
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