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Deadtime Stories Volume 1: An Anthology film presented by George Romero. Three stories are told. The first is "Valley of the Shadow" about woman searching for her missing husband in a remote tribe's land. The second story "Wet" is about a man who digs up a mermaid body part and is warned to bury it back the way he found it for his own safety. The third tale, "House call", is about a doctor being called to the home of a desperate woman who believes her son is a vampire. Written by
IMDb has the listings for Deadtime Stories volumes screwed up (they list this one as volume 2) and even the synopsis for Volume 2 has a story that is not in Volume 1. "Housecall" has no mention whatsoever on the synopsis for volumes 1 or 2.
Why George Romero would want his name on this is beyond me. Two out of the three stories are so mind-numbingly slow, you'll probably fall asleep before the third one, which is the only reason to watch.
I'll break down the stories so you know what you're getting yourself into if you decided to rent or purchase:
Valley of the Shadow - Angela (Marsalis) gets her expedition funded by a wealthy investor (Schiff). She's looking for her husband who disappeared 3 years ago. Very slow, very boring, it looks like it was filmed in a local state park and the twist at the end can't make up for a very weak story. I almost choked on my soda because I laughed so hard at the ol' knife in the head gag (looked so fake it had to be done for comedic effect, right?).
Wet - Jack (Monahan) is lonely, finds a box on the beach and takes it to a local antique dealer, Swan (Mancuso). Swan tells him a story and Jack is obviously a betting man because he doesn't take his advice and that's when SHE (Slaysman) appears. This one had potential to be good but, once again, it was too slow and too boring. It picked up for about a minute and a half and then it dived right back into boring. About the only thing worthwhile on this story was the haunting music, it had a nice creepy overall vibe to it.
Housecall - Dr. Marsten (O'Malley) gets a phone late at night from Mrs. Norman (Nagel). She's worried about her son, Jimmy (Hoehnen). When he arrives to the home, he is tied to the bed. This story is easily the best of the three (but that ain't saying much). This one is talk-heavy as well, but at least what they're saying is interesting this time. Tom Savini directed this one and he made it look and feel all old-timey. Good story and nice twist I didn't see coming. This short is why you're watching the movie, trust me.
It's kind of hard to justify buying or renting this movie just for the last short. Each story is about twenty-five minutes long. The acting in the first one is so poor, you might want to shut it off straight away. It gets better in the second, but that's because each one of the actors don't really have anything to do. The third one wins Best In Show, the second one has the great music (hey, you have to take victories where you can get 'em) and George Romero, if these shorts scared you, I am no longer watching anything you direct, because your taste has gone downhill faster than Clark W. Griswold's sled in Christmas Vacation. More reviews at www.soveryterry.com Final Grade: D
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